My 5¢ – 01/17/2013

Buffalo Nickel

Public Schools under Doctor Williams in the B-lo

If there was ever any doubt about the chaotic culture of Buffalo Public Schools under the leadership of Dr. James Williams, the 01/12/2013 report by the Mary Pasciak in the Buffalo News about the firing of a district administrator should seal the deal.

When I was reading the report, all that was running through my mind was how much of this type of corruption was going on while Williams was at the helm and where was the oversight?

From the administrative side of things, me thinks the BPS is probably one large crazy bureaucracy…something that should be re-scaled and reorganized.  But me also thinks this will probably never happen.

Manti Te’o

The thing about the whole Manti Te’o girlfriend hoax that has been floating around in my ByrdBrain is how the media just ran with the whole grandmother and girlfriend dying story without much on their part in verifying and fact checking at the very beginning of it all back in September 2012.

The Atlantic nails it today:

I mean seriously, what?!?!?!?!? This isn’t 1913, it’s 2013. How exactly does every major sports media organization in the United States re-package a story that turns out to be wholly false? Budgets are stretched, but do major magazines not even fact-check their cover stories? Were all the top sportswriters in the country so enamored with this tale of woe that they didn’t think to, you know, do their jobs? Mr. Te’o will get his soon enough—at best, he exploited a situation he didn’t really understand to enhance his fame and prestige, and at worst he perpetrated a fraud on the entire country. But this story about the (now proved fictitious) Lennay Kekua has been in the news cycle for months. SI may be the worst offender, because running a heartwarming cover article based in part on a lie is the nightmare bizarro equivalent of Sidd Finch, only this was real. But it’s appallingly apparent that every member of the sports media who wrote about this basically copied and pasted from previous articles.

Did they not feel compelled to check out this so-called girlfriend because the story had become “commonly accepted knowledge” to the media? Probably. Is that a scary turn of events for the Fourth Estate? Oh yes. Will this affect Te’o's draft prospects? He might slide a few spots, but he can play the GAME OF FOOTBALL, so he’ll still be taken in the first 15 picks come April unless Deadspin or somebody else can prove he knew it was hoax the whole time.

In this new super duper age of the media rushing everything to publication, you begin to wonder how much information is being fed to us unchecked.  Scary.

Skyfall

I finally got see the latest James Bond movie a couple nights ago. Skyfall was a great comeback for the series after the awful Quantum of Solace.  Skyfall, like Casino Royale, dipped back into exploring James Bond’s past and exploring how 007 developed into who he is. Daniel Craig’s Bond continues to be great.  He is signed to do two more Bond films.  Let’s hope there are no more clunkers in the mix.

And Adele’s “Skyfall” is one of the coolest James Bond movie songs ever!

Aerotropolis 

From Wikipedia:

An aerotropolis is an urban plan in which the layout, infrastructure, and economy is centered around an airport, existing as an airport city. It is similar in form and function to a traditional metropolis, which contains a central city core and its commuter-linked suburbs.[1][2] The term was first proposed by New York commercial artist Nicholas DeSantis, whose drawing of a skyscraper rooftop airport in the city was presented in the November 1939 issue of Popular Science.[3] The term was revived and substantially extended by academic and air commerce expert Dr.John D. Kasarda in 2000, based on his prior research on airport-driven economic development.[4][5]

Until I read an article in this past Sunday’s Buffalo News, I did not know of or ever heard about an aerotropolis.  A quick Google search reveals that they are all over the world including the United States.

From the Buffalo News article:

…Greg Lindsay, co-author of “Aerotropolis: The Way We’ll Live Next,” argues, in the era of globalization, efficiency is paramount. Lindsay believes that the old real-estate rule of “location, location, location” is being swapped for the new rule of “accessibility, accessibility, accessibility.”

The article asks if the aerotropolis is the wave of the future for new cities.  Maybe, maybe not, but it is interesting to reading about such concepts and how they have taken flight in other parts of the world.

Social Media

Social media is here to stay.  My biggest problem with it both personally and what I see with others is how much of a time suck it is.  Managing its usefulness and time spent on it is probably a tough thing for a lot of people.

The time and energy spent facebooking,  tweeting, etc. takes away from other aspects of our lives. The question I have is do we know when too much is too much as it starts negatively impacting the time we should spend on the more important things in life.

I try to view social media as a dynamic tool to connect with people and further the causes I believe in and support. But I have to admit, after hours of mindless social media scrolling, that I do need to keep in check how I use it.

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