In this short talk from TED U, Joachim de Posada shares a landmark
experiment on delayed gratification -- and how it can predict future
success. With priceless video of kids trying their hardest not to eat
I recently came across Timetric, a very useful website for data access and analysis. Timetric, as described from its website more fully below, allows you to post your own data over time as well as access data posted by others. Timetric is a free service but does require you to register to use the service.
An example appears below (click on the image to enlarge).
What's Timetric for?
Timetric's here to help you make sense of data. If you think about it, most
of the numbers we come across every day are things like temperatures, prices,
rates, volumes: numbers which vary over time. That's what Timetric
focuses on: graphing, tracking and comparing the movements of data over
The fancy name for this sort of thing is time series analysis.
building tools to make it as easy to build models on top of time series
— updated whenever the data they're based on is updated — as it is to
use a spreadsheet.
For the entering class of 2009 at the University of Texas, 81% were in the top 10% and 8.7% were out-of-state. That left just over 10.3% for the entire rest of the students in the State of Texas who were not in the top 10% of their graduating classes. And that is why the Top 10% rule mandating admission on the single criteria of class rank has been in such serious need of reform.
Senate Bill 175 by Senator Shapiro (summarized here initially, and here after the bill was heard by the Senate) would have gone a long way toward reforming this mandate to give the University of Texas, and Texas A&M, more discretion to determine its student enrollment criteria.
Today, Senate Bill 175 was taken up by the Texas House, and was significantly weakened. Top 10% admission under the House amendments will be capped at 75% of the entering freshman class (as opposed to the 81% today). An additional 10% of the class can be from out-of-state. That leaves only 15% of the entering class that can be considered on criteria other than the Top 10%, including such criteria as proficiency in the arts, athletics, speech, debate, SAT/ACT scores, and any other criteria showing that a student is a well-rounded and college-ready. That's 15% vs. 10.3% today. And there are a lot of restrictions on that 15% with more being added through the additional amendments. This minimal improvement means that the brain drain of students leaving Texas will continue.
Below is a summary from Paul Burka (Texas Monthly) on the House amendments.
* Automatic admissions capped at 75% of resident admits for UT only,
starting with the entering class of 2011 and ending in 2015.
* UT may not use legacy status in its admissions process.
* Cap % of non-residents enrolled in the freshman class at 10%.
* Improve notification provisions to students and parents.
* New reforms do not apply if UT admits fewer students from high
schools in the bottom quintile of college-going rates, based on a
two-year rolling average.
* New reforms do not apply if a court order or board of regents
prohibits the use of race or ethnicity in the admissions process.
* New reforms do not apply if UT-Austin fails to improve outreach
and recruitment of undergrads from other general academic teaching
institutions to their graduate programs.
The fifth item above — “Improve notification provisions to students
and parents” — is crucial. One of the problems UT has in recruiting
minority students is that school counselors spend far more time on
discipline and dropouts than they spend on college advising. Many
students in urban high schools never learn that they have an automatic
place at the University of Texas if they finish in the top 10% of their
Memorial Day is more than just a three-day weekend and a chance to
get the year’s first sunburn. Here’s a handy 10-pack of facts to give
the holiday some perspective.
1. It started with the Civil War
Memorial Day was a response to the unprecedented carnage of the
Civil War, in which some 620,000 soldiers on both sides died. The loss
of life and its effect on communities throughout the North and South
led to spontaneous commemorations of the dead:
• In 1864, women from Boalsburg, Pa., put flowers on the graves of
their dead from the just-fought Battle of Gettysburg. The next year, a
group of women decorated the graves of soldiers buried in a Vicksburg,
• In April 1866, women from Columbus, Miss., laid flowers on the
graves of both Union and Confederate soldiers. It was recognized at the
time as an act of healing sectional wounds. In the same month, up in
Carbondale, Ill., 219 Civil War veterans marched through town in memory
of the fallen to Woodlawn Cemetery, where Union hero Maj. Gen. John A.
Logan delivered the principal address. The ceremony gave Carbondale its
claim to the first organized, community-wide Memorial Day observance.
• Waterloo, N.Y., began holding an annual community service on May
5, 1866. Although many towns claimed the title, it was Waterloo that
won congressional recognition as the “birthplace of Memorial Day.”
AUSTIN (KXAN) - The odds of a special
session keep getting greater as House members run out the clock to
avoid a vote on voter ID.
"This is the first time in the history
of Texas almost that you've seen a local calendar go two days," said
Rep. Mike Hamilton, R-Mauriceville.
The House hasn't passed a
major bill since Wednesday and spent a rainy Saturday afternoon
debating bills that usually go uncontested. House Democrats are
spending 9 1/2 minutes questioning the author of each local bill, the
maximum amount of time allotted, in order to burn time and get
Republicans ready for a deal on voter ID.
"It needs to be
stopped legislatively, so we are using the tools we have in our toolbox
to fight it," said Rep. Lon Burnam, Fort Worth.
caucus has said they will vote to suspend rules and take up major
bills, as long as voter ID isn't one of them. The controversial bill
that requires voters bring photo identification to the polls is next up
on the House calendar. "We are not going to change the calendar," said
the Chair of the Calendars committee, Rep. Brian McCall, R-Plano.
McCall said he was shocked by the chubbing (the House's version of a
filibuster) since he spent all session working with Democrats to get
their bills to the floor for debate. "I'm frustrated," he said. "We're
Since the deadline for the House to pass any
more state bills is Tuesday at midnight, the two sides could reach a
compromise. However, some Republicans said they won't relent on seeing
voter ID make it to the floor for a vote.
"My people sent me
here to work, " said Rep. Rick Hardcastle, R-Vernon. "If some people's
idea of work is playing games, then my folks expect me to saddle up and
There are still major bills waiting in queue, like Texas
Windstorm Insurance, one of the Governor's emergency items. If it dies
because the clock runs out, then a special session is likely. The
estimated cost of a special session is $60,000 per day and each one can
last up to 30 days.
Opponents of voter ID said it's worth it.
"I'm not willing to kill people for defending the right to vote, but
I'm more than willing to kill lots of bills defending the right to
vote," said Burnam.
Today's newspapers across the State are reporting on the delay tactics being employed on the floor of the Texas House of Representatives (see here, here, here, here, and here). When the Democrats began the four-corner stall two days ago, the House would otherwise have been in the position of concluding debate on SB 175, the Top 10% College Admission bill. However, as a result of the delay, that bill, and all of the others listed below, remain pending and likely never to be reached.
Senate bills not passed on second reading by midnight Tuesday are dead. Looks like most of these bills will fall into that category:
SB 175 by Shapiro Limit on Top Ten Percent automatic admissions policy SJR 11 by West Allowing the governor to issue pardon after successful deferred adjudication SB 1850 by Shapleigh Creation of the home- and community-based services workforce council SB 1111 by Duncan Liability of and legal fees for a court-appointed trustee of certain facilities SB 1864 by Ellis Post-conviction forensic DNA analysis SB 1173 by Seliger Delivery, modification, and withdrawal of a warrant of execution SB 1106 by Van de Putte Expediting payment of claims to pharmacies and pharmacists SB 1501 by West (D) Grants to non-profits that partner with schools for agricultural projects SB 1976 by Whitmire Allowing habeas corpus writs for certain types of new scientific evidence SB 1773 by Fraser Applying limited liability for corporations to limited liability companies SB 2105 by Uresti Limiting the liability of space flight entities to space flight participants SB 1954 by Jackson Allowing a temporary faculty license for chiropractic faculty SB 1815 by Van de Putte Immunity for doctors’ exams requested TDI workers’ comp division
Behavioral economist Dan Ariely, the author of Predictably Irrational,
uses classic visual illusions and his own counterintuitive (and
sometimes shocking) research findings to show how we're not as rational
as we think when we make decisions.