Are You Pondering What I’m Pondering?

I noticed on the site stats that there’s been a jump in people finding us through the Google search terms “animal sex”. Undoubtedly this has to do with “Can Anyone Write Rampant Animal Sex Prose” post a few weeks back. I mean, I’d been told that post that included “sex” was good SEO, and I figured Rampant Animal Sex would certainly help, but now that I look at it, I kind of wonder what kind of RAMPANT ANIMAL SEX audience I’m attracting.

Not that I’m here to judge anyone.

This is becoming awkward.

Moving on.

–I’d never thought of rape as a crime with unclear moral and ethical dimensions, but apparently around the world there are plenty of cops and politicians who have a tough time clearing the inch-high curb between them and idea that inflicting sex on unwilling or defenseless persons is a bad thing. Forget saying “This is the 21st century.” Rape hasn’t been a close ethical call since opposable thumbs first came out.

–I don’t know how confident I’d be about next year as such, but I share the optimism astronomers seem to have that the discovery of Earthlike planets is probably around the corner.

–Take a shot at this 8th grade final exam from 1895. Some of these questions would be hard to answer in ways a teacher in 1895 would recognize as right: e.g. “Name all the republics of Europe and give capital of each.” And the math questions are a bit more farm oriented than a modern math class’s questions would be. (I grew up in rural areas, and no one bothered explaining how to convert bushels of wheat into pounds or cubic inches. Also, for the interest questions, are we talking simple or compound interest, and if compound, are we talking compounded daily, weekly, monthly, semiannually, or annually?) Still, I’ll grant that within its boundaries, it’s rigorous enough. I’m skeptical it indicates our current educational standards are deficient or that students have gotten dumber. Snopes has this quote from the author of a similar exam, intended for prospective teachers, from 1870:

I gave them a pretty severe test in Grammar, and some of them did make terrible work of it. One young lady said the singular of “swine” was “pigs”, another “a hog”. One being asked to give me the past tense of “I lie down” said “I lied”, which she certainly did. Out of some 30 or 35 words I gave them to spell, not over 10 were spelled correctly by any one, several missed on all but 5 or 6–Yet they blushed and tried so hard to do well– and many were graduates of the High School–that I was sorry for them. I had no idea that graduates could be so ignorant.

So don’t feel bad if you don’t do well on the 1895 test. Based on this letter, ’twas ever thus.

Later.

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