Random Links

Life is sucking hard (It’s certainly sucking) (You’re welcome, John).
1. Saffron
Did you know that it takes a field of crocuses the size of a football field to grow a pound of saffron? Or that 16th century German merchants could be executed for selling fake saffron? Read all about the world’s most valuable spice here.
2. Building a luxury sports car is actually quite involved.

3. Sage Stossel is quite funny.

4. Wired is stupid
This article, making the argument that “making learning cool could reform education,” is one of the stupidest things I have ever read. I’m really disappointed in the quality of Wired‘s offerings of late (I should note that I’m not a subscriber, so I’m getting exactly what I deserve). I don’t know if I’m just remembering it wrong, or if the magazine has actually changed for the worse, but now it seems to be filled with rewritten product press releases, and stupid, conventional wisdom articles with back-patting, self-congratulatory “geek” humor.
First of all, the phrasing of their argument doesn’t make any sense; it ends up saying nothing. You know what would also reform education? If every kid got better grades! or if all teachers were better! or if all schools taught kids more effectively! Why don’t we try those “reforms”?
But taking the argument on face value, it’s still bullshit. I am extremely lucky to have attended an exclusive prep school. That was an environment where everybody went to college. Good colleges, too. And let me tell you, even in Arcadia there was only a cursory correlation between intelligence and popularity. There was an inverse relationship between popularity and grade performance. Nobody was more despised than the brown-nosing fucks that pulled straight A’s*. I will note that those people were generally girls. Hey, that’s an idea! Let’s raise school performance by only requiring education for females.
*I will admit that there was one boy that was extremely popular and also had fantastic grades. But he was inhumanly beautiful and likely a benevolent demigod.

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