Anonymous 3rd grade pizza math question drives Internet crazy

Anonymous 3rd grade pizza math question drives Internet crazy
JISHOU, HUNAN — It seems every few months or so the Internet is in turmoil about some silly “controversy” or another. The latest is the “Marty and Luis” pizza question. An image of the question, supposedly marked in green by a teacher, ended up on reddit two months ago, apparently as a criticism of American education, or teachers, or math. Who knows? Well, I’m a skeptic, so I went digging around the Internet trying to find the origin of the question and the image. The source of the question was easy to find: Pearson Education’s EnVision math series for 3rd Grade Common Core. The source of the image was a different matter. Using TinEye.com, I used the image as a search parameter. It’s earliest appearance was, oddly enough, on a German image collection site, www.lachshon.de, and it was posted there in March 2015! The account of the original poster, gelöscht-20111221-112645, has since been locked, and his new account, gelöscht-20120516-162657, is not visible to the public, though the images are searchable. Go figure. After this mysterious German appearance, the same image ended up on imgur.com about a week later, where it began to attract the usual assortment of comments, ranging from ...

America had The Dress, China has duang!

America had The Dress, China has duang!
While the rest of the world was debating the colors of The Dress, people in China were busy popularizing a new word: duang. Jackie Chan may have been the first to coin the word, but he used it as a sound effect, like “Boing!” in English. Chan used it during a commercial for a shampoo he endorses, saying it “Duang! Made my hair thick and fluffy!” The word has gained a new meaning that’s gone quickly viral in the last few days. It now means something like “digital effects,” i.e., not real. There’s even a viral video spoofing the original commercial by editing it to seem as if Chan is rapping lyrics. Tóu fa 头发, by the way, means “hair.” Why the sudden popularity? It’s hard to say, but it’s probably because of duang’s association with Chan. His son, Jaycee, recently served time for drug offenses. And the “all natural” shampoo Chan extols in the ad is alleged to contain artificial ingredients and chemicals. Plus, Chan, a Hong Kong native, has publicly criticized his birthplace for being too wild and free. Many of his critics believe Chan dissed Hong Kong so he could make movies more easily on the more ...

Great adventures in high school journalism 2

JISHOU, HUNAN — Wonkette has already commented on this story in its inimitable way, but I haven’t written a high school press freedom blog in years. So, suffer me this rare chance. Student journalists at Fond du Lac (Wisconsin) High School did a boffo piece on rape, rape culture, and rape jokes. Scroll to the end of this linked page and read it yourself. It was well written, informative and mature, and included helpful links for readers needing counseling or advice. I mean, it was nearly professional, the kind of piece student newspapers get state and national scholastic press awards for. The administration of FDLHS spiked it. That’s right. Right now in the 21st century high school students still cannot discuss sex in print, no matter how well written and researched their articles are. If I were the principal of this school, I’d be damned proud of these kids. But, you know, I’m not the boss. And also, sex, teenagers. OMFG! The administration did not break any laws, because the Supreme Court ruled long ago that schools have the right to censor student publications if they are part of an academic course. The best we can do as sympathetic observers ...

Great Firewall of China getting smarter 2

JISHOU, HUNAN — A few days ago, I was Skyping with my friend in Ukraine. Today, my neighbors told me Skype was down, and sure enough, when I tried it, Skype couldn’t connect. Since the Internet isn’t reporting a worldwide Skype outage, it appears China’s net nannies are blocking Skype now. Why? Because they can. Skype joins the ranks of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, The New York Times and Bloomberg.com, among others. Some are blocked because of political reasons — The Times and Bloomberg have reported on the vast wealth of China’s new leaders, and YouTube is full of pro-Tibet and Falun Gong videos. Others are blocked to benefit their homegrown competitors — Facebook and Twitter could compete with China’s QQ and Sina Weibo. China offers its own “flavor” of Skype, which is jimmied to allow China’s Internet watchdogs to spy on your conversations. My copy of Skype comes from the USA, so maybe the watchdogs are only blocking that flavor. I’ll be damned if I download the Chinese version, though. China’s net nannies are getting smarter, as Philip Shishkin reports at i-policy.com. My VPN provider, a major player in the market, explained in an e-mail that the disruption was due ...

I’m without Facebook … again

UPDATE 1/9/11 5:30 am ET — Nevermind. As soon as I wrote this post, by a corollary to Murphy’s Law, everything started working again. JISHOU, HUNAN — My favorite method to climb the Great Firewall of China seems to no longer work. So, my only access to FB right now is eBuddy on my cellphone for Chat and this blog’s feed into Notes. I do get emails whenever someone comments on a note or sends me a message, though. I had been using Ultrareach‘s Ultrasurf, a 1-MB program that sets up a proxy connection to “climb the Wall,” as they say here, and evade China’s Internet censorship. It establishes a proxy connection as before, but as soon as I enter a URL, the connection is lost. I suspect the Net Nannies here have gotten wise to Ultrasurf and figured out a way to block it, as they did the Tor proxy network two years ago. So, if you’re expecting me to learn about news from family and friends via FB, think again. Ya might just have to write me an email once in a while. Oh, and FB recoded their site again, so the plugin I have that pulls comments ...

I can get to Picasaweb again! 2

JISHOU, HUNAN — So, I am back from a three-week stay in Louisville, and still trying to adjust my internal clock to local time. (I woke up at 4 am today. Jeez.) During my absence from China, the net nannies here apparently decided to remove the block on Picasaweb. So, I can once again edit and upload my photos there. Check out the new photos. Nothing truly exciting, but interesting, I hope. Before Christmas, I visited two local schools, one in the countryside and one in Jishou. I have some thoughts about my trip back to the States, and about teaching here. I hope to get those written down soon, before classes resume on the 25th.

Chinese censors suppress news about Egypt

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY — Al Jazeera reports that the net nannies in China are blocking discussion about the democratic movements in Egypt on a popular micro-blogging service. Chinageeks.org reports official news sources are keeping mum about the reasons for the protests, if they carry any reports about them at all. Apparently, China is also blocking Al Jazeera’s live video streams and sanitizing discussion forums as quickly as anyone posts. Maybe the leaders in Beijing are a little worried. One wonders why.

Censorship, Chinese style 4

[UPDATES 10/11/10: Liu’s wife visited him in prison yesterday, and was placed under house arrest upon leaving. Her ties to the outside world have been severed and she can only leave her home in a police car. Meanwhile, authorities have arrested people celebrating Liu’s award. China-based bloggers, like Han Han, have also had their sites censored. (Han Han’s post about Liu for 10/8/10 is now blank.] JISHOU, HUNAN — By now, you have probably heard that Liu Xiaobo, a Chinese dissident, has won the Nobel Peace Prize. But if you were in China, you would hardly know it. Government censors blacked out CNN cable TV reports, like the one below. The China Daily, the nation’s English-language, government-backed newspaper and website, had nothing about the award this evening. Searching for his name in Chinese characters (刘晓波) using Google or Yahoo just gave me a generic “server not found” message. However, if I used the pinyin version of his name, I had no problem finding and reading news reports about him. I assume that breech will be closed soon, since searching for his name on Wikipedia gave me a similar “server not found” message. Liu is serving an 11-year prison sentence in ...

Slow and steady wins the race

JISHOU, HUNAN — I am happy to report that I can once again post to my Picasaweb photo site, as long as I use the Ultrasurf proxy client I downloaded a couple of months ago. It’s slow, but at least I can use the 80 GB of Picasaweb storage space that I paid for. It also means my photos will automatically get posted to Facebook through the Picasa Facebook app. So, as I wait for my photos to trickle slowly into my Picasaweb space, I can write some posts. Here’s the first one.

The randomness of inaccessibility

UPDATE 28/7/2010 11:25 am: And now everything is back to “normal.” But Firefox went south on me, Winamp got trapped in a loop somehow, and even taskmgr couldn’t kill it. After I shut down the computer, and restarted, the “blocked” sites listed below were accessible again. So I laid blame on the Great Firewall, but maybe it was my laptop or Vista Home edition. JISHOU, HUNAN — Yesterday, I could access a whole slew of my favorite websites. Today, I can’t. I blame the Great Firewall of China. In fact, my own website (this one) is now blocked. I am using the Ultrasurf proxy to climb the Great Firewall just to post this. And to aggravate me even more, Wikipedia seems also to be blocked, just as I was beginning the last phase of a long term project to edit Wiki entries about locations in Hunan, using my students’ research papers as the sources. I managed to edit the Jishou entry two days ago. Now, I’ll have to use the proxy to continue. Here’s a partial list of what I could access yesterday, but cannot today. www.nytimes.com my.yahoo.com www.liitlegreenfootballs.com wheatdogg.computernewbie.info — MINE! and thereby cpanel access en.wikipedia.org www.sadlyno.com questionablecontent.net — ...

Great Firewall now blocks Tor proxies: bye-bye Facebook 3

JISHOU, HUNAN — It was bound to happen someday. I am now completely shut off from Facebook. So if you want to communicate with me, either use my blog here, IM me or send me an email. China started blocking Facebook (and other sites) about a year after I arrived. Until recently, I had been able to use the Tor proxy network to “climb the firewall” and access Facebook. China’s net nannies had been blocking the IP addresses of public Tor connections, but I was able to get private bridge IPs by email. Now even the private bridge connections don’t work. My Tor’s log reports “problem bootstrapping. Stuck at 5%” and there it stays. Apparently, China’s censors have found a way to render the Tor proxy network ineffective, thereby shutting us netizens in China out of the wider WorldWide Web. Internet restrictions here typically get more severe as we approach significant anniversaries, such the Tiananmen Square protests by university students on June 5, 1989. In fact, I just discovered that just trying to visit sites (wikipedia, bbc.co.uk, etc.) that discuss the events is useless. It seems those are being blocked, too. Sigh. Perhaps the blocks will be removed after the ...

The Goo-Goo-Googly mess 5

JISHOU, HUNAN — Google and China have had a bit of a falling-out, as you may have heard. Google has relocated its China-based search services to autonomous Hong Kong and the mainland has responded by apparently blocking access to www.google.com — the US-based site. All I know is, I cannot browse to www.gmail.com now to check my email. On one hand, it’s not a big deal; I can still use IMAP access and Mozilla Thunderbird to handle my email. On the other hand, I’ve now lost easy access to all the contact lists I had created for my classes. To get to them, I will either have to use the Tor proxy network to climb over the Great Firewall of China, or replicate the lists using Thunderbird or another unblocked webmail account. Here’s a recap of the Google mess, if you haven’t been following it closely. China requires foreign companies to abide by national laws, so Google had to agree to filter its search engine and search results to eliminate, among other things, risqué photos, porn and politically sensitive sites. Google took some heat stateside for its acquiescence to the restrictions, but Google’s leadership said it was a business decision. ...
WP Facebook Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com