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 ...

Surviving the year’s first English speaking contest 4

[Cross-posted at The Daily Kos.] JISHOU, HUNAN — It’s getting to be speechifying season here again, and my first judging gig this year was a recitation contest for non-English majors. The 29 contestants’ selections were a compendium of uplifting quotations, essays, poems, songs and miscellania that could have come from one of those never-ending paperbacks full of uplifting quotations, essays, poems, songs and miscellania. In fact, that’s where some of them came from. I think it’s an unwritten rule here that English recitation material has to be really sappy and sentimental. Having nothing better to do than marking about 100 tests (no joke), I spent a couple of hours one night checking the provenance of all these uplifting pieces about love, mom, friendship, self-worth, growing old, love, life’s setbacks, and mom. Here’s a rundown of the afternoon’s selections, to give you an idea of what I mean. Taking the prize for the oldest selection is “My luve is like a red, red rose,” from 1794, attributed to Robert Burns. He collected and preserved old songs and poems in Scots, like this one, for posterity. That’s how we still have “Auld Lang Syne.” It’s short, so here’s the poem in its ...
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