The Barrier to Intelligence

Nothing truly enables you to understand the power of education quite like studying a foreign language. I just completed my final exam for what will be (hopefully) my last Spanish and foreign language class. I learned very little espaƱol in my two years of study. What I did realize, earlier this year, is how important language is to your intelligence, or at least your perceived intelligence.

During my Spanish classes, I often found myself with an idea that was important to the class discussion. Usually, however, I would stay silent. I couldn’t figure out how to translate my thought into Spanish and was too intent on learning the language to ask in English.

It occurred to me that for the 1.2 million people who immigrate to the U.S. annually, mastery of English is critical to their success. If they can’t speak English well, they won’t do well during job interviews. This would be the case even if they were a certified genius or a renowned scholar from their country of origin.

It also seems that as Christians, we must be mindful of how we treat people who didn’t grow up learning our language. They are of equal worth in God’s eyes.

In Case You Were Wondering

A well-known sandwich restaurant franchise (which will remain nameless and un-linked) has been airing the most irritating pair of TV commercials ever sprung on an unsuspecting public. The infamous vermin in the spots in question are South American midget monkeys. Thanks for the tip, Yahoo!

For the record, I’d like to point out that Subway has tastier food, better service, and midget monkey-free advertising.

The Hacker’s Diet

No, it’s not a joke. It’s an e-book that actually makes a lot of sense.

John Walker (no, not that John Walker) is the founder of a highly successful company called Autodesk, which is best known for its flagship computer-aided design product, AutoCAD. He’s rich, but he was also overweight during most of his life.

After packing on the pounds while building an international company from scratch, Walker had a startling realization:

The absurdity of my situation finally struck home in 1987. “Look,” I said to myself, “you founded one of the five biggest software companies in the world, Autodesk. You wrote large pieces of AutoCAD, the world standard for computer aided design. You’ve made in excess of fifty million dollars without dropping dead, going crazy, or winding up in jail. You’ve succeeded at some pretty difficult things, and you can’t control your flippin’ weight?”

(He makes it sound so easy rolling eyes.)

The book is written in a way that will make the most sense to the logical, detail-oriented types. His central thesis is that weight control is just another kind of engineering problem – analyze the data and develop a systematic approach, and the problem can be easily solved.

You can read the complete book online here. I intend to look into it as I have free moments.

Modern Technology Sighting

Tonight’s “I’ve Got a Secret” featured Garry Moore examining a unique, imaginative, high-tech device that was revolutionizing the way NASA astronauts did things in space.

The space-age device in question: Velcro.

Garry said he was familiar with the stuff because it was used in the world of television for “quick costume changes.” (Today, TV crews use it for much more than costumes.)

I love classic TV. ;)