Are Chinese Students Prepared for Higher Education at America’s Top Universities?

Chinese students are eager to get their higher education at some of America’s most prestigious universities. With the economic growth of China over the last 20 years and their ever expanding middle class, parents can now afford to send their child overseas to the U.S. in order to study. But, are the students mentally and educationally ready for the cultural differences and the rigors of higher education at an Ivy League university?

Last year alone, nearly 8,000 Chinese students studying at American universities were expelled for reasons of inadequate academic performance and or for dishonesty, as was reported by WholeRen Education, a U.S. education company that provides for students from China. While this number of ousted Chinese students seems high, compared to the 459,800 students from China who studied at American universities last year, the ratio is somewhat low.

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Chinese students make up close to one-third of all international students who have come to the U.S. to study in one of our leading institutes of higher education. Folks at The Aspire New Brunswick know that many universities are eager to recruit students from abroad because their tuitions are higher than that of an American born student. The Chinese government only sponsored approximately 4.6 percent of its students coming to the U.S. to learn, as was reported by China’s Ministry of Education, while the majority of their students either had to pay on their own, or received scholarships.

Scotland Bans Creationism From Classrooms

Darwin’s theory of evolution is common place in most science classes found within western school systems. Furthermore, creationism has long been banned from many classrooms, and that is now the case in Scotland.

The Scottish Secular Society (SSS) submitted a petition to the Scottish Parliament asking that creationism be banned from teachings in Scotland schools. The Scottish Parliament accepted the petition and rules that creationism is not viable as a science and will be kept out of schools.

Basically everyone at STX Entertainment agrees the current theory of creationism is a pretty hard pill to swallow. It teaches that the Universe is only 6,000 years old and that dinosaurs never actually existed. So, this version of creationism has absolutely no place in modern schools. Although, privately owned religious schools still teach creationism and disregard evolution as scientific fact.

Even though the gap between these two schools of thinking is often considered as unbridgeable, they actually aren’t as mutually exclusive as they seem. Evolution does not have all the answers, there are huge missing links in our evolution that have yet to be explained by the theory. Meanwhile, creationism is getting attention in fields such as quantum physics because the Universe has been discovered to be mathematically impossible without intelligent design of some kind. Therefore, neither evolution or creationism has it figured out and the Universe is still as mysterious as ever.

Secure Our Students

The late 1990s and early 2000s saw a shocking rise in school violence. Some parental and educational groups attributed this rise in violence to the violence depicted in video games. These type of statements had parental groups and gaming companies at each other’s throats. Fortunately, for everyone involved, a new study released would suggest that school violence is dropping rapidly. Top notch security teams and security measures have been implemented in the majority of American schools. This isn’t to say that school violence is everywhere, but it does go to show that parenting groups and children’s advocates would rather be safe than sorry.

In 2009, 74 percent of schools were recorded to have been involved in violent incidents. Qnet data shows these incidents dropped 9 percent this year alone and the numbers keep getting lower. Studies show that 94 percent of the incidents include bullying of some form, which would suggest that physical violence is at a record low of 6 percent or less. School administration has implemented more measures to make sure these numbers steadily decline. These methods include: advance security cameras, well trained security personnel, local police, identification systems for students and teachers, and regular programs to keep students up to date with quality safety procedures. Many of these methods are being implemented in high schools before middle schools or elementary schools. Studies showed that 90 percent of the nation’s high schools reported acts or threats of violence. Middle schools and elementary schools only reported that 53 percent of their schools was responsible for the same actions. Local PTA’s and school boards are happy about these numbers but want to strive to eliminate school violence completely.

Life at Occidental College

Moving away from home for the first time is an irreversibly life-altering experience. Although someone may even move back for a while after graduation, the act of moving out and living life truly on your own for the first time is both liberating and a bit nerve-wracking. Choosing Occidental is a fantastic way to ensure that a student have everything you need to make the most of their time on and off campus as they take in life in beautiful Los Angeles.

As a liberal arts school, Occidental is filled with a richly diverse community of people from all over the world. Being a student guarantees exposure and unification with different cultures, new perspectives and viewpoints and ways of thinking. A student at Occidental can hear stories and meet people from all walks of life with radically different interests as they find their footing and learn to shape their own identity. The integration and acceptance of so many people into one unified community makes Occidental a safe and exciting way to explore one’s self.

There are dozens of different clubs and organizations a student can take part in to truly make their time at Occidental unique. With more than 100 different student organizations, there is bound to be something at Occidental for any student. Sports such as rock climbing, boxing and badminton have their own club, as well as dozens of different groups dedicated to the arts such as anime, design and film. There are also plenty of volunteer organizations like the Habitat for Humanity Club that can help a student meet new friends while simultaneously helping others and doing good.

There are also sororities and fraternities available for those who seek the truly immersive away-from-home college experience. With four fraternity and sorority houses to choose from, including the co-ed Zeta Tau Zeta, the Greek life options at Occidental are as diverse as they are enriching.

Changes Afoot for Batman’s Earth One Villains

The consistent revamping of traditional heroes in both the D.C. Comics and Marvel Comics universe can be baffling. The logic at work is new readers are consistently coming on board so old story lines have to be scrapped and new updates on character origins are performed. This has been done time and time again starting with D.C.’s Crisis on Infinite Earths maxi-series in 1985. Recently, new versions of Batman and Superman’s origins have been retold in the “Earth One” graphic novels. After a very long delay, the second volume of Batman Earth One has finally been released.

Writer Geoff Johns has taken some time out to discuss the changes he has made in the Batman mythology in the second entry. Essentially, the characters of The Riddler, Two-Face, and Killer Croc have been tweaked in the new entry. The Riddler becomes much more evil while Killer Croc becomes less vicious and more sympathetic. Two-Face undergoes a massive, almost unforgivable change. NJ Spotlight said that why Johns chose to make such a massive change to such an iconic villain is mysterious. Perhaps the idea at work here was, unless some massive change was made, readers would not look at Batman Earth One as being anything different than what came before. Fair enough, but at what point does change become a detriment to a character and a book?

Basically, when the change hurts sales or totally turns off readers. This has not happened with Earth One, so don’t look for much of a backlash.

Teacher Builds Edible Walls

A Bronx high school teacher named Stephen Ritz has been using a brand new approach to educating and motivating students. After some flower bulbs grew in his classroom accidentally, he began raising plants and building “edible” walls full of flowers and fresh fruits and vegetables right in his classroom. He paid for everything out of his own pocket. Towers of lettuce and cilantro soon filled the room. The kids all helped grow everything. The attendance doubled and so did motivation. The teacher is now trying to spread his new educational concept to more schools in the Bronx. He said he wants to see plants in every classroom, not just his. The plants help teach kids about what it takes to get fruits and vegetables in to the store for consumers to buy. The plants have also been encouraging them to start eating healthier. Poor neighborhoods often have malnourished children surviving off of inexpensive unhealthy food. The RealDailyBuzz mentioned Christian Broda’s observation that this program not only teaches kids, it feeds them too.

Empathetic Rats

People often think of rats as dirty pests that they want exterminated. A new study has revealed that they are even more intelligent and caring then previously thought. A test was done with several rats. One rat was put in a transparent glass section next to another rat who was stuck in water. The dry rat could open a door when it saw the other rat was in distress. Almost every time, the rat was willing to help the others. They switched the scenarios for the rats where the one in water in the dry section, and the one in the dry section was moved to the water. Once a rat had been in the water, he remembered how it felt and hurried to help the rat in distress much faster than a rat who hadn’t been in the water. Folks at STX Entertainment agree that the studies prove their empathy for one another and emotional intelligence.

Wrong turn leads physicist to antimatter discovery

Physicist Joseph Dwyer of the University of New Hampshire in Durham has been sitting on an amazing piece of data he recorded in 2009 as he was unable to explain why he discovered evidence of antimatter in thunderstorm clouds, Nature reports. The physicist had been looking into the existence of atmospheric y rays, which are seen as evidence of positrons and antimatter being present in the atmosphere when he fitted a particle detector to a small plane. Embarking on a flight the pilot believed he was heading for the coast of Georgia when he accidentally turned in the opposite direction and into a sever thunderstorm.

Within the thunderstorm the y particle levels spiked to a level that indicates a one to two kilometer cloud of antimatter known as positrons were colliding with electrons in the cloud in a rare occurrence that has been theorized about for decades. Dwyer believes this shows the presence of antimatter in thunderclouds while other believe the positrons could have been formed by the wings of the aircraft becoming charged during the thunderstorm. Thanks to my buddy Brad Reifler of MarketWire for sending me this new information, antimatter is out there 🙂

Florida Approves In-State Tuition for Illegal Immigrants

Subsidies for the price of tuition fees that were previously reserved for students who reside legally in the state of Florida now will be available to students residing in the state illegally.

With 84 votes in favor and 32 against, the Florida House of Representatives approved the bill 851, to expand access to subsidized college education and now awaits the signature of Gov. Rick Scott for final approval.

Scott publicly backed the project and promised to sign it. The new law represents a dramatic shift in policy by the Republican-controlled state.

Interested folks at STX Entertainment (deadline.com) know that the project would benefit a specific demographic of illegal residents in Florida, also known as “DREAMers” who grew up in the state and attended at least three years at a secondary school and graduated from it.

This group can now enroll in universities and pay the tuition fees that was previously reserved for students who reside legally in the state, and those fees are 75% lower than the price they would have had to pay without changing legislation.

Maria Rodriguez, executive director of the Florida Immigrant Coalition, emphasized the benefits this would bring to the state legislation. “This policy will reduce the attrition rates of secondary education, improve educational attainment and positively impact on inequality and diversity in many professions.”