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Dave Fones

Japanese Real Estate Bubble Recoverry? - 0 views

  • look at economic trends
  • it is becoming more apparent that we may be entering a time when low wage jobs dominate and home prices remain sluggish for a decade moving forward.
  • looking at the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing program, growth of lower paying jobs, baby boomers retiring, and the massive amount of excess housing inventory we start to see why Japan’s post-bubble real estate market is very likely to occur in the United States.
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  • both economies had extraordinarily large real estate bubbles.
  • Massive real estate bubble (check) -Central bank bailing out banks (check) -Bailed out banks keep bad real estate loans on their books at inflated values (check) -Government taking on higher and higher levels of debt relative to GDP (check) -Employment situation stabilizes with less secure labor force (check) -Home prices remain stagnant (check)
  • the United States had never witnessed a year over year drop in nationwide home prices since the Great Depression.
  • home prices are now back to levels last seen 8 years ago.  The lost decade is now nipping at our heels but what about two lost decades like Japan?
  • the U.S. has such a large number of part-time workers and many of the new jobs being added are coming in lower paying sectors signifies that our economy is not supportive of the reasons that gave us solid home prices for many decades. 
  • young Japanese workers, some in their late 20s or early 30s, already resigned that they would never buy a home.
  • The notion that housing is always a great investment runs counter to what they saw in their lives.  Will they even want to buy as many baby boomers put their larger homes on the market
  • many of our young households here are now coming out with massive amounts of student loan debt.
  • Lower incomes, more debt, and less job security.  What this translated to in Japan was stagnant home prices for 20 full years.  We are nearing our 10 year bear market anniversary in real estate so another 10 is not impossible.  What can change this?  Higher median household incomes across the nation but at a time when gas costs $4 a gallon, grocery prices are increasing, college tuition is in a bubble, and the financial system operates with no reform and exploits the bubble of the day, it is hard to see why Americans would be pushing home prices higher.
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    Explains how Japan has responded to the breaking of their real estate market bubble and the effect it has had on Japan's economy
Bob Rowan

Twitter Reacts To Massive Quake, Tsunami In Japan - 25 views

  • Twitter users shared the tsunami’s estimated times of arrival on U.S. shores — before an official government tsunami warning
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    worth noting for volume of Twitter posts following 2011 tsunami in Japan, use of Twitter following phone outages, and sharing expected arrival time of waves in US before official government announcements
Seth Roberts

Satellite Photos - Japan Before and After Tsunami - Interactive Feature - NYTimes.com - 61 views

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    Satellite pics of Japan before and after
Steve Ransom

The Associated Press: Japan fattens textbooks to reverse sliding rank - 9 views

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    Alarmed that its children are falling behind those in rivals such as South Korea and Hong Kong, Japan is adding about 1,200 pages to elementary school textbooks. The textbooks across all subjects for six years of elementary school now total about 4,900 pages, and will go up to nearly 6,100.
Tony Bollino

ABC News - Japan Earthquake: before and after - 169 views

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    Again, incredible before and after pictures of the Japanese Earthquake
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    A VERY COOL interactive pictorial page of the BEFORE and AFTER satellite images of the devastation in Japan. Great to put on a whiteboard.
marcmancinelli

Think Again: Education - By Ben Wildavsky | Foreign Policy - 31 views

  • But when the results from the first major international math test came out in 1967, the effort did not seem to have made much of a difference. Japan took first place out of 12 countries, while the United States finished near the bottom.
  • By the early 1970s, American students were ranking last among industrialized countries in seven of 19 tests of academic achievement and never made it to first or even second place in any of them. A decade later, "A Nation at Risk," the landmark 1983 report by the National Commission on Excellence in Education, cited these and other academic failings to buttress its stark claim that "if an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war."
    • marcmancinelli
       
      US has long been mediocre or at the bottom of international comparisons, but it's not a zer-sum game
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  • But don't expect any of them to bring the country back to its educational golden age -- there wasn't one.
    • marcmancinelli
       
      People use crises to advance their own agendas...
  • J. Michael Shaughnessy, president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, argues that the latest PISA test "underscores the need for integrating reasoning and sense making in our teaching of mathematics." Randi Weingarten, head of the American Federation of Teachers, claims that the same results "tell us … that if you don't make smart investments in teachers, respect them, or involve them in decision-making, as the top-performing countries do, students pay a price."
  • According to the most recent statistics, the U.S. share of foreign students fell from 24 percent in 2000 to just below 19 percent in 2008. Meanwhile, countries like Australia, Canada, and Japan saw increased market shares from their 2000 levels, though they are still far below the American numbers.
  • And even with its declining share, the United States still commands 9 percentage points more of the market than its nearest competitor, Britain.
  • A 2008 Rand Corp. report found that nearly two-thirds of the most highly cited articles in science and technology come from the United States, and seven in 10 Nobel Prize winners are employed by American universities. And the United States spends about 2.9 percent of its GDP on postsecondary education, about twice the percentage spent by China, the European Union, and Japan in 2006.
  • But over the long term, exactly where countries sit in the university hierarchy will be less and less relevant, as Americans' understanding of who is "us" and who is "them" gradually changes. Already, a historically unprecedented level of student and faculty mobility has become a defining characteristic of global higher education. Cross-border scientific collaboration, as measured by the volume of publications by co-authors from different countries, has more than doubled in two decades.
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    A great perspective piece on American education compared to the world.
Meredith Stewart

Kids Web Japan - 2 views

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    Information on Japanese cultural and history. Includes fun games and activities
Martin Burrett

Babadum - 16 views

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    "This is a fab HTML5 language learning site which tests your language skills through a series of games with 1500 words. The site collects stats on your performance. The current 21 languages include English, Spanish, German, French, Chinese, Japan, Italian, Russian, Polish and many more."
scott L

William Blake in Japan - 17 views

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    William Blake's Songs of Innocence and of Experience translated into Japanese and scans of the plates. Nice collection.
Peter Fleenor

The tsunami's destruction: Before and after - CNN.com - 114 views

    • Peter Fleenor
       
      CNN satellite photos of Japan before and after the tsunami on 3/11/11
Jac Londe

Making Oil from Plastic - 34 views

  • Making Oil from Plastic
  • Tons of plastic from Japan and US is left afloat in the Pacific Ocean, which is endangering marine life significantly.
  • Blest, a Japanese company has invented a safe and user friendly machine
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  • The machine is effective in recycling different kinds of plastic into oil.
  • Utilization doesn't just take into account the 20 percent of recycled plastic. But it also considers the incinerated 52 percent used for energy recovery like generating electric power or heat. Akinori Ito says "If we burn the plastic, we generate toxins and a large amount of CO2. If we convert it into oil, we prohibit CO2 production and at the same time, increase people's awareness about the value of plastic garbage"
  • Oil from Shale: Oil can be extracted from this fine grained, organic rich, sedimentary rock through pyrolysis, thermal dissolution or hyderogentation. Shale contains high concentrations of organic chemical compounds known as Kerogen. From this solid mixture, oil is extracted through chemical process. Shale can be effective converted into combustible oil shale gas and liquid hydrocarbons (shale oil). Global deposits of Shale are estimated to be around 2.8 trillion to 3.3 trillion barrels of restorable oil. Planet earth is blessed with about 600 known oil shale deposits, most of which is found in United States of America. Although several countries have oil hale deposits, known deposits of economic importance is found only in 33 countries.
Gerald Carey

Japan Quake Map - 91 views

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    Japanese quake map showing the 584 quakes that have occurred over the last eight days - like a time-lapse. You can pause, rewind and hover over epicentres.
Karen Balnis

Another Look at the Weaknesses of Online Learning - Innovations - The Chronicle of Higher Education - 86 views

shared by Karen Balnis on 28 Jul 11 - No Cached
  • have been lucky enough to have taught the full range of our freshman / sophmore undergraduate offerings as both an onsite and online instructor. While I have thoroughly enjoyed both formats - and very much so - I must admit that my experiences online have been *much* more positive than onsite instruction. Let me try and elucidate:1. While in the onsite classroom you have the opportunity to think on your feet and challenge and be experiential on your feet to reactions to the students who speak, in the online classroom, you are able to meet *every* class member and challenge their minds and ideas. The students who would normally be lost in a classroom of 35-40 are met and developed each day or week at their level and pushed to consider ideas they might not have considered. 2. I am able to reach the entire class through multimedia exhibits in each of the weekly units - journal articles, non-copyrighted film clips (and many from our university's purchased collection under an agreement for both onsite classroom and online classroom use), photography, art, patents, etc, that the students would not see - or would otherwise ignore - in an onsite classroom. We incorporate this information into our discussions and make it part of the larger whole of history.3. Each student and I - on the phone during office hours or in e-mail - discuss the creation of their term papers - and discuss midterm and final "anxiety" issues - and as they are used to the online format, and regular communication with me through the discussion boards, they respond much more readily than onsite students, whom I have found I have to pressure to talk to me. 4. I am able to accommodate students from around the country - and around the world. I have had enrolled in my class students from Japan, Indonesia, India, England - and many other countries. As a result, I have set up a *very* specific Skype address *only* for use of my students. They are required to set up the time and day with me ahead of time and I need to approve that request, but for them (and for some of my students scattered all over the state and US), the face time is invaluable in helping them feel "connected" - and I am more than happy to offer it. 5. As the software upgrades, the possibilities of what I can offer become more and more amazing, and the ease of use for both me - and for the students -  becomes astronomically better. Many have never known the software, so they don't notice it - but those who have taken online courses before cheer it on. Software does not achieve backwards. As very few of these issues are met by the onsite classroom, I am leaning more and more toward the online classroom as the better mode of instruction. Yes, there are times I *really* miss the onsite opportunities, but then I think of the above distinctions and realize that yes, I am where I should be, and virtually *ALL* the students are getting far more for their money than they would get in an onsite classroom. This is the wave of the future, and it holds such amazing promise. Already I think we are seeing clear and fruitful results, and if academics receive effective - and continuing - instruction and support from the very beginning, I cannot imagine why one would ever go back. The only reason I can think of *not* doing this is if the instructor has his or her *own* fear of computers. Beyond that - please, please jump on the bandwagon, swallow your fears, and learn how to do this with vigor. I don't think you will ever be sorry.PhD2BinUS
  • have been lucky enough to have taught the full range of our freshman / sophmore undergraduate offerings as both an onsite and online instructor. While I have thoroughly enjoyed both formats - and very much so - I must admit that my experiences online have been *much* more positive than onsite instruction. Let me try and elucidate:
  • While I have thoroughly enjoyed both formats - and very much so - I must admit that my experiences online have been *much* more positive than onsite instruction. Let me try and elucidate:
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    I am a graduate student at Sam Houston State University and before I started grad school I never had taken an online course before. My opinion then was that online courses were a joke and you couldn't learn from taking a course online. Now my opinion has done a complete 180. The teachers post numerous youtube videos and other helpful tools for each assignment so that anyone can successfully complete the assignment no matter what their technology skill level is. I do not see much difference between online and face-to-face now because of the way the instructors teach the courses.
James Woods

The Joy of Quiet - NYTimes.com - 4 views

  • The central paradox of the machines that have made our lives so much brighter, quicker, longer and healthier is that they cannot teach us how to make the best use of them; the information revolution came without an instruction manual.
  • The only way to do justice to our onscreen lives is by summoning exactly the emotional and moral clarity that can’t be found on any screen.
  • MAYBE that’s why more and more people I know, even if they have no religious commitment, seem to be turning to yoga, or meditation, or tai chi; these aren’t New Age fads so much as ways to connect with what could be called the wisdom of old age.
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  • Other friends try to go on long walks every Sunday, or to “forget” their cellphones at home. A series of tests in recent years has shown, Mr. Carr points out, that after spending time in quiet rural settings, subjects “exhibit greater attentiveness, stronger memory and generally improved cognition. Their brains become both calmer and sharper.”
  • I noticed that all their talk was of sailing — or riding or bridge: anything that would allow them to get out of radio contact for a few hours.
  • empathy, as well as deep thought, depends (as neuroscientists like Antonio Damasio have found) on neural processes that are “inherently slow.” The very ones our high-speed lives have little time for.
  • I’ve yet to use a cellphone and I’ve never Tweeted or entered Facebook. I try not to go online till my day’s writing is finished, and I moved from Manhattan to rural Japan in part so I could more easily survive for long stretches entirely on foot, and every trip to the movies would be an event.
  • Nothing makes me feel better — calmer, clearer and happier — than being in one place, absorbed in a book, a conversation, a piece of music.
  • For more than 20 years, therefore, I’ve been going several times a year — often for no longer than three days — to a Benedictine hermitage, 40 minutes down the road, as it happens, from the Post Ranch Inn. I don’t attend services when I’m there, and I’ve never meditated, there or anywhere; I just take walks and read and lose myself in the stillness, recalling that it’s only by stepping briefly away from my wife and bosses and friends that I’ll have anything useful to bring to them.
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    Too much technology?!
Maureen Greenbaum

How Big Data Is Taking Teachers Out of the Lecturing Business: Scientific American - 1 views

  • Any accurate evaluation of adaptive-learning technology would have to isolate and account for all variables: increases or decreases in a class's size; whether the classroom was “flipped” (meaning homework was done in class and lectures were delivered via video on the students' own time); whether the material was delivered via video, text or game; and so on. Arizona State says 78 percent of students taking the Knewton-ized developmental math course passed, up from 56 percent before
  • in Japan, where it is common for managers who have studied English with the adaptive-learning software iKnow to list their iKnow scores on their resumes.
  • “The reality is that it's going to be done,” says Eva Baker, director of the Center for the Study of Evaluation at the University of California, Los Angeles. “It's not going to be a little part. It's going to be a big part. And it's going to be put in place partly because it's going to be less expensive than doing professional development.”
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    This whole article is essential reading 
Tracy Tuten

How to Fix the Schools - NYTimes.com - 1 views

  • Teachers — many of them — will continue to resent efforts to use standardized tests to measure their ability to teach.
  • Tucker, 72, a former senior education official in Washington, is the president of the National Center on Education and the Economy, which he founded in 1988. Since then he has focused much of his research on comparing public education in the United States with that of places that have far better results than we do — places like Finland, Japan, Shanghai and Ontario, Canada. His essential conclusion is that the best education systems share common traits — almost none of which are embodied in either the current American system or in the reform ideas that have gained sway over the last decade or so.
  • His starting point is not the public schools themselves but the universities that educate teachers. Teacher education in America is vastly inferior to many other countries; we neither emphasize pedagogy — i.e., how to teach — nor demand mastery of the subject matter. Both are a given in the top-performing countries. (Indeed, it is striking how many nonprofit education programs in the U.S. are aimed at helping working teachers do a better job — because they’ve never learned the right techniques.)
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  • Tucker believes that teachers should be paid more — though not exorbitantly. But making teacher education more rigorous — and imbuing the profession with more status — is just as important. “Other countries have raised their standards for getting into teachers’ colleges,” he told me. “We need to do the same.”
  • High-performing countries don’t abandon teacher standards. On the contrary. Teachers who feel part of a collaborative effort are far more willing to be evaluated for their job performance — just like any other professional. It should also be noted that none of the best-performing countries rely as heavily as the U.S. does on the blunt instrument of standardized tests. That is yet another lesson we have failed to learn.
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    On what's wrong with our education system 
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