Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at my Alma Mater

I wish I could have seen Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinajad at one of my Alma Maters last week, Columbia. President Bollinger introduced him, but in a way harsher than I thought fair for A. A world leader, B. An invited guest, and C. A controversial speaker who may have alienated himself from the audience but after such a straw-man set-up, looked pretty decent in comparison. Free speech is the very reason I blog here, and I think that the president’s confrontational introduction of the other president helped to reinforce the very self-righteousness that the Iranians commonly accuse Americans. Forget about some of the strange (and incorrect) claims that the Iranian president offered (can there really have not been a Jewish Holocaust in the 20th Century, or can there really not be a single homosexual in Iran right now?), I am just thinking here about the freedom of speech and the politeness that should be shown to an invited guest and (like him or not) a world leader who may have nuclear weapons.You be the judge:

For the videos of President Ahmadinejad himself, they can be found here.

Experimental cyber attack destroyed a generator

I read this story on CNN and it really made me pause and think about how vast the world of possible terrorist targets really is. In a nutshell:

Researchers who launched an experimental cyber attack caused a generator to self-destruct, alarming the federal government and electrical industry about what might happen if such an attack were carried out on a larger scale, CNN has learned.

I suppose it is better to learn this in a test so we know what our vulnerabilities are. Suffice it to say, that I wonder the value of knowing the vulnerabilities if there are neither plans nor funding to fix them?

Engagement vs. PowerPoint

We finished our presentation at the NYSNA, and the same responses we received from the original work were the same ones our presentation attendees appeared to have:

People learn best when they are engaged and work in groups


People are most distanced when they are lectured at and overwhelmed with PowerPoint slides

Strange  how that is a lesson so many educators are afraid to believe and try. I suppose lecturing is much safer, since everything goes as prepared; everything except learning, that is.

Integrating critical thinking and EBP

I am co-presenting a session at the New York State Nurses’ Association convention in Atlantic City today entitled Integrating Critical Thinking and EBP into Novice Nurse Practice.

I am passionate about critical thinking (thank you, Stephen Brookfield), and with my colleague Rona Levin, we are speaking about some of the work we have done where we bring critical thinking and evidence-based practice together. We have some really interesting things to discuss and share, and I am looking forward to any insights we get from the audience.

Six Arkansas nuns excommunicated for heresy

I read this article in CNN yesterday about six nuns who were excommunicated, which in Catholicism means they are no longer able to officially receive the sacraments and have been declared to be so far outside of Catholic teachings and beliefs that they have separated themselves from the faith (even though the process of excommunication means the Vatican or church officials formally throw them out). 

Ready to read about nuns who run guns to fight against oppressive regimes or nuns who lie down in front of meetings of bishops to confront them about the inability of women to be ordained, I was not ready to read about nuns who believe Mary, the mother of Jesus, speaks through one of them (and may in fact be Mary’s reincarnation).

Ahh, the wonders of organized religion never cease. This is a breadth of fresh air compaired to homosexuality, abortion, masturbation, divorce, and other Catholic no-no’s.