Brazilianized English in a Commercial

It isn’t often that I share a straght-up commercial on this blog, and by no means have I been provided any compensation for this one, but I thought it was funny. The video below is apparently part of a series featuring Joel Santana speaking “Brazilianized” English, promoting Head & Shoulders shampoo. As a former EFL/ESL teacher (my wife and daughter are now both in that profession), I found this particularly humorous.

IQs Are Actually Up

It’s hard to believe, but modern IQs in the West are actually higher now than a couple of generations ago. Abstract thinking has improved, and people are taking the hypothetical seriously. On the other hand, concrete knowledge appears to be diminished.

Take 18 minutes and do yourself a favor by watching moral philosopher James Flynn talk about this in great detail. Aside from the great content of his talk, his voice reminds me of a 1950s TV narrator.

If You’re a World-Traveler, Skip the United States

Niels Gerson Lohman is a writer, designer and musician from The Netherlands, but none of that helped him when confronted by immigration officials on a train at the U.S.-Canada border. Mr. Lohman just wanted to pay the country a visit, but instead he got questioned, searched, questioned some more, and searched again. He was taken from the train he’d been traveling on to a vehicle and then on to a compound. Held for a few hours, when we was finally released he was returned to Canada.

This story is appalling. I’m sure there will be some who say we’d be upset if officials let a “terrorist” through, but that doesn’t justify to my way of thinking this despicable behavior.

At the same time, I’d like to remind readers that it’s a big world, and there are plenty of interesting places to visit besides the United States. Based on Mr. Lohman’s experience, it seems to me that people with very many stamps in their passport should skip the U.S.

Click here for the full story.

Scholastic CEO Talks to WSJ

In the video below, Scholastic CEO Dick Robinson talks about seeking to hire people who understand schools. While what he says makes sense, I’m thinking he’s talking about a different part of the company than where I am. Currently I’m a Senior Technical Product Manager in the Tech Services division of the company. Although I have experience as an ESL/EFL teacher, it didn’t come up in my interview for the job. In any case, he also notes this is by no means a requirement.