The United States is pretty much in the middle of the pack. No matter what we spend on education it seems to be going in one ear and out the other, according to the study that was conducted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). While the world sends its best and brightest to enjoy the quality of a number of universities, these students seem to retain the information before returning to their countries of origin. Never mind that with a more progressive approach to immigration this could be avoided. But as long as a large portion of Americans remain afraid of Mexicans, Hondurans, and Guatemalans, dont expect that to change anytime soon. The study examines literacy, numeracy, and problem solving in technology-rich environments in 23 industrialized nations, and the results were just about what you would expect. Japan and Finland are powerhouse nations , coming in first and second respectively in all three areas. The U.S., however, scores below average on each of the three assessments and is near the bottom for math skills. I guess I was overly optimistic in hoping that middle of the road was what I would read as I went through the study. United States literacy rankings In literacy, the U.S. ranked 16th out of the 23 countries. A level-1 reader can get a single piece of information out of a simple text. A level-4 or 5 reader can pick multiple pieces of information out of lengthy or competing texts, and evaluate subtle arguments. Over 20 percent of people scored at level 4 or 5 in Finland and Japan.
Factbox: When could the debt ceiling put the United States in default?
This year there is also a seminar being held at the Sailboat show on Sunday Morning where you can ask questions and get answers from people in the business of sailing, and figure out the best way to get involved in sailing or get others into sailing. In a post on Spinsheet.com , “Do you see someone in your office who might be interested in getting into sailing? Does anyone at work or in the neighborhood ever say, Youre so lucky you go sailing! Id like to try that? If you know anyone who would like to get started, send them this: On Sunday, October 13, from 10-11 a.m., during the U.S. Sailboat Show, we will hold a FREE Start Sailing Now Q&A with regional sailing experts to answer the following questions (among others): How do I try it for free? What do I wear? Should I join a club? Take lessons? Buy my own lifejacket? Should I start in a big boat or a small one? Can I rent a boat without experience?
Bring a friend into sailing at the United States Sailboat Show
Following are some questions and answers about how and when default could happen. – How could the United States default? Washington takes in about 70 cents in taxes for every dollar it spends, so it must borrow to pay its bills. This would be easy as there are plenty of investors who want to lend America money. The problem: Congress put a ceiling on government debt and lawmakers haven’t struck a deal to raise it. – So will Washington go broke on October 17? No, but it will be dangerously low on cash. The government has been scraping up against the debt ceiling since May, and now looks set to hit it around mid-month. When it does, the Treasury thinks it will have about $30 billion in the bank. Because it won’t be able to add to the national debt, bills will have to be paid with incoming revenues and cash on hand. – How long will the money last? Not long at all. The Congressional Budget Office thinks the United States would start missing payments on at least some of its obligations between October 22 and the end of the month. No one knows the exact day because you can’t know what tomorrow’s tax revenues will look like. – The United States defaults when the money runs out, right?
Concocted from lighter fluid, paint thinner and codeine tablets, krokodil is seen as an inexpensive substitute for heroin. The consequences of sustained use are gruesome evidence of the desperation of impoverished addicts. So far, use of krokodil seems largely confined to Russia and other former Soviet republics. Besides an apparent case in Massachusetts in April, addicts in the United States have not taken to krokodil so far. Scientists know very little about the homemade drug. Its psychoactive agent, desomorphine, was first synthesized in the United States in 1932 in the hope of finding a substitute for morphine that would be less nauseous and less addictive. But desomorphine is eight to 10 times as potent as morphine, and its effects come and go more quickly, which may be why the new drug proved even more addictive than the one it was intended to replace. The body metabolizes desomorphine quickly, which makes it difficult for doctors to know for sure whether someone has used krokodil. While the recent cases in Arizona are officially unconfirmed, the patients told physicians that they had taken the drug, according to a doctor at the Banner Poison Control and Drug Information Center in Phoenix. Desomorphine, however, is not why krokodil is so dangerous. About 10 years ago, Russians apparently discovered how to synthesize desomorphine at home using commercially available ingredients including red phosphorus, which they reportedly glean from the sides of matchboxes, and codeine, which until last year was available over the counter in Russia. The resulting substance contains several caustic byproducts.