Beam, Fulcrum, Torque, Law of the Lever and Mechanical Advantage

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 30th, 2014

Technology 101

(Originally published May 1st, 2013)

A Lever is a Rigid Beam on a Fulcrum

Archimedes said, “Give me a place to stand, and I shall move the Earth with it.”  At least we think he did.  Archimedes of Syracuse was a Greek genius.  Mathematician.  Physicist.  Engineer.  Inventor.  And astronomer.  One of many of the ancient Greeks who advanced modern civilization.  By using math and science.  He did a lot.  And explained why things worked the way they did using math.  Like the Law of the Lever.

In the days before the twist-off bottle cap we used bottle openers.  Because try as we might we could not pry a bottle cap off with our hands.  Most grown men just didn’t have the strength to do that.  But a child could open a bottle if that child used a bottle opener.  For that bottle opener is a lever.  Giving the child leverage.  The ability to use a little bit of force to do a lot of work.

A lever is a rigid beam on a fulcrum.  Like a seesaw.  A common playground fixture.  If two kids of equal weight are on either end of the seesaw and the fulcrum is in the center these kids can effortless push up and down.  But if a grown adult sits on one end and a child is on the other the weight of the adult will drop his side of the seesaw down.  Leaving the child up in the air on the other side.

As the Lever increases in Length the more it will Amplify the Input Force we Apply

Now that’s no fun.  Having the seesaw permanently tipped in one direction.  However, even two people of different weights can enjoy playing on the seesaw.  All they have to do is move the fulcrum towards the heavier person until the seesaw balances.  So that there is a short length of seesaw between the fulcrum and the heavy person.  And longer length of seesaw between the fulcrum and the lighter person.  This creates the same amount of torque on both side of the fulcrum.

Torque is the turning force created by a force acting about a fulcrum.  The force in this case is the weight of the people on the seesaw.  Which we calculate by multiplying their mass by the force of gravity.  With the force of gravity being constant the greater the mass the greater the weight.  This weight pressing down on the beam creates torque.   And the further away from the fulcrum the greater the turning force.  Such that a lighter weight at a greater distance from the fulcrum can balance a greater weight at a shorter distance from the fulcrum.  Allowing a child to play on a seesaw with someone of far greater mass.  Because the lever amplified the smaller force of the child.  Allowing the child to move a heavier weight.  To illustrate this consider the following table.

Lever

This is just a visual aid.  The numbers don’t represent anything.  It just shows a relationship between force and the length of the lever.  In this example we need 1000 units of force to move something.  If we use a lever that is 10 units from the fulcrum we need to apply 100 units of force.  If we have a lever that is 40 units from the fulcrum we only need to apply 25 units of force.  If we have a lever that is 80 units from the fulcrum we only need to apply 12.5 units of force.  As the lever increases in length the more it will amplify the input force we apply.  Which is why a child can open a bottle with a bottle opener.

A Wheelbarrel combines the Lever with the Wheel and Axle

A lever gives us mechanical advantage.  The amplification of a small input force into a larger output force.  Such as a hand-held bottle opener.  But what about the kind that used to be fastened to pop machines?  When you bought a glass bottle of pop out of a vending machine?  The fulcrum is the fixed bottle opener.  And the lever is the bottle.  A can opener was often on the other end of a bottle opener.  Instead of a grip to latch onto a bottle cap this end had a triangular knife.  When we lifted up on the lever it pressed down and pierced a hole in a can.

A wheelbarrel allows us to move heavy loads.  This device combines two simple machines.  A wheel and axle.  And a lever.  The wheel and axle is the fulcrum.  The lever runs from the fulcrum to the handles of the wheelbarrel.  We place the load on the lever just before the axle.  When we lift the far end of the lever we can tilt up the load and balance it over the axle.  The lever amplifies the force we apply.  And the wheel and axle reduce the friction between this load and the ground.  Allowing us to move a heavy load with little effort.

Today’s pop bottles have screw-top caps.  Some people still use a lever to help open them, though.  A pair of pliers.  We use the pliers because we don’t have the strength to grip the cap tight enough to twist it open.  The pliers are actually two levers connected together at the fulcrum.  The pliers amplify our hand strand-strength to get a very secure grip on the bottle cap.  While our hands compress the two levers together getting a firm grip on the cap we can then use our arm to apply a force on the handles of the pliers.  Providing a torque to turn the bottle cap.  Very simple machines that make everyday life easier.  Thanks to the knowledge Archimedes handed down to us.

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Democrats want Universal Pre-K so they can start Turning our Kids into Democrat Voters Sooner

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 30th, 2014

Week in Review

As the government has gotten more involved in education the further test scores have fallen.  Indian kids and Chinese kids blow American kids away on their tests.  Which is why employers who are looking to hire employees with strong math and science skills turn to the H-1B visa.  And hire foreign workers with those strong science and math skills.  As American kids aren’t graduating with them.  Instead they’re learning about global warming and what a rotten country the United States is.

So we shouldn’t spend another dime on education.  What we need to do is start teaching useful skills.  Like math and science.  Instead of the primary focus of public education.  Turning kids into Democrat voters.  Which is why Democrats are all for universal Pre-K (see Should the Government Fund Universal Pre-K? posted 3/28/2014 on U.S. News and World Report).

One of the centerpieces of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s successful campaign in New York City was a proposal to fund universal pre-kindergarten with higher taxes on the rich. “We’re ready to offer high-quality, full-day, universal pre-K this September for 53,000 New York City children,” de Blasio said during a press conference this week, even as his plan for a tax increase has run into stiff opposition.

And de Blasio isn’t alone in pushing for government funded universal pre-K, as President Obama has also unveiled a proposal to provide pre-school to every four-year-old from low- and moderate-income families. “The size of your paycheck shouldn’t determine your child’s future,” Obama said. “Let’s make sure none of our kids start out the race of life a step behind.”

The country is more conservative than liberal (see Liberal Self-Identification Edges Up to New High in 2013 posted 1/10/2014 on Gallup).  Which is why Democrats had to pass the Affordable Care Act with shady backroom deals (the Louisiana Purchase, Cornhusker Kickback, Gator Aid, etc.).  And the President had to tell the Lie of the Year (see Lie of the Year: ‘If you like your health care plan, you can keep it’ posted 12/12/2013 on PolitiFact).  Proving how devious the Democrats have to be to pass legislation the American people don’t want.

The liberals are destroying public education.  They have control over the curriculum.  And that curriculum is to turn kids into Democrat voters.   Instead of teaching math and science.  Our college graduates may be unable to fill high-tech job openings but they know that their parents’ selfishness caused manmade global warming.  That Christopher Columbus single-handedly killed everything that was good in the New World.  And that America grew into the number one economic power in the world because of slavery.  Despite the South’s slave economy being so poor that they could not compete against the richer paid-labor economy in the North.  And lost the American Civil War.

This is why they want universal Pre-K.  To start the programming earlier.  To get our kids away from their parents sooner.  So the state can have a bigger influence in what they learn.  And what they think.  Does it work?  Well, who do young people typically vote for?  That’s right.  Democrats.  Because Democrats get them while they’re young, uneducated and inexperienced.  Guaranteeing them a few election cycles out of them before they wise up.  And perhaps they can add an election cycle or two if they get these kids sooner with universal Pre-K.  Which can be the only reason why they want universal Pre-K.  At least it would explain our poor test scores.  And why high-tech firms have to use the H-1B visa to find qualified workers.

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Liberals tend to get Worthless College Degrees that require little Math or Science

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 15th, 2014

Week in Review

There’s a lot of talk about income inequality these days.  As President Obama wants to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.  Which would raise the earnings from an entry-level, unskilled job to just about what some college graduates earn after taking out huge student loans.  For those college graduates who can find a job, that is.  For it’s pretty bad out there.  Especially for some college majors.  Here are some worthless degrees based on starting salaries and current unemployment rates for these fields (see College Majors That Won’t Land You a Job posted on ChaCha).

Fine Arts

Whoever coined the phrase starving artist must have majored in Fine Arts. Recent graduates of the degree face an unemployment rate of 12.6% and low salaries of around $30,000 when they finally do find a job. Doesn’t sound very fine to me!

Drama and Theater

People who major in Drama and/or Theater generally have dreams of being an actor and that is notoriously hard to do. Recent grads will face an unemployment rate of 8.8% and paltry salaries of $26,000 if they actually do land a bit part in anything. In reality, many people majoring in theater never end up becoming actors of any sort at all and instead find themselves in completely unrelated careers, having wasted a lot of money on college.

English

Those who major in English tend to want to do one of two things, teach or write. Unfortunately this still ends up with about 9.2% of recent grads struggling to find any kind of job. Salaries in this career tend to always be lower than the national average, even if you finally manage to get yourself established with a job for a while.

Anthropology and Archaeology

Do you fancy yourself the next Indiana Jones? Or digging up dinosaur bones like on Jurassic Park? Well, as fun as that might sound, the reality of the situation is that over 10% of graduates can’t find jobs digging anything up and those that do don’t get paid very well, less than $30,000 a year. If you want to increase your chances of getting a job and getting paid better, you’ll probably have to count on getting a graduate degree.

Liberal Arts

Who even knows what a Liberal Arts degree is? Certainly not most employers, probably leading to a 9.2% unemployment rate and an almost 2 times greater than the national average likelihood of working in retail instead of your chosen career. Most people who do end up sucessful in this major, 3 out of 4, go to graduate school as well as a 4 year school, so keep that in mind if you still want to pick it as a degree.

Journalism

With more and more of our news coming from online sources, the need for journalists is actually dropping. About 6 percent of journalism jobs are expected to be cut from the work force by 2020. Currently they already face a fairly higher than average unemployment rate of 7.7 percent.

Notice a pattern?  These are not difficult majors.  You won’t be doing much calculus or quantum mechanics in these majors.  No.  These degrees don’t include much math and science.  But they allow a student to really enjoy his or her time at college.  As the lighter workload allows more time for fun.  It’s sad that colleges sell kids these worthless degrees.  Promising them a higher earning potential with their higher education.  But the colleges really don’t care.  They just want these kids to get student loans.  Because colleges just want the money.

Some of the most vocal opponents of free market capitalism have been college students.  Especially those with degrees in programs like these.  They’re angry and bitter and are more than willing to join in an Occupy Wall Street movement (it’s not like they have a job to go to thanks to their worthless degrees).  To protest against income inequality.  Especially when their worthless degrees have given them very little income.  And large amounts of debt.  But whose fault is this?  One thing for sure it isn’t the taxpayers.  Which is why the taxpayers shouldn’t pay for this outstanding student loan debt.

If the universities and colleges are providing worthless degrees perhaps they should refund that tuition.  At the least they should stop attacking free market capitalism and turning their students into Democrat voters.  For if we had robust economic activity created from low tax rates and less onerous regulation there would be so many jobs that businesses would be hiring even those with worthless degrees.  And the median family income would be rising, not falling.  As it has been during the Obama years.  Because when there are more jobs than people to fill them employers bid up salaries and wages.  As they try to get people to work for them instead of someplace else.  Something else they don’t teach in these worthless degrees.

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American Children fall behind other Children throughout the World in Math and Science

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 5th, 2014

Week in Review

More people are going on to college than ever before.  And we have the student loan debt to prove it.  As recent graduates threaten to default on their loans as they can’t get a job with their worthless degrees in the humanities and social sciences.  Expensive degrees colleges sold them.  Promising them fulfilling careers.  But a degree in minority studies or French literature ain’t going to go far in a high-tech economy.

And that’s the problem.  People are going to college for the wrong reason.  To party.  They want to have fun.  And take the easier degrees so they aren’t weighed down by too much school work.  It’s so bad that high-tech companies are using the visa system to fill job openings.  As they can’t find American graduates that have the same qualifications as foreign graduates.  Who actually take math and science.  And get the education businesses are looking for (see Distinguishing Science from Nonsense by Arthur Caplan, Ph.D., posted 12/31/2013 on bioethics.com).

As Americans enter 2014 there is grave concern among our political leaders that we are lagging behind other nations in terms of our children’s’ scientific literacy.  This past December an international survey confirmed—too many American kids don’t understand science and they continue to fall behind children from other nations, many much poorer than we are in science and math skills.

Students in the United States slipped deeper in the last international science literacy rankings amid fast-growing competition abroad.  American teens scored below the international average in math and roughly average in science, compared against dozens of other countries in the 2012 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA).  We trail Germany, Estonia, Latvia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Britain, Latvia, Viet Nam and many more.  (http://www.oecd.org/pisa/keyfindings/pisa-2012-results.htm)…

A key reason for the poor performance of our children with respect to science is that American culture is both ignorant of and disrespectful to science…

As I write this there are two women in ICUs in different parts of the U.S. on life support despite having been pronounced dead by medical experts… Neither the media or the medical profession seemed to be able to explain that brain death is truly death.  Nor did the public seem inclined to listen, believing somehow that a miracle might occur.

At the same time as these cases emerged a poll was released by the Pew Foundation showing that a third of Americans do not believe in evolution…

And as I write this flu season has begun across the country.  The CDC estimates that last year 381,000 Americans were hospitalized due to the flu. They also estimate that, the flu vaccine prevented 79,000 hospitalizations and 6.6 million illnesses.  Yet a tiny cabal of kooks and know-nothings has gotten so much attention that barely half of all Americans get a flu shot…

The nutritional supplements industry is a thirty billion dollar business that has no solid evidence for efficacy and oodles of instances in which death and disability are linked to poorly manufactured or mislabeled products…

I could go on but the point ought to be clear.  Children are not going to flourish at science in a society that treats science either as something you can believe in selectively, something that is simply one point of view or something about which anyone can have a credible opinion no matter how ill-qualified, dumb or misinformed.

If we want to have a brighter economic future then we need to start thinking about science education outside of our schools.

Absolutely.  Because our schools aren’t teaching science.  They’re teaching our kids about global warming instead.  So they will grow up frightened.  And vote Democrat.

The teacher unions support Democrats.  And Democrats protect teacher unions.  So is it any surprise that they are programming our children to be good Democrat voters instead of teaching them good science?  Filling their heads with politicized science like global warming.  For it is politicized science when a consensus closes a subject to debate.  That is something that just doesn’t happen in good science.  If it were then physicists would just take a vote on what better reconciled general relativity and quantum mechanics.  Loop quantum gravity or string theory?  Of course, physicists don’t reach a consensus to determine which science is the right science.  But that’s what climate ‘scientists’ do.  And Al Gore.  And our public schools.  And our universities.  They say there is a consensus and the scientific debate is settled.  We are warming the planet.  And the only way to save the planet is with massive government regulation.  With Democrats in power to write ever more regulations.

The reason why Americans are falling behind in math and science is because the Democrats use education for political ends.  Not for educating our children.  For they couldn’t win an election if they did.  They need a crisis.  Like global warming.  A crisis and an ignorant electorate.  Which their friends in education give them.  And because they do children from Germany, Estonia, Latvia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Britain, Viet Nam and many more are now smarter than American children.

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Liberal Democrats’ War on the Black Family keeps Blacks Poor and Dependent on Government

Posted by PITHOCRATES - October 12th, 2013

Week in Review

The surge of liberalism during LBJ’s Great Society marked the decline of the black family.  Following the Sexual Revolution encouraging women to explore and enjoy their sexuality young women did.  And a lot of them got pregnant.  Which is when the Great Society stepped in and took care of these single mothers.  With Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC).  And grouping them together in crime-ridden public housing.  Telling the fathers don’t worry about your babies.  We’ll take care of them.  So many boys grew up without fathers in crime-ridden public housing with other boys growing up without fathers in the same crime-ridden public housing.  Boys who got into trouble.  And took that trouble to school.   Creating broken families.  And broken schools.  In the inner city.  Which was predominantly black.  Causing the Great Society to hurt poor black families more than other poor families.

Kids attending broken schools do not get a good education.  And kids from families broken by liberal Democrat policies do not do their homework.  Hurting their earning potential.  And keeping them dependent on the government.  Once a kid starts down this path it will be very difficult to leave it.  For once you let your English and math skills fall behind others your age you just won’t achieve what they will (see Children’s future earnings predicted from age nine by Nick Collins posted 10/7/2013 on The Telegraph).

Future earnings of children can already be predicted by the time they are nine simply by looking at English and Maths scores, according to a new study…

A mathematician from Harvard University found that children’s grades in English and Maths could help predict their likelihood of going to University at age 20, and their average earnings at 28…

Prof Gary Chamberlain analysed hundreds of records from thousands of classrooms across 866 schools in Tennessee, which dated from the school years 1988-89 to 2008-09.

The data proves this (see Only 5% of Black Students Graduate High School Ready for College based on ACT Scores posted 8/24/2013 on Pithocrates).  Those with the highest number of out-of-wedlock births (blacks) have the lowest high school graduation rate, the lowest ACT scores and the lowest median family income.  While those with the lowest number of out-of-wedlock births (Asians) have the highest high school graduation rate, the highest ACT scores and the highest median family income.

Family matters.  And those who study hard, go to college, establish a career, get married THEN have their children do better than those who party more than study while in school.  And kids with a single parent are at a great disadvantage as they have only half the parenting available to get them to do their homework.  As well as to discipline them and to instill a work ethic.  Doing homework isn’t fun.  But if they don’t do their English and math homework they just won’t have as successful a career as others who do their homework will.

The reason why black families continue to struggle after 40 years of Great Society programs that were to fix everything that was wrong is that the left exploits them to win elections.  With liberals accounting for only about 21% of the electorate they have to put together coalitions of voting blocks.  And with blacks about 13% of the population that’s a nice voting block to take for granted.  All the left has to do is to keep destroying the black family and convince them that they can’t get by without their liberal programs.  Which isn’t that hard to do when the liberals control our public schools.  Where they even pass out free birth control.  And provide access to abortions without parental notification.  Destroying the family anyway they can.  And replacing the family with government.  Just like they did with AFDC and that crime-ridden public housing.

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Colleges sell Kids Unmarketable Degrees, making them Unemployable and Deep in Debt

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 8th, 2013

Week in Review

The economy is horrible.  Youth unemployment is soaring.  As is student loan debt.  Which is a big problem when you can’t get a job in a horrible economy.  Or the only job you can get you could have gotten without that costly degree.  And your student loan payment consumes a quarter of your income.  This is not the American dream these kids went to college for.  So why is it so bad for college graduates today?  And why are we looking at a student loan crisis?  Democrats.  In particular, liberal Democrats (see A quarter of recent college graduates lack jobs by John Carney posted 9/6/2013 on CNBC).

At the turn of the century, recent college graduates had an average debt of $15,100. Last year the average debt of graduates was $27,253. This increase in the debt burden has not been matched by economic gains for college graduates. According to the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, 10 percent of recent graduates of four-year colleges have monthly student loan payments that exceed of 25% of their income. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, which only recently began looking specifically at the employment situation of people in their first few years out of college, says that as of 2011 25.5 percent of recent college graduates were jobless. (Unfortunately, more recent data about recent grads isn’t yet available.)

Seven million borrowers are in default on private or federal loans, according to the CFPB. An additional 8.9 million have deferred payments or have their loans in forbearance. These aren’t signs of a healthy contingent of borrowers.

At the turn of the century more college graduates had jobs and carried less student loan debt.  Back then there were no gender studies.  No minority studies.  No information systems.  People were getting degrees that the jobs of the day demanded.  And because they did they got hired out of college.  Into good jobs.  That allowed them to repay their student loans.  And helped make America the number one economic power in the world.  Today people with degrees that have no market value end up as baristas at Starbucks.  Which they could have done without going $27,253 into debt.

But it’s not their fault.  Colleges told them about the great wealth that awaited them with their degrees in women studies, minority studies, information systems, sociology, French literature, philosophy, etc.,  even though our high-tech economy was demanding people with math and science degrees.  Which is why we have to hand out visas to get foreigners with those degrees to work at US companies.  Because our liberal colleges are getting rich selling ‘easy’ degrees to kids more interested in having a good time while at college.  Which is easier to do when you don’t have a lot of math and science courses weighing you down.

This is why college graduates can’t get jobs and are drowning in debt.  The left’s incessant attacks on capitalism pushed these kids away from the corporate world into more noble pursuits.  By getting degrees that have no market value.  But show that they are not money-grubbing capitalists.  Though they do tend to complain that their degrees (and student loan debt) didn’t bring them the riches the colleges promised them.

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Beam, Fulcrum, Torque, Law of the Lever and Mechanical Advantage

Posted by PITHOCRATES - May 1st, 2013

Technology 101

A Lever is a Rigid Beam on a Fulcrum

Archimedes said, “Give me a place to stand, and I shall move the Earth with it.”  At least we think he did.  Archimedes of Syracuse was a Greek genius.  Mathematician.  Physicist.  Engineer.  Inventor.  And astronomer.  One of many of the ancient Greeks who advanced modern civilization.  By using math and science.  He did a lot.  And explained why things worked the way they did using math.  Like the Law of the Lever.

In the days before the twist-off bottle cap we used bottle openers.  Because try as we might we could not pry a bottle cap off with our hands.  Most grown men just didn’t have the strength to do that.  But a child could open a bottle if that child used a bottle opener.  For that bottle opener is a lever.  Giving the child leverage.  The ability to use a little bit of force to do a lot of work.

A lever is a rigid beam on a fulcrum.  Like a seesaw.  A common playground fixture.  If two kids of equal weight are on either end of the seesaw and the fulcrum is in the center these kids can effortless push up and down.  But if a grown adult sits on one end and a child is on the other the weight of the adult will drop his side of the seesaw down.  Leaving the child up in the air on the other side.

As the Lever increases in Length the more it will Amplify the Input Force we Apply

Now that’s no fun.  Having the seesaw permanently tipped in one direction.  However, even two people of different weights can enjoy playing on the seesaw.  All they have to do is move the fulcrum towards the heavier person until the seesaw balances.  So that there is a short length of seesaw between the fulcrum and the heavy person.  And longer length of seesaw between the fulcrum and the lighter person.  This creates the same amount of torque on both side of the fulcrum.

Torque is the turning force created by a force acting about a fulcrum.  The force in this case is the weight of the people on the seesaw.  Which we calculate by multiplying their mass by the force of gravity.  With the force of gravity being constant the greater the mass the greater the weight.  This weight pressing down on the beam creates torque.   And the further away from the fulcrum the greater the turning force.  Such that a lighter weight at a greater distance from the fulcrum can balance a greater weight at a shorter distance from the fulcrum.  Allowing a child to play on a seesaw with someone of far greater mass.  Because the lever amplified the smaller force of the child.  Allowing the child to move a heavier weight.  To illustrate this consider the following table.

Lever

This is just a visual aid.  The numbers don’t represent anything.  It just shows a relationship between force and the length of the lever.  In this example we need 1000 units of force to move something.  If we use a lever that is 10 units from the fulcrum we need to apply 100 units of force.  If we have a lever that is 40 units from the fulcrum we only need to apply 25 units of force.  If we have a lever that is 80 units from the fulcrum we only need to apply 12.5 units of force.  As the lever increases in length the more it will amplify the input force we apply.  Which is why a child can open a bottle with a bottle opener.

A Wheelbarrel combines the Lever with the Wheel and Axle

A lever gives us mechanical advantage.  The amplification of a small input force into a larger output force.  Such as a hand-held bottle opener.  But what about the kind that used to be fastened to pop machines?  When you bought a glass bottle of pop out of a vending machine?  The fulcrum is the fixed bottle opener.  And the lever is the bottle.  A can opener was often on the other end of a bottle opener.  Instead of a grip to latch onto a bottle cap this end had a triangular knife.  When we lifted up on the lever it pressed down and pierced a hole in a can.

A wheelbarrel allows us to move heavy loads.  This device combines two simple machines.  A wheel and axle.  And a lever.  The wheel and axle is the fulcrum.  The lever runs from the fulcrum to the handles of the wheelbarrel.  We place the load on the lever just before the axle.  When we lift the far end of the lever we can tilt up the load and balance it over the axle.  The lever amplifies the force we apply.  And the wheel and axle reduce the friction between this load and the ground.  Allowing us to move a heavy load with little effort.

Today’s pop bottles have screw-top caps.  Some people still use a lever to help open them, though.  A pair of pliers.  We use the pliers because we don’t have the strength to grip the cap tight enough to twist it open.  The pliers are actually two levers connected together at the fulcrum.  The pliers amplify our hand strand-strength to get a very secure grip on the bottle cap.  While our hands compress the two levers together getting a firm grip on the cap we can then use our arm to apply a force on the handles of the pliers.  Providing a torque to turn the bottle cap.  Very simple machines that make everyday life easier.  Thanks to the knowledge Archimedes handed down to us.

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Employers aren’t hiring College Graduates because of their Worthless Degrees

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 28th, 2013

Week in Review

Going to college is a special time in a young person’s life.  For it marks their entry into the true world of partying.  Where life on campus is nothing but a party.  And these parties are so good that people actually rank colleges by their partying greatness.  To help students choose the right school for their partying needs.  For no student wants to go to the local community college.  And still live at home.  I mean, what fun is that?

No.  They want to go to another state.  Out from underneath the disapproving eyes of their parents.  Who are more times than not footing the bill.  And no doubt remember what they did while in college.  And sigh.  But they hope and pray that their kids will take some time from their partying to study.  So they can get a good job when they graduate.  Which isn’t easy in a bad economy.  Especially when, it appears, these kids spend more time partying than hitting the books (see Job Picture Looks Bleak for 2013 College Grads by Mark Koba posted 4/26/2013 on CNBC).

NACE [National Association of Colleges and Employers] said employment areas with the greatest demand for this year’s graduates include business, engineering, computer sciences and accounting.

One reason there may not be so many grads hired is that many employers don’t believe college graduates are trained properly.

A survey of 500 hiring managers by recruitment firm Adecco, found that a majority—66 percent— believe new college graduates are not prepared for the workforce after leaving college. Fifty-eight percent said they were not planning to hire entry level graduates this year, and among those managers hiring, 69 percent said they plan to bring on only one or two candidates.

“Too many students are graduating with a weak background in science and math,” said Mauri Ditzler, president of Monmouth College…

A frequent mistake graduates make that keeps them from getting even an interview is spelling…

This is sad.  For you don’t even need to know how to spell to spell well.  For there is a button on all word processors and email editors.  It’s a remarkable button.  If you click on it something magical happens.  It checks your spelling.  Pity our college graduates aren’t learning this in college.  Or that they are just too lazy to click on it.

So what is Mom and Dad getting for all that money they spent sending their kid to college?  Which can be anywhere around $165,000 per kid for a 4-year degree out of state.  In truth few parents can pony up this kind of money.  So students make their way to the financial aid department on campus.  And borrow enough to buy a house.  In exchange for a degree that their college told them will lead to great riches.  And they did that with a straight face.

The reason employers aren’t hiring a lot of college graduates is because of the degrees a lot of them are getting.  And they’re not the hard ones.  For that would get in the way of all their partying.  If you look at the undergraduate degree programs for any college in a warm climate with a good party reputation you will see degrees in academic fields like African-American Studies; American Indian Studies; Anthropology; Art History; Communication; Comparative Literature; French & Francophone Studies; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies; Musicology; Philosophy; Poetry; Women’s Studies.  Etc.  A degree costing a student about $165,000 in student loan debt.  Require little science and math.  And isn’t likely to land you a job interview for someone looking for someone with math and science skills.  Which is who a lot of employers want to hire these days.

These colleges are heaping enormous amounts of debt on our kids.  For a degree that can never earn the kind of money that can pay back that student loan.  And this mounting student loan debt will probably be the last straw that will bankrupt the country.  For it already exceeds a trillion dollars.  And it grows still.  Money that went to these universities and colleges.  Providing generous pay and benefit packages.  And some very nice perks.  Living in the fantasyland of a college campus.  Shielded from the real world.  Some in higher education are acquiring great wealth at the expense of our children.  And the future financial wellbeing of our country.  As our kids will struggle to pay off these loans.  And when they can’t get a job in their field of study they’ll end up taking a job some place they didn’t need that $165,000 degree to get.

This is a tragedy of epic proportions.  Sooner or later government will have to force these colleges to put their money where their mouth is.  To make them accountable.  Before they bankrupt the country.  For anyone paying for college with a student loan they need to enroll only those students who can complete a program with a degree that has true market value.  Who can graduate and get a job with a pay level commensurate with their degree.  If the number of students who can’t falls below, say, 90%, then the college has to start refunding tuition.  For a job poorly done.  It’s only fair.  For they are the only ones who get paid so well for doing such a terrible job.  Giving their graduates degrees with no true market value.

Critics will scream this is not fair.  For we will lose the richness of our culture by not having degree programs in all those other fields that don’t have true market value.  But a degree with no market value is a worthless degree.  And if these worthless degrees are so important to the culture of the country then let the students who want them pay for these degrees with their own money.  And have the college charge less for them if they don’t have true market value.  For if a degree doesn’t have any market value why in the world are they charging $165,000 for them in the first place?

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Governor Cuomo and Mayor Bloomberg are taking on the Teachers Unions over Teacher Evaluations

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 2nd, 2013

Week in Review

Once upon a time Republicans ruled New York.  George Pataki was governor from January 1, 1995 – December 31, 2006.  And Rudy Giuliani was mayor of New York City from January 1, 1994 – December 31, 2001.  Sparking a renaissance in New York.  Especially in New York City.  For Giuliani cut crime and improved the quality of life for New Yorkers living in America’s greatest city.  But I don’t recall them taking on the public schools like the current Democrat leadership (see New York City’s schools could lose 2,500 teachers by next year by Hilary Russ posted 1/28/2013 on Reuters).

New York City’s public schools over two years will lose $724 million in state aid and as many as 2,500 teachers through attrition, because of a labor union conflict over a teacher evaluation system, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Monday.

The schools lost $250 million of that total earlier this month after the city and United Federation of Teachers failed to agree on a way to evaluate teacher performance.

City schools would lose that same baseline funding amount in the state’s coming fiscal year, which begins April 1, plus another $224 million under the state budget proposed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo last week, Bloomberg said at a joint legislative hearing…

City schools could lose $1 billion altogether in baseline state funding without action on the teacher evaluations, said New York City Comptroller John Liu, who testified after Bloomberg.

Bloomberg, however, said that the union tried to introduce new provisions to an agreement at the last minute that would have made the evaluation system a “fraud” because it would have expired in two years – the same amount of time required to conduct the evaluations, making the process pointless.

This is not what you expect to hear coming from Democrat governors and Democrat mayors.  For the teachers unions help these people get into office.  By funding their campaigns with union dues.  And getting out the vote with their foot soldiers.  It is doubtful that these actions will swing the teachers’ support over to the Republican cause.  But it is interesting to see these Democrats bite the hand that feeds them.

It also shows how contentious teacher evaluations are.  For the unions are willing to lose $1 billion in funding to avoid evaluating their teachers.  One has to wonder why?  Why are they so dead-set against evaluations when every industry in the private sector evaluates their employees?  The common answer is that evaluations aren’t fair.  That they just measure a student’s ability to read, write and do math.  And not more important things like helping these kids see things from a liberal point of view.

The problem is this, though.  Businesses want to hire graduates who can read, write and do math.  For these are necessary skills in the business world.  And seeing things from a liberal point of view will not allow American kids to keep up with the Chinese and Indian kids.  Who are learning how to read, write and do math.  Which is why more and more jobs are being out sourced to these countries.  Their kids score better on standardized tests than our kids.  And end up getting better jobs.

This may be why these Democrats are taking on public education.  New York has some of the highest tax rates in the country.  These high rates are causing the best and brightest to leave New York.  As more and more of their earnings are taxed away.  And who is replacing the best and brightest?  The kids graduating from the public schools.  Who apparently aren’t doing as well as they could.  As Bloomberg and Cuomo are playing hardball when it comes to these teacher evaluations.  There must be a reason for that.  And one can only assume that they want their high school graduates to be better and brighter.

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Useless College Degrees leave Graduates with Massive Debt and Unmarketable Skills

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 16th, 2012

Week in Review

The Left wants to provide free college education for everyone.  They’ve even taken over the student loan program.  And talk about making more funding available to states to help kids afford the one thing that grows more costly than health care.   And kids are going to college in record numbers.  And when many of these kids graduate they can’t find a job.  Why?  Because they’re getting useless degrees for that massive student loan debt the government encouraged them to borrow.  Degrees requiring little math or science (see Don’t Bother Earning These Five Degrees by Terence Loose posted 12/13/2012 on Yahoo! Education).

Unwanted Degree #1 – Architecture

Unwanted Degree #2 – Philosophy or Religious Studies

Unwanted Degree #3 – Anthropology or Archeology

Unwanted Degree #4 – Area Ethnic or Civilization Studies

Unwanted Degrees #5 – Information Systems

Architecture does require some math.  And it’s not that easy.  But it’s on the list because of the government’s massive real estate bubble that exploded into the subprime mortgage crisis.  The whole construction industry being in the toilet because of the government’s pressure to qualify the unqualified for mortgages.

Every other unwanted degree on the list is a worthless degree.  None of them have any market value in a high-tech economy.  Not one of them will build a better iPad.  A better smartphone battery.  Or find a new miracle drug that will help ease the cost of our aging population.  So why do kids get degrees in these fields?  Because their workloads are lighter than in degree programs that require math and science.  Leaving more time for having fun the first time these kids are out from under their parent’s supervision.

The Left wants to help these kids with degrees that won’t get them a job.  By forgiving their debt.  Which is probably the worst thing that we can do.  The colleges who gave them these degrees should refund their tuition for selling them a defective product.  The American people shouldn’t pick up the tab just so college professors and administrators can earn large salaries and generous benefits.  Especially when they are teaching our kids an anti-capitalist curriculum.  Which is primarily responsible for the anti-business climate in this country today.  Giving us our high unemployment rates in the first place.

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