Tag: um

UM Eastern Shore First University to Invest in Bulletproof Whiteboards

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bulletproof-whiteboard

When I’m flying, I’m comforted to know that my seat bottom could be used as a flotation device. That is, until I realize that in the unlikely event of a plane crash on water my survival may depend on more than just that seat bottom, however buoyant.

I have a similar attitude about the 200 bulletproof whiteboards that University of Maryland Eastern Shore has decided to install in classrooms. The 18-by-20-inch teaching tools can be used by professors as shields in the event of a shooting.

Chesapeake Bay Brings Home a D+ and a List of Excuses

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Did you know the Chesapeake Bay’s health is assigned a letter grade? Scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Maryland, who gave the bay a C- in 2010, settled on a grade of D+ for 2011.

What kind of a grade is D+ anyway? Sort of a mixed message if you ask me. Who assigns D plusses?

To see how rare the grade is I googled “d+” — half the results for the first two pages were about this news story, which confirms my hypothesis. How’s that for scientific? (By the way, in case you have no point of reference for this letter grade, think of it like this: the Chesapeake is exactly as unhealthy as Montana is corrupt.)

And what’s the bay’s excuse for this poor showing? The weather. Classic! It’s the same old Ubu ate my homework and the teacher doesn’t like me excuse, except this one is The “dry, hot summer spurred algae blooms and increased the size of the [my] oxygen-starved ‘dead zone.'”

Is It Just Me, Or Are Young People Getting More Bigoted?

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Whether it’s Towson University’s recently shut-down “white pride” group, Youth for Western Civilization, and its “straight pride day” (by the way, the Ancient Greeks and Romans — the founders of “Western Civilization?” Not super straight) or all the racist tweets about the film adaptation of The Hunger Games — mostly from young people — I can’t help but wonder if we are in the middle of an upsurge in prejudice among the youth.

And now two, likely unrelated, “incidents of bias and hate” have occurred at the University of Marlyand: “anti-semitic messages” were scrawled in an elevator in an academic building, and a noose was left inside a construction area. Campus police are investigating, and the University’s president sent out a campus-wide email condemning the incidents.

I remember college being all about Bob Marley posters, drum circles, naked marches, and drag parties. What’s going on in Towson and College Park? Of course, to be fair, you can’t blame an entire college community for one dufus with a magic marker, and hate incidents at UM are down 85 percent since 2003.

But take the story of the recent shut down of YWC at Towson. It’s a case of an older man — an older, conservative man — chastising kids for being too narrow-minded and hateful. Doesn’t that strike you as a little bizarre?

What do you think? Am I way off here? Any personal experiences to support or dispute my nagging fear?

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