Sunday, November 25, 2012

Exams! With Guns!

But wait, there's more (journalists) piling in on the VCE exam SNAFU seen first here, with a great quote:

Yarra Valley Grammar student Shannon Dowling assumed she had not studied hard enough when she saw the robot. "I went through a thought process something like this, 'What's that thing? It's definitely a robot. But it's on my history exam, so it's not a robot. But it can't be anything else. LOOK AT THOSE GUNS!' I stared at the image long and hard. It was extremely off-putting because you just don't expect there to be a mistake on your exam, especially one like that."

Yes, Shannon.  I'm with, like, let's ask for people who can set the exam to the standard they mark it to, eh?  (Obviously after the 'look at those guns!' thought, of course.)  But don't worry:

New guidelines governing the use of internet-sourced material in exams will also be issued after an altered version of the artwork Storming the Winter Palace by Nikolai Kochergin appeared in the VCE History: Revolutions exam.

Or "That was embarrassing.  Can we not do that again next year?  There's bound to be journalists on us if we manage a third year running foul-up"...

James


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Night & Day in Brussels

This post is a of photos now nearly a decade old, taken in December 2002, in a Low Countries trip from the UK. 

We were lost at night in Brussels, when we found this little fairytale park (above).   A memorial for poets? A tribute to top tipplers? A glorification of the nation's brewers? We're not sure but should look it up...


Cathedral  ... or just a church?  We were still lost, so we don't know which one this was. Footsore travellers spot gorgeous stained glass lit from inside, and beautiful from out.

The entrance for the catedral. Some EC cars went past but didn't spoil the shot.


Classics in two price ranges. A Citroen 2CV parked in front of a Mercedes showroom with a very rare Mercedes Gullwing in the window.



Time to hit a Belgian Cafe.  There's nothing like one. This one had a real Art Deco style.  Complete with computer screen!


We were able to collapse in relief, to be cheered up by hot chocolate, red wine, and a map!

Buxom Lass outside the War Museum in the Parc. Hm, if the Belgians like their beer and sausages, it's good that they also like their women, er, well-covered. In one sense.

The Brussels Air Museum is an amazing museum, in an old jousting hall (yes really) of the Parc Cintantique - rather like the Crystal Palace must have been. Alladin's cave for me!


Speaking of Aladdin.  One of the aircraft nose art examples. This happy chap and his magic carpet was on a Stampe biplane.


In the adjacent War Museum, the display has essentially, not changed since before the First World War - truly a museum of a museum. How many Belgian flags are there?


A case of drums in the War Museum - visible is an AIF (Australian Infantry Force) above at least one Canadian regiment example.


Back outside, pics of some lovely crumbling art deco houses near the European parliament area. Some were done up; some were for sale, and most seemed to be inhabited by pigeons (or trees!)...

[This post brought to you by Webshots closing down their service, and reminding me of some albums from back in the day.  Nice to see them again]

James

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Enhanced History Exam

Quite rightly, we all like to be able to laugh at the exam compilers whenever the rare chance eventuates.  Today we can share a particularly enjoyable example of an exam-board failure, thanks to The Age.


 This is not the correct image, grabbed by a VCAA drone off the interwebz rather than sourced properly.
"THE VCE exam body has been left red faced after a doctored artwork depicting a huge robot helping socialist revolutionaries during the Russian Revolution was accidentally included in this year’s year 12 history exam taken by 5700 students.
 This is the correct image.
"Storming the Winter palace on 25th October 1917 by Nikolai Kochergin, which depicts events during the October Revolution, which was instrumental in the larger Russian Revolution of 1917.
But when students opened their exam this morning they found an altered version of the work with what appear to be a large "BattleTech Marauder" robot aiding the rising revolutionaries in the background.
...
"A spokesman for the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) said the image was 'sourced and acknowledged by the VCAA as coming from the Internet'.
'The image has been altered but the alteration of the image won’t impact on the students’ capacity to answer the examination question,' he said.
'The VCAA will monitor students' answers to ensure that any student who has been distracted by the image will not be disadvantaged.'
 This is NOT history.  It is 'A BattleTech Marauder' - you know, made up.
"It is the second year running that the  Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority has been embarrassed by problems in its end of year exam papers.
Last year popular columnist Helen Razer accused the VCE exam body of plagiarism and breach of copyright after the English exam featured on tattoos by the Melbourne writer without her permission or acknowledging she was the author."
Tut tut tut...  Hey kids, don't lift stuff from random websites for your work, and use 'impact' sparingly.  Just like the VCAA.

James

EDIT:  'But Wait, There's More!'

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

You're *not* the centre of the universe

From the great xkcd, puzzled that an older civilisation would have got naming rights for much of the world, and understandably puzzled by using relative locations.

(And for those in the northern hemisphere, please also learn 'north' does not = 'up'.)

James

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Fab! Fabbri


They're back (at the Mediterranean Wholesalers - see here) so we snagged some. We weren't able to go home in a Fabbri truck, seen on the Boston food website here:



But we found some fascinating Fabbri history here and here, the latter being the official website, which has a range of remarkable period advertising here.



Better than roses, pearls?  But of course!

James