August, 2020

By In Mixed Martial Arts

The Things That Matter

Defining what matters and what doesn’t has always been at least subjective and debatable. People have different values and perspectives, informed by different upbringings and life circumstances. It’s only natural then that people can watch the same thing and walk away with entirely different feelings.

Yet the distinction between the things that matter and the things that don’t is blurrier and more elusive than ever, a heat shimmer as a border wall. It’s why so much seems to get earnestly conscripted into dumb culture wars these days. Wearing masks during a pandemic is not just a mild inconvenience; it’s an attack on our constitutional rights, an assault on the very core identity of America. Never mind the hundreds of thousands of COVID-infected body bags strewn across the globe. The real virus is the business owners who want to mitigate unnecessary risk for their employees by requiring customers to cover their face for a few minutes. The rightful recipients of our stress and frustration and anxiety are not our impotent leaders but cashiers and front desk workers doing what their bosses told them. Paying too much attention to one thing while ignoring another is unavoidably human, which isn’t an excuse so much as a warning. We are often best-served to question our gut reactions and intuitive targets…

Read more at Sherdog

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By In Mixed Martial Arts

Refereeing the referees

When Tanner Boser knocked out Raphael Pessoa in the second round at UFC on ESPN 14, it was weird.

Boser crumpled his opponent with a solid left hook to the orbital and proceeded to land 10 unimpeded follow-up shots while Pessoa was on the floor in the fetal position. Commentators Paul Felder and Dan Hardy became less excited and more concerned with each extraneous punch, shouting “Boser’s going to get the finish!” one moment and “It’s over, ref!” the next. A brief silence emanated from both men once referee Herb Dean finally intervened. In retrospect, it sounded a lot like two fighters biting their tongues.

They would extend no such courtesy when Francisco Trinaldo knocked out Jai Herbert four fights later. Less than two minutes into the third round, Trinaldo sent Herbert to the mat with a huge overhand. The fight appeared to be over right then and there, and Dean looked as if he was about to intervene. Trinaldo hesitated, but when he realized the fight was not getting stopped, he whipped a few extra shots directly to Herbert’s head before the fight was stopped. Hardy immediately erupted at the veteran official…

Read more at Sherdog

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By In education, Hawaii

Turning Your Home Into A Classroom Is Not A Bad Thing

In a perfect, pandemic-less world, the most ideal educational setup is for students to be in a classroom with their teacher.

It allows for more active and engaging lessons to take place; physical space can be utilized more creatively; and important social and cooperative skills can be seamlessly baked into academic learning. Students can ask questions at the exact moment of confusion, and teachers can engage in a fluid back-and-forth with the class until clarity is reached.

The simple human acts of reading facial expressions and feeling classroom energy are powerful teaching tools, and that’s to say nothing of the obvious societal benefit of parents being able to work knowing where their children are and what they’re doing.

Distance learning, on the other hand, is rife with inequities regarding the number of computers per person in different households, discrepancies in internet connectivity and speed, and other home-related instability that gets equalized in a shared classroom.

Despite the growing chorus of sniveling Nostradamuses predicting YouTube will one day obviate traditional schooling, there are very real challenges to digital education that make a permanent pivot seem as impossibly distant as an electric car in every home, or the rail getting completed.

But we’re not in a perfect pandemic-less world, and we have to make do with the situation we’re actually in. This means distance learning will to some degree be a part of our lives, from elementary schools to universities…

Read more at Honolulu Civil Beat

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