Favorite Link Friday Week of April 8, 2016 - P.O.W. Report

Friday, April 8, 2016

Favorite Link Friday Week of April 8, 2016

Bill would put Alaska into the Pacific time zone

The House State Affairs Committee approved a measure Thursday that would place Alaska into the Pacific Time Zone and remove the state from daylight saving time.

The bill would shift all of Alaska to one time zone - it currently has three - bringing it into alignment with states such as California and Washington. That would trigger the exemption from daylight saving time.

Proponents of the measure, including sponsor Sen. Anna MacKinnon, R-Eagle River, say that it doesn't make much sense for Alaska to change its clock by an hour twice a year because of how much daylight already varies across the vast state.

Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, D-Sitka, said he is concerned with the impact of putting the entire state on one time zone.

While most of the state is on Alaska Time, some southeast communities are already on Pacific Time and parts of the Aleutian Islands are on Hawaii Time. MacKinnon aid Erin Shine said that with the measure's change, some Western and Northern Alaska communities could lose up to four hours of sun time. [Full Source]

Alaska Senate votes to allow concealed guns on UA campuses

JUNEAU —A bill that would allow concealed guns on University of Alaska campuses is headed to the state House after senators passed the measure Thursday.

The bill strips the University of Alaska Board of Regents' ability to designate broad concealed-weapon free zones on its campuses, allowing them to be carried in classrooms and dorms. It does allow the university to restrict them in areas where disciplinary actions or sexual harassment and domestic crimes are investigated.

The bill's sponsor, Sen. Pete Kelly, R-Fairbanks, said gun-free zones on campuses make them targets for killers. He highlighted the growing number of mass shootings in the United States in recent years.

"I don't want the students and the faculty at the University of Alaska to be a soft target as the dial seems to be ratcheted up over the last few years," he said.

The measure passed by a vote of 13-5.

Voting yes: Sens. John Coghill, R-North Pole; Mia Costello, R-Anchorage; Mike Dunleavy, R-Wasilla; Cathy Giessel, R-Anchorage; Charlie Huggins, R-Wasilla; Pete Kelly, R-Fairbanks; Anna MacKinnon, R-Eagle River; Lesil McGuire, R-Anchorage; Kevin Meyer, R-Anchorage; Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna; Bert Stedman, R-Sitka; Bill Stoltze, R-Chugiak; Bill Wielechowski, D-Anchorage.

Voting no: Sens. Click Bishop, R-Fairbanks; Dennis Egan, D-Juneau; Berta Gardner, D-Anchorage; Lyman Hoffman, D-Bethel; Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak. Sen. Johnny Ellis, D-Anchorage, was excused, and Sen. Donny Olson, R-Golovin, was absent. [Full Source]

Granny mistakenly prays before statue of online game character

An elderly woman was spotted recently trying to prostrate herself before the old gods, not realizing that the statue she was bowing to was instead the idol of a new era.

The photos come from outside an internet café, the woman is seen kneeling and burning incense in front of a statue that bears quite the resemblance to Lord Guan, a Chinese general during the Three Kingdoms period, immortalized in one of China's most famous books, and turned into a god. However, it turns out that the statue is actually Garen, a League of Legends character, also an accomplished military leader.

"The most effective way to kill an opponent is to slice through the man next to him," Garen or Guan Yu?

The images have left many netizens feeling heartbroken for the poor woman:
"I feel really sorry for her, probably her family ran into some unexpected trouble, and she is looking for help," one netizen sympathized.

"As long as your beliefs are sincere, then the true god will help you," another reassured. [Full Source]

Don’t Confuse the Cost of College with the Cost of an Education

Most everyone agrees that tuition and fees are certainly increasing in terms of the price tag. There is far less agreement, however, on why the price of a college education is going up so quickly.

The answer lies in a mixture of government policy and the fact that colleges and universities today spend vast amounts of money on amenities and staff that have little to do with classroom instruction. Moreover, the tastes of many consumers of education have changed toward the more opulent, and many aspects of the so-called "college experience" which were virtually non-existent 30 or 40 years ago, are today considered to be necessities for college students.

And finally, many students spend vast amounts of money on college degrees that will never contribute much to actually paying off loans or contributing much toward the graduates' actually earning a living.

There is no doubt that overall demand for a college education has increased based on the idea that a college education is the key to wealth. The broad conclusion that a college education greatly increases one's earning potential greatly over one's lifetime ignores the fact that not all college degrees are created equal.

Moreover, if you're one of those people with a humanities degree, your electrician and your mechanic are often likely to make more money than you. And, they gained that higher earning capability after spending far, far less in terms of time and money on their education. Once we begin to look at things on a case-by-case basis, the advantages of a college degree can melt away.

There is precious little evidence, however, that going to an elite school with a prestigious brand name will necessarily translate into higher earnings for students.

And, of course, one makes a logical error by assuming that successful Harvard graduates were successful because of their attendance at an elite university. People who get into Harvard are already highly driven over-achievers. Harvard students aren't slackers who are molded into elite intellectuals and workers due to the amazing quality of instruction at Harvard. That's not how it works.

Student loan subsidies have so distorted the market for higher education that we can't even tell the difference anymore. In a world of more market-oriented colleges, we'd be seeing colleges that work strenuously to reduce costs while increasing the quality of faculty instruction. Instead, what we find is a race to produce ever more luxurious amenities or funnel more and more money to six-figure-salaried administrators and staff to run a high-end rec center for students. [Full unedited Source]

Adult colouring book craze prompts global pencil shortage

The world’s biggest wooden pencil manufacturer, Faber-Castell, say they are experiencing "double-digit growth" in the sale of artists’ pencils and have been forced to run more shifts in their German factory to keep up.

“The trend is continuing to this day and can be felt globally – from South America to Asia.”

Brazil has reported pencil shortages after many Brazilians jumped onto the colouring book bandwagon, The New York Post reports

Ms Basford, whose colouring books for grown-ups have sold some 16 million copies worldwide, including three million in China alone, told the Sunday Telegraph: "People like colouring-in because they are fed up with digital.[Full Source]

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