June 2012

  • Why Education Makes Kate Middleton the Reigning Royal “It” Girl of Today

    Barry Lenson

    Why Education Makes Kate Middleton the Reigning Royal “It” Girl of Today Who is today’s reigning “It” girl? We know it’s not Paris Hilton anymore, or Lindsay Lohan, or even Blake Lively. So who is it? We’re nominating Kate Middleton for the honor. First of all, she is a certified British royal now that she has married Prince William.  That means she is now the Duchess of Cambridge. Those are pretty compelling “It” credentials. But here are some more . . . She’s educated! She met her future husband while they were both students at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. It’s one of the oldest and finest universities in the United Kingdom and the world.  And do you know what? If and when her husband becomes ...

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  • Democrats and Republicans, It's Time to Protect Stafford Loans

    Barry Lenson

    Democrats and Republicans, It's Time to Protect Stafford Loans If you’re a college student and you’re starting to feel like a ping pong ball, there’s a reason why.  It’s because the Dems and Repubs are batting you back and forth. This time, you’re caught in the middle because the interest rate on Stafford Loans is going to double from 3.4 to 6.8% on July 1 unless Congress comes to an agreement.  (When was the last time we heard the words “agreement” and “Congress” used in the same sentence? Can’t remember when.) From their side, Republicans have already passed a bill that suggests mining money from the new health care law, and using that money to hold Stafford interest rates at 3.4%. President Obama plans to vet ...

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  • Burck Smith Discusses the Future of American Education on PBS

    Barry Lenson

    Burck Smith Discusses the Future of American Education on PBS If you’d like to know more about StraighterLine and the future of American education too, we urge you to watch this recent interview on PBS with StraighterLine CEO Burck Smith. In only a few minutes, our CEO gives answers to some questions that have probably been on your mind, including . . . How much does it really cost traditional colleges to present big lecture courses, and how much positive income do they generate from each student who signs up? Why are MIT, Harvard and other prestigious universities offering more of their courses free online, and is it possible to use their courses to earn college credit? (Answer: You can’t earn credit from their course ...

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  • Medical Terminology Made Simple: Poison Ivy Dermatitis

    Barry Lenson

    As a service to students who are thinking of entering the medical and medical support professions, StraighterLine is running short posts on medical terms. Each post will define one medical problem or condition. Today’s medical term is . . .  Poison Ivy Dermatitis This is the time of year when people start working in their yards, hiking, and spending more time outdoors. Some of them come into contact with poison ivy, and experience first-hand the horrible rashes and discomfort (dermatitis) that it causes. Poison ivy is no joke. The irritant that it contains – an oil called urushiol – is one of the most irritating substances found anywhere, especially for people who are have strong allergic reactions to it.  If you come into cont ...

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  • Hot Summer Books Quiz

    Barry Lenson

    Hot Summer Books Quiz Nothing is dopier than a list of hot books for summer reading. If you think I am kidding, look at a list of hot summer books that I put together for this blog two years ago. But I’ve reformed, and here is a different approach to a list of best-selling books for summer reading. It’s a quiz. You will find descriptions of some actual bestsellers below. But mixed among them are descriptions of books that I made up - books that don’t exist. Your job is to read the descriptions and decide which are real books, and which are spoofs. So here we go . . . 1) The House on Hedge Street by Vincent Colombo When Viveca Houston inherits an old family mansion from her reclusive uncle Manfred, she moves in and discove ...

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