Remember how some education experts claimed that making the switch from half-day to full-day kindergarten would help kids with lower literary skills? That might not be the case. The Winnipeg Free Press recaps a new study concluding that full-day kindergarten actually has a minimal effect on a child’s overall learning curve. A recent study by the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy focused on full-day kindergarten in two regions and revealed that while some students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds made literacy improvements in full-day kindergarten, the pre-existing learning gap with other children returned in later years. “The literature shows that full-day kindergarten may not be the best program for closing the gap,” senior scientist Marni Brownell said.
WAIT FOR THE BIG ONE
As anyone might have predicted, Canada is completely unprepared for an earthquake. CBC News reports on a new study claiming that a major seismic event could cause between $60- and $75-billion in damage. The study, from the Insurance Bureau of Canada, says a major earthquake would not only have a significant economic impact on the region it hits, but would also kick off a domino effect that could derail the entire Canadian economy. Close to 4,000 earthquakes occur in Canada each year, but the overwhelming majority are too small to merit media coverage. That doesn’t mean that it can’t happen. The same report says there’s a 30-per-cent chance of a major quake hitting British Columbia in the next 50 years and 15 per cent for Quebec.
WHAT’S THAT SMELL?
How would you react if your brand-new laptop smelled like a litter box? As reported in the Daily Express, a number of Dell owners have been complaining on customer support forums about a dreadful smell emanating from their new computers. One poster named Three West was quite specific about the odour problem with his new Latitude 6439U laptop: “The machine is great, but it smells as if it was assembled near a tomcat’s litter box. It is truly awful.” After investigating the reports, Dell says the laptop palm rest was the odious source. “The smell is not related to cat urine or any other type of biological contaminant, nor is it a health hazard.”
THOUGHT DU JOUR
A monarchy requires a virtuous king; a democracy requires a virtuous people.
Henry Hyde, U.S. congressman (1924-2007)