Assignments Economics

Econ Chp 1 Test Essay Question

Please answer the following question in essay format (a few sentences will do) by using the comments function below (simply click on comments / leave a comment. Make sure to properly identify yourself in order to get credit:

An economist might say, “Choosing is refusing.” Explain this statement in your own words, and using economic vocabulary.

History News

Mr. Johansson’s Pledge

A CHALLENGE to those brave souls in my U.S. HISTORY courses:

If, by the end of QUARTER III, you raise your CLASS AVERAGE by 5%, I will provide, FREE OF CHARGE, a feast of unheard proportions, or in all likelihood, supply your class with PIZZA or DONUTS in order so that we may CELEBRATE your SUCCESS!


2nd∘- FROM 86.2% TO 91.2%
3rd∘- FROM 87.4% TO 92.4%
4th∘- FROM 75.1% TO 80.1%
7th∘- FROM 74.3% TO 79.3%

This I pledge, voluntarily, and without hesitation, on the 3rd day of FEBRUARY, 2011.


Here’s the PDF of the pledge hanging in my classroom – Johansson Pledge

Assignments Economics

Reading: Ethanol Madness

Here’s the 2nd reading for this week – due to the snow day, it’s due this weekend sometime (you should have it done by Sunday, 2/6/2011, for sure…)

Ethanol Madness


Today’s Econ Links

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etc. Teaching

Snow Days: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly!

We have another snow day today, so that’s two for this week, and five total so far in the school year. Snow days are curious in that they mean different things to different people. Students and teachers probably enjoy a  day off here and there, as a bonus weekend, or just time to catch up with family and homework, but there are other implications as well, that often go unnoticed. It all depends on one’s frame of mind.

The Good:

  • Time off to catch up on sleep, homework, etc.
  • Students get more time to do what they like, and don’t have to be in school. Maybe hang out with friends, relatives, and family, especially if the snow day comes before of right after a weekend.
  • Opportunity to actually enjoy the snow, build a snow man, etc.
  • Complete projects that have been on the back burner for a while. Bake bread.

The Bad:

  • Missing school.
  • Lesson plans are interrupted, time frames are busted.
  • Scheduled resources go to waste, like computer lab time, A/V equipment, etc.
  • Dates that are scheduled for tests, quizzes have to be pushed back, and that messes with everyone’s schedule.
  • Lack on continuity – it’s hard to follow logical connections if you’re in school for one day, off two, then back for two.
  • Students have to be home – and parents may not be able to. No problems for high schoolers, but certainly for younger kids.

The Ugly:

  • Many districts only have so many calamity days (we have three, and now we’re in deficit spending!)
  • … and if you’re in deficit spending of your calamity days, that means we’ll go longer in the summer.
  • Some districts make up calamity days over spring break – that’s no fun for anyone, and presents a whole host of other problems, especially students not attending due to pre-arranged plans.
  • Summer plans get messed up.
  • The district, once calamity days are spend, tend to not want to take more days, even though they ought to.

So, there are many ramifications to snow days, other than a great time off from school. However, unless we break it down, some of them might go unnoticed until much later in the year. Not to mention the lack of actual instruction time, as we all know that students, and teachers alike, have a hard time focusing those last days in June.

Have any other others that I missed? Feel free to comment below…


Today’s Econ Links

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Assignments Economics

The Mystery of the Banana Stand

From this Freakonomics blog post @ NYT:

A reader named William Kearney describes the following mystery, which puzzles him every day:

“Outside my building there is a woman with a fruit stand. Everything is normal about this fruit stand except for the fact that the BSL [Banana Stand Lady] will sell you two bananas for $1 and will sell you three bananas for $1! They are the same exact bananas (see attached picture) and the signs and stacks of bananas are literally one foot away from each other. I have done multiple double blind studies to test the quality of both piles of bananas and they really are the exact same. However, BSL gets upset if you try to get the three bananas from the two-banana pile.”

Mysterious indeed. What could possibly be going through the BSL’s head? Is she perhaps a grad student working on a behavioral thesis?

Two for $1.00

Three for $1.00

Leave your comments below for a chance at extra credit (only applicable to my econ students!)


Dieter Rams – Design Principles

Ten principles to “good design”

Good design:

  • Is innovative – Rams states that possibilities for innovation in design are unlikely to be exhausted since technological development is always offering new opportunities for innovative design. He also highlights that innovative design always develops in tandem with innovative technology and can never be an end in and of itself.
  • Makes a product useful – A product is bought to be used. It has to satisfy certain criteria, not only functional, but also psychological and aesthetic. Good design emphasises the usefulness of a product whilst disregarding anything that could possibly detract from it.

20 Facts about Social Media that will make you go wow!

Social Media ? Facebook and Twitter – That’s what you thought all it was, isn’t it ? Well, No!

In 2010, the internet saw some radical changes on social media, internet usage and the way content is being populated and exchanged online. Looking at the figures, you’d think – WOW! When did this really happen ?

1. Internet Users in the Middle East has risen to 63.2 million by 2010.

The Middle East population is estimated at 212 million. This means that the penetration ratio of the Internet with respect to its population is 29.8% – the biggest ever recorded !


Are you ever satisfied?

When it comes to materials I use for my daily instruction, I am constantly revising, reviewing, adding, subtracting, and innovating at the same time. The work never ends. And I suppose that’s a good thing, because if it did, I’d be bored!