Top 3 Reasons Why Homework Should Be Banned

The debate over whether homework is still a viable learning tool or has become outdated has actually been going on for many years. The trend in this debate seems to be heading in the direction of «outdated» but there certainly is no consensus yet. The factors I see as most significant in this issue are societal, centered on the family, and are primarily based on TIME; and as such, are unlikely to be reversed.

Top 3 Reasons Why Homework Should Be Banned:

1. Family time gets first priority.

Family life has changed considerably over the past few decades. With today’s high divorce rate, many parents spend a great deal of time just shuffling children back and forth. Each parent values the time with their child and the child values the time spent with each parent.

The financial realities of life now dictate that both adults in the home need to have jobs, but those jobs do not always coincide. Many of the jobs in today’s society are not the old standard 9-5 kind of jobs. When parents get home, they very often bring their own version of homework.

Many families are having to deal with military deployments to various parts of the world, and all indications are that we will be deploying soldiers as «peacekeepers» for many years to come. A parent on deployment may be gone for up to a year at a time. Some families have had to deal with multiple deployments. In a few cases both parents have been deployed at the same time.

For each of these situations and many others, family time becomes too precious to spend on school homework.

2. Children are too busy.

In years past, children came home from school, changed clothes, went outside to play with the neighbor kids until dark, did their homework–sometimes with parental help, and then went to bed early. Not so anymore!

Today, a large percentage of children are involved in some kind of sport after school. It may be Little League, or league soccer, swimming at the «Y,» football, volleyball, etc., but kids are involved in sports. Many also take music lessons, or dance, or gymnastics, or even language lessons. Some children are involved in scouting. Some are active with church activities. The list of potential involvements is quite long; but the point is that by the time children get home, THEY ARE TIRED!

School homework is the very last thing they want to do.

3. Teens are even busier.

Many teenagers are involved in the same kinds of activities as their younger siblings, but they may also be involved in school activities like band, drama, debate club, etc. Some teens play school sports as well as league sports. And on top of everything, some teens have jobs. Many of the teens who don’t do school activities, work a job after school every day.

When are these students supposed to do school homework?

Certainly, it can be argued that a student’s «job» should be learning first; and, I hate to admit that I said those words once or twice in my teaching career. However, we all must realize that life changes and we must adapt to those changes. To continue to require homework of students whose families endorse their activities is simply not fair. The schools cannot be in a position of punishing the child (for failing to do homework) when the family considers other things more important.

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PES Games – A History Of Pro Evolution Soccer Part 2

In 2003, Pro Evolution Soccer 3 was released and included a big game play engine update, introducing new features such as the advantage rule and much improved long-ball passing techniques. PES games were now starting to get their hands on lesser European licenses such as the Dutch Eredivisie, but at least this was a start or inroad into FIFA's dominance by Konami.

Pro Evo 3 was the first PES game to be programmed for PC via Microsoft and it was popular, but the lack of online mode disappointed. Further enhancements to the licensing agreement occurred over the next few PES iterations, with many more official teams and players included, but the big one, the Premier League, always eluded Konami – not something FIFA was willing to give up. The Master League (career mode) was expanded and editing options improved, making likenesses even closer to reality.

In 2005 Pro Evolution Soccer 5 finally cemented Pro Evo online, allowing players to play against other PES gamers anywhere in the world. Jubilation reigned in online forums as we finally got real English teams, albeit only two – Arsenal and Chelsea, but again it was a start.

At this point in history PES was still dominant over FIFA, generally getting higher review scores, despite the lack of complete licenses throughout the game. PES stood up so well against the FIFA machine because of the superb two player experience.

Playing against a computer can only ever be so good, as computer AI is still no match for the gaming experience of another human being. It was this sense of randomness and downright fun that kept Pro Evo at the top of the footy charts and this position was further solidified in Pro Evolution Soccer 6, which for many PES fans was the finest hour for Konami.

Pro Evo 6 or Winning Eleven 10 had most of the best elements that have survived to the present incarnation. Fast, fluid, attacking football, a combative tackling mechanic and a slew of new tricks and flicks. To go along with the ever present official Japanese strip, the England National team were now decked out in their official kit as well as other nations. The Xbox version even had next generation high-definition graphics and this would be the last version before Pro Evo made the transition to PS3.

There was no Pro Evo 7, the next installment would arrive in 2007 and the naming convention changed into what remains to this day – Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 or PES 2008. This was the first version to debut on PS3, but still remained on PS2 and the other consoles. High definition graphics enhanced the gaming experience and PES started to move away from FIFA in the player likenesses stakes, although at the same time the complacency led to FIFA closing the gap and it was around these years that FIFA for the first time started to achieve higher review scores, as ironically, it was likened to the PES game play of old.

Even though many things improved, PES games started to struggle during the versions 2008-2012. Improvements in graphics, master league, competitions, licenses and online play, were negated by fussy changes to game play, that made Pro Evo harder, but sometimes less fun. It seemed that the game almost had a cheat mode in player versus computer games on harder skill levels, as it could be almost impossible to win the ball back or keep it against the computer. Keepers would inexplicably parry weak shots straight back out to unmarked strikers for easy tap ins and referees could be incredibly harsh, sending players off for minor offences, whereas it seemed computer controlled players could get away with murder!

The last few years have been repeated 'overhaul' fixes for PES as they've tried to regain top spot. Shingo Takatsuka known as 'Seabass' has come up with multiple buzz words every year as Pro Evo innovates and pushes the limits of the high-definition consoles and what PS3 And XBOX 360 can handle. The online play has improved on PS3 as it struggled at first to catch up to the online system XBOX had in place and now the edit modes, coupled with the skill and efficiency of PES fans means that the lack of licenses is almost irrelevant.

PES games will have their latest blockbuster out in October 2012 and by all accounts, online rumors and playable demos, PES is back. The review scores were close to FIFA last year and although the FIFA machine now exudes a high level of polish and superb game play, if PES 2013 regains some of that magic from the mid noughties, it'll be top dog again this autumn.

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Formula 1 Rising Stars: Interview With Valtteri Bottas

Valtteri Bottas is regarded as one of Formula 1’s rising stars. And rightly so; in 2014, in only his second season in the sport, the Finn secured six podiums and finished fourth in the Drivers’ Championship, outperforming his more experienced teammate Felipe Massa.

Bottas’ breakthrough season greatly contributed to the resurgence of the Williams F1 team, which saw them finish third in the Constructors’ Championship; their best result since 2003’s second place.

The 2015 campaign, however, hasn’t quite got off to the start that the clear potential of the Mercedes-powered FW37 would suggest: Bottas failed to take the start of the Australian Grand Prix after injuring his back in qualifying, and he and teammate Massa found their race pace lacking in the searing heat of Malaysia.

I spoke exclusively to the Finn about his rise to Formula 1 and his expectations for the year ahead.

EH: You first got behind the wheel of a kart at the tender age of five, but your interest began a year earlier when you, along with your Dad, discovered a kart race during the summer. Can you tell me about that day and then your first experience in a kart the following year?

VB: Well, that day, I was actually going to Lahti (a town in Finland) with my father and we saw a sign about the go-kart Finnish championship race. We went there just to check it out, none of us was familiar with the sport. When I saw it the first time I thought it was really cool and wanted to get in to try one! My fist time actually trying a go-kart was about a year later, I was about 5-6 years old, and I actually crashed in the first corner of the first lap, as I did not use the brakes, and went off to the barrier. Nobody actually explained to me how it worked and they only said «Off you go»! That day, I learned from my mistake.

EH: In 2008 you won both the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup and the Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup Championships. That is an enormous achievement, you must have been very proud of your efforts that year. How difficult was it competing in two championships?

VB: It was an important year and difficult too, as [I had] lots of races between two different championships. [But I needed] to get the support to move up to Formula 3. But overall it was good to get as much mileage as possible, the season went really well and I won both championships. This is also how I met and started working with my management (Mika Häkkinen, Didier Coton and Toto Wolff) so it was important to show them good results!

EH: You have had a very impressive season last year with six podiums, including your first Formula 1 podium at the Austrian Grand Prix on an unfamiliar track. Can you put into words how that felt and what thoughts were going through your head on the final lap, knowing you were mere seconds away from claiming your first podium?

VB: Austria was a very special moment, we had been chasing the podium for a long time and the last lap, even though you should never make any plans before crossing the finish line, I started thinking (as there was enough margin at the front and back) how cool it would be to cross the line and make the podium and meet my team when I get back, as the whole team had been working really hard for good results. The podium was very special, to see everyone there, it was a really nice day which I will remember forever.

EH: Last year Formula 1 veteran Felipe Massa joined the Williams team replacing Maldonado. What did you learn from his experience and knowledge of the sport, and how did it feel beating your more accomplished teammate in only your second year?

VB: My experience as a teammate of Felipe has been very good; obviously he is very experienced, he has been in different situations, car set-ups, different conditions, tracks. It has been good to work with him even though, as a racer, my goal is to be quicker than my teammate (whoever that is) and get more points.

EH: For a long time the Williams team appeared to be in racing ‘No Man’s Land’, but 2014 saw a dramatic shift in fortunes for the team. What do you think have been the major contributing factors to this remarkable turnaround for the team?

VB: I think the arrival of [Chief Technical Officer] Pat Symonds made a very big difference since joining the team mid-2013. He has been reallocating people at the factory, bringing new people to the team. Now we have the right people to the right positions and that definitely brought the results back. Another major contributing factor is the switch to Mercedes-Benz power units.

EH: For a country with a relatively small population, Finland has delivered three Formula 1 World Champions (and perhaps soon a fourth). What is it about your home country that sees it produce so many world class drivers in racing and rallying?

VB: First of all Finland is a motorsport country, it is part of our culture – we simply love F1 and rallying and it is true there are quite a few very good drivers from our country. Also, the level of go-karting (at a young age) is very high so this could explain it also. The mentality of Finns is also good for the sport, we can keep focused and don’t stress about things too much which is very important in F1 in my opinion.

EH: What are your first memories of following Formula 1 as a child and which driver/s did you most enjoy watching race?

VB: The first car I remember is the blue and yellow Williams car – my favourite in the beginning. One race that stands out as a race is Mika Häkkinen’s first win in 1997 in Jerez! I remember this race very clearly.

EH: After your most successful Formula 1 year to date in 2014, what are your expectations for 2015?

VB: In 2015 the competition is going to be much closer between the teams.

World Cup 2010 and the Year 2012

As we know that in 2010 there will be great football event, which is FIFA World Cup that will be held in South Africa next June and July. Then what will happen in 2012? Maybe our first mind when hearing 2012 is the movie entitled 2012. As we know that this movie is about the forecast of the end of the world that will happen in 2012. Maybe it will become true or not, but it’s a really great public opinion.

In the movie, we may show that there will be great catastrophes in the world that will kill the majority of the people. Although it is just a movie, but some believes it as becoming reality since the Mayan Forecast says about this. Some people believe about this thing since the some of Mayan forecasts are relevant. But I don’t think that will be great matter to debate whether this will become true or not. Just take it calmly since it’s just a movie. But it’s OK if you believe this.

Back to world cup 2010, the event is attracting great attentions from the football lovers in all over the world. The greatest football event in the world becomes the event to show which team is the best. Some known big teams with good football traditions like Brazil, Argentina, Spain, and Italy will show their best performance to become the king of the world’s football.

In my analysis, the two big teams from Latin America, Brazil and Argentina will easily step forward to the next phase. It’s very realistic since both teams have great talented players. Some of them are young talented players like Lionel Messi from Argentina as the best player of 2009, and Richardo Kaka from Brazil that also has good performance. Meanwhile, in Europe, I see that Italy, Spain, Germany, and Portugal have the same opportunity as Brazil and Argentina. It’s reasonable since they have also great players on the team. The big event of world cup will be great football show that will attract the world’s attention. Finally, my conclusion is that in both years, there will be great events (or just imagination in the case of year 2012) that will make the world influenced.