In a multi-part series, Reuters looks inside the business of standardized testing and college admissions. The parts so far: [more inside]
In Sutton Bonington you can milk a cow or toss a sheaf, in Stoke Hammond admire tomatoes of a substantive nature, while Kelsale cum Carlton (real place) likes your rude vegetables (page 8) and Axmouth gives you the option of trimming your onions or not. Meanwhile, Barlaston has a vegimal category, Broomhill asks 'Are your buns even better than Nigella’s?' while in free-spirited Radcliffe on Trent, the Homemade Scones Bake Off has 'no rules'. At one extreme, Lambley Village have a Victoria Sponge category requiring three eggs, jam filling and caster sugar, while at the other Stretham simply wants 'Cake'. And Grimsargh? The inevitable category for 'An Unusual Shape Fruit or Vegetable!'. [more inside]
Chinese students gaming entry into and passage through Western universities The advertisements were tailored for Chinese college students far from home, struggling with the English language and an unfamiliar culture. Coaching services peppered the students with emails and chat messages in Chinese, offering to help foreign students at U.S. colleges do much of the work necessary for a university degree. The companies would author essays for clients. Handle their homework. Even take their exams. All for about a $1,000 a course.
As new revelations come to light that claim that not only was there widespread and elaborate cheating at the Sochi Olympics, but that Olympic officials may have been involved as well, Russia's Sports Minister says that they are very sorry "that athletes who tried to deceive us, and the world, were not caught sooner", and hoped that they would be cleared of wrongdoing in time for this summer's Games in Rio. [more inside]
Local Strava cycling legend is former racer, convicted doper, drug dealer, and clothing company owner.
Tom Brady’s Deflategate Suspension Reinstated [The New York Times] Roger Goodell, the most powerful man in football, appears to have prevailed in a 15-month battle with Tom Brady, one of the game’s most celebrated quarterbacks. In the end, their feud — known as Deflategate, and a subject of intense derision for the league — will likely end with Brady’s serving a four-game suspension. A three-judge panel for the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Monday overturned a lower-court ruling, deciding that N.F.L. Commissioner Goodell had broad discretion to suspend players according to the collective-bargaining agreement with the players’ union. The panel’s decision can be appealed to the full Second Circuit, or even the Supreme Court, but a victory for Brady at this point is a long shot, legal experts said.
Run. Bike. Cheat? (NYT) A story about Julie Miller, an age-group winner at 2015 Ironman Canada, who appears to have cheated her way to "victory." Here is the related thread at the Slowtwitch forums.
The fall: how diving became football’s worst crime
"Swipe Buster, he said, was an attempt, albeit perhaps a prurient and sordid one, to use a popular company (Tinder) and a juicy lure (cheating) in order to educate people about how much of their personal data is out there and how easily people can get access to it without hacking or breaking rules. (Swipe Buster was originally called Tinder Buster. It changed its name and URL on Sunday evening.)" — Here’s How You Can Check if Your Partner Is Cheating on Tinder by Emily Jane Fox for Vanity Fair. Previously: Tinder Confidential, and relatedly: Ashley Madison has been hacked. [more inside]
Billionaires, partying until the early morning, and Internet sleuthing: A recent scandal that rocked the world of high stakes contract bridge has it all.
There is no purse for the Lehigh Valley Health Network Via Marathon. But 2014’s 114th-place finisher will bank $100,000 if he can recreate his result. [more inside]
Exes ask each other questions they never got to ask when dating. Two-part Youtube video that gets really real, really quick.
Cheating website AshleyMadison has reportedly been hacked. Besides snippets of account data apparently sampled at random from among some 40 million users across ALM’s trio of properties, the hackers leaked maps of internal company servers, employee network account information, company bank account data and salary information. They want the site taken down, not because of the cheating, but because the company offers a "total delete" function and charges for it, but doesn't actually do it.
It's summer in Australia and that can only mean one thing: lots and lots of cricket! (Some previous discussions of cricket on Metafilter.) Cricket has long had a reputation as a "gentlemanly game", which quietly ignores the increasing popularity of women's cricket that has existed since 1745. Times change and some substantial technology is now being used to assist the umpires and referees. As the sport becomes more professional and attracts more money, controversy is increasing in these less genteel times. However, there is now one great ethical dilemma facing cricketers: should the batter voluntarily walk (dismiss themselves) when they know they are out, even if the umpire fails to give them out? [more inside]
In the spring of 1984, Davis caught an 8.7-pound bass in the KYKX Big Bass Classic. It wasn’t big enough to stuff and mount on the wall, but it was big enough to qualify for the $105,000 first prize. Winning two major bass fishing tournaments in less than a year? He was lucky. He was ecstatic. He was in deep shit. The Weight of Guilt.
Ticket to Ride is a board game about trains. Specifically, it's about connecting cities by claiming sections of track via matching cards of the same color (or symbol, to give a little help to the color-blind). The game (published by Days of Wonder) is quite popular, having sold many hundreds of thousands of copies, and it's won a ton of awards, including the prestigious Spiel des Jahres (Game of the Year) and the first Diana Jones award given to a board game*. There was even a world championship held this year to celebrate the game's tenth anniversary, featuring 25,000 players who were whittled down to 28 national champions (well, two from "North America," that is, the U.S.) for the finals in Issy-les-Moulineaux, France. The finals were broadcast over the Internet on Tric Trac TV -- which is how the cheating in the final match was discovered. [more inside]
In an era of high-stakes testing, a struggling school made a shocking choice. A look inside the standardized-test cheating scandal in Atlanta.
With recognition software making the use of recycled term papers impractical, a new service is now allowing students to hire unemployed professors to write term papers from scratch.
DCPS Chancellor Michelle Rhee oversaw radical reforms to Washington, DC's failing public schools. Amongst the results were widespread irregularities on standardized tests that suggest they were tampered with by adults. [more inside]
Inside the biggest scandal in quiz bowl history. Probably attracting more media attention than quiz bowl has ever received, it was recently revealed that a Harvard player accessed questions prior to several recent national tournaments, leading NAQT to strip Harvard A of multiple national championships. Coverage has been extensive, ranging from Bloomberg to The Telegraph.
Until Jackie Parks, Georgia state investigator Richard Hyde had never tried to flip an elementary school teacher. Ms. Parks admitted to Mr. Hyde that she was one of seven teachers — nicknamed “the chosen” — who sat in a locked windowless room every afternoon during the week of state testing, raising students’ scores by erasing wrong answers and making them right. She then agreed to wear a hidden electronic wire to school, and for weeks she secretly recorded the conversations of her fellow teachers for Mr. Hyde.
In several computer science courses at Johns Hopkins University, the grading curve was set by giving the highest score on the final an A, and then adjusting all lower scores accordingly. The students determined that if they collectively boycotted, then the highest score would be a zero, and so everyone would get an A.
Marathon Man: A Michigan dentist’s improbable transformation.
The Case of the Stolen Blanks — The real story behind the cheating scandal at the National Scrabble Championship.
Tax avoidance isn't a left or right issue, it's a cancer eating our democracy - but why do people cheat in the first place?
A computer scientist teaching at a business school decides to go after students who cheat in his class. He’s come to the conclusion that it’s simply not worth his time. [via]
This is a dialogue between Teach, an adjunct philosophy instructor at a public university in New York, and Cheat, who has authored over 100 papers for pay.
Subjects don't need formal logic training. They don't need math or philosophy. Fewer than 10 percent of the participants got it right when Peter Cathcart Wason performed his 1966 study, the Wason Selection Task. But according to an essay by Bruce Schneier referencing the work of evolutionary psychologists Leda Cosmides and John Tooby, that number improves, by 65 to 80 percent "...when the rule has to do with cheating and privilege."
Three grand masters have been caught cheating at a chess Olympiad. The team members communicated using instructions disguised as phone numbers and and an ingenious system relating positions within the room to positions on the board. Details of the system and the way it was revealed can be found here, and the French Chess Federation's report (in French) here.
Cheating at exams is hardly new, but last week a user on Yahoo Chiebukuro in Japan (Yahoo Answers) audaciously posted questions online during university entrance exams and received answers before the exams were over. [more inside]
Cheating, Incorporated: The Infidelity Economy. "Looking to sneak around on your spouse? Got a little cash to spend? The CEO of Ashley Madison, a website whose own backers don't even want to be associated with, is happy to take your money." (Previously on MeFi) [more inside]
Clancy Martin is the chair of the philosophy department at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. He's also an unabashed liar, a recovering alcoholic, and was once suicidal. He's surprisingly honest, and has written extensively about all three of these things. Prior to becoming a professor, he dropped out of grad school, made a small fortune in the murky world of luxury jewelry sales, and nearly became the world's leading dealer of counterfeit Fabergé eggs along the way. He occasionally writes an advice column about lying, and even wrote a few books about it. [more inside]
University of Central Florida professor Richard Quinn uses highly-detailed analysis to accuse many of the students in his Strategic Management course of cheating on their midterm exam. Since posting his online lecture, 200 of the 600 students in his class have come forward to admit they cheated using testbank exam answers. While some are calling Professor Quinn a "folk hero", many students in the class are now complaining because they feel their professor has been dishonest about where he obtained the information for his exams. But Professor Quinn isn't exactly responding in student news sources to these complaints.
“It is my hope that this essay will initiate such a conversation. As for me, I'm planning to retire. I'm tired of helping you make your students look competent.”
THQ's Cory Ledesma opened the flood gates in his interview about used games. Penny Arcade sides with publishers on the issue, citing issues with the used game market. [more inside]
Colin Berry's Spinout is a a touching, tragic story about his older brother, Kevin. Kevin competed in--and very nearly won--the All-American Soap Box Derby, but lost to Bobby Lange, the son of ski-boot magnate and engineer Robert Lange Sr.. [more inside]
One of the least edifying aspects of professional football [soccer] is the dive. Is it just part of the game, or something that, ahem, foreigners do? In 2006 FIFA rejected the use of video evidence to punish cheaters and although "simulation" is punished, when spotted by the referee, the problem remains. In the wake of (among others) a dodgy red card to Brazilian star Kaka in the 2010 World Cup, here's a handy guide to some of the best/worst dives about (inside) and how to tell when a player is faking it. [more inside]
All’s Fair in Love and Soccer Cheating and working the refs are part of what make the beautiful game fun to watch.
Open Letter to the Sudoku community and the organizers of the Sudoku National Championship about the potential cheating of Eugene Varshavsky during this Saturday's tournament. An unknown "man in a hoodie" shows up late and unregistered to the 2009 Sudoku National Championship in Philadelphia, and wins third place despite skipping the first two rounds. Second-place finisher and 2007 World Champion Tom Snyder accuses him of having a radio transmitter concealed underneath the hood, feeding him computer-generated solutions. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Varshavsky, wearing a stocking cap, defeated a grandmaster in the 2006 World Open chess tournament. Has competitive puzzling lost its innocence?
It’s only natural that if you wish to present yourself as a well-read person, a certain degree of complete bullshit is required. There’s no shame in lying about what you’ve read. There’s only shame in getting caught. Then you look like a doofus, and an illiterate one at that... How to lie about books.
A long-brewing online poker scandal reaches the mainstream: 60 Minutes Report (1, 2) (text version) and two consecutive front page Washington Post articles (by Pulitzer winning investigative journalist Gil Gaul) (plus lots of web exclusive content about the investigation)! [more inside]
Some of the female Chinese gymnasts are apparently under-age. It wasn't their skulls, their chins or their eyes that gave them away: it was the internet.
Manipur, which has a population of 2,388,634, has the highest rate of HIV in the country, which is also the reason why it has the most number of NGOs working in the area. However, what is disturbing is that a day or two ago, one of these NGOs bribed a group of children into getting their blood tested, so that they could increase their chances of garnering more funds.
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