Why That 'School Makes Me' Google Search Might Be Meaningless

Just because Google says school is a place where dreams go to die doesn't mean it's actually the truth.

If we're to believe the internet, Google Search is now the arbiter of what's going on in schools in America. The above image depicting a search for the phrase "school makes me" has been floating around lately—even making it to Cheezburger. One commenter over at the education blog Dangerously Irrelevant even had this to say about it: "Sad state of affairs that it has come to this. Time to grab the bull by the horns and change this image!"

There's no denying our schools are hotbeds of bullying that can leave students feeling sad, depressed, and stupid. And, there are plenty of education reformers, like those behind the Covenant to Help Inspire Learning and Development, who are looking to revolutionize schools so that they "nurture each child's great curiosity, interest, and potential" so they can, "achieve high levels of success."

But should we all jump the hyperbolic shark and assume that this means our entire school system is an epic failure? Not necessarily.

If I type in "technology makes me," I get these search results:

Apple is one of the most successful companies in the world. But look what I get:

What pops up for Facebook (which you likely have an account with)?

Not to pick on technology and its associated minions too much, how about happiness?

So if, according to Google, even happiness is going to make me sad and fat, well there is no hope for any of us. Perhaps we should also be questioning what the impact of Google's personalized search—since 2009 we only get the results our search history decides is best for us—is on these results.

To be sure, there are challenges in our schools, but overgeneralizing them and painting every school, teacher, and student with the broad brush of negativity doesn't help anyone. Internet, we can do better.

via Douglas Muth / Flickr

Sin City is doing something good for its less fortunate citizens as well as those who've broken the law this month. The city of Las Vegas, Nevada will drop any parking ticket fines for those who make a donation to a local food bank.

A parking ticket can cost up to $100 in Las Vegas but the whole thing can be forgiven by bringing in non-perishable food items of equal or greater value to the Parking Services Offices at 500 S. Main Street through December 16.

The program is designed to help the less fortunate during the holidays.

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For more than 20 years. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has served the citizens of Maine in the U.S. Senate. For most of that time, she has enjoyed a hard-fought reputation as a moderate Republican who methodically builds bridges and consensus in an era of political polarization. To millions of political observers, she exemplified the best of post-partisan leadership, finding a "third way" through the static of ideological tribalism.

However, all of that has changed since the election of Donald Trump in 2016. Voters in Maine, particularly those who lean left, have run out of patience with Collins and her seeming refusal to stand up to Trump. That frustration peaked with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

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via / Flickr and Dimitri Rodriguez / Flickr

Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign looks to be getting a huge big shot in the arm after it's faced some difficulties over the past few weeks.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a leading voice in the Democratic parties progressive, Democratic Socialist wing, is expected to endorse Sanders' campaign at the "Bernie's Back" rally in Queens, New York this Saturday.

Fellow member of "the Squad," Ilhan Omar, endorsed him on Wednesday.

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Photo by HAL9001 on Unsplash

The U.K. is trying to reach its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, but aviation may become the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.K. by that same year. A new study commissioned by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) and conducted at the Imperial College London says that in order for the U.K. to reach its target, aviation can only see a 25% increase, and they've got a very specific recommendation on how to fix it: Curb frequent flyer programs.

Currently, air travel accounts for 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, however that number is projected to increase for several reasons. There's a growing demand for air travel, yet it's harder to decarbonize aviation. Electric cars are becoming more common. Electric planes, not so much. If things keep on going the way they are, flights in the U.K. should increase by 50%.

Nearly every airline in the world has a frequent flyer program. The programs offer perks, including free flights, if customers get a certain amount of points. According to the study, 70% of all flights from the U.K. are taken by 15% of the population, with many people taking additional (and arguably unnecessary) flights to "maintain their privileged traveler status."

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