Tuesday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

The Huffington Post ran good food for thought on why merit pay for teachers is a bad idea. A study by the Economic Policy Institute laid to rest two myths: one is that the private sector overwhelmingly relies on merit-based pay, when only seven percent of workers actually participate in such a system. The other, is the assumption that good teachers are driven by money. The study found that other factors, like, the purpose of the job and autonomy given on the job, were the primary drivers. Anyways, this is a topic we have discussed here before, so this column is definitely worth a read.  

In a 5-4 vote along ideological lines, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to strike down state laws that lock up juveniles for life without the possibility of parole, if they have not committed a murder, according to the Washington Post.

Good on the Episcopal Church for consecrating its first openly gay woman, according to CNN. In related news: Portugal’s president is about to sign a law legalizing gay marriage, according to BBC News.

I came across a lot of interesting stories for this edition. Here is a Daily Beast article about how women who marry a much older man — or younger man — have an increased risk of death compared to women who marry men their age. The reason is that both these women face added pressures with the age difference. For the younger women, it is the stress that comes with being their husband’s caregiver. For the older women, it is the added pressure of having to look hot to keep up with their younger husbands.

This is sad. Almost 11 years after his mother died of a drug overdose, Tyler Lambert, the 25-year-old son of late Diff’rent Strokes star Dana Plato, committed suicide, according to the New York Daily News. Lambert died of a gunshot wound to the head.

In less macabre news, Sandra Diaz-Twine won Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains. She is the only player to ever win the million dollars twice. So now I must ask you Survivor fans: do you think the right contestant won? As some commenters in the CBS thread pointed out, there are folks who feel that Russell Hantz got robbed the second time. Of course, you all know where I stand. I was rooting for Sandra all along. And, as other commenters pointed out in the CBS thread, part of the game is to get the jury, who you had a hand in voting out, to award you the million dollars. It is not only a physical and strategic game, but a social game, too. Despite all his bullying and “controlling the game,” Russell was never able to sway the jurors, which makes me believe that he is far from the best player. The best villain, yes, but hardly the best player.

Until next season…What are you watching nowadays? What else is in the news? What’s up with you?