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Today's word on journalism

January 13, 2009


"I get the feeling that the 24-hour news networks are like the bus in the movie 'Speed.' If they stop talking for a second, they think they'll blow up."

--Jon Stewart, The Daily Show, 2008 (Thanks to alert WORDster Ross Martin)

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Feedback and suggestions --printable and otherwise --always welcome. "There are no false opinions."

Aggie writers, check out 'Cow Math' if you're stumped for a QI class

By Bethany Crane

December 5, 2008 | Utah State requires that students complete a Quantitative Intensive course to graduate. I found this appalling because I am completely lost when it comes to math. Math 1050 was a nightmare, and I don't like to talk about my social statistics disaster.

Have you ever noticed that there seems to be a pattern in people who are good at writing, and therefore deficient when it comes to math? If you are like me and have found that your talents lie more with writing than calculations, I have an excellent solution. I was at a loss as to which class I ought to torture myself with. Then I discovered through my good friend a class which not only would keep me from failing, but had practical applications as well: Applied Agricultural Computations!

I am not at all familiar with the agriculture college, but this course was a pleasant alternative to the other options. I signed up for it immediately with my friend and although we had to drive to the Caine dairy farm, it was worth every drop of gas.

When teachers say that the complicated mind-numbing equation you're learning will help you if you're ever stranded on a desert island, you lose any interest in actually paying attention to what they're saying. This course shows every application the formulas being taught are used for. From calculating feed rations to genotypic frequencies, all the problems make sense and have examples to go with them.

The teacher is Justin Jenson, who with his knowledge of dairy farming and the material used to calculate expenses and farm management, creates easy understanding of the material. Math classes seem to have a huge number of problems and are usually repetitive. The assignments in ADVS 1250 are not excessive and the text is only $10! Jenson makes sure you feel well prepared for the exams and only uses the material used in class. The pros far outweigh the cons in all aspects of the class.

After having completed the class I have come out with more than an understanding of math and basic facts. I understand more about what goes into managing a farm, dairy or not, what feeds are high in crude protein, which companies give you real 2 percent milk, etc. Even though it is not in my major, it's better than having a class preparing me for a desert island.


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