What's going on in the US?

I hardly put up a fight to the usual drowsy attack that comes in the afternoon of the arrival day. In fact, I took a shower and willingly sneaked into the slumber around 2pm, before I set the alarm to wake up in 3 hours. Then I clicked on the TV groggily.

Hillary Clinton was on. She "threw her full support behind Barack Obama." I watched her full speech and felt the emotion. She is a good speaker and probably a good candidate. This, indeed, is a historical race that mobilized so many to vote. Now that the Democratic Party is supposedly united, John McCain will face a tough fight ahead.

The US evening news follows a fixed format: a breaking story, maybe two secondary ones, some sports, a bit world news, a light-hearted one, and a "personal touch" one designed for some reflection. It seems that oil prices is still considered a big deal here. Interestingly they reported that Europeans have been paying more than twice the price than the US for almost a decade now. "Welcome to the party," a driver in UK said.

Several high-schools, and universities too, are experimenting with a hand-held device in the classroom. Students answer questions, take quiz, or provide instant feedback to the teacher via this device. This story reminds me of the New Year's in China early this year. Everyone "voted" for their favorite shows and participated for a lottery via their cell phones. A screen displayed the instant result: which show was the best, who won the big prize, etc. But in the classroom? What happened to the old-fashioned "raise your hand" or teacher calling the student in the back row? I am not sure if those devices have unique IDs, if they do, roll calling will be easier, at least.

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