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Top Court Rejects Atheist's Challenge to Pledge

An atheist’s attempt to remove the words “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance failed on Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court avoided the constitutional question and ruled he could not bring the challenge on behalf of his daughter…. The ruling came on Flag Day and on the 50th anniversary of the addition of the words “under God” to the pledge. The U.S. Congress adopted the June 14, 1954, law…

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The Pedagogy of Programming

I couldn’t have been less interested. The pedagogical approach was entirely vocational. Just as my French and Spanish courses revolved around hypothetical trips to Paris or Madrid (like I was going to get there any time soon), my programming courses were filled with unlikely scenarios that read like a cross between an inter-office memo and a GRE logic problem: “You own a small hardware store in Schenectady. Write a program…

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How Santa's reindeer can lead to Oxbridge

Oxford and Cambridge interviews have long been the stuff of legend, or more probably, urban myth. Most people have heard the story of the candidate who is supposed to have set fire to his interviewer’s newspaper when asked to surprise him, or the student who, when asked to describe bravery, said “this” before walking out of the interview. Other questions asked of Oxbridge applicants included: English: “How does the author…