Japan and Finland are powerhouse nations , coming in first and second respectively in all three areas. The U.S., however, scores below average on each of the three assessments and is near the bottom for math skills. I guess I was overly optimistic in hoping that middle of the road was what I would read as I went through the study. United States literacy rankings In literacy, the U.S. ranked 16th out of the 23 countries. A level-1 reader can get a single piece of information out of a simple text. A level-4 or 5 reader can pick multiple pieces of information out of lengthy or competing texts, and evaluate subtle arguments. Over 20 percent of people scored at level 4 or 5 in Finland and Japan. The United States managed only half that number. When it comes to math, it gets even scarier. The United States ranked higher than only Italy and Spain, and had the participants in the study not interrupted the test for a siesta it could have been worse. Only 9 percent of Americans who participated in the study were in the top two levels, and the U.S. had one of the largest proportions of those failing to make it to level one, coping with very basic, familiar equations and situations.
Team Canadas uniforms were officially unveiled Tuesday, four months before the Winter Olympics open in Sochi. The reactions up north have been lukewarm , to say the least. First, the negatives. The faux laces are an abomination. Theyre the hockey jersey equivalent of basketballs short-sleeves . Those, and the shiny graphics on the shoulder, make these so-called sweaters look like T-shirt jerseys designed by Ed Hardy. Nike also cant get enough of arm stripes, which oddly appear only on the left arms of Team Canadas jerseys. Thats a good look if youre in a 1920s totalitarian army, but not so much when youre trying to score goals against Finland. Its not all bad, however. At least Nike used a Canadian symbol the maple leaf as the dominant image on its two main jerseys. It looks great and is immediately identifiable. These look how Canadian hockey sweaters should. Contrast that with the U.S. jerseys that have what appears to be a cartoon-version of a K-Swiss logo on theirs. The black alternate jersey has received the most scorn, but Im digging it.
Factbox: When could the debt ceiling put the United States in default?
– So will Washington go broke on October 17? No, but it will be dangerously low on cash. The government has been scraping up against the debt ceiling since May, and now looks set to hit it around mid-month. When it does, the Treasury thinks it will have about $30 billion in the bank. Because it won’t be able to add to the national debt, bills will have to be paid with incoming revenues and cash on hand. – How long will the money last? Not long at all. The Congressional Budget Office thinks the United States would start missing payments on at least some of its obligations between October 22 and the end of the month. No one knows the exact day because you can’t know what tomorrow’s tax revenues will look like. – The United States defaults when the money runs out, right? It depends how you define default. Historically, default is when a country misses a payment to a creditor.