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What is dyscalculia?

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A specific learning difficulty in mathematics and/or dealing with numbers. In most cases this can be tackled by taking a different approach to the traditional ones used in this area. What is the underlying cause of this problem Steve Chin , a specialist in this area, has pinpointed 'poor short term and working memories , both of which are key pre-requisite skills for mental arithmetic and indeed mathematics in general'. Because traditional maths teaching relies heavily on memorising facts and processes this can create a significant barrier to learning from the outset In Chin's view this problem is exacerbated by a focus on memorising facts (e.g learning tables) rather than understanding Mathematical processes: Better performing peers use linking strategies which are based on understanding numbers, operations and how they relate. Lower performing pupils seem far less able to employ these significantly useful strategies. He also believes that the focus on speed in solvi

When does one woot?

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When having fun on a computer! Woot is one of the most surprising new entries to the OED. It is used to express elation, enthusiasm, or triumph (especially in electronic communication. Apparently its popularity derives from online gaming and role play. Oxford Dictionary of English New Oxford American Dictionary

What is 'the House' in American politics?

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The American political system has three centres of power: the President and the two chambers in the American Congress the -  Senate  and the  House of Representatives . 'The House' is the bigger body because congressmen are elected at a local level while the Senate consists of two senators from each State. At present the Presidency & the Senate are controlled by the Democrats. The Republicans have a majority in the House. Legislation has to pass from the House to the Senate and finally to the President.  Because the two main parties (the Republicans & the Democrats) have major philosophical differences ( listen to a short explanation here ) most legislation is contested. Basics of American Politics (14th Edition) The Complete Idiot's Guide to U.S. Government and Politics

What is a credit default swap?

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Warren Buffett famously described 'derivatives' like CDS as 'financial weapons of mass destruction'. Here is a description of how they work. The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine Warren Buffett Invests Like a Girl: And Why You Should, Too (Motley Fool)

What is a basis point?

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The cost of insuring Treasuries rose five basis points to 54.5 basis points, according to CMA prices for credit-default swaps. Credit-default swaps' were the primary cause of the financial collapse in 2008. A basis point is 1/100th of one percent (0.001%). Not a commonplace calculation and most accountants would not need to trouble with it in most transactions. But basis points are part of everyday conversation in Ireland, Greece, Portugal and now Italy. This is because the cost of insuring government debt is calculated to basis points as this recent example from the financial press shows:  Italian five-year CDS was 69 basis points wider at 512 basis points, nearing its record of 521 basis points hit on Sept. 21, according to data-provider Markit. A CDS is a credit default swop - a form of insurance of mind-bending complexity. You can see a short video explanation here. Financial Accounting As a Second Language Wall Street Lingo: Thousands of Investment Terms Explain

What is 'showboating'?

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To act up/show off/attempt to attract attention by ostentatious behaviour. When Andy Murray plays a shot between his legs he could be seen as 'showboating'. Originally an American term it has crossed the Atlantic, particularly when discussing sport The term refers to the theatrical performances produced on the riverboats on the Mississippi and other American rivers in the late 19th century. But the verb 'to showboat' only dates back to 1951 - and perhaps also refers to the great theatrical performer, Al Jolson. Jolson's 'black facing' was beginning to become controversial at this time - and the term 'showboating' perhaps reflects cultural disapproval of ostentation.