December 2010

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30 Dec 2010

Grades Vary Widely; 37% Are A’s

A’s made up 37 percent of the 180,000 letter grades awarded in undergraduate courses taught at VCU last year. Wide disparities in the distribution of letter grades exist among academic departments, among courses and even among professors who teach the same course.

30 Dec 2010

Search the Grade Distribution Database

Use this search form to view the grade distribution for specific courses at Virginia Commonwealth University. This tool is searching a database of 21,931 undergraduate courses taught between Fall 2006 and Spring 2010. You can see the course number and title, the instructor’s name, a breakdown of the grades students received, and the average GPA for those grades.

16 Dec 2010

HPV Vaccine Also Stirs Controversy

The HPV vaccine has been administered millions of times since it was introduced in 2006. Since then, the VAERS database has received more than 18,000 reports of patients having negative side effects, including muscle pain, fainting, dizziness, seizures and severe flu-like symptoms. In 60 cases – including one in Virginia – a patient died after receiving the HPV vaccine, according to the VAERS data.

15 Dec 2010

Little Fuel Savings in Cash for Clunkers

In many of Cash for Clunkers transactions, people simply traded in one gas guzzler for a vehicle that guzzled only slightly less gas. On average, the new cars got about 9 miles per gallon more than the vehicles being traded in. In a quarter of all the Cash for Clunkers transactions, the new vehicles got, at best, only 5 mpg more than the trade-ins.

06 Dec 2010

21% of Fallen Soldiers Die ‘Non-Hostile’ Deaths

More than 20 percent of the U.S. soldiers who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan were killed not by enemy combatants but in “non-hostile” circumstances, including friendly fire, suicide, illness and accidents. That’s a higher proportion that in Korea or Vietnam. As one expert says, “It’s simply dangerous being there, even if nobody’s shooting at you.”

06 Dec 2010

Work Visas Plunge in a Declining Economy

As the U.S. economy has soured, companies aren’t hiring as many workers from overseas. In Virginia, the number of H1-B visa applications decreased nearly 50 percent in 2009, according to an analysis of data from the Foreign Labor Certification Data Center. Nationally, the number of visa applications dropped more than 30 percent.

06 Dec 2010

Some Say Flu Vaccine Does Harm

Federal officials have received reports of about 11,000 adverse reactions – including 66 deaths – possibly associated with the administration of vaccines for influenza or the H1N1 virus (commonly called swine flu) in 2010. Over the past five years, the system has recorded a total of 38,000 incidents, including 219 deaths, possibly linked to flu vaccines.