One thing I never understood about the Americans is their obsession with the two adjectives hot and cool. From what I know, 'hot' means being beautiful/attractive, and 'cool' means being with the times. Physics be damned, most American lives circulate around making themselves both hot and cool, and at the same time! It starts in childhood when every girl has to become a 'hot' cheerleader and every boy a 'hot' football player. At the same time, every child has to be cool - which essentially means they should have a position at the popular table in school. Anyone who is warm is essentially consigned to the dustbin as a geek, dork, nerd, or a whatchyagonnacallit.
And the trend continues throughout. That you have to be both cool and hot to get dates is a given. What is funny is how parents (some of them at least) try to be cool with their kids. Trying to pickup teen-lingo, trying to 'hangout' with them, trying to be with the times in letting them do as they like...the scene would be hilarious if it wasn't so tragic.
That really is the tragedy of the US. If President Bush is really serious about 'reforming' the education system, the first thing he'd have to do is to get the US rid of this temperature obsession. That is the reason many US kids don't do well in maths and science. There are few problems with US public schools - if Indian schools had half the infrastructure, facilities and teaches that US public schools have, there would have been no software industry in the US. What is required is a little perspective.