• “But say our hypothetical cow tippers got lucky enough to get close to a cow at night. There’s still the matter of the brute force needed to get the cow over. In 2005, University of British Columbia student Tracy Boechler and doctor of zoology Margo Lillie ran the numbers on cow tipping. Their findings? There’s no way one person could tip a cow. Two people? Maybe — but not in real world conditions.”

    tags: physics cow cows tipping force math science weekly

  • Now parallel it with kids in class.

    “During the hearing on one of the biggest questions that will face Congress as it reconvenes after its summer recess, the Arizona senator was … on his smartphone, playing a game. And, hey: Fair enough, sort of. It was a long hearing. Much of it covered familiar ground — ground that would be especially familiar to McCain. Who among us, etc.

    What’s noteworthy here, though, is what McCain’s little round of poker says — not about politics, but about technology. Because it was McCain’s screen that gave him away. It was his screen that provided evidence — photographic evidence — of his lack of attention. “

    tags: attention performance senate mccain surveillance weekly

  • ” During her first few weeks at home she used to cry a good deal. But that was only because I would sometimes forget to put a smiley face at the end of a text. After a month or two she’d have cried if I forgot to include a birthday cake emoji because this, too, would have been a wrench. That was why, during the last year, I seldom texted her.”

    tags: internet writing emoticon weekly

  • Seems fairly close to a good school/university/classroom as well.

    ““A museum is an institution dedicated to creating connections … a meeting point between two arrows of time, the past and the future, and two arrows of complexity, greater and lesser, that originate at the point we call us, and now.

    In other words, museums are the fourth dimension.””

    tags: weekly museum connections

  • “There’s no small amount of irony in the fact that none of these digital entities is a “book” in anything other than a metaphorical sense, but on the frontier of tablet computing, a book is what Apple says it is.”

    tags: book thomas jefferson apple higher education he digital weekly

  • It’s like a software easter egg.

    tags: art book library edge gif weekly

  • “I keep an informal list of things which are not drawable. John Ruskin said that “many things (sea foam, for instance) cannot be drawn at all, only the idea of them more or less suggested”. I may have used that quote before in this blog. Of course we could get picky and argue that drawing something always consists of “more or less” suggesting the idea of the thing being drawn. That “more or less” makes the difference I guess, but please let’s keep this a relaxed definition. 

    While doing the drawing above (for a small feature about solar flares in Wired UK) I added two new items to my list: The Northern Lights and aluminium foil. Maybe not as undrawable as sea foam but still pretty difficult if your medium is indian ink. You may judge whether I was good or not at “suggesting the idea of them”. 

    tags: art drawing english words weekly

  • So much of what we see as cast in stone was written in garbage just a short time ago.

    tags: grading education history itrt weekly

  • “Defenders of the humanities claim a special role in training citizens for a democratic society and often have deeply felt convictions about democratizing knowledge and including new voices. The mainstream of humanities research has, however, focused upon virtuoso scholarship, published in subscription publications to which only academics have access, and composed for small networks of specialists who write letters for tenure and promotion and who meet each other for lectures and professional gatherings. Students in the humanities remain, to a very large degree, subjects of a bureaucracy of information, where they have no independent voice and where they never move beyond achieving goals narrowly defined by others. The newly re-engineered sciences have reorganized themselves to give students a substantive voice in the development of knowledge and to become citizens in a republic of learning. The STEM disciplines certainly have not fully realized these lofty ideals but they are far ahead of most of their colleagues in the humanities and in Greek and Latin studies.

    tags: liberalarts he highered weekly

  • I’m hoping this opens up sooner rather than later. It feels like digress.it on steroids and a little like actively learn.

    tags: book future english annotation itrt weekly

  • “Just because you clocked 15 hours at your office, with likely dry eyeballs and a complete lack of focus, doesn’t mean you’ve accomplished things in a smart way. Many people have written or spoken about this. Typically, you have 90-120 minutes before you devolve into internet fodder or social media. If you’re putting in 15 straight hours at your desk, without breaks, how good is your output? How much time are you wasting?

    The distinction between working hard versus smart has hit me as an entrepreneur. In high school and college I was always that girl who read all the assigned reading (and no, I was not giving you my study guide). I created outlines, outlines of outlines, and then flashcards. One of my greatest lessons as a businessperson has been to throw out that skill set. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t be diligent or that you should half-heartedly execute, but rather, that it’s crucial to know what you have to do as opposed to everything you could do. It’s about being strategic.

    For once, I’d like to hear someone brag about their excellent time management skills, rather than complain about how much they can’t get done. Maybe we could learn something from each other.”

    tags: weekly time energy focus itrt

  • “Even in the best schools a close examination of curriculum and its sequences turns up a lack of coherence, full of internal contradictions. Fortunately the children have no words to define the panic and anger they feel at constant violations of natural order and sequence fobbed off on them as quality in education. The logic of the school-mind is that it is better to leave school with a tool kit of superficial jargon derived from economics, sociology, natural science and so on than to leave with one genuine enthusiasm. But quality in education entails learning about something in depth. Confusion is thrust upon kids by too many strange adults, each working alone with only the thinnest relationship with each other, pretending for the most part, to an expertise they do not possess.”

    tags: weekly education

    • But when the bell rings I insist that they stop whatever it is that we’ve been working on and proceed quickly to the next work station. They must turn on and off like a light switch. Nothing important is ever finished in my class, nor in any other class I know of.
    • By stars and red checks, smiles and frowns, prizes, honors and disgraces I teach kids to surrender their will to the predestined chain of command.
    • Good people wait for a teacher to tell them what to do. It is the most important lesson, that we must wait for other people, better trained than ourselves, to make the meanings of our lives.
    • Students are encouraged to tattle on each other or even to tattle on their own parents. Of course, I encourage parents to file their own child’s waywardness too. A family trained to snitch on itself isn’t likely to conceal any dangerous secrets.
    • No, the truth is that reading, writing, and arithmetic only take about one hundred hours to transmit as long as the audience is eager and willing to learn.
    • he character of large compulsory institutions is inevitable; they want more and more until there isn’t any more to give. School takes our children away from any possibility of an active role in community life — in fact it destroys communities by relegating the training of children to the hands of certified experts — and by doing so it ensures our children cannot grow up fully human.
    • If we broke through the power of the pyramidical illusion we would see that. There is no life-and-death international competition threatening our national existence, difficult as that idea is even to think about, let alone believe, in the face of a continual media barrage of myth to the contrary.
  • ” An Old English word for it was heahcræftiga “high-crafter.””

    tags: etymology architect weekly

  • I wonder what the English class that prepares you for this would look like.

    “I’m working on (err, at the moment, procrastinating) six stories in various stages of development: reporting (one 2,000-word feature, one 800-word news story); writing (one news story, one blog post, one book review); and editing (one 10,000-word feature). I’m also sort of developing two pitches in a fledgling stage (i.e., mostly Google and PubMed searches). This is a heavier load than normal because of that long story, but it’s rare when I have fewer than three stories on my plate.

    I wrote 92 stories last year (though that includes blog posts and conference reports).”

    tags: english journalism writing weekly reporter research

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