AndrewGelman: Are Ivy League schools overrated?
Um ... it’s more than just the good-old-boys network. Ivy League schools are tribal.
Vimeo: Destiny/Mars Opening Sequence.
Kinda fun. The ‘space M-16’ is kinda bizarre.
Wired: Digital Literacy Is the Key to the Future, But We Still Don’t Know What It Means.
I sort of disagree. Coding is nice and all. I find logic and problem-solving skills, disconnected from specific programming languages, are more important.
I’ve told the story of a group of my interns before [All from art or science/technical colleges]. I asked them to create a soft-edge circle mask for use in a video project. Then I went to a meeting for four hours. After, I walked down to find all three banging their heads against the monitor trying to do it with the primitive software we had at the time. They said, in a group, that “It is impossible.” Disgusted, I sat down at one of the workstations, turned on the video camera we used as a scanning device, put a piece of white paper down, threw a lens cap on it, pulled the lens out of focus, and took a scan. I then cut out the black portion of the image, reversed the colors, and I had a perfect soft-edge circle mask to use in an alpha channel. Took me two minutes. It was a valuable lesson for the interns - “don’t just think inside the box.” Coding and coding languages can be just as restrictive a box.
Analog thinking dovetails beautifully with digital literacy. Don’t forget it.
Cool Tools: Learning Tower Kids Step Stool.
This is a totally neato idea.
The Rumpus/book review: Flight 232.
“When the aircraft hit, it hit hard, and those unsecured babies and toddlers were thrown all over the cabin. Few of these lap children made it out alive. It would be a wonderful observance of the anniversary of the crash if the FAA would require all passengers to have seats, and would protect people without discrimination based on age.”
NY Mag/Science of Us: Your Fondest Childhood Memory May Not Be Real.
“It’s good in that it’s really useless to have a literal playback of what happened in the past — there’s too much trivial detail that we don’t need. We just need the main, relevant points to make better decisions in the future. It’s bad in that it leaves us open to mis-remember or to confabulate our memories, to mix them up.” Makes ‘now’ even more precious.
Open Culture: The Beatles Saturday Morning Cartoon Show - The Complete 1965-1969 Series.
When baby boomers talk about tv “rotting kids’ brains”, this is *exactly* the kind of thing they’re thinking about. No wonder my old man would come in, shut off the box and say, “Go out and play.”
Forbes: Early Intervention In Babies May Eliminate Autism Symptoms By Toddlerhood.
“The study was extremely small, and will need to be replicated in a randomized trial of a larger sample of infants. But if the results stand up to more testing, it would suggest that screening in infancy might not only be beneficial, but it might need to be standard.”
PS Mag: For-Profit Colleges Are Equivalent to High School.
“Community colleges, in other words, open just as many doors to possibility as for-profit ones.” Not surprised. Talked to one for-profit grad who ‘majored in Powerpoint’. Yeah! That holds up well against this.
Vox: Five fascinating charts on the plummeting teen birth rate.
I’d just heard about the dropping rates via radio on the way home, and here’s extra info. Saves me having to go dig.
ABC News: Laura Ingalls Wilder Memoir to Give Gritty View of Prairie Life.
OpenCulture: Watch the First Episode of Osamu Tezuka’s Astro Boy.
“The whole story plays out as if Mary Shelley and Fritz Lang collaborated to make Dumbo. Tezuka throws in a lot of wacky slapstick comedy, which just barely takes the edge off the story’s Dickensian melodrama, which relentlessly mines all those primal fears you thought you got over. In short, it’s brilliant.” Tezuka was a genius. Period.
Pacific Standard: Violent Video Game Play Triggers Risky Behavior.
“In a study that tracked thousands of teens over time, it found strong links between playing mature-rated, risk-glorifying games and a wide range of potentially harmful behaviors, including drinking and cigarette smoking.” Apparently when you reward risky behavior in virtual space, that translates to real-world behavior.
Day later: 12% of gamers hallucinate sound effects after they stop playing. So, perhaps we now have an idea what might have been going through the shooter’s mind at Sandy Hook?
Design You Trust: Little Giant Girl Marches through Liverpool.
Check the children’s faces, versus the adults. Adults are smiling; kids look a bit unsure. Having fantasy ‘come to life’ gives kids pause; ask any performer at Disney World. Or your average seasonal Santa Claus.
The Airship: I Read All of the Harry Potter Books for the First Time Over the Last Month.
Someone had to say it.
Guardian.UK: US climber condemned for filming his children in Mont Blanc avalanche.
CNet: iPhone 5S vs. train goes exactly like you’d expect.
I despair of youth today. An iPhone won’t derail a train. The concept behind using pennies was not to derail a train, but to put enough of a slicker material (copper offers less traction than the rails, working as a lubricant) between the wheels and the rails to slow or stop the train.
Not enough kids are growing up in rural areas, sans helicopter parents. I think it’s a huge, HUGE problem.
NPR: ‘Rocket Girl’ Is A Jetpack-Powered 21st Century Angel.
“It seems DaYoung wasn’t any ordinary teenager in her version of 2013. She was a member of the New York Teen Police Department. Now back in 1986, armed only with her flight gear and some awesome fighting moves, she beats down baddies of all stripes while pursuing her mission to stop the evil mega-corporation Quintum Mechanics.” Sounds like fun.
NCBI/PubMed: Judgments About Fact and Fiction by Children, Religious and Secular.
“Secular children were more likely than religious children to judge the protagonist in such fantastical stories to be fictional. The results suggest that exposure to religious ideas has a powerful impact on children’s differentiation between reality and fiction, not just for religious stories but also for fantastical stories.”
The Economist: Low-cost fertility treatment - Maybe babies.
“Last year Belgian researchers tested a shoebox-sized IVF laboratory built from cheap glass tubes that uses baking soda and citric acid to create the carbon dioxide needed for fertilisation to occur. Pregnancy rates matched those from a standard laboratory and set-up costs are 85-90% lower.” The turkey-baster solution.
Metafilter: Evolution is wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff.
Learn of creationism, and how far people can rationalize belief. I think back to my own childhood, in which I got both versions ground into my brain. I have to say I rationalized the Biblical story as a nice narrative that was more archetypal than literal - symbolic, in other words. Had no words for that perception as a child, but I clearly remember that was the flavor of my unspoken thoughts. I preferred evolution because, at the time, it gave me dinosaurs. And I loved dinosaurs. Genesis, Adam and Eve didn’t stand a chance against Brontosaurus, Stegosaurus, Triceratops and Tyrannosaurus Rex. Especially when I could walk over to Guyot Hall on the Princeton campus and see a real Tyrannosaurus skull (larger than I was, black as the hinges of Hades, teeth longer than my child’s hand).
Paris Review: Notes from the Milk Cave.
“Even if someone had told me ‘twenty minutes per breast per feeding,’ it would still have taken sitting down every two hours for forty minutes for me to understand, because just like every other aspect of pregnancy and motherhood—morning sickness, contractions—the imagined experience turned out to be laughably unlike the experience itself.”
Vox: The ‘not everyone should go to college’ argument is classist and wrong.
More useful, applicable intelligence is never a bad thing. Problem is, not all colleges are in the business of increasing intelligence.
Reason.com: Mom Jailed Because She Let Her 9-Year-Old Daughter Play in the Park Unsupervised.
Pffft. I walked by myself to kindergarten. Today, state-enforced helicopter parenting? Man, I’m so glad I grew up when I did.
SciAm: Kids on Screen-Time Diet Lost Weight and Got Better Grades.
“Parents are in a much more powerful position than they realize.” The ‘idiot box’ remains the ‘idiot box’ … or so it seems here.