BBC: ‘Dramatic decline’ warning for plants and animals.
“The good news is that our research provides new evidence of how swift action to reduce CO2 and other greenhouse gases can prevent the biodiversity loss by reducing the amount of global warming to 2C rather than 4 degrees.””
The Economist: English and Dravidian—Unlikely parallels.
ArtDaily: French archaeologists uncover a Gallic necropolis from the 4th/3rd centuries BC.
Bullseyes mark the spot.
wordlessTech: What do philosophers believe?
Guardian.UK: Florida student charged and expelled after ‘science experiment’ goes awry.
Seems to me the teacher needs the discipline, not the student. Hmmm?
Guardian.UK: Louisiana counts the cost of teaching creationism – in reputation and dollars.
“With the New Orleans Medical Corridor poised for tremendous growth, this law also profoundly impacts our ability to fill jobs in the cutting-edge science fields with students educated in our state’s public schools.” Ah, the effects of religious Lysenkoism in America. That’ll drive us to the top of the world stage, surely. As a laughingstock.
ArtDaily: 15th-century illuminated manuscript acquired by The Israel Museum and The Met.
Pacific Standard/Book Review: Neuro and One Nation Under Stress
“There’s evidence that many of our organs, including those of our digestive systems, have ‘minds’ of their own. Whether they have a worldview as well—well, it’s probably too soon to say.” I hear it now; E. Coli as unlawful combatants.
NY Times: Cooper Union Will Charge Tuition in 2014.
“But beginning in fall 2014, it will charge students based on what the college described as a steeply sliding scale, with those deemed able paying around $20,000, and many others, including those ‘with the greatest needs,’ paying nothing. The change would not apply to undergraduates enrolled as of this fall.”
BBC: Shakespeare scholars try to see off the Bard’s doubters.
No matter how Shakey, I’ll always believe in the Bard. I packed him as a stupidly heavy hardback in my backpack to Big Bend in ‘78, and got to know him better than in any English class.
ScienceMag: When Does Your Baby Become Conscious?
Apparently at 5 months old. The fact they recognize faces at three months doesn’t count?
CoffeeStrap: CoffeeStraps are happening!
Connecting people who wish to speak in certain languages at coffeeshops.
Reuters: Climate scientists struggle to explain warming slowdown.
Huh? Digging quickly, it seems like there’s a prediction that the next decade will not warm as fast, because of sea currents. I’ll have to spend time to roust out more info.
Salon.com: GOP’s go-to economics study debunked.
“The debt needs to be thought of as a response to the contigent circumstances we find ourselves in, with mass unemployment, a Federal Reserve desperately trying to gain traction at the zero lower bound, and a gap between what we could be producing and what we are. The past guides us, but so far it has failed to provide an emergency cliff. In fact, it tells us that a larger deficit right now would help us greatly.”
OpenCulture: “Hummingbird,” A New Form of Music Notation.
I always wondered why musical notation has never been modified. Learning to ‘read’ has always been a turning-away point for many.
Pacific Standard: Why Chess Should Be Required in U.S. Schools.
No, they should teach poker. Chess gives you perfect knowledge of the other person’s play. Nothing is hidden but their choices. Poker hides your opponent’s cards, and he could be bluffing … just like real life. See Von Neumann’s work on game theory. And be warned, what they may actually end up teaching is ‘naked self interest.’
NY Times: A Tax System Stacked Against the 99 Percent.
“We’ve drawn our most talented young people into financial shenanigans, rather than into creating real businesses, making real discoveries, providing real services to others. More efforts go into ‘rent-seeking’ — getting a larger slice of the country’s economic pie — than into enlarging the size of the pie.” Just as folks dropped quality content for gaming search engines, back a while ago.
ScienceDirect.com/Icarus: The “Wow! signal” of the terrestrial genetic code.
Seen, doubted. Sounds very similar to Sagan’s book Contact, finding patterns inside of pi.
SciAm: Is the Meaning of Your Life to Make Babies?
“Reproduction and genetic survival may be the meaning of Life, but it is not inescapably the meaning of your life. So, in the end, the full answer is no — we do not bestow having babies as the sole guardians of life’s meaning. But we do need to respect and grapple with the view.” Perhaps simply having enough intelligence to avoid acting like a virus.
Guardian.UK: Archaeologists find 10,000 objects from Roman London.
“The horrible working conditions, in a sodden trench up to 7 metres deep along the buried river, resulted in startling preservation of timber – including massive foundations for buildings, fencing still standing to shoulder height, and remains of a complex Roman drainage system, as well as the largest collection of leather from any London Roman site, bone and even a straw basket, which would all have crumbled into dust centuries ago on a drier site.” More finds inside.
Chronicle of Higher Ed: Enlist the Power of a 401(k).
“The existing 401(k) framework could provide an equitable solution. Under such a plan, employers that offer 401(k) savings plans would allow employees to choose allocating a percentage of their pay to their retirement accounts, their student-loan balances, or both. Better yet, an employer that offers a company match of, say, 4 percent, would give employees the option to contribute the match to either account.” I still contend this recession would have been a lot worse if not for people being able to early withdraw on their 401(k)‘s. I dislike the headlong desire to kill them, as observed in some nattering financial/editorial circles.
SF New Mexican: Learning Curve—Bills meet end with governor’s veto.
Just keeping you informed of what’s going on in our State Gov’t.
NY Times: The Secrets of Princeton.
“That the actual practice of meritocracy mostly involves a strenuous quest to avoid any kind of downward mobility, for oneself or for one’s kids, is something every upper-class American understands deep in his or her highly educated bones.” *Ahem*. For Princeton University; the greater town was (was) working class. Today? Not so much. My childhood home recently sold for $1M.
OpenCulture: 10 Reasons You Didn’t Complete Your Massive Open Online Course.
Reminds me of the argument between RWD and purpose-built mobile apps; a mobile app benefits from specific optimizations for devices (taking into account how people use small devices differently), whereas RWD is commonly shoving desktop content into some understandable narrow vertical order. I’ll let others argue over which is ‘better’ or ‘efficient’; there are new RWD frameworks that ameliorate some of these issues. My belabored point is … you must optimize your content for the format. Just rebroadcasting a classroom lecture isn’t enough. MOOC students aren’t in a classroom, so the paradigm breaks immediately on pressing ‘play.’
Later: Also, we don’t learn linearly anymore. Look at something like Lynda.com … most people ‘point and shoot’ for the single feature they need to know. Perhaps the future of online learning is an online college ‘membership’, where you can access all materials at any time throughout your life.
The New Criterion: The bitter fool.
Lamenting the state of poetry. “The very deep did rot: O Christ! That ever this should be!” Coleridge.