OpenCulture: Free Shakespeare Course Starts Today.
Slate: A Hamilton critic on why the musical isn’t so revolutionary.
Colbert’s quote, “I didn’t have to read the Bible, because I saw Jesus Christ Superstar” is telling, even as a bad joke. Should entertainment merely entertain, or should it at least try to educate? As I’ve hinted before, I fear America may be reaching ‘peak ignorance’, in part thanks to media and entertainment sectors.
The Atlantic: Why Promising Baltimore Students Don’t Escape Poverty.
This shouldn’t be a surprise. You pull a child out of a bad situation, put her/him in a good one, they’ll thrive. Boarding schools might help solve this - if there were the will to vivify them. America might end up stunned at the excellence unleashed. I saw, via his childhood diary, how my own father (ensconced in an orphanage) went from near-illegible and near-unintelligible to quicksilver, witty and erudite in a few short years after being sponsored to a private prep school (where he had to shovel out the stables, do the most menial chores to stay). Riffing off an earlier post, ‘social elites’ felt he had to ‘prove’ himself by superhuman efforts in order to ‘deserve’ education. Physical labor, excessive hours ... and catching up to grade level? Efforts that social elites could never match, even if they wanted to. And that is what is wrong with having the ‘haves’ legislate aid to the ‘have nots’. They load the dice. The fact that Dad succeeded, is amazing.
DiscoverMag: Mummies in the Americas Belong to a Vanished Civilization.
“The drastic decline of indigenous populations following the arrival of the conquistadores was well documented, but never empirically proven. Now, peering back in time with the help of genetics and statistics, the researchers were able to definitively show the unprecedented decimation in South and Central America.”
Alternet: Why Are K-12 School Leaders Being Trained in Coercive Interrogation Techniques?
Children are *not* criminals.
[When, O when, will we reach ‘peak ignorance’, and return to sanity?]
BusinessInsider: Smartest public high schools in America.
“Princeton High School is among the smartest in the US.” Speaking from experience, it helps that the town fosters a culture of intelligence. With Princeton University, The Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton Graduate School, Westminster Choir College, the Thomas Aquinas Institute, the Princeton Theological Seminary - and more - in town, all within spitting distance of each other. Everyone you run into is erudite, for the most part.
LRB/Colm Tóibín · After I am hanged my portrait will be interesting.
Vox: Psychology is in crisis. This scientist’s striking confession explains how we got here.
“He’s confessing to a practice called p-hacking, or the cherry-picking of data after an experiment is run in order to find a significant, publishable result.” More on p-hacking and ‘data dredging’ in general. Why I no longer buy statistics at face value. I find too many heavy thumbs on the scales.
Archaeology News Network: 12,000-year-old archaeological sites discovered in Costa Rica.
Archaeology News Network: Denisovan DNA excavated in modern Pacific Islanders.
WaPo: Why students are throwing tons of money at a program that won’t give them a degree.
“You can have thousands of thousands of people graduating these programs with the thought that they’re going to be able to pass these advanced technical interviews, and they might not be able to.” My impression was, bootcamps were successful. No?
Nat’l Geo: Scans of King Tut’s Tomb Reveal New Evidence of Hidden Rooms.
Question is, how to enter them. Given the overall layout of Tut’s tomb - compared to some other tombs - one wonders why this supposition wasn’t floated earlier. Perhaps because his reign was so short, they expected a cobble-job and smaller tomb space. Now it may be they just shoved him in the entrance of a larger tomb structure ... very exciting.
Later: Bit more info.
Past Horizons: Bones of Medieval Saint Erik Studied.
“At no point do the documented wounds contradict the account of the fight given by the much later legend.” Nice to know oral and written histories can retain shreds of truth.
NPR: Forget About It - Your Middle-Aged Brain Is Not On The Decline.
“Carstensen says in your 50s, your cognitive abilities – processing speed and fluid intelligence, for example – haven’t declined that much, while your knowledge and expertise are quite advanced.” HAH.
Alternet: How the Cutthroat Walmart Business Model Is Reshaping American Public Education.
Ugh. Our current political climate clearly displays the effect of attacking public schools. The common good should not be privatized.
Guardian.UK: Trump supporters v Black Lives Matter: watching a real conversation unfold.
When can we hold parts of the media and particularly talk radio accountable?
NY Times: Starving Public Education.
FSotI: A Crash Course in the History of Black Science Fiction.
Science Alert: New LHC results suggest there’s a flaw in the standard model of physics.
WaPo: Enough with trashing the liberal arts. Stop being stupid.
The liberal arts power America, more than you would ever imagine.
Discover Mag: Are Stone-Throwing Chimps Performing ‘Sacred’ Rituals?
BBC: Shakespeare’s grave scanned in 400th anniversary.
Archaeology News Network: Human gut microbiome evolution - From hunter-gatherers to a western lifest
New Statesman: Head in the cloud.
“Our brains are lazy; we are reluctant to remember things when we can in effect delegate the task to someone or something else.” I wonder what the extra brainspace and ability brings to the table.
RedOrbit: Extensive Jurassic-era fossil site discovered in Patagonia.
“Garcia Massini said that the fossils were preserved very quickly - in some cases, less than a day.” Definitely want to hear more about this.