Julia is going overseas for most of the summer, and she is putting together her reading list. I’m sure she’ll put together a fine list. But we live in a culture in which we are compelled to suggest to high school students what they might want to read, especially in preparation for college. I’ve looked at a couple of those lists, and they are dismal. Some seem to be lists of works that are especially long, challenging of language, in many cases unpublishable in the modern market, out of date, and boring. I mean, really, Moby Dick? Watch the movie, dude, the book is a bear.
Continue reading Summer Reading List
We talk to Sherman K. Stein, mathematician and author of “Survival Guide for Outsiders: How To Protect Yourself From Politicians, Experts, and Other Insiders.”
What makes us so susceptible to social influence, and how can we guard against being manipulated?
Matthew Linsdell on Personal Training
Well, OK, technically if a man is wearing chains he’s not really naked. Whatever. The question at hand is, was sex in skepticism before women showed up? And, when they showed up with their bobbies and all, did they ruin it for everyone?
This is the opening paragraph which gets you very interested in the topic.
I’m using the Internet connection of some neighbor who’s name is “linksys” because my 6 year old wireless router died this morning. I have had a GI disease of some kind for the last few days which has made it impossible to eat pain meds. Ouch ouch ouch. Tomorrow, I get oral surgery. I blew all the dust out of all of my computers with those cans of air, and it settled on everything. And the vacuum cleaner sucks. In that it doesn’t.
So don’t expect any great blogging from me today, or even tomorrow, OK? Just don’t.
Maybe I’ll twitter baby duty tomorrow.
Republicans Scuttle Climate Change, Immigration Reform, and Their Own Credibility.
I can’t wait until the Hispanic vote totally abandons the Republican party. Because they are certainly working on that.
(Note the Phillipe Rushton/Bell Curve, Psychometrics link)
Continue reading What does an illegal immigrant look like?
Knife throwing is for real. This came up on a different thread. Although it is possible to make a fake stage act that involves what looks like knife throwing, that is actually fairly rare. It is easier to learn to throw the knife than to make a contraption that would actually fool today’s skeptical audiences.
The following is a YouTube video that happens to be of a performance that Stephanie Zvan, Julia and I saw last September (I remember two or three things in this video that identify it as that specific show, that specific day).
Continue reading The Cucumber Slice on the Wheel of Death
I felt prettty sick all day, so I was unable to attend our local boobquake dinner. But I have been monitoring the seismographs. It is in fact somewhat rare to have an earthquake of 6.0 or greater on a given day. There are about 200 a year at that level, and they are random, and thus cluster somewhat as random things do. So the daily expectation of one or more earthquakes is less than 4/7. Nonetheless, the single 6 magnitude earthquake that happened on Boob Day (using the international time coordinates) was not impressive. We can conclude:
Continue reading Boobquake: Well? Did the earth move for you?