Daily Archives: November 18, 2010

Teaching kids real math with computers

From rockets to stock markets, many of humanity’s most thrilling creations are powered by math. So why do kids lose interest in it? Conrad Wolfram says the part of math we teach — calculation by hand — isn’t just tedious, it’s mostly irrelevant to real mathematics and the real world. He presents his radical idea: teaching kids math through computer programming.
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Morris Goodman Died

The distinguished evolutionary biologist Morris Goodman died on November 14, 2010, at the age of 85, according to the Wayne State University School of Medicine. Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on January 12, 1925, Goodman attended the University of Wisconsin, Madison, before enlisting in the United States Air Force in 1943. Returning to Wisconsin, he earned his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in zoology. After a series of postdoctoral appointments, in 1958 he took a position at Wayne State University, where he remained for fifty-two years. In the late 1950s, he became interested in evolution, and swiftly became a pioneer in molecular systematics, especially as applied to primates. Describing a 1975 paper using hemoglobin sequence data, he commented, “I think we were the first to get hard evidence of Darwinian evolution.” His honors included election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences and the Charles R. Darwin Award for Lifetime Achievement from the American Association of Physical Anthropologists.

Goodman’s scientific prominence, as well as his controversial proposal that chimpanzees and bonobos be reclassified from the genus Pan to the genus Homo, resulted in his frequently serving as a target of creationists.

More here

This was our weatherman

Paul was a real live scientific meteorologist who accidentally ended up a TV weatherman. (The regular one was sick, the substitute was sick, so they threw him in front of the camera.) He then became so popular that they fired him during a budget crunch. He was one of the first weather reporters anywhere, and certainly the first in Minnesota, to tell people that AGW is real.

Don’t worry he didn’t die or anything. (Don Shelby is retiring thus this conversation):