April 17, 2012
This series is great fun. Using the premise of being distracted during class (occasionally by the teacher saying something interesting) she presents all sorts of concepts.
This is one of my favorites: Slug Cats!
July 25, 2011
I’ve put up a post and tweeted on this.
I really, really need to get back to writing. I’ve set myself a goal of 70k words, written, revised, and edited by the end of August, and mustn’t let myself get so distracted.
But I am angry, and I am curious.
Please go to / this post from my other blog /. After you read that, would you go to the hashtag given, and let me know how you would have responded, or what you think about the issue: are writers somehow intrinsically less intelligent than mathematicians?
July 19, 2011
A wonderful article from the ‘Scientific American’ blog / Degrees of Freedom.
While full of pertinent examples of the usefulness of math and mathematicians, this paragraph was a hoot:
“On the other hand, mathematicians are cheap. They just need a small office, some chalk, a computer and, once in a while, a ticket to a conference. They make you smile by wearing nerdy T-shirts. They are good to have around on university campuses in case you are a scientist who happens to have calculus (or Riemannian geometry) questions. Oh, and they teach math to students. Lots of students.”
It reminded me, of course, of the joke about philosophers and mathematicians – a mathematician needs pencil, paper, and a rubbish bin; but the philosopher doesn’t even need the bin.
Conferences are great – that’s where the real cross-pollination of ideas can begin. People from all sorts of specializations getting mellow in the bar, and talking about things – and ideas happen.
Mathematicians may be too abstract for most people to understand, but they know the value of a conference.
June 29, 2011
Right now I’ve got Lead, Cadmium, Cobalt, Palladium, and Caesium playing.
This will be a tough procrastinator to overcome, I fear. Music and science and just plain cool.
June 28, 2011
This is a wonderful – not quite spoof.
It makes the point so clearly. If science cannot be taught, then where do you draw the line?
There are beliefs, and there are facts. Why is this so hard for people to separate?
See also: http://rationallyspeaking.org/ “Bad Reasoning About Reasoning”
June 24, 2011
This is a great series. I love how they put labels on everything.
May 27, 2011
Who hasn’t heard of Angry Birds? But mostly, people just play it, right?
Not a physicist.
What too many people don’t understand about science is that understanding how something works actually enhances appreciation. You don’t just accept things. You play with them, explore them, and then go on to learn, play, and explore with related things. And there’s the whole universe to poke about in – you’ll never run out of wild, weird, and wonderful things to learn. Exciting is too mild a word – amazing! Stupendous!
Myths are pretty (or terrifying, if used to enforce obedience), but understanding is beautiful. And in this case, amusing as well.