The sun became the sun because that’s all a ball of hydrogen can do.
From “Strange Case” by Craig O’Hara, Confirmation 100:
"INTERVIEW WITH THE TUMOR
Author: We’re here with the tumor inside Edgar Beehive’s lung. Thanks for taking the time to speak with us.
Tumor: Thanks for having me.
A: So, what was it made you start mutating like this?
T: Well, like so many things in life, it’s really hard to tell.
A: I guess what I’m asking is: Did you wake up one day and decide to mutate or was it something that just came about naturally?
T: Who knows? I mean, how did you become a writer? How did the sun become the sun? How do we know why anything does what it does?
A: I became a writer because I don’t have any other marketable skills. The sun became the sun because that’s all a ball of hydrogen can do. But you had a choice. You could have become a normal lung cell like the others, yet you didn’t. Why?”
reblogging myself because i made reference to this in a conversation with someone, which is to say that it remains strikingly relevant to life
was in Vegas over the weekend and happened through the arts district, which is between downtown and the strip and features some rad art. love that cowboy.
apparently amazon thinks i’m a masochist
Shit-talking Billy Collins is auto-reblog territory
so there’s this moment in Man of Steel
where Zod is explaining to Superman that his (Zod’s) purpose in life, down to his very DNA, is to protect the people of Krypton. even if that means genociding earth he will, and indeed must, do what he can. But Superman sliced his ship in half with his laser eyes and with the ship went the birthing chamber and with the birthing chamber went all the would-be Kryptonians, and Zod warned Superman before he did this that if he pulled his laser eyes stunt that there would be no more Kryptonians, that would be it. and Superman made his choice and the ship went kablooey. I get why Superman made the choice that he did, I really do, and if such a choice has a right answer his was probably the right one. but Supes, man, you just ended a people. try to look like you give a toot:
Brooke Candy, brooke candy brooke candy brooke candy. Brooke, candy brooke candy. Brooke candy brooke candy; brooke candy.
The New York Times Magazine: Why Do Americans Stink At Math?
please ignore the attention-grabbing headline; i went into this with my hackles raised but this article, which is apparently adapted from a forthcoming book about teacher education, is terrific, must-read if you’re interested in math education or ed reform issues. it approaches the issue from several angles, taking classroom, research, and historical perspectives, and gives each of those its due. this was the most interesting bit to me:
In the 1970s and the 1980s, cognitive scientists studied a population known as the unschooled, people with little or no formal education. Observing workers at a Baltimore dairy factory in the ‘80s, the psychologist Sylvia Scribner noted that even basic tasks required an extensive amount of math. For instance, many of the workers charged with loading quarts and gallons of milk into crates had no more than a sixth-grade education. But they were able to do math, in order to assemble their loads efficiently, that was “equivalent to shifting between different base systems of numbers.” Throughout these mental calculations, errors were “virtually nonexistent.” And yet when these workers were out sick and the dairy’s better-educated office workers filled in for them, productivity declined.
The unschooled may have been more capable of complex math than people who were specifically taught it, but in the context of school, they were stymied by math they already knew. Studies of children in Brazil, who helped support their families by roaming the streets selling roasted peanuts and coconuts, showed that the children routinely solved complex problems in their heads to calculate a bill or make change. When cognitive scientists presented the children with the very same problem, however, this time with pen and paper, they stumbled. A 12-year-old boy who accurately computed the price of four coconuts at 35 cruzeiros each was later given the problem on paper. Incorrectly using the multiplication method he was taught in school, he came up with the wrong answer. Similarly, when Scribner gave her dairy workers tests using the language of math class, their scores averaged around 64 percent. The cognitive-science research suggested a startling cause of Americans’ innumeracy: school.
but the whole thing is highly recommended.
[that scene in the wire where the kid intones “count be wrong they’ll fuck you up” with the implication that the market economy has any number of ways to fuck up the average, dairy-counting worker]
yo I know PRO is like a mostly-joking term but goddamn that is so PRO it is terrifying
Emily Vancamp as Sharon Carter in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”
Here’s an example of what we call a “soft no”. Sharon turns down Steve’s offer in a way that’s meant not to insult him but never actually uses the word “no”.
Steve clearly gets the message, though, and importantly offers to leave her alone. Sharon’s comment afterwards gives him an opportunity to try again later, but he doesn’t press and respects her rejection of his company even though it’s probably hurt his feelings a bit.
Just in case you ever wonder “What would Captain America do?”; there you go.
Dear guys complaining about the friendzone: a dude who was frozen in ice since the 40s is officially better at reading social cues than you are (and respecting other people, but we already knew that).
washing scrubs from the infectious disease ward in the building’s washing machine seems irresponsible, agent carter