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
What Keeps You Up at Night
Betsy Morais writes about the “bedtime procrastination” phenomenon: http://nyr.kr/1i2k4xY
“Sleeplessness has become a public-health concern, according to the Centers for Disease Control: around fifty to seventy million American adults have some kind of sleep disorder;…
Somebody finally coined a word for MY LIFE.
(If I could take a pill to never sleep and suffer no side effects from doing so, I’d do it in a heartbeat (whereas I’d never do the same w/r/t food). But I know the most basic reason I put off going to bed: lying there *waiting* to go to sleep really is a Nabokovian indignity, even if you don’t have insomnia and it’s only 10 or 15 minutes. So I stay up until I fall down, and then I don’t have to suffer the 15 minutes of boredom.
When I go for good, that’s how I want to go as well — so tuckered out that I just let go; no time or brain cycles for boredom or regret.)
I have been telling people for years that I would skip sleep if I could, and most people look at me funny when I do so. Also, this may be part of why I was Morning Owl today.
Agree with all of the above. I don’t sleep well, so it tends to not matter how much or how little sleep I get; I never feel rested. But with a big enough sleep deficit I still see declines in cognitive tasks, so I know I still need sleep. As a result I have come to deeply resent the act of sleeping. Big downsides to not getting it, but no reward for doing so.
Anonymous said: does being male make relating to literature easier? a lot of the time i end up feeling sort of alienated by near-universal use of male pronouns...
Short answer: being male makes most things easier. That said, literature works both ways, because sometimes I find dude perspectives alienating and resent the implication that I should see myself in them. I appreciate you bringing this up, it’ll make me more cognizant of the speaker in my own work, and whether or not I’m being inclusive. But in defense of Dunn and a thousand other dudes, for a lot of people poetry is a pretty intensely personal thing, and their perspective is the only one they have. Thinking more about it, maybe I don’t have any real right to aim for a more universal perspective. This is tricky stuff!
I’ve actually been trying to formulate a post about reading women authors and beyond that, seeking out women authors operating in women-controlled spaces. It’s not ready yet, but suffice it to say fellas if you are a regular reader and you cannot name lady authors you like, you should fix that!
Anyhow, I’m assuming this came in response to the last bit of poetry I posted, so with that in mind here are some female poets whose work I have liked:
(I would spend the week tumblasting snippets of poetry by ladies but it happens to be Lil’ Kim week next week (though she is, of course, a lady poet) so maybe come back in a week?)