Humanities

Occupational Health News Roundup

Advocates work to expand consumer concern from humanely treated food to humanely treated workers; workers with children face struggles in Silicon Valley; Texas lawmakers introduce bill aimed at fertilizer plants; Microsoft to require paid leave policies at its suppliers; and the McDonald’s wage hike is too small for too few.

It’s been complete bedlam at my house lately. I made one of my periodical forays into cultural Judaism this past weekend by hosting a Passover seder. My parents, my brother and sister-in-law and their two kids (ages eight and ten) and some friends, eleven in all, packed into my small house. It was a lot…

Last week, Steven Weinberg wrote a piece for the Guardian promoting his new book about the history of science (which seems sort of like an extended attempt to make Thony C. blow a gasket..). This included a list of recommended books for non-scientists which was, shall we say, a tiny bit problematic. This is a…

Google Play Books Ate My Apostrophes

Update 10 April: It pays to report problems like the one described below to Google’s customer support. Seven weeks ago I discovered the problem. One week ago I reported it. Today the problem was suddenly gone, probably because Google updated the two ebooks involved and pushed new versions of the files to my phone. I…

Actual Hugo Comments

So, as alluded to over the weekend, the Hugo nominations this year are a train wreck. The short fiction categories are absolutely dominated by works from the “slates” pushed by a particular collection of (mostly) right-wing authors and that prion disease in human disguise “Vox Day.” The primary purpose of the “slates” is to poke…

“Every act of creation is first an act of destruction.” -Pablo Picasso When you think about representing something physical in an artistic medium, you usually think of starting with a blank canvas and adding to it. Such is the case with musicians, who start with silence and add to it, like Tony Trischka as he plays…

I was thinking about writing something about the 2015 Hugo Award nominations train wreck, but you know what? Life’s too short. So here’s a couple of cute-kid photos from this morning’s trip to the Children’s Museum of Science and Technology over in Troy. They have these awesome construction toys, consisting of wooden rods with holes…

London Vacation

Got back last night from a six-day stay in London with wife & daughter. YuSie had rented a flat in Southwark for us via Air BnB, so we had a good base of operations. I fell ill with a bad cold halfway through our stay, which explains the complete lack of museum visits and rock…

Thanks to the federal School Breakfast Program, millions of low-income children have the opportunity to start the school day with a healthy meal. But does the program impact the brain as well as the belly? A new study finds that it does, with students at participating schools scoring higher in math, reading and science.

“Matilda”: Class Perspective

In Roald Dahl’s last book, Matilda (1988), we are invited to laugh at the main character’s parents. They hate books, love TV, dress tastelessly and subsist on microwave TV dinners. Yet only when I saw the musical at the Cambridge Theatre in London this past Tuesday, where the mother additionally practices competition ballroom dancing and both…