The Quantum Pontiff

In this era of the impending apocalypse, what the hell is a report about United States students actually showing gains in mathematics doing in the New York Times? Dude, media, get on message and send us some more doom and gloom! I especially need more gloom here in Seattle where the sun rises at 7:47 a.m. and sets at 4:18 p.m.

Update: Ah, science results are flat, so it’s the end of the world as we know it, according to The Washington Post. Thank’s WaPo for restoring pessimism into my world.


  1. #1 Joe Fitzsimons
    December 9, 2008

    7:47-4:18? Luxury! Here in Oxford today the sun will rise at 08:01 and set at 15:55. The US is always much further south than I expect it to be.

  2. #2 Jonathan Vos Post
    December 10, 2008

    The UK is much further North than most in the USA realize. Edinburgh is North of Moscow.

    “The US is always much further south…”

    Not all of the US. Consider the hunting grounds of Sarah Palin.

    Trivia question on your sense of relative Geography:

    * What State has the Northernmost point of land?
    * What State has the Easternmost point of land?
    * What State has the Westernmost point of land?
    * What State has the Southernmost point of land?

  3. #3 Jonathan Vos Post
    December 10, 2008

    I meant to say something about whether Math students in the US were still much further South of Singapore.

    I had the mixed experience of being Adjunct Professor of Math for 5 semesters at a private university, and two years of teaching Math to American high school students. But that has all been subsumed by the amazing things that my students tell me, now that I’m the high school science teacher at a small Charter school within 5 miles of Caltech.

    To pick a few actual answers (and these are the mode, not outliers) from homework and exams:

    * Pizza is a compound.

    * Pages on the world wide web are peer reviewed.

    * I don’t believe that I’m related to monkeys, because they are hairy and nasty.

  4. #4 chancelikely
    December 11, 2008

    Northernmost, Westernmost: Alaska
    Southernmost: Hawaii
    Easternmost: Maine (or Alaska, depending on how you define ‘easternmost’)

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