Culture

Category archives for Culture

Science Poll: Get Real

If you look at the schedule of events for DAMOP next week, you will see that there is a movie showing scheduled for Tuesday night: Real Genius. This seems like an excellent excuse to run a poll: Real Genius is:survey software While the meeting will largely involve quantum mechanics, this is a purely classical poll,…

Calendrical Innovation

Union operates on a trimester calendar, with three ten-week terms (September-November, January-March, April-June), rather than the two 14-15 week semesters used by most other colleges and universities. This has some advantages in terms of flexibility– even science and engineering students get to take terms abroad, which is harder to swing in a semester system– and…

Problematic Tigers

SteelyKid is, as I have noted previously, half Korean, a quarter Polish, and an eighth each Irish and German. Her parents are irreligious, the extended family is Catholic (more so on my side than Kate’s), and she goes to day care at the Jewish Community Center. In other words, a thoroughly American sort of upbringing.…

On Multitasking

After chasing a bunch of kids with cell phones off of his lawn, Kevin Drum has kicked off a discussion of “multitasking”, specifically about whether it’s merely a threat, or a positive menace. He points to an interview with Clifford Nass, a researcher who says his experiments show that nobody is any good at doing…

Advertising Reveals Our Culture

I’ve been watching a lot of basketball lately, and between the channel-flipping and occasional single-game windows, it has not been possible to use the DVR to avoid seeing commercials. Which means I’ve seen a lot of the current paradigm of advertising in America, which seems to consist of two main modes: Smug and “dickish”: The…

Everybody Thinks Scientifically

Everybody’s favorite science blogger did a podcast with Neil DeGrasse Tyson, and has been posting highlights of it. One of these, on scientific thinking, has a bit that I don’t quite agree with. Tyson says: I think the, if it were natural to think scientifically, science as we currently practice it would have been going…

I’m taking some flak in the comments to yesterday’s book recommendation request post, so let me illustrate what I meant with an example. Lots of people recommended the Andrew Lang Fairy books, which are freely available online. I looked at the first story in the first book, which is plenty entertaining, but also has this…

People Dancing

I’ve been watching the Al Jazeera English livestream off and on this week to keep up with events in Egypt. At some point, SteelyKid came in while I had it on, saw shots of the cheering crowds from Tuesday, and said “People dancing!” Sometime on Wednesday, she marched over to me, and demanded to watch…

I’m about halfway through Jo Walton’s Among Others, a fantasy novel set in Britain in 1979, featuring an unhappy teenage girl who finds relief in reading science fiction and fantasy, and becoming involved with SF fandom. It’s getting rave reviews from a lot of the usual sources, and the concept sounded interesting, so I grabbed…

Winter Poll: “Bitter” Cold

A seasonally appropriate poll, brought to you by this morning’s frigid dog walk (15F/ -9C), and the memory of a newscast back when I was in Maryland that referred to an overnight low temperature of 22F/-6C as “Bitter, bitter cold”: The maximum (daytime high) temperature I would characterize as “bitter cold” would be:survey software For…