World's Fair

Archives for September, 2009

This chart about the lack of resolution to some basic problems in Africa — between solutions proposed in 1938 to those from 2005 — fascinates me not only for the info it presents but for the range of responses it has elicited. It is a chart from a working paper by William Easterly, a professor…

Does Science Equal Progress?

Instead of me answering that, I wondered instead how other people have argued about the question. To be more specific, since I am interested in the role of scientific practice for defining the land, I wondered how people argued about whether or not science was better for agriculture. I wrote a book about it. It’s…

Chicken chicken chicken

Believe it or not, this is the second post at the World’s Fair which just has the word “chicken” three times in the title. Anyway, this went viral a few years ago, but for some reason I find it really really funny. Plus, it’s on my mind because it relates a little to an event…

… it’s kind of funny. Properties I Learned In Math Class On Brownian Motion (BM), with Explanations. BY SCOTT LOWENSTEIN – – – - 1. BMs come in two forms: “standard” and “multidimensional” 2. Law of large numbers: expected distance traveled during a BM = 0 3. Scaling: a scaled up BM is still a…

Not specifically about science literacy, but more about just what inhabits a person’s brain space at a given moment, and how that can lead to a sad degree of ignorance in world affairs. I was mulling over this, when watching a television program called the “Long Way Down” about two motorcyclists (Ewan MacGregor and Charley…

Dear Luke, I just saw a photo of your glass sculpture of HIV. I can’t stop looking at it. Knowing that millions of those guys are in me, and will be a part of me for the rest of my life. Your sculpture, even as a photo, has made HIV much more real for me…

A review of Cocktail: A Play about the Life and HIV Drug Development Work of Dr. Krisana Kraisintu by Vince LiCata and Ping Chong Truth be told, I don’t read plays very often, if at all. In fact, I’m ashamed to admit that I think the last one I read was back in high school…

This is up (I’m sure) everywhere, but I can’t resist also showing it off, especially since I’ve played around with the science song genre myself. And you can buy the CD/DVD set for yourself (or your kids) at Amazon.

First, take a quick peek at this Gapminder.org video for a general sense of the problem:

It’s that time of year again, where I need to make a goofy video to promote a student conference. Last year, I did one on Things to Avoid When Speaking Publicly; this year I had to make sure Chewbacca was figured prominently. Do spread the word about TEDxTerrytalks 2009 (especially if you’re from UBC), and…