Links for 2010-06-16

  • "The A-Team premiered in 1983, a year after Cheers and St Elsewhere, two years after Hill Street Blues, a year ahead of Miami Vice, the fall after M*A*S*H said goodbye, farewell, and amen.

    There had always been well-written, well-directed, and well-acted television shows. What made these shows different was that all at once TV audiences were presented with a group of shows that were more like movies in a particular and significant way.

    The characters and their situations changed.

    Not just from season to season either.

    From episode to episode.

    If you missed last week's episode, you started this week's somewhat lost."

  • ""It's complicated". Jon Stewart tweaked Obama last week for repeatedly framing his approach to issues with this phrase, and he's not the first to do so. That complaint was very likely the reason why Obama felt the need to awkwardly declaim that the reason he consults with experts is that he's trying to make sure that he kicks the right asses.

    Since many issues are in fact complicated, it's hard for me to say that it's wrong to say that they are.

    Stewart suggests that Obama could just simplify those complicated issues. Fair enough. More to the point, though, I think what you can do is simplify the reasons why something's complicated, because not all complexity is created equal and not all complexity demands an equally complicated political or personal response."

  • "Question: What can we do to encourage more young people to go into the sciences?

    Shirley Ann Jackson: One, I think we can just introduce young people early on to the wonders and the beauty of science, and its ability to help them understand things to explain things to do hands on as well as minds on kinds of activities early on. To build that both formally into the curricula in K-through-12 education; but also outside of classroom experiences including making use of more community-based resources like museums and the like.

    We have to excite them, that's the point. We have to excite them about the wonders of the natural world. We have to invite them by letting them know that they, too, can become scientists or engineers or work in these fields or at least have an understanding of what science is and what it does. "

  • "Now I can't say that I've been any great contribution to my country, given how big of a user of its library I once was. I live in Seattle and visit Yreka only occasionally now. But I do know with high certainty that a major factor in me ending up with a Ph.D. in theoretical physics and performing research on quantum computing can be traced back to that county library. And I'm guessing that for many others the library has provided a path towards their own self-education: may it be on black holes, sewing, or learning about the history of the world. If I had a soapbox I'd probably also go on about studies showing businesses not moving to the county due to it's low literacy rate. But enough of the political whining. Tonight, I'm just going to be sad for the future kids who don't even know that they just lost one more opportunity to expand and better their future world."

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