Monthly Archives: August 2017


NPR: Having A Best Friend In Your Teenage Years Could Benefit You For Life.

“”[They were asked] how much trust there is, how good communication is and how alienated they feel in the relationship,” says Rachel Narr, the lead author on the study and a doctoral student in psychology at the University of Virginia. Each year, the original participants were also given questionnaires to assess levels of anxiety, depression and self-worth.
Those strong relationships are paying dividends in adulthood, the study found. When the researchers evaluated the participants at the conclusion of the study, the ones who had close, emotional links showed improvement in their levels of anxiety, depression and self-worth. In other words, they reported less depression and anxiety and more self-worth at 25 than they had at 15 and 16.”

I’m still friends with my best friend from kindergarten, 37 years later, and also a group of friends from highschool, most of which I’ve known for 30 years now. We live all over the country now, but try to get together at least once a year, and it’s always great to see them and catch up.

Who said Donald Trump doesn’t get anything done? <\Sarcasm>

The Washington Post: What Trump has undone.

“President Trump has repeatedly argued that he’s done more than any other recent president. That’s not true, as measured by the amount of legislation he’s been able to sign. It is true, though, that Trump has undone a lot of things that were put into place by his predecessors, including President Barack Obama.

Since Jan. 20, Trump’s administration has enthusiastically and systematically undone or uprooted rules, policies and tools that predated his time in office. Below, a list of those changes, roughly organized by subject area.”

“How can it be that in 2017, the President of the United States […] could not or would not bring himself to condemn Americans who marched under the flag of the Third Reich?”

History News Network, Raw Story: A professor of German history explains the true horror of Trump’s response to Charlottesville.

“It isn’t often that historians get to see their work gain such relevance in the present. And for those of us who study the history of hatred, bigotry, and the evils of Nazi Germany, the prospect of such relevance is most uncomfortable. If my work has taught me anything, it’s the importance of keeping the boundaries of one’s moral universe as wide as possible. In the early twentieth century, too many Germans pushed too many others beyond the boundaries of their moral universe—beyond the borders of the German racial community—where their fate was at best no longer of any concern to them, at worst, they represented an existential threat.

When that happens, the horrors committed under the swastika flag become possible. How safe are we today? How extensive are the boundaries of our own moral universe—each and every one of us? Those who marched in Charlottesville under Hitler’s flag and the President who chose not to condemn them revealed the boundaries of their moral universe to be sadly and frighteningly small. The flag that flew on that horrible day—with that symbol of ultimate evil at its heart—should remind us all just where such a limited sense of fellow feeling can lead.”

Space Station Transiting Eclipse

Smarter Every Day: Space Station Transiting 2017 ECLIPSE, My Brain Stopped Working. (YouTube, 8:38min)

What it says on the tin, the eclipse as seen from Wyoming, with a bonus appearance of the International Space Station. The ISS transit across the sun is fast, much faster than I thought it would be even though I’ve watched the ISS cross the sky many times.

Bonus link: Veritasium: Eclipse 2017 (YouTube, 5:20min), including time-lapse video from first contact to totality, viewed from Oregon.


Süddeutsche Zeitung: Sind die Gene schuld – oder die Lehrer?

“Mathe ist doof. Das werden viele Kinder gedacht haben, als sie am Schuljahresende ihr Zeugnis gesehen haben. Manche von ihnen hätten für eine bessere Note vielleicht nur mehr üben müssen. Andere haben genau das getan – bis sogar Mama und Papa an 25 plus 17 verzweifelt sind.”

“Kinder mit Dyskalkulie werden behandelt, als sei ihnen nichts beizubringen”.

“Dabei sei es möglich, jedem Kind Grundlagen im Rechnen zu vermitteln, sagt [der Mathematikdidaktiker Wolfram Meyerhöfer]. Er hält die Rechenstörung für eine Ausrede der Schulen.”