click here to skip the menu and go to the page content

rebecca's pocket

about / archive / syndicate

.: October 2009 --> October 2009

October 2009

» Po Bronsen's new book Nurtureshock argues that praising children's innate ability (you're smart, atheletic, nice, etc) doesn't give them more confidence - it makes them less confident, and more afraid of failure.

Blackwell split her kids into two groups for an eight-session workshop.[...] It didn't take long. The teachers who hadn't known which students had been assigned to which workshop could pick out the students who had been taught that intelligence can be developed. They improved their study habits and grades. In a single semester, Blackwell reversed the students' longtime trend of decreasing math grades.
The only difference between the control group and the test group were two lessons, a total of 50 minutes spent teaching not math but a single idea: that the brain is a muscle. Giving it a harder workout makes you smarter. That alone improved their math scores.

 [ 10.01.09 ]

» Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bindoff. (via TK)  [ 10.02.09 ]

» Well, speaking as a Californian, we sure could use the money. Remember to pick either a state, or a city. (via bittman)  [ 10.02.09 ]

» A graphic novel about higher mathematics? Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth.  [ 10.05.09 ]

» Alex Payne nails San Francisco, though I think he over-rates the food and the quirkiness. (To be fair, in both respects I'm sure I've been spoiled by having lived where - and how - I have.) But mostly he's right. It took me a little while to realized that while San Francisco is politically liberal, and while it prides itself on embracing a proscribed set of "fringe elements" (though heaven forfend if your eccentricity isn't included in the canon), it's actually socially conservative. But to echo Alex - if you've never lived in a major city before, you'll probably like it here. (thanks, jjg!)  [ 10.07.09 ]

» NASA is about to crash a rocket into the moon. No, really. If you live west of the Mississippi, you can watch from your backyard. (Twitter feed here.)  [ 10.08.09 ]

» "I'm beginning to believe that the best way to achieve true and lasting healthcare reform is to just get out of the way and let Baby Boomer women revolutionize healthcare." - Intel's Eric Dishman on the profound disconnect between the issues that confront caregivers and the people who design technologies and policies intended to support them.  [ 10.09.09 ]

» Kristof: If Congress fails to reform healthcare, let them go without insurance. The last time I was the Netherlands, a native told me the Dutch had enacted universal healthcare out of enlightened self-interest. They realized that the uninsured poor were more likely to be struck by virulent diseases, which they then might pass onto the well-to-do.  [ 10.09.09 ]

» NPR: Boy steals book; librarian changes life.  [ 10.12.09 ]

» The Naked Chef's new crusade. I'm impressed with his lack of ideological absolutism. Krispy Kreme doughnuts? "They're a treat, there to be loved." A 15-pound burger? "It tasted good." And of course, I'm impressed with his decision to use his power for good. He's quite a guy, really.  [ 10.13.09 ]

» Why did the Large Hadron Collider fail? To save us from a terrible fate. It's not a crackpot theory unless you consider the man who founded string theory to be a lightweight. Seriously, this is my favorite science story of all time.  [ 10.13.09 ]

» Your English teachers probably taught you about metaphor as an advanced technique used by writers to build depth into their work. But it turns out our very thinking is based on our physicality--and our physical enviroment colors our perceptions.

Our instinctive, literal-minded metaphorizing can make us vulnerable to what seem like simple tweaks to our physical environment, with ramifications for everything from how we build polling booths to how we sell cereal. And at a broader level it reveals just how much the human body, in all its particularity, shapes the mind, suggesting that much of what we think of as abstract reasoning is in fact a sometimes awkward piggybacking onto the mental tools we have developed to govern our body's interactions with its physical environment. Put another way, metaphors reveal the extent to which we think with our bodies.

 [ 10.14.09 ]

» Oooh! The National Book Awards finalists. (via tra)  [ 10.14.09 ]

» Reflections on FDR's public option: government-sponsored electrical service for rural America.

Investor-owned utilities, who rejected the farmers for years, wanted them dearly once the competition showed up. They fought in legislatures and courts and newspapers to keep the Rural Electric Coops from lighting the back roads.
And omigawd were [the coops] evil. Socialistic, un-American, undermining the very fabric of democracy. Legislators, businessmen, members of Congress, editorial page editors all over the country railed at the specter of Big Government shouldering into private enterprise, when everyone knew Government couldn't do it right.
Most infuriating of all, government did it right. The cooperatives became the pricing yardstick for electrical power. Investor-owned utilities had to lower their rates to compete.

 [ 10.15.09 ]

» The Colbert Report, nominally a review of Jacob Soll's The Information Master, is a fascinating study on post-Gutenberg information overload, ancient information management, and Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Louis XIV's chief minister, whose goal was to collect and hoard "all knowledge, formal and practical, [to] be used together in one archival system to understand and master the material world." (via mamr)  [ 10.16.09 ]

» Jish is correct.  [ 10.30.09 ]



» primary link / supplemental information / internal link

my book

» the weblog handbook
amazon editors' best of 2002, digital culture