Some good guidelines for teaching with collaborative learning and projects.
Here’s a responsible way to write about neo-Nazis in America. Here’s the stupid way the New York Times wrote about a Nazi in America.
Hummingbirds are completely amazing.
I’m glad that Al Franken has resigned from the Senate. I hope that more resignations are still to come, until we get that type of patriarchal power out of our social and political institutions. We need to think about these types of offenses differently from other crimes, and not use the “beyond a reasonable doubt” burden of proof, at least when it comes to letting people stay in public positions, and positions of great power. The stigma associated with sexual assault silences even the most powerful and successful women. Powerful people have so many structural and social advantages on their side, levers that they can lean on to buttress their status, like Weinstein’s firms of lawyers, investigators, and counter-intelligence operatives.
Racism manifests in odd ways.
Russian trolls pitted Americans against each other, by advertising a fake protest and counter-protest.
Factual errors survive in US Supreme Court decisions, the law, and public consciousness.
Interesting take from Carl Zimmer: Science, Journalism, and Democracy. Could be useful for Biology and Politics.
Facebook continues to be pretty terrible, even as Mark Zuckerberg tries to climb out of his opulent man-cave and give that turd a bit of polish. Their willingness to sell discriminatory ads is a good example of how they say they care about something, but act to the contrary.
Neil DeGrasse Tyson does not understand what science is, although he is sure that he understands it quite well. It’s not his fault, and he’s not alone. I am definitely using this for Biology and Politics.
A long take from the New York Times on how rumors, fears, and racism played out in Twin Falls, Idaho. But the article reveals my chief complaint these days about the major media outlets. To the NYT, Idaho in general, and Twin Falls in particular, is the degenerate Other. But the town is more than a run-down main street with fearful, white, aging diabetics hiding behind their curtains. You don’t get the nuances of a place by flying in a reporter from 2,000 miles away.
Interesting long take on a white supremacist domestic terrorist. Frickin’ white supremacists. Frickin’ President Trump. Jews have seen this type of danger before, and should recognize it when it’s coming.
Great read about what it’s like to be dying.
With so many things going so badly for the Trump administration all the time, I had almost forgotten about how Anthony Scaramucci imploded this past summer.
For paleolithic people, distilling tar was a big deal. You can use tar as an adhesive to make compound, and more complex, tools. Apparently Neanderthals figured out how to do that AT LEAST 200,000 years ago!!! Civilization is so much older than I usually conceive it to be.
Amazingly good take on why getting science right matters for public policy. I am definitely using this for Biology and Politics.
Paying to protect biodiversity totally works.
A deep look into Texas politics make me more worried – not less – for the future of our country.
A murderous dentist! Cattle cops!
Wind farms are really not that bad for birds. 73% of birds that are killed for reasons related to human activity are killed by cats. Cats are bad for birds, wind power is not.
I read many more interesting articles than just those, of course, but I am bored of this update, so let’s move on to the books.
The Wake, by Paul Kingsnorth, was simply amazing. What a mind-blowing reading experience. For those who enjoy language, puzzles, and medieval history, this is a must-read.
Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist, by Sunil Yapa, was among the best books I have ever read.
Age of Miracles, by Karen Thompson Walker, was schlock, and eminently skippable.
The Heart Goes Last, by Margaret Atwood, was good, but not her best work, and not something I think other people need to read.
Red Rising, Golden Son, did not read Morning Star (but I read a summary on the Internet, and I’m glad that I didn’t spend time reading the third book). Would I see the movie when it comes out? Probably not. There’s just no point for me, the characters were all so forgettable and unimportant. And the social construction felt too cleverly contrived, without enough plausibility to make me want to read and think about the dystopian universe Brown was building and describing.
Robin Hobb’s Farseer Trilogy (Assassin’s Apprentice, Royal Assassin, Assassin’s Quest). Was the perfect antidote to Pierce’s boring, pointless story. The writing was great, the characters were great, the magical universe was fun. I highly recommend this trilogy, and am looking forward to diving into her next trilogy.