A brief gallivant about the marketplace of ideas.

Month: June, 2015

Read — 2015/06/25

Today’s selection of articles includes:

  1. How to give the most motivating pep talk“, by Elizabeth Bernstein (Wall Street Journal). Listen as much as you talk. And when you talk, tell people what they need to hear, not what they or what you want to hear. Do not minimize their perceived problem or seek to offer them escape for escape’s sake.
  2. Mom: 10 quotes on motherhood that have me cracking up“, by Alexandra Macon (Vogue). Ten humorous if sometimes irreverent comments on motherhood, with a shout out to Colin Nissan’s “Playground purgatory” in The New Yorker.
  3. Traces of the earliest stars that enriched cosmos are spied“, by Dennis Overbye (NY Times).
  4. What it’s like as a ‘girl’ in the lab“, by Sarah Clatterbuck Soper (NY Times).
  5. Does it really matter exactly when the Fed raises rates“, by Neil Irwin (NY Times).
  6. To lose weight, eating less is far more important than exercising more“, by Aaron E. Carroll (NY Times).
  7. Cara Delevingne opens up about her childhood, love life, and why modeling just isn’t enough“, by Rob Haskell (Vogue).

Read — 2015/06/12

Today’s selection of articles includes:

  1. Top teams collide when USA faces Sweden in 2nd World Cup game“, by Sean Wagner-McGough (CBS Sports). Tonight, 8 p.m. Eastern Time.
  2. So, Uber just released its own videogame“, by Davey Alba (Wired). UberDRIVE, now available on iOS. Today, digital San Francisco. Tomorrow, the real world!
  3. Pete Docter, l’âme de Pixar“, par Samuel Blumenfeld (Le Monde).
  4. Seriously bad ideas“, by Paul Krugman (NY Times). Dr. Krugman on the misguided policy proposals of Britain’s Conservative Party.
  5. Architects’ choice: design books“, by Ali Morris (Architect Magazine). I was struck by Dr. Whiting’s remark, by her comprehension of the interplay between media:

    Architecture today needs the nimble but sustained form of the essay to advance, both as a discipline and as a field. So it’s to essayists that I turn. These writers provoke, with words that are as carefully composed as the arcs of their arguments. ‘Essay’ is a loose term. I return to de Beauvoir’s very short novella Woman Destroyed time and time again as a reminder that the world—our architectural ‘audience’—is comprised of individuals who never, ever, will really know one another. Similarly, certain chapters or interviews are like essays for me; they continue to propel my thinking, even after the nth read.

And in “historical” news:

  1. Why Hockaday girls are different: And whether that’s good or bad“, by Prudence MacKintosh (D Magazine, June 1978). Intriguing read. This (lengthy!) article reads like a history book in some passages, like a fundraising campaign in others, but overall it offers sincere insight into life in the late 1970s: socioeconomic separation, educational pressures (many of which haven’t changed a jot to this day), relations between the sexes, relations among races. Three choice quotations.

    [T]here are still plenty of kids who don’t feel entirely secure with the liberation that has been thrust upon them.

    Passing over the probable liberation alluded to here, one might consider this remark in light of the adulthood and careerism creeping further and further into childhood, also discussed in this article.

    And as any girls’ school must, Hockaday appreciates female wit — particularly wit with some intellectual sophistication.

    I concur with a generalized statement, about wit from anyone. The 21st century needs more sophisticated wit.

    But some of the alumnae are concerned with more than the quality of material things that surround Hockaday. These are the women with the liberal arts educations who feel that Hockaday gave them a self-reliance that grew out of knowing some things thoroughly.

    “Knowing some things thoroughly”. A noble pursuit, when followed by sharing this knowledge with others, to improve the lives of those around. And appreciate the humble recognition that knowing all things thoroughly was, is, and always shall be impossible.

Read — 2015/06/04

On this day in history:

  1. Beijing death toll at least 300; army tightens control of city but angry resistance goes on“, by Nicholas D. Kristof (NY Times, 1989-06-05). Chinese troops storm Tiananmen Square. Read the article. Understand what the demonstrators died for.

Math — 2015/06/04

Today’s selection of articles includes:

  1. The first year of ‘On teaching and learning mathematics’“, by Benjamin Braun (AMS Blogs). A retrospective of articles appearing in the column.
  2. The first two years of college mathematics: reflections and highlights from the CBMS forum“, by Diana White (AMS Blogs, 2014-11-01).
  3. Mathematics professors and mathematics majors’ expectations of lectures in advanced mathematics“, by Keith Weber (AMS Blogs, 2015-02-10).
  4. A call for more context“, by Art Duval (AMS Blogs, 2014-09-10). Professors’ “war stories” make a field come alive and engage students.
  5. Sums and integrals: the Swiss analysis knife“, by Bill Casselman (AMS).