October 11, 2015
Input/Output (SLVimeo) - A new short from Terri Timely and Park Pictures which defies description
Given the success I am having with students, one might think that the Mathematics Department leadership would be expressing curiosity about how I am achieving that success. Instead, Craig Evans in early 2014 asked me "If you had a job at McDonalds and came along with all these new ideas, how long do you think you'd carry on working there?" The fact that the now Interim Chair of the UC Berkeley Mathematics Department should compare undergraduate education to fast food reveals everything you need to know about how students are regarded by the leading clique of men at the helm of the Mathematics Department of the number one public university in the world. [more inside]
"Every society struggles to care for people with mental illness. In parts of West Africa, where psychiatry is virtually unknown, the chain is often a last resort for desperate families who cannot control a loved one in the grip of psychosis. Religious retreats, known as prayer camps, set up makeshift psychiatric wards, usually with prayer as the only intervention." NYTimes. Links contain upsetting images and video. [more inside]
A man takes his car for a drive through town. Stuff happens (SLYT).
The Economist's Quality of Death Index for 2015 was published last week. It attempts to measure the quality of palliative care in 80 countries. The top three countries (in order) are Britain, Australia, and New Zealand. And the bottom three countries? Philippines, Bangladesh, and Iraq. Here is The Economist's summary and here is the full report.
(slvimeo) Richard Thompson is renowned among cartoonists as the "artist's" cartoonist. Little known to all but those close to him is the extent of his extraordinary art, a gift so rare that it compelled "Calvin and Hobbes" creator, Bill Watterson, to break an almost 20 year silence and declare, "Now I have a reason to read comics again". Cul de Sac, his comic strip, from the beginning.
Three of the four largest global accountancy firms in the U.K. have announced changes to their hiring processes. In particular, Deloitte announced that it will "begin using a school-blind hiring process to help address unconscious bias." Interviewers will no longer have access to details of an applicant's school or university until an offer has been made. The announcement marks the start of Deloitte’s inaugural Social Mobility Week. [more inside]
Liu Bolin is the invisible man. He paints his entire body to exactly match the scenery behind him and is camouflaged so well it is sometimes almost impossible to spot him.
More of his art and a TED and previous.
More of his art and a TED and previous.
The Families Funding the 2016 Presidential Election — They are overwhelmingly white, rich, older and male, in a nation that is being remade by the young, by women, and by black and brown voters. Across a sprawling country, they reside in an archipelago of wealth, exclusive neighborhoods dotting a handful of cities and towns. And in an economy that has minted billionaires in a dizzying array of industries, most made their fortunes in just two: finance and energy. [more inside]
An unusual rock formation in Chattanooga appears perilously balanced; but more than thirty people can stand on its top at one time. It's called Umbrella Rock. In one of the earliest picture of Umbrella Rock is of soldiers taken in 1863. Today, of course, it looks different. [more inside]
Michael Twitty is becoming one of the most transformative figures in the world of food. Reinterrogating and recreating African-American history in the context of American culinary history through his blog Afroculinaria, Twitty argues for "culinary justice" in food writing and the conversation on food history. His project (and forthcoming book of the same name) The Cooking Gene is in part a product of his Southern Discomfort Tour, a journey retracing the preservation and transmission of culinary knowledge before, during and beyond slavery. [more inside]
Gaiman and Buckingham return to finish their saga - "Many comics legends have worked on Miracleman, but no run on the series is as fondly remembered as Neil Gaiman and Mark Buckingham's, cut short before its time. But now Marvel isn't just remastering Gaiman and Buckingham's original comics, but letting them finish the story they began 25 years ago." [previously: 1,2,3; also btw...] (via/via)
Dr. Geoffrey Marcy, a prominent exoplanet researcher employed as a professor at UC Berkeley, has been found to have repeatedly violated sexual harassment policy. The full report has not been made public, but according to a report by Buzzfeed, the result is that he is to be given "clear expectations concerning his future interactions with students" or risk further punishment. Dr. Marcy has put an apology letter on his web page. Dr. Michael Eisen, a biology professor at UC Berkeley, has posted an article about the contradictions between the Berkley sexual harassment training and institutional consequences. Dr. Janet Stemwedel writes in Forbes about the differences between institutional and community responses in this case.
Of all the questionable assumptions that prop up the Myers-Briggs indicator, this one strikes me as the shakiest: that you are "born with a four letter preference," a reductive blueprint for how to move through life's infinite and varied challenges.
The Wheel of Time Reread by Leigh Butler [TOR.COM]
Hello! Welcome to the introductory post of a new blog series on Tor.com, The Wheel of Time Re-read. This is in preparation for the publication of the next and last book in the series, A Memory of Light, which is[more inside]
scheduled to bepublished this fall. My name is Leigh Butler, and I’ll be your hostess for the festivities. I’m very excited to be a part of this project, and I hope you will enjoy it as well.
A woman is arrested for trespassing after doing yoga poses for photos on the live tracks of the Washington DC metro, months after photographs surfaced. Barely a month before her arrest, in a nearby DC suburb, a train runs over a teenager who was posing for photographs with his girlfriend. [more inside]
In 1970, a young graduate student at MIT demonstrated SHRDLU, an interactive artificial intelligence program which could understand simple English sentences in order to manipulate and describe objects within a simple "block world". It was heralded as a huge breakthrough, leading to predictions that comprehensive "Strong AI" was just around the corner. This optimism proved to be premature, being followed a few years later by the first so-called "AI Winter" of disappointment and funding cuts. But the student, Terry Winograd, went on to Stanford and continues to be influential not just in computer science but also in ethics, cognitive science, natural language and even design. But you might know him better as the PhD. thesis advisor for a guy named Larry Page who was working on some kind of techniques for finding relevant web pages.
Despite its aging interface and its slightly misleading name, The Old Fulton New York Postcards site is an amazing tool for anyone doing any kind of historical research. It is a huge searchable archive of american and canadian newspapers.
Charleston to 'Cantina Band' Last night's episode of Strictly Come Dancing, the UK version of Dancing With Stars was a Hollywood special which included this two minutes of joy in which Kellie Bright & Kevin Clifton danced the charleston dressed at Luke and Leia. With lightsabers. Other films included Pulp Fiction, Pretty Woman and Ghost. [alt link for Star Wars dance]
The "Lube Olympics" makes slippery bid to rival 2020 Tokyo Games — featuring popular Greece sports like group sumo, tug-of-war, giant balls relay, sliding underneath the sheets and so much more