Here is an interesting article about Dan-el Padilla Peralta, a classics scholar and professort at Princeton. He hopes to basically dismantle the discipline due to its inherent racism. It's a fascinating read: New York Times Link
A great quote:
"We have an obligation to read aloud to our children. ... To read to them stories we are already tired of. To do the voices, to make it interesting, and not to stop reading to them just because they learn to read to themselves."
I ran across these words from the Doctor Who show today. My children and I have been working through the episodes. Something to constantly strive for...
Never be cruel, never be cowardly.
Hate is always foolish…and love, is always wise.
Always try to be nice, and never fail to be kind.
The Center for Disease Control has published its guidelines on schools reopening. It is important to note that these guidelines only apply where community transmission is controlled. This is currently not the state of affairs where I live and work. Our nation's president does not like the guidelines because they make obvious the fact that the vast majority of school districts are not prepared for reopening. So he is asking the guidleines be changed... Thankfully, the scientists in the CDC are standing their ground and refusing to change the guidelines. If Science starts using personal preferences to inform its results, then it stops being Science to the extent that the personal preferences were used.
We are fast approaching the reopening of schools here! I will be headed back to teaching and my children will be heading back as students. Our school district has decided on a plan to give students a choice whether they get distance learning virtually or they head back to the physical school building for face to face instruction. They are not giving teachers a choice about heading back to schools, though. Even teachers that are going to teach virtually will be going in to the school building to do their teaching during normal hours. This has a lot of teachers and people in the community understandably scared. That fear is exacerbated by the fact that we happen to be in one of the worst states in the country from infection rates of Covid, thanks to the ineptitude of our governor and his political allies following the advice of our country's president.
However, it is good to get as much data as possible from reliable sources during something like this, which stokes fears and rumors among a populace that has a large contingent of people who are scientifically illiterate and given to giving credence to all manner of conspiracy theories and pseudoscience.
So here is an article by the journal Science, America's top peer-reviewed science journal, discussing the issue of school reopenings and what we can actually say scientifically about them.
Two scientists, Tom Westby and Christopher J. Conselice, have published in the Astrophysical Journal that they have calculated the mathematical odds that their are other intelligent alien civilizations out there in the Milky Way. They made the assumption that such life would need a planet very similar to Earth in order to provide the necessary ingredients for life to evolve. This means the proper distance from a star, the proper size, the proper chemical composition, the right type of star, and the proper planet age. They assume that if these factors are reached then it is likely that life would evolve on that planet. So taking these characteristics together the scientists figured out that there are probably about 36 such planets like that in our Milky Way galaxy based on what we have been finding with our exoplanet hunting endeavors in the last several years. Based on the idea of 36 planets, they then calculated that the nearest of those planets would probably be around 17,000 light years away, assumming roughly uniform random locations of these planets throughout the galaxy. This is way too far away for us to have any hope of contacting them under our current understanding of physics.
The Astrophysical Journal: The Astrobiological Copernican Weak and Strong Limits for Intelligent Life
Here is an interesting article written in Discover about research showing that hobbies have positive psychological effects on people. People doing their hobbies tend to enter a state of mindfulness while doing them. This provides a temporary escape from stressful thoughts and allows the hobbyist get some mental rest. When a hobbyist finishes her hobby activity she tends to feel rested at the conclusion. This is definitely the case for me when I finish reading, or painiting, or playing tabletop games.
Discover Magazine: The Psychological Benefits of Picking up a Hobby
Page 1 of 10