This may be why you are bad at math

Whats the best language for learning math? asked Sue Shellenbarger in The Wall Street Journal. Hint: Youre not reading it.
Languages like Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Turkish help children learn to count and do math more effectively than English, research shows, because they use simpler number words and express math concepts more clearly. Chinese, for example, has just nine number names, while English has more than two dozen unique words for numbers. That means English speakers have to do additional mental steps to understand the value of a digit like 17, which is rendered seventeen in English but ten-seven in Chinese or Turkish. Researchers say number-heavy video games and counting aloud while playing games like Chutes & Ladders can help offset some of the disadvantages of speaking English.


International music competitions are full of nail-biting moments for young musicians seeking top prizes. But Japanese-born, Chicago-based flutist Yukie Ota encountered a peculiar distraction Monday in the first round of the hugely competitive Carl Nielsen International Flute Competition in Odense, Denmark ... As Ota played Pierrre Sancan's Sonatine for the judges, a butterfly first landed in her hair and then settled on her left eyebrow as she continued to perform. Only a brief glance upward belied her complete concentration as the insect opened and closed its wings.

NPR: Watch A Sweet Little Butterfly Nearly Crush A Woman's Hopes And Dreams


Kindness is in our power, even when fondness is not.
---Samuel Johnson, lexicographer (born on this day 1709-1784)
Krispy Kreme is celebrating the 30th anniversary of Ghostbusters with special edition doughnuts.
The first, appropriately dubbed the "Ghostbusters Doughnut," features a marshmallow creme filling and a green slime "splat," topped with the Ghostbusters logo in the form of a sugar piece. The second option, the "Stay Puft Marshmallow Doughnut," also features a marshmallow creme filling and is topped with a frosting Stay Puft marshmallow face.


The basic physics of a rainbow is pretty simple, really. Sunlight enters the front of a raindrop. It hits the back side of the drop, reflects, and then heads back out the front side again. The light bends a little bit when it enters and exits the dropscientists get all fancy and call this refractionand different colors bend by different amounts. The light bends change direction by a total of about 138°, but red light bends a little less, blue light a little more.

Bad Astronomy: Ring Around the Rainbow - Incredible photo of a full circle rainbow

We move into the back seats of their lives...

by Olivia Stiffler

They disappear with friends
near age 11. We lose them
to baseball and tennis, garage
bands, slumber parties, stages
where they rehearse for the future,
ripen in a tangle of love knots.
With our artificial knees and hips
we move into the back seats
of their lives, obscure as dust
behind our wrinkles, and sigh as we add the loss of them
to our growing list of the missing.

Sometimes they come back,
carting memories of sugar cookies
and sandy beaches, memories of how
we sided with them in their wars
with parents, sided with them
even as they slid out of our laps
into the arms of others.

Sometimes they come back
and hold onto our hands
as if they were the thin strings
of helium balloons
about to drift off.

Away to Oregon

Leaving Home


Off They Go


Good Bye



Study finds people under 30 are reading more than their elders
A Pew Research report, "Younger Americans and Public Libraries," finds that 88 percent of Americans age 16 to 29 have read at least one book in the last year, compared to 79 percent of people age 30 and older. While one book may seem low, the report adds that "among younger Americans who did read at least one book, the typical number read in the past year was 10." Young people may be reading, but just 19 percent said a local library closing would impact their lives, compared with 32 percent of people over the age of 30.
-- [Los Angeles Times] --
If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.
--Albert Einstein


The Denver Post is officially for sale.
The company that owns the paper is more interested in bottom-line profits than in getting news to the public.
Digital First Media's decision to pursue "strategic alternatives," including a possible sale, could result in The Denver Post, and 13 smaller newspapers in the state, operating under local ownership by early next year, media analysts predict.



Everything has a beginning and an end. Life is just a cycle of starts and stops.
There are ends we don't desire, but they're inevitable, we have to face them. It's what being human is all about. - Jet Black