We Had No Idea What Alexander Graham Bell Sounded Like. Until Now | History & Archaeology

“Hear my voice. Alexander Graham Bell.” That was really quite thrilling. In that ringing declaration, I heard the clear diction of a man whose father, Alexander Melville Bell, had been a renowned elocution teacher (and perhaps the model for the imperious Prof. Henry Higgins, in George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion; Shaw acknowledged Bell in his preface to the play). I heard, too, the deliberate enunciation of a devoted husband whose deaf…


The Reading Brain in the Digital Age: The Science of Paper versus Screens: Scientific American

As digital texts and technologies become more prevalent, we gain new and more mobile ways of reading—but are we still reading as attentively and thoroughly? How do our brains respond differently to onscreen text than to words on paper? Should we be worried about dividing our attention between pixels and ink or is the validity of such concerns paper-thin. –Scientific American.


Why scientists should care about art

My artsy daughter loves stories about science far more than she loves science; she has won “Best Display” for her age group in a science fair. When my son was 5, when given the choice he would invariably ask me to read him a nonfiction book rather an a fiction book; he has won “Most Creative” in a a science fair, and is a voracious reader, from Ray Bradbury to…

Students boycott final to challenge professor’s grading policy (and get As)

Since he started teaching at Johns Hopkins University in 2005, Professor Peter Fröhlich has maintained a grading curve in which each class’s highest grade on the final counts as an A, with all other scores adjusted accordingly. So if a midterm is worth 40 points, and the highest actual score is 36 points, “that person gets 100 percent and everybody else gets a percentage relative to it,” said Fröhlich. This…

Seeing and Believing (“Knowledge for Children”)

Patience and hard work are also attributes of hunters, peasants, and Benedictine monks. What sets scientists apart is their rigorous observation of natural phenomena, allowing patterns to emerge that can be expressed in abstract formulae, which, in turn, can be applied to produce identical results any time they are reapplied in identical conditions. To “do science” means to subscribe to a mindset that distinguishes scrupulously between immanence and transcendence, between…


Asteroid 2012 DA14 brushes by Earth

An asteroid is making the closest known fly-by for a rock of its size today, just hours after a meterorite crashed to Earth in Russia, with nearly a thousand people injured by space debris in an event unprecedented in modern times. Scientists insist the events are purely coincidental… Follow all the latest news, reaction, and the inevitable internet frenzy here. via Telegraph.

Know What It Really Feels Like To Be Learning Disabled?

Most teachers are those who, not surprisingly, have made it through the educational system smoothly enough to replicate it, even when they think of themselves as radical reformers of that system. Especially English teachers. English teachers are the gatekeepers to the normal brained. (I see this all the time when I am hanging out with my computer and technology pals. I no longer remember much math but, when I’m with…