Why Student Athletes Continue to Fail

When student athletes were asked how much they care about athletics, they rated their interest a healthy 8.5 on average, on a scale of 1 to 10. But when asked the value they place on academics, the result was higher than 9 on average. If anything, the average student athlete cares more about his studies than his sport. #StudentBeforeAthlete indeed. So why do they underperform in their classes? One possible and intriguing…

This is what happened when a KDKA-TV journalist showed bias

Social media platforms are full of people who complain “the media is biased” against whatever side they support. When my students repeat this claim, I ask them to supply an example. They usually point to a meme that supplies a biased headline to a real news story. The story itself is fine, but the text in the meme makes it look like a wildly inaccurate or unfair statement from “the…

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The Big Goodbye (TNG Rewatch, Season 1, Episode 11)

The first of (far too) many “trapped on the holodeck” episodes. Exhausted while preparing for a high-stakes diplomatic ritual, Picard takes a break in a virtual-reality simulation of a 1940s detective novel. I remembered enjoying Brent Spiner’s portrayal of Data adapting to the noir setting, but on my rewatch I was delighted by Gates McFadden’s physical comedy when Dr. Crusher joins the party. Picard dominates a staff meeting by enthusing…

Unity Normal Problems (Importing an object from Blender 2.8b)

I had a complex model that I created in Blender 2.79, and imported (with some tweaking) successfully to Unity 2018 a few months ago. When I switched to Blender 2.8 and Unity 2018.2, I found big problems with my model. Blender 2.8b tells me that all the normals are exactly what I expect — the blue shows all the normals are pointing outside, as they should. But these 2 screenshots…

Today’s Computer Displays Distort Pixel Art Designed for 1980s CRTs

As a kid, I remember studying my CRT displays with a microscope. Each pixel that I could control with BASIC on my TRS-80 or Atari 800 or Commodore-64 was made up of tiny arrays of red, blue, and green dots that I could not control directly. There was one display mode of the Atari 800 that officially offered 4 colors — black, red, blue, and white. My brother and I…