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Watched “Apollo 11” at local library with my son today

50 years ago today, three humans were on their way to the moon for the first time. Todd Douglas Miller’s documentary “Apollo 11” uses lots of found footage (including longer cuts of iconic sequences I know well, and plenty I’ve never seen before) arranged on split-screen multi-angle shots, woven together with low-key graphics and the unmistakeable voice of Walter Kronkite from contemporary news broadcasts. The Latrobe library screened the movie…

What Can Science Tell Us About Dad Jokes?

Beyond making the audience cringe and, hopefully, bring a father a little closer to his son or daughter in a healthy manner, puns have given researchers insight into how the left side of the brain engages with the right side. Researchers showed that the brain’s left hemisphere processes the language of the pun first, while the right side takes a few beats to catch the ambiguous dual meaning in a 2016 study…

Time Might Only Exist in Your Head. And Everyone Else’s

Tired brain can’t quite process this Wired summary of a scholarly paper, but I enjoyed how the good writing helped me peek into a field I know so little about. Time moves as it does because humans are biologically, neurologically, philosophically hardwired to experience it that way. It’s like a macro-scale version of Schrödinger’s cat. A faraway corner of the universe might be moving future to past. But the moment…

Humanities and STEM Can and Should Get Along Better

In my lit and writing classes, I regularly encounter STEM students who are frustrated because I won’t deliver a lecture that tells them “what the poem means” and then give them points for spitting back the “correct answer.” Likewise, when I teach a math unit in my journalism class, I regularly encounter word-oriented students who are frustrated by the specificity of numbers. Truth be told, some of my “your petty…