Category Archives: Uncategorized

Scenes from a Chinatown parade …

Closeup of table’s offerings



Send Your Name to Mars!

Source: NASA, May 2019

See here for more information:

Learning to Learn

Source: Bob Sutton website, Sep 2010
  1. Adopt a growth mindset:
    This might be the most important of all; as Carol Dweck’s wonderful research shows, when people believe that their intelligence and abilities are malleable rather than fixed, they try harder of learn more.

  2. Sleep Well
    Sleep deprivation makes people dumber and nastier.

  3. Forgive yourself for procrastinating.
    A cool study shows that students who forgive themselves for past sins here procrastinate less and perform better in the future.

  4. Test yourself
    “A powerful finding in laboratory studies of learning is the ‘testing effect’ whereby time spent answering quiz questions (including feedback of correct answers) is more beneficial than the same time spent merely re-studying that same material.”

  5. Pace yourself.
    People remember things better when they do a bit every day rather than cram for exams.

  6. Vivid examples may not always work best.
    some research suggesting that learning abstract concepts rather than the juicy stories that illustrate them enables students to more easily apply the concepts to diverse challenges.

  7. Take naps.
    taking a nap not only makes you more effective,
    also a way to offset some of the negative effects of sleep deprivation when the pressure is on.

  8. Get handouts prior to the lecture
    Students who get handouts in advance take fewer notes, but still tend to better on tests, at least according to one recent study.

  9. Believe in yourself.
    Self-belief affects problem-solving abilities even when the influence of background knowledge is taken into account. The students’ belief in their own ability, called ‘self-efficacy’, and their general ability both made unique contributions to their performance.”

Facing Adversity as a Cow: Guernsey or a Brahman?

Source: Farnham Street, Mar 2019

Persistence in the face of defeat often makes the difference in outcome.

Ask any farmer, and they will tell you that orphaned Guernsey calves die. It’s not the fact that they die, so much as how it happens, that stays in the mind. An orphaned calf soon gets so hungry she picks a new mother from the herd. The cow promptly kicks the strange calf away. After all, she didn’t give birth to the calf—why should she feed it? The Guernsey calf gives up, lies down, and slowly starves to death.

The orphaned Brahman calf gets a different result. The same scenario plays out, with the calf being kicked out by the reluctant mother. However, in this case, the naturally persistent calf keeps coming, until the potential new mother acquiesces out of exhaustion. As a result of this persistence, the calf survives.

Persistence is hard. It’s hard to get kicked in the face and to keep going. It hits at your self-esteem. You begin to wonder if you have value. You begin to think you might be crazy.

Cow pictures source:

Kirigami – Origami with Cuts

Source: Quanta, Jan 2015

The mismatch between soccer balls, saddles and sheets of paper lies in their “intrinsic” curvature, a property of surfaces known to mathematicians for centuries that no amount of folding can change. Scientists have sought a bridge across the divide — a systematic way of imbuing flat surfaces with curvature, which they say could revolutionize the design and assembly of three-dimensional structures and help extend a major theorem of geometry.

Reporting their work in December in Physical Review Letters, the physicists present a basic set of rules for cutting and reconnecting a piece of paper in order to add curvature to one point in its surface while subtracting it from another, maintaining the paper’s overall flatness while forcing it to bend into the third dimension.

“It’s a way of encoding three-dimensionality in a two-dimensional structure,” said Randall Kamien, a professor of physics at Penn who heads the research group behind the result. “The whole thing will just pop up all by itself.”

The new work essentially provides a rule book for a restricted version of kirigami, a less famous cousin of origami, the ancient Japanese art of paper folding. Origami approximates curved surfaces through folding, which changes paper’s “extrinsic” curvature in space. But through a combination of folds and cuts, kirigami artists produce Escheresque stairways, domed cathedrals and undulating water waves by embedding curvature directly into paper. Kamien and his team have shown that even their restricted kirigami, in which cuts and folds must preserve the spacing of a honeycomb lattice on the paper’s surface, allows the construction of a virtually unlimited range of 3-D structures.

The rule book turns kirigami into a new and efficient approach for designing 3-D structures, researchers said. Whereas building objects with origami requires intricate folding, construction in kirigami is simply a matter of closing the holes that have been pre-cut in paper or any other flat material. “Just by printing holes onto something, you control how you pop it up,” Santangelo said.


Choices –> Wage Gaps

Source: NewsWars, Feb 2019

The researchers did find that a gap existed:

The gap of $0.89 in our setting, which is 60% of the earnings gap across the United States.

But, the gap can be explained entirely by the fact that, while having the same choice sets in the workplace, women and men make different choices.

Women use the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to take more unpaid timeoff than men and they work fewer overtime hours at 1.5 times the wage rate. At the root of these different choices is the fact that women value time and flexibility more than men.

Men and women choose to work similar hours of overtime when it is scheduled a quarter in advance,but men work nearly twice as many overtime hours than women when they are scheduled the day before. Using W-4 filings to ascertain marital status and the presence of dependents, we show that women with dependents – especially single women – value time away from work more than men with dependents.

even when men and women have the same job title and the same job description, the work they do is not homogenous. A worker who works at odd hours (and thus makes more overtime pay because of it) simply isn’t doing the same work as a person who requires extremely regular hours. Similarly, a worker who requires sizable chunks of time off every several years (for maternity leave or childcare needs) is also not doing the same work as a worker who rarely takes time off.

If one of the workers is available nearly all the time, but the other one has a far more inflexible schedule, don’t have the same job when it comes to actual executions of duties.


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