From the man who showed up rocket scientists, a simple checklist:
- pick a topic you want to understand and start studying it
- pretend to teach your topic to a classroom*
- go back to the books when you get stuck**
- simplify and use analogies
Exactly the technique I use to “get smart” on lots of stuff I should know, but don’t.
Tip from Old Remus at the Woodpile Report (report #553).
*Pretend, hell! Wiggle that topic into your course syllabus, and commit yourself to teaching it. Nothing sharpens your studies like trying to create a coherent lecture. Or two. With a supporting homework assignment. And quiz or exam questions.
**There are gurus out there, go talk to them. I’m lucky to work at a university, where many are right down the hall. I have yet to meet an expert unwilling to speak about his area of expertise. Often at great, nay overwhelming, length.
But today there are reports that the British government has said that it will not offer asylum to Asia Bibi. The reason being “security concerns” — that weasel term now used by all officialdom whenever it needs one last reason to avoid doing the right thing.
Thanks to Douglas Murray, writing in the National Review, for explaining the term. I see university officials using it quite frequently.
I am such a slow pony. I’ve just web-surfed my way into discovering Rob Hyndman’s Time Series Data Library, which has hundreds of time-series datasets suitable for every teaching need. I was looking for one of my old faves, from that hoary old classic, Forecasting, Time Series, and Regression, and voila! there it is.
Most of us are aware of the seasonal cycle of influenza outbreaks, which for Americans peak in the winter. In a new paper, Micaela Martinez, PhD, a scientist at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, makes a case that all infectious diseases have a seasonal element. The “Pearl” article appears in the journal PLOS Pathogens. [my emphasis]
We all knew this, we just didn’t know we knew this. Some folks are recognized as geniuses for explicating the obvious. I’m look at you, Micaela Martinez.
Tip from Austin Bay writing at the Instatpundit, who, like the BlogFather himself, can make even the most boring stuff sound interesting.
The New York Times’ Gary Greenberg asks “What if the Placebo Effect Isn’t a Trick?” and gets some interesting answers. Along the way, he tells the interesting history of the placebo and how it has become a standard in FDA=approved clinical trials. My only question for the FDA is this: if someone were to attempt to certify a placebo effect, what would you compare it to?
Tip from Drudge, who, like a blind squirrel, occasionally finds a fresh nut, and never leaves a permalink.
An American veteran brings his Ukranian bride to the States for a honeymoon, and gets to see his country through fresh eyes. And understands why not to sweat the small stuff:
…it’s all too easy to misjudge the gravity of life’s problems when you’re used to peace and prosperity—after all, there’s no microaggression, no trigger, no slur or verbal insult that could ever compare with the impartial brutalities of revolution and war.
Tip from Maggie’s Farm
UPDATE: A young German woman, disillusioned with her life, is rescued from death by a kindly stranger.
As for Katharina, she said Nancy rescued her in more ways than one.
“Someone cared,” Katharina said. She said the whole reason she did the hike alone was because she’d given up on people.
“I lost faith in humanity,” Katharina said. But she said she got her faith back in a “really big way.”
“Come to America,” Katharina said.
Over at Monster Hunter Nation, Larry Correia puts us hip to a delightful and creative approach to F&SF book covers: incorporating the author as a cover character. This one of L.C. and wife rocks it:
If you’re not tuned into Larry’s worldview, you can get the 2-minute summary by clicking to the adjacent blog entry “Hoon for America: Manatee Party Stickers Now Available.” And I concur: get off my lawn. Except you kids, you keep the porch pirates and daytime burglars away.