I’m overwhelmed with the attention that my “How to Prevent Another Leonardo da Vinci” post has received this week. When I first saw the spike on my traffic chart I thought WordPress had gone glitchy, but I’m delighted to see that I’m mistaken! So I want to thank all of you who came and read my thoughts in that post – you all really made my week. Especially those of you who blogged about my post, emailed it to someone (I see a lot of email clients on my incoming links list), or commented. The response has been amazing.
If you have some free time on your hands, I’d love it if you left a comment. I’m interested to hear who’s reading, even if you’re just passing through. :)
That said… here are this week’s links.
Best of the Week is TIE
BOTW – Interesting: The Google Labs Aptitude Test (GLAT)
The recruitment questions that Google uses used to screen employees. How many of the technical ones could you answer? Some of the more creative questions are just amazing – I’d love to work for the kind of people who come up with these. My favorite: “This space left intentionally blank. Please fill it with something that improves upon emptiness”. But really, these are just GREAT.
BOTW – Gender: Male Scientist Writes of Life as Female Scientist (Washington Post)
This was really interesting – a transsexual neurobiologist (female-to-male) discusses what it was like to be a woman in the sciences, and how differently he was treated after having a sex change. As he said, “I can even complete a whole sentence without being interrupted by a man.” Other scientists, male and female, also add their input on gender imbalance in the sciences. (Unfortunately, I can sympathize a little too well with these women.)
Society: Trashing Teens (Psychology Today)
A great article about the infantilization of teenagers, and how it contributes to some of the immaturity we see in teenage culture. For what it’s worth, I agree that teenagers are definitely capable of more than society nowadays would expect. I remember reading memoirs at the museum written by people who had grown up in the early 1900s… only a few had even gone on to middle school, and a phrase from one memoir in particular stuck with me: “I was fresh out of grade eight and ready to get my first real job.” Nowadays many areas have made it illegal to hire someone under 16. What happened?
Education: The Lost Art of Writing (San Francisco Chronicle)
An excellent editorial about how writing should and shouldn’t be taught in schools. Maybe I’ll write an adaption this for reading, too, in a future post. All I can say is, this points out exactly what is wrong with English education in schools today. A good anecdote to go along with this comes from TIME contributor Ashley Merryman as she teaches kids the proper way to write a paragraph (a collection of sentences about an idea rather than just five-to-seven-sentences bunched together) only to have their English teachers fail them for it.
History/Interesting: German voting ballot from 1938
The photo of a German voting ballot from 1938. The text in German reads (so I’m told): “Do you agree with the reunification of Austria with the German Empire that was enacted on 13 March 1938, and do you vote for the party of our leader Adolf Hitler?” Take a look at it… biased much?
Neuroscience/Morality/Religion: If It Feels Good to Be Good, It Might Be Only Natural (Washington Post)
A team of neuroscientists have recently discovered that morality may be hard-wired into the brain. An experiment showed that when the subjects behaved altruistically, the part of the brain that lights up is the same one that assigns pleasure to food and sex. What happens to religion and personal responsibility when morality can be explained as pure brain chemistry? I think it would be interesting to see the religious statistics among neuroscientists.
Education: How to Fix No Child Left Behind (TIME Magazine)
Last week’s feature article in TIME Magazine was a dead-on discussion of the good and bad results that came out of NCLB. It’s nothing that we didn’t already know, but a great read nonetheless, and with proper statistics and anecdotes to support it all plus some other, less obvious consequences (less obvious to me, at least). When I read the article in the actual magazine, it included a report card for all aspects of NCLB, but I can’t seem to find that report card online.
That’s it for this week.
Again, thank you to all the people who’ve visited these last few days, and if you have the time, it would be great to hear from you. :)