Tuna’s End – The Blue Tuna: Super fish

THERE ARE TWO reasons that a mere fish should have inspired such a high-strung confrontation reminiscent of Greenpeace’s early days as a defender of whales. The first stems from fish enthusiasts who have for many years recognized the particular qualities of bluefin tuna — qualities that were they land-based creatures would establish them indisputably as “wildlife” and not just another “seafood” we eat without remorse. Not only is the bluefin’s dense, distinctly beefy musculature supremely appropriate for traversing the ocean’s breadth, but the animal also has attributes that make its evolutionary appearance seem almost deus ex machina, or rather machina ex deo — a machine from God.

How else could a fish develop a sextantlike “pineal window” in the top of its head that scientists say enables it to navigate over thousands of miles? How else could a fish develop a propulsion system whereby a whip-thin crescent tail vibrates at fantastic speeds, shooting the bluefin forward at speeds that can reach 40 miles an hour? And how else would a fish appear within a mostly coldblooded phylum that can use its metabolic heat to raise its body temperature far above that of the surrounding water, allowing it to traverse the frigid seas of the subarctic?

Yes, bluefin tuna are warmblooded.

How the Mediterranean fisherman catch the young blue tuna (an entire school at a time) to be raised in pens… Continue reading

Bad Heuristics and Bad Education « Leaving trails

This goes on to one of my bigger “beefs” no pun intended with our current school system, which is intent on pushing certain subjects as “necessary” and “required” which are a complete waste of time for most. If we want to look at the reason why we have so much class division in America, we need look no further than our schools, which are intent on making an Engineer out of every child.

  • They teach “Math” and Geometry without teaching basic carpentry skills, or how to balance a checkbook, or how to invest your money.
  • They teach “Verbal” –whatever the hell that is– without teaching Literature.
  • And they teach “Science Reasoning” without ever engaging a child’s mind with Nature, Astronomy, or Navigation techniques.

Maybe the reason our children cannot concentrate in school, is because the content we’re trying to push in their brain is completely useless outside of an SAT, which many people will never have the chance to take.

via Bad Heuristics and Bad Education « Leaving trails.

Plant math | Making More Plants for Free

Author Ken Druse tells how to multiply and divide garden favorites. By Debra Prinzing May 4, 2008

Cuttings from woody plants above or from the stems of herbacious plants right can be rooted to form new plants. Author Ken Druse explains how in his book, “Making More Plants,” and in a special lecture here May 12.

Should you find yourself touring a friend’s garden and falling in love with an uncommon plant growing there, you might want to borrow a technique from Ken Druse

via Plant math | The San Diego Union-Tribune.

Continue reading

Strogatz on Math-The Hilbert Hotel – Infiniti

Infinity can be mind-boggling.

Some of its strangest aspects first came to light in the late 1800s, with Georg Cantor’s groundbreaking work on “set theory.” Cantor was particularly interested in infinite sets of numbers and points, like the set {1, 2, 3, 4,…} of “natural numbers” and the set of points on a line. He defined a rigorous way to compare different infinite sets and discovered, shockingly, that some infinities are bigger than others.

via The Hilbert Hotel – Opinionator Blog – NYTimes.com.

Why I won’t buy an iPad-Maker Manifesto…

Infantalizing hardware

Then there’s the device itself: clearly there’s a lot of thoughtfulness and smarts that went into the design. But there’s also a palpable contempt for the owner. I believe — really believe — in the stirring words of the Maker Manifesto: if you can’t open it, you don’t own it. Screws not glue. The original Apple ][+ came with schematics for the circuit boards, and birthed a generation of hardware and software hackers who upended the world for the better. If you wanted your kid to grow up to be a confident, entrepreneurial, and firmly in the camp that believes that you should forever be rearranging the world to make it better, you bought her an Apple ][+.

But with the iPad, it seems like Apple’s model customer is that same stupid stereotype of a technophobic, timid, scatterbrained mother as appears in a billion renditions of “that’s too complicated for my mom” listen to the pundits extol the virtues of the iPad and time how long it takes for them to explain that here, finally, is something that isn’t too complicated for their poor old mothers.

via Why I won’t buy an iPad and think you shouldn’t, either – Boing Boing. Continue reading

How a Science Star Could Be Made? – How a Soccer Star Is Made

The latest version of an Olympic Development Program for Soccer–funded by Adidas–let’s create a generation of uneducated professional soccer-playing teenagers! Maybe we need to “DECOUPLE” math and science education from High School too… maybe we do!*

But the decoupling of soccer education from higher education is an avowed goal of executives at the top levels of the American game. M.L.S. has been signing about a dozen young players a year — some from its teams’ academies, others who have already played a year or two in college — and putting them either on pro rosters or into development programs. Under this setup, called Generation Adidas, money is put aside for players’ future college tuitions. The academies of M.L.S. teams have begun to abandon the pay-for-play model and are bearing nearly all costs, including travel, for their players.

via Magazine Preview – How a Soccer Star Is Made – NYTimes.com.

* and recouple it with colleges? or high school science stars?