Oliver Sacks redux

I’m gradually working my way through most of the oeuvre of the late Oliver Sacks. Two months ago I wrote about Uncle Tungsten, On the Move, and Hallucinations. Now it’s time for The Island of the Colorblind, Cycad Island, and Awakenings. Once again, all three are fascinating and worth… Read More ›

Recent Posts

  • Why he stopped doing interviews for Yale

    Ben Orlin hits the nail on the head in his brief essay titled “Why I’ve Stopped Doing Interviews for Yale.” The whole admissions process for highly selective colleges has become an unpredictable mess, as many of my recent high-school students will tell… Read More ›

  • Copenhagen

    So…it’s hard to avoid telling a bad joke about uncertainty…you know, “Heisenberg and Bohr walk into a bar…” But I’m going to try hard to stay away from such jokes, Not that the play isn’t amusing. In fact it has… Read More ›

  • The Ophelia Cut


    You’re probably wondering how many John Lescroart mystery novels featuring Dismas Hardy I’ve read at this point. No, you’re not wondering that? That’s just as well, since I’m not at all sure; there are 14 in all, and they seem… Read More ›

  • What’s wrong with Strunk and White?

    The Elements of Style, by Strunk and White, is certainly a popular book, but its popularity is richly undeserved. There, I said it. A recent article by Stanford’s Asya Pereltsvaig in the Languages of the World blog explains why the popularity of Strunk… Read More ›

  • “You’re not actually bad at math.”

    This picture sits atop an interesting article in Slate magazine, titled “You’re not actually bad at math” and subtitled “A new way to think about how to reason.” Although I call the article “interesting,” it’s ultimately disappointing. It raises several… Read More ›

  • A Little Night Music

    Yesterday afternoon Barbara and I went to see A Little Night Music at the Huntington Theatre. Go see it! Although I consider myself something of a fan of Stephen Sondheim, I had never seen this particular musical before, either on stage… Read More ›

  • Standards of mathematical practice: A portfolio


    Check out Tina Cardone’s post about standards of mathematical practice. Her suggestions relate closely to my post of August 30, where I discussed the attributes of a good mathematician and how we’re planning to measure them in Weston. There’s a… Read More ›

  • Common bonds…or One No Trump

    What do these three have in common? Tea-partiers who distrust experienced teachers and blame them for everything that’s wrong in education. Climate-deniers who distrust scientists. Republicans who prefer any of the three highest-polling candidates (Trump, Carson, Fiorina). They’re all right-wingers, of course,… Read More ›

  • Why?


    What is the key question? Not to sound like Abbott and Costello, but actually “why” is the key question. A year ago, my boss’s boss, Pam Bator — new in that role at the time — started a blog called“Why?” Note… Read More ›


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