All cultures count in base ten, because humans have ten fingers. That’s common knowledge — so common that it isn’t even true. It is, of course, true that most cultures count in base ten, with some obvious and well-known exceptions… Read More ›
Month: July 2018
Your iPad or your chicken.
William is holding my iPad hostage until I give him some of my chicken:
The golden meanie
Fellow math nerds: check out Sandra Boynton’s pet, Fibonacci. Of course he’s a golden meanie: She describes him thus: The Golden Meanie is a mythical beast of pleasing proportions but unpleasant temperament. Oh well. You can’t have everything.
Vincent and Giraffe
Vincent likes his new giraffe rug. (Doesn’t look much like a giraffe to me, but what do I know?)
Is Chinese a language? (I.e., is Chinese a language?)
Note the subtle use of italics to express emphasis in the title. 😀 Why do people persist in referring to Mandarin, Cantonese, Shanghainese, and so forth as dialects rather than languages? Actually, there are a couple of good explanations — “good”… Read More ›
Weston alum blogs about Ireland and Tanzania.
Take a look at Studying abroad in Ireland and Tanzania, a wonderful travel blog by Weston alum Izzi Lambrecht, currently a rising senior at Holy Cross. For example, read her recent essay “Soooo How Much Agency Do We Have? Pondering in… Read More ›
I’m not quite sure how I feel about Tara Westover’s memoir, Educated. Comparisons with Hillbilly Elegy, which I did not like, are inevitable. The stories are actually quite different, as are the attitudes of the narrators. I had referred to J.D. Vance (author of… Read More ›
Tolkien, Adams, Rowling, Asimov: Re-reading a trilogy (or do I mean “series”?)
You’ll notice something strange in this screen shot: the Hitchhiker’s trilogy apparently consists of five books, not three. But of course that’s part of the shtick. What are we supposed to call it? The Hitchhiker’s pentalogy? Nah, the generic word is… Read More ›
“It’s a man, it’s a bird…” OK, stop right there. You know what this is about. But maybe you don’t. The beginning of this thorough biography of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, creators of Superman, does indeed focus on their… Read More ›
Fireworks and You
“Hey, Larry!” shouts my neighbor as I take out the trash yesterday evening. “Where are your fireworks?” “People shouldn’t be setting off fireworks in residential neighborhoods,” I reply. “They scare cats and dogs.” “But you’re not scared,” he reasoned. “No,… Read More ›