Recent Posts - page 2

  • Educated

    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 ›

  • Super Boys

    “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 ›

  • Thinking (back) about Trig?

    Why did somebody recommend to me a blog called A Portrait of a Math Teacher as an Aging Man? Are they trying to tell me something? I’m not sure that I should be thrilled about that 😀. Nevertheless, the recommended blog… Read More ›

  • Why do Asian-Americans excel at math?

    Stereotypes, data, statistics, racism, tiger moms… what is this issue really about? Unless you want to be an ostrich and hide your head in the sand — hoping that the assumption behind this question is untrue — you really need… Read More ›

  • APs for all?

    “Who am I to tell a student you can’t be in honors or AP?” said a guidance counselor at New Mission High School (a charter school in Boston) in a fascinating WGBH report. The gist of the report, titled “The… Read More ›

  • τ > π.

    Happy Tau Day! Argh, I was supposed to post this yesterday, of course. If you don’t know what tau (τ) is, I could just tell you that it’s C/r, which is approximately 6.28, hence 6/28 is Tau Day. But that… Read More ›

  • Cinquecento etc.

    For the second year in a row, Barbara and I went to Cinquecento for our anniversary dinner. The high standards of food and service remain (even with a clearly inexperienced server). But I should have checked the review I wrote… Read More ›

  • Adieu, Weston

    Cliché Central calling: “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.” Yes, it’s a cliché, but it makes a point. Over the last couple of weeks, people kept asking me how I felt (not my favorite question,… Read More ›