The new math of the ‘60s, the new new math of the ‘80s and today’s Common Core math all stem from the idea that the traditional way of teaching math simply does not work. As a nation, we suffer from an ailment that John Allen Paulos, a Temple University math professor and an author, calls innumeracy — the mathematical equivalent of not being able to read. On national tests, nearly two-thirds of fourth graders and eighth graders are not proficient in math. More than half of fourth graders taking the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress could not accurately read the temperature on a neatly drawn thermometer. (They did not understand that each hash mark represented two degrees rather than one, leading many students to mistake 46 degrees for 43 degrees.) On the same multiple-choice test, three-quarters of fourth graders could not translate a simple word problem about a girl who sold 15 cups of lemonade on Saturday and twice as many on Sunday into the expression “15 (2×15).” Even in Massachusetts, one of the country’s highest-performing states, math students are more than two years behind their counterparts in Shanghai.
Adulthood does not alleviate our quantitative deficiency. A 2012 study comparing 16-to-65-year-olds in 20 countries found that Americans rank in the bottom five in numeracy. On a scale of 1 to 5, 29 percent of them scored at Level 1 or below, meaning they could do basic arithmetic but not computations requiring two or more steps. One study that examined medical prescriptions gone awry found that 17 percent of errors were caused by math mistakes on the part of doctors or pharmacists. A survey found that three-quarters of doctors inaccurately estimated the rates of death and major complications associated with common medical procedures, even in their own specialty areas.
One of the most vivid arithmetic failings displayed by Americans occurred in the early 1980s, when the A&W restaurant chain released a new hamburger to rival the McDonald’s Quarter Pounder. With a third-pound of beef, the A&W burger had more meat than the Quarter Pounder; in taste tests, customers preferred A&W’s burger. And it was less expensive. A lavish A&W television and radio marketing campaign cited these benefits. Yet instead of leaping at the great value, customers snubbed it.
Only when the company held customer focus groups did it become clear why. The Third Pounder presented the American public with a test in fractions. And we failed. Misunderstanding the value of one-third, customers believed they were being overcharged. Why, they asked the researchers, should they pay the same amount for a third of a pound of meat as they did for a quarter-pound of meat at McDonald’s. The “4” in “¼,” larger than the “3” in “⅓,” led them astray.
In an interview with ThinkProgress, Kirkham says that she checked for alcohol on the table because she couldn’t believe how unabashedly and obviously sexist the execs — who were later joined by “an older woman” — were being. Turns out, they weren’t drunk, just intoxicated on the fumes of systematic sexism.
A former chicken farmer who managed a one star hotel in Madrid, Pujol had spent much of the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s locked in an apartment with the lights off, making no noise so as to avoid being noticed and arrested. He had no background in espionage. British intelligence rebuffed his offer, all but laughing him out of the embassy, according to journalist Stephan Talty, author of Agent Garbo.
This did not deter Pujol’s aspirations; instead he decided to establish himself as a false German spy in order to offer his services as a double agent to the British. He approached the Germans, this time with the story that he was a Nazi sympathizer in the Spanish government who travelled often to London — an audacious lie given that Pujol could not speak English. Yet on the strength of a forged diplomatic passport, German intelligence officers bought Pujol’s story. They gave him a crash course in espionage and told him to recruit a network of agents in England who could send dispatches back to Nazi Germany.
Within four years, Juan Pujol Garcia would be awarded merits of distinction by both the Germans and the British and play a key — if not pivotal — role in the invasion of Normandy. One could easily make the argument that this balding, boring man was the greatest double agent of all time.
A friend who teaches at a top university once asked her class to memorize 30 lines of the eighteenth-century poet Alexander Pope. Nearly every single kid got every single line correct. It was a thing of wonder, she said, like watching thoroughbreds circle a track.
There is no cure or vaccine for Ebola, which can kill up to 90 percent of those infected, although the mortality rate of the current outbreak is around 60 percent.
It was not immediately clear how Khan had caught the virus. His colleagues told Reuters that he was always meticulous with protection, wearing overalls, mask, gloves and special footwear. Three days ago, three nurses working in the same Ebola treatment center alongside Khan died from the disease.
Tarik Jasarevic, a spokesman for the World Health Organization, said around 100 health workers had been infected by Ebola in the three countries, with 50 of them dying.
"Personal protection equipment is very hot. But there is a very strict procedure how you wear it, how you take it off, what can be re-used or not," he said.
Earlier this month, Samuel Muhumuza Mutoro, a senior Ugandan doctor working in Liberia died after treated infected patients.
That architecture is all the stuff I spent ten years ranting on this blog about, but y’all don’t listen, so I’m just going to have to build company after company that runs my own wacky operating system, and eventually you’ll catch on. It’s OK to put people first. You don’t have to be a psychopath or work people to death or create heaps of messy code or work in noisy open offices.
There’s no need to linger over our differences: I thought the article was a piece of sexist tripe, celebrating a handful of Pilates-toned, famous, white-plus-Maya-Rudolph women as having improved on the apparently dismal aesthetics of previous generations; my primary objections to the piece have been ably laid out by other critics. Chait tweeted that he viewed the piece as a “mostly laudable” sign of progress: a critique not of earlier iterations of 42-year-old womanhood, but rather of the old sexist beauty standards that did not celebrate those women; he saw it as an acknowledgment of maturing male attitudes toward women’s value.
The truth is, had Chait been correct about it being a thoughtful piece laying into the entrenched short-sightedness and sexist cruelty of male-controlled media, I might have hated it more.
The report surveyed 516 women (and 142 men) working in various scientific fields, including archeology, anthropology, and biology. Sixty-four percent of the women said they had been sexually harassed while working at field sites, and one out of five said they had been victims of sexual assault. The study found that the harassers and assailants were usually supervisors. Ninety percent of the women who were harassed were young undergraduates, post-graduates, or post-doctoral students.
People defending Moss pointed out that it’s probably not cool to call for a woman to be anally raped because she wrote an article about joke stealing. But a torrent of I’m Shmacked devotees, apparently bright eyed and bushy tailed after a morning of social uselessness, began attacking Moss and people who stood up for Moss, like fellow journalist Lindsey Adler, who spent part of her first morning on the job at Vice Sports encouraging her followers to report I’m Shmacked for inciting abuse against Moss, and Mike Byhoff, who works at HLN and screen shotted some of the abuse he received for sticking up for someone. Twitter! Whatta place!