Seeking out the wise, good and honest

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Why is Math Taught Differently Now?


Why is Math Different Now from raj shah on Vimeo.

Dr. Raj Shah explains why math is taught differently than it was in the past and helps address parents' misconceptions about the "new math". 
Dr. Shah is the owner and founder of Math Plus Academy (mathplusacademy.com) an academic enrichment program with two locations in Columbus, Ohio. Math Plus Academy offers class in math, robotics, programming and chess for kids from KG to 9th grade. Math Plus Academy is on a mission to show kids the joy of mathematics and science.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Who decided to put 60 seconds in a minute?



Babylonians used a base 60 number system that evidently worked better at astronomical calculations.
Babylon gave us 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 360 days in a year and 12 months in a year. ("Who Decided to Put 60 Seconds in a Minute?")

Immigration Reform Executive Action

There is a lot of debate over whether Obama's recent immigration executive action is constitutional or not. Saturday Night Live did a skit last night mocking Obama.


Zachary A. Goldfarb said,

This skit got a couple of things right, and a couple of things wrong. For starters, Obama didn't sign an executive order. He is taking executive action, in particular by directing the Department of Homeland Security to expand programs that defer deportation for classes of undocumented immigrants — parents of U.S. citizens or permanent-resident children, as well as undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children.

He also said
Presidents George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan used their authorities to extend protection to illegal immigrants.
...
Obama's measure still goes far beyond his predecessors, who shielded anywhere from 100,000 to 1.5 million people from deportations. If there is a court challenge, it would, in any event, go on for years, perhaps into the next president's term.
Regardless of how any challenge to this executive action turns out, Obama certainly has reversed his position on whether he could use executive authority to change immigration policy.


Tomorrow night, President Barack Obama will announce what appears to be the most sweeping executive action on immigration in American history. 
For years, he has called such action illegal; in fact, “The Kelly File” found 25 instances in which Obama said so on camera. 
“Today we know he’s about to do the very thing he said would flout the law, the very thing he said would be ‘very difficult to defend legally.’ And his defenders say, ‘Well he misunderstood the law.’ For six years?” Megyn Kelly questioned. ("Caught on Camera: Obama Called Exec Immigration Action Illegal… 25 Times!", FoxNews insider, Nov 19, 2014)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Sexual Liberty and Religious Liberty Can Coexist. Here’s How

"sexual liberty and religious liberty need not be in tension and that most Americans, whether they’re for gay marriage or opposed to gay marriage, don’t want them to be in tension."
("Sexual Liberty and Religious Liberty Can Coexist. Here’s How",  Ryan T. Anderson, 9 Nov 2014)

"Barronelle Stutzman is one example. She had been providing flowers for a gay couple for years. But when they asked her to do the floral arraignments for their same-sex wedding, she had to decline. She couldn’t help celebrate that event because it violated her beliefs about what marriage is."



I like the way Ryan put this.
"The way we’ve worked this out in American law is to have a balancing test. Religious liberty isn’t an absolute right. Religious liberty doesn’t always trump. Religious liberty is balanced with concerns for a compelling state interest that’s being pursued in the least-restrictive means possible."

 "We should be engaged in the political process to have our laws respect religious liberty rights for all Americans—not just for our co-religionists, not just for those people who hold the religious beliefs that we hold or who engage in religious activities that we approve of."

Saturday, November 1, 2014

How We Got to Now

This is a great documentary series.

I just finished the glass episode. Starting on the Venetian island of Murano in the 14th century where a craftsman discovered a way to make glass clear.
- Clerics use half spheres of clear glass to magnify words on a page.
- Lens are made to help clerics to read better, they are put in frames and spectacles are invented.
- The invention of the printing press makes books more available and increases the demand for spectacles.
- Lens are combined to create the microscope and the telescope.
- A lens is added to a box and photosensitive material to create the camera.
- The live video camera is reduced so as to make a live broadcast from the moon possible.
- Glass mirrors fundamentally change the psychology of self and makes possible many renaissance artists.
- Mirrors make modern, large telescopes possible.
- Fiber optics makes broadband Internet possible worldwide.