Category Archives: Education

seeing the world from both sides

This article from the San Jose Mercury News, Seeing the World from Both Sides, is worth a read:

When a Stanford University neurobiologist made a case this week that discrimination, not genetics, keeps women out of science, his comments carried more weight than usual.

Ben A. Barres spent most of his life — and his career as an accomplished scientist — as a woman. Only nine years ago did he complete the process of changing into a man; only recently, he says, did he begin to realize how bias holds women back.

Oddly enough, I just had a conversation about this with Bryan Monroe from work.  One point I’ve heard before that this article doesn’t make: girls in science classes often give up on further science if they don’t excel, while boys are encouraged to continue even if they do poorly.  That seemed telling to me, because it’s less about a specific person discriminating and more about internalized cultural bias.


Must check this out in more detail when I have the time:

bq. “Howtoons”: are one-page cartoons showing 5-to-15 year-old kids “How To” build things. Each illustrated episode is a stand-alone fun adventure accessible to all, including the pre-literate. Our Howtoons are designed to encourage children to be active participants in discovering the world through Play-that-Matters — fun, creative, and inventive — and to rely a lot less on mass-consumable entertainment.

ads in textbooks

“Leela”: Didn’t you have ads in the 20th century?

“Fry”: Well sure, but not in our dreams. Only on TV and radio. And in magazines. And movies. And at ball games and on buses and milk cartons and t-shirts and written on the sky. But “not in dreams”: No siree!

IntarWeb U

“Parand”: thoughtfully provided a short list of interesting online academic courseware from “Harvard”:, “MIT”:, and “Berklee”: (the music school, not a typo). The Harvard videos remind me of the fun educational/classroom shows (like “Mechanical Universe”: or “French in Action”: I used to watch on UHF channels. I was just thinking about online music lessons, too…