Recommended reads #30


There is nothing that an online class can do badly that can’t be replicated in a poorly taught lecture class.  The problem is that the proliferation of online classes make this kind of education-substitute seem normal, particularly for students who get little opportunity to experience any other way of doing it.

  • I see and hear a lot of griping about the fact that search committees don’t provide information to candidates in a timely manner, if at all. I think a lot of job candidates genuinely don’t understand why they don’t hear back, and think it’s just rude. Well, rudeness might have something to do with it, but there are also a lot of other explanations at work too. Here’s a list of reasons.

  • The undergraduates working at La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica have a blog about their summer projects and experiences. It just started, but over the summer, you’ll see more posts about what they’re up to.

  • A big scientist reflects on doing small science.

  • Among the bloggers at Scientific American is a sexist pig named Ash Jogalekar, who wrote in April that women are not as smart as men. (I’m a little behind the times.) What surprises me is how many women still follow him on twitter, at @curiouswavefn, presumably blissfully unaware of his porcine nature.

And some World Cup items:

  • The Ghananian side had been playing quite a while without getting paid. On the eve of a crucial game (which, fortunately for the US, they lost), a player walkout was halted by the last-moment delivery of cash. So, the streets of Brazilia saw a highly public convoy tracking the vehicle containing millions of dollars of cash owed to Ghana’s footballers just twelve hours before their last match against Portugal.

  • The New York Times ran a spot-the-ball game using stills from World Cup. It’s fun and quick, and it’s interesting to see your guesses compare to everybody else.

  • You have to have heard about Luis Suárez’s biting someone, right? If not, you can clearly look that one up on your own. The funny thing it is that people made money betting that he would bite someone. It’s Suarez’s third offense. Each bite caused long suspensions. Now, Uruguay is deprived of their star player for the rest of the competition, and many games beyond.

  • If you haven’t been paying attention, then boy howdy you might appreciate knowing how many crazy things have happened. Spain — the reigning champions — known for playing a particularly effective yet completely boring flavor of football called tiki-taka, got thoroughly embarrassed at the hands of Netherlands and Chile and were the first team to be eliminated from the competition. The first goal scored by Netherland’s Van Persie against Spain was gorgeous, even if you don’t give a damn about any kind of sports at all. I had the pleasure of being in Costa Rica when they did what many thought was impossible: come out clearly on the top of a group containing England, Italy, and Uruguay, all of which have been World Cup champions in the past. And they did it in style, with quality attacking play, and an aggressive defense playing sharply and tightly. Here’s hoping Costa Rica continues to surprise others who have have underestimated them.

This post was written by Terry McGlynn.

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