Tomorrow, friends and relatives from far-flung corners of the country will gather as they do this time each year—stuff themselves silly, trim Christmas trees, watch football, online shop, etc.[...]
Neuroscientist Stuart Firestein, the chair of Columbia University’s Biological Sciences department, rejects any metaphor that likens the goal of science to completing a puzzle, peeling an onion, or peeking beneath the surface to view an iceberg in its entirety.
Such comparisons suggest a future in which all of our questions will be answered.
A recent Metafilter post introduces us to Galeazzo Frudua, a musician from Bologna, Italy who, “possesses an uncannily good ear for harmony, and has produced a series of videos that painstakingly and expertly analyze and demonstrate for you the vocal harmonies employed in various Beatles songs.[...]
In 1976 and 1977 an inspired music teacher in the small school district of Langley Township, British Columbia, a suburb of Vancouver, recorded his elementary school students singing popular songs in a school gym. Two vinyl records were produced over the two years, and families were invited to pay $7 for a copy.[...]
Americans do not live in a culture that values philosophy. I could go on about the deep veins of anti-intellectualism that run under the country like fault lines or natural gas deposits, but I won’t.[...]
As a preteen, I steered clear of “young adult” fiction, a form I resentfully suspected would try too hard to teach me lessons. Then again, if I’d had a young adult novelist like John Green — not far out of adolescence himself when I entered the YA demographic — perhaps I’d have actively hoped for a lesson or two.[...]
The work of folklorists and musicologists like Alan Lomax, Stetson Kennedy, and Harry Smith has long been revered in countercultural communities and libraries; and it occasionally reaches mainstream audiences in, for example, the Coen Brother’s 2000 film Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? and its attendant soundtrack, or the playlists of purists on col[...]
From the mid-1940s to the mid-1970s, Coronet Instructional Media, that formidable factory of classroom educational films, taught America’s schoolchildren how to study, how to land a job, how to perform their societal and filial duties, how to bathe.[...]
For years now, the buzzword “Neuroplasticity” has crossed the lips of many major thinkers in psychology, neurology, and educational theory. Maybe, as some allege, it is a “dirty word”—vague and in need of specific clarification. Maybe.[...]