29 SEP 2017 by ideonexus

 Roman Arithmetic

...basic Roman arithmetic is largely rather simple, even for those of us spoiled by Arabic notation. Addition is no sweat, because complex Roman numbers already use what math pros call additive notation, with numerals set beside one another to create a larger number. VI is just V plus I, after all. To add large numbers, simply pile all the letters together, arrange them in descending order, and there’s your sum. CLXVI plus CLXVI? CCLLXXVVII, or CCCXXXII. And one of the advantages of the Rom...
Folksonomies: math mathematics education
Folksonomies: math mathematics education
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24 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 Technology is Preserving Our Ghosts

Our technology is giving us progressively greater power to keep alive our ancestors' ghosts. First the invention of writing allowed us to preserve their words. Painting and photography allowed us to preserve their faces. The phonograph preserves their voices and the videotape recorder preserves their movement and gestures. But this is only the beginning. Soon we shall acquire the technology to preserve a permanent record of the sequence of bases in the DNA of their cells. This means that we s...
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03 MAR 2014 by ideonexus

 The Danger of Scientific Ignorance in a Science-Based Civ...

I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time — when we're a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those In authority; when, clutching our crystals and r...
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We are more reliant on science than ever before, but we are also most disdainful of it.

30 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 Everything is for You

Do you have doubts about life? Are you unsure if it is worth the trouble? Look at the sky: that is for you. Look at each person’s face as you pass on the street: those faces are for you. And the street itself, and the ground under the street, and the ball of fire underneath the ground: all these things are for you. They are as much for you as they are for other people. Remember this when you wake up in the morning and think you have nothing. Stand up and face the east. Now praise the sky an...
Folksonomies: wonder meaning life purpose
Folksonomies: wonder meaning life purpose
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A nice thought for when you think you have nothing.

05 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Learning Natural History

To a person uninstructed in natural history, his country or sea-side stroll is a walk through a gallery filled with wonderful works of art, nine-tenths of which have their faces turned to the wall. Teach him something of natural history, and you place in his hands a catalogue of those which are worth turning around. Surely our innocent pleasures are not so abundant in this life, that we can afford to despise this or any other source of them.
Folksonomies: education metaphor
Folksonomies: education metaphor
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Without it, walking along a beach is like walking through an art gallery with half the artwork turned to the wall.

01 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Dissecting Crystals

A casual glance at crystals may lead to the idea that they were pure sports of nature, but this is simply an elegant way of declaring one's ignorance. With a thoughtful examination of them, we discover laws of arrangement. With the help of these, calculation portrays and links up the observed results. How variable and at the same time how precise and regular are these laws! How simple they are ordinarily, without losing anything of their significance! The theory which has served to develop th...
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Hauy describes learning the secrets of their structure.