Time flies, but what is it anyway?

As the end of 2014 approaches, so many of us wonder where the year behind went. Time, as they say, flies by. But ever stop to wonder, “what is time?” Is it a physical dimension like distance? How is this “4th” dimension different? Why don’t the laws of physics care which direction time runs? An episode of the very excellent BBC Discovery podcast explores many of these issues. It’s … Continue reading Time flies, but what is it anyway?

Meet Zequals, a mental math tool

Can some simple rounding help us be more accurate and confident with mental math? The man behind this symbol proposes just that: And it turns out it’s fairly accurate: Basically, using some simplification of numbers we can do mental multiplication more accurately (generally). Confused by the squiggles and colors? Don’t be intimidated. Read more: Zequals: the new symbol that will make us all better at sums | … Continue reading Meet Zequals, a mental math tool

Cultural Prep: Soda Stereo & the World Cup Final

So we’re down to Argentina and Germany in this year’s World Cup final match. I’ll save the postulation about football for another time and place. This post is about one of my favorite bands, who hail from Argentina. Seems like a good opportunity to write about their music, and for you to have a listen! Soda Stereo. Most non-Spanish speakers haven’t heard of them. Any … Continue reading Cultural Prep: Soda Stereo & the World Cup Final

What does the Equinox look like from space?

The Vernal Equinox. It’s not the longest day of the year. It’s not the shortest. It’s the…well…what is it? Check out this visual representation using satellite data: Then read a further explanation from NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day Blog: >> APOD: 2014 March 19 – Equinox on a Spinning Earth. Happy Spring Equinox! Continue reading What does the Equinox look like from space?

What is a “math person” anyway?

I’m struck by how many people will readily disavow their math skills with a single statement of “I’m not a math person.” You’ve heard it many times from friends, or perhaps from yourself. Maybe you’ve excused your way out of situations requiring calculation, geometrical thinking, or ratios. “I’m not a math person” seems like a fine excuse. But what if in a social situation you … Continue reading What is a “math person” anyway?