Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Philip Jenkins on religion in Africa:
Over the course of the 20th century, millions of Africans transferred their allegiance from traditional primal faiths to one of the two great world religions, Christianity or Islam—but they demonstrated an overwhelming preference for the former. Around 40 percent of Africa’s population became Christian, compared to just 10 percent who chose Islam. As Muslims had earlier far outnumbered Christians, the result was to transform a massive Muslim majority into a reasonably equal confessional balance. Africa today is about 47 percent Christian, 45 percent Muslim, and some 8 percent followers of primal religions.
2009 US Energy flow chart (PDF). We used 94.6 Quads (or 9.98 × 1019 J).

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Good question: "Philosophically* why does a postal system or a school have to be all-or-nothing? Isn't it the state's job to provide services to the problem cases? Why trap everyone in a system just to make it easier to serve a subset of people?"
70 color photos of America taken 70 years ago.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

I just read a bunch of posts (actually, all of the posts) from Wiring the Brain by Kevin Mitchell. Differential tensor imaging, turning fibroblast cells into neurons, "noisy genes"... The list of awesome goes on.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Monday, August 23, 2010

LA Times Ranks Teachers (with names!). They use value-added analysis (i.e., pretest percentile vs. post-test percentile).

Could this happen with higher ed? Would it be good or bad? Right now, we overuse students' evaluations of professors. Would it be worse to skew our never-perfect incentives towards teaching for the test?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Friday, August 20, 2010

Wednesday, August 18, 2010