Student Reading: Why We’re Still Talking About Shakespeare..

Happy birthday/death-day, Shakespeare! They were different days (we are pretty certain), but both recent, so here’s a post on William Shakespeare’s relevance.


Although I would also recommend picking up a copy of Timequake by Kurt Vonnegut to see his take on who the most famous author was of all time (hint: it’s not Billy Shakespeare).


P.S. I like this graphic (although I have not independently verified that it’s all true):



Here’s Why We’re Still Talking About Shakespeare 450 Years Later, by Stephen Marche in Esquire


Student Reading: Bicycling Without a Helmet

Hello students,

An interesting blog post on why the author chooses to bicycle without a helmet, with supporting evidence that it may actually be safer. The author also encourages bicycling children and driving teenagers to wear helmets, as well as anyone who feels that they should, of course.

Really interesting read though, especially as I am not a cyclist and had not thought of quite a few of these issues before.


Why it Makes Sense to Bike Without a Helmet, by Howie Chong


Student Reading: Hockey!

Hello students! Hockey hockey hockey!

Guess what? The San Jose Sharks were once up 3-0, but have now moved to 3-3 with the LA Kings. Only a handful of teams since the league started have recovered from a 3-0 deficit in the playoffs, and LA is poised to do so after last night’s game.


So I bring an article about the Kings’ resurgence and an article on the sweetness of the Sharks. Unrelated, but in case they get knocked out tomorrow, it’s best to post while it’s still relevant.


From Three Down, One to Go for Kings, by Lisa Dillman in The Los Angeles Times


Sharks Sign Lifelong Fan to One-Day Contract, by James Dator in SB Nation


Student Reading: Cherry Tree Seed Sprouts 6 Years Early after Trip in Space

What! I don’t know where to start when I dissect this headline:

  1. Cherry tree seeds take more than 6 years to sprout?!
  2. Space can change how quickly a seed sprouts?
  3. Why?

And then:

  1. Why is one of the best questions to come out of this trip to SPACE posed by a child?
  2. Maybe we should have more children come up with experiments for space.

Might be the best thing!

Read on for other fascinating facts on this experiment (like what’s different about these particular cherry trees besides the fact that they sprouted early).


Cherry Tree Seed Sprouts Six Years Earlier Than Usual After Eight Month Trip In Space, by Scott Bickard in The University Herald


Student Reading: Runaway stows in the wheel well of an airplane..

And survives!

What a crazy story. Even crazier, from the article,

Since 1947, there have been 105 people who have similarly stowed away in wheel wells of passenger aircraft.


Can you guess how many of those lived?


I can’t believe it. That’s a < 25 % chance of surviving. And that means more than one person each year has tried it. Blows my mind. Can you guess what the survivors have in common? Read, read, to find out:

Santa Clara teen stowaway’s survival in jet’s wheelwell was literally death-defying, by Robert Salonga in The San Jose Mercury News


Student Reading: How Athletes Strategically Use Caffeine

One of my students took a double shot of espresso before his ACT and swore he performed better. I myself am super sensitive to caffeine, so this would be a relatively risky proposal for me to try, but for all of you who are not, perhaps it is worth considering.

This article features on those of a different type, though: professional athletes, specifically those of the Ironman Triathlon kind, the most grueling triathlon out there. At least so I’ve heard.

As always, please read the first paragraph of the article. Although I bet you’ll want to read more.

 How Athletes Strategically Use Caffeine, by Murray Carpenter in The Atlantic


Student Reading: What You Eat Could Be Wrecking Your Relationships

In hindsight, it seems a little obvious that going hungry would make us a bit angry. However, this study on married couples still is rather enlightening. And even more so when we consider that blood pressure spikes can be caused by what we eat, not just how we eat. Food that is more difficult to process tends to lead to fewer spikes and drops, at least from what I understand. I am no expert, but easily digestible foods (cakes, white breads, etc) top the list of items to avoid if we want to maintain our blood sugar.

And beyond our relationships, this can impact our tests, our sports, our everything, really. Imagine you’re in the middle of the SAT and your blood sugar drops. Suddenly you find yourself getting mad at how challenging the questions are instead of thinking through how to do them. You miss a question you would have gotten if you were able to allocate your brain resources well. And there’s a drop in score, in just one question, with just one poor choice of what to eat that morning before the test.

Fascinating stuff, really.

How Your Blood Sugar Could Be Wrecking Your Marriage, by David DiSalvo in Forbes


Student Reading: Tracing a Measles Outbreak using an online calendar

Hello, students!

This article follows the trail of one anonymous young woman who unknowingly contracted and then spread measles. Authorities used her calendar to trace her steps to determine who might have contracted measles from her so as to help stifle the outbreak.


Of course, if you were vaccinated against measles, you’re ok. But if you’re not, were you at Pikes Place market, a bakery, or a Kings of Leon concert on March 28 in Seattle?


As always, please read the first paragraph of every article.

Measles At A Rock Concert Goes Viral In A Bad Way, by Nancy Shute in NPR


Some More Information about the New SAT

The CollegeBoard has decided to release some more information about the upcoming changes to the SAT. There’s a lot of information out there right now, and it seems like each article offers something different to learn, which means CollegeBoard must have released a lot of information!

To see the source, go here: Delivering Opportunity and to sign up for updates, go here: Updates.

If however, you don’t want to root around the actual website and instead want to read what others have to say, you can check out some of these articles:

Revised SAT Won’t Include Obscure Vocabulary Words, by Tamar Lewin at The New York Times

CollegeBoard Provides a Glimpse of the New SAT, by Kimberly Hefling at Associated Press

Previewing the New SAT, by Scott Jaschik at Inside Higher Ed

CollegeBoard Releases Preview of New SAT Exam Questions, by Nick Anderson at The Washington Post