Student Reading: The Amazon Mystery: What America’s Strangest Tech Company Is Really Up To

Hello and welcome back to another posting of Student Reading! Sorry to leave you wanting last week, but the technology gods did not favor me.

A bit of mystery for your April Fool’s Day, an article on Amazon:

The Amazon Mystery: What America’s Strangest Tech Company Is Really Up To, By Derek Thompson in The Atlantic

Sounds intriguing, no? Give it a read, at least the first paragraph, eh?



Student Reading: 74,476 Reasons You Should Always Get The Bigger Pizza

Hi there students,

Rough week for me and my computer, so I’ve only got these two short articles to share this week. But they’re cool ones. And because we’ve only got two articles for the week, I’d suggest you read them both in full (don’t worry, they’re short). But really, why wouldn’t you want to? It’s not as easy to convince your friends that the bigger pizza is the better deal when you don’t know why that’s the case. Nor is it as easy to justify why you shouldn’t if you haven’t read the second one. So read on, find the magical reason why you support either side, and use it for the next few decades of your life.


74,476 Reasons You Should Always Get The Bigger Pizza, by Quoctrung Bui in NPR

One Reason To Get Whatever Size Pizza You Want, by Jess Jiang in NPR


Student Reading: Review of Ford GT40

A special interest of one of my students: the Ford GT40.

Feel like reading about cars, content with the knowledge that you’re actually doing your brain a favor too?

Sweet, here’s your chance.

Ford GT40, by Frank Markus in Car and Driver


Student Reading: China’s Latest Video Game Craze

I hesitate to post these articles because I just went and downloaded the game and I can now confirm that YES, it is very addicting. But.. I’m going to post the articles anyway! Readers, beware!!

Screenshot (03_57PM, Mar 19, 2014)


The game looks innocuous enough, right? Alas, it is not. Read on to find out more about the latest craze sweeping through China:

China’s Latest Video-Game Craze, by Matt Schiavenza in The Atlantic

New WeChat ‘Airplane War’ game sending addicted players to hospital, by Jeremy Blum at SCMP


Student Reading: Tech start-ups show little imagination on board gender diversity

An article on business for you, this Tuesday morning! This one focuses on the lack of women on the highest levels at tech start-ups, as well as some of  the causes and some of the problems that can arise with this issue. And as you, my readers, are a little young to be on a tech start-up, perhaps this issue will minimize as you all age.

Insight: Tech start-ups show little imagination on board gender diversity, by Sarah McBride and Poornima Gupta in Reuters


Student Reading: Stuart Scott’s Story of Perseverence

I’ve gone down the New York Times sports rabbit hole. I bring you another article on sports, but more on the commentary side than inside the action. You probably would recognize Stuart Scott even if you don’t know his name, as he is one of the longest standing ESPN commentators out there. You also might notice that he’s gradually been thinning, as I did. This article gives a window into his 6 year battle with cancer, as he is now facing his third diagnosis.

Read on for a touching and intriguing battle story.

Stuart Scott’s Story of Perseverance, by Richard Sandomir in The New York Times


Student Reading: In a Native American Sport, a Family’s Giant Leap

Great piece on three Native American players at Albany (instead of Syracuse).  I knew almost nothing of the current status of Natives with respect to lacrosse and (obviously very mistakenly) thought there wasn’t much to it. But there’s more to it than just that Natives still play: these three kids are some of the best out there and for a team that breaks with tradition.

The Thompsons made a decision that seems unexceptional to outsiders — they chose to attend Albany, which is part of the state university system, instead of Syracuse. But to Native Americans, that decision was fraught with meaning.

Read on for more.

In a Native American Sport, a Family’s Giant Leap, Zach Schonbrun in The New York Times



Check out the Very First SAT offered in 1926

In light of the major changes to the SAT announced for 2016, I’ve found a great article that highlights the very first SAT administered almost 90 years ago. It’s hard to believe just how different the SAT was back then, and makes the new changes seem almost minor.

Be sure to click on the yellow tabs/arrows on the left hand side of the document as you read through it. The comments are fascinating.

On the vocabulary subtest:

O’Reilly calls my attention to word bank and, more specifically, the fifth word from the top, allopathy. “I don’t even know what that means,” O’Reilly admits. “You would not see that on the SAT today.”

The vocabulary on the current SAT is meant to be at the same level as that of the New York Times.

I’m not sure if my favorite subtest is the classification substest or the artificial language subtest. Both seem pretty gnarly. Read on to see for yourself.

Document Deep Dive: What Was on the First SAT?, by Meghan Gambino of The Smithsonian