Science Can Be Fun

Need an antidote to pseudoscience (“creation science,” “intelligent design,” climate change denial)?  Try a few pages from Munro Leaf’s Science Can Be Fun (1958). In its simplified, matter-of-fact approach, the book offers a model of scientific thinking, encouraging readers to observe, measure, and test hypotheses.  Most importantly, it points out that science is based upon…

Let’s Talk About Taste

There’s a new Facebook meme: “How to determine who to unfriend on Facebook.” Click on the link, and you get a list of “Friends who like Nickelback.” The joke depends upon pervasive dislike of the popular Canadian band. At best, I find the group’s music benign. I could imagine it being used to sell soda…

Syd Hoff at 100

Syd Hoff (1912-2004) would have been 100 this year.  As readers of this blog will know, I corresponded with Syd (here’s one letter & here’s another) while researching my biography of Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss (coming this September)! In commemoration of Hoff’s centennial, Sarah Lazarovic has created a wonderful cartoon, based on Dina Weinstein’s exhibit at…

It’s Good to Be Curious: Mr. Rogers Remixed

Delightful remix of clips from Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, in which (thanks to auto-tune) Fred Rogers extols the virtues of being curious.  John Boswell (a.k.a. MelodySheep) has done a fine job here.  If you’re interested in purchasing a copy of the song (“Garden of Your Mind”), it’s included on his album Remixes for the Soul. And…

Ignorance Is Not a Virtue

The critic who touts his ignorance as a virtue should not have a job as a critic.  Any “news” publication that employs such a person in this capacity is shirking its responsibility to provide well-informed discourse. So, then.  Why would Time magazine or the New York Times employ Joel Stein? In his “Adults Should Read…