Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Teaching kids to question things

Not palaeo or art I'm afraid, but kind of along the lines of critical thinking. When I was a kid, I lived in the United States. I also went to elementary (primary) school there. I forgot which grade it was or what class it was in, but one day, my teacher showed a video about the possibility that the Earth could be flat and how we can perceive it to be round; i.e. explanations on why the Earth looks round from outer space when it is really flat (something to do with light bending due to gravity). I was shocked, but apparently, our teacher's aim was to try and engage the kids to question established ideas, which in and of itself is fine. However, to this day, I fail to understand how she thought it would be appropriate to teach kids to question something that is observational, and present an alternative idea that has repeatedly been falsified. Fortunately (and perhaps surprisingly), our class was smart enough, and the video was met with the appropriate scepticism. However, I now wonder how many of my classmates were affected by this video...

Understandably, my father was enraged when I told him that evening during dinner.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

My Google Sites page

I've set up a new Google Sites page for my research associated stuff, including some basic introductions into my research interests and current projects, but also a section for R tutorials. I've put up my three R tutorials that I've posted here with slight updates. The good thing about a website as opposed to a blog is that pages are easier to navigate (i.e. they don't get lost as time goes by and more and more posts are added as it does in blogs). I'll probably directly post my R tutorials over there from now on and limit my blog here for palaeoart and other palaeo-related posts. In time, I will also add R functions and scripts to my website for anyone wanting to replicate some of the things I do.