‘Why Do Americans Stink at Math?’

Elizabeth Green, writing for the New York Times:

To cure our innumeracy, we will have to accept that the traditional approach we take to teaching math — the one that can be mind-numbing, but also comfortingly familiar — does not work. We will have to come to see math not as a list of rules to be memorized but as a way of looking at the world that really makes sense.

Great piece overall, but that particular quote stuck in my mind, in part because math education is so terrible that it is not in the consciousness of “I’m not a math person” people that math could be anything but the mind-numbing rules they saw in school.

‘I Was the Sick Passenger’

Anne Mcdermott, writing for the New York Times:

When the emergency medical workers arrived, the conductor got back on the train, and I urged the three women to do the same. “There’ll be another train right behind it,” the nurse said.

She must not have lived in New York City for long.

A wonderful look at the compassion (and occasional lack thereof) of ordinary New Yorkers.

‘Organic farming is so much harder than just getting stoned and picking tomatoes’

Nathanael Johnson, writing for Grist:

I mean, think about the rise of farmer’s markets. When they started it was just them out on a corner with another farmer, who really did just grow pot — and a few tomatoes on the side.

Indeed!

‘California’s next oil rush might be surprisingly delicious’

Nathanael Johnson, writing for Grist:

Mueller writes, “It’s rare to find authentic extra virgin olive oil in a restaurant in America, even in fine restaurants that ought to know better. It’s nearly impossible in some localities such as southern California, where large-scale counterfeiters pump out blends of low-grade olive oil and soybean oil dyed bright green…”

Eww.