“The most famous physics institute of the 20th century was the Niels Bohr Institute in Denmark. Bohr is the man who created the quantum theory of the atom, which lies at the heart of modern physics. He collected around himself the greatest physicists of his time, and hung out with them. That’s what they did, they hung out. I’m using that phrase because we hear it a lot in this school. In his Institute, they’d come for a season to hang out. They’d take walks in the woods, they’d sail on the ocean, they’d swim, and what they treasured more than anything was talking. They talked about physics, they talked about theories, they talked about God, they talked about philosophy. What they were doing, all these greater and lesser physicists, was trying to understand about each other: “How does he see the world? What is he thinking?””
From a comment on an article on the US health care system:
“I’m Canadian….my taxes are nearly 5% higher than yours…in 22 years of marriage and two kids later…my ENTIRE out of pocket expenses for Medical are….$60.00 for renting a TV in the Hospital…..I don’t mind paying taxes and having the exactly same Medical Coverage as my Prime Minister….sometimes I wait for an MRI or CAT but, BY LAW the most ill go ahead of me……..I don’t mind that either….Good Luck my American friend, I think that you are going to need it…..”
This is what I don’t think Americans understand. It is worth paying a little extra taxes so:
1. You can have a universal healthcare system that shares costs across ALL users. We would all save.
2. You can guarantee access to free (or at least cheap) University
3. Maternity leave (paid 15 weeks in Canada, 0 weeks in US) and up to 35 weeks more partially paid in CA. I might have the details wrong, but it’s safe to say it’s very common across OECD where the average is 18 weeks — https://www.oecd.org/els/soc/PF2_1_Parental_leave_systems.pdf
4. And similarly with sick leave and vacation time. Pretty much every OECD country has this guaranteed. But not the US. http://www.law.harvard.edu/programs/lwp/papers/No_Holidays.pdf
One can find charts that show that the “average” American supposedly makes more than many countries, even after taxes and adding in “in kind” funds like free healthcare and college in other countries. An example: http://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org/topics/income/
2 problems with this:
1) Using “average” is flawed because it doesn’t take into account income inequality — they should be using “median” not “average” or even better… I’d like to see the median numbers for each quintile — bottom 20%, 20%, middle 20%, 20%, top 20%. I bet the US wouldn’t do so well anymore. Income by US State by quintiles: http://scorecard.assetsandopportunity.org/latest/measure/state-income-quintiles-acs
2) It doesn’t take into account that it is immoral to NOT take care of all people!
(IOW, while it’s possible that in a country with high income inequality that at least poverty is not an issue… but it’s usually not the case.) There is an interesting metric called the “Relative median at-risk-of-poverty gap” that I believe measures this:
I wanted to find the Bossanova-style album they were reviewing on Fresh Aire today (BossaCucaNova from Brazil) and couldn’t find it easily at NPR or Amazon so here it is for you! Hope that helps!
The Best of Bossacucanova released August 12, 2016
I am not completely sure (I am not a doctor, obviously ask yours if this sounds familiar just to make sure!) but I am pretty sure that (for me) the very occasional sharp pains in my chest I would get as a kid when playing trombone were what’s called “Precordial catch syndrome”. I imagine it could happen with anyone playing a brass instrument — trumpet, tuba, trombone (like me), etc.
Mine would last maybe 10 seconds typically and is just as this describes! Interesting! Check it out!
“Precordial catch syndrome (PCS), also known as Texidor’s twinge, is a common cause of chest pain in children and adolescents. It also occurs, though less frequently, in adults. PCS manifests itself as a very intense, sharp pain, typically at the left side of the chest, generally in the cartilage between the bones of the sternum and rib cage, which is worse when taking breaths. Oftentimes the symptoms are described as a “bubble in the chest” sometimes associated with the feeling of a “bubble popping” or cracking sensation which usually resolves the pain. Patients often think that they are having a heart attack which causes them to panic. This pain typically lasts from a few seconds to a few minutes, though, in some cases, it can persist for up to 30 minutes. The frequency of episodes varies from patient to patient; sometimes occurring daily with multiple episodes each day, or on a less frequent basis with weeks, months, or even years between episodes. On rare occasions, breathing in or out suddenly will cause a small “bubble” popping or cracking sensation in the chest, which results in the pain going away. In most cases the pain is resolved quickly and completely, and medication is not needed for the pain to subside. There is no known treatment or cure for PCS.”
Also interesting is this! Brass players sometimes have (usually mild) allergic reactions to the mold and bacteria growing inside their instruments. Makes sense!
(Note: Framingham, MA, USA Town Meeting just passed a law that bans plastic bags at checkout that goes into effect in 2018. So I was interested to learn that the inventor of the first machine for automatically cutting, folding & pasting together paper bags lived in Framingham for 24 years and that she was inventing all along since she was 12.)
Born: 1838 Died: 1914
Occupation: inventor of the bag-making machine
Anyone who has ever carried a purchase home in a paper sack or a lunch to school in a paper bag is familiar with the handiwork of Margaret Knight. Her invention, the bag-making machine, greatly simplified the production of flat-bottomed paper bags, thus making these bags a common feature of 20th-century life.
Knight was born on February 14, 1838, in York, Maine. Her parents, James and Hannah, were cotton mill workers. When Knight was young she moved with her family to Manchester, New Hampshire. As a girl she was known as a tomboy, preferring to whittle things out of wood rather than play with dolls. Her formal education consisted of a few years of elementary school, and by age 10 she was working with the rest of her family in a mill. At age 12, after witnessing an accident on the work floor, she designed her first invention, a device to keep a shuttle from slipping out of its loom. She left the mill around 1857 and for the next 10 years she traveled about New England, supporting herself by upholstering chairs, repairing homes, and engraving silver.
In 1867 Knight went to work for the Columbia Bag Company in Springfield, Massachusetts. The company made flat-bottomed brown paper bags, similar to the paper grocery bags of the late 20th century. At the time the bags were cut, folded, and pasted together by hand. Knight became intrigued with the idea of inventing a machine that would perform all three steps mechanically, and for two years she experimented with different bag-making machines. When her supervisor complained that her experiments wasted valuable company time, she got him to leave her alone by suggesting that she might sell him the rights to whatever machine she invented. (In fact, she kept the rights to herself.) Finally, she came up with a workable wooden model, which she sent to a Boston machinist to copy in iron. But while the machinist had the machine, a fellow named Charles F. Annan saw it, copied it, and applied for a patent. Outraged, Knight hired a lawyer and sued Annan for stealing her idea. In 1870, after a lengthy, heated hearing, the U.S. Patent Office examiners found in Knight’s favor.
After receiving her patent, Knight entered into an agreement with the Eastern Paper Bag Company in Hartford, Connecticut. Knight received $2,500 for the right to use her machine, $25,000 in royalties, and 200 shares of company stock, which paid quarterly dividends. She reportedly sold the patent rights at a later date for between $20,000 and $50,000.
Around 1890 Knight moved to Framingham, Massachusetts, where she worked in a shoe factory. Over the next four years she patented several machines for cutting shoe leather. She sold her four patents to a group of Boston investors while retaining a one-fourth interest in each patent; she later sold this interest to the Boston Rubber Company. Around 1900 she became interested in automobiles, and for the rest of her life she designed various automobile parts including valves, rotors, and at least two types of motors. By now Knight, who never married, enjoyed a lifestyle comfortable enough that she could afford to assign most of her automotive patents to her favorite nieces and nephews.
In addition to profiting handsomely from her inventions, Knight achieved a measure of fame in her own lifetime. In 1872 the Women’s Journal, a feminist publication, published an interview with Knight and an accompanying article that praised her for her achievements. Her obituary in the Framingham Evening News called her a “woman Edison.” Altogether she is credited with having been awarded 27 patents, and she invented a number of things that she never bothered to patent. She died on October 12, 1914, in Framingham.
“I would get up on a Saturday morning when we weren’t in school. We used to play with what we called a Spaldeen rubber ball. And you would throw it starting off at the red brick, then the white brick, red brick, white brick. And then, you know, you would win I guess if you threw it all the way up there.”
“Literally I would leave 9, 10 o’clock in the morning and I would come back at 5 o’clock in the evening, exhausted. I had been running all.. day.. long. But it was a happy exhaustion. And by the way, I learned something also about democracy. We didn’t have much adult supervision. So the games were all determined not by adult cultures, [but by] kids themselves. So we would choose up a team. There was no other person dictating anything. We worked out our own rules. It was a very interesting way to grow up.”
– Bernie Sanders with Scott Pelley (CBS News) in Brooklyn, NYC, NY
FEBRUARY 10, 2016, 6:51 PM
“I was born in Chicago, but when I was about four, I moved to where I grew up, which was Park Ridge, Illinois. It was your typical 1950s suburb. Big elm trees lined the streets, meeting across the top like a cathedral. Doors were left open, with kids running in and out of every house in the neighborhood.
“We had a well-organized kids’ society and we had all kinds of games, playing hard every day after school, every weekend, and from dawn until our parents made us come in at dark in the summertime. One game was called chase and run, which was a kind of complex team-based hide-and-seek and tag combination. We would make up teams and disperse throughout the entire neighborhood for maybe a two- or three-block area, designating safe places that you could get to if somebody was chasing you. There were also ways of breaking the hold of a tag so that you could get back in the game. As with all of our games, the rules were elaborate and they were hammered out in long consultations on street corners. It was how we spent countless hours.
“We had so much imaginative game-playing time—just unstructured fun time. I had the best, most wonderful childhood: being outside, playing with my friends, being on my own, just loving life. When I was a kid in grade school, it was great. We were so independent, we were given so much freedom. But now it’s impossible to imagine giving that to a child today. It’s one of the great losses as a society. But I’m hopeful that we can regain the joy and experience of free play and neighborhood games that were taken for granted growing up in my generation. That would be one of the best gifts we could give our children.”
The quotation is from Hillary Rodham Clinton’s “An Idyllic Childhood,” in S. A. Cohen (Ed.), The Games We Played: A Celebration of Childhood and Imagination. Simon & Schuster, 2001.
As mentioned at Peter Gray’s blog
“GATTO: If you go through the twenty volumes of Thomas Jefferson’s writings, you can distill five principles that Jefferson said were justifications for schooling.
The first two were to teach people their rights and to teach them how to defend those rights.
The third was to know the ways of the human heart so well that you can be neither cheated nor fooled. There isn’t a school in the United States, certainly not a public school, that would dream of trying to aim for those goals.
LAPHAM: What are principles four and five?
GATTO: Four deals with the relation of citizens to experts: a citizen must never be intimidated by experts; experts deal only in facts, but important decisions are matters of philosophy and valuing, not fact. So the expert must always be subordinate.
And five is that an educated person possesses useful knowledge: how to build a house, how to grow food, how to make a dress, etc.”
John Taylor Gatto, Harper’s Magazine 2001