Posts Tagged ‘Philadelphia’

Albert Einstein’s brain to go on display – Science – News – The Independent

Albert Einstein Français : portrait d'Albert E...

Dr Albert Einstein’s brain is going on display for the first time in the UK – with that of an infamous murderer.

Following his death at the age of 76 in 1955, Einstein’s brain was divided into sections, two of which are going on show at the Wellcome Collection.

Brains: The Mind As Matter also features the brain of US suffragette Helen H Gardener, which she donated to science to disprove theories about gender.

The two slides from Einstein’s brain are on loan from the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia, where they were only shown publicly in the US for the first time last year.

The eminent scientist was cremated and his ashes were scattered according to his wishes.

But pathologist Thomas Harvey, who carried out the post-mortem examination, said that Einstein’s son gave him permission to preserve the brain for research, a claim which was later disputed.

He kept the brain, which to many people’s surprise was not particularly large, and divided it into 240 sections preserved in jars of formaldehyde at his house.

He gave a box of 46 slides to his pathologist colleague William Ehrich, and the samples were eventually donated to the museum in Philadelphia.

“Gentleman, scholar and murderer” Edward H Rulloff’s brain – one of the largest ever known – is also on display for the first time in Britain.

Despite being known for his intelligence, he is thought to have killed his wife and child and was sentenced to death in 1871 for killing a shop assistant in New York.

The exhibition also includes the brain of an ancient Egyptian, one of the oldest specimens ever known, the brain of computer science pioneer Charles Babbage 1791-1871, and a brain specimen containing a bullet wound.

via Albert Einstein’s brain to go on display – Science – News – The Independent.

Strange Random Brain Quote:

“Memory offers up its gifts only when jogged by something in the present. It isn’t a storehouse of fixed images and words, but a dynamic associative network in the brain that is never quiet and is subject to revision each time we retrieve an old picture or old words.” ― Siri Hustvedt, The Sorrows of an American




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Philadelphia English teacher explains why she helped students cheat | The Lookout – Yahoo! News

...American Mailboxes .. America's biggest tea...

Image by marsmet462 via Flickr

The revelation that more than 80 Atlanta teachers admitted to cheating on state standardized tests–with one group of elementary teachers even holding a “party” after school to change their pupils’ answers by hand–has rocked the education reform movement.But one question has been left unanswered: Why would a teacher resort to cheating in the first place? The Notebook blog has found a Philadelphia teacher willing to explain why she helped her 11th-grade English students cheat on the state’s standardized tests. The blog earlier broke the story that Pennsylvania officials suspected cheating may have occurred in 60 state schools. The teacher, who remains anonymous in the story, says she began to help her students cheat because she worried their self-esteem was crushed by taking tests they were in no way academically prepared for. If a student asked a question during one of the eight yearly testing periods, she would help him or her find the right answer, or occasionally just point to it on the exam. “I never went to any student who didn’t call me to help them cheat,” said the teacher. “But if somebody asked me a question, I wasn’t willing to say, ‘Just do your best.’ They were my students, and I wanted to be there for them.”

via Philadelphia English teacher explains why she helped students cheat | The Lookout – Yahoo! News.

Strange Random Cheating Quote:

Cheating is often more efficient. – Jeri Ryan


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When Black Friday comes …

November 27, 2009 1 comment

Booksellers' ad for Black Friday

This planet has – or rather had – a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn’t the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy. ~Douglas Adams

Funny thing, colours. You would think that with all the negative associations we have for BLACK, that Black Friday would be a day to stay at home as the flyer opposite (promoting books) suggests.

It turns out that the first association of the word had to do with a financial crisis in 1869, which makes sense.

So then there was a bit of a jump to the next sense, which  was to describe the traffic in Philadelphia on the day after Thanksgiving. Having never been to Philadelphia, I can’t say what it’s like, but still, it seems reasonable. After that we get to the modern definition, still the day after Thanksgiving, but now the unofficial start of the Christmas shopping season and therefore the time for all shops to climb out of the red (making a loss) into the black (making a profit).

To take advantage of this day, many stores open their doors at times that would make you go “Urggghhh” and offer special “doorbuster” offers of articles at a crazy price (certain similarity here with that great British phenomenom, the “January” Sales).

Here’s an example from last year in Salt Lake City.

Disney Store on Buy Nothing Day ( Black Friday...

Image by Steve Rhodes via Flickr

The other side of the coin is the Adbusters Media Foundation, based in Vancouver, Canada. (It appears that many Canadians also take advantage of the sales, as this insurance website claims). Adbusters organises a BUY NOTHING DAY to coincide with Thanksgiving and Black Friday, in an attempt to “opt out of consumer culture for 24 hours and send world leaders gearing up for the Copenhagen climate summit a message.”

Whatever you decide to do (or not to do), we hope you have a safe Friday and a great weekend!

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Strange Random Language Fact:
In Chinese, the words crisis and opportunity are the same
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