You can see the Colorado Plateau on this map. And boy, aren’t our mountains in the east rather meager compared to the Rockies?
Category Archives: Did you know
4 different reading levels
Do you know how to read?
At this point, since you’re reading this, I expect so. But it turns out that there are different levels of reading, depending on your ability and what you’re trying to learn. Each level builds on the previous levell
This is the simplest level of reading, when you just want to know what this sentence says. This is what you’re doing when you’re learning a foreign language.
This is used to find out what the book/article is about. It can be done with skimming or superficial reading.
Skimming is when you read the different headings to get a gist of the structure, then go back to the beginning and read the first few sentences in each paragraph. This will give you the overall idea of the article, but nothing like real understanding.
Superficial reading is when you just read. You read every word, one after another. This is what we usually do when reading for pleasure, so it’s probably what you’re most used to doing. But again, it isn’t really about understanding.
This is where we get into really thinking about what we’re reading, but it takes more time and effort. You ask questions about what you’re reading and organize your thoughts. You take notes on what you read; perhaps have a bit of debate with the author. You’ll understand the material much better.
But we’re still not done.
Instead of reading just one book/article, read different ones from different points of view. You actively compare the different books, evaluating the evidence and analysis provided. This is the highest level, and the most demanding of both time and effort.
When reading in school, at least in middle school, it’s best to be doing Analytical Reading. Think about what is being said. What does it imply? Are there things that are missing or that you’re confused about? Write things down in your own words summarizing what the author said.
COVID-19 herd immunity? Not so fast.
Herd immunity (or community immunity if you like rhymes) is the point when enough of the population has been immunizes so that a disease can’t spread much. Maybe only a few people get sick, but outbreaks are stopped because there just aren’t enough vulnerable people around for the disease to spread.
And boy, would we just love to get to that point with COVID-19. But at least in the USA it doesn’t look like we’ll get there. Why? Because you need enough of the population immunized. Something around 80% is needed(it varies depending on each disease’s R number). But with about 25% of the population here refusing to get immunized, we may never reach it.
Anthony Fauci isn’t talking about getting there anymore. He’s shifted to trying to get as many people immunized as possible. Others are more explicit:
“It’s theoretically possible but we as a society have rejected that,” said Dr. Gregory Poland, director of the Mayo Clinic’s Vaccine Research Group. “There is no eradication at this point, it’s off the table. The only thing we can talk about is control.”— Dr. Gregory Poland from an article in USA Today
Control. Not the nice kind where we’ve beaten the disease. The kind where we have to be careful for a long time. These anti-vaxers are just making things worse. It’s called a conspiracy theory for a reason: it’s like circular reasoning and non-falsifiability. i.e. not science, and not trustworthy. It’s like these people are afraid of critical thinking.
Let’s just hope we get there in spite of them. Maybe some parts of the US will get herd immunity while others just won’t have enough people who believe in science.
I’m starting a YouTube channel
Just a place for me to post videos I make explaining something about science. Don’t expect high production values or anything. But the first video is up:
Vaccines are saving lives
Vaccines save 2 million lives per year compared to 1990. 10 million saved in the US since 1960.
Why is the news always so bad? Because that’s what we pay attention to.
If you’ve noticed that the news system likes to report on things going wrong instead of the nice things that happen, you now have evidence for the reason behind it. Humans pay more attention to bad things than good things. This study is about a world-wide 17 country study on how people react to negative news.
For example, while statistically, we are safer now than in the past, people are more and more afraid of it because the news concentrates on the bad things, not the good things that happen. That just isn’t “news”.
It’s now cheaper to build a wind farm that burn coal
According to this news article, in places it’s cheaper to build a new utility-scale wind or solar farm than keep running a coal power plant.
Did you know that
There are about 300 different species of octopus?