Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Simple math

I'm currently listening to Matthew Good's new disc, Hospital Music. Considering it's largely based on the near total mental collapse he had last year, it's about as cheery as you might expect, especially considering it's Good. And yet, I'm oddly captivated by it so far.

A couple of links to stories that caught my eye today.

The first
has to do with a web chat J.K Rowling gave the other day about Harry Potter. It's interesting to see how eager Rowling is to discuss details about the characters in the book and what happens next in their lives after they leave school. She obviously has it all thought out, but the fact that she's willing to blab it like this (and the Potter Encyclopedia that she's apparently working on, proceeds to charity), I really think she really believes she's done with the characters. It might change in 10 years time, but for right now, I believe her when she says she has no more plans for them.

Obviously, proceed at your own risk as there are major spoilers.

2. I very rarely mention the bottom feeding celebrity whores on this blog. I always felt the more attention you give to the Hilton's, Spears's and Lohan's of the world, the more oxygen you're giving to them and the media that seems fascinated by them. It's best to just starve them (not really much effort required, when you think about it) and hope they eventually fade away.

And yet I thought of them after reading an article in Newsweek and a blog post by Wil Weaton. They both mentioned that Danica McKellar has a new book out.

Who is McKellar? Well, she used to play Winnie on The Wonder Years and was the crush of many teenager boy in the 90s. I was always too old and never really got into the show, but I still appreciate what she's trying to do with her book - Math Doesn't Suck. Seems after the show finished, she went to UCLA, got a degree in mathematics and actually has her name on a math equation.

The book is to help make young girls realize that math isn't hard, give them tips, make them find their voice and has profiles on other women mathematicians.

Even with all that, it might not have been enough for me to comment on the blog. But then there's this quote from her...

"When girls see the antics of Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan, they think that being fun and glamorous also means being dumb and irresponsible," says McKellar. "But I want to show them that being smart is cool. Being good at math is cool. And not only that, it can help them get what they want out of life."

And later...

"I want to tell girls that cute and dumb isn't as good as cute and smart."

God love her. I mean, the book isn't perfect and certainly won't be for everyone. But hey, at least she's trying. And the more stories that focus on this rather than the unholy trio, the happier I'll be.

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