Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Khan Academy

The very first time you are trying to get your brain around a new concept, the very last thing you need is another human-being saying:
'Do you understand this?'
- Salman Khan

The website Khan Academy has many 10 minute videos on a variety of topics in math, science, and finance. It is fabulous and taking off like gangbusters for children and adults alike. Personally, I'm hooked.

Sal Khan, an MIT graduate and math whiz, was initially trying to help his young cousins with math, over the web. Eventually, he quit his job in high-finance and started a non-profit organization so that he could create videos full-time.

To hear his story, and his thoughts on education, check out this video (click here to view on YouTube):

Monday, September 05, 2011


I've had an interesting few days in terms of the social scene. This is surprisingly important, as research is finding that ones "social network" (in real life) is key to a sense of happiness.

Having spent some lonely years in the Midwest USA, I can attest to that; especially given the Glory Days, also in the Midwest.

Here's a recap:
  • Drinks with a friend, S, from the UK. S is truly cosmopolitan and yet has lived on PEI for many years. Very interesting perspective.
  • Dinner with O, with whom I famously traveled for 30 hours on a nightmare ordeal from Chicago to PEI. She is crazy bright and ambitious (chemistry prof who runs a local community theatre for fun -- last year was Anne & Gilbert, no less!). She is moving to Halifax for the fall and then teaching in Malta (!) next year.
  • Lunch with C. C has recently moved, after years in Boston, back home to PEI, and has joined my current employer. Her story is almost a replay of mine in 2010.
  • Happy hour with my brother-in-law, and my uncle-in-law, who is now retired from said employer. This started out as dinner at 7 pm and ended with a meal at a Chinese restaurant at 2:30 am. Fun and with an insanity that belied our ages and purported emotional maturity.
  • Last night was dinner and games night with my immediate family. We aim to do this every month or so. We have a Canadian trivia game, and some fashionable variant of Trivial Pursuit. These evenings are essentially the same as my old "night before leaving for St Louis".
It has been busy, and diverse. As the song says, I am 32 flavours, and then some.