What I learned last week (#134): simple truths

Learned last week: math, trouble, insulin, mosquitos, and more!

A weekly selection of what I explored last week.


Book excerpt I enjoyed:

“If you spend your time focusing on the things that are wrong, and that’s what you express and project to people you know, you don’t become a source of growth for people, you become a source of destruction for people.” (Tracy DiNunzio from Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss)


Why we should treat math like art:

I had never thought about math like this, but it makes sense and would be a total game changer.

What if music education was all about notation and theory, with listening or playing only open to those who somehow persevered until college?

“Since musicians are known to set down their ideas in the form of sheet music, these curious black dots and lines must constitute the “language of music.” It is imperative that students become fluent in this language if they are to attain any degree of musical competence; indeed, it would be ludicrous to expect a child to sing a song or play an instrument without having a thorough grounding in music notation and theory. Playing and listening to music, let alone composing an original piece, are considered very advanced topics and are generally put off until college, and more often graduate school.”

Why Math Class Is Boring—and What to Do About It: https://fs.blog/2021/07/mathematicians-lament


A helpful primer (reminder?) on who and what makes up the Taliban:

The 20 years of conflict devastated Afghanistan, with more than 40,000 civilians killed in attacks by the Taliban and the US-led forces. At least 64,000 Afghan military and police and more than 3,500 international soldiers were also killed.

The US spent almost 1 trillion dollars on the war and reconstruction projects but the country still remains largely poor and its infrastructure in tatters.

In 2011, the Obama administration allowed for a group of Taliban officials to take residence in Qatar, where they would be charged with laying the groundwork for face-to-face negotiations with the government of then-President Karzai.

In 2013, their Doha office was formally opened. In 2018, the Trump administration began formal, face-to-face talks with the group without involving the Afghan government.

The Taliban Explained: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/7/25/the-taliban-explained


A short story about trouble:

A great little piece that packs a punch.

When he was ten years old, Jeremy was walking along the main road, with his friend Benedict, out of the small town they lived in. Heading to build a den. Jeremy picked up a rubber band as they walked. Then he picked up a little pebble. Then he fashioned a catapult between his fingers and Benny said Don’t, and Jem said Get lost Benny, and pinged the pebble into the oncoming traffic.

Pebbles: https://granta.com/pebbles/


Four proven mosquito repellents plus discussion of myths/downsides:


Simple but hard to put into practice:

I’d like to write some of these on little notes and drop them into my kids’ lunchboxes. Might be a bit much for primary/elementary school though. If I could also add a cartoon, that would work better.

Here is a sample:

You’re not bad at something, you’re just new to it.

Be interesting to others by being interested in them.

Life only gives you what you decided you could have.

100 Simple Truths: https://tr.af/100


Open source insulin:

Woah!

Here’s a great video introducing the Open Insulin project, which for the past 6 years has been developing their own method of manufacturing insulin and is going to open source its process to the world for anyone to recreate.

Open Insulin: https://ma.tt/2021/07/open-insulin/


Stuff I wrote and drew about this week:


Other things I was reminded of, or thankful for, last week:

  • I got my second dose of the vaccine (AZ) finally! No side effects this time. 😌 Feeling good about this but still anxious about the future.
  • Speaking of the future I had a strange dream about accidentally eating half of a ham sandwich unknowingly with the kids (for those that don’t know, I’m a vegetarian who sometimes eats fish). I often each their unwanted or cast off food, as long as it doesn’t contain meat. I was hungry though, and I questioned (in the dream) about whether I should just finish it or stop.
  • We had family visiting, including my two nephews whom the kids and I love to play with, last week. I was working full on throughout their visit though and so I had a fair amount of quiet time in the house while they were out to the next castle/play park/museum. Kind of sucked and sort of didn’t too. 🤷

That’s all for this week! Next week I’m half on vacation so we’ll see what that yields but I think it will be grand.


Last but not least, check out what I’m up to now.

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