Babies, Babies, Babies!

Kim and I had a bit of a surprise one morning, a couple of days after Christmas. We came downstairs to find that our fish had proliferated!

fish

We have eight little platys swimming around now. I’d thought that some fish either kill or eat their young, but so far, these guys seem to be doing ok! They’re very small and hard to see. I thought we had six for a while, then saw a seventh, and Kim spotted the eighth. I wonder if they’re able to even eat the regular fish food flakes?

We have three adult platys right now, one of whom still looks rather big. I suppose it’s possible that we might have even more babies soon. Maybe I should have asked the pet store for males!

LA Times Blog: 'Big Bang Theory' is an evolved portrayal of scientists

Steven Paul Lieva writes in the LA Times blogs about being a fanboy of The Big Bang Theory. I’m a fanboy myself.

In the face of all that, I would like to put forth the modest suggestion that scientists, as a group, are just as sane and socially capable as any other group of people. Which makes it a wry twist, I suppose, that I would also like to propose that the hit CBS sitcom “The Big Bang Theory” is the finest and best fictional portrayal of scientists in any current media — and a series that is carving out a spot for itself in the annals of television comedy.

Hear, hear! I actually know a few socially-capable scientists at work!

The writers of the series have sculpted full portraits of their characters and polished them with a giddy exploitation of their human frailties as well as compassion for them. Leonard, Sheldon, Howard and Rajesh have become completely relatable to the large audience; some of the audience, of course, may connect to the nerd factor, but certainly not all.

My wife has even gotten into the show, and we’ve evangelized a few of our friends into fans, as well. I do have one hold-out of a friend, who doesn’t seem to find the show very humorous.

The article has some great photos of the cast, check it out!

Update: the science advisor for the show has a blog, too!

The Bilingual Ban That Worked

I read an interesting article on bilingual education, which focused on California. “The Bilingual Ban That Worked” gives a pretty good history of the evolution of California’s bilingual education and explores how to determine what has worked.

Hispanic test scores on a range of subjects have risen since Prop. 227 became law. But while the curtailment of California’s bilingual-education industry has removed a significant barrier to Hispanic assimilation, the persistence of a Hispanic academic underclass suggests the need for further reform.