Fine Structure

Scientists on TV

Garrett (two rs, two ts) Lisi, he of E8 Theory of Everything fame, seems to be working on a new video project. Surfing the Universe is a series about scientists who also have a penchant for extreme sports, much like Lisi himself. The pitch:

"Surfing the Universe" is a unique new reality series that blurs the lines between scientist and athlete, breaking the popular perception of both. These are inspirational stories of young scientists at the forefront of their fields, who also love playing outside -- people living life to the fullest both intellectually and physically.

I love to see scientists on TV and I hope Lisi can either publish it himself or get it picked up by one of the cable science channels. Though I would go so far as to say that any science on TV is good science on TV, I can't help but think that this is an opposite extreme. Rather than being a lonesome nerd, you now have to do extreme sports to be a scientist. There is some middle ground between the braininess of Frank Wilczek and Lisi's kiteboarding theory of everything, right?

Keeping with the theme of science video, if you're interested in science education and not reading dy/dan, you owe yourself some self-flagellation. Here's a guy who teaches high school math and really thinks about how his students are learning. Take, for example, a recent post about the relative price of various liquids that's been floating around the internet. Dan videos the entire lecture about teaching his students to come up with these numbers and understanding them and then writes a huge post about the thought process behind it. Here's the best part: the guy encourages his students to take out their cell phones during class and look up a conversion. Awesome. I think I can say one thing for certain: not paid nearly enough. ]