As we progress further into the digital age, teachers are utilizing computer word processors more frequently than ever. More often than not, teachers print worksheets and presentations for students in clear, nondescript fonts such as “Times New Roman” or “Arial.” However, according to recent findings of researchers at Princeton University, difficult-to-read fonts may actually be better for learning.
These scientists believe that fonts that are slightly less clear force children to focus harder on the information that they are deciphering. This is known as “disfluency,” a term which refers to the idea that the more a child must concentrate on what he is learning, the more likely it is that he will be able to retain and retrieve the information he learned.
To test their hypothesis, the Princeton University researchers asked teachers, who volunteered to participate in the study, to give their students supplementary learning materials. Some of the materials were printed in the harder-to-read fonts “Haettenschweiler,” “Monotype Corsiva,” and “Comic Sans Italicised,” while the other materials were printed in more common, intelligible fonts. Strangely enough, no matter which subject the information covered, students learning from the more peculiar and unfamiliar fonts scored higher in their classroom assessments.
The results of this study imply that switching to purple ink, italicizing text, or typing documents in zany fonts could benefit students in the long-run because their initial confusion would result in a deeper capacity to recall data. If this seems bizarrely counterintuitive to you, fear not. As Dylan Wiliam, Emeritus Professor of Educational Assessment at the Institute of Education in London, states “What really matters most when reading is mindfulness...it’s not printing things badly that’s needed, but more thoughtful reading.”
Rather than teaching children through tricks to confuse them on a cognitive level, it is much more constructive to educate students as to how they can read attentively. Teaching children the skills required to read comprehensively will give them the opportunity to apply these skills on their own, regardless of the readability of the font.
- Brigida Pirraglia
We have all heard it at some time or another- the Big Bang Theory. Ten billion years ago an expulsion of infernal atoms, particular Hydrogen, Carbon, and Oxygen, mixed with one another and with interstellar dust, creating the materials from which our solar system would be molded by the laws of physics over time. From synthesizing decades of previous research with new findings, there is now overwhelming evidence that complex organic compounds created from these primordial elements eventually travelled to earth, becoming the basis of simple organic life. Rather than beginning on earth, the foundation of our complex ecosystem simply hitched a ride on meteorites.
For years it was believed that the inclement, frigid vacuum of space could in no way support organic materials. It was argued that although the atomic materials were possibly available, the temperatures were simply too low to allow the chemical reactions to occur. The debate remained an academic bicker amongst astrophysicists and chemists at the convention table, because there was simply no technology to prove it. And indeed, it seemed so preposterous that life originated in outer space that funding proposals were simply dismissed.
In the late 1960s, Lew Snyder, an astronomer at NRAO, proposed the use of radio telescopes to detect organic compounds in outer space. Snyder argued that because organic compounds were dipolar, in other words, one end has a positive charge and the other a negative charge, their motion would release energy in the form of faint radio waves. Snyder was scorned by his peers until a Nobel Prize Physicist reported his finding of ammonia molecules in the Milky Way in much the same way. After a voice of authority had spoken, funding immediately became available, resulting in our current knowledge of important extraterrestrial organic compounds which, if mixed with Earth’s water, can yield proteins that are important in regulating metabolic activity. These gaseous compounds can become locked into comets or meteorites by landing on frigid dust particles, creating even more complex molecules driven by ultraviolet radiation during their trip towards earth, which can be detected with infrared telescopes.
Thoroughly convinced of the validity of a once “absurd” idea, scientists have now used Snyder’s idea to create a “nebula in a box” experiment which replicates the conditions of outer space in temperature, gravity, ultraviolet light, and the proper ratios of chemical components. Beyond the anticipated organic compounds, fatty molecules resembling cell membranes and, most importantly, nucleic acids have been discovered- the components of DNA and RNA, the building blocks of all life on earth. These exciting results have NASA scientists eagerly waiting to utilize the new Atacama Large Millimeter Array Telescope. This high resolution instrument will allow them to peer into the “dust clouds and protoplanets from which asteroids, comets, and planets form.” As they peer into the dark vacuum of outer space, seemingly so far removed from the sphere of ordinary human existence, they are in fact paying homage to their own mythos. Americans often celebrate their brave ancestors for making a migration to a new land, and these faint signals of dust and gas are a beacon, a memorial service for the forefathers of biotic life
Image Source: http://images.nrao.edu/images/birth_death_milkyway_lo.jpg
Article Source: "Cosmic Blueprint of Life" from "Discover Magazine" Nov. 2010
Lightning creams are usually found somewhere in a girl's dresser, next to the body cream or the scented oils. Lighting cream however, is not something that you would expect find next to a guy's Axe spray on top of his dresser. This does not seem to be the case in India where many of the men are buying into “Fair and Handsome” a skin lightening cream for the face. The skin industry’s worth in India has already reached $500 million and counting, keeping in mind that the sale of male cosmetics has surpassed that of females'. Vaseline, the brains behind it all, first created a page on facebook titled “Transform Your Face on Facebook” which allowed users to digitally transform their skin color, and if the results were satisfactory then Vaseline offered to sell the product in real life. In a recent survey on an Indian dating site, skin tone was noted as the most important feature in the opposite sex. Some Indians even fear that they won’t be able to marry unless they “correct” their skin tone. Vaseline has been in the hot seat over this hot topic, but they insist they just merely create the products that appeal to certain cultural markets, like the way that they provide tanning products here to Americans.
Like the source below points out though, anti wrinkling cream and botox injections are not looked looked down upon. Since that is so, then on what grounds can skin lightening be rejected and even deemed racist? Help yourself to your own opinion.