Jennifer Ouellette did. But not anymore. Her new book The Calculus Diaries: How Math Can Help You Lose Weight, Win in Vegas, and Survive a Zombie Apocalypse, in stores today, follows her journey to undo the damage of high school math class. Part of a trend of "take back the parabola" books, female science writers and mathematicians (Danica McKellar, Cordelia Fine) are re-educating women to help them overcome their algebraic baggage. Ouellette's book offers a first-person journey to math nirvana, from outsider to whiz. Not only did she discover a knack for formulas as an adult, she applied her skills to daily life. From shopping to JuJitsu, there's power in numbers, says Ouellette. Nobel prize judges: take note.
Where did your math phobia stem from?
I wrestled with this question while writing the book. Several people I spoke with experienced a moment of failure and a sense of humiliation in their math classes, which shattered their confidence and made them reluctant to try anything
Blog Posts by Piper Weiss, Shine Staff
Jennifer Ouellette did. But not anymore. Her new book The Calculus Diaries: How Math Can Help You Lose Weight, Win in Vegas, and Survive a Zombie Apocalypse, in stores today, follows her journey to undo the damage of high school math class. Part of a trend of "take back the parabola" books, female science writers and mathematicians (Danica McKellar, Cordelia Fine) are re-educating women to help them overcome their algebraic baggage. Ouellette's book offers a first-person journey to math nirvana, from outsider to whiz. Not only did she discover a knack for formulas as an adult, she applied her skills to daily life. From shopping to JuJitsu, there's power in numbers, says Ouellette. Nobel prize judges: take note.Read More »from Do you have math phobia?
Burt Reynolds set the bar in the '70s. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage) Gentlemen, refer to the photo on the right. If you're going to sport a 'stache, take it seriously. Respect it. Give thanks to your patron saints: Reynolds, Selleck, various baseball players of the early '80s. And don't assume it's hilarious to the rest of the world. The whole retro mustache thing is old news, but it's still fueling gags about misplaced 70s machismo. In fact, it's pretty much a requirement if you're starring in a new comedy movie. Sam Rockwell's mustachioed girls' basketball coach in the "The Winning Season" is the latest example.
When did a hairy lip become the sight gag equivalent of the "Take my wife" joke? Repetition has rendered it totally unfunny. The irony? Deader than a gray hair. And what's worse, it's made a mockery of everything the mustache represents: unapologetic butch. Regardless of sexual orientation, (from Burt to the Village People) the look signaled spiked testosterone levels and untamed bedroom stallion-ism. The post-millennial reincarnation mocksRead More »from 8 men tickled by their own ironic mustaches
Peanut Butter. Coconut. Pretzel. M&M's are having a creative explosion. Is anyone witnessing this? Jets coach Rex Ryan has made it business, bartering with his team for more of the pretzel kind. I don't know football but them pretzels M&M's are delicious goshdarnit! Memo to Mars company: More stuff in the candy please. Somewhere in America your top secret think tank is spending sleepless nights writing things like "caramel?" on scraps of paper, then balling them up and throwing it out. I'm concerned, they're working too hard. So allow me to offer up some more ideas of what to put inside the little candy balls. I don't even need credit, just more little candy balls.Read More »from 8 more foods that should go inside an M&M
- Piper Weiss, Shine Staff | Love + Sex – Tue, Aug 31, 2010 4:47 AM EDT
Everyone's talking about Jonathan Franzen's new book Freedom, out this week. The novel follows a stifled middle class patriarch and the dark underpinnings of his seemingly ideal family unit. New York Magazine calls it a work of genius. The New York Times says this really long, good thing: "With this book, he's not only created an unforgettable family, he's also completed his own transformation from a sharp-elbowed, apocalyptic satirist focused on sending up the socio-economic-political plight of this country into a kind of 19th-century realist concerned with the public and private lives of his characters."
Okay. Sounds good. What's the cover look like? Oh. There's a bird on it. These books, also out this week, have men's ripped chests on the cover.Read More »from 8 other hot new books about the measure of a man (specifically his chest)
When Back to the Future 2 premiered in 1989, we were all still patting ourselves on the back for inventing Velcro. Shoe security couldn't get any more evolved right? Wrong. Leave it to Michael J. Fox's McFly to inspire the next shoe-lace invention: the self tying sneaker. It was conceived, along wit
The new class: Twilight takes over colleges across the country.Read More »from 7 Fall college courses based on Twilight
Joyce, Shakespeare, Chaucer, Meyers? The Twilight Saga is entering the curriculum this Fall, at colleges and universities across the country. Shine combed through course catalogs from the Ivy League to the Big Ten, to discover the Stephanie Meyers trilogy on several syllabuses. With a third of ticket buyers for the movie Eclipse under age 24, according to a Fandango Poll, the current generation of college kids are largely responsible for franchise's success. So is academia responding to a cultural phenomenon or pandering to a powerful market group? That will depend on the course structure. But one thing is certain: the classes are totally going to sell out.
Course: Vampires: From Sin and Exile to Sex and Salvation
College: Rutgers University
The Vampire trend isn't just a inspiring entertainment. This course combines historical analysis of "the Old Testament,the Inquisition and many cultures' religious beliefs and practices that fueled the belief in vampires world wide." Bram
- Piper Weiss, Shine Staff | Love + Sex – Mon, Aug 30, 2010 4:13 PM EDT
Real Housewives of DC star Cat gambled her relationship and lost. (Bravo Network)It's an age old story. Girl meets boy. Girl meets reality show. Girl loses boy. Cat, the biting British villainess of "Real Housewives of DC", has seen her marriage of less than two years implode in the months since filming the new Bravo series. On the one hand, the exposure might translate to sales of her upcoming memoir. On the other hand, she lost the man she loved. Was it worth it? Cat may be on the fence.Read More »from Housewife Hold 'Em: Would you risk true love for fame?
In yesterday's New York Times profile of her photojournalist ex, Charles, she hints at second thoughts. "Having all that gone has been incredibly challenging, and I've had to do a lot of soul searching about how we've got to this point....Every time I see Charles," she added of watching the show, "especially last week, when he comes and surprises me on a photo shoot, and the look of love for him I have, and the admiration I had and in some way still have - it's painful."
Sure she seems sad, but notice the plug for the photo shoot for her new book embedded in her quote. A few
- Piper Weiss, Shine Staff | Work + Money – Fri, Aug 27, 2010 11:13 PM EDT
If this looks like a musical instrument to you, you were probably the shortest kid in high school.Read More »from Memo to world's tallest teen: at least you're not short
From elementary school through senior year teachers loved to arrange our bodies in height order. Assemblies, class pictures, sporting events, bus line-ups, lice checks, you name it.
Possibly the cruelest thing you can do to a group of kids, at any age, is organize them by their physical traits. Why don't they just do flattest to breastiest? Or smallest pores to largest erupting whiteheads? The height line-up is just as bad if you're on one of the extreme ends of the spectrum. I was. That's why I feel for 14 year-old Elisany Silva, who's recently been named the world's tallest teenager at six foot nine. As my grade's shortest teen, and pre-teen and zygote, I know what a major role height plays in school. Especially when you hear those dreaded dictatorship commands: "Class! Line-up in height order."
For the next four years, teachers will arrange the class according to height as if the students are a pile of blocks in a spatial psychology experiment. My only message of hope for Elisany
John Mayer and Jennifer Aniston are not back together, says John Mayer. Thanks for the update. That's fine with me. How many people even wanted them to reunite? About 52,000. That's my totally unscientific estimation based on the number of views their tribute video got on YouTube.
Sure he's a fickle opportunist and commitment-phobe and she's a damaged dater in need of a commitment, but remember all those times her rubbed her back on that one vacation they took? Celebrity break-ups are really hard for us non-celebrities. And some are just impossible to get over. In fact, some people (who make and watch tribute videos) are still holding out hope for the following former twosomes.
Justin Timberlake and Cameron Diaz: Both blond, both sporty, how will they ever find a better match?
Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson: This video is called "A Perfect Couple". It's one of countless tribute videos posted as recently as last year beseeching the Ken and Barbie of our generation toRead More »from 6 Celebrity exes YouTube is desperate to reunite
And I've got an itching for a monkey. Ever since photos of that monkey and its adopted kitten surfaced, all I can think about is how I want a monkey to adopt me. He could nuzzle my face, prepare me lunch, clean my apartment, bare his teeth when I did something clever, detangle the knots in my hair (sidenote: he's welcome to eat anything he finds in there) and scratch my back until I fell asleep. I know this sounds like a fantasy but some monkeys are equipped to do most of that.
Through Helping Hands, an organization established in 1979, monkeys are trained to offer human assistance to those with severe disabilities, including paralyzation, at no cost to the patient. This organization is genius, and only trumped by the monkeys it mentors in a two year helper training program.
"Monkeys learn how to help people with simple everyday activities such as opening and setting up a drink of water, picking up a dropped or out-of-reach object, or turning the pages of a book. Monkeys use their