12:04am

Thu May 3, 2012
Humans

Put Away The Bell Curve: Most Of Us Aren't 'Average'

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 8:06 pm

Hank Aaron breaks Babe Ruth's record for career home runs as he hits No. 715 at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium on April 8, 1974, on his way to a career 755 home runs. Research suggests that in a wide variety of professions, including collegiate and professional sports, a small but significant number of individuals perform exceedingly well and the rest of individuals' performance trails off.
AP

For decades, teachers, managers and parents have assumed that the performance of students and employees fits what's known as the bell curve — in most activities, we expect a few people to be very good, a few people to be very bad and most people to be average.

The bell curve powerfully shapes how we think of human performance: If lots of students or employees happen to show up as extreme outliers — they're either very good or very bad — we assume they must represent a skewed sample, because only a few people in a truly random sample are supposed to be outliers.

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12:02am

Thu May 3, 2012
Commentary

Watching 'The Avengers' In India, With A Twist

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 7:31 am

In The Avengers, the Hulk lives in Calcutta — and doesn't lose his temper over the city's traffic and other problems. That might not ring true to anyone who's been there, says Sandip Roy.
Marvel

When I went to see The Avengers the very day it was released, I texted a friend in San Francisco. It seems kind of unfair, I said, that because of the 12-hour time difference, I get to see The Avengers before you do.

Turns out I was a week off. The Avengers actually released in 39 countries around the world, including India, a week before it opens in America.

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12:00am

Thu May 3, 2012

11:18pm

Wed May 2, 2012
Arts & Life

Colorful Visions At African-American Art Exhibit

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 7:50 am

Gene Young American Art Museum

The African-American experience is reflected, right now, on the walls of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. Exuberant dancing in Chicago. Laundry on a line in the nation's capital. A girl smiling out from her father's warm jacket — all captured in photographs, paintings and sculptures from the 1920s through the 1990s.

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5:04pm

Wed May 2, 2012
Community Partner

Bay Area Storytelling Festival - telling it like it is!

Bay Area Storytelling Festival, an annual celebration of the well-told story, runs May 19–20 at the Craneway Pavilion in Richmond CA.  

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5:00pm

Wed May 2, 2012
YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS

IRS collection for delinquent taxes

Chuck Finney is joined by John McGregor, Certified Specialist in Taxation Law, and Dennis Bean, CPA, to discuss IRS collection for delinquent taxes and taxpayers' offers in compromise.

4:52pm

Wed May 2, 2012
The Two-Way

'Zombie' Ants And The Fungus That Saves Them

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 4:59 pm

A zombie ant with the brain-manipulating fungus (Ophiocordyceps unilateralis s.l.) having been castrated by an hyperparasite fungus (white with yellow material).
David Hughes Penn State University

As you can probably tell, at least one person on this blog's masthead likes ants.

So we've always been bummed that we haven't had the opportunity to tell you about zombie ants, but today we are glad to report there is a new development in the field. Luckily, it's a good-news report about a fungus that limits the fungus that turns ants into zombies.

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4:34pm

Wed May 2, 2012
It's All Politics

Could Electoral College Calculus Give Obama An Edge?

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 5:27 pm

AP

Now that President Obama and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney are pivoting to the general election, campaign watchers are handicapping the race that counts this fall — the Electoral College.

And right now, the Electoral College map is looking better for the president than the (generally very close) national polls, says NPR's senior Washington editor, Ron Elving.

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4:28pm

Wed May 2, 2012
Crosscurrents

Crosscurrents: May 2, 2012

Life After Addiction in Zanzibar and San Francisco band Sang Matiz.

4:11pm

Wed May 2, 2012
afternoon news roundup

Connecting the Dots: Afternoon edition for Wednesday, May 2, 2012

(Chronicle) // A building invaded by members of the Occupy movement is vacant again after San Francisco police removed the protesters early this morning. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco owns the building, which was taken over yesterday during May Day protests… 

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