11 Things We Learned This Week

This week, we learned …

… ballerinas of color are finally getting the shoes they deserve. Read of the week!

For years, ballerinas like Paunika Jones, Ashley Murphy, and Cira Robinson have had to paint their point shoes to match their skin.
Photograph by Robert Garland, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-SA-3.0

What science guy invented a new kind of point shoe?


… not all kilograms are created equal.

Isn’t this a beautiful diagram of the SI units?
Illustration by the Physical Measurement Laboratory of NIST

This isn’t the first time an SI unit has been defined and redefined.


… the “magic work” of artificial intelligence is really the hard work of poor Kenyans.

Kenyan workers make about $9 a day helping program AI for Silicon Valley tech giants.
Illustration by Alejandro Zorrilal Cruz, courtesy Wikimedia. Public domain

Is AI working so we can hardly work?


… the danger of teacher nostalgia.

Back in my day, we read National Geographic in school.
Photograph by St. Cloud Normal School, courtesy National Geographic. Public domain

What are best practices from our certified educators?


… Borneo may be home to the oldest surviving drawing of an animal.

With a minimum age of 40,000 years, a trio of cow-like creatures, seen here in a composite image, is considered to be the oldest figurative artwork yet found.
Photograph by Luc-Henri Fage

Were the first artists mostly women?


… schools aren’t using the apps they’re paying for.

A median of 97.6% of licenses analyzed in the study were never used “intensively” (for 10 or more hours between assessments).
Photograph by Lynn Johnson, National Geographic

Use your apps! Make an old-school lesson better with tech.


… a stellar explosion has astronomers saying ‘holy cow’!

Contrary to the slow ramp-up of a typical supernova, Cow became stupendously bright essentially overnight, leaving astronomers perplexed.
Images courtesy The ATLAS team

How is the newborn “cow” different from a newborn supernova?


… the modern Memory of Mankind is being preserved in ceramic tablets.

Tokens like this one (identifying the location of the time capsule) are helping preserve contemporary life in ceramic.
Photograph by Martin Kunze, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-SA-4.0

Get some tips for teaching archaeology, conservation, and preservation your own memories of mankind with our idea set.


… schools are changing the way they teach climate science. Or don’t teach climate science.

This classic Nat Geo map depicts climate change since 1960.
Map by National Geographic

Use our terrific lesson plan to explore climate science in class.


… the last remaining caribou in the contiguous United States are being deported to Canada.

There are still plenty of caribou in Alaska.
Photograph by Florian Schulz, National Geographic

What’s happening to Rudolph and the other reindeer?


… a big, beautiful map of Australia is returning to an English hillside.

What other antiques have been restored in Wiltshire?

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