Learning at the Oscars

I’m a huge fan of the Academy Awards, and I hosted my annual Oscar Party this weekend with some friends. I always love to cook a menu that reflects the Best Picture nominees, so we had pork ribs (Winter’s Bone), polenta (True Grit), skewered heirloom tomatoes (The Kids are All Right) and black-and-white flourless chocolate cupcakes (Black Swan). Learning and education blogs were abuzz with Oscar fever over the last week, too, and there were two cool articles worth checking out.

Natalie Portman, Oscar Winner, Was Also a Precocious Scientist. The New York Times had a great article this week on Natalie Portman’s scholarly efforts while she was a student at Harvard. I love that this article focuses on other young women in film (television stars Danica McKellar and Mayim Bialik, classic film star Hedy Lamarr) and their own exceptional academic work. It’s a neat article both for reflecting on the impressive accolades of these women and the broader implications for what it means to be a successful woman in our time. It’s exciting to know that these women are celebrated for their performance work but also for being bright leaders in science.

The Science of Stuttering: Speech Therapy. The Economist also focused on the debilitating condition at the center of The King’s Speech: a speech impediment. This is an interesting article about the science behind interventions like the one shown in the film. Just a cool read.

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