Anti Gravity: Dumb, Dumb, Duh Dumb; November 2001; Scientific American Magazine; by Steve Mirsky; 1 Page(s)
The need for improvement in our nation's math and science education is a standard sentiment of our times. Indeed, a close scrutiny of recent news headlines, combined with a personal experience, indicates to me that our nation's math and science skills truly have plummeted to a value of x, where x is some number that is very, very low.
For example, consider the story of four young men who busted into a veterinarian's office in Noblesville, Ind., in late August. The ne'er-do-wells were nailed after stealing what they thought was a painkiller known as OxyContin, which has gotten press lately because some idiots snort it to achieve a heroinlike high. Our callow dopes, however, apparently have an attention span of only three letters, for what they stole was in fact oxytocin, which helps females give birth, produce milk and develop nurturing feelings toward their progeny. As the editor of a major American scientific magazine said after I told him about the confused criminals, "Maybe I'm wrong, but you've got to think that four young guys with enlarged, tender nipples and a tendency to cuddle are not going to fare that well in prison."