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Homer Simpson (Almost) Discovered The Elusive ‘God Particle’ Fourteen Years Before Science Did

Thanks to some sly mathematical in-joking, The Simpsons nearly predicted a major scientific breakthrough

image via (cc) flickr user erica_anderson

That, at its height, The Simpsons was one the funniest, smartest, most influential shows in the history of television, is a fairly uncontroversial assessment at this point. Even after its pivot away from focusing on Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie’s family dynamic, and toward increasingly unrealistic plot lines (sometime after around season 8 or 9) The Simpsons was–and continues to be–a reliable source of laughs. But while the show’s primary function has always been to entertain, that doesn’t mean its writers weren’t slipping in some serious business while we weren’t looking.

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Study: Religion Set to Go Extinct in Nine Nations

Citizens in countries from Ireland to Canada to Austria are seeing less "utility" in organized religion.

A new study of census data from nine countries around the world has ascertained that, statistically, religion in those countries is going the way of the pterodactyl.

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Want to Major in German? Good Luck With That

The end of the Eurocentric world view? The number of four-year colleges offering French, German and Italian as majors is on the decline.



Bad news for fans of European languages. According to a new study by researchers at the University of California at Riverside: Since 1970, an increasing number of schools have dropped traditional Romance languages— like French and Italian—from the choices of possible majors. And if you want to major in German, good luck finding a school offering it.

In 1970, almost 44 percent of four-year colleges offered German as a major. By 2006, that number had dropped down to just under 27 percent. As for French and Italian, 76 percent of schools offered those majors in 1970. Now only 59 percent of campuses offer them. And, since the study ends in 2006, before recession-induced budget cuts became the new normal, the number of schools dropping majors in the three languages is probably much higher.

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Americans Say Math Is Hard, Obama and CEOs Take Action

Here's a really crazy stat: 30 percent of Americans have such an aversion to math problems that they'd rather clean a bathroom than solve one.


Did you know that more than 90 percent of Americans believe math is necessary to having success in life? Despite the fact that 30 percent of Americans believe they are any good at the subject. Here's a really crazy stat: 30 percent of Americans have such an aversion to math problems that they'd rather clean a bathroom than solve one. It's like we're a nation of "Math Class Is Tough" Teen Talk Barbies. (See video below.)

Those numbers come from a survey that Ogilvy PR did in conjunction with a speech President Obama made yesterday about the importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education. In it, he announced the launch of Change the Equation, a non-profit organization founded by former NASA astronaut Sally Ride and the CEOs of Intel, Eastman Kodak, Time Warner Cable, and Xerox, which will promote science and technology to kids.

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Since late last year, the Obama administration has discussed its dedication to so-called STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education. Amidst the budget cuts proposed for next year, it's not clear exactly where the more than $250 million in increased funding for such initiatives will come from—or which programs will receive money. However, until money comes together, there are those that believe science education needs to undergo a dramatic transformation, beginning with its poortrayal as a risky and harrowing endeavor for students.

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Should the White House Promote Arts Education, or Math?

Yesterday, Obama (and Sesame Street) announced a nationwide initiative to promote math and science education, even promising an annual science...

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