I am not sure learning how to read cursive is very hard and teaching that may still be a good thing to do. Learning how to write it seems the difficult part though considering most people who do not know how to write cursive can read it just fine.
Note: Some cursive is much easier to read than others
I'm a lefty, and I can barely get pens to work most of the time because of the angle I have to hold the pen to write with (lefties tend to push pens, which makes them not work). Pencils weren't much better because of the smudgy mess it created all over my hand and the paper. Getting through school was excruciating and messy until I got to college and it was considered "okay" to turn in work I had done on my computer.
I could have pretty decent handwriting for about an hour and then fatigue simply set it and most of my writing is an illegible mess. Not surprisingly, when I was young and we were graded on handwriting my grades were pretty poor.
Cursive didn't help much either as the continuous strokes simply meant I made more of a mess all over myself.
I was an okay sketch artist as a kid, so I had good pen control, just could never really adapt myself to the written word.
Lots of lefties go through all kinds of contortions to improve some of the situation, you'll notice Obama reaches around where he's writing so he can pull on the pen. I tried that for a while but the back and shoulder cramps were pretty spectacularly killer.
This is really insightful, there's a pretty large library of algorithms and approaches that have been sitting on the shelf for decades (or used in very few places) that become far more interesting with modern hardware. The recent resurgence with Bloom filters for example, a technology form the 1970s, used in a few database products, is now everywhere.
But there's also the curious problem of expensive and difficult to produce technology that doesn't have a market large enough to sustain it. Example, the crop of now dead or dying enterprise entity extraction companies. It turns out it's expensive to build those systems, but the market isn't that large, which forces the price up to try and survive, which then further reduces the market and so on into a death spiral. Nowadays people just try to get by with OpenNLP...which was easily bested by tools like ThingFinder and ClearForest a decade earlier.
Yeah, I second that. In most religious belief your soul or some part of you lives on. And some people think you can contact them with seances and that the spirits can influence what happens here. I don't see why we can't build an electronic version of that in the future.
I remember Mr. Wizard quite well and loved his show as a child. Growing up he was one of several science popularizers who made it "ok" to be a smart kid interested in STEM.
I can't say that without Mr. Wizard I wouldn't be where I am today, but each person (Mr. Wizard, Bill Nye, etc.) who took up a similar kind of role helped create an environment that made it more possible for people like me.
I never realized many of the subtle cues that he used on his show -- no labcoat, talk to the kids as adults, and so on. But they definitely made it all feel more welcoming and approachable as well.