Remember Winnie Cooper from The Wonder Years?

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That is freaking awesome!


Neither did the guy who played Kevin from Mr Belvedere.

That being said, I’ve known for ages that both ‘Winnie Cooper’ and “Blossom” are bonafide ‘big brains.’


Bialik might be big brained, but she’s got some loopy idea on kids and vaccinations and holistic medicines.


Being smart doesn’t necessarily equate to being wise.

Personal beliefs aside she still gets props for not relying on a career in show biz and actually putting that on the back burner in order to get an education.

The same with Danica.


Now that I think about it, there was one episode in which Kevin realized Winnie was entertaining offers from Ivy League universities while he was applying to local community colleges.


But he was/is a dorky D&D nerd who just happened to find the right niche.


I think she’s been writing about mathematics for longer than she was on the wonder years now… Perhaps we should say, “Know that author of 4 books on women and mathematics? she used to be on a TV show long ago!”


And actress Heddy Lamar was an unsung inventor and technology pioneer.

Isn’t obscure trivia about celebs fun?


“The next day, Winnie and I came home, back to where we’d started. It was the 4th of July in that little suburban town. Somehow though, things were different. Our past was here, but our future was somewhere else. And we both knew, sooner or later, we had to go.
It was the last July I ever spent in that town. The next year, after graduation, I was on my way. So was Paul. He went to Harvard, of course. Studied law. He’s still allergic to everything. As for my father…well. We patched things up. Hey, we were family. For better or worse. One for all and all for one. Karen’s son was born in that September. I gotta say, I think he looks like me. Poor kid. Mom, she did well: Business woman, board chairman, grandmother…cooker of mashed potatoes. Wayne stayed on in furniture. Wood seemed to suit him. In fact, he took over the factory two years later, when Dad passed away. Winnie left the next summer to study art history in Paris.
Still, we never forgot our promise. We wrote to each other once a week for the next eight years. I was there to meet her, when she came home, with my wife and my first son, eight months old. Like I said, things never turn out exactly the way you planned. Growing up happens in a heartbeat. One day, you’re in diapers; next day, you’re gone. But the memories of childhood stay with you for the long haul. I remember a place…a town…a house…like a lot of other houses; a yard like a lot of other yards; on a street like a lot of other streets.
And the thing is…after all these years, I still look back…with wonder.”


And she’s one of a handful of people with a finite Erdos Bacon number.


I had to go to summer school to pass Algebra in the 9th grade and I needed heavy tutoring to understand Trig and Algebra II (although I luckily have the type of brain that made As without trying in Geometry, thank goodness.) When I took the most entry-level Calc course as a college freshman, I did not pass. I am so envious of a person like McKeller for whom math comes so easily, she’s not even aware of how easily she understands it. sort of like Dunning-Kreuger in reverse?

I found the higher maths very interesting as far as the concepts (once I finally grasped them, anyway,) but no talent at performing them.

McKeller’s story is pretty compelling. How lucky to be able to finally find one’s niche, and to be wise enough to understand that her childhood career was merely incidental rather than chasing her fame (well-deserved as it was) is impressive.


I can totally relate. The struggle is real.

I posted in depth about my struggles with maths a while ago.


I was some how “good” at math in high school. I took Calculus my senior year. But really I just followed the process, I have zero understanding of what I was doing. If confronted with something that wasn’t what we were working on, I’d fail. And I have forgotten anything harder than basic algebra and geometry.

I am jealous of her. She has reached immortality in both arts and sciences.


By coincidence I last came across the term “Wonder Year” just yesterday while reading about the four different major papers Einstein published all in 1905.


A while back I binged on a bunch of Mayim Bialik “where is she now” articles–this was before her full-time comeback to TV with Big Bang Theory.

Basically, the story of her life post-Blossom went like this:

  • people giving her crap for going to college instead of continuing to act
  • people giving her crap for majoring in a science (she’s a girl, she’s an artsy type, etc.)
  • people giving her crap for observing Jewish modesty
  • (different) people giving her crap for being a latecomer to observant Judaism
  • people giving her crap for breastfeeding her children post-infancy, for not cutting her children’s hair the right way, and for other trivial or harmless things related to her children

So when the whole “zomg Blossom’s an anti-vaxxer” stuff hit the fan, I think she’d already exhausted her ability to tolerate other people telling her how to live her life or parent her children. On top of that, she seems to lack the superhuman ability to ignore random internet flak that most celebrities have.

That said, she’s said recently that her kids are up to date on their shots.


I am so behind on my celebrity gossip. Were the Wonder Years a band?


Wasn’t she also a contestant on “Dancing With The Stars” or some such thing?

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True. But how many people would have clicked on that?

Granted I almost didn’t click because I couldn’t stay awake through an episode of The Wonder Years, whereas this story turned out to be awesome. But most people would tune out if you led with the maths angle.

Yup, she and her partner finished 6th out of 12.

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Let’s not make this into a tanget, but she said her kids are up on their required shots to fly internationally to visit Israel. Her pediatrician remains an anti-vaxxer and she still is active in holistic “medicine”.

Personally, I don’t care, I’m never going to let my kids around her for a number of reasons, but if we’re going to call her “big brained” we should acknowledge that it brings some baggage. I could also go on about the Big Bang Theory being a terrible show, but that’s already been done to death by others.