This section contains collected essays, articles, scripts, teachings, audio and video recordings, as well as links to relevant and/or intriguing websites. The reader is encouraged to browse through the various headings and offerings.
From the World of Statistics:
Dr. Berkowitz co-created an online research methods course for clinicians; the course was sponsored by UBC’s Faculty of Medicine. The stated objective is: “To support postgraduate medical trainees in their learning of the principles of research design at a basic level; to have the learners read and manipulate real artifacts from the Canadian research community.”
From the World of Words:
From fall 2015 to summer 2016, appeared as the Puzzling Professor on CBC Radio 1 North by Northwest, hosted by Sheryl MacKay. Over 33 weeks he presented short segments on various types of word puzzles. Right before the local news break, he posed questions for listeners, and then returned after the news to give the solutions and give “homework” questions for the following week. Topics included anagrams, heteronyms, univocalics, beheadments and curtailment, letter sequences, metatheses, spoonerisms, palindromes, reversals, homophones, lipograms, kangaroo words, container words, redundancies, oxymora (the proper plural of the word ‘oxymoron’), rhopalics, spelling rules, and a few more.
Below is the audio clip from the ‘pilot episode” and clips from a couple of other segments.
Since the fall of 2017, Jonathan appears approximately once a month as The Word Guy on North by Northwest, educating and entertaining about a wide variety of aspects of the marvelous English language. Among the more than 30 episodes that have aired are discussions of: acronyms and initialisms, figures of speech, where words come from, how spelling changes, slang, nouns, verbs, adjective, adverbs, prepositions, idioms, fossil words and absent antonyms, demonyms, contradictions, alphabet origin rhyme, and more.
Below is the first segment – for more episodes see the CBC’s The Word Guy page.
For six years, Jonathan was the puzzle editor for CHANCE magazine, creating cryptic crossword puzzles on a theme related to statistics (but very accessible to general audiences). He has also constructed cryptic crosswords for The Enigma, the monthly publication of the National Puzzlers’ League, and for Cryptic All-Stars. Selected puzzles are offered below:
For more puzzles, see the Cryptic Crosswords page!
From the Jewish World:
For many years, Jonathan has written and directed original Purim shpiels for Congregation Beth Israel (Vancouver BC) to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim (see the Book of Esther).
Four recent shpiels are musicals: a full set of songs with new lyrics, tied together with some narration. The musical inspirations are Hollywood, Broadway, Simon and Garfunkel, and The Beatles. The older set of five shpiels have two parts, a script and a set of songs. The songs have new lyrics that tell about the characters and places in the megillah. While the songs are meant to supplement the script, the two parts are independent. The scripts can stand alone and be performed without the songs. The themes are Star Trek, James Bond, Fairy Tales, Shakespeare, and Dr. Seuss.
The tenth shpiel was done online, combining narrative and a few songs. Here are the titles:
- #11 (2022) – Spinning Shpiel: A Rock and Role Reversal Watch it on YouTube
- #10 (2021) – Purim Pandem-onium: The Show Must Go On… Zoom Watch it on YouTube
- #9 (2020) – That’s Esthertainment! Watch it on YouTube
- #8 (2019) – Hamanalot: A Broadway Shpiel-Acle
- #7 (2018) – Shpiel Over Troubled Water
- #6 (2017) – Magical Mystery Shpiel
- #5 (2014) – D’var Trek: The Wrath of Haman
- #4 (2013) – Haman With the Golden Gun: Licence to Shpiel
- #3 (2012) – Hamansel and Gretel (… And Esther): A Purim Fairy Tale
- #2 (2011) – Hamanlet, or the Merchant of Menace
- #1 (2010) – Green Eggs and Haman
See more detailed descriptions of the shpiels.
Jonathan has published a number of articles in the Wexner LEADS blog
- Star Wars and Purim (2018) – Star Wars is a Jewish story, and it is connected to the Purim story…
- Teach the Children (2016) – Two guiding tenets of Wexner are teaching and learning…
- Loss, Learning and Leadership (2015) – Coping with loss through learning…
Matt Berkowitz – Science Literacy:
- YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/ScienceLiteracy/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ScienceLiteracyChannel/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/SciLiteracyChan
Heather Berkowitz’s textile art:
National Puzzlers’ League – www.puzzlers.org