At The Movies, The Women Are Gone

In many, many parts of the country right now, if you want to go to see a movie in the theater and see a current movie about a woman — any story about any woman that isn’t a documentary or a cartoon — you can’t. You cannot. There are not any. You cannot take yourself to one, take your friend to one, take your daughter to one. There are not…

Don’t Be Afraid of Going to Graduate School in the Humanities

Over 50 percent of humanities Ph.D.s who start out working in non-tenure-track positions make the jump to full-time, tenure-track employment in less than three years. Those who don’t make that jump, again, do what Ph.D.s have always done: Some choose interesting work in the business, governmental, or non-profit sectors, others in university administration. A few obtain tenure-track positions later in their careers. A small minority remain off the tenure track.…

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Do Black Holes Create New Universes? Physicist Lee Smolin Interview

Can’t wait until we get this end-of-year state-mandated testing/evaluation over with, so my son can go back to reading stuff like this guy’s book. “Reality is structured to a series of moments so that anything that is real is real in a moment of time, and if something appears to persist in time, that’s because it’s continually renewing in time, in the moments of time, which are the reality of…

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NAVY TO DROP ALL-CAPS COMMUNICATIONS

Caps off to the Navy’s plan to drop all-caps. OFFICIAL COMMUNICATIONS AND ORDERS HAVE BEEN IN ALL CAPS SINCE 19TH CENTURY. YOUNG SAILORS ACCUSTOMED TO TEXTING SEE ALL-CAPS ORDERS AS A FORM OF SHOUTING! NAVY WANTS ITS ORDERS AND OFFICIAL MESSAGES TO BE MORE READABLE AND LESS RUDE. “WHILE THIS DECISION WAS MADE TO SAVE MONEY AND GAIN EFFICIENCIES, IF AN ANCILLARY BENEFIT IS THAT SAILORS READING MESSAGE TRAFFIC NO…

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Lego faces are getting angrier, study finds

The headline is hype. How about “Lego faces are getting more diverse?” That would be just as true, and less misleading. Many of the recent sets come with heads that you can rotate — a happy face on one side, a scared or angry face on the other side. So it’s also true that Lego faces are getting sadder, more surprised, more smug, more whatever — any variation from the…

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Positive Feedback on a Blogging Assignment

A former student who is now excelling in grad school took a moment to share her thoughts about my blogging portfolio assignment, which is usually 25-40% of a student’s grade. In April, a different former student who had blogged for me  in several classes, whom I invited as a career workshop guest, surprised me by saying: “Every job I’ve had since I graduated from college has been because of my…

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The Essayification of Everything

The word Michel de Montaigne chose to describe his prose ruminations published in 1580 was “Essais,” which, at the time, meant merely “Attempts,” as no such genre had yet been codified. This etymology is significant, as it points toward the experimental nature of essayistic writing: it involves the nuanced process of trying something out. Later on, at the end of the 16th century, Francis Bacon imported the French term into…

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Ave atque vale

What is a liberal education and what it is for? From Cicero’s artes liberales, to the attempts at common curricula in more recent times, to the chaotic cafeteria that passes for a curriculum in most American universities today, the concept has suffered from vagueness, confusion, and contradiction. From the beginning, the champions of a liberal education have thought of it as seeking at least four kinds of goals. One was…