Surgeon Promising Head Transplant Now Asks America for Help

Saving this article. What a story. Nowhere does the reporter insert an opinion, but the take-away message is powerful. “I think it’s phenomenal,” Dieter said. “If you don’t think out of the box, you can’t get anything done out of the box.” Dieter and about 75 other conference delegates were clearly hoping for an entertaining and possibly inspirational presentation. They didn’t get it. Canavero rambled for two and a half…

150608_r26609-320

Go Ask Alice

From the tangled tale of mass literacy one can pluck a few specific objects—books that were to be found in every household where there was somebody who could read and people who wanted to listen. Aside from the Bible, a typical list would run like this: “The Pilgrim’s Progress,” “Robinson Crusoe,” and “Gulliver’s Travels,” to which were later added “The Pickwick Papers” and “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.” Notice that Alice…

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 2.57.26 PM
13

College is not a commodity. Stop treating it like one.

If we are going to treat college as a commodity, and an expensive one at that, we should at least grasp the essence of its economic nature. Unlike a car, college requires the “buyer” to do most of the work to obtain its value. The value of a degree depends more on the student’s input than on the college’s curriculum. I know this because I have seen excellent students get…

Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 5.27.22 PM

On Night, Darkness & the Past

When we banish the dark, what do we lose? The stars, of course. But what else? Archaeologist Colleen Morgan reflects. In Turkey and Jordan I’d sleep on the roof, watching shooting stars and satellites, feeling the depth of space all around me. In cities, hell, in most places, all the artificial light flattens the sky, makes it a far-away, vaulted ceiling. In moonless nights in the desert the night sky consumes you,…

Screen Shot 2015-06-07 at 10.59.15 AM

Terminated for Reading an Allen Ginsberg Poem?

In February two students complained about an Allen Ginsberg poem that, at the request of a fellow student, was shared in Olio’s AP English class at South Windsor High School in Connecticut. A media uproar followed, and Olio was essentially forced to resign. Most of the facts do not appear to be in dispute – and are more nuanced than the ‘students forced to read shocking homoerotic poem’ media narrative. The overriding question…

Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 2.56.35 PM
4

The “Best” E-mail Signature Is Actually the Worst

I have no particular opinion about how to close an email. I just checked my “outbox” and I see that I haven’t closed any of my recent messages. Several were responses to requests from other people, so “Thank you” would be out of place, and even “Here you go” would be so unnecessary it would sound awkward (if not rude). When closing an email, I usually just stop writing. A…