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The Sentence That Knocked Down the Berlin Wall (But Almost Didn’t)

Words that defined Ronald Reagan’s presidency, as remembered by the White House speechwriter. As a speechwriter you spent your working life watching Reagan, talking about Reagan, reading about Reagan, attempting to inhabit the very mind of Reagan. When you joined him in the Oval Office, you didn’t want to hear him say simply that he liked your work. You wanted to get him talking, revealing himself. So you’d go into…

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Homeownership in America Has Collapsed—Dont Blame Millennials

Yes, the article is interesting, but I’m blogging it for the Jane Austen reference. It is a truth universally acknowledged that a journalist in possession of a negative statistic must find a way to blame Millennials for it. In 2012, Jordan Weissmann and I observed that young people were turning away from homes and cars, the twin engines of the economy. Two years later, the homeownership rate is still declining…

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Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are right and God isn’t ‘a magician with a magic wand’

The theories of evolution and the Big Bang are real and God is not “a magician with a magic wand”, Pope Francis has declared. Speaking at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Pope made comments which experts said put an end to the “pseudo theories” of creationism and intelligent design that some argue were encouraged by his predecessor, Benedict XVI. Francis explained that both scientific theories were not incompatible with…

Imagine what your professor's closet looks like. Tweed. Acres of tweed.
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Why do academics dress so badly? (Answer: they are too happy)

I used to wear a suit and tie when I taught technical writing at my previous job. In part I was sending a message that technical writing is a profession, and in part I was playing dress-up to enjoy the first full-time job I’d ever held (at age 29, after 11 or so years doing various part-time jobs that fit around my schedule as a full-time college student). For just…