I've always liked the idea of being buried without a casket, and just plunging into decomposition and reuniting with the moon and the stars and the bugs and the bees. I've also thought that that would be way too unsettling for me to cope with my loved one making that choice, and so I shouldn't impose that on my loved ones, seeing as how I'll be dead and won't actually care, so sure, lacquer me up and inject me full of saline and rest me in a flouncy coffin. Whatever the other people find easiest.
Yet the mushroom death suit kind of grosses me out! It's got spores sewn in, which are then activated by your corpse, and from there, presumably, the worms crawl in, the worms crawl out.
So my burial without a casket is sanitized, I guess, and I want to skip to the moon in june without the worms playing pinochle on my snout. Now I know.
From Von Wafer: The only person being considered for the position of superintendent of the Berkeley school district apparently supported Prop 8.
Heebie: He sounds like a total screwball. Also in the memo that he put forward to the school board (along with Prop 8):
[T]he ideal learning environment for children is within a nurturing home governed jointly by a mother and father as primary educators of their children.
He sounds like a real winner to be supernintendo. There's got to be some context of screwy influential inner circle people hand-picking him.
Was I the only one who didn't know that Trollope had written a satirical dystopia about a small South Pacific country that used to be a British colony which tries to institute mandatory euthanasia at 68? It's terrible -- I'm not suggesting that anyone actually read it -- but the fact of its existence surprised the heck out of me. I must spend more time poking around minor works by authors I know.
And the film that spawned violence.
Via Jimmy Pongo over there
From Oudie: this will never happen but would be just.
From Heebie: It reminds me a bit of the article about the Finnish school system. One of the key points was that there were no private schools. Sounds great to me.
(It's a safe bet that were this to ever occur, the real estate version of good/bad public schools would double-down in intensity. As my ed friend says "The biggest revealed truth in American k-12 schooling history is that the rich will find a way to separate from the poor." She can rattle off twenty policies that have been implemented to address inequality, and how in each situation, the rich parents in the community gamed the system to end up with the most resources and best education experiences for their kids, at the expense of the rest.)
Professor breastfeeds her baby during class and everyone is shocked.
The teacher sounds like an idiot for being shocked that everyone is shocked. I don't actually have a problem with her breastfeeding in class, but let's not pretend a room full of 18 year olds will be tuned in to the nutritional functions of luscious boobies. (Albeit a feminist anthropology lecture.)
I personally am too modest to pull something like this off, but that's irrelevant. I probably would have given the class a short assignment and stepped into the hall for 10 minutes.
Brian Leiter has a good post with lots of links. The balloon-juice one is recommended.
NEWARK, N.J. -- A New Jersey woman pleaded not guilty Tuesday to causing a man's death with an injection of silicone he hoped would enlarge his penis -- a procedure experts cautioned doesn't work.
Kasia Rivera, 35, could face up to ten years in prison if convicted of reckless manslaughter in the death of 22-year-old Justin Street.
Street, a father of two, had gone to Rivera on May 5 seeking a penile enlargement procedure, which prosecutors say Rivera advertised for in fliers posted at local businesses. Rivera, who performed the procedures in her apartment, allegedly with no medical license or training, administered a silicone shot to Street's penis, according to prosecutors.
Street died the next day. His death was ruled a homicide following an investigation and a medical examiner's determination that he died of a silicone embolism. Rivera was indicted by a grand jury last month.
"If there were a legitimate method for penile lengthening, Johnson & Johnson or Pfizer would have bought it up and made billions and billions of dollars worldwide," [Mayo Clinic Urology Professor Daniel S.] Elliott said. "The fact that they don't means it does not exist."
It's like cold fusion.
I know how their public discussion went: if we just post a job opening, we're going to get 1000 applicants and we've only budgeted a rather measly salary, and we don't want to get turned down by the five best candidates that we bring to campus and come up empty-handed. So we need to filter the herd for the candidates willing to accept table scraps. (There's got to be a better way to state "job pays squat" in your job description, though.)
But obviously SEK is right that they are privately also seeking to disqualify the graduates who have been most shat upon since the recession, probably because of the opposite-of-the-halo-effect, whatever that would be called. The Pig-pen-effect.
The point is that Stanley's post currently has 16 comments, and so this is clear of the "stomp" cut-off by three comments, although the OT derailment pre-comment 10 technically gives him a 10 comment boost, and thus pinning me with a 7 comment deficit.
Fallout from the summer's ouster and reinstatement of U.Va. President Teresa Sullivan continues apace. This part of the story is aggravating but probably unsurprising:
Some of Sullivan's allies suggest, discreetly, that she didn't fit the board's image of a chief executive. She is in her 60s and has the fashion sense of an academic. In a personnel review process last year, Dragas, who is immaculately tailored, told Sullivan that she received comments from several board colleagues, questioning whether her wardrobe was occasionally too informal.
"I don't know what the unprofessional dress was," Sullivan said. "I do live here at the university, so when I'm working out or doing something else here, people will see me." It's hard to imagine anyone leveling such criticism at, say, the famously rumpled former Harvard president Larry Summers. "People are very much aware that I'm the first woman president of Virginia," she said. "It would be naïve to think it's not there as an issue." Dragas calls the suggestion that she judged Sullivan by her appearance "ridiculous," adding, "If the president had been a man, I would have conveyed the same sentiments from the board, no question about it."
This part on the other hand is hilarious but probably unsurprising:
Dragas, though, had badly misjudged the faculty. While they love to complain about their salaries, academics typically place a higher value on less quantifiable benefits, like academic freedom and the job security of the tenure system. Though they harbored no great love for Sullivan, she was still one of their own. When a financier like Jones urged them to be "elated" about the change, it only fed paranoia about the creeping influence of wealthy donors. Shortly after Sullivan's removal, Peter Kiernan sent a mass e-mail disclosing that he had been consulted ahead of time and assuring the university that Dragas and Kington -- both business-school alums -- would be proceeding "with a focus on strategic dynamism."
"I think that was the catalyst for real outrage," Robert Fatton, a comparative government professor, says of Kiernan's e-mail.
I keep forgetting to work "strategic dynamism" into my daily vocabulary. That's powerful stuff, man.
It's not nice to mock my students' status updates.
Remember today, for 11 years ago, those people wish they could make it to today.
2012 is the real September 11th.
Wearing camouflage today, in honor of the military.
When others rushed out, the military rushed in.
Please be respectful. This is our generations D-Day.
She was probably about 9 or 10 years old. She's generally conservative, if it makes you feel better about mocking her.
The Complete Guide To America's Jobs Crisis And The Failure Of Monetary Policy Using Animated Gifs is fun to read (although I hope that isn't the start of a trend because animated gifs actually weird out my eyes.)
The actual central flaw that the author identifies seems off, though. So, Bernanke does a QE and then sits back and is like "That'll do."
The problem is that when Bernanke does these purchases, it doesn't give the market any sense of what to expect on future action. And monetary policy needs to be grounded in expectations of future actions.
This sounds like too much like the claim that business can't hire because they face uncertainty. Fuck people's faulty sense about the future. Just take actual meaningful action, in sufficient size, and call it a day.
I think the author would basically agree, but I just don't believe that people's expectations counts for shit. They'll have expectations, and then facts and life will unfold, and then they'll go back and revise their pretend-earlier-expectations to be consistent with what ended up happening. People's expectations don't mean squat.
Via Bave, indirectly
It covers only the material that I need them to have internalized before starting Calculus - ie the graph of ln x, rules about negative and fractional exponents, etc. It's fine if you need to look up some old topics, but these are things that will derail you if you don't know them really well.
Historically, 2/3 of the students fail. I bluster and furrow my brow and give them a retest, and they do marginally better on the re-test, and I get on with life. I hate grading the test, and I resent having to grade the retest, but not as much as I want them to know the material.
This time I changed up the retest. On the first day of class, I told them, "The retest will be public and on the board. You'll have one question. I'll grade it on the spot." This was my friend's idea, that a little threat of public humiliation will light the fire under a student's ass.
So that was today. Results: Equally dismal, but:
1. The entire retest and grading took under 30 minutes. Success right there.
2. I called each student up one by one and said "This is right, this is right, nope - can't do that, etc." and graded their problem on the spot, conversationally, with them. (The rest of the class was just chatting and not paying attention.) Several of the kids that I talked to then asked questions for the first time ever during lecture, or came up and asked questions afterwards. Somehow the one-on-one conversation connected with them and they were participating noticeably more.
Does this mean college kids respond well to being babied? Yes. Given that it was less effort and got kids more engaged, let's call it a win.
Horrible football injury. I don't want to extrapolate from the most extreme injury to the norm, because this is clearly not the typical danger to football players. However, free-associating, I'm thinking about the various depression and suicide stories of ex-pro-football players.
I did read an article last year that asserted that there was no statistical increase in suicides and depression among NFL players, compared to adults from the same backgrounds as NFL players. But of course there are way more articles asserting that there is a connection.
Anyway, I do like watching football. To what degree are you all conflicted about it? Also, why must Faith Hill sing "Waiting All Day For Sunday Night", apparently before every game, to the tune of "I Hate Myself For Loving You?" Who is the real victim here?
Teachers on strike in Chicago. Probably more interesting to talk about than the homework thing below.
Here is NPR's coverage: Teachers went on strike. Listen to a parent: "Won't anybody think of the children?!?"
The person quoted really did use the phrase "Think of the children", and that was the entirety of the content in the piece I heard.
Smart kids with parents in the know can avoid doing hours of rote memory homework.
At the beginning of each year, my neighbor sits down with the teacher and principal and explains that her daughter does not have time for homework because she needs to play and do chores. She vows her daughter will pay attention in class and bids the school to alert her if any intervention is required.
"Be firm," my neighbor advised me with an adorable smile that I imagine she uses during those conversations at school.
Isn't that grating? And yet I'll still keep in the back of my mind if homework were to become excessive.
This is a pretty stunning photo.
Via Tedra on Pinterest