Archive for January, 2012

January 31st 2012
And their music? It’s just noise!

Posted under childhood & students

At Inside Higher Ed today, William Bradley offers a humorous and self-deprecating essay on his memories of college versus the conduct he observes in his students.  With every essay he finds cut-and-pasted from Wikipedia, with every mobile ringtone he hears during his classes, and with every complacent D student he meets, he wonders about the erosion of higher education in the United States:

“I had so much respect for my own professors,” I tell myself. “Yet these students seem to be mocking my efforts.”

It’s easy to understand why those who have been doing this for their entire lives might get frustrated, isn’t it? It’s depressing, to think that the college experience now is so degraded, compared to how we remember our own college years, a time of discovery and the excitement that comes with acquiring knowledge.

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January 30th 2012
It’s hard to be truly evil when you’re just stupid.

Posted under American history & Gender & technoskepticism & weirdness

I was concerned last week when I heard about Google’s plan to share information across all Google accounts.  But then prompted by this story on NPR last night, I dialed up my “Ads Preferences Mananger Page,” and this was the extent of the personal information I found:

Your demographics:
We infer your age and gender based on the websites you’ve visited. You can remove or edit these at any time. Continue Reading »


January 29th 2012
Insert better headline here

Posted under American history & fluff & weirdness

President John Tyler, 1841-45

I clicked on this link over at Politico yesterday, as it was billed as “Tyler’s Grankid:  Newt’s a ‘jerk‘.”  Who the hell is Tyler, I wondered?  Surely not President John Tyler (1790-1862).  Could anyone alive today really have a grandparent who was born in the eighteenth century? Continue Reading »


January 28th 2012
The beatings will indeed continue until morale improves

Posted under American history & students & unhappy endings & wankers

First, go read Tenured Radical’s post from yesterday.  I’ll wait.

Doesn’t President Barack Obama’s speech at the University of Michigan remind you of the time that George W. Bush went to Notre Dame and Bob Jones and told them to stop being such one-issue whiners about abortion?  Or like that time he went to Haliburton and lectured them about keeping costs down, otherwise he would de-fund the National Security State?  Yeah:  just like that!

Personally, I liked this response–  Continue Reading »


January 26th 2012
Bipartisanship rules!

Posted under American history & unhappy endings & women's history

Wasn’t it a heartwarming and remarkable display of bipartisan comity to see the House of Representatives united in their support for the idea that U.S. Congressmen and Congresswomen should not be shot in the face when meeting with constituents?  Awesome!  (H/t to Fratguy for this observation.)

Although I have nothing against her politics, I’m glad that Gabrielle (Gabby) Giffords finally resigned.  Her recovery appears to be remarkable so far, but it’s been apparent for months that she is not up to really serving her district in the way it deserves.  It’s monstrously unfair, and I still think her shooting and the deaths of so many others should be discussed in terms of a political assassination attempt, but still:  she can’t represent Tucson at this point in her life.


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