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June 11, 2008
As I was driving to campus this morning, I happened to hear a story on NPR about urban gardening in Detroit. One of the points was that, given a garden around which to congregate, residents are more likely to get to know their neighbors.This wasn't really a surprise. I've been re-reading Bill McKibben's Deep Economy, and one of the things he points out is that the experience of buying food at a local farmers' market stimulates about ten times as many conversations as the act of buying (nominally) similar food at a supermarket.
June 11, 2008
What next? UD has now visited the NRA, written and reflected on it, and read many comments and emails about her having done that. Aside from looking at the articles about guns and their controversies that readers have recommended, the most pressing question about her desire to continue to educate herself about guns -- again, judging from her extensive mail -- is whether she should pick up a gun and have a go at shooting it. Five people, four of them local, have offered to take her shooting at a range.
June 11, 2008
I recently read a New York Times article describing a new study put out by the Center for Work Life Policy entitled “The Athena Factor: Reversing the Brain Drain in Science, Engineering and Technology”. The study discusses the flight of women from private sector SET (Science Engineering and Technology) jobs and ways to retain these women.
June 10, 2008
No matter how long I live on the academic schedule, I still have some trouble adjusting to what summer is for. Is it for work? For vacation? For recharging, retooling, and gearing up for something new? The truth is, it's probably all of the above -- but in moderation, something I'm still having trouble learning.
June 9, 2008
There's been an ongoing exchange on the Green Schools list (GRNSCH-L@listserv.brown.edu). In a nutshell, it simplifies to:Question: Is X a good speaker to bring onto campus for a sustainability presentation?Answer: He's strongly anti-immigrant. This may not play well with your intended audience:
June 9, 2008
According to Newsday (and reported worldwide), IBM and folks at Los Alamos have just raised the bar on computing power, with a $13 million, 20,000 processor, supercomputer nicknamed "Roadrunner". The thing can perform 1 quadrillion calculations (floating point operations, for those who care) in a single second.From a sustainability standpoint, the bad news is that this single computer draws about about 4 megawatts of power -- more or less the same amount of energy as a modern railroad locomotive.
June 8, 2008
This week, I’m going to include the full letter from a reader, because I think it’s a great illustration of what many of us go through in our twenties (inside academia or out), searching for the right career fit, for validation, and for our own definition of success. This is what she wrote:



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