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March 1, 2009 - 8:41pm
    Dr. Crazy has a nice discussion over at her place about battles over curriculum. As she details it, her department has basically broken into two camps: the "eat your spinach" camp and the "let them take what they want" camp. I'm quite taken with the metaphor.
February 26, 2009 - 9:14pm
Today I taught about Bay’s Theorem and Bayesian Statistics in my Advanced Statistics class. As I was lecturing, I talked a little about the game shows “Deal or No Deal” and “Let’s Make a Deal”, both very similar games but separated by about 30 years and some minor details. As I talked about the game shows, I found myself in a tangent discussing risk aversion, risk neutrality and risk loving behavior. It is then that I realized that these topics actually had something to say about parenting.
February 26, 2009 - 9:08pm
  The Girl is four, with big innocent eyes and a smile that could melt the Grinch. She also has juuust a little vinegar in her, which we kind of encourage.   Yesterday with TW, as the radio played the “Hits of the 80's Lunch Hour”:   TG: He doesn't just want you to whip it, he wants you to whip it GOOD! I'm not ready for this...
February 26, 2009 - 2:21pm
While we're on the subject of visual presentation of information, I just want to point out that part of the reason I'm psyched about being able to map greenhouse gas emissions geographically is because (let's be honest here) there isn't currently an effective visual image of climate disruption.
February 26, 2009 - 10:03am
A longish essay I wrote last year has appeared in the twentieth-anniversary issue of the terrific literary journal War, Literature & the Arts. It's a print journal with an online site, and since your tax dollars helped me publish this time around (the journal is based at the U.S Air Force Academy), I'll kindly give you a link, if you're interested, so you can read for absolutely free. Now can we stop all that hard talk about arts funding during economic downturns?
February 25, 2009 - 8:51pm
Several alert readers sent me links to this story in the New York Times. The headline -- “In Tough Times, Humanities Must Justify Their Worth” -- pretty much captures the tale. It's yet another decline narrative, lamenting the loss of respect for the classics, for a time in which young people sought truth and meaning and appreciated the ineffable blah blah blah. You can fill in the rest. As with so many Times stories, it goes off the rails in the last few paragraphs.
February 25, 2009 - 4:42pm
Conventional wisdom has it that 70% of the information received from a message is based on how the messenger looks, 20% on how the messenger sounds, and only 10% on what the messenger says. I'm sure those numbers are accurate, because they've been cited by Eddie Izzard in public presentations, and if he's not an expert, who is?
February 25, 2009 - 9:45am
As I've said, one of the nice things about the AWP conference was meeting in person some of those whom I've only known online. One of these was Sean Carman, a very funny writer I've appreciated from afar. I asked Sean if he'd come on over to my blogging house for a day, and he graciously agreed.

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