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July 31, 2011
We've all heard the explanations -- the excuses -- about why humans (particularly legislators, especially legislators not operating in any sort of a parliamentary system) aren't emotionally equipped to deal with problems like climate change. It's intangible. It's invisible. It's slow. It's not immediate. It's not linear. It's not intuitive. It cuts against the cultural grain.
July 31, 2011
Last week, we celebrated both Ben's seventeenth birthday and that of our cat, Molly. (Molly was a rescue cat who came to us when Ben was two; since the vet estimated that she was about the same age, we assigned her Ben's birthday and celebrate them together.)Molly's annual celebration consists of a catnip toy and an enthusiastic trio rendition of "Happy Birthday," but Ben's have evolved over the years, and each year brings back the highlights for me.
July 30, 2011
What’s New at University of Venus - Week Ending 30 July 2011University of Venus Around the Web:University of Venus at The Guardian UK The risks of publishing: upholding freedom of speech for academics by Denise Horn.Our Writers At Other Blogs:
July 29, 2011
Rattlesnake Daddy: A Son’s Search for His Father, by Brent Spencer. The Backwaters Press (2011). $25.00 paper.***Here I’d like to return briefly to Rattlesnake Daddy, a memoir I reviewed a few days ago.
July 29, 2011
The University of Venus question of the month: What has been the highlight of your summer?Janni Aragon (Canada) Each year the highlight of my summer is the opportunity to work on my own projects. With my heavy teaching load, summer is the productive time of the year. And, at the same time, I just feel less rushed and enjoy time with my family. Summer means work splashed with lazy mornings. I am definitely a summer sort of person.
July 28, 2011
And the men aren’t.Sometimes just a few statistics can tell a story. Here’s a pair I found fascinating.Our students a year or less out of high school: 48% malesOur students as a whole: 38% malesThe skew gets progressively more pronounced as you move up the age scale. By the time you pass the early twenties, the students are overwhelmingly female. But the fresh-out-of-high-school group is almost even. And to the extent that I’ve seen national statistics, they pretty much tell the same story.
July 28, 2011
The bankruptcy of Borders and the closing of 400 stores provides an opportunity to think through some lessons for for higher ed? Are we immune from the fate of Borders? 3 Lessons:
July 28, 2011
The light is a bottle. A Coke bottle. A one-liter Coke bottle, to be precise. You know it's a Coke bottle because it has that trademarked narrow-waisted shape.
July 28, 2011
It is suspected that the 360 degrees in a circle may have originated from the 365 days in a year, as these 365 days bring us back to the day where we began, even as turning a geometric figure a full turn of 360 degrees returns the figure to where it started. This weekend the Jesuit order, which educated me, once again celebrates its founder.
July 28, 2011
 I don’t know what Aaron Swartz planned to do with the four million or so articles that he downloaded from JSTOR in violation of their terms of use, but it has made me wonder something: what would it cost for academic institutions to band together to buy the most used portion of JSTOR and set it free?  

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