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February 12, 2009 - 9:32pm
By now we have all heard the numbers telling us how large the stimulus package will be that we hope will help turn around the economy. As an economist, I am interested in this attempt to help the economy recover more quickly. However, I am struck by the size of the numbers being thrown around, as we will most likely spend $800 billion dollars for the stimulus package that will help begin this economic recovery. These numbers are so large, they are hard to picture. What do these numbers mean?
February 12, 2009 - 2:18pm
There are many temptations in the big city for a couple of fellers in from the literary countryside. Today was opening day of the Associated Writers and Writing Programs Conference in Chicago, and my old friend Frenchy and I hit the irresistible book fair, sponsored by Columbia College Chicago, English Department, Poetry and Nonfiction Programs.
February 11, 2009 - 9:43pm
Peggy Orenstein’s recent column in the New York Times about parental fears in response to a USA Today report on poor air quality around schools struck a chord with me.
February 11, 2009 - 6:27pm
Greenback U has a lot of recycling containers on campus. Many are for paper only, some are for paper and cans/bottles/plastics in a single stream, and some are for paper and cans (etc.) separately. In addition, we have specialty recycling/disposal containers for batteries, for aerosol cans, for corrugated cardboard. If I get my way, we'll have a couple of specialty recycling containers for cell phones.
February 11, 2009 - 6:56am
I’ve been planning a birthday party this week with my daughter. Her birthday is Feb. 13, sandwiched right in between Charles Darwin’s birthday on the 12th, and Valentine’s Day. With Darwin and my daughter both celebrating big decades this year (my daughter her 10th, Darwin his 200th), love, family and Darwin’s legacy have been on my mind.
February 10, 2009 - 9:18pm
We're starting to use the R word in a really serious way. Even with reducing the number of deans, we may not save enough to save every faculty job. While the dust is far from settled on next year's budget, it's pretty clear that we've blown well past our previous worst-case scenarios. Now we have to start looking at faculty retrenchment, at least on a contingency-plan basis. This is nobody's idea of fun.
February 9, 2009 - 10:28pm
I’m wondering if I should make Jill Biden my role model. It’s too late, of course, but I’m impressed by what I’ve seen of her so far. Raising three kids, teaching, going back to school for the doctorate later in life — she was impressive as a senator’s wife and, to me, even more so as the “Second Lady.” News reports snark at her for going by “Dr. Biden” when she’s not an M.D., but where I live that’s the norm: I never went by Dr.
February 9, 2009 - 5:48pm
As the economy has gone into the crapper, so has the market for most recyclable materials. It just doesn't pay to ship tons of used cardboard, or even steel, across the Pacific to use in making new products (and the packaging for new products) when sales are down across the board. Plants are closing. Even the Japanese car companies are showing annual losses. And -- this just in -- the current recession is already the worst in terms of job losses since WWII, and there's no sign that it's hit bottom yet.

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