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February 2, 2009 - 9:54pm
There’s a block of time on my calendar this morning marked “work at home or behind closed doors: grade” and another one commanding me, an hour later, to shift over to my research project for another couple of hours. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
February 2, 2009 - 9:50pm
Like every other college and university in the country -- probably the world -- Greenback is pinching pennies. Hard. Discretionary purchases are out, deferrable maintenance is deferred, raises are even more illusory than usual. Hiring is generally frozen ( de facto if not de jure), but there are a few exceptions. Filling key faculty vacancies is one of them. And Greenback's lack of a professor of sustainable engineering is considered a key vacancy.
February 2, 2009 - 5:49am
Wrongs Must Be Writed!
February 1, 2009 - 9:26pm
More so than at any time in my memory, this downturn has brought plenty of discussion of furloughs as a way to cut costs. While they aren't the worst of all things, I'm not a fan.
February 1, 2009 - 12:23pm
It's now a year since I started this series of miscellaneous ramblings. At such times the mind reflects, and may or may not like what it sees in the mirror. Since I'm often of two minds, mine tends to do both.
January 30, 2009 - 6:30pm
I continue today to be educated in new ways to freeze to death in a Victorian house. Though the thermostat maintains its adequate setting, subtle but powerful air currents strip the body of vital heat. I don a stocking cap, decide it’s not enough, add a blanket, then two—one under and one over—in order to work on my laptop. An hour later I feel warm, but unbundled I discover too late that I’ve sweated just enough to dampen my cotton clothing, and I’m hypothermic in minutes.
January 29, 2009 - 9:27pm
A few days ago we got word of the latest round of state funding cuts. I've literally lost track of the number of cuts we've taken this year, but the cumulative impact is drastic. Worse, we got the first inkling of the likely cut for next fiscal year, which starts July 1, and it will make this year's cuts look minor.
January 29, 2009 - 9:20pm
Several weeks ago, an article ran in Inside Higher Ed about the interest of many graduate students in jobs that don’t include a lot of pressure to publish. Instead many were interested in jobs that helped them to balance work and family life more effectively While I don’t want to resurrect the heated discussion that followed the article, I do want to take a minute to discuss how this decision would be viewed by economists.
January 29, 2009 - 8:52am
When I do a sustainability audit for departments on campus, one of the things I look for is "converters" or "chargers" or external power supplies. You know, those big bulky boxy plugs that go into the wall socket and are then connected to the electronic whatever by a thin electrical cord. The cord is thin because what comes out of the converter isn't 120 volt alternating current any more, it's direct current at a much lower voltage. All electronic equipment -- computers, monitors, telephones, etc. -- runs on low-voltage DC.
January 28, 2009 - 10:02pm
Is it just me, or has there been a spate of publications suggesting that your child’s intelligence, personality, and future life will be determined more by her genes than by careful parenting? In his analysis of his own genome, psychologist Stephen Pinker cites evidence that suggests that genes, more than family environment, shape who we are.

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