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December 2, 2008 - 5:22am
TB and I played basketball on the driveway/court this past weekend. He's involved in a local kids' instructional league, where they do a lot of drills and a few scrimmages, and he loves it. Although he didn't have practice this weekend, we had some relatively decent weather, so I decided that shooting some hoops with him myself would be a good idea.Normally, it's fine. We just take shots from wherever, running only when we have to go after the ball as it heads towards the road. Not a problem.
December 1, 2008 - 10:00pm
A recent article in the New York Times suggests that rather than career ladders, we should be thinking of career “lattices,” with both vertical and horizontal moves possible in the long-term development of a career. It’s an appealing image to anyone who has ever wondered if they’re cut out for climbing a ladder all the way to the top.
December 1, 2008 - 7:27am
One of the most frequent topics when sustainability wonks get together, in person or online, is "greenwashing". Greenwashing -- the design and production of products which can be marketed as contributing to sustainability, but which in practice change little or nothing for the better -- is a frequent practice and an even more frequent accusation. Would switching to product X, or service Y, or process Z really reduce greenhouse gas emissions? Are the benefits real? Is the approach well-intentioned but fundamentally flawed?
November 30, 2008 - 8:39pm
If not for my day job, I'd take a crack at writing a book with the following topic:How to Steer a College Through a Recession and Make It StrongerOkay, it's not as catchy as it could be. Maybe something like "Lindsay Lohan's Illustrated Weight Loss Secrets and How Colleges Can Navigate Recessions." Admittedly, it's a bit clunky, but at least it would sell. Or maybe "Walk it Off, Loser! A No-Nonsense Guide to Colleges' Sucking It Up," to capture the Regnery Press demographic. Whatever the title, there's a book waiting to be written about higher ed and funding cycles.
November 30, 2008 - 7:40pm
A scientist/reader writes.... I urge you to show a bit more flexibility in your advice on the career/family bit. If the goal is a faculty position in the sciences, there is usually an interim postdoctoral stage. Postdoc can be a great time for maternity and infant bonding- whether you are headed for a research-intensive university or a liberal arts college.
November 26, 2008 - 2:29pm
Last summer, executives at three of Japan's largest banks decreed that all their offices would be cooled only to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. It's part of a nationwide initiative called "Cool Biz", whereby businesses compete for customer loyalty by demonstrating leadership in greenhouse gas reduction. Salarymen have reportedly made a significant sacrifice of social status by going to work tie-less as a result.
November 26, 2008 - 4:54am
When I was 17, I wrote an essay entitled “Why I do not want to have children.” My seemingly prescient mother saved it, along with other high school memorabilia, and when I came across the essay a few years ago I was amazed at the depth of feelings I’d developed at such a young age. The gist of the paper was that although I loved kids, I didn’t feel that I was capable of having both a family and a career, and I really wanted to focus on becoming a biologist. I pointed out that I knew many women who very successfully combined career and parenting, but I didn’t feel that I could.
November 26, 2008 - 12:10am
Actually, the title of the book I’ve been reading this week is The Turkey : An American Story (University of Illinois Press, 2006), by Andrew F. Smith.
November 25, 2008 - 9:53pm
Thanksgiving is coming at the right time. On campus, every few weeks we get a new bulletin from the state telling us to anticipate an even bigger cut than the last bulletin. At this point, it feels a lot like when you're standing in the sand and a wave washes over you and recedes, carrying the sand from around your feet with it. Every time you think there's finally a solid perch, another wave hits, and you get shorter without even moving.In the midst of the doom and gloom, taking a moment to reflect on how well off we actually are, compared to most of the world, is helpful.
November 25, 2008 - 5:37pm
First, the hi-tech -- a tremendous opportunity for innovative engineering and business schools.

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