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October 3, 2010 - 9:51pm
Here’s an interesting challenge for many of us who work in and around technology: can you explain your job – what you do – to your mom? What about the concept of Cloud Computing? Bonus points if you can help mom understand the link between Base 2 and Assembly Language?
October 3, 2010 - 9:30pm
The two most misused nouns in the American academy are “Professor” and “administration.” In a recent New York Times piece, “The Case of the Vanishing Full-Time Professor,” Samantha Stainburn wrote of the disappointment parents feel upon discovering that their child’s “Professor” is an adjunct, which means in most cases the instructor is NOT a Professor at all.
October 3, 2010 - 9:16pm
Twice in the last year, I’ve heard some statements on campus against affirmative action that have helped me understand some of the opposition to it. (Disclosure: though my politics aren’t conservative, my appearance is. Since I rarely talk politics at work, some people incorrectly assume from my appearance that I’m a conservative, and they tell me things that they might not otherwise. It’s an odd position to be in, but there it is.)
October 3, 2010 - 9:00pm
Last week, I was involved in a virtual summit on e-books to which I was probably invited to serve as a semi-notorious Curmudgeon-at-Large.
October 3, 2010 - 8:15pm
I love short books. Can you recommend any good, but concise, nonfiction? Great reads under 200 pages?Here are my 5 concise reasons to read Robert Reich's latest book "Aftershock: The Next Economy and America's Future"Reason #1 - Conciseness: Most books are too long. Aftershock is a blessed 192 pages; 4 hours and 29 minutes short in audiobook format.
October 3, 2010 - 5:49pm
Though it is difficult to demonstrate, even in the era of outcomes assessment, we all strive to provide an education that enhances integrity, civility, and compassion. For years, many of us have emphasized that increased education makes us better parents, citizens, and voters. And yet, today’s environment in the United States seems to be moving us in the opposite direction. We appear to be less enlightened and less civil. A mosque and community center near ground zero is challenged because the sins of a few radicals have been used to try and tarnish an entire faith.
October 3, 2010 - 5:05pm
In a recent New York Times Magazine article, Peggy Orenstein discusses advertisers’ discovery of “the sales potential in female pride.”She describes recent ads by Target and Verizon, among others, that seem to imply that buying certain merchandise will confer “empowerment” on girls. She points out what she refers to as “cause-related marketing without the cause. Merely buying its service is how you’re supposed to strike the blow against inequality.”
October 2, 2010 - 2:45pm
Recent statistics concerning flows of students from China and Chinese views about migration raise some interesting questions concerning the present and future of Chinese higher education—particularly at the elite levels. Record numbers of Chinese continue to study abroad—270,000 are self-funded and (only) about 25 percent are returning to China, surprising in the context of the economic problems of the West and China’s booming economy (figures come from Willy Lam of the Jamestown Foundation).
October 1, 2010 - 8:54am
How is the young man who was in the room with Mr. Clementi doing? Thankfully, for him, we don't know his name, nor am I curious. Only concerned. If Mr. Clementi felt profoundly rattled by events, one can only imagine how he feels. The media, having gotten ahold of this story, has expanded the scope and amplification of the private act between him and Mr. Clementi many orders of magnitude beyond the original publication on the Internet.
October 1, 2010 - 4:30am
Duff Brenna’s novels include The Book of Mamie, Too Cool, The Altar of the Body, The Law of Falling Bodies, and The Willow Man. Honors for his work include the AWP Best Novel Award, Favorite Book of the Year Award from the South Florida Sun Sentinel, a Pushcart Honorable Mention, Milwaukee Magazine Best Short Story of the Year Award, inclusion on the New York Times Noteworthy list, and an NEA fellowship.

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