Showing posts from September, 2012
This is a fascinating story about yet another new problem for honeybees in the U.S. 

Washington state’s first ‘zombie bees’ reported; parasite causes bees to fly erratically, die

It turns out that there is a spreading problem of the parasitic takeover of bees by a species of indigenous fly, Apocephalus borealis, which lays eggs in a bees abdomen which in turn hatch into larvae that control the bees behavior.  The bees fly at night, which is very irregular, and then die as the larvae eat them from the inside.  Perhaps inevitably, the bees under this parasitic control get called "zombie bees".  There is a project sponsored by San Francisco State University to track these zombies.

I am planning on checking our bees on campus to see if we can find any evidence of infection.

This type of behavioral control via parasites has been getting a lot of intention recently.  There was that McAuliffe piece in the Atlantic over the summer that revealed how toxoplasmosis controls a huge r…
I just got back from a few days in South Texas, one of my favorite places to be because of the music, the people, and, not a distant third, the food.

I love it that people always say "I wish I knew you were coming, I would have made some barbeque!"  I especially like this when people say it the first time I meet them, which has happened several times.

Most anyone reading this blog or talking to me knows I have a passion for conjunto music, which is the main reason I went down there.

I was in San Antonio talking to Santiago Jimenez, Jr., working on his autobiography (which is going to be of the as-told-to variety).  We had some seriously fascinating conversations over many hours, covering his life and music and also that of his legendary father, Don Santiago Jimenez.  This book is going to be a remarkable document, I am really happy with how it is coming together.

 I'd tell you all about it-- but you'll have to wait for the book!  In the meantime, I thought a few p…
Eleven years after September 11 it is hard to find something meaningful to say in a short space, though I am approaching a moment where I feel like writing about it in some detail because I feel like the distance has become sufficient.

Every year I have asked my students if they had any thoughts on the anniversary of 9-11, and I must say that since that date that nothing has been said that I thought was worth mentioning.  Very little thoughtful at all. A usual diversion was into storytelling.  I do think a particular strain of self-storytelling is one of the legacies of that moment.

This year my students had something interesting to say. In particular, there was a robust disagreement in one class between those you appreciated the church-y memorial service the school created and several others who found it abominable.  This group preferred only one thing: silence.

I was fortunate today to realize to talk to the daughter of an old and now deceased friend and colleague of mine, Tom Fanne…
Structuring an academic book tends to be a bit over-determined and formulaic, though this is not unwelcome when wanting to crank through a pile of monographs with the greatest efficacy. Teaching to use structure to one's advantage is something we usually teach students very early on, in fact.

I modeled my book Spaces of Law in American Foreign Relations on 2666, thinking as I did it that unfortunately it was not likely anybody would read it that way.  (Don't worry, I had no grandiose visions they were equal works,  I just liked the structure as much as I liked the book itself so I had it in mind while writing.  And, alas, nobody has yet said to me, 'this reminded me of 2666.' )  But, of course, in the spirit of meeting the requirements of academia, I tacked an introduction on the front which 2666 mostly definitely did not have.

But now upon some further thought I am a bit swayed by the structure adopted by Richard Gombrich in his What the Buddha Taught, a really inter…
One of my favorite classes to teach these days is my fairly new one called "Space and Place in the Global United States".  This is the third time I've taught it and I believe it will be the best.  I've slowly wrestled formidable mountains of spatial theory into something I can make functional for the students--while still managing to fit in coverage of everything from historical patterns of Vietnamese settlement in New Orleans to the first performance of "4'33" to the enduring cultural and regional significance of the taquachito.  It is a fun class to teach, and the diversity and quality of the student research projects at the end makes the often grueling semester worthwhile.

The class starts out by taking a look at a collection of my photos of migrant spaces in North Carolina and Virginia (and a few from Nashville).  It occurred to me that I never linked through to the site maintained by the Digital Scholarship Lab at the University of Richmond.  Here …