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Showing posts from February, 2015

worse than you thought

Exhibit number whatever in reasons I tell students not to pursue graduate work in history, despite history being the best choice of major as an undergraduate, hands down.

" The data revealed that just a quarter of all universities account for 71 to 86 percent of all tenure-track faculty in the U.S. and Canada in these three fields. Just 18 elite universities produce half of all computer science professors, 16 schools produce half of all business professors, and eight schools account for half of all history professors."
"...In fact, after graduating with Ph.D.s, only about 10 percent of faculty move “up” the academic prestige hierarchy as defined by theScience Advances study (with “prestige” being determined by the university’s ability to place faculty at the widest variety of other institutions). Most faculty instead slide 25 percent down the scale."

history is not alone, either,
"Oprisko’s experiences inspired him to research faculty hiring on his own. In 201…

"Education is a social vaccine against sustained ignorance "

Not that you need to be persuaded that vaccines are a good idea (any more than you need to be reminded of the germ theory of diseaser) but this is a solid piece on it worth reading anyway. I hadn't realized how contagious measles actually is.

"Education is a social vaccine against sustained ignorance that blocks effective and responsible responses to public-health threats."
And in other, not-unrelated issues of sovereignty and territoriality space--this interesting discussion about the legality under the Outer Space Treaty for private companies to exploit the resources of the moon.  I have briefly written awhile ago about the related concept of a U.S. base on the moon (floated by Newt Gingrich). The new idea is for the private exploitation of the resources of the moon by private companies, breathlessly supported by Glenn Reynolds.

The comments on the post are worth reading in full, too.
China has been building an artificial island in the South China Sea, more than 600 miles from its coast and only a couple of hundred miles from the Philippines.
This is pretty funny, I had also gotten a similar phone message from a movie producer a few years about my Spaces of Law book. I couldn't imagine what the guy was thinking, and definitely did not see any way to make this dense book into a marketable movie. I looked up the guy and sure enough he had produced films with for-real people in them. I never returned his call, something was definitely up. (It didn't help that he was in Florida, which just made the whole thing sound sleazier). Turns out it is all part of some scam to snarl historians in legal troubles, just amazing.

J.R. McNeill, who had the same experience, writes:

"Only a desperate man out of good ideas (indeed, out of moderately bad ideas) would hatch a plan to recoup his fortunes by suing academic historians. In the annals of American entrepreneurship, this must rank among the least promising schemes ever concocted. For a movie producer, presumably accustomed to deals involving millions of dollars, this was pas…

Sic Semper Tyrannis!

Sure the big snow storm which paralyzed the region is new (big snow 757-style, which means only about 5 inches of snow)...and then  there is the record cold coming at the end of the week (highs in teens)...

But here at Nunal the really interesting news is that Virginia is at long last legalizing adolescent male weapon fetishes.
Virginia is very close to legalizing brass knuckles. It's another blow for freedom in this freedom-lovin' state.  The bill has passed both houses and is just a governor's signature away!
Historically-minded readers might be interested to see the illustration chosen for this story--Jack Ruby's brass knuckles he was carrying at the time he killed Lee Harvey Oswald. Where did this ophoto come from and why was it chosen? Is this supposed to support or undercut the movement for brass knuckle legalization? Curiouser and curiouser.

Other things to be legalized: blackjacks, brass knuckles, swords in canes, switch blades, and throwing stars.  Nunchucks, &quo…
It is really kind of sad Romney didn't give us another opportunity to reject him soundly, that would have been kind of fun.

In case you needed reminding why, read this story from Politico.

Turns out his concession call to Obama was just all class and good graces from Mr. 47%:

"President Barack Obama was not amused by Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential election concession call, according to a new memoir.

In “Believer: My 40 Years in Politics,” former senior Obama adviser David Axelrod writes that the GOP candidate implied on the call that Obama had won because of his popularity in black communities, according to the New York Daily News, which acquired an advance copy of the book.

Obama was “unsmiling during the call, and slightly irritated when it was over,” according to Axelrod.

“‘You really did a great job of getting out the vote in places like Cleveland and Milwaukee,’ in other words, black people. That’s what he thinks this was all about,” Obama said after he hung up with Romney…
I cut one of the Little Buddha's hair today. He was sporting quite an impressive mop. I cut it back and when he hopped out of the chair after the cut I said "there, don't you feel lighter now?" and he said "no, darker."