Dorky Poll: E or M?

My post-tenure sabbatical, alas, is officially over today, as I begin teaching the honors section of the introductory E&M class. This will keep me busy for most of the morning, which makes it the perfect opportunity for a Dorky Poll: Electricity or magnetism? Yes, I know they’re unified, and thus merely different manifestations of a […]

Quest for College

The latest issue of the Cult of the Purple Cow Quarterly— er, I mean, the Williams Alumni Review has a story about a woman I knew in college (she was a senior when I was a freshman) who has started a non-profit organization called Quest for College, working to help prepare kids for college (annoyingly, […]

Two Cultures and Expertise

Academics of all sorts are highly protective of their scholarly territory. It’s an unavoidable consequence of the process of becoming an academic– I’ve often joked that getting a Ph.D. requires you to become the World’s Leading Expert in something that nobody else cares about. To make it through grad school, no matter what discipline you’re […]

links for 2008-03-31

Talk Like A Physicist | Talk Like A Physicist 3.14 » A water balloon not exploding in high-speed Possibly even cooler than a water balloon exploding at high speed. (tags: physics video youtube science) THE FIVE WAYS OF PROVING SANTA CLAUS After Aquinas. (tags: silly humanities culture society religion) Boing Boing’s Moderation Policy – Boing […]


Davidson’s amazing NCAA tournament run came to an end today, as Kansas just squeaked past them, 59-57, when a shot at the buzzer went wide. The low score probably offends NBA fans, but to my mind, this game showed everything that’s right about the NCAA tournament. If you watched the game, it was clear that […]

On Moderation

(Now that I look at the title, that sounds like an incredibly tepid harness-team command. “On, Moderation! Forward, with prudent speed!” I could clear that up by adding “Comment” in the middle, but I kind of like the image…) Over at Boing Boing, Teresa Nielsen Hayden has posted a long explanation of the comment moderation […]


North Carolina beat Louisville last night to reach the Final Four, in what was the first good game in a couple of days. Xavier never seriously challenged UCLA in the early game, and while it’s nice to see Davidson win, there wasn’t much drama in their whomping of Wisconsin on Friday. That Times link is […]

links for 2008-03-30

The 6 Cutest Animals That Can Still Destroy You | Oh shit! Run! (tags: animals biology psychology video science silly) Asking a Judge to Save the World, and Maybe a Whole Lot More – New York Times Crazy people seek an injunction to keep the LHC from destroying the universe. (tags: physics science stupid) […]

The Benefits of Tenure

Over at Reassigned Time, “Dr. Crazy” offers a remarkably sane post on what tenure means to her: Ultimately, this is the allure of tenure for me, and it’s what I think is most positive about the way I see tenure working at my institution. This is not to say that the tenure process at some […]

Soft Equals Death

As noted many times, FutureBaby is due in July, which means we’re at the point in the process where we need to start acquiring, or at least registering for, Stuff. Of which there is a frightening amount. Kate’s big on consumer research, so we picked up the Baby Bargains book that several people recommended (this […]