links for 2009-05-05

  • "Last week, in the online edition of Slate’s sister publication Foreign Policy, two of its regular bloggers, Stephen M. Walt and Daniel W. Drezner, drew up lists of what they regard as the best movies ever made about international relations.

    Both are eminent international-relations professors, Walt at Harvard, Drezner at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. It’s no surprise that neither of them gives our own film critic, Dana Stevens—or, for that matter, Gene Shalit—the slightest cause for worry. It is a shock, though, how lightly they’ve dipped into their own profession’s vast cultural pool."

  • "Star Trek has a long-running habit of recasting social situations via none-too-subtle metaphors, using far-future scenarios packed with androids and aliens to highlight some of the flaws in stodgy old 20th-century human thinking. "
  • "Howard started with the overarching question "should you be here (in graduate school)" by asking the audience "If you won the lottery and would never have to work for money would you still be here?" and if the answer to that question is not a convincing "yes" then get out. "
  • "[T]he plot revolves around her letting down her hair. Hair has weight, and so she’s going to have to have some strength to hold up the weight of all that hair. But that’s not all. If you were to mark an X in black ink at about the halfway mark on her hair, you’d see that when she pitches her hair out the window that mark will accelerate downward with gravity until it jolts to a stop as the hair has finished unrolling to the halfway mark. That’s a change in velocity, which implies a force. How much?"
  • About fifteen miles north of that imaginary line is an amazing complex, called “Dover Knolls” by the optimistic and “Harlem Valley Wingdale” by virtually everyone else. Lining both sides of Route 22, a busy north/south road, are dozens of stately brick buildings, some of them quite massive. Set slightly off the road is a disused baseball field and grandstand, and farther up the hill, there’s the unmistakeable glint of coiled barbed wire. The roads into the facility are open to the public, and far from abandoned, but the buildings are locked tight, sometimes boarded shut and emblazoned with No Trespassing signs. It is, in other word, exactly the sort of place I enjoy researching, exploring and photographing.
  • "These are actual questions asked during interviews for English faculty in the past two years. You won’t be asked all of them, but my bet is that every question you might be asked is among these examples."