Monthly Archives: April 2009

dog food or paté?

The LA Times has this interesting piece on research about subjects evaluating different kinds of paté vs. dog food. The point they drive home: of 18 subjects only three were able to identify dog food vs. paté. That’s not many. The take home message is that  it’s hard to figure out what’s dog food. I […]

drive by citations

I’ve been grading the (in general very good) papers by the grad students in my culture seminar, and I’ve noticed a phenomenon I don’t remember from prior seminars. I’m naming it “drive by citations.” These are, essentially, references to a work that make a very quick appearance, extract a very small, specific point from the […]

how do you deal with something like this?

I don’t want this to be an, “Ugh, my students suck” post. I’m actually curious how you all deal with students who write things, that, well, you might find upsetting. I had students read American Project. I also asked them to go see Venkatesh’s film, “Dislocation” and write a blurb about it. One student sent […]

a tale of two urls…

Today’s post is in honor of the 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. There’s a lesson at the end, so pay attention:

second best gmail lab ever.

(at least for people like me).

i have some issues with this

A fellow sociologist has published this op-ed in the Washington Post. It makes the case for marrying young. I have nothing against marrying young. But I do have some issues with the argument. It begins, The average age of American men marrying for the first time is now 28. That’s up five full years since […]

i wonder

So the LA Times has this story about genetically modified corn. Basically: this corn has vitamins that enable folks to get more nutrition from this product. I’m not going to insert a rant about GMOs. But this gives me a lot of pause. In low-yield, high risk agricultural areas, is it really a great idea […]

smart and stupid

Smart: Taking a four-mile test walk with backpack wearing my proposed travel clothes and new travel shoes and socks. Stupid: Taking a four-mile test walk with backpack wearing my proposed travel clothes and new travel shoes and socks.* I’ve never had blood-soaked shoes before. At least I have several weeks for my feet to recover […]

holy crap

Specter is going to switch parties. This is big news.

misfortunes highlight how lucky i am

Husband broke his foot on Sunday. Not playing hockey, but having brunch. Unfortunate. We went to the urgent care clinic, which is free (fortunately), because we live in Canada (fortunately), because I got a tenure-track job here (fortunately). While at the clinic, Husband got an x-ray and an air cast (cool!), and he also picked […]

rip john king

John King, ukulele virtuoso, died recently. You may be thinking, “what is a ukulele virtuoso?” I give you John King. It is worth checking out his Youtube channel.

anti-intellectualism in the academy

In this morning’s NYT, there appeared this op-ed, which trots out the old, well-beaten horse that the academy is hopelessly irrelevant and poorly tuned to producing the kind of graduates “we” need, where “we” is defined as something like “people who do really important things, like closing down plants that manufacture widgets, or blowing mind-numbing […]


i’m irrationally anxious about swine flu. it’s 90 degrees in nyc today. those are unrelated. i’m getting used to twitter.

eight is the new five

US News and World Report sociology rankings are out. Sociology now has 8 top 5 programs, although only 10 top 10.

a “relatively good” job market? really?

Opened my email this morning to find this new (and in my opinion, horribly argued) report from the American Sociological Association, about the sociology job market. (EDIT – OLD REPORT). Spoiler – their conclusion:  “These findings suggest a relatively good market for new sociology PhDs.” Their justification for this statement?  There were more assistant professor […]


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