Monthly Archives: May 2009

canadian meeting review

Back from the Canadian Soc meetings, and it was much better than I expected. The Author Meets Critics session I participated in was a unique opportunity to discuss ideas about the role of political institutions in social change and their relationship to social movements. The reception was a nice chance to meet a few new […]

social critic?

I’m on an extended vacation in Italy with my spouse, so not posting much. But this part of my travel journal seems pertinent to sociology. In Venice, we visited the Church of the Frari. There is a lot of important and wonderful renaissance art here (the Titian and Bellini works were gorgeous), and we listened […]

reviewing and grad students

I  have a quick ethical question: I get lots of reviews these days. This is a common complaint among our readers. I would have liked if someone spent time with me in graduate school going over how to review a paper. I am by no means an expert, but I have enough experience that I […]

i would have been happier not knowing.

If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like if Conservapedia ran a country, we now know the answer. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you: North Korea!

well duh.

You remember all that debate about whether or not waterboarding is torture? Well, one advocate for waterboarding, a radio personality by the name of “Mancow,” decided to try to prove that it wasn’t by undergoing the experience himself.

i love appletree…

…a hilarious blog that wants us to rehash our most eloquent “is this image racist?” conversation of a few months ago by titling this image “…but if *I* asked to do this, they’d call me a racist:” My vote: adorable.

who’s going to the canadian meetings?

The annual meeting of the Canadian Sociological Association is next week. Is anyone scatterplottish planning to attend? I’d love to meet up. This will be my third attempt to penetrate the puzzling structure of the Canadian meetings.

it’s all about the denominator

I find this is funnier if I don’t think too hard about what part of the figure we fall into. see more Funny Graphs

it’s funny

I tend to think of this as a little community blog of my friends (fellow sociologists). I need to remember, now and then, that it’s is a little more than that (and easily accessible to others)!

us unemployment may soon be higher than europe

The NYTimes has this article on our unemployment rate. It argues that the conventional wisdom that the flexibility of the American economy means lower unemployment than the rigidness of Europe is being challenged. And it shows a graph (below) that supports the claim that the US unemployment rate may soon go above Europe’s. I find […]

whoa, sociologists get paid less than anthropologists?

(from an ASA report on salaries in the social sciences) Anthropology is dying and has been for twenty years. Even when it is spelled correctly. I guess it could be that because they are dying they have relatively fewer assistant professors and so the average anthropologist is more senior than the average sociologist.

my book in index cards

I came upon a box in my office today. It contained my book, or at least many chunks of it, in index cards. It looked like this: I think it looks beautiful.

dude, why are you so cranky?

1. It is not summer here at Northwestern yet. 2. It is not even especially close to being summer here yet. This quarter has been a perverse celebration of the benefit to faculty of the quarter system. I had a bunch of professional obligations coincide with the beginning of the quarter, such that I started […]


Unable to sleep and so playing with Wolfram Alpha. It’s cool for entering first names and foods and causes of death, among other things.

ask a scatterbrain: parental leave

A reader asks: “To all you tenured and tenure-track Scatterplotters, how does your university handle the issue of leaves of absence for male faculty members who become parents during the academic year? Do you have paternity leave? If yes, does the policy differ from the maternity leave policy? At my university, only female faculty members […]


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