the busy times

December is the season of failure for academic women. Writing deadlines succumb to deadlines to order next semester’s books, write the final exams, and alas, grade. Students whom you have encouraged to meet with you all semester suddenly take you up on it. Coffee dates “before the semester ends” emerge out of nowhere. And holiday get-togethers pepper the month when babysitters are so scarce they become just an abstraction. Continue reading “the busy times”

if not thankful, glad

It’s not Thanksgiving up here, and perhaps that’s for the best. I was so sick with a stomach virus that I had to cancel my undergrad class on Thursday, although my grad class could carry on without me. I have been various degrees of horizontal since Wednesday, and every time I feel better, I eat a little something and then I feel a little worse. I guess that’s how stomach viruses go.

Still, I’m glad that Husband was around to take good care of me, and that the 4 or so other people whose help I needed to keep my work obligations together also stepped up. And although I feared the worst when Kid hurled up his oatmeal this morning, a short nap and a day of cartoons on the couch seems to have him feeling much better. I am glad for that.

So, I am missing my hockey game right now, and I really hate to cancel class, but the timing could have been much worse: Monday is our semester review, and after that, awesome travel. I guess I’m glad I am coming up out of it rather than heading into it.


Econ Journal Watch is running a call for papers for one of the more intriguing journal symposium ideas I’ve seen: basically, ‘fess up to things you do in your work that you don’t really believe in.  [HT: JB]

Some examples they proffer to get the confessional creative juices flowing:

  • Building models one does not really believe to be useful or relevant.
  • Using data one does not really believe in.
  • Focusing on the statistical significance of one’s findings while quietly doubting economic significance.
  • Drawing “policy implications” that one knows are inappropriate or misleading.
  • Tilting the flavor of policy judgments to make a paper more acceptable to referees, editors, publishers, or funders.

Also unusual for academic symposia, anonymous submissions accepted.  Indeed, what the call takes pains to state is that your submission doesn’t have to be anonymous if you want to publish under your true identity.

bleg! bleg! bleg!

You talked me into getting an iPhone. (Not you, Eszter. You!) Now I want to be able to synchronize my calendar with the computer on my desktop and synchronize my iTunes with my laptop. I want to do this because I keep all my appointments synced with Outlook on my desktop, but I can’t actually access the iTunes store from my desktop.* Does anyone know if I can do this? Does anyone know how I would even go about figuring out whether/how I can do this?

I was a little reluctant to upgrade to the iPhone because I thought the touchscreen would suck for texting given that I don’t have Mad Fine Motor Skillz.  Lo, it does suck.  I’ve been improving, and otherwise it’s been much fun, and I haven’t even yet downloaded the application that allows one to play Interactive Fiction games.

* Jeremy, you ask, why the [bother] can’t you access iTunes from your desktop? I suspect it broke when I made the changes that allowed me to break Internet Explorer on my machine, so that I couldn’t circumvent LeechBlock on Firefox with IE.

best of alternative 2008

Way back in 2003, before Kid was Kid, Husband made a list of the best songs of 2003 (I had to go to the Wayback Machine to fish out this link. Five years in Internet Time is like 500 years in real life). If you scroll down through the comments, you’ll see that he put a lot of work into it, ranking, playing songs, re-ranking. It took him weeks, and he posted it to his blog that about 10 people read.

Why did he do this? Just for the love of the music, for the love of lists, for the love of rankings. It’s his thing. And unlike almost everybody else in the world, now it is his job to do exactly his thing. Lucky bastard.

And I present to you, the official iTunes Canada list of the best alternative songs albums of 2008. Golden.

UPDATE: Here are the best alternative songs of 2008.

the gift for the person who has everything

You do not want to read the rest of this post. No, really, you don’t. I’ve provided it for you not to read so that you can forever enjoy the pleasure of a mystery. You will lose this pleasure if you read the post. That is not satisfying. This post is not like Candyboots. Okay, it’s a little like Candyboots. Do not say I did not warn you. What is beneath the fold, I present with minimal additional commentary. Yes, it is an actual product.
Continue reading “the gift for the person who has everything”

the president-elect has game

The Chicago Tribune has a column on Barack Obama as a basketball player.

But Obama, to borrow a playground term, is a “baller”—a player, even at age 47, of a populist, sweat-inducing, real sport and the possessor, to judge from the video of him in action, of no small amount of game. (He played Sunday at the University of Chicago Lab School.)

If you think that doesn’t mean something to those of us who continue to play pickup ball well past our physical primes, think again.

Well, it just so happens that one or two of those old ballers are sociologists, one of whom was quoted in the article: Continue reading “the president-elect has game”

how about some leadership on executive compensation?

I have to say that I’m pretty outraged. We’re all hearing about the tough economic times ahead. How we shouldn’t expect any raises next year. How we can’t hire new faculty to replace old ones. And then, I see this. That the median compensation for University presidents is going up 7.6%. My president made $1,411,894 last year. Yours made $1,742,560, Jeremy. Amy Gutmann of UPenn got a 40% raise. She’s giving $100,000 back (far less than her raise). This is a paltry symbolic gesture. While median home earnings are going down, universities are rapidly increasing the pay to their executives. You can read more of the chronicle’s report here. But I warn you, it will enrage you. While most workers at colleges are asked to trim their wages, executives like Bollinger, Gutmann and Bienen are rapidly increasing their pay.  Faculty pay has not kept pace. And it’s not just the private folks. Public Universities are also paying enormous amounts (OSU’s E. Gordon Gee made more than $1.3 million last year). On average, public university presidents have increased their wages by 35.6% in the last five years. Median household income has fallen during that time (while tuition steadily increases). How, exactly are their wages in keeping of the educational mission of their institutions? Fewer people can afford university. So the response? Pay our executives more. Continue reading “how about some leadership on executive compensation?”

the path to parenthood, or not

I am at a crossroads. On the one hand, my spouse and I are excited to begin the preparations for having a second child. We really like our first one, and we’re just about coming up for air now that he is getting close to school age. He wants a sibling, and we always wanted two kids (except for that brief period when our son was 0-3 years old, when we were very very certain that one was plenty).

On the other hand, I am worried. Continue reading “the path to parenthood, or not”

i want to know what makes you tick, barnes and noble lurker dude

From Seattle. I don’t read Craigslist missed connections anymore, but I still like having them forwarded to me from time to time.

Completely unrelated: this had me laughing out loud for upwards of a minute, proving how if you’ve got an English accent you are already well over halfway to being funny.