maybe if one of them was at our campus in qatar and i didn’t mind a twice-weekly interhemispheral commute…

Registration for Spring quarter classes has begun here at Northwestern. I am scheduled to teach an undergraduate and graduate course, meeting at Tuesday/Thursday 3:30pm and Tuesday/Thursday 3:30pm, respectively. This is a problem.

further symptoms of the financial apocalypse

From Northwestern’s homepage:

Undergraduate tuition will increase 3.6 percent to $38,088 for the 2009-2010 academic year from the current year’s $36,756. The 3.6 percent increase is the lowest percentage increase in more than 40 years, since 1967, when Northwestern did not raise tuition.

I’m surprised that a 3.6% increase would be the 40-year minimum.

Another statement Northwestern put out attributes the relatively low increase to sensitivity to the struggling financial situation of many families, etc., but I had a hard time reading it and thinking “Eek. Maybe deflation really is at hand.”

according to the LATimes, this is front page news

“The most rigorous test of several popular diet strategies has found that any diet low in calories and saturated fats and that an individual can stick with for a lifetime is best.”

Is anyone surprised? I mean… I don’t know. This is a profound finding? All bacon all the time isn’t going to work? Let me tell you something: we fat people know there’s no magical plan, no hidden process we’re missing. Okay. Back to work. I have to finish a paper today…

ask a scatterbrain: have you known someone who…

A reader asks for help finding a particular sort of survey data:

Specifically, I need datasets that ask respondents whether they have experienced X thing and also ask whether they know someone who has experienced X thing. So, for example: Q1: Have you ever been abducted by aliens? Q2: Do you know anyone who has been abducted by aliens?…any substantive issue will do.

Is anyone familiar with such a dataset, preferably from the U.S. within the last 25 years? Or, alternatively, do you have any suggestions on how to search for a type of question, as opposed to a variable name?