are we allowed to plug our stuff here?

To answer foodgirl‘s question: absolutely. To pull said plug from a long comment thread:

My dissertation is about the foie gras controversies in the US and France and looks at the nexus of movements, markets, and the state in defining morality and virtue. My other project was about ‘virtuous food’ movements – the connections and disjunctures between local food, organic food, and the Slow Food movement…That turned into a book chapter that is coming out next year in an edited volume: The Globalization of Food, edited by David Inglis (the editor of the new Cultural Sociology journal), and I’ve collaborated with two great folks at Kellogg (the business school) for an article on the grass-fed beef movement as the creation of a market out of a movement (forthcoming in ASQ).

Speaking of which, there was a local news story out here in sunny California today about slaughterhouses mistreating cows. Has my living with a vegan for many years led me to falsely believe this is commonplace, or is this one of those things where now that there’s some video of cow torture circulating, everyone is just pretending that this is aberrant behavior?

canadian women more feminist than american?

That is what this essay by journalist Michael Valpy on the decline of religious identity and attendance in Canada implies. The article goes through several explanations of why Canadians have become sharply less religious since the 1960s. Rejecting other explanations, such as the postmodern condition and declines in voluntary participation in general, the article focuses in on the oppression of women by numerous religious institutions.

Basically, Valpy claims that Canadian women refuse to tolerate their church-assigned role as asexual, submissive supporters of their husbands and families. Continue reading “canadian women more feminist than american?”

first day of (grad) class

As usual, I want to get the semester started off right on the one graduate course I teach each year, and every time I teach this course, I decide that there are a few more things that I should not take for granted that the students will know. While I usually turn to Fabio for All Things Grad School, his take on the Grad Skool Rulz of how to take a class falls somewhere between “don’t” and “do a decent job of it,” so from a professor’s perspective, that leaves a bit of a gap in helping students know what they need to get the job done. I’ve compiled a short list of things I intend to go over on the first day, before we get to the content of the course, and I was hoping for some feedback and additional suggestions. Continue reading “first day of (grad) class”

delegation resolutions

Well, I’m inspired. All the workflow gurus agree that setting a reasonable, actionable goal, logging your progress, and giving yourself incentives to follow it are the keys to resolution success. My prediction is that Jeremy is well on his way to fitness. I would also like to be fit, and so I considered following along.

And then it hit me. I would be donating so much money to Really Bad Thing at the end of 2008. And, worse yet, it would be coming out of Kid’s college fund. Why? Continue reading “delegation resolutions”

iowa retrospective

All eyes are on Iowa these days, as the day of the caucus approaches. The NY Times has a story in today’s paper about those who are excluded from the caucuses. The approach of bringing everyone together into one room for a couple hours necessarily leaves out people who work long hours, parents, people who are out of town that day, those who are housebound or who don’t have transportation to the particular meeting, etc.

I am among those excluded. Continue reading “iowa retrospective”

home, sweet home

I am back from my holiday visit to my parents and sister, glad to be home. I was a little helpful here and there, and my sister and I had some chances to talk about the plan. I think my biggest accomplishment was convincing both of my parents to finally get hearing aids. I hope they weren’t just pulling my leg while I was there, but you never know.

I think I mentioned before that it was weird to me, after my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, to find that things back home weren’t that much different than before. I guess that mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s looks much like old age a lot of the time, with some more troubling episodes in between, which we were spared on this visit. Other than that, they are the same old parents they ever were.

Also on the up-side: I got to catch up a little bit on my stack of sociology journals on the flights there and back. Maybe I’ll be caught up with 2007 in time for the Best of 2008 contest next year. (By the way, is it a bad sign that for our “top 10 sociological insights of 2007,” we were only able to come up with four?

digging out

Like many, we were hit with a lot of fluffy, soft snow yesterday. Although it was the idyllic childhood scene, it took all day to convince Kid that going outside would be fun. Once he got out there, he complained about being cold and refused to get out of his toboggan. Husband and I each took a turn pulling him around the block like we were sled dogs while the other shoveled. Then, we went inside for hot chocolate (“soy milk and no marshmallows, mom!”).

We’re almost dug out now, with one car out and one still buried. It’s snowing again, so it seems a bit futile, but the only choice is to shovel, shovel, shovel.

gettin’ old: the bad news follow-up

Thanks to everyone who had good ideas about what to do for my folks that are getting up there in years. It turns out that there are lots and lots of resources just like the ones I was looking for: agencies that screen, train, and bond workers to help seniors out and allow them to stay in their homes longer. My folks are lucky that they live in a densely populated area, with lots of resources. Here are a couple links for folks in the San Mateo County, and here is a starting place to find care throughout California. It turns out they have just what I thought my folks needed: someone to check in, have a chat, maybe tidy up the dishes, drive them around to do errands and grocery shopping, remind them to take meds, and keep loved ones posted on how things are going. Weekly visits would be about $500/month, as far as I can tell without making any calls.

Unfortunately, Continue reading “gettin’ old: the bad news follow-up”

bite me, thomas

Just in time for holiday shopping, those of us who had to return items from the Thomas the Tank Engine trains because they were recalled for lead paint contamination were just sent a friendly email from RC2 Corporation, Thomas’ manufacturer.

Dear Thomas Wooden Railway Parent,

Because you participated in our recent recall relating to Thomas Wooden Railway toys, we thought this information regarding our production quality assurance and testing practices may be of interest to you.

RC2, the parent company of Learning Curve and creator of Thomas Wooden Railway toys, was featured in news coverage concerning the actions toy manufacturers have taken to ensure the quality of their toys and to ensure your child’s safety.

We invite you to watch the report that originally aired Monday, October 29 on ABC’s World News Tonight.

Um, pardon me, but you exposed my 3-year-old kid to lead paint. I’m not watching, and I’m not buying. Ever.