- What’s the Matter with Missouri-An essay in the Atlantic about the demographic and political shifts that have radicalized Missouri into a bastion of the Republican party.
- Boys on the side-An article in the Atlantic about the hookup culture among young people, arguing that it is largely perpetuated by women who have more choice and control than they ever have had before, rather than the traditional narrative about women being forced to submit to the passing fancy of men. Truth to tell, I have never participated in this culture and both at the liberal “east coast” universities and at more conservative locations there are a large number of people who are capable of having progressive relationships without resorting to flings or getting married; without pointing out legislators who seek to limit the control women have over their bodies or conservative groups who demand abstinence only or no sex before marriage, this article is polemical in that it presents an vision of relationships without stability…at least not until women are financially secure and find a good partner. I am not saying this is a bad thing, per se, and the author does a good job of showing some of the ways that having control over their actions and behavior empowers women (while not ignoring the fact that women enjoy sex, too) and that women are as a general rule more educated (though the article posits that women are more successful than men, which is not really the case), but fails to acknowledge the many people who (for a wide range of reasons) do not like or pursue a hookup culture–or end it prematurely for that antiquated notion of love.
- Adjuncts’ Working Conditions Affect Student Learning-An article in the Chronicle that covers a report that says that ways in which universities employ adjunct faculty members inhibits student learning because the instructors are almost necessarily unprepared to teach adequately unless they spend the period before they are actually employed preparing for courses they may never teach. This is particularly true (and hardly surprising) for instructors hired mere days before the start of semester.
- Former Israeli soldiers disclose routine mistreatment of Palestinian Children-An organization of former Israeli soldiers called Breaking the Silence published a booklet of testimonials that recount physical, verbal and psychological abuse of Palestinian children as a routine occurance. The IDF statement is that the testimonials were not given to them before publication to be investigated for accuracy.
- A Pachyderm’s Ditty Prompts an Elephantine Debate-An elephant in a zoo in Washington DC is obsessed with noise making objects, including her harmonica. This is raising a debate about what music is and whether or not it is a human construct.
As always, comments encouraged. What else is out there?