for your reading entertainment
I have really been loving One Sentence. It's all true stories, told succinctly.
"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)
I have really been loving One Sentence. It's all true stories, told succinctly.
The good news: I get a T.A. in summer school.
Do the Bad Historian and I know how to pick a night for a baseball game or what? A perfect 75 degrees AND a no-hitter - what fun!
Note to self: never blog while on hold waiting to talk to the 7th (SEVENTH!) bureaucrat of the afternoon concerning an as-yet-to-be-resolved issue.
So I've gone back and forth for the last six weeks or so as to whether or not I should post this song. It's a huge hit in Kosova (HUGE. As in, on the radio every hour.), but I don't know what it means, and I can't decide if it's wildly inappropriate, or if it's just totally wacky in the way that only European pop stars who were born to an American father in the Middle East can be. At any rate, it's darn catchy and the video is crazier than a Betsey Johnson dress, so I'm going to go ahead and post it here. You were warned.
Seems to me that there might be another, fairly obvious explanation for this delicate little problem.
These accusations pretty much sum up the eastern Congo's security situation: guns, rebels, guns, peacekeepers, guns, rumors, and guns.
I barely slept last night. I missed my bus this morning and had to drive. I hope it's not going to be one of those days.
This is the biggest problem my students have, no question. They have no idea how to filter, value, and judge the tidal wave of information that hits them each day.
I am not a super routine-driven person, but on Sundays after church and lunch, I always come home to read two things: that week's posts on Post Secret and the Washington Post's Date Lab. I like Post Secret because it's always poignant and sad. Date Lab, on the other hand, is hilarious. The post matches up people for a blind date, and 9 times out of 10, it's a disaster. Other people's uncomfortable awkwardness is hard to beat when it comes to free entertainment.
Thanks to everyone who called your Senators and Reps about the Farm Bill yesterday. Good news - the conference committee that was working yesterday has reached a tentative agreement on the bill that includes $10.4 billion for nutrition programs. It makes a difference when you contact those whom we elect to govern on our behalf! The final bill will probably be up for passage next week, so we may need to call again.
Hey, thanks, y'all, for all the congrats on the whole getting published thing. It should be par for the course for someone who does what I do, but this is my first article to be accepted for publication, so it's exciting. Also, the road to getting a PhD has been, shall we say, a little rocky, so it's nice to have some outside validation that my ideas are good and that I'm a competent researcher. This is great timing as well. I'll be on the job market later this year and was really needing something to put on the old c.v.
"While there is some editorial work to be done, the paper is recommended for publication. *Rating A"
Three good things you could do today:
This is what Melissa the Missionary gave me when I was in Chicago. Isn't it special? Jesus is so passive and angelic, while the Romans are going about their work as though it were a routine Habitat build rather than the execution of the son of God.
I'm grading finals today, because (lucky me!) we get a whole 24 hours from the exam time to finish grading and submit course grades. Right now I haven't started the essays and I have about 5 1/2 hours to get it all done.
So although some students are DRIVING ME OFF THE DEEP END with their end-of-semester whining and excuses, there are many that I'm going to miss. It's registration season at UT, and in my 9am class today, several students asked what I'm teaching in the fall. It's a good feeling to know that they want to take another class from you, although unfortunately I have to tell them that I'm stuck in my own private purgatorio of teaching the same course over and over and over and over again (we're at 7 times and counting, with 3-5 more scheduled for the year to come).
Well, happy birthday to me.
I've been tagged twice for the same meme, so I guess that means I should answer. Here goes:
A super-funny story from Amy Butler.
People and Things for which the Republique Democratique du Congo cannot pay (At all. As in, most of these "government employees" have not collected government salaries in 20+ years.):
Things the Republique Democratique du Congo can apparently now afford:
The Bad Historian emailed out an LBJ classic this morning: the Haggar pants tape. I haven't heard it in a year or two, but, goodness, it's still funny as ever. Do yourself a favor, click on the listen link and don't read the script. It gets really good around 1:20.
This headline pretty much sums up modern American politics, n'est pas?
I have just learned that it's apparently legal for American citizens to visit Iran. We have no diplomatic relations, so if something went wrong, you'd be in trouble. But still, nobody's going to get in a stink if you go there.
Saw this while waiting for my breakfast taco at TacoDeli yesterday. Laughed so hard I almost cried.
I am so excited that this song is on the intertubes:
WHY, if you were a hapless undergraduate, would you invite a professor to join this Facebook group?
So I am presenting my dissertation research to my department on Friday at one. I wasn't nervous, but now I am, a little.
No. No, no, no, no, no, no, noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!
This is the time of year when I need sites like Rate Your Students to keep me sane. Every year I think I can't hear any stupider excuses or lazy questions, and every year I'm proven wrong. Anyway, I laughed and laughed at this particular post on grading, particularly point number one:
So what do we do when a kilogram isn't a kilogram anymore?
There was apparently, possibly an engine explosion. But nobody really knows what happened.
Elitism, consumer behavior, and how politicos can tell who you'll vote for based on what you eat.
SCOTUS rules that lethal injection does not constitute cruel and unusual punishment.
There's an incredible photo of the wreckage in the international section of today's New York Times. The Washington Post reports 33 killed; Reuters says 21. As with most things of this nature in the Congo, no one really knows.
Wow, there's a lot of whining about taxes out there on the interwebs today.
Oh my.... The plane never took off - it just ploughed across the road, into the houses and shops that are across the street at the end of the runway.
A plane crashed in Goma today. Into Birere, which is the market district.
Well, the lineup is out for ACL 2008, and I have to say, it's a little disappointing. No super big names except for Beck and the Raconteurs (I'm sorry, but the Foo Fighters? Who cares? Maybe in 1999.), although I am SUPER excited about seeing Alison Krauss and Robert Plant. (Their 2007 Raising Sand album is amazing.) That said, there are a few interesting acts on the lower half of the bill and a good number of local bands. But the vast majority of acts on the list have played the festival before, and that's the problem. Don't bore us, C3.
Brad Pitt was 300 yards from my office this afternoon.
Via Spence Smith:
Not really. This is the first real quiet I've had all day, sitting in my living room with nothing electronic but my laptop on, listening to my neighbor's windchimes.
Last week I wrote a lot about rape vicitms in the eastern DR Congo. After the film, my former student K asked me if I'd ever directly encountered women and girls who are victims.
As you may have noticed, I've been a little busy lately. And by "a little busy," I mean, I've been out of town and/or conferring for the last 6 weekends straight, and for 7 of the last 8 weekends. (Plus, you know, teaching two classes, writing a dissertation, and whatnot.) It was fun camping and being in Lubbock, Pristina, Skopje, London, Franklin, and Chicago, but I'm worn out from all the travel and the work (not to mention the mess) that's been waiting every time I get home.
Kate Campbell is singing in worship at my church tomorrow. I am ridiculously excited. Seriously. You have no idea. When I lived in New Haven, I listened to Kate's song "South of Everything" pretty much every single day. I dragged my best friends there to see her play in a tiny little coffeehouse in Bridgeport because I love that song so much. Since then, I've seen Kate play at CBF and such, but that's it. I love her meditations on faith, race, the south, and life in general. It's going to be fantastic.
Lia Scholl made the Freakonomics blog!
Delaycast is my new best travel friend.
Thanks to Ethics Daily for picking up my review of The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo.
More on the eternity thing....
Waco friends, there's an Amani ya Juu sale at the Baylor SUB tomorrow from 11-3.
This is church:
There's a funny post on Stuff Christians Like today about "Witnessing to people that don't believe the Bible using the Bible." (How many times have I seen this? More than I can count, especially in my teenage years, where at least 2 of our 6 youth ministers were obsessed with getting us to prove to our agnostic classmates that evolution never happened.)
And you thought your neighborhood angry guy was bad. Via Foreign Policy, the worst of the worst in global fundamentalists.
Last night's premiere of The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo was hard to watch. Basing herself in Bukavu, filmmaker Lisa Jackson traveled through South Kivu last year to make a movie about the victims and perpetrators of this brutal war against women and girls that most of us know little about.
So here's a question, entirely hypothetical, of course:
This is for the Librarian. (It would also be for my sister, but I'm sure she's already seen it.) I just laughed so hard I cried. Those of you who don't care about mocking poor fashion choices should probably just skedaddle on to something else.
This mess is eerily similar to something that happened in my high school. To be more specific, my 11th grade economics teacher, a former minor league baseball player who'd thrown out his arm and come to coach the baseball team and "teach" economics, had an affair with the homecoming queen, who was - ahem - in my class. As in, fourth period in the portables out back. Only in his case, he didn't get arrested; his wife found out, they divorced, and he married the homecoming queen, whom he'd gotten pregnant in the meantime. I wonder whatever happened to them. And I wonder what would've happened if we'd had an instructor who actually knew something about teaching economics...
It's official: semicolons matter. Check out the correction at the end.
Tonight at 10EST/9 central, HBO is airing The Greatest Silence, a new documentary about women and girls who are victims of rape in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. The Washington Post has an excellent review of the film this morning. If you don't have HBO, I'm hosting a screening for the Enough Project, which sent a DVD of the film, tonight at my place at 7.
All I have to say about last night is that 1) that was a fantastic championship game, and 2) I watched Texas beat that Kansas team. 23 has already become intolerable to be around. I've now had enough "rock, chalk, jayhawk" text messages in the wee hours to last a lifetime.
So The Librarian and I are once again donating a practical joke to our church's upcoming youth auction. The youth use the money from the auction to fund their summer mission trip, so, you know, when we engage in a little mischief on behalf of a generous donor, we're actually Pranking for Jesus (tm).
Questions students asked during and after class today:
Oh, the day we talk about privacy rights and gender discrimination is SO much fun for the teacher. But these questions do indicate that some of them were actually paying attention and thinking about the issues. Here are my answers:
Bet you're jealous of my job right now.
UPDATE: It's wonderful to have the CPP as a close friend for many, many reasons. One of them includes the fact that she is an expert in civil rights law. She informs me that there was actually a case over the Hooters question, and that, since Hooters is not (ahem!) a club of ill repute, but rather a family restaurant, they had to settle with men who'd sued and they have to hire men as "Hooter's helpers."
So there you go.
David Kuo on the death of a Ugandan child.
This is wrong, and yet...
Today, is, of course, one of the most important days of the year. (No, not because it's World Health Day or the anniversary of the Battle of Shiloh or the day that the genocide really got underway in Rwanda in 1994.)
You have to read this beautiful excerpt from a memoir, especially if you don't know much about Liberia.
Betcha didn't know this about Rick Steves, the man who destroys every place he writes about in his travel guides.
Even though it seems like I'm always in a hurry when I'm here, I really do like Chicago (except for the freezing cold temperatures it is APRIL, people, it should not be 44!). It's a city of great, funky neighborhoods, and the one in which Melissa the Missionary and the Filmmaker live is no exception. M and I walked to dinner tonight at a place that is Somethin', and here are some of the gems we passed:
Then there's the Philadelphia Church, where the time is apparently always right for salvation, because the clock has no hands:And, finally, who would take a cruise with these guys?
So, somewhere between 3-5,000 political scientists locked in a hotel in downtown Chicago to confer is pretty much what you'd expect. Lots of social awkwardness and long silences. But also fun times of seeing old friends who've since graduated and moved on, and connecting with other people who study stuff like you study. And for kicks, they hold it at the Palmer House Hilton, which was, of course, one of the sites of the ill-fated 1968 Democratic National Convention. 'Cause political scientists like the joke. Yeah.
I am having an insanely busy week. Something about leaving town for the third time in four weeks (and being busy for the sixth straight weekend) has worn me down a little bit. Anyway, the papers are (almost) all graded, the substitute teachers are all briefed, and my laundry will be done in time to stick the last few things in my bag before heading over to give a slacker a makeup exam, teach a class, and get to the airport in time to read the conference papers on the plane, write up my "discussant" spiel, and maybe even sleep.
This is perhaps the least surprising story in the history of Texas politics.
Gang, there are 30 days until I turn 30.
More and more international news outlets are reporting that negotiators are close to a deal that will allow Mugabe to step down in Zimbabwe. His party apparently lost the election, and South African diplomats seem to be telling him it's time to go.
This April Fool's joke is so meta I don't even know what to say.
This is definitely in the all-time top 10. As always, I give it to you uncorrected:
Now they've gone and ruined Austin for good. Greedy corporate #$%^&*!@!
Four years ago on April 1, I got called to "Come on Down!" because I was in fact the next contestant on the Price is Right. Having been awake since 3am that day, and having been in line for about nine hours, I didn't really hear the guy say it, until my friends nudged me and said, "That's you!" and I realized that I needed to, well, go on down to Contestant's Row.