abbamouse logo
  a little mousey hole in the web

Photos ] Mice and Me! ] Wish Lists ] Research ]

  mousey musings

Tuesday, January 31, 2006
How they rank The Orlando Sentinel ranks Division IA schools by how easy it is to get a football player in. The scale is 1 to 10, with 1 being easiest and 10 hardest. I was pleased to see that Rice University was the only 10 on the list. I always liked having athletes in my classes there; they were generally more conscientious than the non-athletes and just as smart. The Rice football team stinks, but the players get a real education, the college doesn't whore itself out for TV dollars, and professors aren't pressured to give a free pass to athletes. Everyone wins.

Sunday, January 29, 2006
ABBA meets atheism -- An ABBA fan has translated an interview with Björn Ulvaeus of ABBA published in the Swedish magazine Humanisten. The magazine is the organ of Sweden's Humanist association and in the interview Björn reveals why he joined and how he writes religious characters and dialogue while rejecting those views himself. This is very different from the usual pop music interview.

Thursday, January 26, 2006
Complete Upcoming Sequel List -- This list of sequels has a few that sound intriguing but even the interesting ones come off as creatively bankrupt. As usual, the most promising sequels are those that play off of relatively unknown original films. This gives the authors of a sequel the ability to use fully-developed characters from the beginning of the story, without being tied down by audience preconceptions and the need to outperform a blockbuster first film. Overall, this list is a depressing read.

Nuclear Weapon Effects and Fallout Calculator -- Two handy applications for plotting nuclear explosions on your favorite cities and assessing the fallout risk from a nuclear attack. I do something similar in my classes with PBS's Map a Blast site, but these tools use satellite imagery instead of mere maps and also offer more weapon parameters to tweak.

Famous Plagiarists.com -- A fascinating if uneven lost of historians accused of plagiarism. Most of them profit quite handsomely and suffer few consequences.

Saturday, January 21, 2006
Accused terrorist says suicide bombing is a legitimate tool of war...and I agree with him. Suicide bombing is clearly a desperation move, but it can be remarkably effective as a means of unnerving opposing forces and even inflicting serious casualties. The LTTE in Sri Lanka has eplyed suicide bombings to kill hundreds if not thousands of government soldiers. And of course the Japanese used kamikaze attacks when they became desperate in World War II. The article obscures the important difference between terrorists and soldiers -- the nature of their targets. Terrorists attack civilians, while soldiers attack other soldiers. There is more to the distinction, of course, but the essence of the difference is not the means used in the attack but rather who is being attacked.

Friday, January 20, 2006
Next on 'Springer': Mom sent to jail - Jer-ry! Jer-ry! Jer-ry! I contributed to his abortive Senate run a while back. I love the show, and I actually think he'd be a fine Senator or Governor. Now his guests, on the other hand... Well, just read the article and you'll get a good feeling for the quality of his audience.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Conscientious: The Disaster as Fine Art -- This blog post questions the ethics of what some have called "disaster porn" -- images of other peoples' misfortune that are used for titillation or aesthetic pleasure. Should pictures of dead Taliban fighters, no matter how well-composed, end up in fine arts museums for us to ogle? That such photos serve an important purpose is unquestionable -- we have to document life in all its dimensions. However, there is something disconcerting about taking a stack of disaster photos and evaluating them primarily on aesthetic factors like composition. I lean toward the view that transforming disasters into art is useful and poses few ethical problems; I don't think people should be ashamed of curiosity, feelings, or titillation. It is our behavior that is moral or immoral, not our thoughts; if someone wants to hang a photo of a dead Taliban fighter or a drowned city in an art gallery, then this is no more or less moral than someone who picks up an issue of Bizarre magazine or peeks at the gruesome accident photos on rotten.com. Both are largely harmless, unless there is a real risk of hurting those whose loved ones appear in such "artwork." Most of the time, this risk is minimal and therefore easily outweighed by whatever edification people get from viewing the pictures -- but we should think twice about seriously invading the privacy of the living or inflicting further trauma on survivors.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006
HPD Officer Reinstated Following Nude Photo Scandal -- Somehow, I suspect that if the perp wasn't a cop, they would have found a way to prosecute the man. As it is, they can't even fire him.

Monday, January 16, 2006
The Neo-Nazi Who Wasn't -- A professor becomes an American Nazi, "outs" himself, makes racist and anti-Semitic comments, and then gets fired -- all so he can write a book about the experience. Or so he says.

Monday, January 09, 2006
Hollywood's New Zombie: The last days of Blockbuster -- Ah, sweet, sweet schadenfreude. I've been waiting for Blockbuster to die since the early 90s, and I'm glad to see that my Netflix subscription is giving Blockbuster a little extra shove off the cliff. Blockbuster offered censored films at exhorbitant prices coupled with stiff late penalties. They and their shareholders richly deserve to lose their shirts.

Thursday, January 05, 2006
Study shows children no safer in SUVs than cars -- I've said it before, and I'll say it again: SUVs aren't for poeple who want to protect their kids; SUVs are for people who want to kill others' kids. An SUV is more dangerous to the passengers than a minivan, has less cargo room, and gets worse gas mileage -- but hey, it looks more rugged so who cares if it's crappily designed and kills families?

Boing Boing: Wal*Mart "Apes" DVD listing: racist recommendation or fluke? -- This brief blog post from one of my favorite bloggers draws our attention to the fact that Wal-Marts automated recommendation system lists a string of movies about African-Americans as being "similar" to Planet of the Apes. While this could be a fluke or a vicious act of negative stereotyping, I wonder if the site hasn't picked up on the fact that there is a common theme throughout these movies -- Planet of the Apes was intended to be (and was generally received as) an attack on racism. The entire point of the film series was that if people divide themselves and engage in racism, they'll eventually destroy themselves. So there is a commmon "point" to these materials, even if the juxtaposition is jarring (and, I must admit, somewhat suspicious).

Tuesday, January 03, 2006
Coping With 'Oy Vey' Students -- This is a mildly interesting (if overly whiny) article about overly-entitled students. I think the comments are more valuable than the actual article since they illustrate how students react to professors' statements and vice versa. One comment from a Wright State University student captures the flavor of that school's student body perfectly: earnest and straightforward but also poorly-written and one-sided. Some people would groan in despair at the student comments, but I find them almost inspiring -- they illustrate just how much these students have to learn and their enormous room for growth in communication and critical thinking skills.

abbamouse's photos More of abbamouse's photos


12/01/2003 - 01/01/2004   01/01/2004 - 02/01/2004   02/01/2004 - 03/01/2004   03/01/2004 - 04/01/2004   04/01/2004 - 05/01/2004   05/01/2004 - 06/01/2004   06/01/2004 - 07/01/2004   07/01/2004 - 08/01/2004   08/01/2004 - 09/01/2004   09/01/2004 - 10/01/2004   10/01/2004 - 11/01/2004   11/01/2004 - 12/01/2004   12/01/2004 - 01/01/2005   01/01/2005 - 02/01/2005   02/01/2005 - 03/01/2005   03/01/2005 - 04/01/2005   04/01/2005 - 05/01/2005   05/01/2005 - 06/01/2005   06/01/2005 - 07/01/2005   07/01/2005 - 08/01/2005   08/01/2005 - 09/01/2005   09/01/2005 - 10/01/2005   10/01/2005 - 11/01/2005   11/01/2005 - 12/01/2005   12/01/2005 - 01/01/2006   01/01/2006 - 02/01/2006   02/01/2006 - 03/01/2006   03/01/2006 - 04/01/2006   04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006   05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006   06/01/2006 - 07/01/2006   07/01/2006 - 08/01/2006   08/01/2006 - 09/01/2006   09/01/2006 - 10/01/2006   10/01/2006 - 11/01/2006   11/01/2006 - 12/01/2006   12/01/2006 - 01/01/2007   01/01/2007 - 02/01/2007   02/01/2007 - 03/01/2007   03/01/2007 - 04/01/2007   04/01/2007 - 05/01/2007   05/01/2007 - 06/01/2007   07/01/2007 - 08/01/2007   08/01/2007 - 09/01/2007   10/01/2007 - 11/01/2007   11/01/2007 - 12/01/2007   01/01/2008 - 02/01/2008   02/01/2008 - 03/01/2008   03/01/2008 - 04/01/2008   04/01/2008 - 05/01/2008   05/01/2008 - 06/01/2008   06/01/2008 - 07/01/2008   07/01/2008 - 08/01/2008   08/01/2008 - 09/01/2008   09/01/2008 - 10/01/2008   10/01/2008 - 11/01/2008   11/01/2008 - 12/01/2008   09/01/2009 - 10/01/2009  

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?