19 December 2008


From Inside Higher Ed this morning:

"Could science professors who focus more formally on teaching be the key to turning around the poor performance of many American students?"

Or, as the RSS summary reads, "New research suggests that faculty members focused on pedagogy as well as their disciplines may improve student learning."

Really? Who would have thought that the way a subject is taught has an impact on how well students learn it? Frankly, I'm shocked.

Of course, the article isn't all that stupid. It calls for science departments to focus more intentionally on education instead of relying on education professionals (who understand instruction but do not necessarily understand science) to come up with more effective approaches to teaching the discipline.

15 December 2008


"Hello, Brent?"


"This is Larry from the Police Protective Fund. What do you say?"

"I say no."

"Ok, thank you for your time."

13 December 2008


I don't know whether there's a name for the inverse of Godwin's Law (Reductio ad Hitlerum), but surely Flint, MI mayor Don Williamson comes as close as anyone ever has to the quintessence of it:
"Jesus Christ had his Judas and America [sic.] manufacturing has the U.S. senators who voted against this plan and the American people." (http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Many-in-Michigan-mad-at-apf-13821275.html).

09 December 2008


This morning in the shower I recalled that when I was in 8th grade (somewhere in there) I started picking shampoo based on whether the instructions on the bottle said "Lather, rinse, repeat if necessary," "Lather, rinse, repeat if desired," or simply, "Lather, rinse, repeat." I would unfailingly choose the last.


I'm not certain. My best guess now is that it was a lame (excruciatingly so) attempt at an early-teenage Mennonite rebellion. Waste was frowned upon in my home, so I knew that repeating would never be "necessary" or "desired." But if the instructions gave you no choice ...