Thursday, November 30, 2006

Deer Suck

As do airbags. Last weekend I clipped a little doe with my car causing minor damage to the the vehicle.

Unfortunately, a sensor in the nose of the car was tripped which unnecessarily fired the airbags. This cause significantly more damage.

Thus, deer suck.

As do airbags.

Friday, November 17, 2006

McCain on the loss

John McCain in a speech to GOPAC outlined why the Republicans lost the election. He pulled no punches and largely blamed the Republicans in Congress for their profligate spending and the failure to live up to their conservative ideals.

If this is how he is planning to run for president, he should do very well.

Sage on the Stage

For years, there has been an ongoing effort to change the nature of instruction in higher education that has often been encapsulated in the shift of the instructors role from being a "Sage on the Stage" to being the "Guide on the Side." Put simply, professors should cease being the ultimate arbiter of knowledge in the classroom and instead be a facilitator to student driven examination of the topic.

I have not been a big fan of this and often felt outside the trend. I now have support. Mary Burgan, former general secretary of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and a former English professor at Indiana University has written In Defense of Lecturing in Change Magazine. I feel somewhat vindicated. After all: I am the Sage on the Stage.

Monday, November 13, 2006

No Knead Bread

The New York Times had a article on a bread maker with a recipe for bread that does not need to be kneaded. They also included the recipe. As soon as the guy comes to fix my oven, which has annoying quit getting hot (thank goodness for warranties) I plan on trying it. It should be fun.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Michigan and Affirmative Action

The people of the state of Michigan overwhelmingly passed Proposition 2 which banned affirmative action from all state agencies. Washington passed a similar measure about the time I moved there and while there was lip service shown it, in reality I saw no appreciable impact. I suspect that Michigan would most likely be the same.

What has me and little intrigued though are the comments by the President of the University of Michigan. In the Chronicle of Higher Education today it read:

Mary Sue Coleman, president of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, said she had directed the university's lawyers to give their "full and undivided support in defending diversity," and vowed to "immediately begin exploring legal action concerning this initiative."

"I will not stand by," Ms. Coleman said, "while the very heart and soul of this great university is threatened." Ms. Coleman offered assurances that, despite the measure's passage, no student would lose a scholarship, fellowship, or grant; no university employee involved with a program that promotes diversity or tends to minority affairs would lose his or her job; and Michigan would continue to reach out to high schools to draw a diverse student body.

I find it a trad interesting that the head of a state agency, which is what the university is, has publically announced that she intends to flaunt the law. I am sure that there will be a grace period while any legal challenges are at least acknowleged, but if it stands up this could be an interesting legal showdown. Or, she could be sent packing.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election Day Jitters

I guess that even experienced politicians get a little nervous on election day. This morning I was watching Imus on MSNBC, as is my norm, and during his conversation with Jeff Greenfield, Greenfield said that political reporters would spend much of the day calling each other with odd bits of new such as "It is raining in Memphis and that's bad for Ford." Not two minutes later, Imus interrupts Greenfield because Harold Ford Jr. is on the phone assuring everyone that there was no rain in Memphis. (As an aside, there has been intermittent rain in northern Mississippi all day) Greenfield suggested that perhaps Ford should switch to decaff. It was a rather humorous moment showing that even the professionals get a little frazzled at the end.