archives for june 2010

It is rare when I find myself in agreement with Stanley Fish. But I think in his most recent column, I think that he finds such an unalienable truth among teachers that it is impossible, as someone interested in teaching, to disagree with. In his column, he discusses how disasterous a proposed Texas plan for higher education would be, if enacted, for the education of students.

No, it's not the Texas plan to teach elementary and high school students that Phyllis Schlafly is the second coming of George Washington. No, this plan involves the state's universities, particularly Texas A&M. Essentially, the plan wholeheartedly embraces the idea that students ...

Last night on the Daily Show, Jon Stewart interviewed National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Spencer Wells about his new book, Pandora's Seed. About half-way into the interview (3:55, to be exact), Stewart asks a great question:

But isn't our obesity almost a medal, a badge of sorts, congratulating us on our...utter domination of the planet?

I'm not sure how well obesity-as-badge-of-honor will get anyone, but to a large degree it is true and example of what demographers call the demographic transition. Rather than dying of infectious diseases that left the human population with relatively high death rates, we now find that disease in developed nations is largely ...