Monthly Archives: November 2011

November 30, 2011, 12:22 pm

Never surrender.

Winston Churchill by Seymour Chwast, Push Pin Graphic #80, 1979, via the excellent Charles Forsman:

November 30, 2011, 9:43 am

Arrived in the mail today.


November 29, 2011, 9:27 am

Mort aux cons.

The liberation of Paris in August 1944, featuring the column of Capitaine Raymond Dronne.

November 28, 2011, 8:48 pm


Not to pat myself on the back, but I’ve become a somewhat better lecturer in the past couple of years. The improvement is mostly an outgrowth of comfort. I know the material well enough now that I can focus more on performance: projecting my voice with emotion, hitting the laugh lines, etc. At the same time, I’m able to build narrative arc in most of my lectures while maintaining analytical continuity.

This is all to the good, of course, but there is a problem: I fear that my course management may be slipping a bit. In short, as I’ve grown more confident about giving my lectures, I’ve become a bit less careful about making sure that my instructions for papers and other assignments are crystal clear; about clarifying for my readers and TAs, before they begin their grading, what I think constitutes an outstanding essay; and about making sure that classes begin precisely on time. …

Read More

November 28, 2011, 9:55 am

And yet there are those who love it.

Spoiled for quadrangles by my past college experience, I could not help note on first study that the quad at UC Davis has no campanile or carillon; its clock chimes come from some hidden electronic facsimile. Its oldest buildings are the prosaically named North and South Hall, of 1908-12 vintage; most of what surrounds it are hunkering mid-century hit-or-miss structures.

November 27, 2011, 7:45 pm

Black Friday Nerdblogging

The Apple Store, King of Prussia Mall, Friday at 1 pm:


Taken with an iPhone, of course.

November 27, 2011, 4:18 pm

Lest we forget.

Under the title, “Watch this man,” the London Review of Books publishes Pankaj Mishra’s review of Niall Ferguson’s Civilization. The essay opens with a riff on the “this man Goddard” scene from The Great Gatsby, in which Tom Buchanan rails against the decline of the white man’s West. Noting that “Goddard” stood in for Lothrop Stoddard, the real-life racist, Mishra refers to the arguments of Ferguson’s first major book, The Pity of War, as “Stoddardesque laments about the needless emasculation of Anglo-Saxon power.” Mishra refers also to Ferguson’s “bluster about the white man’s burden.”

November 27, 2011, 11:42 am

One sunny mornin’ we’ll rise I know.

UPDATE: Berkeley’s Academic Senate has amended its proposed resolution to exclude the “no confidence” provision.

Further on up the road, at Berkeley, Michael O’Hare has these things to say about Occupy in the context of the Academic Senate taking up a resolution of no confidence in the Chancellor there.

November 27, 2011, 11:09 am

Great, Now They Can’t Have Drinks During Exams

From here:

On that site, students find 20-ounce Coke bottle labels with blank space where the ingredients usually are listed. Students can type test answers in this space, paste the label on their bottles and keep the bottles on their desks during an exam.

New (claimed) ingredients in Coke: antidisestablishmentarianism, the Versailles Treaty, isolationism, blitzkrieg, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and the swinging sixties.

November 26, 2011, 1:02 pm

Puts you there where things are hollow.

I’ve been listening to The Now Show on BBC Radio 4 since it began, which happened to be the first autumn I lived in England. Devoted readers of this blog will remember the time Mitch Benn showed up here, much to my delight.

So it was with mixed feelings I discovered that this week was the first time UC Davis cleared the Now Show threshold (in Josie Long’s bit, starting at 21:21).

To be honest, not so mixed: mostly deep unhappiness; this is also the first week I’ve seen UC Davis show up in a BBC headline. After all this time, with so many people working so hard to get UC Davis identified with serious research, this is what puts the campus on the international radar.

November 26, 2011, 11:21 am

Why do they occupy the UC?

Average annual tuition and fees for California resident undergraduates at the UC.


November 24, 2011, 3:28 pm


Cosma Shalizi on turkeys and Pareto optimality. Happy Thanksgiving.

November 23, 2011, 4:07 pm

“Imagination and wit.”

David Simpson of the UC Davis English Department (you know, that English Department) in the London Review of Books blog.


November 23, 2011, 2:10 pm

The umbrella man and the interpretive process.

Errol Morris writes, “For years, I’ve wanted to make a movie about the John F. Kennedy assassination. Not because I thought I could prove that it was a conspiracy, or that I could prove it was a lone gunman, but because I believe that by looking at the assassination, we can learn a lot about the nature of investigation and evidence.” He comes up with an “op-doc.”

November 23, 2011, 1:39 pm

Yudof appoints Bratton to investigate police brutality on UC campuses. Irony, asked for comment, too embarrassed by riches to reply.