Category Archives: Planet University

January 13, 2015, 2:25 pm

The Mysteries of Facebook: Part I


You win, Mark Zuckerberg!

During the orientation for a meditation class I signed up to take this winter, the instructor notified us that we would need to make between 40 and 60 minutes a day available for our practice. “You need to figure out where you are going to find that time,” he said, calmly but firmly.

The first thought that popped into my head was: Facebook. Duh.

I spend a lot less time on Facebook now than I have in the past. Sometime last year I removed the Facebook app from my iPhone (by chance, I learned yesterday while listening to NPR that this might have already boosted my creativity by allowing me to be bored while waiting in line at Murray’s Bagels.) I consciously turn Facebook off when I am writing, so that my concentration is not interrupted by unnecessary multitasking. I decided that…

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August 2, 2014, 7:09 pm

Do Attendance Policies Discriminate Against Disability?

Our Gang-School's OutLast week’s post on sending your kids off to college as independent souls hit a nerve. Read the comments for a lot of great conversation.

However, the blogger sillylegal, a recent graduate of a liberal arts college, thought the post was sorely lacking in its attention to the needs and rights of disabled students.  Perhaps it was, as I mentioned disability not at all, nor did I pay attention to the other ways that students are different from each other. I think sillylegal misread parts of the post, or perhaps just mischaracterized as we bloggers sometimes do when we write in haste, and I want to underline some choices I made when writing it. For example I deliberately did not use the phrase “helicopter parents” in the post, since the vast majority of parents mean well and it’s easier to reach people if you don’t mock them. For a similar reason, I did not characterize students who do…

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November 9, 2010, 12:31 pm

Planet University: Episode 2, “Last Month In Office Hours”

For the pilot episode of “Planet University”  go to our sister website at  Afternoon update:  a big welcome to readers of the National Review Online:  it’s been awhile, but I’m glad to see you back again.

Disclaimer:  this cartoon and its characters are fictional.  “Planet University” does not depict actual events, people or conversations.

November 7, 2010, 9:41 pm

Sunday Radical Roundup: Bones, Dykes and `Toons

Bones:  Where I went to college, when someone said “Bones!” legend had it that various men soon to be employed by the national security apparatus would leap up and leave the room in a huff.  Myself, I never saw it happen.  But in the History Department at Brigham Young University they probably do run out of the room when someone says “bones,” just for good measure.  Radical readers recall that week before last, a box of human skulls arrived by USPS.  They have now been partially identified, according to KSL-TV’s website, as being the remains of people who lived between 1100 and 1300 A.D.  This means they are probably not former history professors, but probably the ancestors of native people.  For future reference:  according to my local expert, it is illegal to buy or sell human remains as souvenirs, and if you happen to locate unidentified remains in a house you are cleaning out, it is …

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