Category Archives: Tweed

Taking academe a little less seriously.


Finally! Academics Describe Their Research in Terms We Can Understand

A few weeks ago, The Chronicle Review published an essay by Steven Pinker that took academics to task for their incomprehensible writing.

“In writing badly,” wrote Mr. Pinker, “we are wasting each other’s time, sowing confusion and error, and turning our profession into a laughingstock.” The implication is that academese could use a grand stroke of simplification.

What follows, however, might be taking things a little far.

Researchers took to Twitter over the weekend to rally around the hashtag …


College Republicans’ Ads Compare Politicians to Wedding Dresses

The College Republican National Committee on Wednesday launched a 16-state advertising campaign that compares politicians to wedding dresses, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The ads, which cost nearly $1-million and parody the popular TLC television show Say Yes to the Dress, chronicle a young woman’s quest to find the right wedding dress. She is fond of the Republican model—proven, no frills. But her mother likes the Democratic model—flashy and costly. Six nearly identical ads are viewable…


If You’ve Dressed Up as a Polar Bear in Front of Reindeer, Read This

You’re on a research expedition at the North Pole to study reindeer while dressed in a polar-bear suit. You’re hungry, so you pull out a piece of toast you’ve packed for the day. Lo and behold, its shape is the spitting image of Jesus Christ. You rush back to base to tell your research partner (stopping once to let your husky defecate, though he can’t settle on an orientation in which to do so, which is strange). When you get back to base, your partner is unimpressed and says, “That’s not Jesus….


Think College Rankings Are Useless? Use Your Imagination

Year after year, college rankings maintain their hard-fought relevance. The leader of the pack, as every admissions officer knows, is U.S. News & World Report, whose annual rankings are due out next week.

Colleges have long maneuvered to improve their standings on the hallowed list, changing various policies (and sometimes cheating) to jibe with the magazine’s methodology. U.S. News’s stranglehold on colleges needs to end, writes Vox’s Libby Nelson in a post published Friday morning. While colle…


The U. of Missouri Would Like to Wish Beyoncé a Happy Birthday

Fans of Beyoncé Knowles-Carter take her birthday seriously, and among their ranks, apparently, is the person who runs the University of Missouri at Columbia’s Twitter account.

The celebration of the pop superstar by the Twitter account appeared to begin with this tweet by a Missouri student:

The university answered with a link to this .gif:

beyonce gif 1

The account then broadcast its love for Beyo…


College Freshmen Never Age (and 3 More Surprising Things About the Passage of Time)

You are getting older. You are older now than you were at the moment this page first loaded. And now you’re even older! Ha. You can’t stem the tide of time.

Such is the immutable law that underlies the Beloit Mindset List, an annual production of Beloit College that seeks to unpack the minds of college freshmen by reminding us, for example, that they were in kindergarten on 9/11. Or that Hong Kong has, for them, always been part of China.

Feel ancient yet? I don’t, but I’m 23.

Every year, you wi…


Lifelike Sculpture of Man in Underwear Causes a Stir at Wellesley College

A lifelike sculpture of a man sleepwalking in his underwear has caused a stir at Wellesley College, and some students at the women’s college have signed a petition asking that the artwork be removed from a public space, The Boston Globe reported.

The statue, called “Sleepwalker,” is part of an exhibit featuring the sculptor Tony Matelli at the college’s Davis Museum. The Globe said the sculpture had been installed in a high-traffic area of the campus.


Union Raises Heck About Law Professors’ ‘Satanic’ $666 Pay Increase

A union representing faculty members at Cleveland State University’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law has filed an unfair-labor-practice charge with Ohio’s labor-relations board, claiming that the law school’s dean retaliated against union organizers by giving them $666 raises, “in effect” calling them Satan.

The details of the dispute are spelled out in a post by Paul L. Caron, of Pepperdine University, at TaxProfBlog. The complaint, filed by Cleveland State’s chapter of the American Associa…


Grand Valley State U. Takes Down Sculpture After Spate of Student Parodies

Grand Valley State University, in Allendale, Mich., has removed a sculpture from its campus after several students used it to mimic a music video by the pop singer Miley Cyrus, reported.

The sculpture is a steel ball that hangs from a cable, and it resembles the large metal ball that the singer swings from while naked in the video for her new single, “Wrecking Ball.”

Students have always attempted to swing from the sculpture, but there has been a significant rise in those incidents thi…


Blinkered and Boxed, Students Fight Cheating

When you think about it, it’s surprising that blinders aren’t a more popular weapon in the fight against cheating. A set of screens that keeps eyes forward—and billow conspicuously when a student turns his head—seems like a cheaper solution, certainly, than paying a proctor to watch a student’s eyeballs on a Webcam. Nevertheless, people are talking about students at Thailand’s Kasetsart University, who fashioned some homemade blinders:

1185355_713599938665725_560462889_nThe hats, which were made out of computer paper, have gone v…