Archive for August, 2006

Too much water in my name, part 3: too much acid in my water

Thursday, August 31st, 2006

Since we’re on the subject of water (again), had yet another fun experience. Earlier this week, K noticed a couple of inches of water in the pan under our hot water heater. Yep, it seems to be leaking. This is the water heater that I installed one year ago. It was a replacement for a […]

Too much water in my name – part deux

Thursday, August 31st, 2006

We had a batch of thunder showers come through last night. We got about 2, maybe 3, inches here. Sometime during the evening, K and I ask each other, “what’s that noise?” Turns out we had a leak in the roof that was dripping down (and through) the second story wall, onto one of the […]

Dropping SAT Scores

Thursday, August 31st, 2006

Matt Yglesias sees the recent Washington Post article describing the fall in SAT scores after the most recent test changes and asks what’s the big deal. On the face of it, Matt makes some good points. Scores are only down 7 points (5 in reading and 2 in math) and for any given student, that […]

“Real wages fail to match a rise in productivity”

Monday, August 28th, 2006

An article today in the New York Times titled “Real Wages Fail to Match a Rise in Productivity” takes a look at how wages have risen, or more to the point failed to rise, during the most recent economic expansion.  At a time when productivity (the monetary value of an hour of labor) has risen […]

It’s official – the government *does* consider evolutionary biology to be a science

Monday, August 28th, 2006

Last week there was a minor uproar in the academic world when the government presented the list of majors that qualified for money under the National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent (SMART) Grant program. The problem was that evolutionary biology was left off of the list. The feds claim that this was an […]

The social life of the a Duke undergraduate (as seen in the press)

Sunday, August 27th, 2006

The Dallas Morning News recently published an editorial by Thomas Hibbs entitled “College Kids Get Brain, No Soul.” In the editorial, Hibbs references the exceedingly disturbing article in Rolling Stone called “Sex & Scandal at Duke.” The Rolling Stone article discusses the social scene at Duke where “work hard, play hard” has always been a […]

Update on the Ohio University plagiarism

Thursday, August 24th, 2006

In reference to my previous comments on the plagiarism scandal in the school of engineering at Ohio Universtity, yesterday the university announced a set of “comprehensive strategies to address academic honesty.” Among the steps being taken is to examine 55 theses for signs of plagiarism. From these, they have found 35 incidents that will require […]

“The Body Hunters” by Sonia Shah

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2006

There’s nothing I love more than a good book, unless it’s a free good book. Last week I was sent “The Body Hunters” by Sonia Shah. I’ve been sent free books based on my job before (either as a research professor or as security officer), but I’ve never been sent a book on the ethics […]

carrier thermidistat design – let’s put it in the category of needs to be fixed

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2006

Back when I was a grad student and just about to finish up, the school of engineering turned a class of 60 freshman over to me to teach intro to numerical methods for engineers. I tried to liven things up by emailing the occassional engineering funny to my students who even reciprocated. The following is […]

racial profiling for terrorism

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2006

I’ve heard and read a number of people saying “political correctness be damned, we should use racial profiling to identify terrorists.” The problem I’ve always had with this is that it makes no sense. Try the following test, identify the terrorist: young muslim male young muslim female asian male or female caucasian male or female […]