Best


How much professors work may be an issue, but it can’t explain the rise in college costs. Professors’ salaries have barely risen faster than inflation for the last 30 years while college costs have risen much faster than inflation. Professors’ workloads have actually increased at most institutions over the same time period, and sabbaticals were always part of the faculty system, so that is not increasing costs. In fact, the proportion of full-time faculty at most colleges has decreased as the schools have hired cheaper part-time faculty to teach many classes. So, if you are looking for the greater-than-inflation increases in cost it makes no sense to look at faculty labor costs (see the AAUP website for all the stats.)

Love that approach. Eliminate the philosophical issue as irrelevant to stick to pure, provable facts. (typos corrected, and hat tip to More or Less Bunk for the main article, on professors getting paid too much).

It’s like the Confederate flag, and “heritage not hate.” Why get upset? These people are walking around with signs that say, “I’m ignorant of the basic facts of American history, and I’m proud of this.”

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Understanding why people do dumb shit, isn’t the same as thinking they have the right to do dumb shit.

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I can imagine some defense of the phrase “great white hope,” as a kind of generic tag. But any politicians whose spent a portion of their career talking to black people, who knows the racist history of the phrase, or has some inkling of what it means to have a first black president, would know that invoking the phrase is a bad idea.

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This is history through the veil, again. It’s virtually impossible to be a black person and believe that Americans were somehow more humble in the past. Our very exist[ence] springs from an act of immodesty. I can’t even begin to imagine the Native American read on this one.

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Also, the commenters there win the prize for “most worth reading of any site I visit.”

Synchronized lights.

They regularize the flow of traffic so that everyone moves faster, as fewer people waste time sitting at red lights. They punish you for speeding, reward you for following the law. Why don’t all towns use synchronized lights?

If we hadn’t researched the stud that held that screw that broke and made the wheel fall off [camera pans over handwritten records], the insurance company never would have paid.

The original has way more “for want of a nail” steps than I managed to reproduce here. I’m serious about “best”, it totally sucked me in. But it’s local, so I can’t link it. Although I would totally not be surprised if it were a generic ad sold to a bunch of companies that then just throw their own shot in for a last half-second that looks totally disconnected to the previous 30 seconds, and lower production quality.

This came on at some point during college football season, and it’s from the University of South Carolina. I’m paraphrasing, because I can’t find anything about it online, but this is the sense of it.

A professor, walking across a pretty green quad. A student flags her down. The professor looks wary—who is this person?

Student says, “Professor, I’m in your BigIntro 101 class.” Still wary—oh lord, a student with a crazy question.

Student says, “The assignment you gave—” professor looks resigned to hearing a complaint— “we have to go find the readings ourselves?”

Professor, “Yes, that’s the assignment.” Detached voice, aware of repeating herself.

Student: “—and, there’s no one single answer?”

Professor, “Yes, that’s true.”

Student: “So, the assignment is really about finding the questions?”

Professor breaks into big smile. “Exactly!”

“Fatso”, by The Story. The album is Angel in the House. Chorus:

Because someone will adore me when my ribs show clearly
and I’m thin even when I sit down
Someone will admire my gorgeous arms and legs
when I’m only one hundred pounds

Yes, it’s satire, or some such technique. Full lyrics, and it’s available on iTunes. The Story is part of the genre I call “Lilith Fair,” except I’m not sure anyone under 25 or so would get what that means.

5 Good Boys, by Leo Rutman. Actually, I read this when I was a child, and I’m scared to re-read it in case it disappoints me. Only available used, which isn’t the best sign. But I think this book is responsible for me liking basketball.

It’s either this book, or tagging after my popular big sister when she dated the basketball player in high school. I watched an entire season of a team I had no real connection to, plus summer league for a community college. When I look back now, I wonder whether my sister was as much of a social butterfly as she seemed, if the only person she could get to accompany her was her nerdy little sister. On the other hand, she was probably doing me a favor. I sure didn’t have anything better to do.

The Queen’s Gambit, by Walter Tevis. Originally published in 1983, although the cover has been greatly updated.

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