Monthly Archives: July 2006

Signature Abuse

A lot of attention lately has been focused on “presidential signing statements” — declarations by the President as to how he intends to interpret the statutues he signs into law. Though the signing statement has existed for the history of … Continue reading

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Academic Freedom versus Indoctrination?

A week or so ago (2006 July 23), the New York Times had an article (“Conspiracy Theories 101” by Stanley Fish) detailing a brouhaha surrounding Kevin Barrett. Mr. Barrett is a lecturer at the University of Wisconsin who has gotten … Continue reading

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Karl Rove meets Aaron Sorkin?

So there’s been some buzz about the unscripted, undiplomatic, and somewhat profane remarks of President Bush in Russia, when he didn’t know a microphone was “hot”. (Bush’s Policy Chit-Chat: Undiplomatic Prose – New York Times). Or did he? I don’t … Continue reading

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Another reason why US textbooks are so lousy…

I saw an article in the New York Times (Schoolbooks Are Given F’s in Originality; 2006 July 13) that detailed a controversy broiling for some American history textbooks. It seems that, in describing the 9/11 attacks, the books A History … Continue reading

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Testing and Teaching Physics

Lately I’ve been on a merciless campaign to reduce the paperwork clutter in my lab/office/classroom. Today I dove into the bottom drawer of a filing cabinet (because obviously, bottom drawer = hard to acess = most moldly junk.) and came … Continue reading

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From the Past: Instructions for Stanford Physics Qual 1993

In cleaning out a file cabinet, I came across the Qualifying Exam that I had to take in order to pursue a degree in Physics at Stanford University. On top was a cover letter by Dr. Bob Laughlin, which I … Continue reading

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… If You Can Keep It

It’s a truism that’s become so trite it hardly rises to the level of a bumper sticker: Freedom isn’t free. You see it slapped across the back of SUVs, taped to the windows in Circle-K’s. Some days, it seems everyone … Continue reading

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Beyond the poundy drums

I’m a fan of the new, “re-imagined” Battlestar Galactica on the Sci Fi channel. (Shamefaced confession: I am also a fan of the original schlocky BSG from 1978 — in fact I was one of those loudly decrying the new … Continue reading

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