Monthly Archives: March 2013

Out on the pull: why the moon always shows its face

Technically, Pink Floyd had it wrong. The space-facing side of the moon isn’t dark (except at full moon when Earth is between the sun and the moon). Not that you’d know that, given we always see the same side of our nearest neighbour. To understand why the we only see that one side, we need […] … learn more→

Is it rational to have children?

Laurie Paul’s fascinating paper on the rationality of choosing to have children has already received a great deal of attention in the blogosphere. Perhaps everything worth saying has already been said. But I wanted to point to some evidence that we ought not place the kind of weight on people’s experiences, in the context of […] … learn more→

Transnational education: What impact on local institutions?

At the recently held Going Global 2013 conference organized by the British Council in Dubai, transnational education (TNE) featured prominently in the various sessions. We heard about the impulse for universities in the developed world to set up branch campuses in other countries; about the rationales for countries to attract international branch campuses with a […] … learn more→

Expert? Or just opinionated?

I have a friend who has been teaching and training for more than twenty years. He has a website where he’s a prolific writer on his area, is a frequent participant in online forums and debates, and is considered a valuable resource by his client list, which includes national organizations and various police/military personnel. We […] … learn more→

Huge and widespread volcanic eruptions triggered the end-Triassic extinction

More than 200 million years ago, a massive extinction decimated 76 percent of marine and terrestrial species, marking the end of the Triassic period and the onset of the Jurassic. This devastating event cleared the way for dinosaurs to dominate Earth for the next 135 million years, taking over ecological niches formerly occupied by other […] … learn more→

Another link between CO2 and mass extinctions of species

It’s has been know that massive increases in emission of CO2 from volcanoes, associated with the opening of the Atlantic Ocean in the end-Triassic Period, set off a shift in state of the climate which caused global mass extinction of species, eliminating about 34% of genera. The extinction created ecological niches which allowed the rise […] … learn more→

From academe to market research

So much has happened in the decade since I last wrote about my nonacademic job search. Then I was finishing up my Ph.D. in the life sciences and considering a career in consulting. Ten years later, I am living overseas in London, I\’m married to a Brit, and, most relevant here, I have a career […] … learn more→

How far will this spread before it stops?

New York University sociology professor Jeff Goodwin writes in New York Times: \”Should administrators be able to enrich themselves… at educational institutions? N.Y.U. is not a Wall Street firm, but a tax-exempt university that gets millions in taxpayer dollars, not least from student loans. In fact, our students have the highest total debt load of […] … learn more→

Are you on the same page as your supervisor?

This is a story about a doctoral student named Laura (a real person, but not her real name) and how she came to pull her hair out (well a few hairs anyway). Laura began her PhD this year and really hit the ground running – within a few weeks, she was giving her supervisors many […] … learn more→

Dude, where’s my data? Life after Google Reader

Google HQ’s recent announcement that its Reader platform is to be discontinued has been met with concern – even alarm – from its legions of loyal users. So where do we go from here? What will happen to your data? It seems people have come to rely on the convenience of having their own, personalised […] … learn more→