Monthly Archives: March 2013

Why they don\’t apply what they learn

I hear complaints about the poor quality of student writing today as often as I read stories about the Internet causing the end of higher education as we know it (i.e., frequently). When those complaints come in the form of actual conversations with peers, instead of in print, I feel myself immediately put on the […] … learn more→

A different view of consumer vulnerability

Consumer vulnerability is often described in terms of consumer characteristics or demographics such as age, disability, gender, race/ethnicity, low or limited literacy, and level of education. In general, these measures are useful indicators of potential vulnerability, and most government departments, large institutions and commercial businesses use these to operationalise their vulnerability and disability programs and […] … learn more→

Pigs and pollution: China can’t keep ignoring the environment

In a joke currently circulating on China’s most popular social media, Sina Weibo, a Beijing resident boasts about his happy life in the badly air-polluted capital, saying that every morning when he opens the window he can enjoy a free smoke. A Shanghai resident sniffed:“Bah! Every time we turn on the tap, we get free […] … learn more→

Gay at a Christian College

An open letter to the presidents of member institutions of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities: I am gay and I teach at a CCCU institution. I would like to tell you my name, my discipline, but I can’t because doing so would place my job at risk, as you well know. My story […] … learn more→

A reply to ‘Facebook: You are your ‘Likes”

This week Charles Foster discussed the recent study showing that Facebook ‘Likes’ can be plugged into an algorithm to predict things about people – things about their demographics, their habits and their personalities – that they didn’t explicitly disclose. Charles argued that, even though the individual ‘Likes’ were voluntarily published, to use an algorithm to […] … learn more→

New study: wind turbine syndrome is spread by scaremongers

A study of mine published last night delivers a double whammy to those who argue that wind turbines cause health problems in communities. Earlier this week researchers at the University of Auckland published an experimental study showing that people primed by watching online information about health problems from wind turbines, reported more symptoms after being […] … learn more→

It\’s 3am. Do you know what\’s happening with your Social Media?

It generally starts with a statement and then ends with a question. The statement is usually framed as: \”Social media is/are a 24/7 concern.\” The question that follows said statement has consistently been: \”What do we do about that?\” There\’s a fascinating fear of social media that is ingrained in a lot of student affairs […] … learn more→

Seafood sustainability not a sustainable reality

In 1883, the eminent English biologist Thomas Henry Huxley made his now infamous proclamation on the infinite bounty of the sea: Probably all the great sea fisheries are inexhaustible; that is to say, that nothing we do seriously affects the numbers of fish. Any attempt to regulate these fisheries seems consequently, from the nature of […] … learn more→

Turning the dissertation into a book

At the most recent conference of the Association for Slavic, Eastern European and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES), held last November, representatives from several academic presses and scholars who had recently published monographs based on their dissertations held a roundtable dedicated to giving current grad students tips on what they should prepare for if they intend on […] … learn more→

Unprecedented contribution of wind power in U.S. Midwest

Defying conventional wisdom about the limits of wind power, in 2012 both Iowa and South Dakota generated close to one quarter of their electricity from wind farms. Wind power accounted for at least 10 percent of electricity generation in seven other states. Across the United States, wind power continues to strengthen its case as a […] … learn more→