I just loved this piece about how to build community after having kids
, and not only because it reminded me of the way one of my existing local communities started functioning after some of the core folks started having kids. My only suggestion would be this: if you do this, make extra sure to invite along your friends who don't have kids, too! If you leave them out because your idea of community is limited to families with kids, it will make them really
sad, and you will miss out on both their scintillating company and a chance for your kids to learn about how to interact with adults.A photographer took nude pictures of a whole bunch of people
, one in a flattering pose and one in an unflattering pose. My take-home: everybody but everybody
looks worse when they slouch (and everybody but everybody
can look better by not doing so).
U.S. National Public Radio reports on a free cookbook that gives you recipes for how to prepare tasty, healthy food on a food-stamp (i.e. government food assistance) budget
If you've ever wondered what it's like to search for an academic job, the Judgmental Observer
has an excellent (and depressing) description.
Speaking of academia, the CBC has become only the latest journalistic institution to compare professors with contract staff/sessional lecturers
and talk about how professors are paid a lot more "for the same work." Now, don't get me wrong, I am totally in favour of changing the way contract staff are treated, but the journalists who are reporting on this crisis are always arguing this in a way that's doomed to fail because it's based on a fundamental misunderstanding of what professors actually do
at research universities, and it's getting old. My job officially includes 40% teaching, 40% research, and 20% administrative work, and I get compensated based on my performance in all of those areas, not just for (not even primarily
for!) the classes I teach. The "teaching" portion of that also includes the supervision of graduate students, which sessional staff don't do. Also not irrelevant here is the fact that new tenure-track assistant professors are hired primarily on the research they do (their teaching is important, too--it's 40% of the job!--but a great teacher who doesn't do any research will never get an academic job), while sessional instructors are specifically hired as teachers from the start. They are simply different jobs, so what's unfair is not
that some people in a particular job are in a bad situation and others are in a good one, but that one sort of university job is precarious and paid like crap and the other is secure and paid well. So here's a note to any other journalists who want to take up this fight: tell us instead that sessional staff deserve more job security and a wage befitting their expertise and experience (at the university that employs me they have the latter, but not the former) because they do important work that universities need and which can't just be done by any Joe off the street, and I think you'll find that most full-time academics in non-precarious positions will be willing to fight for that, right alongside our colleagues.
Three interviews with people who are a lot more fascinating than you probably realize: Canadian writer Margaret Atwood
, American actor Ethan Hawke
, and Irish writer Tana French
(the last of these has spoilers for her latest book, though nothing earth-shattering). This Hitfix piece
has convinced me to give the second season of U.S. version of The Bridge
a try. In large part because it sounds like they're now no longer trying to do a remake of the awesome Scandinavian show, but break out on their own and do something new. I will probably never be interested in the two main characters because they will always seem like pale imitations of their Danish and Swedish counterparts to me, but this new vision sounds like a show I'd like to watch nonetheless.
Everyone has already seen the "Star Wars Throne Room scene minus the music
" video, right? But there it is, just in case. (So funny!)