Links for 2012-03-26

  • Tutorial and Critique Services — Debra Doyle, Ph.D.

    Now-a-days, lots of folks are self-publishing. I’m doing it myself. If you’re planning to self-publish, and if you haven’t yet heard the advice that since you’re now a publisher you need to hire an editor, well, you will. Other folks want to learn to write. A one-on-one session with an experienced teacher can teach you to fish. If you know what I mean. Therefore: I am putting my writing and teaching expertise up for sale. What I will do: Critique and line-edit your novel. A critique generally runs 3-5 pages, and covers structural and developmental issues. If I think that your novel has reached or can reach a level which makes it suitable for submission, I’ll tell you so. If I don’t, I’ll be honest about it and tell you that, as well.

  • Confessions of a Community College Dean: Fish? Check. Barrel? Check.

    So the interwebs were abuzz this weekend with discussions of an editorial in the Washington Post arguing that professors are vastly overpaid relative to their work, and that their relative laziness is a primary driver of the higher ed cost spiral. The usual suspects responded with the usual flurry of attacks. Several pointed out that the Post is owned by the Kaplan company, which also owns a host of for-profit colleges. Predictably, there were plenty of “not me!” statements, assertions of superhuman workweeks, and ritualistic denunciations of “administrative” costs. As is usually the case in straw man conflicts, neither side really got to the heart of the matter. The op-ed completely whiffed on causality, and the major objections whiffed on relevance.

  • Cough Syrup, Dead Children, and the Case for Regulation | Speakeasy Science

    at the time that Elixir Sulfanilamide came to be, produced by the S.E. Massengill Company of Bristol, Tennessee, that wasn’t well understood. There was actually no legal requirement that companies understand their products, much less safety test them. The company chemist who designed the cough syrup by mixing a sulfa drug into the poisonous sweetener claimed to have no such knowledge. And as the company president, Samuel Massengill responded: “We have been supplying a legitimate professional demand and not once could have foreseen the unlooked-for results. I do not feel that there was any responsibility on our part.” The resulting Elixir Sulfanilamide scandal – and it was, indeed, an incendiary, nation-rocking scandal at the time – is mostly forgotten today. But it shouldn’t be.

  • My Take: Where’s white church outrage over Trayvon Martin? – CNN Belief Blog – Blogs

    Few if any white clergy have spoken up to demand that the killing be fully investigated. None can be seen standing by the African-American preachers calling for justice, or marching with Martin’s family members. Why? As someone who covered this area’s faith community for 15 years, I don’t think the answer is racism as much as it is cultural callousness. Week in and week out, the violent deaths and disappearances of poor, black and brown people – especially immigrants – merit a one- or two-paragraph story in The Orlando Sentinel’s (my old newspaper’s) police blotter. So when a middle-class black teen is gunned down, the reaction tends to be a shrug of the shoulders.

  • Living in the Margins by Colin Dickey – Roundtable | Lapham’s Quarterly

    The Means of Communication issue of Lapham’s Quarterly contains a fabulous collection of complains and marginal notes by the monks assigned to copy manuscripts in the era before the printing press. With their bitchy complaints–“I am very cold,” “Oh, my hand”–they insert themselves into the holy texts and often, in the process, disrupt the sanctity of the words they’re supposedly copying: “Now I’ve written the whole thing: for Christ’s sake give me a drink.” These lovely and lively interjections represent just a small range of expression that one finds throughout medieval manuscripts. And as Michael Camille documents in Images on the Edge: The Margins of Medieval Art, it is in these marginal comments that we learn as much–if not more–about the medieval world as we do from the texts themselves. Marginalia might include comments like the ones from our miserable monks, but also an entire free-flowing range of artistic flourishes and doodles that make up the edges of medieval manuscripts.

  • Orbiter Autopsies | Space Exploration | Air & Space Magazine

    In late autumn of last year, more than six months after Discovery landed for the final time, NASA crews began peeling back the orbiter’s skin, clipping wires, and pulling hydraulics. They removed and analyzed propellant tanks and valves and scrutinized electronics, looking for evidence of deterioration the way coroners look for signs of illness during autopsies. ” ‘Autopsy’ is a sad way of putting it–these vehicles are almost like our friends–but it’s what we are doing,” says Joyce M. Seriale-Grush, orbiter chief engineer at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. “We have been evaluating this hardware with nondestructive tests throughout their history. Now we can actually tear some of this hardware down.”


  1. #1 Sue VanHattum
    March 26, 2012

    >Few if any white clergy have spoken up to demand that the killing be fully investigated.

    I was concerned about this, and thought about asking on Facebook if anyone knew of white clergy speaking up. But when I followed the link, I saw his claim was much smaller – white clergy in central Florida. Still a problem, and I’m glad he’s writing about it. But a different problem.

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