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In this post: the large versions of the Education & Careers and Politics channel photos, comments from readers, and the best posts of the week.

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Politics. A few of the 2,008 Chinese drummers at the Opening Ceremonies of the Beijing Summer Olympics. From Flickr, by beastandbean

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Education & Careers. From Flickr, by preciouskhyatt

Reader comments of the week:

On the Education & Careers channel, DrugMonkey talks about the eccentricity of certain academics in Everyone LOVES the Freakazoid Professor…so long as she’s productive. While tenured professors might have more leeway to flaunt their wacky habits than those in the corporate world, the lenience only extends as far as they continue to produce results. A failure to live up to expectations will likely end up being blamed at least in part on their oddities.

Reader Becca thinks it is not harmless idiosyncrasies that draw judgement, but more fundamental characteristics:

I don’t think it’s hobbies so much as viewpoints that can cause problems in academia. Like supporting homeschooling. Or animal rights. Or GBLT advocacy. Or feminism. Or cooperatives.

All of these things are outside the “mainstream” of academics I know. I’ve had cause to worry about advocay on each of those issues. I’m not going to whine about being oppressed… I’m just saying although academia can be suprisingly welcoming of *society’s* oddballs, it’s still not exactly quite as big a tent as you seem to imply.

On the Politics channel, Matt Nisbet of Framing Science considers Barack Obama’s effort to maintain his digital network of potential voters in On VP Choice, Obama Plans to Use Email and Text to Tell Supporters Before the Media. E-mails and text messages will notify those in the right networks of Obama’s selection for VP candidate, shortly before it is announced to the press.

One anonymous reader isn’t sure the plan will have quite the impact Obama hopes:

Interesting.

I’m not sure if a mass mail to a mailing list millions strong really counts as a “personal heads up” though. :)

Some other Education & Careers posts we thought were cool this week were:

Microbiologists: be your own media

Is it time to get serious about ARA terrorists?

100% tenure-awarding rate: departmental success or failure?

Reader Request: Career Options

‘Twas the week before classes (ready or not)

And from the Politics channel:

Advanced Military Technology

Self-awareness is a virtue that McCain doesn’t have

Presidential candidates: “Screw science! I wanna talk about PIXIES!”

Jesus loves you! And he’ll show you just how much he loves you by lowering gas prices!

That’s rich!: Less than 1/1000 are rich according to McCain

Look for highlights from other channels coming up!