Category Archives: humanities and social sciences

Profanity is Useful

Profanity is useful. People need those words to express things that cannot otherwise be expressed. There are times when the artful use of non-profanity works better and there are times when you simply must have the quick punch of a “bad” word. And to have profanity, you need to maintain at least a loose taboo […]

Palinoscopy

Sarah Palin was not a train wreck in the Vice Presidential Debate last night, but three things stood out for me.
First, when asked about the constitutional role of the Vice President, in light of Dick Cheney’s contention that the Vice President is part of the Legislative branch, Palin either did not realize the question was […]

Elementary Graduations are Ridiculous

Somehow in the last few years it has become popular to have traditional graduation ceremonies—caps, gowns, Elgar—for increasingly younger students at increasingly inconsequential stages in their education. Apparently this idiotic tendency has also taken up the traditional valedictorian and speech.
I say “apparently” because, while I have not seen this phenomenon in the wild, my blog—this […]

How Not to be a Kindergarten Teacher

From the Chicago Sun-Times:
Last week, [Wendy] Portillo held a vote in her classroom in which the students “voted out” 5-year-old Alex Barton, who is in the process of being tested for Asperger’s Disorder, a type of high-functioning autism, said his mother, Melissa Barton.
After each classmate was allowed to say what they didn’t like about Alex […]

Identity Theft Playground

The LA Times offers another reason to worry about overexposure on the internet. Web social networks friendly to identity thieves “Social networking sites, which let users create detailed profile pages and connect with friends, are becoming the hot new thing for identity thieves, both amateur and professional. As improved spam filters and skeptical consumers make […]