Monthly Archives: September 2011

The Art of Giving

One of my friends is keenly interested in gift-giving. From a sociological perspective, giving gifts reflects important interpersonal ties. Even though my friend says she’d like to teach a class on gift giving, truth is, her interest stems from childhood … Continue reading

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Flesh-Eating Bacteria

The film Contagion takes a peek at the CDC folks in Atlanta and shows that they care about one another: it’s the other folks that cause them grief—the feds and the locals. I think they got it right. I was … Continue reading

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I’ve delayed reading the reviews for the new film Contagion until I sort though my feelings. When I worked at the CDC my colleagues didn’t suit up in the Day-Glo orange hazard gear but they did venture to outbreaks to … Continue reading

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Science on the Edge of her Seat

I advise students on research methods, which often puts me in a tenuous position. My job is to ensure that students learn methods by-the-book but the reality is that researchers tug and pull at methods, adapting and adjusting to circumstances. … Continue reading

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Science Talk Sees Red

Michele Bachmann’s recent pronouncement about vaccines is right up my alley because it reveals how we talk about science. In case you missed it, during a recent debate Bachmann scoured Rick Perry, governor of Texas, for requiring that girls in … Continue reading

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Science and Uncertainty

A recent news story reported that the pop notion of different learning styles lacks proof. Fascinating that an idea we take for granted—that some folks are visual learners and some physical learners—has yet to gain empirical traction.

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Bike Ride

You can’t be depressed riding a bike. Thanks goodness it’s a downhill ride to my work and most drivers are patient as I peddle through the intersections at a tortoise pace.

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When Names Aren’t What They Seem

I discovered that family names can be invented, forgotten and even lost in the branches of the family tree.

Posted in authenticity, Francis Parkman, Henri Chatillion, Indian, Lakota | Tagged , | 4 Comments

When the Ball Changes in Mid-Air

The trouble with mental catch, Adam Gopnik writes, is that the ball you throw changes in mid-air into another. Gopnik is speaking metaphorically in his short story The Rookie. He’s telling his son a bedtime tale and the intent gets … Continue reading

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Redskins: The Elephant in the Room

The PR flacks are earning their salaries this week as Beacon Press promotes a new book that reveals the backstory about how owner George Preston Marshall refused to integrate the Washington DC football team called The Redskins.

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