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An interesting link in this morning's NY Times:

Some small American colleges, eager to attract men to increasingly female campuses, have taken notice of how many students like Mr. Bosworth can be lured to attend by adding football teams. Officials at these colleges say football can bring in more tuition-paying students than any other course or activity — and not just players themselves.

"I could have started a spiffy new major of study, spent a lot of money on lab equipment and hired a few new high-powered professors," Dr. Boyle said. "I might have gotten 25 more students for that. And I couldn't have counted on that major still being popular in 15 years.

"Instead, I started a football team, brought in hundreds of paying students, added a vibrant piece to our campus life and broadened our recognition factor. And in the long history of American higher education, one thing you can count on is football's longevity. Football is here to stay."

Lolita: Why We Still Love Her

To be sure, this novel isn't for the faint of heart, but neither should prospective readers retreat to any kind of moral high ground. Nabokov, in fact, threads an unexpected and affirming emotional serenity through his portrait of obsession. His enigmatic narrator leaves us in spellbound rapture. Because for all of its linguistic pyrotechnics -- as Humbert confesses, "you can always count on a murderer for a fancy prose style" -- and for all its controversial subject matter, Lolita is one of the most beautiful love stories you'll ever read. It may be one of the only love stories you'll ever read.

F#@! Paris Hilton, this is hot!

71 Year Old Sophia Loren Poses for Pirelli

Many will disagree, but I am all over Mr. O'Rourke's assertion that "The world's political leaders need to be frog-marched back to The Wealth of Nations for a refresher course.

"We were lured into the enterprise by the, so to speak, pleasures of conception."

And ouch, the stab at actors!:

"Our sympathy makes us able, and eager, to share the feelings of people we don't love at all. We like sharing their bad feelings as well as their good ones. We enjoy, in a daytime-TV way, commiserating with the sorrows of perfect strangers.

This sympathy, Smith argued, is completely imaginative and not, like most emotions, a product of our physical senses. No matter how poignantly sympathetic the situation, we don't feel other people's pain. In a preemptive rebuttal of a future president, Smith used the example of seeing one's brother being put to the rack. (Although the brother of Roger Clinton might have chosen a more sympathetic case.) "Our senses," Smith declared, "never did, and never can, carry us beyond our own person." It is our imagination that generates sympathy.

People have the creative talent to put themselves in another person's place and to suppose what that other person is feeling. Even very stupid and frivolous people have this creative talent. We call them actors."

Global Warming in Alaska

Even more interesting than the news story itself is the poll included in the sidebar. Check that out. And yes, I did pick the last option. Ahhh fatalism!

And wow(!) this is the most interesting thesis I have yet heard for the worldwide acceptance of the Golden Arches:

"Indeed, despite its vaunted reputation as a juggernaut of American culture, McDonald's has come to function as an ecumenical refuge for travelers of all stripes. This is not because McDonald's creates an American sense of place and culture, but because it creates a smoothly standardized absence of place and culture — a neutral environment that allows travelers to take a psychic time-out from the din of their real surroundings. This phenomenon is roundly international: I've witnessed Japanese taking this psychic breather in the McDonald's of Santiago de Chile; Chileans seeking refuge in the McDonald's of Venice; and Italians lolling blissfully in the McDonald's of Tokyo."

Yeah, I'd buy that. After all, I had never been so happy to have a Coca-Cola in my life leaving Germany at 8:00am. Damn thing put me right to sleep.

A look at finance from a different perspective, the annual budget of Liberia. I bet Americans spend more than that in pizza every year...:

"Rebuilding the war-battered educational, health and justice systems take the lion's share of the US $120.2 million budget to be spent from 1 July 2006 to 30 June 2007.

The budget also offers a 73 percent increase in monthly wages for government employees, meaning that ordinary government workers could take home an equivalent of US $26 monthly in comparison to the current US $15, or 800 Liberian dollars.

A cool quiz.

Question #18: Every year, Americans spend an estimated five billion hours unproductively wrestling with which U.S. regulations?

Answer: According to James L. Payne's Costly Returns, people spend an estimated 5 billion hours a year unproductively trying to comply with tax laws.

And finally, a more positive view of the Roberts court emerges:

"Under Roberts' management, the court was a more harmonious institution than it has been in the past. According to statistics compiled by the Georgetown University Law Center's Supreme Court Institute, the court issued more decisions without dissents than in its previous two terms. The court also issued fewer 5-4 decisions, fewer dissenting opinions, and fewer separate opinions (concurrences and dissents) than in the previous term. Complete unanimity on the court may always be a mirage, but we're closer to consensus than we were during the last term of former Chief Justice William Rehnquist."

Oh yes, I watched Bridget Jones Edge of Reason yesterday and cried through most of the blasted thing. Yep, it's official I am all hormonal. Ugh! I hate that.

Oh, I also put up some icons this weekend over at monstericons, check 'em out!


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 12th, 2006 01:08 pm (UTC)
Meant to reply to this sooner. That is a great article! Thanks for sending it.
Jul. 11th, 2006 09:08 pm (UTC)
I think that first article is revolting. I don't know why it's so necessary to "lure" anyone into college. If they're not interested, regardless of their sex, let them remain so. I'm tired of schools, on every level, adding to their athletic programs when they should be enhancing academic programs. Colleges admit too many students as it is; this sort of thing will only add to the excess of students who attend college for reasons other than "higher education." It's great that something like athletics can open the door to an education, but too many students ignore the opportunity and are content with participating in their chosen sport or activity. I believe that individuals who don't wish to attend college to learn or advance their education for their future shouldn't be there.

Sorry if that's too much of a...rant, but I get worked up about the education system.
Jul. 11th, 2006 10:26 pm (UTC)
not at all
Clearly, I have been working in higher education administration for too long because I didn't even think of that, but you are definitely right for your part. And I wholly agree that there are too many people in colleges who don't want to be there.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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