30 September 2007

Storm Troopers in Fashion Mishap

Burmese Boy Scouts

Did it strike anybody else that the Burmese military resemble your typical boy scout troop?


29 September 2007

The game's afoot

I am throwing down the gauntlet:

The first one of us to publish an article in an academic journal gets all Toronto beers paid for, for one year, care of the three others.



27 September 2007

Thanks, Peanut Gallery!

In a copy of Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Designs for Research (Campbell and Stanley 1963):

When such studies show freshman women to be more beautiful than senior women, we recoil from the implication that our harsh course of training is debeautifying, and instead point to the hazards in the way of a beautiful girl's finishing college before getting married. Such an effect is classified here as experimental mortality.
Marginalia left by somebody between book's acquisition by The Ohio State University's library system (1969) and today (2007): "sexism rears its ugly head."


26 September 2007

Other People

Oh hair tossing chiquita,
Browsing Jimmy Choo shoes and turquoise handbags on the Graham Library computer,
While I stew, desperately needing to use MSWord to type up lessons plans,
Shopping, at this university, is not an academic pursuit .

Oh intimidating mature student,
Who looks to pump iron fairly often,
And who sits in my tutorial section sounding smart,
Please believe that I am not as young and callow as I look.

Oh friendly gym-goer,
At least sixty-five and buck naked,
With the locker next to me at Hart House,
Please put on some clothes, and then be friendly!


25 September 2007


In response to a search about a certain (unrelated) event at Princeton, Google draws my attention to the review of the university for prospective undergrads posted at epinions.com:

Princeton University: Review Summary
Your reward for hard work in high school (five stars)

financial aid, atmosphere, academics, focus on the undergraduate

weird grad students


24 September 2007

Making me regret Columbia...

So, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visits Columbia to make an address and gets a rough reception from university president Lee Bollinger and a whole crowd of protesters.

Now, I know that his pass to address the UN only lets him stray within a 25-mile radius of Columbus Circle, but I sure wish he had come to Columbus, Ohio...


23 September 2007

Reed His Lips

Democratic Leadership Council President and former Clinton domestic policy adviser Bruce Reed (please, for the love of Pete, don't confuse him with Ralph Reed), writes an amusing and moderately pointed blog, "The Has-Been," for online mag Slate.com.

Reed seems to have a bit of a thing for (or against) Mitt Romney, and has been lampooning the Stormin' Mormon and his American-as-apple-pie family at every opportunity. Reed's latest exploit has been to hijack a poorly-received contest organised by the Romney campaign to design a television ad from scratch in support of the candidate. Thanks to the exposure it's received via Slate, Reed's ad is now #1 - it would appear to the chagrin of Romney organisers.

So without further ado, check out "Way!"

Oh well. At least Tagg Romney didn't end up getting tied to the top of the family station wagon.


Thomas Friedman Is an Idiot

So far nothing in this post is that controversial and I plan to keep it that way. Friedman's writing often begs the question: is it better for people to remain ignorant about the world than to be misinformed about it? His latest NY Times op-ed is a stellar example of the puff-pieces that he churns out on a regular basis (and which he has on more than one occasion turned into books).

Exhibit A:

[C]an China really undertake the energy/environmental revolution it needs without the empowerment of its people to a whole new degree — à la the Orange Revolution in Ukraine in 2004?
Mr. Friedman, I know that your article hinges on a pretty cheesy play on colors, but did it occur to you that orange is not really the universal color of democratic revolution? (Did anybody ever hear of orange velvet?) Do you have any real parallels to draw between Ukraine and China?

Exhibit B:
For China, going from communism to its state-directed capitalism, while by no means easy, involved loosening the lid on a people who were naturally entrepreneurial, risk-taking capitalists. It was tantamount to letting a geyser erupt, and the results of all that unleashed energy are apparent everywhere.
Sorry did I just read an appeal to national character? The Chinese are naturally entrepreneurial, risk-taking capitalists? Take note, social scientists: economic man is not only real but he is Chinese. Nobody profit-maximizes like an Oriental, eh Tom?

Exhibit C:
Going from dirty capitalism to clean capitalism is much harder. Because it involves restraining that geyser — and to do that effectively requires a system with some judicial independence, so that courts can discipline government-owned factories and power plants. It requires a freer press that can report on polluters without restraint, even if they are government-owned businesses. It requires transparent laws and regulations, so citizen-activists know their rights and can feel free to confront polluters, no matter how powerful. For all those reasons, it seems to me that it will be very hard to make China greener without making it more orange.
I get it. China's not a clean, green place. Did Mr. Friedman do some digging into the historical record of industrial revolution in other (say, democratic) countries? Was the road to wealth lined with clean-air bills and emissions standards? Is reining in environmental degradation a unique problem for authoritarian regimes, or does liberal-democratic corporatism also present a formidable barrier to regulation? (The answers: No. No. No, yes.)

It's simply a shame that Mr. Friedman's work appears prominently in a widely-read, highly respected publication and is collected into inexplicably popular books, so that impressionable young American students might more easily run afoul of it. For more on Friedman's tomfoolery, Dan Nexon wrote something a while back; his last paragraph says it more eloquently than I have.

And for the record: I try to restrict the ad hominem to responses to anti-rational appeals (to national character, for example).


22 September 2007

Dove Michele?

A friend of mine who rather enjoys the party life is visiting from Italy. He left my place at about midnight last night to go to this club in Manhattan, and is not back yet.

It is 9:15 AM.

He also has my cell phone.



20 September 2007

Wolf Blitzer, Here We Come!

Patriot Media's exclusive offer for Princeton students: Full Basic for just $29.95 a month (for the first 12 months), rather than $56.80. I've just had it installed. Most American TV is garbage; this is probably a waste of money, even with the 47% discount.


Offline / So this is the new year

The first day of classes in the 2007 Fall Quarter at The Ohio State University has come and passed. My upcoming, stress-inducing, caffeine-addled, boilerplate-for-the-most-part quarter shall consist of:

Research Design
Theories of International Relations
Political Obligation
Political Theory from (before) Socrates to (before) Machiavelli (Audit)

So there you have it: from KKV to Christine Korsgaard. Should be a wild time.

In other news, my computer seems to be on its last legs. I shall be shutting down operations in order to try to format it to get some more life out of it.


18 September 2007

Will freedom fries be served?

In my inbox this morning:


September 28-30, 2007
Princeton University

Sponsored by
Princeton University
Leibniz Society of North America
Ecole Normale Supérieure - Lettres et Sciences Humaines
Centre d'Hautes Etudes en Rhétorique, Philosophie et Histoire des Idées (UMR 5037)

This will be the second of two events in a Franco-American collaboration, organized by Daniel Garber (Princeton University), Pierre-François Moreau (ENS-LSH), Mark Kulstad (Rice University), and Mogens Laerke (University of Chicago). The first conference took place on March 15-17 at the Ecole Normale Supérieure—Lettres et Sciences Humaines, Lyon.

The two conferences aim to put in place a truly international group working toward a common project. Organized around a well-defined philosophical and historiographical problem, these conferences aim to establish a forum for the comparison, confrontation, and coordination of divergent historiographical and philosophical national traditions, and thus to reinforce the relations between the scholarly communities in the U.S. and Europe.

The precise scholarly objective of these two conferences is to reevaluate the nature and the importance of the biographical, historical and philosophical relations between these two major figures in the history of philosophy.


Spin That

So, the Liberals lost Outremont. Okay, I promised myself when I started writing this post that I would try to avoid engaging in any political spin at all, but I already have in that first sentence. So to neutralize things, I should also add that the Bloquistes lost Roberval—Lac-St. Jean and the Tories lost in St-Hyacinthe—Bagot. And to quickly come back to polemics: does anybody care about these godforsaken backwaters?

Speaking more generally, should anybody care about these Quebec by-elections at all? (My answer, in my best David Brent: obviously not).


17 September 2007

Bombes en haut de Tehran?

Apparently (the unlikely?) Bernard Kouchner is saber-rattling over the Iranian nuclear program. I wouldn't make too much of such statements. The most that can be said is that the French are signaling to the Iranians that they understand and are prepared for an American attack on a nuclear Iran sometime in the future (if all diplomatic avenues are blocked). That is, there won't be noisy protestations coming from the French - or, I suspect, the rest of the European Union - if Iran completes and tests an atomic bomb and America (or Israel, which I speculate is also likely) responds militarily.

The French don't want Iran to build the bomb and they recognize Iran as an actual threat (unlike Iraq circa 2003). This much is rather obvious; the position should surprise nobody. Nor do I think this is evidence for a "New France." Chirac, before the end of his presidency, had gone much further in suggesting that the force de frappe could be used against a nuclear Iran.


16 September 2007

On Liberty and Education

An article in the Wall Street Journal (from 11 days ago - I apologize for staleness) by Peter Berkowitz restates a familiar Straussian argument: America's colleges have abandoned the values of a liberal education and as a result are failing their graduates and society as a whole. Though the argument may be familiar, brief as it is the article deserves to be read in full - far more so, at any rate, than my response.

Berkowitz's Straussian chops are established by his academic texts, including one on Beyond Good and Evil which I had the misfortune of attempting to read for a seminar last year (misfortune not because of the quality of Berkowitz's text, but the lack of quality of my comprehension). And liberals (that's what we Canadians must call ourselves here in America) will perhaps shudder at his Hoover Institution / George Mason pedigree as well as the appearance of this commentary in the Wall Street Journal.

No matter. As graduate students we are strongly predisposed to reflect on our particular educations and thus on education in general. The Straussian perspective presents, at the very least, a powerful foil.

The common ground of the members of the Hoboken Group, I'm happy to say, is a liberal education at a (privileged) Toronto private school and diverging, unstructured, self-chosen programs at the University of Toronto. Because we partook in most aspects of the classically-grounded core which Berkowitz espouses prior to college, any malformation from the lack of a liberal education in university was mitigated. We are thus more properly positioned to reflect and argue on the value of liberal education than your typical Harvard graduate - according to Berkowitz's position, at least.

If it is true that the program at such a prestigious college as Harvard leaves graduates rudderless and lacking in the essentials of an education, it is doubly true for graduates in the arts and sciences at public Canadian universities such as the University of Toronto. Breadth requirements are a joke - specifically tailored courses in the humanities for science students and vice versa. "The Magic of Physics" is not the worst of it - your philosophy major can get away with taking a philosophy of science (generally considered, to the best of my understanding, a subfield of philosophy) credit to fulfill the science requirement. Apart from one's undergraduate major, there are no required courses - no foundations, no core. This freedom, which Berkowitz implies "uneducated" undergraduates cannot responsibly use, can lead to extreme specialization (say, 3/4 of one's courses taken in Political Science) or lack of direction (a degree cobbled together from specialized but unrelated courses).

Of course, for those devoted to a life in academia, the absence of a core or generalist program - even without a liberal education in high school - is perhaps not such a bad thing. We who are damned to low salaries and onerous research production requirements shall have the opportunity to read and learn far and wide for the rest of our lives.

These two elements from my own experience - a liberal education in secondary school and the prospect of lifelong education - shed some light on the problems with Berkowitz's argument, even if one accepts (as I mostly do, with minor reservation) the value of a canonical, generalist liberal education.

First, why assume that the typical undergraduate (at Harvard or elsewhere) enters college as a blank slate, requiring a broad education to gain the essential knowledge that every educated person possesses? It may be true that today North American secondary schools fail their students even more egregiously than universities do, but to build this assumption into an argument on education seems to give up too much ground. Many high school graduates don't make it to college; many of those who do cannot afford the luxury of four years of generalist learning. If there is an essential "educated person," ideally a good chunk of that essential education should take place in high school. If this essential education is invaluable to liberal democracy, it needs to be available to most of the democracy's citizens - and that means starting and mostly finishing with secondary school.

Second, and similarly, why assume that the role of colleges is to produce well-educated, responsible citizens, who then spend their lives prior to retirement not reading much? Lifelong learning can't and shouldn't be the exclusive domain of graduate students and well-heeled, leisurely elites. If one semester of foreign language training does not an educated person make, four semesters of training should not an educated person satisfy, nor should just four years of broad-based reading and discovery. An argument that restricts education to four years of college denies education to those who don't or can't attend college and to those who are finished with their formal learning. It denies that education can be viewed as a good-in-itself.

I agree with Berkowitz that a well-functioning liberal democracy requires the possession and exercise of responsible reason by far more than a small minority. But the exercise of reason fades soon in those who have stopped learning and cannot exist if liberal education does not begin far prior to one's college years.


15 September 2007

Big Game

It's Saturday in Columbus and that means one thing for me and another for the vast majority of Columbusites: reading Hollis and Smith (for me) and watching Washington attempt to upset OSU in Seattle (for the rest). Okay, I'll recant. I'm hoping for a nice 50%+ (play money) payoff on newsfutures if the upset doesn't happen, and probably I'd watch the game if I had cable...

Of course, with each passing gameday the gap in cable coverage for Big Ten contests grates on the denizens of Columbus and mid-Ohio. The battle is corporate, complex, and confusing, but these are the basic issues as far as I understand them:

The recently inaugurated Big Ten Network wants cable companies to offer their channel on basic cable service and pay $1.10 per customer per month for the privilege (a no-brainer way to optimize profits). The largest cable provider in central Ohio, Time Warner, doesn't want to pay that much and in any case argues that the network has a niche market, qualifying it for expanded packages which users can opt in or out of - transferring the hefty cost to the consumer.

The Big Ten Network's main advantage for a rather indifferent graduate student like myself is that its revenues will go to the members of the conference (I'm not saying that I'll see a stipend jump from TV ads, but maybe they'll add an expansion to OSU's already absurd athletic center.) The network's official line is available here. Time Warner is spinning out its own propaganda against the Big Ten Network. And it's not just a problem in Ohio, where the network is at least in "productive" negotiations with Time Warner.

Luckily (for some), the game today is being broadcast on ESPN anyhow.


14 September 2007

Academics: in touch with the common man

Highlights from my reading lists for COL5040F ("Displacements: From Petersburg to Los Angeles") and HIS1020F ("Cultural Theory/Cultural History"):

  • Tim Cresswell's Place: An Introduction
  • Katherine Verdery's The Vanishing Hectare: Property and Value in Post-Socialist Transylvania
  • Carlo Ginzburg's The Cheese and the Worms: The Cosmos of a Sixteenth Century Miller
  • Anne McClintock's Imperial Leather: Race, Gender and Sexuality in the Colonial Context
  • Thomas Laquer's Solitary Sex: A Cultural History of Masturbation

There's more. Lots more. In three weeks we will be talking about African Vampires in HIS1997F ("The Practice of History"), and several weeks after that, about food; two upcoming classes will be taken up with tours of the library; and on October 16 my "reading" is to watch 3 Chinese art films, and take notes.

I love graduate school.


13 September 2007

Tyler Lyme - I Hate New York

Since nobody has done it yet:



Split Personality

Over the past two days I've discovered that there are two of me.

The tumultuous eddies and undertows of the OSU Bureaucratic estuary are forces so great that they have rent me in two. On the one side, I exist - and have existed since February - as a student at America's largest university. On the other, a separate me has been created as an administrative unit with the graduate fellowship office and the human resources department. These two "me"s have different Social Security Numbers (that reified almighty of all American bureaucracies).

There's more to the story. Neither "me" actually has an SSN, since Canadians on fellowship are not actually considered "employed" and cannot acquire them. Of course, it would take a human being of below-average intelligence to realize that the likelihood of the existence - let alone attendance at one school in one university - of two individuals with my unique combination of given and family names is very small indeed. But of course, before the existence of two records ran afoul of the ultra-efficient Information Technology administrators, who do not appreciate such messiness, no human being had bothered to take a second look.

On an existential level, of course, it would actually be quite a bit nicer for one self to exist as a student and another self to receive pay, benefits, and tax withholdings, thus keeping scholarly pursuits and practical considerations deservedly separate.


12 September 2007

Not Ka-blamo

Somewhat terrifying footage of a new Russian bomb from the BBC. Apparently it's a thermobaric device. More from the Australian ABC.


11 September 2007

Dirty Sexy Money...

... is exactly the reason why the hallowed Institute where I study allowed the filming, last April, of Fall 2007's most hyped-up new television series. For the purposes of the shoot the foyer of our Duke Mansion, which briefly became the home of the fictional and absurdly wealthy Darlings, was festooned with $20,000 worth of flower arrangements, while ours and several other Upper-East side Manhattan blocks were cordoned off. An all-star cast jostled for space with somewhat dazed art historians. I, for one, found myself literally bumping into Donald Sutherland as I exited a seminar on Representations of the Medieval Body, c.1100-1400 (my professor likes dates). It was one of those only-in-New-York type collisions that one of my fellow bloggers might describe as "glorious".

So our mansion, one of the last and greatest remnants of Fifth Avenue's gilded age, is to be the marble-clad backdrop for the intrigues and misadventures of New York's richest TV family, the Darlings. The show begins with the mysterious death of the clan's much-loved lawyer, who helped smooth over the many scandals and skeletons hiding beneath of such lives of extreme privilege. The family Patriarch then enlists the full-time help of the lawyer's son, the altruistic Nick George, who is torn between his vow to never be a part of the sordid, moneyed world his father knew and an enticing offer of a ten million dollar salary, to be used for charitable causes, of course. Hilarity and big-budget poignancy ensue, though after the pilot episode was endorsed by the network it was decided that it would be more economical, and doubtless more convenient, for a replica of the Duke Mansion to be built in an LA studio. How poignant to think of that parallel world being played out by actors, a world that will be far more real to millions of people than the cloistered life of an endeavouring art historian.

In any case I thought this would be an appropriate story with which to restart my blogging career (though the limelight I think I once enjoyed is now to be split four ways), as most of you I'm sure have already seen the adverts for the new show, with their catchy tag line: "When you're filthy rich, you have to get a little dirty". Those who haven't can check out the show's slightly overproduced website.

Dirty Sexy Money premiers on ABC at 10 PM, September 26, 2007.


10 September 2007

"Your art was the best art of all the... art"

Fair Columbus boasts her fair share of attractions, but I am sad to say that upon inspection of its website, the art museum is not one of them. A proper verdict would require an actual visit (were I to be empirically rigorous), of course.

The collection's highlights, it appears, include (apart from a range of American shlock) six Monets and a Picasso. Tell me: what boondocksville art gallery doesn't have six Monets and a Picasso? Perhaps my colleagues in Art History shall do their public service practicum (those exist, don't they?) in Columbus and put things to rights. I mean, come on, not even one lousy Agnolo Gaddi?

Full disclosure: the title quote clearly comes from the lovable Roy, season 3 episode 17 of the U.S. Office.


Just what the boreal forest needs

Heaven forbid that on our first day of orientation for first-time TA's, we should receive only the two normal booklets printed on regular paper, one a general all-purpose handbook on being a TA and the other on plagiarism. No, we must also receive a very elegantly designed and glossy pamphlet in Princeton orange entitled Inspired Conversations: The Princeton Precept, this being after all such a different beast from such lowly cousins as say, the Toronto Tutorial. Compared to the other two booklets, this one contains not so much in the way of actual, useful information, but it puts them to shame for inspirational quotations in the margin. A sampling below the fold:

"Most fundamentally . . . the preceptor is a catalyst". (ellipsis from original) - preceptor

"The precept is particularly vulnerable to failures in listening". - preceptor

"We should take classes because we are excited, interested, and dedicated, and professors should teach them for the same reason. With this sense of shared purpose, we can embark on a shared purpose, we can embark on a common educational journey in precepts". - student

It brings to mind the UTS agenda at its best.


09 September 2007

Is Wolf Blitzer worth $42.00 a month?

So, I currently have a TV which appears to receive zero channels. And, as you probably already know, there isn't that much to do in Princeton. As a result, I am thinking of getting myself some cable. Wolf Blitzer, here we come. Or, maybe, here we don't come. The local cable outfit, Patriot Media, charges a quite reasonable $14.80 a month for their "Limited Basic" package, which gets you the following extensive but rather duplicative assemblage:

  1. (nothing)
  2. New York CBS
  3. Philadelphia CBS
  4. New York NBC
  5. Philadelphia FOX
  6. Philadelphia ABC
  7. New York ABC
  8. the cable company's own "Patriot 8"
  9. New York "MyNetwork TV" (what?)
  10. Philadelphia NBC
  11. New York "CW" (this)
  12. Philadelphia PBS
  13. New York PBS
  14. WFMZ-TV (wikipedia: "a general-interest independent television station in Allentown, Pennsylvania")
  15. a "family-friendly" channel called ION
  16. New York FOX
  17. Philadelphia MyNetworkTV
  18. "NYC-TV" (seemingly a generic CItyTV-like item)
  19. WMBC ("an independent full-power independent station licensed to Newton, NJ")
  20. the Spanish-language Telemundo
  21. the Home Shopping Network
  22. Telefutura (another Spanish station)
  23. New Jersey PBS
  24. Shop NBC
  25. Educational TV
  26. Mercer County Community College TV
  27. the Princeton University Channel (who knew?)
  28. Princeton Borough Government Access
  29. Princeton Township Government Access
  30. TV30 (can't figure out what this is)
  31. Philadelphia CW
  32. a Christian channel
  33. Chicago CW (just what I need)
  34. TV Guide
  35. a Philadelphia-based non-PBS public station
  36. another Christian channel ("Sonshine" (sic): clearly these people need to read Aquinas)
  37. CSPAN
  38. CSPAN2
  39. the Lehigh Valley's PBS
  40. "Local Access" (whatever that means)
  41. Univision (also in Spanish)
  42. QVC (home shopping).
But no Wolf. This requires "Expanded Basic", including the Wolf's own CNN, the Weather Channel, the sports channels - basically, anything with a specific theme, and anything I would actually spend much time watching - which takes an additional $42 for a total of $56.80 a month. Fifteen bucks a month is quite reasonable; fifty-seven, not so much. It equals two round trips to New York, say. Or 45 bottles of Papst Blue Ribbon at the D-Bar. But as anyone who has seen Wolf Blitzer knows, the value of Wolf Blitzer is high indeed. Every weekday, three hours of eight video screens at once, of token critics of American hegemony being shut down at high volume, of an unmatched electoral circus: it's only September 2007, and already there is a team live in Iowa and one live in New Hampshire.

We have in the Group both a scholar of Media Ecology and a social scientist for whom economics is an allied discipline, so we should be able to determine this with the utmost precision: how much is Wolf Blitzer worth?


Journalistic Whimsy

In a Canadian Press article via The Globe and Mail on the meeting of NATO defense chiefs and the future of the organization:
"I'm here to say, 'no, to NATO,' so that Canada can maintain its peaceful reputation," said Janet Hawksley.

Ms. Hawksley, 86, said she attends every anti-war protest she can, because "it's the only world we've got."

She said she wore a green leaf over her nose to protect herself naturally from the sun.

"I've got Irish skin," said Ms. Hawksley.
I understand that your typically underthought, underwritten Canadian Press article (which, by the way, will probably make it into 80% of Canada's daily print media market one way or another) needs to show itself to be "fair and balanced" by - in this case - bringing in the protesters' perspective.

A green leaf over her nose? Irish skin? Did those two lines really deserve to make it into the paper?


07 September 2007

The Economist v. Belgium

The Economist is a well known weekly collection of editorials masquerading as "news" articles. But a new piece suggesting that Belgium's time has come may take the cake.

Quoth The Economist:

When it was created in 1831, it served more than one purpose. It relieved its people of various discriminatory practices imposed on them by their Dutch rulers. And it suited Britain and France to have a new, neutral state rather than a source of instability that might, so soon after the Napoleonic wars, set off more turbulence in Europe.

[...] No doubt more good things can come out of the swathe of territory once occupied by a tribe known to the Romans as the Belgae. For that, though, they do not need Belgium: they can emerge just as readily from two or three new mini-states, or perhaps from an enlarged France and Netherlands.
Citing the bitter animosities between Flemings and Walloons, The Economist declares that "in short, Belgium has served its purpose" and proposes a "praline divorce," consoling patriotic Belgians (who must be in short supply, according to the article's logic) that "countries come and go."

In fact, countries don't simply come and go. They live far longer than any "purpose" would appear to dictate (a curious notion if there ever was one, since many would argue that a state's most basic purpose is survival) . That state death occurs rather infrequently has long been noted.

Indeed, The Economist is on to something, but it's a point that is wholly left out of that article. If states are going to fade away peacefully anywhere, it's likely to be in Belgium's neighborhood. How typical for the still-quite-Eurosceptic (dare I insert the pejorative "Anglo-Saxon"?) publication to ignore the most salient factor outmoding a unified Belgian state: Europe.

NATO has long placed Belgium's external security in the hands of the North Atlantic security community; in the past two decades the EU has seen the unprecedented pooling of its members' "exclusive" authority to govern. But on that score, if shared sovereignty and collective security mean that it's time to say goodbye to Belgium, why not the United Kingdom as well? That state has seen its share of devolution, it's entrenched in NATO, and it's enmeshed in Europe - whether Britons like it or not.


On a completely different note, I fell upon an intriguing discovery on Amazon, from Routledge, publisher of the 2006 volume containing "Social Theory as Cartesian Science."


It's only Kellogg Canada that is insane

On my first trip to the grocery store today I was pleased to see that Crispix in the United States are still called just "Crispix" and have not been rebranded "Crispix Krispies" in order to indicate that they are now part of the Krispies family of cereals along with the more traditional Rice Krispies.


03 September 2007


I rolled into Columbus, Ohio (not to be confused with the other 17 cities and towns across the fair United States named after the sailor from Genoa) on a hazy Tuesday afternoon. I would like to write that I came to study International Relations but I stayed for the... but, truly, the city itself is underwhelming in a pinot grigio meets Mitt Romney kind of way. Perhaps it is simply a matter of time before I see the essential charm of suburban mega-malls (or suburbs that are mega-malls) and tailgate parties, but until then, I am here for purely academic purposes.

Which is probably just as well. It's a heady time to be a poli sci grad student, what with building tremors regarding Iran, stray nuclear missiles, and major football upsets.

Query of the week: if a positivist collapses in a forest of interpretivists, will anybody measure the result?

P.S. Can't resist adding links to the various commentaries on sartorial issues at APSA this year.