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February 5th, 2013
in Eugene

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Miscellaneous thoughts on politics, people, math, science and other cool (if sometimes frustrating) stuff from somewhere near my favorite coffee shop.
September 1st, 2012
in Corvallis

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Dean Kirkland

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September 25th, 2016

It was a gorgeous autumn afternoon in the valley.  Yes, in case you forgot, it is a brand new season now.  The trees knew that even before Google doodled the change.Despite the wonderfully sunny day, there were very few people out on the bike path. Perhaps it was because of the football gam

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September 24th, 2016

I have sent this across to the editorThe United Nations marks October 2nd as the “International Day of Non-Violence” for a very good reason--it is the birthday of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, popularly known as Mahatma Gandhi.Gandhi, who was born in 1869, led the independence movement

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September 23rd, 2016

There is one page in the Economist that I always check out first.  It is the last page.When you have been reading a magazine long enough, you check out your favorite sections first.  I start with the last page of the Economist.  What's there?  An obit essay.

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September 22nd, 2016

I went to listen to the president give his annual state-of-the-college address.  He, like most educators these days, talked about how student enrollment growth is critical for the fiscal future of the university.  He used phrases that one would hear from a factory owner: production, products, pipeline, and--of cou

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September 21st, 2016

I rarely see the usual people anymore.  Some of them have retired and gone away.  No Tyrannosaurus Elderex to be seen in this light of work, I suppose.  It was, thus, a young woman at the checkout counter.  Is

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September 20th, 2016

I am absolutely pro-labor union.  Yep.I thought I should make that very clear to my rabid right-wing debaters, if they have not figured it out already ;)At

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September 19th, 2016

Could that really be the case?  Could my eyes be deceiving me?I got closer. It really was what I thought I saw.It was a thirtyish guy, with a neatly trimmed beard, reading a hardcover book while seated on the bench by the river, with his bicycle leaning against the bench.A sight to b

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September 18th, 2016

A decade or so ago, I met my cousin's son for the first time.He might have been about eight or nine years old back then.  He hesitantly walked up to me and asked, in English, "you live in America?""Yes. I have been there for a long, long time now."The kid was now feeling a tad more c

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September 17th, 2016

In the old, old days, I would wander in the library and read whatever interested me.  The key word is "interested"--because there were plenty of occasions when I was interested in what I read but had no idea what the author was writing about.  It is like watching an avant garde movie, La Sapienza for i

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September 16th, 2016

Think about this: Most kids and adults like to be entertained.  Most kids and adults alike do not care to invest time and energy into reading and thinking.  Are those fair enough generalizations?Thus, if we had money to spend along with the time, then most of us would shell out our time and money on en

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September 15th, 2016

I have emailed the newspaper editor the following ...In a presidential campaign season that has mostly been a farcical political theatre at best, and one that seems to be on track for a terribly tragic ending on November 8th, serious discussions of policies have been sorely lacking. Eve

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September 14th, 2016

While waiting for tune-up on the old 250 horses that get me around, I read this wonderfully funny short story in my favorite magazine.  I literally--and I mean the literal--laughed out when I read "bring

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September 13th, 2016

A new academic year and I once again start worrying whether students will gain anything from my classes.  It is not merely the subject matter that I am concerned about.  In fact, I have often told students that the subject that I teach is merely a vehicle for something way more important, which in our university w

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September 12th, 2016

One of the ideas that I get across to students when discussing the two-hundred year transformation is this: We may equally think of the transformation as a history of women.  The past two hundred years has c

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September 11th, 2016

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September 10th, 2016

No, not to China or India ;)Remember this post from a few days ago?  That was publish

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