Category Archives: Academia


From the [Brandeis University Student Paper] The Justice:

Wakefield presents controversial vaccine beliefs

Now, let me start by saying, this isn’t a knock again Brandeis, as it wasn’t a “University sponsored” event. Rather it was a speaker invited by a student group. It’s just coincidental and ironic that Wakefield spoke at an institution which places such emphasis on “integrity”. [Aside: ask any a Brandeis student how much they’re told about integrity during New Student Orientation and they may roll their eyes at you]

To quote a well respected, knowledgeable, and esteemed Autism Spectrum Disorder researcher and specialist:

“If you can’t trust the integrity of the researcher, you can’t trust the research,”–Source

Thus the irony in Wakefield, who conducted a flawed, methodologically poor study speaking at a university that prides itself on truth and integrity.

At least a columnist took a step in the right direction: Work to combat Wakefield’s glaring falsehoods

Good for this columnist!

Bathroom distraction

Saw this story in AMNY today:

Queens man lives in bathroom to cut off tech addiction

Odd, but not as bad as say China where they have “tech addiction camps”.

Reminds me of a story one of my Rabbis once told our class about one of the great Torah scholars (I want to say of the Middle Ages–but I can’t remember exactly). The scholar was so focused on his Torah studies, that occasionally he would take himself into the bathroom to read and learn secular subjects–namely mathematics . (I think

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the individual was the Vilna Gaon?)

Reflecting on 60

As the State of Israel is about to celebrate her 60th birthday, it is important, as always, to look back on the young state’s (modern) history.

Even in its young age, the narrative of the State’s history is still a subject of debate, with the “new historians” trying to rewrite the facts of the State’s history.

In the halls of academia, the war for Israel’s history is still ongoing as pointed out by Efraim Karsh.

Karsh also debunks the new historians much more throughly in his book: Fabricating Israeli History: The ‘New Historians’

(h/t: Solomonia)

Saying “Jehova” at Brandeis

The alma matter is now starting to get heat from all over the country over the way it handled a complaint that a professor said a racially insensitive comment.
My take is that, even though the professor is almost totally and completely misguided politically (he’s from the Sociology department–need I say more?), the way the administration appears to have handled things is inappropriate.  Furthermore, what ever happened to “truth unto its innermost parts”?

The continuing demise of common sense

Common sense would dictate that one shouldn’t do anything to provoke any reaction from the TSA.

Apparently one MIT student didn’t think along those lines and decided to wear something provocative (in terms of security) and thought that there’d be nothing wrong with it.

Obviously this student didn’t learn the lesson of the Mooninite affair and how hyper-sensitive Boston is.

Yet another example of where academic smarts don’t correspond with common sense.

Photop denied; microphone granted

The NYPD and the Port Authority had the sense to deny Iran’s loony rambling leader the change to get a photo op at Ground Zero.
However, Columbia University has made the (stupid) move to give the ranting man another forum and microphone.

As if the simple fact that “despot and dictator week: here in NYC wasn’t bad enough (a/k/a UN General Assembly Opening Week).

“Hard” Sciences

There’s a reason that certain disciplines (e.g. Math, Engineering, Physics, Biosciences, Chemistry) are known as the “Hard Sciences”

An abstract presented at last weeks Sleep 2008 in Miineapolis further hammered home this point.

Students with Medical-related majors more likely to have poor quality sleep 

Amongst the reasons given for this finding is the amount of studying that they have to do relative to their fellow humanities majors?  Or all the time they spend in the lab?

Everybody Panic!

The Family comes to town tomorrow!

Everybody Panic! (Well, at least I will be panicking)

The Family members are coming for the occasion of the Sister’s graduation from College.

Alas, she has not one graduation ceremony–but three separate ones! Egad–think of all the boring speeches she’ll be subjected to!)

Not sure what the Family members have in mind for this upcoming week….but here goes nothing….

Something to be proud of?

From Mark Kilmer’s “The Sunday Morning Talk Shows – The Review

On Fox New Sunday:

George Washington University president Steve Trachtenberg boasted that at GWU, not only are the faculty and students disarmed, but so are the campus security officers.

Is this something to really be proud of?

(For that matter–my alma matter is still the same way…which isn’t right either)

Incomplete Advertising

On a college campus, the presence of a 50′ inflatable rocket, isn’t usually interpreted to mean what it’s intended to.

Rather, the majority of students will perceive it as a giant 50′ phallus….

The event being promoted by the rocket does sound interesting:

“American policy options in the face of Iranian nuclear proliferation”

Sponsored by the College Dems and Reps and a pro-Israel group.

Press Release