Sunday, July 31, 2005

The Annual Intel Article

this year comes (quite a few months late) from WaPo. Aptitude Aplenty looks at the general question of women in the sciences and two girls from Montgomery Blair HS in MD in particular, Abby and Sherri. The article is a fascinating exploration of problems and challenges faced by women in science at all levels, as well as an insight into the Intel Science Talent Search (Disclaimer: I was not a semi-finalist).

One line in particular struck me, however. During the grueling interview process that precedes the final selection of a winner, Sherri is overwhelmed and calls home:

"Meeting so many brilliant students and struggling to answer so many difficult questions has been the most humbling experience of her life, she says. At one particularly low point, she called home. "Daddy," she says she told her father, "I'm not sure I belong here."

Zheng Geng, an engineer, tried to reassure her that she did. "You're just as able to handle this as anyone else," she remembers him telling her."

One would have trouble imaging a male contestent making the same phone call. As the article points out, there are still improvements to be made in how we socialize young women to achieve and face challenges.

Friday, July 29, 2005

A PSA to the Dartmouth Blog-o-sphere

Are you suffering from "blog depression?"

Public Service Pamphlet

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Smooth Criminals

I guess we sometimes can be effective hitmen (and women). Joe Malchow reviews the Dartmouth blogosphere and Alumni reactions here: The Dartmouth Mafia

Although I'm not sure that everyone would agree with or be happy with the characterization of me as a "lefty."

Sunday, July 24, 2005

The Best of Everything

Salon's Rebecca Traister brings us yet another reason why women shoud be afraid of having it all - the Nanny who'll take care of your kids while you work. In The Chronicles of Nanny-a she reports on two recent Nanny scandels, the feud between Helaine Olen and her blogger nanny Tessy, chronicled in the NYT (Modern Love-Blogspot Cat Fight ), and the Jude Law-Sienna Miller-Nanny Daisy Wright love triangle. In all cases, the woman who values her career comes off badly. Not to sound repetitive, but motivated women just can't win, can we?

How Many Literary Allusions Can You Spot?

In this article from The Guardian, Guardian Unlimited Books | Review | The Joke's on Us Howard Jacobson argues that literature needs to be less topical and more irresponsible. For anyone who ever gets bogged down in Brown or fed up with Franzen, it's worth a read.

How Not to Keep a Job

Fascinating article in the NYT Magazine, The Rabbi Who Loved Evangelicals (and Vice Versa) . It tells the story of Yechial Eckstein, an orthodox rabbi who is head of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, which rallies evangelical (financial) support for Israel. The article is ambigious about the worth and Jewishness of his mission, but Eckstein is redeemed somewhat by his treatment of new hire Rios:

"Eckstein nodded. He says he is certain that evangelical Christians want nothing more than to bless Israel, and he is frustrated by his continuing inability to get his fellow Jews to practice what he calls the Four A's: Awareness that evangelicals are helping Israel; Acknowledgment of that help; Appreciation; and Attitude Change. There has been progress on the first two, and No. 3 is coming along, but attitude change remains elusive. ''I want more than a tactical alliance,'' Eckstein said. ''I'm looking for genuine fellowship. And the Jewish community is nowhere near that.''

Bauer's analysis of the problem is political. ''A lot of this is hostility from Jews who just can't stand conservatives,'' he said. ''It trumps even their support for Israel.''

''Jews tend to demonize evangelicals,'' Eckstein said sadly.

''And not the other way around?'' I asked.

Eckstein shrugged. ''Not really. No.''

Throughout this conversation, Rios was clearly eager to join in. And as soon as there was a pause in the discussion, she did. ''You know,'' she said, ''the truth is, Christians do want to convert Jews.''

Eckstein and Mamo exchanged glances. ''Not by some bait-and-switch trick,'' she said. ''But we believe it's part of God's plan.'' Eckstein winced the way he had when Pastor Munsey called him a born-again Christian.

''Anyway,'' Rios said, ''we love Jews, notwithstanding their rudeness and hatred for us.''

Three days later, Eckstein called me in New York. Rios had been fired, but her gaffe, and the impression it made, was still on his mind. ''It's really my fault,'' he said. ''Hiring staff is a problem. Truthfully, it's extremely hard to find people who understand exactly what we're doing here.'' "

Obviously not the best thing to say to your boss the Rabbi.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Blue Staters Review the Dartmouth Blogosphere

An article by Kelly Meck in the current issue of the Free Press, which is out in print but not yet on the web, reviews much of the Dartmouth blogosophere. The tone seems to be much more tolerant than that used by TDR in a similar article, "The Dartmouth Review of Blogs", but maybe I just see it that way because Meck is much nicer to me than "Kevin Parkman" was. (I may be moderate but I'm not without bias). I'll post actual quotes when the article is available online.

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary

How does your garden grow? I may have laughed at my friends who are taking Organic Farming (with a lab!) this summer, but according to CNN, Students Flock to Campus Organic Farms, they're just part of a national trend.

Dartmouth even gets a shout-out in the article:

"Some student farmers, like those at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, sell the fruits of their labor at on-campus farmstands, while the bounty from the University of Idaho at Moscow gets parceled out each week to community members who have prepaid for baskets of whatever's fresh."

Now if only we saw more of these amazing fruits and vegetables in Collis...

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Which One is the Sidekick?

via Gawker, this amusing cartoon by Patricia Storm starring darlings of the lit world Lethem and Chabon in an adventure to restore male-focused literature in a world with an increasingly female book-buying public:

The Amazing Adventures of Lethem and Chabon

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Bush Picks Roberts for Supreme Court Nominee

It's conservative middle-aged white John Roberts

Particularly troubling: - Politics - Bush Picks Roberts for Supreme Court Nominee: "'He's a member of the Federalist Society, movement conservatives say 'He's one of us, we're confident he will do the right thing' ... a lot of controversial opinions. Now, he's never said Roe v. Wade should be overruled, he's never said gay rights should be wiped out so the ammunition for liberals to use against him is somewhat limited, but dozens and dozens of opinions' where he could be characterized as a 'dangerous conservative,' Taylor told FOX News."

From the D to the National Media?

Update: A blitz to the editor determined that the quote was from my article, but was not attributed in the interests of space and because of the widely held nature of the sentiment.

While wasting time online today, I came across this article in Foreign Policy, Weapons of Mass Seduction, by Parag Khanna. I was struck by this quote:

"“Do we really want our politicians to face the same scrutiny as our musicians, actors, and Paris Hilton?” asked another."

The same line appeared in an article I wrote for the D:

"But do we really want our politicians to face the same scrutiny as our musicians, actors and Paris Hilton?"

A Google Search for the phrase brings up only my article and syndicated versions of Khanna's.

Am I the observer? cool.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Modern Love-Blogspot Cat Fight

Sunday's "Modern Love" column in the NY Times, The New Nanny Diaries are Online, documents the changes in the relationship between Helainie Olen and her nanny after she found the 26 year-old wannabe grad student's blog. The blog, heralded as the source for bisexual longings, reports of alcoholism and descriptions of bad days on the job, can be found here: Instructions to the Double. In her last post, "Tessy" responds to the NYT article and makes some allegations of her own. Definitely worth a look...the catfight is way better than anything Star or US Weekly could dream up.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Dartmouth student killed in Berkeley

The San Francisco Chronicle reports on the death of Meleia Willis-Starbuck '07. Deepest sympathies to her family and friends.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Publishing without Thinking

Mike Amico's response to Clayton, In Support of Manly Men takes the joke of revealing the latent homoeroticism in the article a little too far. I'm honestly a little shocked that the D published it.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The Sons of Old Dartmouth?

In today's D, Brent Clayton publishes a longwinded op-ed, "Why No One Rages Anymore," which bemoans the loss of masculinity among Dartmouth students. While manyof his points are valid - Dartmouth men are certainly more in touch with their sensitive side than their predecessors, the article soon descends into self-parody. Clayton suggests that Dartmouth men become construction workers and regain their machismo by pouring concrete and welding. While the Swiftian dimensions of this modest proposal are amusing, they make the op-ed too long and too silly to be taken too seriously, which is too bad, since some of the content is worthy of a NY Times Thursday Styles piece.

Note: Joe's Dartblog describes the editorial as "brilliant". Because obsessively blogging is so macho, Joe?

Sunday, July 10, 2005

No Way

I don't care how beachy the book was. You do not end a review of a book about Dracula, Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian, with the sentence:

"If I'm wrong, I'm wrong. So be it. Bite me."

Henry Alford does in his NYT review, 'The Historian': Stayin' Alive, and it's just not allowed.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Excuse Me?

The comics in the D range from astute (roomies) to ad hominen (Guy and Fellow) to to artistic (Looking Up) to average (Lucky to Be Here), but the new comic Pengwinners, by Aaron Golas '07, is kind of strange. I"m not sure I get the humor, and the comic relies on ethnic stereotypes that tend to not make any sense. To wit, the character of Tobias the Jewish Penguin, who premiered this week:

Pengwinners 07/05

Pengwinners 07/07

Basically, I'm not sure I understand the reason for Tobias the Jewish Penguin, and why his Jewishness is so important and prominent in the cartoon. Would Golas have felt so comfortable referring to Tobias the Asian/Latino/Indian/Black/etc Penguin? It strikes me as odd and unnecessary. Also, the reference to Asher Lev today was probably not as funny as was intended, since the book is not a light-hearted look at Judaism but a story of the struggle between religious and secular life that many Jews, particularly Orthodox Jews, face. Additionally, defining Tobias solely by his Judaism is probably a type of categorization that many Jews at Dartmouth (myself included) feel hesitant about.

Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but it just seems a little off.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Shameless Self-Plug

A week later then it should have been published, my latest D op-ed: A Feminist Walks Into a Bar...

And Salon discusses the new generation of feminists: The F-Word

Monday, July 04, 2005

What to do with my Degree?

BEcome a producer of a controversial Showtime series? The NYT reports, On a New Showtime Series, America's Protector Is a Muslim on sleeper show, being sure to mention Kamran Pasha.

"'We're showing a Muslim F.B.I. agent, someone who is devout, who is so motivated by both his patriotism as well as his sincere faith as a Muslim that he has to stop these criminals who are abusing his faith,' said Kamran Pasha, a writer on the series and a Muslim, who was born in Karachi, Pakistan, and grew up in Borough Park, Brooklyn. 'Of course the risk always is, even if we show a positive Muslim hero, some people may walk away just thinking their average, next-door neighbor is a sleeper cell member.'

'The very portrayal of an American Muslim working with the government will be controversial,' added Mr. Pasha, 33, a Dartmouth graduate whose major was religion. 'Muslims will say, 'That's a bit of a fantasy - there aren't that many Muslims being allowed to advance in the United States government to play this role.' Non-Muslims will say, 'Could that guy really exist?' '"