NASA has released an extraordinary tape of the sound picked up by the Cassini spacecraft as it plunged into Saturn on its final mission in 2017. The craft captured plasma waves from Saturn to its rings and into one of its moons, Enceladus. It is mesmerizing. It has been describing as Saturn singing and it is strangely beautiful.
Students at Cambridge are objecting to the hiring of American Aron Wall, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California-Santa Barbara who studies “quantum gravity and black hole thermodynamics.” It is not Wall’s academic credentials or theories that are controversial. Rather, three years ago, Wall wrote a blog post critical of Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015, the decision protecting the right to same-sex marriage. Wall’s criticism was of non-monogamous relations in the gay and lesbian communities. One can easily see the objections to such arguments but critics have gone further to object that Wall’s personal views create a hostile or threatening environment. Continue reading “Cambridge Under Fire For Hiring American Physics Researcher Who Advocated Monogamy On Blog Three Years Ago”→
Colleges and universities have been struggling to become more inclusive by allowing a variety of gender identities, including many asking that academics and staff post their preferred pronouns on emails or alter how they address students based on different pronouns. Now the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) has adopted 12 different gender identity options for students to choose in creating their account. The choice include include “agender, “androgyne,” “demingender,” “queer or genderfluid,” “man,” “transgender man,” “non-transgender man,” “questioning or unsure,” “woman,” “transgender woman,” “non-transgender woman,” and “additional gender category/identity [fill in the blank].”
The death of UCLA Professor Doran George, 48, has shaken the university after he was found dead during a bondage session at the home of a Hollywood executive Skip Chasey. Chasey is known as Master Skip in the BDSM (Bondage, Discipline, Dominance and Submission) community. George, who insisted on being called by the pronoun “their” rather than “he” or “she”, was found wrapped “head to toe in plastic wrap and gaffer’s tape, with small breathing holes at the nose and mouth.” George died in something called the “mummification” sex play.
The University of Exeter has had the embarrassing task for apologizing for its distribution of an inspiration quote to students that “One cannot permit unique opportunities to slip by for the sake of trifles.” The problem is that the quote is from General Erwin Rommel. What should be the most alarming aspect of this story is not the use of the Rommel quote but that the university personnel did not know who the “Desert Fox” was. Continue reading “University of Exeter Apologizes For Use of Inspirational Quote From Erwin Rommel”→
Many academics have been been following the long-running litigation over Harvard’s admissions criteria. The University has steadfastly resisted efforts to review its admissions statistics and criteria by both litigants and even the Department of Education. It has had to turn over that information and the results are a bit stunning, particularly with regard to the treatment of Asian students. A federal case has revealed what challengers claim is a sizable bias against Asian students and in favor of African American students with much lower scores. This includes a systemic downgrading of Asian students on a “personal” category that many have suggested is an effort to conceal an effective race-based quota or affirmative action system.
Below is my column in USA Today on the assertion of President Donald Trump that he can pardon himself. Since such an act would be the most profoundly disgraceful moment in the history of the American presidency, it is chilling to have a president to even engage in such a public debate. However, I believe that such a power does exist in the Constitution. It is a long and unresolved debate that turns on how you interpret silence. Since the Constitution is silent on any bar against a president benefitting from this power, I believe that a self-pardon is indeed constitutional, even if distasteful. Continue reading “Trump Can Indeed Pardon Himself . . . And We Should Now Never Speak Of This Again”→
According to the Los Angeles Times, Carmen Puliafito, 67, the former Dean at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine, was pushed into drug use by a 21-year-old former prostitute named Sarah Warren. His counsel argued that the Harvard-trained ophthalmologist is bipolar and became “addicted” to the young woman who led him into perdition.
The ACLU has an interesting free speech case in Missouri where Kylan Scheele, 18, was banned from his graduation by the Truman High School in Independence, Missouri. The high school appeared a bit ticked after Scheele post a Craigslist ad to sell the school for $12,725. The ACLU contends that the ban violates Scheele’s first amendment rights.