To the Columbia University Community:
As I am sure you are aware, the Columbia University Senate is once again eager to push for inviting the Reserve Officers Training Corps to Columbia (or what has more colloquially been termed the “return of ROTC”) in light of the recent vote to repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. A recent discussion featured in the Columbia Spectator’s magazine, The Eye, though it featured many well-spoken and intelligent individuals, failed to provide a voice for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and, especially, transgender community. In fact, given that the major reason for keeping ROTC off-campus has been its discriminatory practices against LGBT individuals (in particular, the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy was cited), I was surprised to find that there was no representative of the Columbia LGBT community invited to speak. In fact, not once did the acronym “LGBT” or the words “gay,” “lesbian, “bisexual,” or “transgender” appear in the
Archive for February 8th, 2011
To the Columbia University Community:
Former House Speaker and likely presidential aspirant Newt Gingrich has it backwards.
He believes business is being unfairly burdened by environmental regulations and consequently, wants to abolish the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and replace it with a new, more “even-handed” governmental unit.
The reality is that it is the economically disadvantaged, especially minorities, not the business community, who are suffering under the current regulatory regime. If any change is forthcoming, the EPA should be tightening enforcement and receiving more resources to protect the downtrodden.
Gingrich’s assertion that the EPA “blocks economic progress and job growth… at every turn” is pure poppycock. For example, since 1970, the federal Clean Air Act has cut polluting emissions by more than 60 percent while the economy has grown by more than 200
Our president has, oflate, been referencing God and Jesus more than usual. Even one such reference proves excessive. That his assuring us of both his Christianity and his deep beliefs in popular deities ispandering to the devout, reassuring the suspicious, not so subtly pleading with the electorate in our seemingly increasingly religious nation would appear obvious and depressing. Evenmildly nauseating.
To me, one of roughly 5 million Jews in the USA, his references to Jesus as proof of his acceptability are offensive or, at least, as he might himself say,
How much you are worth need not be seen in terms of how much you are paid. How much you are worth should be assessed in terms of what responsibilities are given to you. The privilege is not the money that you receive; the privilege is that you have been allowed to create something. Money is a means for our survival, yes, and to that extent it is
As a follow up to my essay on where are the women entrepreneurs, I felt it fitting that I address women in technology. In Silicon Valley at least, the two seem to go hand in hand.
A spate of recent research is shedding more light on the fact that a woman’s environment affects whether or not she chooses to pursue studies in math, science or engineering. Nurture, it appears, matters.
The American Association of University Women (AAUW) released information about three studies that shed light on why women are not found in technology.
Study #1 followed a group of math students and found that 30 years ago there was 1 girl for every 13 boys that scored above 700 on the math portion of the
The Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee Hal Rogers (R-KY) just proposed significant cuts to US international funding. While the proposal he just released doesn’t spell out the exact cuts for different programs and categories of funding, we expect that the Majority Members of the committee will recommend cuts to US international climate funding. Such cuts would be “penny wise and a pound foolish” as this funding benefits the US in many ways.
For the “State, Foreign Ops” subcommittee Rep. Rogers proposed funding for Fiscal Year 2011 of $46.95 billion, which is 17% less than President Obama’s original FY 2011 request for programs that fall under the subcommittee’s purview, according to
At the very same time that most people were watching the Super Bowl Sunday night, I was preparing a morning feast for my turtles, thawing some frozen rats for my pet snakes and giving my Chinese Crested dogs a good long walk before settling in to read to my young son from a copy “Birdology” — Sy Montgomery’s recent book on appreciating and getting along with birds.
While I have occasionally been accused of preferring the company of pets to people, I can’t say this is true. What I can say, however, is that like many other animal lovers, I instinctively see the world as a tapestry of living things, between which the distinctions are less well drawn than biologists would have us believe. Perhaps this is the tai chi Daoist in me — the devotee of that Chinese philosophy that exhorts us to get in touch with the Way of Nature and follow it as closely as we can.
I ran a few aquaria in my home for ages, but gave them up some years ago in an effort to simplify things a bit. Do I miss the gurgling sound of water trickling out of the filters as if down a tiny stream? I do, but what I miss more is the fluttering fins of the fish themselves, their movements as they swam or dashed for the safety of a tiny rock cave as I walked
It’s less than a week away and you’re now officially feeling the heat — not from the red hot, passionate romance you’ve been stoking, but that annual pressure to come up with the best Valentine’s Day present ever. Even in relationships where this Hallmark holiday is supposed to be no big deal, there’s a little bit of willfulness to make some kind of gesture and impress.
So without further adieu, the following are fab last minute gift ideas for the one you love this coming Monday…
For His Pleasure
The Iconic Ring from Jimmy Jane is something he’s dying to have, even if he doesn’t know it yet. Great for first-time users, this body-safe, phthalate-free “vibrating ring” will have both of you reaching bliss, while freeing your hands to stimulate other parts of the
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Image of Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher unveiled
Shooting has just begun on the film, written by Sex Traffic's Abi Morgan and directed by Mamma Mia's Phyllida Lloyd.
The film follows Baroness Thatcher as she broke through class and gender barriers to become prime minister.
The film also stars Jim Broadbent as Denis Thatcher. The cast also includes Richard E Grant and Anthony
Net profit for the final three months of last year came in at 1.3bn (810m), up more than 50% compared with the 844m the company made a year earlier. Revenue rose by 10% to
Pradeep Manukonda, 31, has been ordered to stay at least 300 yards (274m) away from Mr Zuckerberg, his girlfriend and his sister, according to US media.
Mr Manukonda has shown up at several Facebook offices in California to ask for money, the TMZ website said.
Facebook security also intercepted him outside Mr Zuckerberg's home, TMZ said.
The request for the temporary restraining order was reportedly filed on the basis that Mr Manukonda attempted to “follow, surveil and contact Mr Zuckerberg using language threatening his personal
Wael Ghonim, a Google executive who was detained by state security forces for 12 days, often blindfolded, was feted by the crowds as he entered Tahrir Square. He is credited with setting up the page on the Facebook social network that helped galvanise protesters.
“We will not abandon our demand and that is the departure of the regime,” Mr Ghonim told protesters in the square, to cheers and applause.
Large crowds also demonstrated in the second city, Alexandria, and other Egyptian towns and cities.
In his response to the protest movement that has presented by far the most serious challenge to his 30-year rule, President Mubarak has set up a committee to propose constitutional changes, and another is being formed to carry the changes
Guys, seriously, Groupon did a good thing, okay? Because after they aired that Super Bowl ad about Tibetans-being-oppressed-but-who-gives-a-shit-when-we-can-save-money (above), we’re actually talking about Tibet today. And when’s the last time anyone talked about Tibet? At a Bjork concert in 2008? Groupon’s made Tibet hip to talk about again! I mean, sure, talk is cheap, but so are things you buy with Groupons!
Also: Groupon actually aired that ad out of the goodness of their hearts, and are tying the ad to The Tibet Fund, where they’ll match your donations up to $100,000. (Never mind that, by comparison, their Super Bowl spots cost them $3 million.) That’s like giving a dime for every Tibetan who’s died in their political struggle with China over the last 60 years. 10 cents per human life, talk about bargains!
The other good deed Groupon performed? Relegating an ongoing political struggle for self-rule and religious freedom to a “noble cause” in line with whale and
Those of you who have followed my writings on this subject know that I am critical of largely industry advocated, self-regulation efforts, such as Codes of Conduct. It is not that such codes are bad, per se. Indeed, they may even, as other observers have pointed out in the past be useful, insofar as they help set global norms that all PMSC actors feel obliged to respect.
Rather, the problem I have with self regulation is that in order to make it really work some other things need to go along with it. The paper, “Regulating War: A Taxonomy in Global Administrative Law” by Daphn Richemond-Barak of the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya, Israel, published last September explains the deficiencies.
She examines the regulation of private warfare through the framework of Global Administrative Law
Looking at what is happening in Egypt these days the following fable, slightly adjusted, comes to mind:
A frog and the scorpion, met one day on the bank of the River Nile, which they both wanted to cross. The frog offered to carry the scorpion over on his back provided the scorpion promised not to sting him. The scorpion agreed so long as the frog would promise not to drown him. They mutually agreed to the deal and started to cross the
Jerry Jones has only himself to blame for the Super Debacle. He wanted this to be the biggest, most extravagant Super Bowl ever — and now he knows how Icarus must have felt.
Hundreds of fans with tickets to the most significant annual cultural event in America showed up on Sunday and were told they didn’t actually have seats.
Cowboys Stadium regularly holds around 90,000, including standing room only seats — an impressive number. But Jones and the NFL wanted to break the Super Bowl attendance record and maximize their profits. So they tried to add an extra 15,000 seats.
They added 1,200 too many.
A press release from the architects upon its opening stated that Cowboys Stadium “has an approximate capacity of up to 100,000 fans.” Jones was shooting for
When I showed up for my first day of work at The New Yorker magazine in 1972, I was greeted by my theatrically busy boss, Mrs. Harriet Walden, “Quick, quick, we’ve got three deadlines today!”
Mrs. Walden ran her twentieth-floor editorial pool with manic efficiency and decorum. We must be charming workhorses — refined thoroughbreds who could haul our weight in
Six people died from unprovoked attacks, up from an average of 4.3 over the past 10 years, University of Florida scientists said.
Thirty-two attacks occurred in North American waters, 14 off Australia and eight in South African waters.
Scientists say reported attacks have risen over the past century as humans spend more leisure time in the
Our hearts are in the right place, but is our charity doing more harm than good? What we learn from our work with HIV and poverty in Cambodia.
A Fire in the Middle of the Night
In 2001, Ek Sam Ol (pictured on right, with our translator Him Sothea and volunteer Ruth Hobson) and his wife woke up in the middle of the night to the cries of fire consuming their slum neighborhood of corrugated metal, reused wood, and dried palm leaves. In a matter of minutes, the couple found themselves packed in a lorry with scores of other residents in this shantytown less than a mile away from Phnom Penh’s royal palace and touristy riverfront. By the time the lorries drove off, bulldozers were already leveling the land.
The lorry transported Ek Sam Ol and his wife to a remote, unused tract of land called Samron Meanchey, about 15 miles outside of Phnom Penh. With only the few kitchen items they had grabbed as they ran from the fire, along with $12 and a 50 kg bag of rice given to them by the government, the couple and everyone else began constructing a new
The Languedoc is the largest wine growing region in the world, the oldest wine-making area in France, a mecca for organic wine growers and birthplace of the first sparkling wine. Every year wine buyers from around the world gather here for the Forum International d’Affaires; five days of tastings, meetings and events that showcase the region and promote their wines for international markets.
Organized by Sud de France, a public-private partnership, this year’s event was held from January 25-29 in Montpellier, bringing together 1556 wines from 349 producers with buyers from about forty countries. While many importers were from Europe and North America, there were an equal number representing the exploding Asian market for wines, including China, Japan, South Korea and Hong
I consider myself lucky for various reasons. I live near Prospect Park, have “Botticelli” curls, and am the co-author of a cookbook. Not least, I have a very sweet, handsome boyfriend whose idea of a champion dinner is a bowl of well-seasoned beans. Just recently, after all the indulgences of the holidays, I made a pot of curried lentils and onions and some rice, and his face absolutely lit up when he walked in the
WASHINGTON — In 1985 as a teenager in Kenya, I was an adamant member of the Muslim Brotherhood. Seventeen years later, in 2002, I took part in a political campaign to win votes for the conservative party in the Netherlands. Those two experiences gave me some insights that I think are relevant to the current crisis in Egypt. They lead me to believe it is highly likely but not inevitable that the Muslim Brotherhood will win the elections to be held in Egypt this coming September.
As a participant in an election campaign, I learned a few basic lessons.
The party must have a political program all members commit to with a vision of how to govern the country until the next
In the documentary Plastic Planet, director Werner Boote proclaims that just as the world experienced the Ice Age, the Stone Age and the Bronze Age, mankind is currently living in what could only be called the Plastic Age. First created in 1855 by Alexander Parkes, plastic is involved in every facet of modern existence to the point that life without it is unimaginable. Don’t believe me? If you do a quick check, I’m willing to bet that you are currently touching at least three pieces of plastic right now. Looking around me, I could reach out and touch at least 50 plastic items (pens, tape dispenser, phone, printer, blank DVDs, etc.) and probably a lot more.
But plastic is not as benign as it
Wow — last week’s Cheek Biting blog post got a lot of response. So much so that I want to do a “part two” on the topic.
To start, I want to say I always enjoy reading everyone’s comments, and from them, I almost always learn something new about the topic I’m writing about. That’s a good thing — I’m never one to think I am the be-all, end-all on any subject, and it’s nice to read about other people’s experiences.
Just going by comments, it would appear that habitual cheek biting is way more common than I suspected. (Of course, this could be because maybe people who bite their cheeks are drawn to an article about cheek biting, but I digress.) Regardless, it is a subject that hits home for a great many