Saturday, June 20, 2009

Room for Debate: College Costs

An issue which affects us both as students and future educators. Let's hear from some experts.

Here's something of a round table on skyrocketing college costs, and the panelists' take on the solution.

How Much Student Debt is Too Much?

I will say that I think one of these people is wholly incorrect, and I suspect another may also have missed the boat, though their argument is somewhat defensible. But that's all I'll say, so you can make up your mind and then sound off in the comments.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

"The Idea Strikes Me As Close to Being Nuts"

ChixSoup med school correspondent Laura and I were discussing our basic dilemma regarding the news. We both think that it is important to watch the news, so we know what's going on. We also think that the news is depressing. And then when we finish watching the news, we have to turn to the enormous pile of work that awaits us. Major bummer...

...except that there's a 5-minute hilarity boost. See below.

Autotune the News: Spa Regulation, Serbians, and Sotomayor

It, too, is fair and balanced! There's a few more where that came from, including one on a topic near and dear to my heart: pirates. Cheers to my work being relevant!

EDIT: There's more where that came lyrics. Auto-Tune the News Website

Monday, June 15, 2009

Smart People. Bad Ideas: Part 1

Graduate school escapee Kate sent me an email with the following text:

"You have to watch this and make sure you don't have anything in your mouth!"

This followed:

Cat Meets Insanity

It is clear that an innovative but unhinged individual is behind this. It is like they thought, "Hey, cats like fish, so let's take cats SCUBA diving in the ocean! Also, I happen to be mechanically inclined and able to outfit little Cleo here in her own personal Nautilus!". Grad students, these people are in your departments. Hire independent pet-sitters and proceed with caution.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Historical Movie Review: Night at the Museum II

I've been MIA for a bit, simultaneously attempting to finish the thesis and recover from mono. I think the thesis is winning. I'm not sure if that's good or bad.

In any case, a few weeks back Kristina and Kate were going to the movies and I tagged along. We went to see Night at the Museum II, a welcome respite from our usual Nights at the Library: Eternity. We left the theater both amused and slightly disturbed. Below, excerpts from our email chain, preceded by my summary.

The main gist: Ben Stiller is called back to the museum mothership from his lame but lucrative job when his sometimes-fake, sometimes-real buddies are shipped off the Smithsonian. Having stolen the magical tablet from the American Museum of Natural History and consequently losing it to an Egyptian pharaoh who lisps a British accent, aforementioned buddies rely on Stiller and a resurrected, very flighty Amelia Earhardt (no pun intended) to save the day. Oh, and Teddy Roosevelt is still seeing Sacajawea.

Kristina opened with a generally positive description: "delightfully achronological mix of characters that also spans continents and disciplines, probably the only film that can {almost) meaningfully combine Egyptian pharoahs, slapping monkeys, a bouncing balloon dog, and Albert Einstein -- in bobble-head form, no less"

Kate was pretty PO'ed and not about to let the film off the hook for its assault on archives:
Speaking of the vault and the 'wholly-accurate preservation methods,'... good grief. Um, clothing, like say, space suits and uniforms, go in drawers. So do skeletons, come to think of it. Was that supposed to be a real specimen of a giant octapus or a rubbery and conveniently-life-like model? And please, that place cannot be effectively climate-controlled. Or cataloged. Which, take it from me, is a curator's worse nightmare. But, I think we now have another possible location for the Ark of the Covenant. Maybe we should tell Harrison Ford."

I wonder if historical and "historical" films will be ruined for me. Frankly, reading Last of the Mohicans makes me slightly ill, but watching The Patriot still makes me laugh instead of inspiring a tirade about familial loyalty and the chance of people falling into wells. What do people think? Can medical students watch Scrubs? Do law students even bother with the many Law and Orders? Can anthropology and sociology students watch anything?