Spicy Comfort Food of the Pinto Variety

I have had a can of pinto beans sitting in my pantry. In true apartment-living style, my pantry is a large cabinet above my microwave, but “pantry” sounds much nicer, though, upon further reflection, I am not sure that a sentence about a can of beans really merits much dressing up. Anyway, I have had this can for a while and while I appreciate the taste of slow cooked dried beans, I do not have the time. Apparently, I also did not have the time for this poor can of beans – until now! Read More Spicy Comfort Food of the Pinto Variety

How Should We Balance Teaching and Research

A few days ago, an article by Richard Vedder on the lack of benefit given the costs of research was published at Bloomberg.com. In the article, Vedder argued that the benefits and quality of research conducted at many U.S. universities may be greatly overstated and that the ongoing push to limit teaching in order to emphasize research is hurting our students and our universities. Read More How Should We Balance Teaching and Research

Food for the Cold Season

I am writing to you from 30,000 feet, give or take a mile. Soaring high above the rugged western United States with its snow covered peaks and mesas and roads that, at dawn, resemble rivers of molten lava which would not be out of place on Mount Doom, is nothing short of inspirational. Unfortunately, unless I lug it myself, there isn’t much food up here. Well, I suppose there is no better place to day-dream about delicious eats. Read More Food for the Cold Season

It’s Over!

This is my last post in this column for the 2012 calendar year and in the 2012 fall quarter/semester, depending on the system your university uses. I cannot be more thrilled. 2012 has been a topsy-turvy year, though perhaps not as topsy-turvy as last year’s Occupy swept the nation. Still, once the final grades are in and the administrative offices close their doors until 2013, the book can finally be closed on 2012. Take a breath. You did it! Read More It’s Over!

Reduce Your Waste ““ Scientifically!

In two weeks, all of us will be turning over new leaves, or at least replacing our calendars with the most recent versions. For those of us who like to plan, now is the perfect time to think long and hard about which New Year’s resolution to grab hold of and follow. I humbly suggest waste reduction for New Year’s resolution contention. Read More Reduce Your Waste ““ Scientifically!

Cookie Times

Winter is the perfect time of year for cookies. For starters, if you make too much cookie dough, you can freeze it just by throwing it outside (in a sealed container to prevent attracting raccoons and other rabies-laden but surprisingly adorable critters). For seconders, completely disregard that first point and just continue to use the traditional, patented A-A “freezer method” of storage by shoving the dough in the freezer. Read More Cookie Times

Do You Use the Services?

The title is not particularly catchy. None of mine usually are, to be honest, but at least in this case, it is accurate. Without further (or any, really) exposition, let’s get down the heart of the matter: universities offer many services that appear to be underutilized. I want to talk about this a little bit and then I want to hear from you; specifically, I want to know whether you use the services offered by your university and why. Read More Do You Use the Services?

Who is an Expert?

Last week, I talked about the pros, cons, and explosions of Mythbusters. A few thoughts have been percolating ever since, like why do most of the scientists in the public eye work with some form of physics (lookin’ at you, Neil deGrasse Tyson), and are there any women who qualify as renowned scientists and science communicators? Those are going to have to wait for a future post because first, I am still percolating those brain-nuggets and second, the few brain-nuggets I have aren’t particularly cheerful. Instead, this week let’s focus on one of the more positive thoughts that came out of my Mythbusters brain-busting: the expanding definition of an “expert.” Read More Who is an Expert?