You Want Empathy? I’ll Give You Empathy!

We all remember that I teach at a state university in an economically blighted area of the US, right? And that our students get offered full-time jobs that pay $11,000 per year after they graduate? And that our students work 2 – 3 part-time jobs while going to college, right?

A student of mine writes:

The government of our country is oppressive towards the rich people. It treats them unfailry by asking them to pay more than their fair share in taxes.

And you say empathy is dead in this country.

P.S. I have just been visited by a horrible suspicion. Is it possible that the student thinks I’m rich and is trying to get me to like them in this inventive manner?

Sunday Link Encyclopedia and Self-Promotion

A really cathartic post on how to liberate oneself from an emotionally abusive relationship that masks as simple friendship.

How one college is making life hell for its non-tenured teaching faculty. I know you must be hearing such stories all the time but it’s important to know what’s going on in the war on teaching. Otherwise, we will miss these changes when they sneak up on us.

Teaching girls to say yes. A brilliant post on the ridiculous way in which sexuality is framed in this uptight, Puritanic society.

A great post from a passionately Republican prof. Should we abolish money altogether?

Writers: beware! You might get coerced by a publishing house if you don’t find an agent to represent you. An important post every author should read.

Communists have been asking themselves the same question for 150 years now: of all the classes, why is the proletariat the least interested in Communism? Here is the most recent round of these hilarious attempts at convincing oneself that there is a chance of finally getting workers to give a damn about Communism. (You see? I’m fair, I give backlinks to crappy articles, not just to the good stuff. Equality rules on this blog!)

Anti-Semitism in the Occupy Wall Street protests. Is it a ploy aimed at slandering the protesters?

Reading the Bible makes you liberal.

What causes bias in scientific publications and how to avoid it.

A fascinating photo-report from the Occupy Toronto protests.

Billionaire’s Pasta: A Recipe

Tell me that this isn’t the most stunning pasta you’ve ever seen:

I found it on the blog of a real billionaire but I improved it so now it is my own billionaire’s pasta. Cook penne al dente WITHOUT using any salt, add 1 or 2 raw eggs and mix them with the pasta. Add some fresh dill and some smoked salmon. Put the pasta on the plates and add caviar to each plate. Make sure you don’t mix the caviar with the pasta, just spread it on top of the pasta. Otherwise, you run the risk of destroying the caviar if you mix it aggressively.

It’s scrumptious. And if you live close to a Russian food store, it isn’t all that expensive to make it.

Random Questions to the Universe

What is it with the weird trend of releasing several destined-to-be-bestsellers books on the same day? This creates an undue stress on the readers who have no idea which book to read first. It isn’t like books are TV shows that are scheduled against each other on different channels to attract advertisers, right? So what is the point of scheduling books to be released this way? In case anybody is wondering, here and here are the books I’m eagerly awaiting. Feel free to make fun, I don’t care.

Also, what is it with referring to people as “trolls” because they visited your stupid blog all of one time and left one very polite comment expressing their disagreement with your post? If you don’t know what a real troll is like, come over to my blog and I’ll happily share some of my real trolls with you. Does it make unpopular bloggers feel important to claim they have been trolled?

And how come my post “I’m Not American” is exactly fours times more popular than my post “I’m American“? What does it tell us about people’s reading preferences, huh? And then I get told that I spread negativity. Positive, feel-good posts are of no interest to people. And that is hardly my fault. Just try to venture a guess which post will be more popular, “I Hate My Students / Job / Boss / Husband / Neighbor / Life” or “I Love My Students / Job / Boss / Husband / Neighbor / Life”.

What is it that one needs to smoke and in what quantity to leave this kind of weird review on Amazon?

And, finally, do you also get the feeling that this will become a regular series on the blog?