Sunday Link Encyclopedia and Self-Promotion

Students have come up with a new way to cheat: “Exams that are faked. Not plagiarized but faked. Does this paper have actual misconceptions, or non-conceptions?” I experienced this as recently as last week and was very annoyed by the phenomenon.

Yale is now outsourcing a campus to Singapore. And here I thought my alma mater couldn’t get even more bizarre than it already is.

If you have never heard the term “maternal gatekeeping”, you need to read this. I plan to blog about this phenomenon in the near future, so it will be nice if people have a handle on the terminology in advance.

Thinking of yourself as a writer. What does it take to be a writer?

A powerful and touching post in memory of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick and David Kosofsky. (Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick is one  of the founders of queer theory).

A blog I really like is suspending its activities. This makes me very sad, people.

I don’t have time to respond in detail to this post (and the other posts it links to) about misogyny-driven attacks on female bloggers. All I can say is that although I do not doubt the veracity of these bloggers, I never experienced any of that personally. My most vicious trolls and cyber-bullies have been women. This is yet another missed opportunity for me to feel victimized as a woman.

Harvard University students walk out on a prof for teaching them what they see as the wrong kind of economics. I don’t know much about economics but if I had a chance to take a course with Greg Mankiw, I’d have to be dragged out of the classroom, to tell you the truth. They’d have to chase me out at night.

Which country is more corrupt, South Africa or Ukraine? Find out here.

Through the Eyes of a Stranger: Food

I don’t think there is another country on this planet where obesity is as pervasive as in the US. As somebody who moves between different countries on a regular basis, I see the reason for that clearly: the food in the US is bad.

As regular readers of this blog know, I spent this week in Canada. When I’m in Canada, all I do is eat. My mother wants to feed me every dish I missed while being away in the US. My sister wants to show me the new restaurants she discovered. My brother-in-law strives to show his hospitality by feeding me. Friends want to meet and catch up. And where do you go to meet friends at my age? Restaurants, of course.

On my visits to Canada, I also never manage to walk even closely as much as I do in the US. People I know in Canada miss me and want to spend time with me, so I can’t just abandon them to go on my regular daily 2-hour-long walks.

And you know what the result of this week-long eating binge and lack of exercise in Canada is for me? I lost 8 pounds.

This always happens to me whenever I go back to Canada. In the US, I eat a lot less, I don’t buy any processed foods, and cook everything from scratch. I haven’t ordered any take-out in years. I don’t remember what a pizza looks like. I eat fruits, vegetables and supposedly fresh meats and seafood. I don’t even touch milk because I know what a disaster milk is in the US. I don’t eat American bread for the same reason. And I weigh a lot more than I do in other countries. Of course, this has gotten a lot more serious since I moved to the Midwest.

I know that nobody wants to hear this but the truth is that food in this country is disastrously bad. It’s all messed with, doused with pesticides, genetically modified, injected with crap, etc.

Of course, it’s easy to dump on the obese people by labeling them all as lazy, stupid junk food lovers. But doing that does not change reality and does not make the food we eat any less dangerous.

Seeing Potential or Learning to Count?

I just saw the weirdest billboard ever at the airport. It said something like, “Five times more people are learning English in China than in England. The world belongs to those who see its potential.”

Has the genius who came up with this billboard stopped to consider the difference in the population size of China and England? I’m sure many more people take showers and brush their teeth in China than in England. And not because the English are dirty.

Juan Valdez vs Starbucks

I just discovered a great coffee-shop chain at the Newark, NJ airport. It’s called Juan Valdez. It has very original coffee beverages of very high quality and inventive snacks.

I wonder why we don’t have Juan Valdez instead of boring Starbucks with its disappointing coffee and a miserable snack selection in my area.

As we say in Colombia, “Si a usted no le gusta lo colombiano, usted esta mal hecho” (If you don’t like Colombian, you are totally messed up). I hope everybody remembered to turn on their sense of humor this morning.

And how do you prefer to take your coffee?