Monthly Archives: July 2010

I’d like the next Doctor Who to be a woman.

And not for the strange reason given by this group of female scientists, who believe that, as a spokesperson for the group argued, “making a high profile sci-fi character with a following like Doctor Who female would help to raise the profile of women in science and bring the issue of the important contribution women can and should make to science in the public domain.”

That would be a nice side effect, though calling the Doctor a scientist is sort … Read more

let’s show the Herald-Times what happens when they drop the paywall

For today only, the Bloomington Herald-Times has dropped its paywall and is making its online content freely available to all.

I normally try not to encourage people to visit HTOnline, the Herald-Times’ online news site, because I’m deeply opposed to the paper’s decision to maintain a paywall. I believe this decision is short-sighted and dangerous because it deters Bloomington’s college-aged population from engaging with local news and events and from becoming lifelong newspaper readers ; because it insulates Bloomington news Read more

good album: Emmylou Harris’s Red Dirt Girl

I’ve been listening nearly nonstop to Emmylou Harris’s 2ooo album Red Dirt Girl. The music shines and shimmers, the lyrics flex and warp, and Harris offers up a twelve-part vision of how we learn to live and love, imperfectly, in an imperfect world.

Here’s Harris performing “My Baby Needs a Shepherd”:

My favorite song from the album is “My Antonia,” a duet with Dave Matthews. I had finished reading the Willa Cather version of My Antonia immediately before hearing this … Read more

I’ve gotten conservative as I’ve aged.

According to The Political Compass, I’ve become less liberal over the past year on both economic and social issues.

You may know that The Political Compass offers a 40-question test intended to gauge your stance on a range of political issues, from the government’s role in regulating businesses to gender politics and human rights. I took it a year ago and came out as shown below:

The Political Compass: Jenna McWilliams (4/1/09)

Economic Left/Right: -8.38
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.85

Now here … Read more

desperately seeking female academics to stalk

Recently, while revisiting and updating my blogroll for the move to this url, I decided to add a category I called “academics I sort of stalk.” I imagined this as the place where I would make public, and publicly follow, the thinkers whose work matters most to my scholarship.*

Problem: my “academics I sort of stalk” category is disproportionately loaded up with men.

I work in the field of Digital Media and Learning, and I’m interested in the work of … Read more

counseling student fights for her right to provide therapy to people she hates

Here’s something awesome: A graduate student in school counseling who is publicly and vocally anti-gay is suing her school because university officials dared to suggest she might not be able to effectively counsel gay and lesbian clients.

I was directed to this story by Jon Newton of p2pnet; the Chronicle of Higher Education ran a slightly longer description of the lawsuit. Here’s the breakdown:

Jennifer Keeton, a student at Augusta State University in Augusta, GA, has been crystal clear … Read more

god speaks through highway billboards sometimes, too!

On the one hand, I’m pretty happy about the new Godmarks billboard campaign designed to counteract efforts to depict the Christian god as terrifying and vengeful. Because look:

billboard reading: "contrary to popular belief I don't have anyone who's gay"

On the other hand, there’s a problem with fighting back using weapons developed by the enemy. First, it gives legitimacy to those weapons, tacitly making it okay for billboards like this to pepper the highway:

Billboard: "One nation under me"

And for politicians to say things like this:

Bush: "God speaks through me."

Of course, the idea of using “God’s words” as … Read more

top 11 sleeping alone and starting out early posts

My previous blog, sleeping alone and starting out early, is dead. I did port the content over to making edible playdough is hegemonic, and in so doing I had a chance to file through the more than 200 posts I tossed up on the internet. Some of them were pretty damn good, if I do say so myself. Because they’re likely to be pretty much buried for good now that my world has moved on, I wanted to … Read more