Monthly Archives: January 2010

What you can do for Haiti

January 15, 2010
By
What you can do for Haiti

What you can do right now: Donate $10 to the American Red Cross—charged to your cell phone bill—by texting “HAITI” to “90999.” . . .

Read more »

The Office offers insight into issues of workplace diversity

January 15, 2010
By
The Office offers insight into issues of workplace diversity

An article on the NPR website on workplace diversity poses the question “should The Office be used in HR training?” And while anyone familiar with the show might find the question itself quite laughable, the article quotes Sheri Leonardo, senior vice president for human resources at Ogilvy Public Relations saying “as an HR person, I sometimes cringe… some of the stuff is so outlandish, politically incorrect, morally incorrect and everything else—but at the same time I say, ‘God, I would love to take clips of this and use it for training, because it’s so perfect.'” Ogilvy argues that The Office, where the exaggerated insensitivity and ignorance of its characters serves as the basis for much of its humor, offers some entertaining insight into issues of workplace diversity and often employs scenarios that Ogilvy says are not too far from what people often encounter in the real world. NPR quotes Jean Mavrelis, author with Thomas Kochman of a recent book on such issues, Corporate Tribalism: White Men/White Women and Cultural Diversity at Work, who shares Ogilvy’s view that despite claims that we now live in a “post-racial America,” workplace diversity is still a major issue. Mavrelis remarks: “You’d be surprised how . . .

Read more »

Randall Couch recieves Corneliu M Popescu Prize for Poetry Translation

January 14, 2010
By
Randall Couch recieves Corneliu M Popescu Prize for Poetry Translation

Last November we were pleased to note that Randall Couch was the recipient of Corneliu M Popescu Prize for Poetry Translation for his translation from the Spanish of Mad Women by Chilean Gabriela Mistral. The award—named after the translator of the work of one of Romania’s leading poets—highlights the important, but unfortunately relatively scarce, contributions of literature in translation to the English speaking world. The award was announced by judges Elaine Feinstein and Stephen Romer on Thursday, 19 November 2009 in an event at London’s Romanian cultural center, the Ratiu Foundation, which has recently posted some photographs of the event on their website. For more on the award navigate to http://www.romanianculturalcentre.org.uk/. About Madwomen: A schoolteacher whose poetry catapulted her to early fame in her native Chile and an international diplomat whose boundary-defying sexuality still challenges scholars, Gabriela Mistral is one of the most important and enigmatic figures in Latin American literature of the last century. The Locas mujeres poems collected here are among Mistral’s most complex and compelling, exploring facets of the self in extremis—poems marked by the wound of blazing catastrophe and its aftermath of mourning. From disquieting humor to balladlike lyricism to folkloric wisdom, these pieces enact a . . .

Read more »

Organizing Schools for Improvement Webinar

January 13, 2010
By
Organizing Schools for Improvement Webinar

Concerned about the current state of the American educational system? Then you won’t want to miss this webinar hosted by the authors of Organizing Schools for Improvement: Lessons from Chicago Thursday, January 14, 2010 9:00 am. The authors’—researchers from the Consortium on Chicago School Research—will present the findings contained in their book which provides a detailed analysis of why 100 of Chicago’s elementary schools showed extraordinary progress in attendance and test scores over a seven-year period and why 100 others did not. The webinar will also feature an audience discussion and Q&A after the talk. For more information about the webinar navigate to the website for the University of Chicago’s Urban Education Institute. For more about the book read an excerpt. . . .

Read more »

Deciphering the secret languages of the jungle

January 12, 2010
By
Deciphering the secret languages of the jungle

The science section of today’s New York Times is running an article about animal communication—more specifically, communication among some of our closest primate ancestors like chimpanzees, baboons, and monkeys—that sheds light on some of the recent research scientists have been conducting to decipher the meaning behind their grunts and yells. In the hopes that this research will one day yield some insight into how the human faculty for language has evolved, as the article notes, scientists like Dorothy L. Cheney and Robert M. Seyfarth have dedicated their lives to studying primate societies in the field to help piece together a clearer evolutionary road map between monkeys, and us. The NYT‘s Nicholas Wade cites the scientists’ research published in several of their books, including their fascinating study of vervet monkeys in How Monkeys See the World: Inside the Mind of Another Species, and their more recent Baboon Metaphysics: The Evolution of a Social Mind, to demonstrate how their work has helped to reveal some primate species to possess a number of the essential faculties that also underlie human language. “Yet,” as Wade writes, “monkeys have been around for 30 million years without saying a single sentence. What is it that has . . .

Read more »

Parker at the Smithsonian

January 11, 2010
By
Parker at the Smithsonian

As we’ve previously noted, Donald Westlake’s (1933-2008) early Parker novels—the hard-boiled noir thrillers he wrote under the name Richard Stark—have been making a comeback since we began reissuing them in ’08. But we can’t take all the credit for the resurgence of the ruthless Parker. In the summer of ’09 Eisner Award-winning comic book artist Darwyn Cooke released his graphic adaptation of one of the first books of the series—The Hunter—at the 2009 Comic-Con International in San Diego where it made a big splash amongst the comic book world’s elite tastemakers. And now it seems that the federally sanctioned tastemakers in Washington have taken notice too. According to Almost Darwyn Cooke’s Blog Darwyn is scheduled to discuss his graphic adaptation of The Hunter at the Smithsonian American Art Museum on Saturday January 30, 2010 starting at 4 PM. Mr. Westlake, I’m sure would be pleased to see such an enthusiastic reception of his classic character of crime fiction from all corners. For more about the event see Calum Johnston’s Almost Darwyn Cooke’s Blog or check the event listing on the Smithsonian website. For more about Darwyn’s graphic adaptation of The Hunter check out his publisher’s website at www.idwpublishing.com. And finally, . . .

Read more »

Chicago through the eye of a poet

January 8, 2010
By
Chicago through the eye of a poet

The Tribune‘s Julia Keller recently penned an article about a man who knows the city “like the back of his hand,”—and is one of its most prominent writers—Reginald Gibbons, whose evocative collection of writing about our fair city in Slow Trains Overhead: Chicago Poems and Stories comes out April 2010. Though a native of Houston, Gibbons’ new collection reveals that his muse is clearly the city of Chicago, where he has lived and taught for many years as a professor of English at Northwestern University. As Keller writes: It was coming to Chicago—a place in which, to Gibbons’ eye, the past and present commingle in rackety yet luminous profusion—that truly set fire to his imagination, he says. “I got such a powerful feeling in Chicago, a feeling I’ve never gotten in New York—the historical echo of the spaces downtown, the feeling that everyone who has ever worked here is still here. There’s a profoundly good feeling of being connected with the generations.” And in Slow Trains Overhead Gibbons combines this connection to the city of Chicago with his inimitable command of language to capture what it’s really like to live in this remarkable city. Embracing a striking variety of human . . .

Read more »

Allen Meltzer on the role of the Federal Reserve

January 7, 2010
By
Allen Meltzer on the role of the Federal Reserve

Allan Meltzer author of the definitive History of the Federal Reserve recently made an appearance on C-SPAN to discuss Federal Reserve policy before and after the financial crisis and the role that current chairman Benjamin Bernanke has played. While Bernanke has recently made it quite public that he believes that lax regulation of the financial industry rather than lax management at the Fed is to blame for the recession, Meltzer has some different ideas. Check out the streaming video below: Check out the University of Chicago website for more about Meltzer’s A History of the Federal Reserve. . . .

Read more »

A Rescue Plan for America’s Public Universities

January 6, 2010
By
A Rescue Plan for America’s Public Universities

As Patricia Cohen recently wrote in the New York Times reviewing two new books on higher education, “champions of the market can turn up in the oddest places. At the same time that bankers and businessmen are acknowledging the downsides of unregulated capitalism, college and university reformers are urging the academy to more closely embrace the marketplace.” And one of the reformers Cohen reviews is our author. In Saving Alma Mater: A Rescue Plan for America’s Public Universities James C. Garland draws on more than thirty years of experience as a professor, administrator, and university president to argue that a new compact between state government and public universities is needed to make these schools more affordable and financially secure. As Cohen writes: Mr. Garland is concerned with putting public university systems on a solid financial footing. Although they educate 80 percent of the nation’s college students, public institutions have seen their quality sapped by shrinking government aid, changing demographics and growing income inequality. In Saving Alma Mater, Mr. Garland argues that government should end subsidies altogether and allow supply and demand to rule. Let public universities compete for students and set their own tuitions. To ensure that poor students can . . .

Read more »

Conservationists spotlight the cougar

January 5, 2010
By
Conservationists spotlight the cougar

An article in today’s New York Times spotlights one of North America’s most endangered large cats: the Florida panther. Despite lending its name to the local hockey team and its status as the state animal since 1982, Florida panthers (actually a subspecies of the North American cougar) have been on the brink of extinction for generations, mostly due to the depletion of their habitable range by agriculture and development. Yet, as the NYT‘s Natalie Angier points out, these cats enjoy a certain amount of popularity in the south, perhaps because one of the biggest hurdles to gaining public support for conservation efforts in other parts of the country isn’t a factor. As Angier writes “in contrast with mountain lions in California and other Western states, which have been known to ambush, kill and partly consume the occasional jogger or hiker, there are no recorded cases of a Florida panther’s attacking a human being.” Nevertheless, she writes, a rebound in development across the state could mean “it is only a matter of time and sustained human encroachment before a Florida panther pounces on a Florida land speculator.” (On the other hand, perhaps this is one of the best arguments from an . . .

Read more »

Search for books and authors