Monthly Archives: February 2012

Catching up with Carl Zimmer, or, Are your pets really friends?

February 22, 2012
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Catching up with Carl Zimmer, or, Are your pets really friends?

From Promotions Director Levi Stahl:

We don’t have a staff member whose sole job is to keep up with what scientist, journalist, blogger, radio personality, and Press author Carl Zimmer is up to, but I’m beginning to suspect we should. This week, Carl’s been all over the place: first, on The Loom, his Discover magazine blog, he announced the launch of Download the Universe, a new collaborative venture from fifteen scientists and writers to cover science e-books. Carl explains:

We are fifteen writers and scientists who want to explore this new form. On a regular basis, we’ll be delivering new reviews of ebooks about technology, medicine, natural history, neuroscience, astronomy, and anything else that fits under the comfortably large rubric of science. We also define ebooks generously—everything from a plain-vanilla pdf on an author’s web site to a Kindle Single to an elaborate iPad app.

And since that apparently wasn’t enough to keep Carl busy, he also had the cover story in this week’s issue of Time: The Surprising Science of Animal Friendships.

Which is all the excuse we need to post cute photos of our cats!

So are these cats, all snuggled up together, really friends? To find . . .

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Op-Ed Feature: Carl H. Nightingale on Segregation

February 14, 2012
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Op-Ed Feature: Carl H. Nightingale on Segregation

Carl H. Nightingale, author of Segregation: A Global History of Divided Cities (forthcoming Spring 2012), read the Manhattan Institute’s January report “The End of the Segregated Century” and was left anything but speechless. Though the NYT’s coverage of the report diffused some of its findings, with experts weighing in on the “pervasive decline of residential segregation” vs. the relatively “limited” progress in achievement and employment gaps, Nightingale here sheds new light on the report’s inaccuracies and the limits of certain statistical methods in fully charting segregation, lest we not “triumphantly” announce its premature end. Research-driven, provocative, and sound, Nightingale’s full text follows below.

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Keep Our Eyes Wide Open on Segregation

By Carl H. Nightingale

The opinion makers at the Manhattan Institute want us to stop talking about racial injustice in America. That is the message we should take from its recent report “The End of the Segregated Century,” by Edward Glaeser and Jacob Vigdor, two fellows at the conservative think tank.

Using a sensational title, a few moderate-seeming phrases, and a raft of scientific-seeming “segregation indexes,” the report has distracted us into a statistical battle over how much segregation there is. Its goal is to close our eyes . . .

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Rev. Frederick William Danker (1920–2012)

February 13, 2012
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Rev. Frederick William Danker (1920–2012)

The world lost one of its most noted lexicographers earlier this month with the passing of Rev. Frederick William Danker. A scholar of the New Testament and the Greek tragedians, a prolific author, a much-admired teacher, and perhaps the foremost expert on the early Christian use of the ancient Greek language, Danker died following complications from a fall.

His crowning achievement, the Third Edition of Bauer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (2000), for which he served as editor, totaled almost 1,100 pages and contained more than 5,500 ancient Greek words and 25,000 additional references to classical, Early Christian, and modern literature.

A graduate of Concordia Seminary and the University of Chicago, Danker (along with his older brother William) was among 45 faculty members fired from Concordia in 1974, for the “liberal” bent of their teachings. Following this, Danker cofounded Seminex, the Concordia Seminary in Exile, before later closing his academic career at the Luthern School of Theology, and committing to work (“12 years working 14-hour days”) on the Lexicon, and its later abbreviated version, the Concise Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (2009). Danker’s contributions included incorporating new archeological findings that shed new . . .

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Imagining the State of the Union: Part II

February 1, 2012
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Imagining the State of the Union: Part II

Yesterday, we asked scholar Sandra M. Gustafson, author of Imagining Deliberative Democracy in the Early American Republic, to comment on President Obama’s recent State of the Union address. This afternoon, she’s joined by James T. Kloppenberg, author of Reading Obama: Dreams, Hope, and the American Political Tradition, who engages with the history of other deliberative democrats and evaluates where Obama’s words fell for a spectrum of interested parties, while remarking on the conflict and compromise that informs both authors’ books. Thanks again to Professors Gustafson and Kloppenberg for sharing their thoughts with us!

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“Obama’s 2012 SOTU: Keeping Open the Invitation to Deliberate” by James T. Kloppenberg

Champions of conciliation face an uphill battle in 2012. As Sandra Gustafson notes, ours is a contentious culture. Of course that’s nothing new. As Barack Obama emphasized in The Audacity of Hope and as he has observed many times since, conflict is as American as apple pie. The first settlers in New England began squabbling before they got off the ships that carried them across the Atlantic. William Penn’s utopian vision of a peaceful Pennsylvania vanished in a firestorm of criticism. Most of those shipped to the southern colonies arrived as slaves, servants, . . .

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