The folks here are big, big fans of Star Wars, so we were most happy this week with the new teaser. Many parodies have/will ensue. Here is the Wes Anderson take:
As a very frequent tweeter, I could only watch this SNL sketch/dance number (didn't make it to the show, just to dress rehearsal) with just a hint of shame:
Check out this set of tweets tying together feminism and Princess Bride. My guess is that you check out #feministprincessbride you will find many more.
Yesterday, I was part of a panel at Carleton organized to provide other profs/students with suggestions about how to get their stuff published in book form. The Canadian process is different from the American process, so I spent my ten minutes on the lessons I learned from my experiences with American publishers.
What did I say?
In For Kin or Country, the basic idea is to explain a set of policies that is always expensive. When one tries to take the territory of another country, there tends to be a response. While folks dismissed Obama's line about Putin's moves having a cost, it turns out that he was right.
I have yet to see any video that plays upon the news that Star Wars Episode VII has a new title: The Force Awakens. But twitter was abuzz yesterday with alternatives. So, here is two of mine:
I have fallen behind in my Friday Nerd Blogging contributions, so I have this belated Halloween video:
This is a guest post from Kathleen Gallagher Cunningham, an associate professor of government and politics at the University of Maryland. She is the author of Inside the Politics of Self-determination (Oxford University Press, 2014).
I was recently at a relatively small academic conference, one that I’ve been attending for years whenever I can. The size of the meeting encourages engagement between big names and small names, grad students and professors, and across genders. It is a classic academic mixer, filled with slightly awkward people, many of whom are slightly disheveled, talking about things that are really interesting in really boring ways (to outsiders).
I started attending as a grad student and have made a number of critical personal and professional connections. In addition to getting useful feedback on my own work, this venue is a great opportunity to reconnect with people in my field and get to know some new ones. While I began as a young grad student, I am now at place where I am a (newly) senior member in the field.
After the final session one day, while people trickled out of the room, I sat down with a colleague I hadn’t seen for years. I was just hearing about a fascinating research project he’s working on when another person (another senior man in the field, though I’m not sure that matters) walked up and sat down, smiled at me but did not introduce himself and started a totally independent conversation with my colleague. I got up a few minutes later to make another meeting, but this small event stayed with me.
The boon and bane of our academic enterprise is that we get feedback all the time on our work. Our work is better for it--that the hack-iest stuff I read is always stuff that is not submitted to any kind of refereeing process and relies instead on editors who seem to be blind to the hack-ness. The bane is that, well, rejection and criticism can not only delay publication but also hurt feelings. When well done, reviews further the enterprise. However, sometimes, reviews seem to make the authors dance in relatively unproductive ways. There have been lots of tweets and posts complaining about robustness checks--that reviewers have been asking authors to submit dozens (sometimes hundreds) of additional analyses.
My grievance du jour is something else--reviews that focus on stuff that one "should have cited."
I am not a fan of Scottish independence, so I thought we should get equal time from the Yes/Aye side:
I have been lax in my Friday Nerd Blogging duties lately. Partly because I have been so obsessed with NATO and its summit. Now that the communiques are launched, it is time to relax and embrace that fave NATO song:
I was going to post about my talk in Toronto on NATO , but now I have a slightly different NATO post to write: a response to this piece by Anne Applebaum proposing that Obama magically fix NATO. Given that the title of my talk was “The Present and Future of NATO: More of the Same,” it is inevitable that I would be a skeptic of Applebaum's piece.
I got into an extended twitter discussion about the 1992 LA riots. Why? Because that event helped to inform much of my thinking about ethnic conflict and because I see in Ferguson some key similarities despite the on-going events being about police aout of control rather than riots. How so?
A depressing series of news days lately. What can make us feel good? Jon Stewart? Stephen Colbert? Star Wars? How about all three?
What epitomizes American summer more than baseball? Star Wars! Well, Star Wars + baseball:
Silly sci-fi covered in patriotism sauce? There can be only one speech we can post here:
Too good and with the finale coming up, we need to double dip:
With the finale of this season of Game of Thrones upon us, I thought this take on the theme might be a suitable Friday Nerd entry.
With the fall of Mosul to the jihadists of Syria and Iraq, there is much blame-casting to be had. Some are blaming Obama for not keeping a residual force in Iraq although it is not clear that a small US force would have kept the Iraqi military from breaking.
This always, always frustrates me because it ignores what the US faced in 2009--the accumulation of dynamics produced by the bad decisions of the past. In this case, if people remember, there were many stories where Iraqi elites said two things: yes, we want the U.S. to stay, but no, we cannot say that in public. Why?