Weekly Meanderings, 7 May 2016

IMG_0050This professor not only listed his “visible” successes but also his “invisible” failures:

A professor at Princeton University has published a CV listing his career failureson Twitter, in an attempt to “balance the record” and encourage others to keep trying in the face of disappointment.

Johannes Haushofer, who is an assistant professor of psychology and public affairs at the university in New Jersey, posted his unusual CV on Twitter last week. The document contains sections titled Degree programs I did not get into, Research funding I did not get and Paper rejections from academic journals….

The flurry of interest led Haushofer to his crowning “meta-failure”.

“This darn CV of Failures has received way more attention that my entire body of academic work.”

The 7 worst snacks — the dietitians speak:

Speaking of “professors,” how can these guys get by with this plagiarism? Indisputable x3.

When I [Rachel] was researching the Omnibus Curriculum for my posts on Doug Wilson and Classical Christian Education, I noticed that Steve Wilkins and Randy Booth had both written essays. Wilkins and Booth were Wilson’s co-authors for two books that were pulled for plagiarism. Wondering if they had plagiarized any text in their Omnibus essays, I decided to check Wilkins’ essay on Of Plymouth Plantation by running sections of the text through a commercial plagiarism checking software. I found that portions of text were unoriginal and without citation. In other words, I found plagiarism.

I noticed that there were large text captions on the images throughout the essay. I checked a couple of those and found that there were significant amounts of text taken from other sources and not cited.

At that point, I began to wonder if other essays had similar problems. I started by looking at various image captions. I found several examples of plagiarism. I also looked at portions of essays and large text inserts as well. What follows is a representative sample of the over 100 instances of plagiarism that I found. There are examples from image captions, essay text, end notes, sessions text, and text inserts. There are many more examples that I found, and given the size of the volumes, I was not able to search everything. I would also like to note that all of the research here was done exclusively by me.

[The proper response is not to attack Rachel but to admit the truth.]

Julie Zausmer:

A journey of 411 National Park Service sites begins with a single monument.

Mikah Meyer visited the Washington Monument on Friday, just like more than 600,000 other people do every year. But for Meyer, it was especially momentous: the first stop, he says, on a three-year trip to visit every single Park Service site in the country.

In the coming months, Meyer plans to quit his two jobs, dump his possessions at his pastor’s house, move from his North Bethesda apartment to a utility van and set out to become the youngest person ever to visit all 411 Park Service sites.

The trip will take the 30-year-old Nebraska native to 25 battlefields and military sites, 19 nature preserves, 129 historical spots, 112 memorials and monuments, four scenic roadways, five national rivers, 10 national seashores and more.

“It’s not just Grand Canyon, Acadia, Yellowstone,” he said, standing at the base of the monument. “It is this whole system of things that make us Americans.”

The 1,116-day road trip he has mapped out is a spiritual quest to connect with his late father, he says. It’s also a chance to demonstrate that gay men can be outdoorsy — and to persuade youngsters glued to their smartphone screens to check out the natural beauty in their home states.

Ask Bill (Bill Hybels) speaking about ministry to the LGBT community, beginning at 19:08.


I once came home to find a quail roaming around in my den.


I had no idea how it got in the house.

Nor did I know how it had managed to climb the stairs, open the door to the den and then shut the door behind itself.

It could not have flown into the room. The only windows to the room are covered by screens.

I didn’t know what to do with a quail in the den, so I did what any thinking woman would do – I left it there until Tim came home.  He scooped up the quail and took it back to the grasslands behind the house from whence it likely came.

Tim had a pretty good idea how the quail ended up in the den: “The neighbor put him there.”

Oh. Yeah. Of course, I agreed.

The week prior to the quail in our den, I had confronted the neighbor about his speeding a four-wheeler in the fields behind the house. Such off-roading activity being illegal within city limits, which we clearly are, and because it was nesting season for the pheasants and quail that made their homes in the grasslands the neighbor was disrupting. All those babies just waiting to hatch.

Good for Addison Russell:

As the Chicago Cubs’ starting shortstop, 22-year-old Addison Russell is building a reputation as a complete ballplayer. An elite fielder with a reliable arm, Russell got two hits Wednesday to help the 20-6 Cubs sweep the Pittsburgh Pirates. Russell also has driven in 14 runs and contributed clutch, game-winning hits. But he’s missing something that first became part of his game during high school.

In the season’s home opener, Russell, playing without a wad of cancer-causing chewing tobacco in his mouth for the first time at Wrigley Field, cracked a 3-run home run that propelled his Cubs to an amazing 5-3 win.

“Which I think is awesome,” says South Barrington dentist Katina Spadoni, who is glad Russell is helping the Cubs compile the best record in baseball but uses her “awesome” to describe Chicago’s upcoming ban on smokeless tobacco at sports venues. “I think this whole ban on smokeless tobacco is a great start.”

The ban doesn’t take effect until June, but Russell, as fans might expect, got the jump on snuffing out the deadly habit. The shortstop, who tells Daily Herald Cubs beat reporter Bruce Miles that he’s chewing gum instead now, smashed a key triple in one of last week’s victories against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Smokeless tobacco causes oral, esophageal and pancreatic cancer, and it may play a key role in heart disease, gum disease and other oral lesions, according to the National Institutes of Health. Baseball Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn died in 2014 at age 54, and he blamed his salivary-gland cancer on his 20-year habit of chewing tobacco. Somewhere between a quarter and a third of MLB players still chew tobacco, according to most estimates.

Unlike cigarettes, which harm others with secondhand smoke, chewing tobacco is a self-destructive addiction. But Chicago’s ban, pushed by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, aims to protect children.

it’s OK for the city of Salem to terminate a contract on the basis of what it believes but Gordon College can’t terminate a contract on the basis of what it believes.

Gordon nevertheless faced criticism from faculty members, students and alumni who disagreed with the request, and the mayor of Salem, Mass., terminated the college’s contract to manage the city’s Old Town Hall, saying in a letter to Lindsay that he “now advocates for discrimination against the LGBT community.”

Nate Silver explains the Donald Trump phenomenon:

To me, the most surprising part of Trump’s nomination — which is to say, the part I think I got wrongest — is that Trump won the nomination despite having all types of deviations from conservative orthodoxy. He seemed wobbly on all parts of Reagan’s three-legged stool: economic policy (he largely opposes free trade and once advocated for a wealth tax and single-payer health care), social policy (consider his constant flip-flopping over abortion), and foreign policy (he openly mocked the Bush administration’s handling of the Iraq War, which is still fairly popular among Republicans).

Previous insurgent Republicans, such as the tea party candidates of 2010 and 2012, had run both as “anti-establishment” candidates and as more conservative than their rivals. Trump kept the anti-establishment branding, although this was also a selling point for Cruz, who often ran neck-and-neck with Trump among voters who said they felt “betrayed” by the Republican Party in exit polls.

But whereas Cruz offered a mix of anti-establishment-ism and movement conservatism — and whereas Marco Rubio offered movement conservatism plus a strong claim to electability — Trump’s main differentiator was doubling-down on cultural grievance: grievances against immigrants, against Muslims, against political correctness, against the media, and sometimes against blacks and women. And the strategy worked. It’s a point in favor of those who see politics as being governed by cultural identity — a matter of seeking out one’s “tribe” and fitting in with it — as opposed to carefully calibrating one’s position on a left-right spectrum.

What’s much harder to say is whether Trump is a one-off — someone who defied the odds because a lot of things broke in his favor, and whose success will be hard to repeat — or if he signifies a fundamental change in American politics. Trump hasn’t brought success to a wave of tea party candidates in gubernatorial and Senate primaries; in Indiana, in fact, the same voters who elected Trump also gave establishment-friendly U.S. Rep. Todd Young a 67-33 victory in the state’s senatorial primary over the tea-party-aligned Marlin Stutzman. And the Democrats have had a relatively orderly nomination process. Still, it’s hard to imagine that American politics will ever be quite the same after this. [HT: LNMM]

Jennifer Van Allen:

Given that Michael Wardian had multiple pelvic stress fractures and sports hernias, one would think that his rehab would have involved a lot of quality time on the couch.

But it was just the opposite. Although Wardian, a professional runner, didn’t run for three months, he biked, hiked, walked and aqua-jogged his way back to health.

“I wanted to maintain my fitness,” said Wardian, 41, of Arlington, a 2:17 marathoner and a veteran of 150 marathons and ultramarathons. “I asked detailed questions about what I could do instead of what I could not do. And I did those things at great length and with vigor.”

Wardian may be an elite, but his treatment regime — which involved staying as active as possible during rehab — is now routine for injured athletes of all levels of fitness.

In the past, ailments such as stress fractures, IT band syndrome, plantar fasciitis and runner’s knee were typically treated with rest, ice and over-the-counter painkillers. But this approach only compromised hard-earned fitness and deprived the injured of the emotional benefits of exercise when they needed it most. What’s more, it kept runners, triathletes and other athletes stuck in a cycle of chronic injury.

Jim Martin on the charmer, the bully and the church.

Years ago, I noticed that the spouses of such men often thought the husbands were highly intelligent and they (the wives) perceived themselves to be not as smart, lower in intelligence, lacking in common sense, etc.

The truth is that such men are often juvenile, self-absorbed, and completely lacking in empathy for other people. While these men may be very connected in a congregation, they do not display spiritual maturity, godly character, or any sense of graciousness with others.  They reveal their immaturity not their maturity.

The reality is that such a person’s spouse and children are cherished by God even if this person doesn’t cherish them. After all, it is the Father who determines our value and worth not another. Even though such a person might work to  drain his spouse and children of any sense of self-worth, he cannot alter their true worth.  Our true worth is determined by the Father, not another. In his eyes, each one of us has great value.  See Matthew 6:25-34 where Jesus reminds us of just how valuable we really are in the eyes of God.

Helping young men grow up into responsibility … good guys here:

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – A group of young men committed to helping others is aspiring for bigger and better things.

With every blade of grass, a lesson is being learned. Respect, responsibility and how to be a role model. “We teach them how to cut grass, we teach them the importance of being men,” says Rodney Smith, Co-Founder of Raising Men Lawn Care Service.

So far, they’re mentoring 15 boys in the program. “It can keep kids away from idle hands. When they have nothing to do, they tend to find themselves in trouble,” says co-founder Terrance Sprot.

They’re taking it upon themselves to create something better within their community. “When you’re doing something from the heart outside of yourself, these kids actually see a sense of self-worth they probably couldn’t get anywhere else,” says Sprot.

Meanwhile, people who applaud their work are hoping to have their charitable act of cutting grass featured on the Ellen Show.

Because Raising Men Lawn Care isn’t just about the kids; they’re also giving back to the community by mowing the lawns of single moms, and the elderly, free of charge. “It’s expensive and a lot of them can’t afford it,” says Smith.

Disaster relief can be disastrous:

When Nature grows savage and angry, Americans get generous and kind. That’s admirable. It might also be a problem.

“Generally after a disaster, people with loving intentions donate things that cannot be used in a disaster response, and in fact may actually be harmful,” said Juanita Rilling, director of the Center for International Disaster Information in Washington, D.C. “And they have no idea that they’re doing it.”

Rilling has spent more than a decade trying to tell well-meaning people to think before they give.

In 1998 Hurricane Mitch struck Honduras. More than 11,000 people died. More than a million and a half were left homeless.

And Rilling got a wake-up call: “Got a call from one of our logistics experts who said that a plane full of supplies could not land, because there was clothing on the runway. It’s in boxes and bales. It takes up yards of space. It can’t be moved.’ ‘Whose clothing is it?’ He said, ‘Well, I don’t know whose it is, but there’s a high-heeled shoe, just one, and a bale of winter coats.’ And I thought, winter coats? It’s summer in Honduras.”

Humanitarian workers call the crush of useless, often incomprehensible contributions “the second disaster.”

In 2004, following the Indian Ocean tsunami, a beach in Indonesia was piled with used clothing.

There was no time for disaster workers to sort and clean old clothes. So the contributions just sat and rotted.

“This very quickly went toxic and had to be destroyed,” said Rilling. “And local officials poured gasoline on it and set it on fire. And then it was out to sea.”

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