“I think we just ought to admit we’re broke. We can’t continue to pile debt on the backs of our kids and grandkids,” said House Republican Leader John Boehner.

Where were these motherfuckers when Stoopie McFuckwit was looting trillions and trillions from the Treasury and handing it over to his corporate oligarch cronies? Oh, right. When Republican Presidents steal our money it’s “necessary to protect the American people”.

I think it is very important for each of us to take personal responsibility for geothermal tectonic activity. Eleventeen fucktillion gigajoules of magmatic energy is no match for the home-spun down-to-earth common-sense ingenuity of real hard-working Americans.

h/t Jon Swift.

Sciecewoman has an interesting post up in which she seeks advice on the question of pacing of large lecture courses:

I’m struggling with pacing in my introductory class this semester. I’ll admit that I am using powerpoint, even though I’ve been told that it is evil beyond all evil. I’m sure that there are better ways to reach ~100 students at once, but I’m not sure what they are for this introductory science course.

* * *

[H]ow do I strike the right balance between keeping class moving so as not to bore the heck out of the good students, while going slow enough that I don’t overwhelm the slow-note-takers or can’t-write-while-listening people?

Here are Comrade PhysioProf’s thoughts:

(1) The good students are the ones to focus on, as they have a chance of actually mastering the material. You are making a horrible mistake by allowing less-competent students to derail the class by indulging their requests for you to return to slides you have already covered. These less-competent students are probably never going to master the material anyway. Teach to the top 25% of your class, and the rest will just have to figure out a way to get what they can out of the course.

(2) Aiming classroom pedagogy at the top 25% of students is the correct thing to do. I’d much rather have some less-competent students have more difficulty than have some more-competent students not be given the opportunity to learn as much as possible. If they are sufficiently motivated, the less-competent students can get help from the TAs.

(3) For a one-hour lecture I generally have about ten slides. None of the slides have text on them. This means that there is no issue with students derailing lecture with complaints such as SciWo receives that they don’t have time to “copy down” text from slides.

(4) My lectures are not at all a recitation of facts for transcription and memorization. Rather, they are designed to provide the students with appropriate conceptual frameworks for understanding the facts that they should be gleaning from their textbook. The actual volume of notetaking in my lectures should be very modest. If you are giving lectures that demand large volumes of notetaking, you are doing it wrong.

Baseball Shit

February 23, 2009

Pete Rose was interviewed by Michael Kay yesterday about the A-Rod situation. As usual, Rose used the platform to complain about the fact that he is still barred from the Hall of Fame. Some have argued that Rose–who was banned from baseball for betting on baseball games and, in particular, on his own teams games–committed a much more heinous offense than steroid users. On the other hand, there is no evidence that Rose ever bet against his own team, and so it could be argued that his actions never influenced play on the field, unlike the actions of steroid users.

Here’s a couple of question for Comrade PhysioProf’s readers:

(1) Should Rose be allowed to be voted into the Hall of Fame? Should proven steroid users be allowed in the Hall of Fame and should their stats in the record books be (a) disallowed, (b) adjusted, or (c) asterisked?

(2) Is it possible to draw a moral distinction between Rose’s offense and using steroids? If so, how should that distinction be drawn?

(3) How fucking degenerate a gambler do you have to be to bet on motherfucking baseball games?

Amanda has a detailed take down of a particular “evolutionary psychology” “study” yesterday that really makes clear that the motivation for this crapola is apologetics for misogyny. Here broader point–other than the specific takedown–is as follows:

[T]hese are troubling indicators that armchair evo psych “theories” about how women are biologically inferior to men have become so ingrained in our consciousness, that half-baked pseudo-science evolutionary just-so stories don’t have to be made up at all.  Gender essentialist stories are now written, and the audience is free to assume that the measured trends are DNA-based and have no relationship to social conditioning at all.

As someone whose career is based on the reality of biological evolution, this “evo psych” arrant bullshit really pisses me the fuck off! There is absolutely no fucking way that we could possibly distinguish the relative contributions of genetics and environment–including social environment–to complex social/psychological behaviors like human relationships even if that distinction were itself coherent. The entire fucking fake-ass “discipline” is scientifically bankrupt, and populated solely by loser-ass “nice guy” motherfuckers who hate women because they can’t get laid.


Comrade PhysioProf wishes all his readers a Happy Motherfucking Valentine’s Day!!!111!!!ELEVENTY!1111!!!!! He will be preparing braised lamb shank and baked potatoes for him and PhysioWife as a Motherfucking Valentine’s Day dinner. And guess what we’ll be drinking!!!!!!!!!h