House Hearing on UFOs

For the first time in fifty years, a public Congressional hearing on UFOs is taking place. You can watch the proceedings (along with a transcript) here.

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The Ponderings of Provosts

The 2022 Survey of College and University Chief Academic Officers has just been released. The musings cover a vast array of questions/concerns ranging from student outcomes to the value of a liberal education.

Among the key findings:

Provosts Who Believe Their Institutions Are ‘Very Effective’ At …

Category% Who Answer ‘Very Effective’
Providing a quality undergraduate education65%
Preparing students for the world of work52%
Offering undergraduate support services45%
Using data to inform campus decision making32%
Identifying and assessing student outcomes39%
Recruiting and retaining talented faculty22%
Controlling rising prices for students and families31%

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Documents in the News: Educational Inequality

This NBER (National Bureau of Economic Research) working paper investigates the socio-economic gaps that foster such great disparities in educational attainment, work success, and higher education. Comparisons with wealthy, first-world countries form a main focal point within this study that has conducted an extensive literature review. The ending paragraph is revealing:

Our survey has focused on evidence on educational inequality in high-income economies. Yet, the majority of the world’s children live in low- and middle income countries where, given generally lower living standards, the consequences of inequality can be even more marked. While most of the issues discussed here apply to these settings, additional factors to consider include the role of child
labor, nutrition, and the varying quality of formal education. Much work remains to be done to examine the causes and consequences of educational inequality on a global scale. (96)

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Read the 2022 Hugo Awards Finalists for Novelette and Short Story

Novelette:

Colors of the Immortal Palette (Uncanny Magazine);

Bots of the Lost Ark (Clarkesworld);

L’Esprit de L’Escalier (tor.com);

O2 Arena (Apex Magazine);

That Story Isn’t the Story (Uncanny Magazine);

Unseelie Brothers, Ltd (Uncanny Magazine)

Short Story:

Mr. Death (Apex Magazine);

Proof by Induction (Uncanny Magazine);

The Sin of America (Uncanny Magazine);

Tangles (magic.wizards.com);

Unknown Number (Twitter);

Where Oaken Hearts Do Gather (Uncanny Magazine)

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Read the 2021 Nebula Awards Finalists Online

You can read the finalists for both short story and novelette here. The awards will be announced on May 21, 2022.

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National Security Reports – April 2022 Update

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Women in the Labor Force: [2022] Databook

Containing statistics, charts, figures current through 2020, this databook dives into all the various components: educational attainment, earnings, hours of work across multiple employment sectors. Previous databooks can be accessed here.

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Another New Neighbor for NJCU

This 365-unit building will be astride Culver Avenue. The next few years are going to be quite interesting around here!

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Online NJCU Catalogs

NJCU has posted backruns of its catalogs. The undergraduate catalogs go back to 2011, while the graduate catalogs start at 2013. They are available in both pdf and html versions. Please remember that there are no longer print versions of the current catalogs, but the Library contains extensive holdings of prior catalogs in print in its archival collection.

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Special Features from the “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences”

“Special Features in PNAS are curated collections of articles that explore significant topics in areas of interest to PNAS readers and make important contributions to the science and literature.” Many of these are interdisciplinary in nature and explore such diverse topics as Dynamics of Political Polarization to Antimicrobial Resistance and the Role of Vaccines. The articles in each topical collection are buttressed with charts, graphs, figures, and a bibliography; in many cases, the articles are accompanied by prompts leading to additional readings that were published after these special issues were disseminated.

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The Ukranian Invasion: Selected Writings

From War on the Rocks comes UNDERSTANDING THE RUSSO-UKRAINIAN WAR: A GUIDE FROM WAR ON THE ROCKS, a carefully chosen listing of relevant articles from this site ranging from strategy and military balance to history. The vast majority of these pieces are freely available for reading; the list will be updated on a regular basis.

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Glossary of Cyberattack Terms

We read about these terms everyday, but do we know what they actually mean outside of the fact that they do damage? Peruse this list for some guidance.

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On April 12, 1861 – The Civil War Begins

Here is a brief introduction to this event that provides contextual information.

Here are hundreds of newspapers describing the literal opening salvo of the Civil War. Here are images of Fort Sumter from contemporary sources. One of the finest, complete diaries of the Civil War, that of Mary Chestnut, describes the attack on the fort.

As the attack took place on April 16, Congress was not in session, but President Lincoln convened a special session of Congress on July 4 and called for the mobilization of 75,000 men. (Congressional Globe, July 8, 1861).

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Ukrainian Art

A nice introduction will be found at the Encyclopedia of Ukraine site. You might also benefit from perusing Ukainian Moderism, a special double issue of the Harvard Ukrainian Studies.

Some pieces of Ukrainian art can be found here and see what the Museum of Modern Art contains. Google Arts and Culture presents various pieces from Ukranian collections.

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Translated Ukrainian Poetry

Part of Putin’s excuse for invading Ukraine is to “rescue” Russian speakers from the dominance of the Ukrainian language. Of course, that is absurd, but if you want to get a feel for the poetry of Ukraine you can visit these sites: Ukrainian Translations (Yara Arts Group); New Ukrainian Poetry (Literary Hub); Songs of Ukrania with Ruthenian Poems (1916); and This is How I Get Well (1978).

Here is an appropriate piece:

LIBRARY
by Yuri Andrukhovych, 1989

we search for the most esoteric knowledge
climb ladders to reach the highest sections in the stacks
rummage through the shelves with spiders
raising clouds of dust
that hover near the ceiling
we hold our breath and
barely keep our balance
like aerialists
as we dive into the thickest tomes
without the slightest hope of ever emerging
books swallow us up like the sea
we grab onto carved overhangs
and somehow manage to stay afloat
then when we lose our strength
breathless and covered with plaster
we seem to find
in the thicket of leather bindings and hard-covers
pressed against the wall
the small warm
nest
of a simple swallow

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AAUP 2021-2022 Faculty Compensationn Survey

Well over nine hundred institutions contributed data to this survey. The results can be sorted various ways: by salary, gender, tenure, medical benefits, retirement benefits.

Key findings reveal that:

  • Average salaries for all full-time faculty members increased 2.0 percent, one of the smallest increases on record since the AAUP began tracking this measure in 1972.
  • Real average salaries decreased 5.0 percent, after adjusting for inflation, representing the greatest decrease in real wage growth decreased since the 1979–80 academic year. (The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, or CPI-U, increased 7.0 percent in 2021 and 12.5 percent in 1979.)

This appendix contains faculty compensation arranged by state and then by institution.

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Women in Legislatures Around the World

While nowhere near representing their percentage of the world’s population, women are making progress, albeit very slowly: “Over a 20-year period, the percentage of seats held by women in national legislatures has risen worldwide from 14.2% in March 2002 to 26.1% in March 2022.” This statistics is found on page seven of Women in National Governments Around the Globe: Fact Sheet from the Congressional Research Service, updated April 4, 2022. This document is replete with figures and charts detailing the increased participation of women in legislatures.

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Resources on Genocide

The harrowing pictures and witness testimonies emanating from Ukraine have given impetus for the prosecution of Putin and his generals for crimes against humanity. Here are some pertinent sites:

War Crimes: A Primer (CRS, March 15, 2022); The Role of International Tribunals in the Response to the Invasion of Ukraine (CRS, updated March 18, 2022);

The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (United Nations, adopted December 9, 1948);

Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (in force, July 1, 2002); Role of the International Criminal Court (Council on Foreign Relations, updated March 28, 2022);

Summary Executions, Other Grave Abuses by Russian Forces (Human Rights Watch, April 3, 2022);

Genocide (Cornell, Legal Information Institute);

Genocide (Encyclopedia Britannica, updated January 14, 2020); and

Legal articles on genocide (retrieved from bepress Legal Repository).

Why countries may be relunctant to prosecute for genocide is examied in this interview with Kelebogile Zvobgo, assistant professor of government at William and Mary and director of the International Justice Lab. The difficulties in bringing charges are also discussed in How do you define genocide? (BBC, April 4, 2022).

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Are We Finally Done with Snow in New Jersey?

You might think that we would have put snow behind us, but this informative article from n.j.com, replete with documented evidence, will quickly disabuse you of that thought. New Jersey has seen snow as late as May 10!

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“Black Sea Studies”

This series is an open access collection of monographs, the vast majoority in English, that center around the ancient history/archaeology of the Black Sea region. Because of current events, these tomes provide insight into such areas as Crimea with featured authors hailing from various countries, including Ukraine.

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