UD’s Jet Setting Kid Spends Today…

… at the Dublin Horse Show.

She sends this snap.

No Wonder His Holiness Looks a Little Shocked.

Wait a minute. I’m on a university board with Vinod Khosla?

The board of an academic center dedicated to global poverty and inequality??

Are you fucking kidding me?

Unfortunately for this guy, he worked at Lehman.

If he’d had a good lawyer, he’d somehow have been able to keep that from getting out. Talk about prejudicing his case.

At the very least, he needs to figure out a way to keep his ex-boss off the stand: “He did that? Good man.”

***************

He’s been eliminated as a suspect.

Pain, Patronage, and Plagiarism: Issues in Quality Control

Opioid, corruption, and plagiarism epidemics – on this blog, we do the university angle on these endemic elements of social life.

*************

So there’s the provocative new paper offering evidence that the lower ranked your medical school, the more likely you are to prescribe lots of opioids. Although some observers have noted gaps in the evidence-gathering (the paper’s authors have responded to the criticism), the paper’s conclusion seems to ol’ UD pretty sound – not because less-burnished grads are less intelligent, but because their patient load is liable to be larger, tempting them to save time by tossing OxyContin about; and because UD suspects foreign-born/foreign-educated doctors are easier to intimidate/fool.

*************

You can’t keep a well-connected malefactor down. Park Ky-young’s friends in South Korea’s government have just appointed her chief of the Science, Technology and Innovation Office at the Ministry of Science and ICT, despite her having co-authored the study at the heart of that country’s biggest scientific fraud of modern times. You may remember the stamp (scroll down) South Korea rushed into production, showing a man in a wheelchair elatedly getting up and walking because of a professor’s exciting new stem cell work that turned out to be entirely bogus. It was a huge national embarrassment. But all is forgiven.

****************

Metaplage is UD‘s term for the act of plagiarizing from already plagiarized material. It’s the sort of viral load, call it, one expects to arise under global-pandemic copying conditions. A recent example is a local VIP (school superintendent, head of trustees at a community college, candidate for a seat on a local county commission) who plagiarized his commencement speech at the community college from a guy who plagiarized his college commencement speech from a poet who wrote this skin-crawling crawl down the alphabet.

****************

Nothing, by the way, will beat the plagiarized 2011 commencement speech given by the dean of the University of Alberta medical school. As he spoke, some students began recognizing its source and followed along word for word on their cell phones.

Architectural Digest

My striated rain forest stones arrived.

I put them on the coffee table.

***************

Outside, finally a beautiful day.

As we wait for the Chico Choppers to remember their court date…

let us recall that the object of American university fraternity sadism is usually human rather than arboreal. And let us note that no matter how far apart one fraternity culture is from another (urban Asian-American, rural non-Asian), the defining commitment uniting them is wanton viciousness toward helpless young men interested in joining their club.

This long New York Times article sensitively evokes the particularities of the immigrant culture from which many members of manslaughtering Pi Delta Psi emerge; yet how striking to see that, however diverse, these young men haze in exactly the same humiliating and sometimes homicidal way – including criminal neglect of the dying – as much more mainstream fraternities.

On May 15, three and a half years after Michael Deng’s death, [his fraternity brothers] Kwan, Lai, Lam and Wong again filed into [a] Stroudsburg [Pennsylvania] courtroom, where dark oil paintings of dead men hung on the walls, framed by dusty red drapes. Just two weeks before, eight brothers who belonged to Penn State’s Beta Theta Pi fraternity were charged with manslaughter in yet another hazing death, this one involving an 18-year-old pledge named Timothy Piazza. The similarities between the two cases — Piazza, like Deng, died after going through something called “the gauntlet” (though physical abuse was not part of the ritual) — brought out more reporters than might have been expected, and as they set up in the hallways of the courthouse, many of the questions were about Penn State.

(Not physical abuse; alcohol abuse. Piazza was basically made fatally drunk.).

One might recall here yet more cultural diversity/brutalization unity in the death of Robert Champion at FAMU… And of course one can name, over the years, yet others.

However different we Americans may be on the surface, we are apparently all one when it comes to deriving collective pleasure from abusing other people until they die.

“You can get away with the most extraordinary offenses to morality and to truth in this country if you’ll just get yourself called Reverend.”

And, Christopher Hitchens might had added, you don’t even have to go that far. Dave Bliss, notorious head basketball coach at notorious Baylor University, has been hired by yet another Christian school.

He broke rule after rule at the college level, even dragging the reputation of a murdered player through the mud, but none of that seems to matter … What are the students at Calvary Chapel Christian School supposed to think about all this? You can break every rule in the book and become synonymous with disgrace in coaching, but as long as you say you love Jesus, none of it matters?

No. They’re supposed to think that you have to say you love Jesus PLUS be a great basketball coach and none of it matters.

UD anticipates that with each new Bliss scandal and firing he’ll be hired by a Christian school with a longer name. He’s up to three adjectives at the moment – Calvary Chapel Christian – but UD has noticed that the scummier the diploma mill (these places exist to provide fake high school graduation records for athletes so they can be admitted to jockshops like Baylor), the longer and more feverishly pious its name.

So Bliss’s next stop will be Consecrated Calvary Chapel Christian School. Then Celestial Consecrated Calvary Chapel Christian School. Then Chosen Celestial Consecrated Cavalry Christian School. Then Charismatic Chosen Celestial Consecrated Cavalry Christian School. Then Chaste Charismatic Chosen Celestial Consecrated Cavalry Christian School. Then Canaan Chaste Charismatic Chosen Celestial Consecrated Cavalry Christian School.

Gearing Up for …

fall semester.

UD’s Sunday Pilgrimage: Part Two.

So UD woke up this morning and, thinking how she might frame this second part of her account of her visit yesterday to the grave of a person she never met (see post immediately below this one for Part One), she decided to let her musical mind focus hard on the visit.

To what music would her consciousness, subconscious, unconscious, take her if she set all her pistons firing in the direction of Laurie’s grave, broad sunlight, the fallen city, forgiveness, suffering?

Well, here’s where she went, instantly.

And in particular to the song’s first verse:


All of the riverboat gamblers are losing their shirts
All of the brave union soldier boys sleep in the dirt
But you know and I know there never was reason to hurt
When all of our lives were entwined to begin with

Maybe it’s not surprising that she went to that song and that singer. Steve Goodman was, like Laurie, a brilliant Jew who suffered and died before his time. And the question the song poses – Why do people hurt each other so much when their lives after all are entwined to begin with? – is right on the money. Plus of course there’s the morbid business of the brave soldiers sleeping in the dirt…

UD found herself thinking also about the “mystery” vs. “muddle” business in E M Forster’s Passage to India. If you don’t visit the grave, if you settle on all that personal history being a muddle and not a mystery, you are enabled to avoid, all your life, confrontations with that past and your part in it, and the question of whether you’ve made any progress beyond hurting and being hurt. After all, who knows. It’s all a muddle.

But if one hot summer afternoon you find yourself actually standing at the grave, reading aloud the two things that your Israeli friend Janet suggested you read, and placing on top of the gravestone one of your prized calcite-lined beach stones on which you’ve taped a thin piece of paper with these words on it —

One evening she surprised us by belting out “Amazing Grace,” every note pitch perfect.

— taken from a memorial essay two old friends of hers wrote… If you find yourself doing all of that, trying to puzzle out not only the story of this brilliant and thwarted life, this over-richness lying in a plot for the poor, but also your weird feeling that you are somehow implicated in the story (when the only thing that ever happened between me and Laurie was her replacing me in the affections of David Kosofsky), things have obviously progressed from muddle to mystery.

UD’s Sunday Pilgrimage: Part One.

It wouldn’t be a pilgrimage without obstacles,
mysteries and wrong turns, and my sister and I
had all of these today in our search for this grave.

The trip from the Beltway to Capitol Heights
in Prince George’s County Maryland was without
incident, but we missed the turn into the cemetery,
so hidden and overgrown was its entrance.

We didn’t know about the several adjacent Jewish
cemeteries in this rather forsaken corner of the
metro region, so when we took a few more turns and
came upon the National Capitol Hebrew Cemetery,
we thought this might be the place.

The layout was all wrong, though, and after
a short walk in the blazing sun we began piling
back into the car. As we left, we photographed
the back of a gravestone:

One of the caretakers there –
very nice guy in a red pickup –
asked if we needed help.

“Is there another cemetery near
here?” UD asked. “For indigents?”

He said yes and told us to follow his truck.

Seconds later, he escorted us through the gates.

*****************

Immediately the place jibed with the instructions
Phil Goldman had given me:
A hill on one side, flat land on the other, and
Laurie was buried on the left, on flat land.

This cemetery was much prettier and better kept
than the first one we saw. The ugly urban streetscape
outside its gates unsettled one, but this secluded
little space, with its rows of identical headstones
framed by oaks whose rounded crowns mirrored the
tops of the stones, instantly created a hush within and without.

*******************

All photographs Frances Eby.

It’s all Hollywood.

At the University of Southern California, it’s about illusion, and maintaining illusion. As in the top secret executive committee, composed of selected top secret trustees, that will review the illusion that was Carmen Puliafito:

“There will be a fair number of board members who are not engaged in serious decision-making,” [an experienced observer noted]. “The problem with empowering the executive committee in that manner is that a great number of trustees … are more or less in the dark. They become decorative backdrop rather than actually filling the fiduciary role. That is not a healthy situation in governance.”

To make the situation all the more absurd, the university’s president, who seems primarily responsible for maintaining Puliafito way past his unmasking as a world-historical degenerate, is himself a voting member of this committee. PAY NO ATTENTION TO THAT MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN!

*****************

Another observer writes:

“A healthy board [which this one, she strongly implies, is not] is going to ask itself: ‘Have we participated in the creation of a culture where the most egregious ethical lapses are ignored because the money is coming in?’”

Very delicate of her to state the matter in the interrogative.

Perhaps most concerning about this board is their inability to come up with more than one member (out of many) willing to respond to the Los Angeles Times’ request for a comment like a real asshole son of a bitch:


I have no interest in talking to the L.A. Times. … Just draw a line through my name.

Ronald N. Tutor! May your name be inscribed in the book of life as a blessing, for lo! Of more worth is one honest man to society and in the sight of God, than all the crowned ruffians that ever lived. Amen.

UD is visiting her grave tomorrow.

Not an old friend.

Never met her in fact.

She was a (triumphant) rival for an old boyfriend’s love. Wee UD spent some years feeling hatred for her.

And then all that youthful passion and rivalrous intensity was over and we both grew up and married (neither of us married the old boyfriend) and she became a scientist at NIH and ol’ UD, well, you know…

But though she was a golden girl with everything going for her – blistering beauty, intellectual as well as artistic brilliance, Bronx-bred cockiness – she got only half a life, and she suffered a lot. Family and health woes beset her, she died barely into her sixties, and her end was seen to by the Hebrew Free Burial Society.

It has gradually become important for UD to make a pilgrimage to her grave.

To – I suppose – make amends for the hatred UD felt for her, and to honor her exuberance and her suffering.

The man who runs her obscure resting place responded to UD‘s email and gave her directions to the place, and to her old rival’s gravestone. So that is what UD will try to do tomorrow (try, because the place is open only on Sundays for a few hours and UD suspects no one ever goes there and so maybe although it says it’s open it won’t be open) and she will write about it here.

Why Professors Tend to Be Bad Escapees.

They tend to be unable to stop doing stuff, saying stuff, creating keepsakes of their itinerary, as they – in principle – try to put more and more distance between themselves and the police. The Northwestern University microbiologist who seems to have stabbed a guy to death is on the lam; but while on the lam he has made an apology video (intended for his family, but now, one presumes, in the hands of the authorities), and has stopped by a library in Wisconsin to make a donation in the name of the guy he allegedly killed. I’m gonna guess that his next move will be suicide.

A non-academic would have made a beeline for a trailer park in upper Temagami and hunkered down there silently smoking and drinking until everyone forgot about him. He wouldn’t have made everything such a production already!

****************

UPDATE: Both suspects have surrendered in San Francisco.

Primate Behavior at the University of Washington

[The] associate director for research in the Regional Primate Research Center [at the University of Washington] … created a hostile work environment for a woman under his direct supervision because he “persistently, and for an extended period of time, made unwanted sexual comments and jokes,” and reminded her often that he could fire her. The investigator also found that [he] had a sexual relationship with another woman under his direct supervision, and that he viewed pornography on his work computer even when he was warned not to. … [He also] asked employees to solicit a prostitute for him…

The university had received complaints about [his] behavior on six separate occasions, as far back as 2006

***************

UD thanks Seelye.

****************

And if you want to know absolutely everything the big adorable lunkhead did, go here.

Bravo Birmingham

A public protest – now in its second day – outside a mosque with an FGM-friendly leader.

This is the only way you’ll end it – a combination of public protest, and punishment in the courts.

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