BREAKING NEWS: As we speak, a WARNING: CHILDREN ON SEESAWS sign is being installed in front of UD’s house.

La Kid’s Co-Workers…

… provide her with a birthday balloon during a case team pirate-themed murder mystery party. (La Kid figured out the murderer.)

Thank God we finally have…

… an “adequate supply” of AR-15s for the general population here. When Colt announced it was discontinuing them, UD worried that there might still be inadequately supplied pockets of America; but Colt assures us that it has carpeted the country in consumer rifles and will now concentrate exclusively on the “military and law enforcement.”

I guess I should believe them, but I’m concerned that my own little town of Garrett Park, for instance, may not in fact have its quota of semi-automatic rifles in case of guerilla warfare or a fascist overthrow.

Note to UD: Talk to the mayor.

There’s another problem with what Colt has done. Right now the weapons advantage seems on the side of the criminal and the insane; won’t this new policy shift the balance?


The ‘culture problem’ at MIT boils over.

Or whatever.

UD will cop to being a passionate voyeur of Israel’s ultraorthodox madmen.

She loves the mad things they say, the mad things they do – in airplanes, on city streets, in schools, at archeological sites… She has been able to count on them for madcap anti-democratic action lo all these years.

Nor does she think the very bad outcome for them in the latest Israeli election will stop them from wrapping themselves in cellophane on jetliners or spitting at insufficiently orthodox eight year old girls and calling them whores, etc., etc. After all, God calls them to this behavior.

No, now that they’re cornered by a secular country that hates them, UD expects the ultras to go positively batshit with rage and paranoia.

But, as one observer points out, the election results have thrown a wrench in Bibi’s effort to shut down Israel’s Supreme Court (“Netanyahu does not have the votes to get himself a government that will … tinker with the Supreme Court“), which means that the extreme and endemic law-breaking of the ultras will be punished. And that will be fun to watch too.

‘They said that she would vanish for 30 to 45 minutes per class to “meditate.”’

LOeffingL. UD, as you know if you read her blog, loves to chronicle the shit some professors do in class in order not to bother teaching at all. A long list of guest speakers is a perennial favorite, as is PowerPoint, which enables you to stand there for an hour staring down at and mumbling aloud someone else’s words. There’s the popular show a movie scam. Having students give papers and presentations all the time is also great for filling up that big ol’ néant which is your class period. There’s send students out to interview the homeless in the park across the street. There’s have students organize into small groups and talk among themselves. Truly ballsy fuckoffs just go ahead and cancel most of their classes.

Vanishing to meditate for half the class is a new one on UD and she adores it and must give props to this NYU prof (NYU: you figure her students are paying a fortune) whose… uh… methods were so scandalous that the class wrote the school a letter of complaint. The bit about meditating in private to while away the irritating hour of human contact is amazing – it’s much better than the classic I’ve got to take this half-hour-long cell phone call just talk amongst yourselves because it’s … you know… this urgent mystical deep practice we all respect… MUCH better than a cell phone call.

‘Frum Parties in Panic’

UD‘s favorite headline so far from Israel’s close election.

Fun and Games near Colorado State University…

… with everything a 22-year-old pisher needs to own to make an evening special:

[A] military-style AR-15 carbine, a Remington pump-action shotgun, a Springfield .45-caliber handgun and a Glock 34 9 mm semi-automatic handgun with a mounted flashlight and 17-round magazine.

But that’s not all: Tequila!

[One roommate,] who started drinking earlier in the day, took four shots. [The other] drank six shots.

They were playing, or whatever, with all these toys and one of them, a 21-year-old CSU student, ended up dead on a bed who knows how? A night of madness that turned to sadness much too soon.

Birth Control in Tarrant County, Texas

The parents of a 4-year-old boy who was fatally shot Sunday, apparently by his sibling, won’t face charges, police said… The child was one of three who were shot Sunday in Tarrant County. Arlington police were investigating two shootings — a 6-year-old boy who was shot in the head by his brother and an 8-year-old girl who was wounded in what police were investigating as an accident.


As usual, everything’s better in Texas! Took Indianapolis eleven days to shoot three kids.

Strangest Use of Tragedy/Farce Cliche.

Marx said that history repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce. Fittingly, the titans of the fruit industry did not do anything progressive that would have made the Cavendish [banana] more resistant to disease — aside from dumping more pesticides on it.

A la recherche du temps…


What if they gave a $20 million coach …

and nobody came?

The University as Tinpot Dictatorship

There aren’t that many of these, and most of them are religious institutions. Yeshiva University has long been the standout, ruling over its students (especially its women) with an iron morality fist (would you expect any less from a school whose behavioral models have included Bernard Madoff, Ezra Merkin, Ira Rennert, and Zygi Wilf?). In 2011, when a woman student published a sex survey, she immediately lost her housing scholarship. Around the same time, another woman student published a short story with mild sexual content in a campus publication. The paper was shut down. AND sex filters were imposed on all male students’ computers. Not females’ of course! Because females don’t read… or, uh… write about sex.

And there’s the curiously named Liberty University, whose duce has generated lots of news copy lately. UD thinks The Onion captures the situation there best.

The other source of tinpottery is the southern jock school whose Dear Leader knows when you are sleeping. He knows when you’re awake. He knows when you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness’ sake! U Alabam’s Shahanshah Nick Saban has been in a snit because his subjects don’t go to the blowout football games (they’re always like 70 – 0) he puts on for their entertainment, or if they go they get bored and leave early… and then you know, out in tvland, viewers all over the country see them empty seats and Saban’s embarrassed etc. So the school now tracks its students’ movements:

Alabama is taking an extraordinary, Orwellian step: using location-tracking technology from students’ phones to see who skips out and who stays.

You better not be in the fucking library when you’ve been told to sit on a bleacher in 100 degree heat for hours of grinding nothingness!

But just as in other Orwellian regimes the population rebels, so in ‘Bama, the frat boys have been identified as the avant-garde of the resistance:

[It will] not be long before pledges are conscripted to hold caches of phones until the fourth quarter so their fraternity brothers [can] leave early.

Plenty of precedent for this, mes petites. Remember clickers?


UD thanks Dave.


The failing NASCAR (to use whozit’s favorite phrase for the New York Times)** seems to have decided that big scary ads for AR-15s and AK-47s are alienating the few people left at their races, and the gunnies is pissed, man. Sandwiched between images of huge tits and dead-eye snipers, this editorial is way steamed about NASCAR’s sudden rejection of assault rifle ads this racing season – and if you put this together with Beto’s thing and the letter all them corporate leaders sent to the Senate, things are looking a bit on the shitty side for those who like to pretend they are part of the Tet offensive.

** NASCAR’s failing cuz it’s boring when no one dies. (“Pretty soon there will be 50mph speed limiters, mandatory turn signal usage, and spring loaded bounce bumpers. NASCAR has become a joke.”)

She was begging for it.

Richard Stallman, the computer scientist best known for his role in the free software movement… [argues that MIT professor and AI pioneer Marvin Minsky] had not actually assaulted [Virginia Giuffre, when she was seventeen and he was in his seventies]. Stallman insists that the “most plausible scenario” is that Epstein’s underage victims were “entirely willing” while being trafficked.

In a viral video, Stallman and a buddy were recently filmed at a bar.

Next Page »

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Dr. Bernard Carroll, known as the "conscience of psychiatry," contributed to various blogs, including Margaret Soltan's University Diaries, for which he sometimes wrote limericks under the name Adam.
New York Times

George Washington University English professor Margaret Soltan writes a blog called University Diaries, in which she decries the Twilight Zone-ish state our holy land’s institutes of higher ed find themselves in these days.
The Electron Pencil

It’s [UD's] intellectual honesty that makes her blog required reading.
Professor Mondo

There's always something delightful and thought intriguing to be found at Margaret Soltan's no-holds-barred, firebrand tinged blog about university life.

You can get your RDA of academic liars, cheats, and greedy frauds at University Diaries. All disciplines, plus athletics.
truffula, commenting at Historiann

Margaret Soltan at University Diaries blogs superbly and tirelessly about [university sports] corruption.

University Diaries. Hosted by Margaret Soltan, professor of English at George Washington University. Boy is she pissed — mostly about athletics and funding, the usual scandals — but also about distance learning and diploma mills. She likes poems too. And she sings.
Dissent: The Blog

[UD belittles] Mrs. Palin's degree in communications from the University of Idaho...
The Wall Street Journal

Professor Margaret Soltan, blogging at University Diaries... provide[s] an important voice that challenges the status quo.
Lee Skallerup Bessette, Inside Higher Education

[University Diaries offers] the kind of attention to detail in the use of language that makes reading worthwhile.
Sean Dorrance Kelly, Harvard University

Margaret Soltan's ire is a national treasure.
Roland Greene, Stanford University

The irrepressibly to-the-point Margaret Soltan...
Carlat Psychiatry Blog

Margaret Soltan, whose blog lords it over the rest of ours like a benevolent tyrant...
Perplexed with Narrow Passages

Margaret Soltan is no fan of college sports and her diatribes on the subject can be condescending and annoying. But she makes a good point here...
Outside the Beltway

From Margaret Soltan's excellent coverage of the Bernard Madoff scandal comes this tip...
Money Law

University Diaries offers a long-running, focused, and extremely effective critique of the university as we know it.
Anthony Grafton, American Historical Association

The inimitable Margaret Soltan is, as usual, worth reading. ...
Medical Humanities Blog

I awake this morning to find that the excellent Margaret Soltan has linked here and thereby singlehandedly given [this blog] its heaviest traffic...
Ducks and Drakes

As Margaret Soltan, one of the best academic bloggers, points out, pressure is mounting ...
The Bitch Girls

Many of us bloggers worry that we don’t post enough to keep people’s interest: Margaret Soltan posts every day, and I more or less thought she was the gold standard.
Tenured Radical

University Diaries by Margaret Soltan is one of the best windows onto US university life that I know.
Mary Beard, A Don's Life

[University Diaries offers] a broad sense of what's going on in education today, framed by a passionate and knowledgeable reporter.
More magazine, Canada

If deity were an elected office, I would quit my job to get her on the ballot.
Notes of a Neophyte