Intimacy Coordinator

The [staff of the film Halston included] an intimacy co-ordinator, which [star Ewan] McGregor felt was an especially important development for young female actors…

With the intimacy co-ordinator, he says, “It’s literally like, ‘Are you happy to have your bum touched?’, ‘Are you happy for somebody to put their hand on your chest?’ ‘Are you going to kiss with tongues?’”

“[Community Health Systems] made $511 million in net income last year, a big swing after four straight years of annual losses. That strong financial result led to the company’s top executives earning millions of dollars worth of bonuses …”

And I’m sure we’re very happy CHS did so well (its CEO made $9.1 mill ), though when you read the fine print it turns out they did it through a wily combination of government handouts and suing – during a pandemic – patients who couldn’t pay their bills.

These sorts of suits are such a disgusting practice that almost no other hospital chain files them.

CNN interviewed more than a dozen people sued by CHS hospitals. Most said they had tried to communicate with the company’s lawyers, collections agents or the hospitals directly and found them unresponsive or unwilling to agree to a settlement they could afford.

Dr. Marty Makary, a Johns Hopkins University professor who has studied hospital lawsuits around the country, said CHS was far more litigious than most hospital groups, and that the company’s financial aid policy didn’t go nearly far enough. “It’s like Marie Antoinette saying, ‘if somebody came to me begging for food, I would give them cake,'” Makary said. “It’s completely blind to the relentless, aggressive, predatory nature of debt collection on the ground.”

(One simple form of self-defense for some patients involves checking yourself out of the hospital. “[A patient being sued] said in an interview that his bill came after the hospital kept him longer than he had wanted.” You’re almost always free to leave a hospital when you want to – check out the AMA option. If you feel comfortable doing it, you’ll save yourself thousands of dollars, and spend less time living cheek by jowl with those pesky hospital-borne infections.)

The Casement Diaries

Two pics of the little buggers caught in the act of molting. One from UD‘s backyard, one from the front.

Enlarge this! Too cool!
Little bugger leaves his case on a solar lamp and climbs down to his reproductive doom.
But we wouldn’t want to raise taxes on this demographic.

Listing agent Dan Dockray of LIV Sotheby’s International Realty said [Tom Cruise’s $39.5 million Telluride Colorado] property was actually in contract within roughly the first week. “It all really depended on who had their Gulfstream warming up on the tarmac to get out there first,” said his colleague Eric Lavey, who also worked on the deal.

Groundhog in the Bedroom!

Well, not exactly in the bedroom; but late this morning as I sat in bed news-scrolling, I looked through the sliding glass doors to the garden to see a very big mammal of some sort staring at me. I mean, quite big. Perched on a paver among the lavender and bee balms. We looked at each other for a few seconds, after which the thing trundled off, dark flat tail trailing… A hurried Google search turned up this helpful graphic

on which my choices were American Beaver, Muskrat, and Groundhog. I went with Door Number Three and then of course read about what a spectacular garden pest it is, etc., etc. Again consulting the poster, and trying to put it in perspective, I concluded that a bear would have been worse.
The Gory that was Greeks

We’ll be seeing a lot of these valedictories: Bloomsburg University has just shut down its entire Greek system. Typical reason: A dead freshman and a big ol’ lawsuit.

“I used to work as a bartender. These are the kinds of people that I threw out of bars all the time.”

Marjorie Taylor Greene makes Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez nostalgic.


One Injured After Hummer Stockpiling Gasoline Cans Bursts Into Flames In Florida

Terrible Twos, American-Style!

2-Year-Old Shoots Both Parents after Finding Gun in Maine Home

University President Resigns Due to Excessive Weirdness

Who knows why the University of South Carolina president, addressing a proud contingent of students and parents on an important day, referred to the students as lucky graduates of the University of California? Who knows why he for the third time (reportedly) recycled in this speech a plagiarized paragraph from a speech by a famous Navy Seal? Who knows why (according to some observers) he slurred his words throughout?

I don’t know why. But let me speculate about Bob Caslen, who has now resigned. Let me begin with the psychoanalyst Adam Phillips:

These are parts of ourselves – that don’t want to live, that hate our children, that want ourselves to fail. Freud is saying there is something strange about humans: they are recalcitrant to what is supposed to be their project.

I think anyone reviewing Caslen’s odd behaviors (which, according to some, predate this speech) would want to entertain the possibility that he hates his job (the university bestowed it unwillingly; he has been an unpopular president) and wants out; but rather than grasp that fact forthrightly (a military man, he has always done his duty) he has at it were allowed his unconscious to have its way with his situation. He has allowed his recalcitrance to what is supposed to be his project to emerge, and USC got the message.


For a wee bit more insight into the whole “unconscious” thing, consider the fact that in Donald Trump the USA experienced its first president with no apparent unconscious. He lost an election and this made him mad; to get the election back he sent a mob to the Capitol to kill his vice president (who made him mad), take out the Congress, destroy democracy, and get back what he wanted. When desperate allies called him from the besieged building, he blew them off and went back to enjoying the riot’s tv footage. Now THAT’S having no unconscious. Recalcitrant to his project? Just like Ubu the King, Trump was happily blowing up the world to achieve his project.

But this is very rare. Outside of select psychopaths, most everyone has an unconscious.

“[F]emales can grow to lengths of 24 inches while males only grow to be about an inch long.”

The sole purpose of the male fish is to help a female reproduce, reads the post. “Males latch onto the female with their teeth and become ‘sexual parasites,’ eventually coalescing with the female until nothing is left of their form but their testes for reproduction,” reads the post.

The University of Miami Medical School: A Lasting Legacy of Sleaze

With its latest accomplishment – caught by the feds stealing gobs of money in a wide range of inventive and patient-anguishing/bankrupting ways – UM Med maintains its national position as America’s most corrupt medical school ever. With a rogues’ gallery of leaders and doctors, the school has, over decades, enriched itself in ways so deeply and consistently depraved that at some point you have to grant it grudging credit for having utterly transformed a place of healing into an abattoir. The state of Florida is to be sure already the USA’s epicenter of elderly people and medical fraud; it took decades of clever planning and moral squalor for UM to make itself the epicenter of the epicenter.

“Tens of billions of dollars are lost annually to fraud, waste and abuse, and Miami is the Medicare fraud capital of the United States,” [the whistleblower’s attorney] said. “Today’s announced settlement and the schemes described in the DOJ press release are ironic considering they were committed by an iconic South Florida institution under the leadership of the former Secretary of Health and Human Services [the appalling Donna Shalala], the very agency that promulgated the Medicare rules that were violated.”

Wanna know exactly what they did? Details here.

News from Trump Country

After referring to his institution as the University of California in this year’s commencement speech, the president of the University of South Carolina plagiarized, verbatim, a paragraph about personal ethics.


How do you achieve this outcome?

Let’s put aside things like a drop of the hard stuff. Without that it seems pretty unaccountable, no?

Here’s what UD figures, FWIW:

Like many busy people, the president of the University of South Carolina has a squad of speechwriters. Here perhaps are the two things that went wrong:

  1. He mentioned to one of them that he liked this one quotation a lot, and it seemed real pertinent, so could the ghostwriter work it in. Sure, boss. Only the ghostwriter (who may have been a student) stuck it in without attribution.
  2. I’m gonna go with an overly obliging spellcheck on the California thingie. Student’s typing the speech real fast and misses the fact that after she puts down the letters University of Ca the app figures she means California and helpfully fills that in for her. As to why the president went ahead and read California – that’s an easy one, eh? He’s never seen a word of the speech before delivering it, and he’s on automatic pilot, paying very little attention to what he’s saying, thinking mainly about the reception right after the speech… … …
Casing the Joint

Cicadas are leaving their encasements all over UD‘s garden this morning.

Things are happening fast.

Scenes From the Inserection

[Diane] Andrews and her friend Lee Jenkins, a hair stylist, said they joined the crowd “storming the Capitol” but insisted most protesters were peaceful and didn’t deserve to be charged. The women said they had considered entering the building too, but decided not to because they feared the tear gas would aggravate Jenkins’ asthma.

After they returned to Texas, Jenkins’ Twitter account was removed. FBI agents interviewed Andrews at her home several times, she said. Neither woman was charged.

Photos Andrews had posted online were circulated. Although Jenkins — whose business had just reopened after the pandemic lockdown — lost some liberal clients, she said she gained conservative ones, as did Andrews, who works as a dominatrix.

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