The Secret To Creating Excellent Content Everyday

Writing good content, like anything else, requires proper research, planning, and execution. A prepared writer can implement a system to prevent writer’s block. Katie’s article, “The Prepared Writer’s Process for Creating Excellent Content Every Day” published on Coppyblogger shares a few tips to help prevent writer’s block and produce new content everyday. One useful tip …

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Evangelicals and Gay Marriage

PEW study of Christian Attitudes toward Gay Marriage There is an article in Politico today about changing views on gay marriage among Evangelicals. Evangelicals are often seen as monolithic by those who do not share their religious views (such as myself) but, like nearly all groups, this view is inaccurate. Evangelicals vary in their attitudes …

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Goodbye Mr. Chips

My apologies to the legions of readers in my national and international audience, but the Thornapple blog is going local this week. We’re waving goodbye to a longstanding food institution in East Lansing: Goodrich’s Shop-Rite. Although Goodrich’s won’t be closing their doors until later this week, there were only three cans of chili left when …

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Minds and Machines

HLMI = ‘high–level machine intelligence’ = one that can carry out most human professions at least as well as a typical human. I’m more pessimistic than the average researcher in the poll. My 95 percent confidence interval has earliest HLMI about 50 years from now, putting me at ~ 80-90th percentile in this group as …

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On information seeking report

The Project Information Literacy released their research report titled “Lessons Learned: How College Students Seek Information in the Digital Age” in 2009.  The PDF report can be found at http://projectinfolit.org/pdfs/PIL_Fall2009_Year1Report_12_2009.pdf. What makes this report interesting is that the group also try to dig deeper on how students developed their strategy in their information needs both …

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Chimp intelligence is heritable

A natural place to look for alleles of large effect are the otherwise conserved (from mouse through chimp) variants that are different in humans. See The Genetics of Humanness and The Essential Difference. My guess (without checking the paper to see if they report it) is that test-retest correlation for chimps is well below the …

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Making Sekimori Ishi at Pedvale

My plans changed a bit from the initial proposal, which was to cast iron directly around the granite.  See my previous post about cultural resource management, and choosing the stone.   I could not have completed this sculpture without the help of my assistants, Sutton Demlong and Justin Playl.  Both were highly recommended by Tamsie …

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Mint on a Stick

Due to a research project in which I’m currently engaged (and, trust me, you do not want to know the details), I find myself needing to wander into a public computer lab on our campus (where Windows rules the machines) and run a “virtual” Linux machine (because I’ll be talking to a Linux server and, …

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Michigan State University Announces a Mandarin Language Translation of the Food Fraud MOOC, Plus a 4th Regular Food Fraud MOOC (Massive Open Online Course)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Dr. John Spink, Director & Assistant Professor, Food Fraud Initiative, Michigan State University, spinkj@msu.edu , www.FoodFraud.msu.edu , Phone: (517) 381-4491 East Lansing, MI:   Registration is now open for two of Michigan State University’s free Food Fraud MOOCs (Massive Open Online Course).  The first is a Mandarin language course to be held on …

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The Financial Outlook in Higher Education

On the heels of Michigan’s two largest universities announcing tuition hikes I felt it pertinent to remind us “7 in 10 Undergraduates Get Financial Aid” (Chronicle of Higher Education). Put into another statistic, that’s 71% (according to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics). At Michigan State we have roughly 38,000 undergraduates …

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Financing the Green Economy

I must have missed the NPR and local press coverage of the inaugural UN Environment Assembly held last week in Nairobi, Kenya. The five day conference of more than 1,000 attendees representing 163 member states including 113 ministers was blacked out so that we could focus more on the World Cup, baseball, and other more …

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Hokey Smoke, Bullwinkle!

Both of my regular readers probably know that our word “wiener” is derived from the German word for a sausage that comes from Vienna, and that a frankfurter is straightforwardly a sausage from Frankfort. We did this once before in the blog, if you missed it. But what about a few more food-related fun facts? …

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Art in Real Life in Latvia

This is one of my favorite pieces at this years conference: No, It isn’t a work of Andy Goldsworthy, but the Pedvale team stacking firewood for the winter.  Click on the link below to see. the team at work They did several of these while we were there.  Click on twin peaks. twin peaks Tweet

Merger Fever–the patient is sick

The Federal Reserve has gone to great lengths to keep interest rates low.  So what have American firms been doing?  Borrowing to build new plants and employ more people?  Wrong! They are using retained earnings and borrowing to buy their own stock and other companies. Prof. Richard Roll of the University of California has formulated …

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Why Do Many Embrace Inequality?

Papers and books describe the widening inequality in our society.  They provide little understanding of why the 99% put up with it. The explanation of Prof. Justin Friesen  et. al. suggest that “When we feel a lack of personal control, we compensate by looking for order or predictability in our environment.  So we desire and …

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Physics and the Horizons of Truth

I came across a PDF version of this book online. It contains a number of fine essays, including the ones excerpted from below. A recurring question concerning Godel’s incompleteness results is whether they impact “interesting” mathematical questions. CHAPTER 21 The Godel Phenomenon in Mathematics: A Modern View: … Hilbert believed that all mathematical truths are …

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Apple’s Failure at Diversity

Selena Larsen, writing for ReadWrite, takes Apple to task for the lack of diversity in choosing speakers for their annual Worldwide Developers Conference, often the site of many hardware and software launches. Larsen identifies this failure as a larger issue, “It’s indicative of a much broader diversity problem within the technology industry—especially in roles that are highly …

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2014 MSU Weed Tour Review

Yesterday’s 2014 MSU Weed Tour was yet another successful event, with over 230 people in attendance. Thank you to all of you whom attended and to the many people in front and behind the scenes who made it all possible. Please enjoy a few photos of the event below. The plot signs will probably remain …

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A Look at Google’s Activity Streams

File this under Did You Know – Google Drive is arguably one of the most often used collaborative writing and filesharing tools across fields, disciplines, and industries. In January, Google introduced activity streams, making it easier to for you to track changes among multiple users. And for you track changes lovers, a la Microsoft Word, …

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Fiction Writing on Twitter

Have you heard of the storyella? What about twiterature? Been following #TwitterFiction? Or how about WRAC’s very own #endthisstory? Claire Armitstead, writing for The Guardian, asks “Has Twitter given birth to a new literary genre?” She notes that the key to successful Twitter fiction is connectivity; writers reaching to the past, to other users, then …

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