Tag Archives | Personal

CFP: Alabama Philosophical Society 2017

Owing to a time- and energy-consuming family medical crisis, I’m about two months late in announcing this – the submission deadline’s just over a week away.

But anyway, this year’s APS will be September 29-30 in Pensacola; submission deadline is August 1st. Note also the undergrad essay contest (Alabama students only), which pays $100 plus one night’s stay at the conference hotel.

More info here.

Alas, I won’t be able to attend this year. Hoping for next year.


Farewell to St. Paul’s

For a long time, one of my most idyllic memories has been of the summer of 1980, which I spent in the St. Paul’s School Advanced Studies Program in Concord NH.

St. Paul's School

Now it turns out that St. Paul’s has been a hotbed of sexual abuse against students for decades, with at least 23 faculty members (and possibly as many as 34 – at a school where the total number of faculty is only slightly over 100) being guilty of everything from “clear boundary crossings to repeated sexual relationships to rape” – and with the administration having been despicably (though, alas, not atypically) recalcitrant and blame-the-victim-ish in addressing the problem for many years. Some of the named perpetrators are faculty I’d remembered with fondness from my time there.

Well, there’s that memory tainted. Ugh.

I always thought that someday when I could afford to, I’d donate money to St. Paul’s. Well, I still can’t afford to, but if I could – sorry guys, nope.


Sour Note

For the past 35 years, my mother and I have had two pianos in storage in Vermont. One was the piano I grew up with and learned to play (a bit) on as a child. The other – the more valuable one, with genuine ivory keys, inherited from her own mother – was the piano my mother grew up with and likewise learned to play on (with much greater ability) as a child.

In all these years, we’ve never had a place large enough to hold them, though we always hoped to eventually.

This week we were notified that the facility where they were stored burned down last month, and both pianos were destroyed.

Bummer.


Immigration and Liberty Symposium

[cross-posted at C4SS and BHL]

The Molinari Society will be holding its annual Symposium in conjunction with the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel, 202 East Pratt Street, in Baltimore, January 4-7, 2017. Here’s the current schedule info:

Molinari Society symposium: Libertarianism and Refugees
GFC. Thursday, 5 January 2017, 9:00 a.m.-12:00 noon.

presenters:
James P. Sterba (University of Notre Dame), “Libertarianism and the Rights of Refugees
Jan Narveson (University of Waterloo, Ontario), “Accommodating Refugees and Respecting Liberty

commentators:
Charles W. Johnson (Molinari Institute)
Roderick T. Long (Auburn University)

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to participate in person, but my comments will be read out in absentia.


Soap Opera

Things I notice when I’m in the kitchen waiting for something to finish cooking on the stove, and there’s nothing to do but watch the water in the dishpan:

1. Soap bubbles act as though they’re gravitationally attracted to each other. When there’s a large cluster of bubbles over here, and a lone bubble (or smaller cluster of bubbles) about an inch or so away over there, the lone bubble will move toward the large cluster, very slowly at first, and then gradually accelerating until it merges with the cluster. I know nothing about the physics and chemistry behind this phenomenon. (Something to do with surface tension?)

2. My eggbeater seems to have an air pocket in the handle. When I put it in the dishpan, it emits a slow and steady stream of bubbles. Most of the time, dishpan suds contain bubbles of various sizes all mixed together; but the bubbles coming out of the eggbeater handle are of uniform size, which presumably explains what happens, next, namely, that as the bubbles rise to the surface they spontaneously organise themselves into regular hexagonal grids. Order from chaos, man.


Overheard at the Grocery Store

Conversation at the checkout counter, as “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” plays on the store’s sound system:

CHECKER: Why aren’t they playing Christmas music?

BAGGER: This is from “The Nutcracker.”

CHECKER: Is that a scary movie?

BAGGER: No!!

CHECKER: Oh, it’s a Christmas movie?

BAGGER: Yes! I think it starred Barbie.

This is like one of those stories where the person rescuing you from the vampire, turns out also to be a vampire.


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