Paul’s Perambulations

March 20, 2010

Historians’ fact sheet about atomic bombing of Japan.

Filed under: Peace,Politics — admin @ 2:40 am

At the time of the public exhibit of the Enola Gay (the plane that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima), a substantial number of respected historians sent a letter to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution objecting to the bias inherent in the exhibit. Their letter is one of the best statements of some historical facts (see their reference list) that support that there was no military rationale for using atomic weapons on Japan. Please read the letter and other supporting reference material (click the Comments for the full story) and evaluate the situation for yourself in light of this informaton.

March 18, 2010

Was Andrew Carnegie, philanthropist, a “nice” man?

Filed under: Politics,Religion,Work — admin @ 12:24 am

Was Andrew Carnegie, philanthropist, a “nice” man? He had some progressive views, gave away much of his enormous fortune, was very bright and hard working, and died a rich man. The crucial fact is that he was responsible for putting Henry Frick in charge of his Carnegie Steel, and Frick was definitely NOT a “nice” man. But Carnegie knew what he was doing, because now the appalling business practices that profited Carnegie Steel could be attributed to his underling, while he could be seen to soften some of the worst edicts of his Chairman. This approach may favor the financial bottom line, but the ethical bottom line is quite another story. Andrew Carnegie was NOT the “nice” man that he either pretended or imagined himself to be, but a sanctimonious hypocrite of perhaps the worst kind.

March 17, 2010

Student suicides in academe (NYTimes 3/17/10))

Filed under: General,Work — admin @ 6:06 pm

My published comment (#253) in response to this article on an apparent spate of suicides at Cornell is attached as a Comment. Many of the other comments related to the rigor of academic programs and the time that faculty spend with students. My response to this is as follows: (more…)

March 11, 2010

Mother Nature never sleeps.

Filed under: General,Nature — admin @ 8:44 pm

The first week of March we spent a few days at Lake Nockamixon State Park while Villanova was on break. Hiking through the wintry snow was a lot of fun, particularly considering that this time we had rented a little cabin With Heat. We were the only ones there. We are amateur mycologists, and I was amazed to find a group of very fresh jelly-like mushrooms growing on a log almost buried in snow. Mushrooms can sprout and thrive at all times of the year, even in snowy winter. What a tribute to how Mother Nature never truly sleeps, but each species has its own time. How much fun, and how encouraging, to experience this on a wintry hike!

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