Photo of the day

The winner of the (British) mammal photographer of the year competition.  Via the Telegraph, of course:

a brown hare on its hind legs

Incredible images of a beautiful brown hare, a seal silently swimming at night and a stoat in a drainpipe are all finalists in an annual photo competition to celebrate British mammals. The amazing pictures of foxes, ferrets, deer and dormice were snapped in the British Isles and are reminders of the marvellous array of mammals which exist around us.


The overall winner was a picture of a brown hare on its hind legs, taken by Stuart Scott near his home in Galashiels in the Scottish borders.

Picture: Stuart Scott/The Mammal Society


I taught one year at Oberlin as a Visiting Assistant Professor the first year after my PhD.  Sure the students were plenty smart, but I was not a big fan of the uber-liberal environment (I found the lack of diversity of political viewpoints very problematic).  Everybody was surprised to hear that I preferred teaching at Texas Tech where I went the next year, but it was a far more normal college environment.

Anyway, with that as background, I enjoyed this on Oberlin’s latest nuttiness in which they basically want to protect students from anything that might upset them:

It advised faculty members to “[u]nderstand triggers, avoid unnecessary triggers, and provide trigger warnings.” It defined a trigger as something that “recalls a traumatic event to an individual,” and said experiencing a trigger will “almost always disrupt a student’s learning and may make some students feel unsafe in your classroom.”

“Triggers are not only relevant to sexual misconduct, but also to anything that might cause trauma,” the policy said. “Be aware of racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, cissexism, ableism, and other issues of privilege and oppression. Realize that all forms of violence are traumatic, and that your students have lives before and outside your classroom, experiences you may not expect or understand.”

The policy said that “anything could be a trigger,” and advised professors to “[r]emove triggering material when it does not contribute directly to the course learning goals.”

Hmmm.  Anything can be a trigger and faculty should remove triggers.  Starting to sound like one of those UNC African & Afro-American studies classes for the football players.

More mammograms

Great post from Aaron Carroll on the futility of routine universal (i.e., not based on individual risk factors) mammograms.  A big part of the problem is perception vs reality, very nicely summed up in this chart:



And a nice take from Drum.

And it’s important to remember that many women are traumatized– both physically and psychologically–due to something with very little statistical likelihood of saving their life.

%d bloggers like this: