Why I call this place Baa Ram U.

Cam the Ram

Cam the Ram

And of course, I do so affectionately, since I like teaching at the old Aggie school because of days like yesterday, when some of the Ag students put on a show-and-tell for the rest of the university in a plaza in-between the Liberal Arts college and the library.  The big guy at left is the university mascot known as “Cam the Ram.”  (He’s not really a Rocky Mountain Big Horn, for perhaps obvious reasons, but a farm animal shaved down and wrapped up real purty.)


calvesHere are the calves (whose “moooooowww”s I could hear in my office upstairs!) Continue reading

Why lack of representation in your government and news media matters


Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Nina Totenberg’s report on All Things Considered last night on the “strip search” case heard yesterday at the Supreme Court is the only news report I can find that notes that lone woman Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was on her own at one point in the hearing:

At this point in the argument, a gender difference reared its head.  Justice Breyer suggested that it’s no big deal when kids strip–after all, they do it for gym class all the time.  Savana Redding didn’t reveal her body beyond her underclothes, said Breyer.  Justice Ginsburg, the court’s only female justice, bristled.  Her eyes flashing with anger, she noted that there’s no dispute that Savannah was required to shake out her bra and the crotch of her panties.  Ginsburg seemed to all but shout, “boys may like to preen in the locker room but girls, particularly teenaged girls, do not.”

The Washington Post report by Robert Barnes says that “Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg seemed at times on the edge of exasperation with her all-male colleagues,” but provided no further detail.  McClatchy’s article by Michael Doyle says that “Ginsburg conveyed dismay at the search’s intrusiveness,” but doesn’t report further on her views.  The New York Times report, written by Adam Liptak, omits mentioning that Ginsburg was even in the room yesterday, and instead emphasizes this comment by “even the liberal” Justice Stephen Breyer: Continue reading

Driving "Miss Barbie?"

barbiemissbarbie4I treated you to Barbie’s Campus last month, courtesy of Found in Mom’s Basement (and thanks again to Erica at the good old days for the tip).  I returned there for inspiration last night, and found perhaps the strangest Barbie set I’ve ever seen (at right.  You can view an enlarged photo if you click here–“Miss Barbie” is right on top.)  What is up with this little number, also from the 1964 Sears catalog?  From the ad copy:

So lively. . . her knees bend, her eyes close

Miss Barbie with 3 Wigs, Lawn Swing and Planter, $4.89

Whose idea was it to sell the new bendable knees and blinking eyes Barbie by plopping her on lawn furniture and giving her a choice of 3 wigs?  Is this a scene that evokes youth, action, and vigor?  Are those her granddaughters she’s watching play tennis, dance, and ski, simultaneously?  (Those outfits are sold separately–don’t kid yourself.  “Miss Barbie” doesn’t swing that way.)  Why not a “Plastic Slipcovers Barbie,” who comes complete with bingo cards and canasta for her Midge, Ken, and Allan?  What’s up with the hat–is she really bald under there?  I’m at the stage of life where a lawn swing and 3 wigs look pretty good–or at least more useful than the ballerina outfit–so I think it’s cool that they made a crypo-geriatric Barbie back in 1964.  I’m just wondering how many girls would have wanted to play with this Barbie set back in the day?  (The wigs would have been fun, but even more fun would have been just letting her go bald, don’t you think?) Continue reading

Facebook Manners and you!

Don’t be like Alice and Timmy, and don’t say I haven’t warned you (h/t The Daily Beast)! This video actually has some good advice for those of you who insist on using the “electric friendship generator” despite your Auntie Historiann’s warnings. A friend of mine in her 40s recently confided in me that she got way into Facebook last year, but then decided it was “like the guy you slept with Freshman year right away and then decided was just embarrassing so you spent the rest of your college years avoiding him.” She discovered just how boring most people are, and what shocking amounts of time they spend on Facebook to convey extremely tedious information.

After all: that’s what blogs are for!

Pope orders doctrinal investigation of nuns' leadership organization

arrivalofursulines1928Here’s a story that could have been written pretty much at any point in Western history from the tenth or eleventh century on*:  According to the Toledo Blade, Toledo Bishop Leonard Blair’s investigation “will look at adherence to Catholic doctrine by the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, an organization based in Silver Springs, Md., with 1,500 nuns in leadership positions representing 95 percent of the nation’s 67,000 Catholic sisters.”  The inquiry will focus on three areas of concern:  “promoting the ordination of women, salvation through Christ alone, and ‘the problem of homosexuality.'”  Amazonianism!  Antinomianism!  Unnatural disobedience!  (What, no investigation of Holocaust denial among women religious?  Thanks to plugged-in, Toledo Blade-reading, Ursuline-educated reader “Mother of ALL” for the tip.)  By the way–S.N.A.P. (Survivors’ Network of those Abused by Priests) doesn’t like or trust Bishop Blair because of what they see as his “terrible track record on child sex abuse and cover-up.” 

The National Catholic Reporter story on which this article seems to be based says that this investigation appears to be related to another investigation of the apostolic women’s orders:  “The Visitation, which will collect and assimilate data and observations about religious life, will be limited to apostolic institutes, those actively engaged in service to Church and society. Cloistered, contemplative sisters, who have distinctly different lifestyles, are excluded from the study.”  (Emphasis mine.)  Continue reading