I will be flying for Chicago early Wednesday morning for the Midwest Political Science Association Conference.  This is my first co-authored paper with Julie (another contributor to his blog) and we will present the following paper Thursday morning: The contemporary rise to infamy of Blackwater Worldwide and the private corporation's misdeeds in the Iraq War has historical precedents. That is, it is not unheard of for a state to employ non-state actors to carry out traditional state activities such as the use of force – something the modernstate is supposed to have a monopoly over. In this paper, we build Continue reading MWPSA Paper

Reagan meets Putin- Post your Captions

Who would have thought? When Reagan visited the Soviet Union in 1988, he would end up meeting the future President of Russia, Putin, and the world would have a picture to remember the occasion! Unfortunately we do not know what they were saying or thinking at the time. But we can pretend we do. What do you think the caption to this picture should be? Let me start… Putin: "I parted my hair to the right today. I hope he gets the signal. You're my hero Mr. President!"

Data and Blogging

Ah Friday, a great day to do final edits on my and Julie's paper for Midwest – also a good time for a quick blog post with a somewhat misleading title as the two subjects refer to two seperate links. First, via Freakonomics, is a competition for the Fraser Institute to have them collect data.  You write up the brief that suggests what they collect and, if you are in the top 6 suggestions, they pay you.  Time to go through my bin of thoughts that usually begins with "If we had data for…" and ends with "we could then Continue reading Data and Blogging

Happy belated Pi and Square Root Day.

March this year hosted two mathematics-related holidays that now have passed us and March will not contain both of these days for a century (2109 will be the next lucky March, set your calendars!).  The first holiday in March was Square Root Day celebrated on March 3rd.  For those of you who have missed an opportunity to celebrate this joyous occasion will have to wait another 7 years for 4.4.16 to grace us once again. March 14 (3.14), as many more people are aware of, was Pi Day.  The Daily Kos reports that Congress passed a non-binding resolution on Thursday Continue reading Happy belated Pi and Square Root Day.

An Additional Benefit of Rapid Delivery

My teaching style, as well as my presentation style, is marked by a relatively rapid delivery.  I had favored such a style quite awhile ago for many public speaking formats as the general perception of the speaker by the audience is favorable (generally heighten perceptions of intelligence and mastery of the material).  However, now I can justify such approaches beyond my own perceived benefit and claim that I am doing my audience a favor.  That is, those who engage the presented material will tend to be happier thanks to my public service: In six experiments, researchers at Princeton and Harvard Continue reading An Additional Benefit of Rapid Delivery