I know what you’re thinking.
“Isn’t this a blog? Where’s all the stuff?“
The vast majority of my increasingly-slender web-based output is over at our vastly underrated NextGenForensic blog.
The bumper sticker reads, “My other blog is a relatively well-read one“. I’ll occasionally post here; but I highly doubt this has made anyone’s Bookmarks Bar. If it is on your bookmarks, you’re probably my Mum.
I really like The Beatles. I think they’re pretty much considered the best rock-and-roll band of all-time. As a kid, I saved up my pocket money to buy copies of the “Red” and “Blue” albums on CD.
But on this, the week of the 50th anniversary of the release of Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, I ask you: “Is it really one of the best albums of all time? Is it?”
I really don’t think it is. I think it’s wildly and annoyingly over-rated.
Here are my five main reasons why.
[Note: this is likely to be a dynamic document, but any edits will be explained.]
The recent years have highlighted a number of incidents, mainly on US campuses, where social justice activists have rallied against the insidious power of microaggressions (MAs). Microaggression theory (or MAT, as we’ll call it here) finds it’s most comprehensive and cited form in the 2010 book “Microaggressions in Everyday Life” (MIEL) by Derald Wing Sue. The implicating of microaggressions in human discourse has reached a zenith. Modern “progressive” social activism often implicates MAs in its explanation for the genesis and maintenance of social inequality. Within these social justice movements, the notion that people in social minority groups are subject to “everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership” (Sue, 2010) appears to be taken as axiomatic.
I, with my colleague Gary Zajac (Penn State), recently completed a feasibility evaluation of a collaborative demonstration project between the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole and Securus Software Ltd., examining the implementation of offender management software for the computer use of sex offenders in PA. Below is the Executive Summary of that report.
Professional football (or as it’s called everywhere outside the US, ‘American football’) is in its off-season. Players and coaches kick-back while the journos and beat writers desperately feed from a barren pasture of dubious rumors and hackneyed commentary. Two things in the off-season are certain. One, players will get arrested more frequently than during the pre-, post-, or regular season. Two, every pundit and his dog will mine the San Diego Union Tribune’s publicly-available player arrest database for any marginally-novel angle on those arrest rates.
Last year I was at Penn State for Sexual Abuse Awareness Month. We were 6-months removed from the success of our inaugural Conference on Child Maltreatment and Well-Being and thought it might be a nice idea to re-engage with the delegates, given the time of year! So I developed some rudimentary Ted-Ed lesson ‘flips’, based on the videos of the speakers. Sadly, very (very) few of those we sent the links to actually used them. Still, they may have some interest to others interested in child maltreatment and sexual victimization – and are just a neat little way to pass the time while you’re watching the fantastic line-up of speakers. Below is my original post on my Penn State blog with the links to all of the Ted-Ed classes! Feel free to browse! Get educated for SAAM!
April is the NSVRC’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). During this time, many student organizations who devote their extra-curricular time to advocate on this issue plan and host a series of events related to the prevention of sexual violence. It was no different at UMass Lowell, where I’m currently based, as it was at my previous institution. I love working with student organizations – often where you can find the most able, motivated, and ambitious students – and always make time to offer my assistance during SAAM.
So an update on the whole marathon malarkey…
I was scheduled to run the Cox Providence Rhode Race marathon on May 4, 2014, while raising money for ‘Stop It Now!‘. Sadly, I’ve been forced to cancel my participation in that event due to injury. After two abandoned ‘long runs’ in successive weekends, I sought medical advice from my new doctor at Tufts who, along with a senior colleague, suggested a likely combination of iliotibial band syndrome and tendinitis in my left knee would seriously limit my ability to complete the race should I attempt it.
This year I’ve switched to the impressive Prezi tool for my presentations during conference season. I’m not sure if I’m quite unleashing it’s full power and potential, but I’ve worked in a couple of hacks that have suited my needs, and these have been the results.
I have signed up to run the 2014 Cox Providence Rhode Race marathon next May. I am hoping to use this opportunity to raise money for the ‘Stop It Now!’ organization.
Running a marathon has always, begrudgingly, been a ‘bucket list’ item for me. I used to run as a school kid, won a couple of school cross-country races, and did reasonably well in a few hometown-area races. I also, begrudgingly, ran a half-marathon in Brighton, England in 2009 and did alright with 1hr 51m. I realize that being 32 years old now, and seeing my ability (and motivation!) for distance-running and the training required fading FAST, it’s time to knuckle-down and man-up!