Yesterday, twenty three Columbia University students filed a federal lawsuit
, alleging that the school "allows accused perpetrators of sexual assault to remain on campus, has too-lenient sanctions for perpetrators, discourages victims from reporting assault and denies accommodations to students with mental health disabilities (which they say result from their attacks)." The complaint is the first of its kind, linking Title IX and Clery complaints
with alleged violations of Title II
, part of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which provides that schools must provide accommodations based on disability status. [more inside]
The American Assembly has released their much-anticipated and well-presented study on Copy Culture
. The random phone survey of 2303 Americans and 1000 Germans answers many questions about the demographics and public perception of file sharing and piracy. TorrentFreak pulls out some highlights
Edward Gorey's gothic tales from the vault
Edward Gorey's arch eccentrics are on display in two reissues and a never-before-published story.' [more inside]
Section 1. In the event of the aftermath of a nuclear holocaust, the surviving members of the CUSFS shall be formed into a clan, henceforth referred to as 'the Clan.' The surviving members of the Board will reconvene under the new name of The Elders Who Remember The Time Before It Changed, henceforth referred to as 'the Elders.'
The Columbia University Science Fiction Society's Constitution and Bylaws
. [more inside]
M presents: The Master Theorem
. Not that master theorem
, this one is full of puzzles and games. Take a crack at this week's theorem
, or start with a tutorial from the help page
. Once you've solved your first theorem (and earned membership) check out the seals
, a different, sometimes deeper style of puzzle. New theorems and seals are being added weekly. [more inside]
"In many places the concentration [of convicted residents] is so dense that states are spending in excess of a million dollars a year to incarcerate the residents of single city blocks."
Using rarely accessible data from the criminal justice system, the Spatial Information Design Lab and the Justice Mapping Center have created maps of these “million dollar blocks” and of the city-prison-city-prison migration flow for five of the nation’s cities. The maps suggest that the criminal justice system has become the predominant government institution in these communities and that public investment in this system has resulted in significant costs to other elements of our civic infrastructure — education, housing, health, and family. Prisons and jails form the distant exostructure of many American cities today.
See the several linked pdfs.
The Downie/Schudson Report, as it's widely called, is cautiously optimistic that journalism will survive, but doesn't beat around the bush. It urges a number of fairly radical, controversial suggestions on how to reinvent the news media without killing "accountability journalism," that critical, dirt-digging, power-questioning but expensive journalism America is famous for.
This is the full
, 81 min (embedded small screen vid) speech given today at Columbia University by President Ahmadinejad
of Iran. Columbia University President, Lee Bollinger
sets the stage with some critical statements
about the President of Iran.
In a parallel universe Your Favorite Band Really Does Suck
! Duncan Watts
and others conducted a Web-based experiment
[PDF] called Music Lab
. Their findings: "while talent might distinguish good from bad, social pressure and pure dumb luck are also big influences on which bands gain the most fame." "Calling the [experiment] 'pathbreaking
,' sociologist Michael Macy of Cornell University says the findings illustrate how a small advantage can snowball, making popularity hard to predict. Economist Robert Frank, also at Cornell, says the work shows 'we're all susceptible to the herd mentality.'" The effect of "cumulative advantage
" has impact on the popularity of other aspects of contemporary culture: books, films, websites and more.
My lost city: Low Life
author Luc Sante reminisces about a youth spent in the ruins of 1970s New York:
"... when I was a student at Columbia, my windows gave out onto the plaza of the School of International Affairs, where on winter nights troops of feral dogs would arrive to bed down on the heating grates. Since then the city had lapsed even further ... if you walked east on Houston Street from the Bowery on a summer night, the jungle growth of vacant blocks gave a foretaste of the impending wilderness, when lianas would engird the skyscrapers and mushrooms would cover Times Square."
Sante talked about the period a bit more in a 2004 interview
with The Believer
Synthetic Trees could purify the air
- "It looks like a goal post with Venetian blinds," said the Columbia University physicist...synthetic trees could help clean up an atmosphere grown heavy with carbon dioxide..."You can be a thousand times better than a living tree...There are a number of engineering issues which need to be worked out," he said. (BBC) Hurry up, then
- "Ice dams are blocking Latvian ports, winds and storms are battering Europe, Portugal is freezing, Vietnam has lost one-third its rice crop, and the cold has caused close to 2,000 deaths in usually temperate South Asia."
The warm water ocean currents of the Gulf Stream
are why London rarely gets snow yet Boston is fridged despite London being as far north as Montreal, Canada. New weather modeling research from Columbia University may turn this long-held belief on its head; London can thank the Rocky Mountains
for its mild winters. Good news for the rest of Europe too in case the Gulf Stream stops due to Arctic melting.