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Showing posts from September, 2013

my guide to SPSS by lesson

CPI calculator and thinking about index numbers

This is the Bureau of Labor Statistic's CPI calculator. Go ahead and try it out.
Your browser does not support iframes.

If you're not sure what you want to look up, you might consider some of these sites:
check out the tuition at some elite collegesyou may also want to read about Virginia Foxx's comments on paying for tuitionis gold really a good investment? here are some historical prices to comparehow about the minimum wage?

clip from David Letterman - Simon Helberg's home birth didn't go as planned

I happened to catch this snippet on David Letterman and thought it fit into so many of our discussions-- ranging from the medicalization (and de-medicalization) of childbirth to the changing dynamics of medical knowledge in the age of the Internet. The clip is about 2 have a look and see what you think. David Letterman - Simon Helberg's Home Birth

Things didn't go as planned when the Big Bang Theory star and his wife tried to have their baby at home.

PBS's Money and Medicine documentary

PBS documentary about the changes taking place in American medical care, Money and Medicine,  aired on September 25, 2012. Read more about the documentary at their site.

The snippet below is about 20 minutes at which point you may choose to continue watching on the PBS site (a window will pop up asking if you wish to continue watching the remainder of the video). It's a great video and will get you thinking about reform of the American medical system. (this video is Flash so may not work on iOS such as iPad, iPhone, etc.)

Lesson - questions for Rothman's "Book of Life Itself"

Discussion Questions
Do you think we have to understand the technology to debate the ethics? Why or why not? And what is mystification in this context?What are the three areas of bioethics that Rothman sees are ripe for study and consideration?What is the difference between macro eugenics and micro eugenics?What were the main differences in public health campaigns of Tay-Sachs and sickle cell anemia?What was the role of race in terms of these illnesses? (Not which groups were more or less likely to exhibit these illnesses, but why is the role of race troubling in the context of these illnesses and campaigns?)“What makes a life worth living? And when is a life not worth living? When do we want to know our fate? And when is knowing our fate the worst possible fate? ”“Is the genome the ultimate crystal ball, the place where we will earn what fate has in store for us? Is the book of our life written, and sealed, at the moment of our conception? Or are our lives and our cancers the product …

teaching about stigma by doing nothing

One of our readings this week was an excerpt from Goffman's seminal work on stigma. With that in mind, I thought I would post a video of a great activity that helps bring to light our hidden everyday assumptions.

More about this video can be found here:

who drinks bottled water and how do marketers persuade them to do it?

An interesting (if not the most critical) article from Forbes about active marketing to minority consumers.  Although, I generally agree with the article about the safety of our drinking water, I have to admit, the article also made me cringe a little since it also seemed to smack of the old refrain, "Here again, there is evidence that minorities aren't smart enough to make their own decisions about what they drink."  I would add that this article didn't actively address the fact that at least in some cases, areas that are heavily populated by minorities also sometimes receive poorer quality drinking water... For example, New York City's drinking water comes from a network of 19 reservoirs and 3 lakes (see here). Given this extensive network, different areas and neighborhoods of NYC sometimes receive water from different sources (that was not the case in 2010). The state is required to monitor the water quality and notify residents of potential problems.  Since…

are we are wired to share?

Since so many of you are interested in technology and it's impact on our social interactions, you may be interested in this post... We are Wired to Share | Digitizd. An absolutely fascinating video, which hits on something I’ve been thinking a lot about. The Internet is fostering communication and working together in a way that’s totally unprecedented; I’d give examples, but Rachel Botsman does a wonderful job of it in the video. Is this a human need and desire that has always existed, and just needed the outlet and portal that the Internet provided, or has the technology we use somehow changed our thinking about ourselves, our things and other people?
(Via the Atlantic and

Shaken-Baby Syndrome Faces New Questions in Court and how knowledge is created

On the heels of our first chapter about the nature of knowledge-- tradition, authority, experiential, etc.-- this is a revealing article about the debates and conflict that go into the production of the "authoritative knowledge" that we usually take for granted.  How does this article affect how you think about how and what you think you know? Shaken-Baby Syndrome Faces New Questions in Court By: EMILY BAZELON Published: February 2, 2011 Some doctors are taking issue with the diagnosis of the syndrome, raising the possibility that innocent people have been sent to jail.  Keep reading...

Technology Changes Prostitution

Yet another post about how technology is impacting aspects of our lives in unforeseen ways...ahhh, unintended consequences... via The Society Pages hosted Cyborglogy blog
FlowingData posted this great infographic that shows how prostituion in Manhattan is increasingly dispersed. The Internet allows sex work to be less anchored by physicality when much of the process happens online. More analysis here.

National Broadband Map Goes Live, Shows Vast Swathes of Unconnected Country

Given student interest and our extensive conversations about the influence of technology, consider the following map and report.  How does this change your views and perceptions of technology's influence?
As promised, the Commerce Department's National Broadband Map went live yesterday, showing the various types and speeds of internet connections all across the country. It's meant to function both as a tool for consumers and businesses, and as a wakeup call to the country--it's pretty shocking to see just how much of the country lacks high-speed broadband. ...It also throws into sharp relief the fact that much of the country lacks broadband. Major population centers, like the Northeast Corridor, Chicagoland, Bay Area, Pacific Northwest, and Los Angeles-San Diego are blanketed, but much of the west, and even much of the southeast, are spotty at best.

A Literary Glass Ceiling? Why Magazines Aren't Reviewing More Female Writers. | The New Republics

Amy King, “We know women write...We know women read...." So why are book reviewers primarily men who review books written by other men? A Literary Glass Ceiling? Why Magazines Aren't Reviewing More Female Writers. | The New Republic.
...In 2010...publications printed vastly more book reviews by men than by women. They also reviewed more books by male authors. The numbers are startling. At Harper’s, there were 27 male book reviewers and six female; about 69 percent of the books reviewed were by male authors. At the London Review of Books, men wrote 78 percent of the reviews and 74 percent of the books reviewed. Men made up 84 percent of the reviewers for The New York Review of Books and authored 83 percent of the books reviewed. TNR, I’m sorry to say, did not compare well: Of the 62 writers who wrote about books for us last year, only 13 (or 21 percent) were women. We reviewed a total of 64 books, nine of them by women (14.5 percent). “We know women write,” poet Amy King wri…

She Works. They Are Happy - NYT

By TARA PARKER-POPE Published: January 22, 2010

While the changing economic roles of husbands and wives may take some getting used to, the shift has had a positive effect, contributing to lower divorce rates and happier unions.  See the full article here: -- Graham Roumieu

emigrate, immigrate, and migrate

There's always a little confusion around these three words. The choice of which one to use is determined by the point of the view of the sentence.

Emigrate means to leave.
She emigrated from France to live in the United States. Immigrate is come in.
She immigrated to the US from France. Migrate is to move.
During the period of industrialization, much of the rural population migrated to urban cities.

China's staggering internal migration - 250 million people in the next 12 years

When we think about immigration, we tend to forget that some of the largest movements of people in history are NOT international moves, but internal migrations. Of particular note are those internal migrations from rural to urban centers during periods of industrialization / urbanization.

One such movement is going on right now in China. The country plans to move an estimated 250,000,000 (250 million) people from rural to urban centers in the next twelve years. Just as a quick FYI, the 2013 population of the US was about 313,900,000 (313.9 million). Can you imagine if almost 80% of the population of the US was scheduled to be moved to cities in the next twelve years?

The video is definitely worth a watch:

research papers are not the only fruit & some tech tools for student projects

Typically, instructors assign a final paper. For many reasons, I still believe that a final paper is great assignment. One of the principal reasons is that despite all the chatter about valuing process over product, in many cases in the "real world," evaluations for promotion, pay, etc. are based on product. Even in academia, I know of no graduate school that will confer a doctorate on someone despite years of practice and experience (process) who has not completed a dissertation (product) (perhaps the exception being all those honorary degrees floating around...). Thus, I still strongly believe that sitting down and writing a final paper is an important and worthwhile exercise.

However, I also know that unlike a dissertation, many instructors assign research papers not because they think students will write the definitive and most creative paper on some entirely new topic in a mere 5-10 pages, but because research paper assignments strengthen a set of skills that we think ar…

turning in and formatting assignments

This has gotten a little out of hand so I'm making a formal post and statement about my policy for accepting assignments.

Turning in Assignments
Turning an assignment in on timeFor assignments collected in class: assignments are due at the beginning of class. If you walk in 10 minutes late after I've already collected the assignment, your assignment is LATE; the syllabus clearly notes that I do NOT accept late assignments for ANY reason.For assignments submitted on Google Docs or online: if you're turning in an assignment electronically, I usually specify a time when they are due, anything later than that time is considered late.YOU are responsible for knowing when assignments are due-- "I misread the assignment," "I didn't know," and any derivation of such excuses are NOT sufficient explanations for why you do not have your assignment in on time.If you are sick on the date an assignment is due, you are still responsible for getting it on time and NOT…

What is an A?

Below is the grade scale that is set by the university.
A+ (97.5 – 100)A  (92.5 – 97.4)A- (90.0 – 92.4)B+ (87.5 – 89.9)B  (82.5 – 87.4)B- (80.0 – 82.4)C+ (77.5 – 79.9)C  (70.0 – 77.4)D  (60.0 – 69.9)F  (< 60)It’s worthwhile to consider what these grades actually mean. You do not earn an A in this class for working hard or being a nice person. Rather, your grades should reflect the extent that you are able to critically think about and assess the core concepts of this class.

A (exceptional)Solid performance Basic skills mastered Originality, Creativity, Depth of Analysis  Sees beyond the obvious, looks for relationships and connections  The attempt is what counts. B (satisfactory)Solid, competent performance Can summarize and use course skills adequately Good mastery of basic skills Needed to move from B to an A: Analysis, Insight and Creative Approach C (average)Competent (but uneven) performanceMastery of basic substance of courseBasic skills often marginal/needs improvement (math, …

student discounts

I've learned that many students aren't aware of some of the resources available to them. So here's a short list.

Amazon Student
Amazon offers students discounted shipping on through a program called Student Prime. Basically, you receive 2-day shipping similar to the Amazon Prime program. There are some limitations, so be sure to read carefully. Read more in this post.CUNY eMall through CUNY Portal for software, etc (including Microsoft suites)

CUNY eMall offers CUNY students many discounts. Particularly noteworthy are deep discounts on software such as Microsoft Suites and operating systems.Working Advantage (from CUNY emall) City University of New York (CUNY) has a valuable membership with Working Advantage and our employees now have access to exclusive discounts for movie theatres, movie rentals, theme parks, ski tickets, Broadway theatre, special family events, online shopping and much more.Registering is easy. Simply go to the Working Advantage website link below and clic…

common errors on student papers

Below is a list are some of the most common errors I see on student papers.
Double space ALL your papersFont should be size 12.Do NOT italicize the entire paper—it makes it very difficult to read.No paper should EVER be written in all CAPS.Edit your papers—go over them at least twice.Plagiarism—if it’s not your idea, you have to cite the reference.Run-on sentences are unacceptable— make sure you have a subject and a verb/predicate.Paragraphs usually mean more than 1-2 sentences. Moreover, paragraphs (like sentences) should have a beginning, middle and an end.Invest in a dictionary— at the very least, use a spell-checker. If you set your word processor program to correct as you go, you’ll see misspellings and sentences that are fragments as your write.Invest in a thesaurus.Make subjects and verbs agree.Commas— use these carefully and properly!!! Do NOT EVER use ‘you’—you don’t know anything about me, you don’t know what I know, you don’t know what I don’t know. Use ‘one’, ‘a person’, e…

a little lesson in history and writing well

The excerpts below floated around in various emails for a while and I thought they were a useful illustration of the importance of writing well. They are actual answers given on history tests and in Sunday school quizzes by children between 5th and 6th grade, in Ohio. They were collected over a period of three years by two teachers. 
See what happens when you don't right carefully?

Citations and Reference Management Resources

It's always a challenge to properly format references and citations. Below are some useful guides. Research and Documentation OnlineThe information on this site is from the print publication Research and Documentation in the Digital Age by Diana Hacker, and includes: an extensive annotated list of specialized sources for more than 30 disciplines; guidelines for documenting print and online sources; sample papers; tips for evaluating print and online sources; a glossary of research terms; a list of style manualsAPA Citation Guide, Ohio State UniversityAPA Formatting & Style Guide from Purdue OWLHunter Resources Hunter College Reading/Writing CenterReading and Writing Handouts from Hunter College Writing CenterAutomatic Citation Generators
Citation MachineCitation Machine is a tool to help you generate correctly formatted bibliographies.EasyBib For those who are really keen on developing a database of their own references, you might consider full Reference Managers or Reference Ma…

Desegregation and the Public Schools -

The article and accompanying video offer some insightful comments on segregation in US public schools. Particularly worth noting is the "quiet" way that the busing movements also brought together people of different socio-economic classes. The de facto resegregation of public schools has also meant that many of the most segregated schools also count high rates of poverty; as much 65% of students in some schools are poor.

What are your thoughts? Should we reinstitute busing programs?

sample of student projects

Below are a list of past student projects to help inspire you

Humanizing Immigrationinteractive map of immigrant and ethnic neighborhoods in Queens, NYinterviews of and research into the use of undocumented immigrant labor in the 9/11 clean-up and the challenges faced by these workers given their statusa magazine (complete with Editor's Note!) devoted to analyzing the experiences and stories of the undocumentedresearch into the history and tensions wrought by gentrification in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of New York City]

statistics for immigrants to NYC

Below are some great resources for data on immigrants and immigration to New York City.

NYC. gov
Under "Jump to City Agency Web sites," choose Immigrant Affairs. Then choose News and Statistics -> Constituent Facts and Maps (you may also go directly to here: Homeland Security
Yearbook of ImmigrationNew Immigrant Survey

Additionally, there are some databases that contain information on immigrants and immigration:
SocIndex with fulltextAcademic Search CompleteAmerica History and lifeGale Virtual Reference LibraryEncyclopedia of Multicultural America