Wednesday, March 15, 2006


I’ve got a few questions (from various sources) to which I don’t have answers. Faithful readers, I seek your wisdom!

- (From a reader) Does it make a difference (when hiring faculty) if the candidate got all of his degrees from the same place? At the cc level, it really doesn’t, but I can’t say how it plays at more research-driven places.

- How does your school handle student advisement over the summer? The faculty likes to claim advisement as its bailiwick, but it also hates to come in during the summer. Students trickle in all summer long. Have you found a way to square this circle? (I know I’ve asked this before, but new readers have come along since then, and I still haven’t solved it.)

- (From The Boy) What holds the water in the toilet bowl? I mean, if there isn’t some sort of barrier, why doesn’t the water in the bowl just drain out the hole? (At least the tank has a valve. The bowl just has a hole.) Especially when the bathroom is upstairs? I’m embarrassed to admit that he stumped me on this one.

- Is the Krispy Kreme Donut Burger (with bacon and cheese!) the worst idea in the history of food? A minor league baseball team, the East St. Louis Gateway Grizzlies, has inflicted this on the world. I suspect this is why the world hates America. (Via MBB)

- Does anybody else get dizzy when running on a treadmill, or is it just me? I can’t even use the moving-arms things on the elliptical without getting dizzy. Am I alone in this?

- Why couldn’t the IRS just put a basic free tax prep program online? Just put an Excel-like program behind a pdf of the 1040. Could it really be that hard?

- Why, in the name of all that is holy and good, do SUV’s get a tax deduction? Is there a dumber deduction in the entire tax code? My little four-cylinder compact pays full fare, but someone driving a Ford Excursion gets a subsidy. Is Bin Laden behind this?

- Medical imaging technology has made great strides. Yet prostate exams are still conducted by the old finger-up-the-wazoo method. Why? Why? There’s a Nobel Prize in it for whoever puts an end to this barbarism. ASAP, please.

- Does your college have a phys ed requirement? Is there any talk at your school of adding/dropping such a requirement? What are the arguments?

- Why aren’t post offices open in the evening? I mean, people work.

- What do two-career couples with kids ages, say, 5 to 12 do over summer vacation? If the kids are too young to work or stay home alone, and both parents work, what do they do?

- For that matter, why is almost all of academia still on an agricultural calendar? I appreciate the need to help with the harvest, but it’s hard to grow much on quarter-acre lots.

Any wisdom you could spare would be greatly appreciated...