Look Mom, No Paywall! My Mirror Neuron Article Available for Free!

For the time being, my most current academic article “Of Looking Glasses, Mirror Neurons, and Meaning” is available from Perspectives on Science for free, free, free! Meaning no paywall, so you don’t need access to a university library account to get a copy, nor do I have to send out individual PDFs to whoever may … Continue reading Look Mom, No Paywall! My Mirror Neuron Article Available for Free!

Christmas Carol 2014 in Chico, California, USA

Last week, we were invited to a friend’s house for a night of “Christmas Caroling,” seemingly a nostalgic throwback to old times when make-your-own music was part of the sentiment of Christmas. We showed up, duly bellowed out a songbooks of traditional Christmas songs like Hark The Herald Angels Sing, Silent Night, We Wish you … Continue reading Christmas Carol 2014 in Chico, California, USA

R.I.P. Sociology

It’s the holidays and I’m feeling nostalgic, thinking about this time 14 years ago when I was just finishing up my first semester at CSU, Chico. I was a 34-year old college junior and a first generation college student. Today I was looking for a beef stew recipe in the Joy of Cooking and I came … Continue reading R.I.P. Sociology

The end of the semester, again

The end of the semester is always bittersweet for a college lecturer. Unlike elementary and high school teachers, college instructors go through a cycle of 16-week long relationships with different classes. I teach, on average, 4 to 5 classes each semester, with a total of 220 to 250 students per semester. It’s a lot of … Continue reading The end of the semester, again

Is Your Professor also a Waitress or in Retail?

The crisis in college teaching is old hat on blogs like this. The professoriate is divided into a two tiered system, in which one group-the tenure track-has the good fortune to have job security and a decent salary, while an often-time larger groups has only semester-to-semester job security, and a part-time teaching gig which may … Continue reading Is Your Professor also a Waitress or in Retail?

Sociology, the Running Conversation, and the Murder of Marc Thompson

The Synthesis is a local weekly newspaper in small-town Chico, California, generally specialized in Entertainment news—stories of local bands, the bar scene, and arts. Recently, the small paper is branching into more critical hard-hitting news analysis. Emilano Garcia-Sarnoff published “Heart on Fire: The Murder of Marc Thompson” on September 29, which is about the recent … Continue reading Sociology, the Running Conversation, and the Murder of Marc Thompson

Putting things into perspective

Today, I hosted an "end of semester" celebration for ten students and their peer mentor at my house. I cooked and baked and put on Christmas music but honestly, wasn't looking forward to it this morning. Yesterday was a rough day, I didn't sleep well last night, and I'm generally just not feeling well, but … Continue reading Putting things into perspective

Ourselves, Cute Cats, and Genes as Rhetorical Devices  

Society is everywhere—humans have not existed outside of society for many millennia. The societies humans created live in privilege some and not others based on status categories rooted in morality. Social status can of course involve beliefs about genetics and relationships and often do. But as the classical sociologist Emile Durkheim wrote, the “brutal action … Continue reading Ourselves, Cute Cats, and Genes as Rhetorical Devices  

Did Coca Cola rebrand “America the Beautiful?”

The end of the semester means the “sociology of music” in my classes. As part of this, I do an experiment to see what songs students will remember when I play the first few bars (i.e. about six seconds). This semester I did this with the version of “America the Beautiful” played at the 2014 … Continue reading Did Coca Cola rebrand “America the Beautiful?”

Anthropological Subjects in the New York Times Last Week

Razib Khan published an interesting article “Our Cats, Ourselves” about the evolution of the domestic cat. The article describes how domestication of felines over the last 10,000 years has resulted in a critter that is both biologically and socially adapted to live with humans. The genetic element has resulted in smaller cranial sizes, and so … Continue reading Anthropological Subjects in the New York Times Last Week