Georgetown University Library Budget Cut

Lauinger Library’s budget was cut by $1 million for fiscal year 2016, requiring the library to reduce its principal collections of books to avoid staff layoffs. In July 2015, the library took a 6-percent overall budget reduction as part of a broader university effort to reduce spending, according to University Librarian Artemis Kirk. In order to retain all library staff, the majority of the cuts were made from the library’s collections budget, which were cut by 17.5 percent. The reduced collection was announced to university faculty in an email sent from library administrators Feb. 9 obtained by The Hoya. The cut is part of a larger series of cuts to the university budget, according to the email sent to faculty. K. Matthew Dames, associate university librarian for scholarly resources, said the $1 million reduction is unlikely to be reversed in future years.

Source: Georgetown University: “Lauinger Library Reduces Collection After Budget Cuts” | LJ INFOdocket

Posted in Santa Clara University | Leave a comment

Stata gets a markdown package… will try this in coming weeks

Rigorous documentation of the analysis plan, procedure, and computer codes enhances the comprehensibility and transparency of data analysis. Documentation is particularly critical when the codes and data are meant to be publicly shared and examined by the scientific community to evaluate the analysis or adapt the results. The popular approach for documenting computer codes is known as literate programming, which requires preparing a trilingual script file that includes a programming language for running the data analysis, a human language for documentation, and a markup language for typesetting the document. In this article, I introduce markdoc, a software package for interactive literate programming and generating dynamic-analysis documents in Stata.

From E. F. Haghish of the Center for Medical Biometry and Medical Informatics, University of Freiburg.  Source: Stata Journal | Article

Posted in R statistics | Leave a comment

Roundup Friday

Have been very busy teaching introductory econometrics and associated lab to my Econ 41-42 students. Fun, but a lot of work. So many little glitches in R-Markdown. Great, useful program, but bringing students up to speed, and being the one to introduce many of them to the proverbial “workaround mentality” is time-consuming.

Two very light fiction reads in past week: Rick Yancey’s The 5th Wave, and Oliver Pötzsch’s The Hangman’s Daughter.  I cannot recommend either unless you have no alternative.  They were right there on our library’s new fiction shelf, so very convenient (normally I like our university librarians’ fiction reading selections).  Thank heavens I decided to take action and ordered through inter-library loan Kwei Quartey’s third Ghanaian detective novel.  I started it two days ago, quite good.

FAVL received a large donation, $10,000!, so I am ecstatic about that.  Our programs in Burkina Faso and Ghana will really benefit from having these unrestricted funds.  FAVL Treasurer Deb Garvey and I also finally packed up in last couple weeks 8 boxes of donated books, very high quality, and sent them off to Burkina Faso and Ghana.

I skied my first black run (well, just part of it) a couple weeks ago.  Thanks Jeff Schroeder. Very proud of myself.  It is hard starting things like this at 54.  Learning to play the piano actually is almost harder than skiing.  Thanks Jim Nette.  The weather has been very strange in Bear Valley and I am not flexible enough in my schedule to take advantage of some of the “never seen anything like it in 20 years” powder days (the resort uses “epic” a lot), but the coming weeks look more stable.  See you on the slopes!

Posted in Book reviews

Jebel Marra in Darfur, Sudan

Posted in Burkina Faso

More than 100,000 visas revoked due to travel ban

Amateur foreign policy indeed.

Over 100,000 visas have been revoked as a result of President Trump’s ban on travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries, an attorney for the government revealed in Alexandria federal court Friday.The number came out during a hearing in a lawsuit filed by attorneys for two Yemeni brothers who arrived at Dulles International Airport last Saturday. They were coerced into giving up their legal resident visas, they argue, and quickly put on a return flight to Ethiopia.“The number 100,000 sucked the air out of my lungs,” said Simon Sandoval-Moshenberg of the Legal Aid Justice Center, who represents the brothers.The government attorney, Erez Reuveni from the Justice Department’s Office of Immigration Litigation, could not say how many people with visas were sent back to their home countries from Dulles in response to the travel ban. However, he did say that all people with green cards who came through the airport have been let into the United States.For people such as the brothers, Tareq and Ammar Aqel Mohammed Aziz, who tried to enter the country over the weekend with valid visas and were sent back, the government appears to be attempting a case-by-case reprieve. They and other plaintiffs in lawsuits around the country are being offered new visas and the opportunity to come to the United States in exchange for dropping their suits.

Source: Government reveals more than 100,000 visas revoked due to travel ban – The Washington Post

Posted in United States

Recent reading: Two good graphic novels and The Vegetarian by Han Kang

Elliot for Christmas got Kill My Mother by Jules Feiffer, an interesting noir homage graphic novel, set in the 1940s Hollywood and Pacific Theater.  If you are my age and a certain  income class you probably read a lot of Feiffer cartoons and comics during your childhood.


Another Christmas present was Patience, by Daniel Clowes, who apparently lives just up the road in Oakland.  A good read; science fiction, time travel, melancholia, wasted lives, and that one chance.

Han Kang’s The Vegetarian is a strange tale out of South Korea.  Not well-crafted enough to be high literature, at least not in the English translation, it is still an interesting novel.  It is short, so you lose little by giving it a try.  Has little to do with being a vegetarian, and everything to do with maintaining a coherent identity as a person over time, once the absurdity of our consciousness of consciousness starts to infect your brain.

Posted in Book reviews

New Zealand Is ‘the Future,’ Peter Thiel Said

Answered my question from yesterday, which country is “greater” than the United States  and so worthy of emulation?  Thiel has presumably communicated his choice to Trump.

“I am happy to say categorically that I have found no other country that aligns more with my view of the future than New Zealand,” Mr. Thiel wrote in his application.

Neither one of them probably is much concerned about the possibility that one day they or their children, after moving to New Zealand, might fall in love with someone with Maori background, and then suddenly be treated as a second-class citizen.  Nor, I bet, are they thinking of NZ anti-discimination policies as a model for the U.S.  Oh well.

Posted in United States