• I’ve begun reading Michael Berube’s blog regularly, and here is a hilarious reason why:

    Women barred from Harvard presidency by “genetic predisposition,” study finds

    CAMBRIDGE, MA (AP)– Researchers unveiled today a startling new study that suggests women are “extremely unlikely” to become president of Harvard University, and that women’s “distinctive genetic makeup” plays “a decisive role” in preventing them from becoming top-level administrators at the nation’s oldest college.

    “Traditionally, presidents of Harvard have been men,” said Harvard geneticist Charles Kinbote, the study’s designer and principal investigator. “Now, after almost 400 years, we know why. To coin a phrase, it’s in the genes.”

    According to Kinbote, the presidency of Harvard University requires a unique array of talents and dispositions which, statistically, only a small handful of women possess. “For one thing,” noted Kinbote, “it has long been one of the president’s tasks to deny tenure to promising female scholars– personally, without stated cause, and after a department, a college, and a battery of external referees has approved her. My study shows that the X chromosome contains material that, in combination with another X chromosome, inhibits a person’s ability to do this.”

    Men are also more adept than women at mentally rotating three-dimensional shapes on aptitude tests, Kinbote added. “You’d be surprised how often a university president needs to do this, and at Harvard the pressure is especially intense.” Kinbote estimated that the president of Harvard spends roughly one-quarter of the working may mentally rotating complex, hypothetical three-dimensional shapes, “and that’s not even counting all the time he needs to try to figure out why women aren’t as skilled at abstract mathematical thought.”

    The X chromosome also seems to play a role in suppressing the ability to make fatuous remarks in public forums. “If you want to be president of Harvard,” Kinbote said, “you have to be willing to get up there and just let it fly, no matter what the facts are and no matter what the consequences may be. Not just in off-the-cuff remarks– anybody can do that– but in carefully considered, prepared statements. It appears that once again, the X chromosome works, when paired with another X, as an inhibiting factor in all but a tiny fraction of the female population.” That tiny fraction, Kinbote suggested, would be the subject of a subsequent study into the biochemical basis of Coulter Syndrome.

    Here’s a story about the Harvard president’s enlightened remarks. Update: He’s sorry.

  • Along with avoiding any visual or auditory contact with inauguration coverage, I’ve been trying to ignore – for the most part, successfully – the Condoleezza Rice proceedings. But I had a couple of accidental, unavoidable encounters with network news recaps, and was forced to contemplate what I heard. First, her unbelievable words, “the time for diplomacy is now…” They left me gap-jawed. Second, what happened to Joe Biden’s backbone? What is the point of voting yes ‘with a little bit of frustration and some reservation’??? Guess what? – it’s only the “yes” part that counts. Third, thank God for Barbara Boxer. Again.
  • Speaking of the (3 years overdue) “time for diplomacy,” the world is trembling at the prospect of another Bush term. Of course, the Bushies get off on that…

    A poll of 21 countries published yesterday – reflecting opinion in Africa, Latin America, North America, Asia and Europe – showed that a clear majority have grave fears about the next four years.

    Fifty-eight per cent of the 22,000 who took part in the poll, commissioned by the BBC World Service, said they expected Mr Bush to have a negative impact on peace and security, compared with only 26% who considered him a positive force.

    The survey also indicated for the first time that dislike of Mr Bush is translating into a dislike of Americans in general.

  • The military is stretched to the limits in Iraq, recruitment and retention are plummeting, retirees are being called up, and the army is apparently considering outsourcing desk jobs in order to switch those folks to combat duty. But the Bushies are swaggering around Iran. War without end. Which reminds me: Do read Seymour Hersh’s “The Coming Wars”, in this week’s New Yorker, which describes the extent of the preparations already underway for Iran.
  • This is just the kind of thing that gives me hope about outlasting the lunatic fringe: eventually, they become so convinced and enamored of their righteousness that they overreach, and their lunacy becomes apparent to everyone. Parents, your children are receiving pro-homosexual indoctrination via Sponge Bob.
  • Ouch.
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