Monthly Archives: July 2006

who needs ac?

when i moaned that my new office wasn’t air conditioned on sundays, my medsoc friend elaine sent me this twenty-author piece from international journal of obesity, as summarized in slate.

the authors, s. w. keith, d. t. redden, p. t. katzmarzyk, m. m. boggiano, e. c. hanlon, r. m. benca, d. ruden, a. pietrobelli, j. l. barger, k. r. fontaine, c. wang, l. j. aronne, s. m. wright, m. baskin, n. v. dhurandhar, m. c. lijoi, c. m. grilo, m. deluca, a. o. westfall and d. b. allison (do you think professors lijoi and grilo fought over the coveted 16th author position?) suggest some non-obvious contributors to the secular increase in obesity, including diminished sleep, chemicals that mess up our hormones, declining tobacco use, and antidepressants.

perhaps most intriguingly, they point to heating and air conditioning as a potential culprit. if ambient temperatures are a stable 70ish degrees year round, we needn’t expend energy to maintain our body temperature. plus, when the temp hits triple digits in minnesota, we really shouldn’t be all that hungry, right? i’m hedging my bets, so i made sure to fix the office AC.

who needs ac?

when i moaned that my new office wasn’t air conditioned on sundays, my medsoc friend elaine sent me this twenty-author piece from international journal of obesity, as summarized in slate.

the authors, s. w. keith, d. t. redden, p. t. katzmarzyk, m. m. boggiano, e. c. hanlon, r. m. benca, d. ruden, a. pietrobelli, j. l. barger, k. r. fontaine, c. wang, l. j. aronne, s. m. wright, m. baskin, n. v. dhurandhar, m. c. lijoi, c. m. grilo, m. deluca, a. o. westfall and d. b. allison (do you think professors lijoi and grilo fought over the coveted 16th author position?) suggest some non-obvious contributors to the secular increase in obesity, including diminished sleep, chemicals that mess up our hormones, declining tobacco use, and antidepressants.

perhaps most intriguingly, they point to heating and air conditioning as a potential culprit. if ambient temperatures are a stable 70ish degrees year round, we needn’t expend energy to maintain our body temperature. plus, when the temp hits triple digits in minnesota, we really shouldn’t be all that hungry, right? i’m hedging my bets, so i made sure to fix the office AC.

research analyst job

this looks like a nice opportunity. the minnesota judicial center has a job opening that might fit a very talented recent grad with good quantitative skills. the deadline is 7/31/06.

JUD RESEARCH ANALYST 1
$ 18.73-$ 29.02 hourly, $ 39,108-$ 60,593 annually

research analyst job

this looks like a nice opportunity. the minnesota judicial center has a job opening that might fit a very talented recent grad with good quantitative skills. the deadline is 7/31/06.

JUD RESEARCH ANALYST 1
$ 18.73-$ 29.02 hourly, $ 39,108-$ 60,593 annually

less rape

as a social scientist, i sometimes get frustrated when i hear academics lament that “nothing ever changes” when they have good data in front of them screaming that lots of things change. i recently heard the argument that racial discrimination at the polls is “as bad or worse” than it had been during passage of the voting rights act of 1965. i’m no expert in this area, but hasn’t there been a significant narrowing of the white / african american turnout gap from 1964 to 2004? things might not change as we want them to and they might not change as quickly as we would prefer, but they do change.

so, here is some good news about a crime of great concern. after seeing a washington post article on the long-term decline in rape in the united states, i thought i’d take a closer look at the data. according to the best available victimization data, rates of rape have dropped from 2.5 per thousand in 1973 to .4 per thousand in 2004. although 40 rapes per 100,000 persons age 12 and over is still way too many, an 84 percent drop in a terrible crime is good news indeed.

although reporting rates have increased over the years, most rapes still go unreported. that’s why the national crime victimization survey data shown above are a better indicator than the fbi’s uniform crime reports, which are based on calls to police. the ucr shows an increase in reports of forcible rape during the 1980s but a steady decline since the early 1990s, from a peak of 43 per 100,000 total population in 1992 to a rate of approximately 32 per 100,000 since 2000.


though the long-term downward trend is more pronounced in the ncvs, by either measure rape has dropped precipitously in the past fifteen years. when i teach differential association and social learning theories of crime, i often ask students whether they encounter “definitions favorable to rape” (many can relate such experiences) or how rapists might employ techniques of neutralization based upon the tacit approval of rape in the larger culture (there are no shortage of examples here, either). as rape has become statistically more rare in the united states, my sense is that it has also become more deviant in a normative sense.

although rape can and should be reduced further, i’d hope that there will be some downward rigidity to this trend. i don’t see an end to rape anywhere in sight, but i’d like to think some more-or-less durable changes in u.s. gender relations over the past few generations will keep rates from rising again. but then i realize that characterizing social change as more-or-less durable ain’t that far from the stability assumptions of those who say “nothing ever changes.” so, i’ll just admit that i don’t know what the future holds, report the good news, and suggest there’s cause for vigilance as well as recognition.

civil rights and civilian review openings

the minneapolis civil rights department is calling for participation on two important civil rights boards:

I am sending out this email to encourage those in the Minneapolis community interested in Civil Rights and the police accountability issues to apply for the open positions with the Minneapolis Civil Rights Commission and the Minneapolis Civilian Police Review Authority. Both of these organizations are in need of individuals of color!!! If you are interested in these opportunities, please visit the links or feel free to contact the Minneapolis Civil Rights Department at 612.673.2031!!! Applications are due on July 28, 2006. Please forward this email on to anyone interested in the opportunity.

Thank you,

Michael K. Browne
Interim Director
Mpls. Civil Rights Dep’t

civil rights and civilian review openings

the minneapolis civil rights department is calling for participation on two important civil rights boards:

I am sending out this email to encourage those in the Minneapolis community interested in Civil Rights and the police accountability issues to apply for the open positions with the Minneapolis Civil Rights Commission and the Minneapolis Civilian Police Review Authority. Both of these organizations are in need of individuals of color!!! If you are interested in these opportunities, please visit the links or feel free to contact the Minneapolis Civil Rights Department at 612.673.2031!!! Applications are due on July 28, 2006. Please forward this email on to anyone interested in the opportunity.

Thank you,

Michael K. Browne
Interim Director
Mpls. Civil Rights Dep’t

prisonization animation

mark fiore has a new cartoon titled the united states of incarceration. although mr. fiore’s treatment of criminal punishment can be criticized on several grounds, it illustrates how non-criminologists are connecting the dots between large-scale incarceration, poverty, inequality, and abuse.

i might find fault with his numbers, but i can’t disagree with mr. fiore’s tagline: i’m happy just the way things are, because problems on the inside travel near and far — like right to your neighborhood!

prisonization animation

mark fiore has a new cartoon titled the united states of incarceration. although mr. fiore’s treatment of criminal punishment can be criticized on several grounds, it illustrates how non-criminologists are connecting the dots between large-scale incarceration, poverty, inequality, and abuse.

i might find fault with his numbers, but i can’t disagree with mr. fiore’s tagline: i’m happy just the way things are, because problems on the inside travel near and far — like right to your neighborhood!