Posts by: vpriest

The Big Bang: What banged, why it banged, and what happened before it banged

The Big Bang theory was first conceived nearly a century ago. For many people, it seems to explain how the universe came to be. For cosmologists, however, it opens up many more questions. Neil Swidey of the Boston Globe writes, “The Big Bang theory offers an explanation for how the early universe expanded and cooled […]

A Brief History of Why North is Up

Perhaps you’ve seen McArthur’s Universal Corrective Map of the World where the southern hemisphere appears on the top and the northern below. In the western world, the vision of a world map where the north is at the top with the Americas on the left and Eurasia to the right seems unquestionable. However, as a […]

Ridiculous Medieval Drawings of Animals

A humorous post recently appeared on Mashable which shared medieval drawings of animals which look nothing like reality. These hilarious works of art are fun to laugh at, but they also get us thinking about the artists behind them. Look at the drawing of the elephant, for instance. While a certain amount of skill is […]

How does one define a liberal arts education?

The term “liberal arts” comes up a lot when discussing the various approaches to education found at American colleges and universities, but what exactly is a liberal arts education? Michael S. Roth’s new book, “Beyond the University: Why Liberal Education Matters” tries to define it. Roth argues that two distinct liberal arts traditions can be observed in […]

Professor David Swartz awarded History of Sociology Section Distinguished Scholarly Publication Award

Congratulations to Professor David Swartz for winning the History of Sociology Section Distinguished Scholarly Publication Award from the American Sociological Association for his book Symbolic Power, Politics, and Intellectuals: The Political Sociology of Pierre Bourdieu. Professor Swartz teaches in the Department of Sociology and the Core Curriculum Social Sciences. His book, which can be purchased […]

Dante’s Inferno… in LEGO!

The recent LEGO film shows that these popular construction toys are still thriving after more than half a century. Dante’s Divine Comedy has thrived for nearly seven centuries. Romanian LEGO artist Mihai Marius Mihu celebrates both by constructing scenes from each level of the Inferno. Here we share some of our favorites! The rest can […]

Should professors provide trigger warnings for literature?

According to a recent article published in the NYTimes, student governments at several major American universities are calling for trigger warnings for rape, violence and other sensitive material to be placed on syllabi, forewarning students who may be upset by such depictions in the literature and media read and discussed in class. And they aren’t […]

Taking Notes By Hand is More Effective Than By Laptop

A recent study conducted by UCLA researchers Daniel Oppenheimer and Pam Mueller found that traditional handwritten notes are far more effective than notes taken on a laptop or other electronic device. In their experiment, students took notes by hand or on a laptop while watching a video lecture. They were then quizzed, “either after 30 […]

The Challenges of Coping with Chronic Illness while in Higher Education

College classes and living on one’s own for the first time is stressful. Imagine having to cope with a chronic illness at the same time. In a recent article published in Cognoscenti, Laurie Edwards goes over the challenges that face college students suffering from chronic illness in today’s tertiary education system. While services for students […]

Ibn al-Haytham on Scientific Methodology

Egyptian scientist, Ibn al-Haytham (AD 950-1040), is hailed as the father of modern optics and experimental physics. Also, he’s apparently one of the first to make a statement on scientific methodology: The seeker after truth is not one who studies the writings of the ancients and, following his natural disposition, puts his trust in them, […]