All the Midweek Links
* By now my students were getting a bit restless. The confidence with which they had gone into this testing situation was beginning to dispel. Just a bit. There were still 102 questions left to answer.
* Exclusive Gyms For Members Of Congress Deemed ‘Essential,’ Remain Open During Shutdown. Amtrak Is in Trouble, But Congress Won’t Care. Government shutdown ends North Carolina WIC benefits. Social Security Warns Benefits Could Get Cut. DC Can’t Spend. Here’s how it’ll mess up higher ed (including freezing student loans). Secession by other means. Back Door Secession. Avenging the surrender of the South.
* The horror: New faculty positions versus new PhDs.
* Using survey data collected from PhD students in five academic disciplines across eight public U.S. universities, the authors compare represented and non-represented graduate student employees in terms of faculty–student relations, academic freedom, and pay. Unionization does not have the presumed negative effect on student outcomes, and in some cases has a positive effect. Union-represented graduate student employees report higher levels of personal and professional support, unionized graduate student employees fare better on pay, and unionized and nonunionized students report similar perceptions of academic freedom. These findings suggest that potential harm to faculty–student relationships and academic freedom should not continue to serve as bases for the denial of collective bargaining rights to graduate student employees.
High fees and black boxes are just part of the story. Some funds also allow their managers to make undisclosed side bets by trading ahead of or opposite to the fund’s trades.
Chicago-based Grant Park Futures Fund LP, which is marketed by Zurich-based UBS AG (UBSN), says on page 90 of a 180-page, April 2013 prospectus that David Kavanagh, president of the $660.9 million fund’s general partner, may place such personal trades. “Mr. Kavanagh may even be the other party to a trade entered into by Grant Park,” it says.
* Rebecca Solnit, The Age of Inhuman Scale.
* In the days of the Soviet Union, the country boasted that all its citizens shared the wealth equally, but a new report has found that a mere 20 years after the end of Communism, wealth disparity has soared with 35% of the country’s entire wealth now in the hands of just 110 people.
* Within 35 years, even a cold year will be warmer than the hottest year on record, according to research published in Nature on Wednesday. The L.A. Times will no longer publish letters from climate cranks.
* But the kids are all right: Arin Andrews and Katie Hill, Transgender Teenage Couple, Transition Together.