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Harvard prof Naomi Oreskes likes to fly. She has to, you see, in order to warn as many people as possible around the globe about our impending doom — by global warming climate change climate disruption. But somehow, she misses the irony:

It’s not clear when Oreskes will take her next lengthy flight, but in her lengthy and very impressive curriculum vitae, she outlines with a scholar’s specificity her penchant to fly around the globe routinely.

Truly, Oreskes has been an airline’s very best friend for years now. With a carbon footprint most climate change deniers could only rub their hands together deviously and dream about, she has spoken in a slew of American cities and at countless prestigious campuses domestically.

Abroad, her important environmental work has taken her on emission-emitting trips far and wide.

Just since June 2008 when then-candidate Barack Obama promised that his presidency would usher in “the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal,” Oreskes has visited Norway, Germany, Denmark, New Zealand and Switzerland — just to name a few places. She also took an extensive tour of Australia in 2010 to promote a book she co-wrote, “Merchants of Doubt: How A Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming.”

Oreskes told The Guardian that climate deniers “… (have) dismissed the science. They’ve pooh-poohed the mounting evidence that disruptive climate change is already underway. They’ve assumed scientists were over-reacting.”

Her new book, The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future, is an historian’s account from the year 2393 of the “global collapse caused by global warming.”

No word on whether Oreskes’ own prodigious carbon footprint gets a mention in the story.

Read the full story at The Daily Caller.

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IMAGE: Martin Hartland/Flickr

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Ohio State is making a strong case that it’s the university equivalent of the neo-pagan orgy “Christmas Critters” episode of South Park.

First it came out that a psychology class was teaching students that atheists are smarter than Christians, and now the Ohio State marching band’s heavily “sexualized” culture has gotten its director fired.

A two-month investigation revealed a veritable carnival of sexual horrors practiced in the marching band and tolerated by band director Jonathan Waters (not the flamboyant director of Hairspray), The Columbus Dispatch reports:

Rookies were forced to perform “tricks” on command. In one case, a female student was told to imitate a sexual act on the laps of other band members, including her brother.

Several witnesses said that students performed a “flying 69” on tour buses, in which band members hung from the luggage racks and posed in a sexual position. Waters was on the bus when that happened as recently as last fall, according to Pam Bork, a band volunteer who quit last year.

Bork, who volunteered as a health official, reportedly told Waters on the bus, “If I have to hear the word penis or vagina one more time, I’m going to scream.” Bork quit soon after because Waters would not address alcohol abuse on that trip, she told investigators.

The school’s official investigation report catalogued in eye-popping detail band practices that would make Bob Saget blush:

  • The “tricks” section of the report (page 7) lists what sexually depraved actions the nicknamed rookies took “either on command or at their own volition”
  • An incredibly lewd “Rookie Exam” given to new band members (see in particular pages 15-20)
  • An “unofficial” marching band songbook with rewritten lyrics full to the brim with graphic sexual slurs and practices (some of which could be considered homophobic or misogynistic)

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The fired director has his supporters, with some saying the band has been like this for decades, the Dispatch said:

Diana Gilmore was among those who found the punishment unfair. She said similar behavior has been part of the band since at least the 1970s, when her husband was a photographer for the band. She traveled on the tour bus and said she saw lewd behavior. She still has a photo of band members on the field raising middle fingers to the camera as her husband snapped a shot.

“This has been going on. Waters did not start this –– it’s a culture that’s been going on for a long time under everybody,” said Gilmore, whose husband, V. Scott, has since died.

For a quick rundown of the most objectionable parts of the exhibits, see this Deadspin article. The full Dispatch article is here.

UPDATE: The school has released a statement saying that, besides Waters’ firing, it appointed “Betty Montgomery, former Ohio Attorney General, to lead an independent task force, reporting directly to President [Michael] Drake and the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, to review this matter in its entirety.”

Drake also speaks on video in the statement, noting he joined the school only three weeks ago.

h/t Daily Caller

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IMAGES: Photographer/Flickr, Investigation report screenshot

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Matthew Liao, director of New York University’s bioethics program, has a rather … unique idea to combat global warming climate change climate disruption: Make environmentally friendly humans:

… one of Liao’s ideas is shrinking ourselves, which he says will reduce our environmental footprint.“Reducing height by 15cm would mean a reduction in mass of around 25 percent,” he explained, which means that “less” of you has to be transported and fed. He added, “You can fit in airplanes better!”

The professor elaborated to The Atlantic that this shrinking could be done via a technique called “preimplantation via genetic diagnosis,” in which embryos would be selected to implant based on height. It could also be accomplished with hormone treatment or gene imprinting.

A quite interesting take for a bioethicist, wouldn’t you say? But Liao rationalizes:

“The reason we are even considering these solutions is to prevent climate change, which is a really serious problem, and which might affect the well being of millions of people including the child,” Liao said. “And so in that context, if on balance human engineering is going to promote the well being of that particular child, then you might be able to justify the solution to the child.”

Less controversial is his suggestion of a pill, or patch (like a nicotine patch), which would make a person nauseous or outright sick if he/she attempts to eat any meat. Liao says that this would be … “liberty enhancing.”

Read the full article here.

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IMAGE: Lee Morley/Flickr

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Not only does the University of Oregon appear to have a problem with lazy cops, its public records office seems to think that its own employees are covered by federal student privacy law.

The New York TimesEugene Register-Guard, The Oregonian and Portland ABC affiliate KATU were denied their request for full public records concerning “a sexual misconduct investigation involving three UO men’s basketball players,” the Student Press Law Center reported.

The reason?

When the university gave [the Times] redacted emails about the incident on May 28, The Times appealed to Lane County District Attorney Alex Gardner, arguing OU wrongly used several statutes to defend the redactions, according to a letter the newspaper sent Gardner June 12 requesting the appeal.

In the letter, the university’s public records office said it made the redactions to comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, which prohibits the release of personally identifiable information from education records without consent from the student.

However, Times attorney D. Victoria Baranetsky said the request didn’t target individual students or a specific topic. Instead, it focused on the response of seven university employees, and asked for all emails sent and received during a period of 11 days, Baranetsky said.

The Times has filed a new public records request with the university and the other media outlets appealed to the district attorney’s office, SPLC said.

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A professor who taught at San Francisco State and the University of San Francisco has been accused of filming students who used his home bathroom, with the camera “positioned to film the genital region of men facing the toilet to urinate,” the San Francisco Chronicle reports:

Mark Landis, 38, was charged with 15 misdemeanor counts of invasion of privacy.

The investigation began in November, according to court documents, when one guest found a camera hidden in a tissue box on a toilet in Landis’ home in the Castro, according to court documents.

The houseguest removed the memory card from the camera. When he watched it, he recognized himself and friends caught on video using the toilet.

Professor Landis doesn’t exactly sound like a good role model:

One of the victims told The Chronicle that Landis was friendly, open and fun-loving with not just his friends but also his students and co-workers. Landis had turned his home into a weekend party hub, the victim said.

“He was just the person that would host, and it was a safe place to go to,” said the man, whom The Chronicle is not identifying. “We basically hung out every single weekend for about two years, and we always hung out at his house because he always had a lot of alcohol.”

Landis, who was arrested on Wednesday, has been freed on $100,000 bail.

Read the full article here.

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IMAGE: Klaus Friese/Flickr

 

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Maybe cops can afford this flaccid approach to law enforcement when they monitor a campus best known for smoking pot around the clock.

The cops on graveyard shift at the University of Oregon in Eugene maintained an extensive – and frequently debated – list of celebrities, professional athletes, politicians, classes of people, institutions, TV shows, municipalities, inanimate objects and much more, numbering 225 in all, that they disliked, as reported by local CBS affiliate KVAL.

The “Bowl of Dicks” list was revealed through a lawsuit by a fired cop who claimed that he was let go “after he complained to supervisors about mistreatment and misconduct.”

bowlofdicks.kval.screenshot

Before each shift, [James] Cleavenger says Lt. Brandon Lebrecht would conduct a pre-shift briefing with all of the officers on the shift, including Kent Abbott, Michael Drake, Adam Lillengreen, Eric LeRoy and Andrew Bechdolt.

During many of those briefings, Cleavenger says Lebrachet allowed for a discussion of a “Bowl of —– List.”

Cleavenger says this was an actual list of people and entities who participating officers disliked and thought should “eat a bowl of” a vulgar term for the male genitalia. …

Cleavenger says on multiple occasions, LeRoy and Lebracht would spend much of their 8-hour shifts discussing the list instead of working, which he says can be verified Computer Aided Dispatch records and UO dispatch audio recordings.

For some reason the cops had a problem with the Oregon statute that “lets public universities establish their own police departments” – ORS 352.385 is on the list, as noted by Gawker, which helpfully provides a scrollable version.

Yes, Officer LeRoy kept the entire list on his personal cellphone.

KVAL continues: “According to the University of Oregon’s website, Lebrecht is now a lieutenant in charge of ‘Professional Standards and Training.’”

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IMAGES: KVAL screenshots

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