Thursday, February 09, 2012

Duke 85 UNC 84

Austin Rivers!

If, for some inexplicable reason, you don't know what we're talking about, click here for some good, old-fashioned Blue Devil fun!

~Steve, Desi, Julie, and Z

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

The Knife

What you are looking at is a picture of the most distinctive gift I have ever been given by a student...the bayonet of an AK-47, probably Soviet stock dating back to the 1960s or 1970s.

This particular graduate student, Dan Green, has served tours of duty in both Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, Dan is in Afghanistan right now, having left for a deployment of eight months something like 48 hours after defending his dissertation. Talk about pivoting from one world (the academy) right into another (where skeptical professors are the least of one's worries)!

Dan recently published a memoir of his previous time in Afghanistan. Click here to check out The Valley's Edge: A Year with the Pashtuns in the Heartland of the Taliban.

As for the bayonet, Dan picked it up at a bazaar in Kabul. Sitting there in my office, Dan showed me how it can be used as a wire cutter. Click here to take a look at a video that walks through the wire-cutting process.

Thanks, Dan, for what is a real piece of the (troubled and violent) history of that part of our world!

~Steve

Monday, February 06, 2012

Me And My Little Audience

The Social Science Research Network is a website where researchers like myself can disseminate their work, posting paper drafts and published articles in a central clearinghouse where they can be searched and accessed. I did this with an article I recently wrote on the politics of the Chinese Internet, as I had published a blog post about the article and wanted to provide interested readers with a link to the complete paper.

Fast forward a few weeks, and I get an email in my inbox, notifying me that my paper has made a number of top ten lists. Top ten lists!? Yes, apparently, in the past 60 days, my paper is one of the top ten most accessed papers in a number of categories. Read below, from the actual email...

Your paper, "INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY, POLITICAL PARTICIPATION, AND THE EVOLUTION OF CHINESE POLICYMAKING", was recently listed on SSRN's Top Ten download list for: Chinese Studies eJournal - Forthcoming, EAS Subject Matter eJournals, ERN: Positive Analysis of Policy-Making & Implementation (Topic), East Asian Studies Research Network and LSN: Legal Information & Government (Sub-Topic).

With a little further research, I discovered my exact ranking in each of the categories...

Chinese Studies eJournal - Forthcoming Top Ten...#1
EAS Subject Matter eJournals Top Ten...#2
ERN: Positive Analysis of Policy-Making & Implementation (Topic) Top Ten...#7
East Asian Studies Research Network Top Ten...#2
LSN: Legal Information & Government (Sub-Topic) Top Ten...#1

Before you get too impressed by all of this top ten activity, continue reading from my email...

As of 01/27/2012, your paper has been downloaded 11 times.

Yes, you read it right...11 times! I wonder how many records Bruce has to sell to make it onto top ten lists. Something tells me it is a tad bit more than 11!

~Steve