Tag Archives: University of Texas

Cowardly spirited away in the dark of night

Statues of Lee, Johnston, Reagan and Hogg were removed around midnight Sunday from the University of Texas campus. So the pathetic snowflakes wouldn’t melt with indignation.

General Robert E. Lee, of course, led the Army of Northern Virginia; Albert Sidney Johnston was a Texas general killed at Shiloh; Texan John Reagan was the Confederacy’s treasurer; and first native-born governor James Stephen Hogg’s only apparent “crime” seems to have been being the son of a Confederate general.

Via the Daily.

Israel BDS opposed by UTexas student assembly

Earlier this spring, a Palestinian student group at the University of Texas tried to get the school’s student assembly to urge the university to sell stock it owns in five corporations the group claimed “facilitate in the oppression of the Palestinian people by the State of Israel.”

The group wanted UT to join the University of California whose student government voted 11-1 in February in favor of the Israel BDS (boycott, divest, & sanctions) movement. Instead, “after weeks of contentious debate,” according to the Daily Texan student newspaper, the UT assembly voted 23-11 against the idea.

Not that approval would have had any practical effect as the university investors have long said they don’t use political or social issues in their decisions. Likewise the California board of regents opposes such consideration and will ignore the UC vote. But a BDS victory at UT, as did the victory at UC, could have had large political implications.

The accused corporations at UT: Alstom, Cemex, Hewlett-Packard, Proctor & Gamble, and United Technologies.

Via The Jewish Outlook.

Affirmative Action’s latest preference: smaller classes

The University of Texas’ latest engagement in racial and ethnic preferences isn’t a court case defending Affirmative Action but a chemistry course. It’s not dumbed-down but taught in a smaller class of four dozen where individuals are more likely to get special help.

The TIP program points to the contradiction at the heart of the diversity rationale. In order ‘to obtain the educational benefits of student body diversity,’ UT created programs to vary its standards based on both race and geography. [Chemistry professor David] Laude seems to have found a way to help less-prepared students succeed, and one hopes his approach will prove replicable. But his method entails putting those students in separate courses. That’s difficult to reconcile with the notion that diversity itself is educationally beneficial.”

What’s inarguable is that smaller classes are always better than ones of hundreds of students taught by graduate assistants instead of professors. But with so much of modern academe’s tuition and fees going to pay administrative salaries, they’re unlikely to be available to all.

Light decoder

het_primarybHobby-Eberly Telescope, a spectroscopy giant, in the Fort Davis Mountains.

Texas scope testing 68 candidate earths

“We also go to the really big telescopes, and we get very sharp images to see if there’s anything around that star that could explain it. When we’re through with all those tests, we go to the Keck or the HET or another large telescope and we measure the spectra.

“If the spectra show that the star is wobbling, we get the mass of a planet. In particular, we can go to the Keck, get the period of the planet and get the epoch (where the planet is on its orbit). And that should exactly match what we have with Kepler. If they have the same orbital period and they occur at the same time, we can say yes, we have a confirmation and can announce it.”

Harlan Smith 107-inch reflector


Dome of the telescope at McDonald Observatory in West Texas that helped map the near side of tidally-locked Luna before the landings began in 1969.

Yom HaShoah

Today, in the open-air rotunda on the north side of the Texas Capitol, folks in the Austin Jewish community and others will be reading the names of those who were murdered in the Holocaust. Among the readers on this Holocaust Remembrance Day will be University of Texas members of The White Rose Society. Every April they distribute on campus ten thousand white roses to commemorate the approximate number of people the Nazis killed in just one day at their Auschwitz concentration camp alone.

The society takes its name from a non-violent student group at the University of Munich in 1942-43 which distributed anonymous leaflets calling for resistence against Hitler’s regime. Its six core members were captured by the Gestapo and beheaded. Allied bombers later dropped millions of copies of a society leaflet over the whole country. Holocaust Remembrance Day was begun in 1959 by the State of Israel.