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All charges that had been previously leveled at former Dartmouth physics professor Stephon Alexander, after he was arrested in December 2015 along with seven other Rhode Island men in a prostitution sting, have been dropped, according to the Brown Daily Herald:

Stephon Alexander Charges Dropped Comp.jpg

Addendum: The Herald article cited Andrew Horwitz, professor at the Roger Williams University School of Law, as saying he did not expect Brown to discipline Alexander in any way because of the incident:

“Unless one could establish some connection between the alleged conduct and somebody’s qualifications to be a faculty member,” retributions are unwarranted. “I personally don’t see any connection whatsoever between (the prostitution case) and somebody’s qualifications to be an effective faculty member.”

If that analysis is correct, Alexander should be free to begin teaching Brown undergraduates right away.

Oh dastardly dastardly trickery. Johns Hopkins is manipulating its U.S. News ranking by the devious means of placing an increased emphasis on undergraduate education:

JHU Ranking comp.jpg

The next thing that the devious folks in beautiful Baltimore might do is further increase their faculty members’ commitment to undergraduate teaching. It seems that the JHU administration will stop at nothing.

How lucky Dartmouth is to have a leader who will not succumb to such low temptation. No cleverness like that from Phil Hanlon, no dorm renovations nor support of the faculty, not when there are energy institutes to be built and a bloated staff to support.

Addendum: Do you think that The Johns Hopkins Environment, Energy, Sustainability, and Health Institute (E²SHI) is the reason for JHU’s rise in the rankings? I don’t. It has existed since 2010.

Addendum: In the most recent Times of London World University Rankings (2016-2017), JHU finished 17th. Harvard was #6; Princeton #7; Yale #12; Penn #13; Columbia #16; Cornell #19; Borwn #51; and Dartmouth #82 (up from #104 last year).

Addendum: JHU lays out its efforts to improve its undergraduate program here

Academically, undergraduates now have more opportunities to engage with their professors, thanks to smaller classes—nearly three-quarters of undergraduate classes have fewer than 20 students—and exposure to the university’s Bloomberg Distinguished Professors, world-class interdisciplinary scholars who teach undergraduates as part of their cross-specialty collaborations.

Outside the classroom, nearly two-thirds of Hopkins undergraduates conduct hands-on research in a variety of disciplines, from archaeology to microbiology, computer science to economics. Johns Hopkins students work with professors on faculty-led research projects and receive support for their own original research through a number of undergraduate research funding opportunities.

Johns Hopkins’ commitment to undergraduate education has led to new and innovative academic offerings, including a recently created option that gives applicants the opportunity to be simultaneously admitted to both the undergraduate program and to a master’s program at JHU’s renowned Bloomberg School of Public Health or its School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C.

The Johns Hopkins undergraduate experience is also becoming more accessible thanks to an institutional commitment to access, reflected in the university’s financial aid program. The past five first-year classes have been admitted to Johns Hopkins on a need-blind basis, allowing the university to admit excellent students without regard to their families’ ability to pay. Nearly 50 percent of all undergraduate students receive aid, and the average grant is almost $40,000. Institutional grant aid for undergraduates has increased 45 percent over the past six years.

Undergraduates have a new near-campus residential option this year with the opening of Nine East 33rd, a privately developed project on university-owned property. And the university career center has adopted a new service model designed to better serve the needs of both students and potential employers.

No. Not President Hanlon. He is so busy sucking up to oil barons that he has no time to praise real heroism. But over at the White House, President Obama took a moment to note Abbey’s wonderful gesture in Rio, stating:

And then we’re in awe of American athletes like Abbey D’Agostino, who showed that the Olympics are about more than just setting records. It’s about sportsmanship and character. Some of you saw when Abbey collided on the track with another runner, tearing her ACL, Abbey popped up, reached out her hands to her competitor, and said, “Get up. We have to finish this race… We have to finish this race.” And that’s a remarkable sentiment in the middle of an individual event. But that’s exactly what the Olympic spirit and the American spirit should be all about.

Obama Abbey.jpg

Click here to listen to the President.

Addendum: Yesterday the Dartmouth News wrote about President Obama’s comment, and earlier in the week, at a fundraising meeting with alumni, President Hanlon said, after a great many ums and ahs, that he, too, “should probably write something.”

A development officer writes in about the Irving Energy Institute:

Research and other restrictions are usually spelled out in a gift agreement between a donor and the university. Such agreement would usually specify general criteria for faculty hires and an annual report of research produced (a soft way of evaluating). If donors are watching as faculty are hired/appointed to the institute, they can judge by professors’ previous research where they stand on fossil fuel/environmental issues.

If Dartmouth and the Irvings are willing to disclose the gift agreement, they could put a lot of the controversy to rest. So it may be an effective line of inquiry to publicly ask to see it. If Hanlon and the Irvings refuse to disclose the agreement, that is telling.

So, Phil. Will you disclose the gift agreement, and also pledge that the agreement that you show us expresses all the terms of agreement between the College and the Irvings? And will you confirm that the Irvings and their entourage have no prior view of faculty hires and the topics of research by people in the energy institute. Better still, that Irving has no prior view of anything.

Scott Blackmun1.jpgOne of life’s little, but undeniably real, pleasures is watching as one of the kids with whom I occasionally ate at Topside goes on to do good and noble things. Scott Blackmun ‘79 is the CEO of the U.S. Olympic Committee. The NYT reports:

1936 Olympians Receive Overdue Recognition at White House

WASHINGTON — Shortly after Jesse Owens returned home from his snubbing by Adolph Hitler at the 1936 Olympics, he and America’s 17 other black Olympians found a less-than-welcoming reception from their own government, as well.

On Thursday, relatives of those 1936 African-American Olympians will be welcomed to the White House and will get to shake the president’s hand — an honor Owens and the others didn’t receive, the way some of their white counterparts did, after they returned home from Berlin 80 years ago.

U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun announced the visit Wednesday night at a Team USA Awards ceremony.

“That is why I’m here 80 years later, to recognize the senselessness (of not inviting them to the White House), and to pay tribute to all the progress that has come since,” Blackmun said…

Decades later, Owens was acknowledged and honored at the White House. In 1976, President Gerald Ford presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The stories of the other 17 blacks on that team were less-widely known. Thursday’s event was meant to give a long-overdue White House recognition to those athletes, who accounted for 14 of America’s 56 medals in Berlin.

Way to go, Scott.

Addendum: Scott played goal for the men’s soccer team.

Thumbnail image for Michael-Beechert.jpgDartblog is pleased to welcome a new writer, Michael Beechert ‘16. Michael grew up in Yorktown, NY. At the College he majored in Government and minored in German Studies, which led him to spend terms abroad at Keble College, Oxford as well as in Berlin, where he interned in the German Bundestag.

When he was in Hanover, Michael was an opinion columnist for The Dartmouth, a trombonist in the Wind Ensemble and the Barbary Coast, and he served for a year as his Class Treasurer. In the latter role he distinguished himself as the author with several other student leaders of an open letter to the administration regarding administrative waste at the College and the loss of focus in Hanover on undergraduate education.

Currently, Michael is a Fulbright Scholar in Munich, where he is performing research on perceptions of European integration and German identity at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich. He plans to start work at Google when he comes back from Germany.

From abroad, Michael supports the never-ending fight against administrative bloat and against infringements on free speech and free thought in higher education. Unfortunately, he also supports the Jets and Knicks.

LMU Comp.jpgWhen visiting colleges during my junior and senior years of high school, the word “fit” came up in almost every bit of advice I received relating to the process. “Just find the best fit!,” was frequently proffered as the answer to what was made out to be a crucially important, even life-altering decision. Years later, I still have no idea what exactly this means.

I chose to attend Dartmouth because of its ostensible focus on undergraduate education and because I like the woods; I did not, upon visiting campus for the first time, get the feeling that Cinderella must have gotten when she stuck her foot into that glass slipper. This went against the narrative to which American high school students were and, as far as I am aware, still are subjected — if it’s not love at first sight, scratch it off the list.

My sense is that this misguided obsession with fit is a large part of the reason why universities in the U.S. have established ever-larger staff profiles that, at least in theory, offer increased support services to students. If every student of every racial-ethnic-gender-religious-political-socioeconomic persuasion has someone of the same bent to talk to, universities can hope to present a perfect “fit” to a broader base of applicants.

Of course, increases in staffing can’t be entirely attributed to this; there are also phalanxes of paper-pushers employed at Dartmouth and other schools that aren’t expected to interact with students at all. Joe Asch ‘79 has published extensive statistics on the topic, so I won’t get into details here, but it’s clear that bloat is alive and well in American higher education. One size — XXL — fits all.

The German university system provides an interesting contrast to all of the above. Essentially all reputable universities in Germany are public and available to students at marginal or no cost (all I had to pay for this semester was about 120 EUR, which also covers a semester-long subway pass). Despite the lack of an intimate, personal classroom experience that is so prized at Dartmouth and other elite American schools, German universities haven’t exactly struggled to produce accomplished graduates, and I can anecdotally describe students here as generally kind, well-adjusted, and well-rounded individuals.

Incredibly, they manage to be this way without the benefit of a full-time crew of support staff, since university administrations and non-academic offices in Germany are run more leanly than their American counterparts. Let’s look to the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, where I currently am, for an example:


The LMU is home to approximately 50,000 students each year, along with a little over 2,400 non-academic staff and 3,047 people classified as academic staff (all data is as of 2014 and does not include hospital personnel). Dartmouth, which in the year 2015 had 6,350 students, employed 1,066 faculty and 3,497 non-faculty staff members outside of DHMC. The LMU’s annual budget, not including the hospital, was 579 million EUR in 2014 (approximately $650 million with current exchange rates). Dartmouth’s overall budget in the fiscal year 2016 is $1 billion.

One accustomed to American universities’ cavalier attitude towards money may be surprised that an institution like the LMU, with approximately eight times as many students as Dartmouth, does not spend eight times the money or have eight times the number of employees. To be sure, students in Munich and elsewhere in Germany do not enjoy all the creature comforts or personalized resources that Ivy Leaguers do in the United States. Long lines, restricted opening hours, and a sense of frustration with bureaucracy are the norm here. However, those inconveniences seem minor in light of the (lack of a) cost of attendance.

Interestingly - and I would say not coincidentally - the question of “fit” plays little to no part in the average German student’s decision about where to pursue higher education. The decision calculus typically run by American high school students - how and where you might make friends, the quality of the food, whether the transgender Quidditch club has an adequate number of advisers - seems silly in Germany, where the assumption is that university students are adults and will make things work one way or another. While German students are generally about a year older than their American peers when entering university, the gap in neediness does not correspond to the gap in age.

There are certainly many things that schools like Dartmouth do better than the best German universities, and fostering close relationships between faculty and students is probably the most important. That being said, American college administrators might find it instructive to look across the Atlantic for a lesson in organizational efficiency from a fiscal standpoint to help develop leaner budgeting practices. If this could be done without sacrificing the intense, personal nature of academics we rightly hold so dear, we could have a school that fits just about everyone.

The Wall Street Journal has entered the college-ranking sweepstakes:

WSJ Rankings 2016 Full.jpg

Fortunately for us, Brown made it into the Ivy League. Cornell leapfrogged over us in the Journal — in U.S. News the Big Red is just behind Brown, which is just behind us (we are now tied with Caltech and Northwestern at #11).

Addendum: Though much of the Journal’s report is behind a paywall, the methodology its editors used is not.

Addendum: An alumnus writes in:

The inaugural WSJ rankings are a bit curious with Columbia the top Ivy and Princeton barely edging out Cornell for 8th place. Fortunately for us, at number 20, Brown ranked last among the Ivies. One encouraging metric is the “right choice” which measured students’ satisfaction with their choice of college. Out of the top 25 we ranked 3rd behind only Stanford and Notre Dame. However, we got hammered in the “environment” metric which apparently assesses the diversity of the university community. Does that mean we got punished because not very many minorities choose to live in the Upper Valley? It certainly can’t be referring to the make up of the student body. As I say - curious.

The College seems unaware of the PR problem that it has generated in accepting money from the Irving Oil company. Is Phil just too obtuse to understand the troubling moral issues in accepting a large gift from a donor, Arthur Irving, who has a direct interest in the activity that he is funding? (The rest of the world isn’t.) Or is our President so hungry for some kind of tangible achievement after three and a third years of floundering that he’s willing to overlook the problems that everyone else sees? Inside Philanthropy sums up the conflict-of-interest arguments well:

Irving Inside Philanthropy Comp.jpg

To create a new institute focused on society’s pressing energy problems, Dartmouth has accepted $80 million from a powerful oil family surrounded by controversy. Such a gift seriously undermines the credibility of such an institute.

When a really good school like Dartmouth College decides to take on the future of energy as a priority for its faculty and students, you would want it to be rigorous and independent—a beacon guiding the way as we grapple with climate change, sustainable development and environmental justice.

And you know what? Dartmouth’s new Arthur L. Irving Institute for Energy and Society may very well turn out to do some great work.

But $80 million, half of the institute’s funding, comes from Irving Oil and the powerful family behind it, which is surrounded by controversies environmental and otherwise. This casts serious doubt over the initiative’s credibility before it has even started…

But now and then, a donation is so blatantly suspect in the context of the gift’s purpose that it threatens to undercut the intent and integrity, or at least the perceived integrity, of the project at hand.

In the case of the Dartmouth gift, Irving Oil and the Irving family are deeply financially connected to the problems the institute seeks to solve, and not in a good way. Irving Oil is a Canadian oil and gas production and export company that owns, among many other things, the country’s largest oil refinery. The company and its chairman, Arthur Irving, are behind a controversial pipeline proposal that critics say would bring huge increases in tar sands oil production and carbon emissions.

It’s hard to believe the university would shrug that off as a “cosmetic” conflict, as Robert Hansen, the Dartmouth business professor who headed the task force behind the initiative, did in recent local news coverage. Campus environmentalists, who are in the midst of organizing Dartmouth to divest from its fossil fuel holdings, had a different word for it—“horrific.”

It’s one of the more questionable examples of private money flowing into academia we’ve seen, in fact, and it raises all kinds of questions about the growing role of industry in campus funding.

Maybe the gift wouldn’t be so troubling if we weren’t at such a tipping point for climate change. It’s a historic moment for global emissions reduction efforts, and universities are playing an important role, both in their campus organizing efforts and faculty and student research. [Emphasis added]

Meanwhile, in the Letters to the Editor section of the Valley News, the local citizenry is weighing in with equally critical remarks:

September 21:


To The Editor: I enjoyed your article on Saturday introducing Dartmouth’s plans for the Arthur L. Irving Institute for Energy and Society, begun with $80 million of Irving Oil’s money. What a challenge for other billionaires to go one better in corporatizing and mystifying other needs of society — with Dartmouth as the willing vehicle.

In 2017, I expect Dartmouth may announce plans for an $85 million Donald J. Trump Institute for Democracy, whose new building on the Dartmouth green will tower over Baker Library.

In 2018, we may see Dartmouth unveil the $90 million National Rifle Association Public Safety Institute, complete with shooting ranges scattered around campus to encourage safe practice.

For Fox News fans, 2019 could bring word of the $95 million Roger Ailes Institute for Women in the Workplace. At this time it appears their new building will require purchasing and razing all WISE offices and shelters. (Sorry in advance.) While other countries may provide needed institutes with public funding free of conflicts, Dartmouth’s way seems to me a better tutorial in how public relations handlers gradually dismiss the public’s legitimate questions, until we can only approve.


September 22:


To The Editor: I want to comment on the audacity of Dartmouth’s Energy and Society Institute accepting money from Irving Oil, Irving family members and a family foundation (“Dartmouth Unveils New Institute; Donation to Fund Energy Research,” Sept. 17).

President Hanlon’s comment, “The past is the past,” regarding Irving Ene rgy’s record, is preposterous and utterly shortsighted. Irving Energy does not have a stellar environmental record, nor is the company focusing on a renewable energy future. In fact, it is doing the opposite and investing in tar sands oil projects.

What a company has done in the past is unequivocally important and can be a predictor of future actions. Accepting $80 million dollars of oil money to fund an institute focused on energy and society is equivalent to buying blood diamonds. Oil and gas extraction has destroyed countless ecosystems, contributes to climate change and endangered an untold amount of human lives. Dartmouth has ignorantly continued its “business as usual” policy and should be ashamed that it has not led society into a clean energy future.

Dartmouth should get out of bed with industry interests and show the college is serious about solving society’s energy woes.



To The Editor: Irving Oil and the Irving family just gave Dartmouth College $80 million for something we did not know we needed. How generous of them: the $80 million must have come from the whole community of customers who paid too much. Irving could not figure out how to spend $80 million dollars. It’s tough. Dartmouth, always the helpful spirit, helped them.

Would it have been better for the whole community if Irving took $8 million a year for 10 years to offer oil for heating the homes of those now getting public assistance for home heating?

Now they will be building another office building and the community will be looking for housing for the homeless and heatless.

I’ll bet they still have $80 million left.


September 23:


To The Editor: Dartmouth President Phil Hanlon was questioned about the appearance of influence peddling when he announced the receipt of $80 million from Irving Oil and the Irving family to fund the creation of a new Energy and Society Institute. The Valley News reports the college thinks the conflict is only “cosmetic.”

Business Professor Robert Hansen thinks, by my reading, that Irving Oil shouldn’t be held accountable for its history. “The past is past,” he’s quoted as saying. “We are concerned about the future.” I’m concerned about the future, too, which is why I think there should be a close look at what Irving’s plans are, what they’re likely to mean for a partnership with Dartmouth, and what they will mean for the climate.

Irving has plans to build a new facility to process heavy tar sands bitumen and expand its existing refinery and export terminal in Saint John, New Brunswick, at the end of the Energy East pipeline. Energy East is a $15.7 billion partnership with TransCanada — a pipeline that would stretch more than 2,800 miles from Alberta to the Atlantic.

TransCanada’s earlier plan to transport Alberta tar sands bitumen to the Gulf Coast, Keystone XL, was rejected following a public outcry from indigenous communities, farmers along the proposed route and scientists concerned about the effect on the climate. If built, Energy East will carry up to 1.1 million barrels of crude per day, 30 percent more than Keystone was designed for.

During the debate over Keystone, James Hansen, at the time NASA’s top climate scientist, famously wrote in The New York Times that if these “dirtiest of fuels” are fully exploited, “it will be game over for the climate.” Dartmouth’s association with Irving links the college to an oil company that is fully committed to business as usual. It’s a model that climate scientists say will lead inevitably to a dangerously changed and unstable climate. How can we help but wonder whether the college is selling academic legitimacy to Irving’s plans? How can President Hanlon square this partnership with the imperative for a carbon-free economy before the next graduating class finishes their working careers?

Thetford Center

The College comes out of this affair looking dirty and, frankly, not very smart.

Addendum: Yesterday my classmate Dave Van Wie ‘79 (unbidden by me, of course) took to the pages of The D in a piece entitled Dirty Money, Clean Cause, to excoriate President Hanlon’s bad judgment in accepting money from Irving Oil. His introduction:

I am dumbfounded. When I read that Irving Oil was funding Dartmouth’s Arthur L. Irving Institute for Energy and Society, I checked to see if the article was in The Onion. Sadly, it was not.

As an energy and environmental professional who works to find real life solutions to our energy challenges, I was excited when College President Phil Hanlon established a task force to explore how the College could be at the forefront of energy, one of the greatest issues of our time. But with oil money as the foundation? On optics alone, this should have been a clear “no,” even to an alumna like Sarah Irving. How could so many smart people think this is a good idea?

This is clearly a public relations coup for Irving, Irving Oil’s chief brand officer. I am sure she’s glad to offset the bad press Irving has gotten about its disregard for climate change issues.

Having the Irving family fund and name an institute at Dartmouth or any other academic institution, which requires freedom from bias, is a mistake. It puts Dartmouth’s name, its academic freedom and its prestige in jeopardy. This blunder could set Dartmouth back from the pursuit of a sustainable future. The faculty and students in this institute and at the College will forever be trying to dance around the Irving connection, while all the papers and positions will be suspect, despite the “statement of academic independence.”

Top researchers and faculty will work elsewhere, where their research won’t be questioned. Will anyone at the institute take on a project that might even indirectly besmirch Irving? Of course not. Academic freedom is already compromised.

Phil, it’s time to have second thoughts.

Addendum: A longtime reader working at another school writes in:

Watching the Irving coverage. I would recommend advocating returning the gift. This thing will further catch fire within the faculty, community and student body as it already appears to be doing. I suspect this reaction was anticipated to a degree. That is why they announced gifts from Trustees to signal that there is alignment at that level. That should make others even more upset because of the clear heavy handedness of it. And I can promise you as a long time development pro that no one, and I mean no one, gives over $80 million without strings attached beyond just naming something… So the conflicts are serious and real.

The D has finally revised its comments policy. It is now using the Facebook Comments Plugin module, which allows commentary to go up on its website immediately with identification of the writer via a Facebook account. Previously all comments were moderated, leading to many hours or even days of delays while a moderator reviewed them. Good move. However there appears to be no announcement of the change on the paper’s new site.

Addendum: Fribble might be unhappy.

Erratum: The D, in fact, did announce its new policy on September 19:

As of Sept. 19, The Dartmouth has switched our commenting platform over from Disqus to Facebook. This change means that all previous comments are no longer on articles. We encourage you to comment on our new website and urge you to look at our comments policy which can be found here. — -Rebecca Asoulin, Editor-in-Chief

Wiping out all past comments does not seem a very nice thing to do. And as far as I can tell, the use of Facebook impedes people from posting anonymous comments, a brake on free speech for many.

Kyle Hendricks ‘12 pitched six scoreless innings to win his 16th game last night as the Cubs beat the Pirates 12-2 for their 100th win of the season. Kyle improved his record to 16-8 and lowered his MLB-leading ERA to 1.99.

Addendum: On its website, the Dartmouth Admissions department is listing Kyle’s ERA simply as 1.

The quality of the College’s Admissions marketing leaves a lot to be desired from an aesthetic and syntactical point of view, but heretofore, I hadn’t noticed its curious manipulation of statistics:

Admissions Stats Class of 2020.jpg

Look above at the % figure for the “Overall Admit Rate”: the numerator is the number of “Total Admitted” students divided by the denominator of “Total Applied” students.

For the Class of 2017 the math works out just fine: 2,337 divided by 22,428 does give you 10.4%. As does the calculation for the Class of 2018: 2,220 divided 1,926 equals 11.5%.

However for the Class of 2019, 2,250 divided by 20,507 gets you 11.0%, not 10.9% (actually it gets you 10.97%, which rounds up to 11.0%, right?).

But the whopper comes with the Class of 2020: 2,190 students were admitted out of a pool of 20,675 applicants. Run the math and you get 10.59%, which fairly rounds to 10.6%, or 11% — not 10%, thank you — if you want to get rid of the decimal place.

Did they think that nobody would notice?

Addendum: As we have noted in the past, the Admissions office pushes hard on early decision admits, legacies and donor kids and the waitlist in order to limit the number of students it needs to admit to fill the class. The number of students admitted from all of these categories have risen markedly in the last few years.

Addendum: Wow. That was fast. The Admissions department has already fixed their embarrassing, uh, error:

Admissions Stats Class of 2020 Fixed.jpg

The moral of the story: always take screenshots of offending webpages.

Sometimes you just have to laugh. If i told a venture capitalist that I was going to put together a project as follows, I’d be shown the door in short order:

1. Raise a ton of money for an innovative energy project
2. Appoint of committee to determine the project’s goals
3. Hire a director to execute the institute’s mission
4. Build a large research center

Does the Irving Institute exist for any other reason than that the head of a large oil company and a me-too President, who is hungry for visible achievement, want it built? Look at the project’s timeline. Where is the singular competence? The competitive advantage? The special human qualities that lead to a great enterprise? Are we to believe that the committee mentioned below is going to find the hole in the research market that was missed by numerous energy institutes in universities all over America?

Irving Timeline.jpg

Equally troubling is that the donors (other than Arthur Irving and his $80 million donation) who have contributed $33 million to the project are all loyal Trustees and alumni who well could have given money to fund other pressing needs at the College. Clearly they answered Phil’s call:

Several other donors have contributed to the institute. During the ceremony, trustee Chair Bill Helman ‘80 thanked the donors—Judith M. and Russell L. Carson ‘65 and Cecily M. Carson ‘95; Kathryn and Richard Kimball ‘78; Kristin and John Replogle ‘88; and Lori Weinstein and Martin J. Weinstein ‘81. Along with an anonymous donor, they have contributed $33 million, bringing the total raised to $113 million. The College plans to raise a total of $160 million to fund the project, which will connect, mobilize and empower Dartmouth’s base of talented faculty across arts and sciences, and at the Tuck School of Business and Thayer School of Engineering, who are already deeply engaged in work on energy.

At the very least, let’s hope that Phil will have roped in the full $160 million needed for the project before building starts in June, 2018. Otherwise our energy institute will be yet another drain on the College’s coffers.

Addendum: The right way to inspire innovation is to start with great people. The College missed such an opportunity with John Rassias.

What’s the appropriate analogy for the picture below: a Tiger tank and a Sherman? A sixteen-wheeler and a Miata? To compare a Boeing 747 and a Piper Cub would be going a little far, but let’s just say that the difference between a ten-pound big boy and a one-pound chicken lobster is substantial.

We’ve been buying these large guys from the Co-op ever since the demise of Mike Blood’s lobster business down in Lebanon. If you place an order a few days in advance, the fish department will bring a lobster of the size that you specify up from Boston on the day that you request. Voilà. Guaranteed liveliness, snow-white meat, and a lot more meat/pound than in the chicken lobsters that people too often eat in New England:


With lobster it’s the freshness that counts, not size. Big ones have tender, flavorful meat just like chickens, as long as they have not been sitting in a tank for several days.

My Japanese distributor’s wife showed me how much meat there is in a lobster’s thorax. The leg sockets and other hard-to-reach places repay cracking and winkling.

Addendum: The Guinness Book of World Records lists the largest lobster ever taken as 44 lb. 6 oz.

After losing seventeen starters from last year’s Ivy co-champion, including the best QB seen in Hanover in a couple of decades, the football folks tried to manage expectations regarding the team’s prospects this season. Well, following a strong comeback victory over UNH last week, the team comfortably handled Holy Cross today both on offence and defense in a 35-10 victory in Worcester. And they did it in green and white uniforms, too (according to Bruce Wood at Big Green Alert):

Football Uniform Holy Cross.jpg

Could be quite a season.

Addendum: The Valley News has a full report on the game, noting that Holy Cross’ first and second string quarterbacks left the game with injuries in the second quarter. No story in The D as of Sunday morning.



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