Bioethanol: A shiny penny for the U.S. economy

May 1, 2008
Deep down inside, you know that using corn ethanol as fuel must be good for the environment. Picture the process by which fossil fuels are produced: the refinery fires, the black sludge, the billowing acrid smoke and intolerable heat. Now think of a field of corn, their green stalks swaying languidly under a perfect sapphire »

All the world’s a … performance-art show?

April 23, 2008
Last Friday, the News ran a story about Aliza Shvarts’ senior art project. For her project, Shvarts claims to have inseminated herself repeatedly and then used herbal drugs to induce miscarriages, the video of which she hoped to project onto a plastic cube smeared with a mixture of Vaseline and miscarriage blood. This has generated »

Christian ideology can save would-be criminals

April 4, 2008
Lately, there has been much discussion on these pages about the U.S. prison system, centered around the alarming statistic that a whole percent of our population is currently incarcerated. To put this in perspective, this means that for every 100 people that you know, one of them is probably in prison right this instant. This »

Secret societies drink blood, worship crab gods

March 7, 2008
Few institutions are more unique to, and more inseparable from the Yale experience than our secret societies. Though they are the source of much gossip and speculation on news programs and conspiracy Web sites across the country, to us, the societies are a familiar part of campus life. We encounter their scattered meeting places as »

Fad of hope rhetoric blind to existential reality

February 22, 2008
For those of you who may have missed it, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama staged a watershed moment in the history of stupid presidential campaign rhetoric earlier this week in Wisconsin. Two days before the state’s primary, the Bloomberg headline read: “Clinton, Obama Trade Barbs in Wisconsin Over ‘Hope.’ ” That’s right: barbs. About hope. “It »

600 new students — or El Salvador?

February 8, 2008
Ever since our university announced that it was considering building two new residential colleges for $600 million, we Yalies have been subjected to a steady trickle of idiotic complaining. “It’ll violate our community spirit,” some students whine. “There hasn’t been enough transparency,” others insist as if it means something. Worst of all, no one has »

A solution for the News: Eliminate Op-Ed

January 25, 2008
What do you expect when you begin to read a column on this opinion page? If past experience is any indication, it is reasonable to expect that I will urge you to vote for my favorite candidate for president. You might expect to hear me rhapsodize about my hatred of turtleneck sweaters or Facebook marriages, »

Zink Plan’s return to gold standard will save U.S.

December 6, 2007
During the Republican CNN/YouTube primary debate, Sarah Lederach at Penn State asked what the presidential candidates would do to control the national debt. The overwhelming topic of the responses was that they would cut “pork spending,” the allocation of federal funds to the pet projects of individual legislators. Trevor Wagener further advocates this strategy in »

Su’s modest claim channels Swift’s proposal

October 11, 2007
In his article that appeared in this space Tuesday, Xiaochen Su presented a fascinating analysis of one of the greatest challenges faced by our nation today: “With no understanding of the country’s economic dynamics,” Su pointed out, “the poor continue to reproduce and immigrate to lightheartedly siphon off the state’s budget.” Mr. Su’s solution to »

Cops with Tasers: great idea, or greatest idea?

September 27, 2007
When I saw the headline of Brian Thompson’s opinion article that appeared in this space Wednesday (“Video leaves us asking: To tase or not to tase?” 9/26), I imagined I would be subjected to some sort of boring diatribe about the dangers of placing Tasers in the hands of overzealous, undertrained campus cops. I must »