Columbia

Eva Zeisel, who designed some of the most beautiful ceramics of the twentieth century, died on December 30. She was 105, working on new designs almost to the end. I met her nearly forty years ago, when I responded to an advertisement for a part-time job on a bulletin board at Columbia. I was in my early twenties, recently graduated from the college.

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While much has changed since President Coolidge’s famous quote about the business of America, the United States has long been the entrepreneurial light of the world. But that’s changing. Today, the World Bank released its new report “Doing Business 2012,” which assesses the level of regulation affecting domestic firms across the globe.

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Before seeing "The Pride of the Yankees" you may or may not know that the Yankees referred to are the ones who win the World Series each year. After seeing it you will find that the reference is indirect. Deep down inside it's the baseball story of Lou Gehrig, the silent strong boy, who went from Columbia to the Yankee Stadium to hit home runs. It was at the start of the fabulous Yankees, when the manager was a runt-sized baseball genius named Miller Huggins, and "Murderers' Row" meant Gehrig, Ruth, Coombs and Meusel.

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Tallahassee, Florida—Since getting elected last year, Florida Governor Rick Scott, a Republican, has had a rough go of it. In his short tenure, he has been sued by teachers and law enforcement unions, the American Civil Liberties Union, physician groups, environmentalists, advocates for the disabled, and even a Republican state legislator. He’s also managed to irritate the media and public protesters, which only muddied his already tarnished image.

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Flannery O’Connor once described the contradictory desires that afflict all of us with characteristic simplicity. “Free will does not mean one will,” she wrote, “but many wills conflicting in one man.” The existence of appealing alternatives, after all, is what makes free will free: What would choice be without inner debate? We’re torn between staying faithful and that alluring man or woman across the room. We can’t resist the red velvet cake despite having sworn to keep our calories down. We buy a leather jacket on impulse, even though we know we’ll need the money for other things.

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[Guest post by James Downie] Clearly in need of a new way to make headlines and send his TV ratings further into the tank, Donald Trump has now shifted his aim to Obama's college credentials: Real estate mogul Donald Trump suggested in an interview Monday that President Barack Obama had been a poor student who did not deserve to be admitted to the Ivy League universities he attended.

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In proposing to increase state government workers’ payments for their pensions and health insurance (read: cut their pay) and gut their collective bargaining rights, Wisconsin Gov.

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The debate over teacher pay is nothing new. And neither are the arguments about assumptions and methodologies. How do you assign a value to pensions and health benefits? How do you count the time teachers spend working outside the classroom or during summers? How do you factor in job protections and possibilities for advancement? If you want a lengthy, detailed version of the debate, I highly recommend a 2005 exchange between economists Larry Mishel of the Economic Policy Institute* and Michael Podgursky of the University of Missouri-Columbia.

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It’s that time of year, and I’m as susceptible to cornball ideas as the next music lover—and as susceptible to delusions of taste-making value as the next music critic. So, here it is: a list of my ten favorite albums of 2010. I welcome dissent, since I will get it anyway. 1. Jeremy Denk: Jeremy Denk Plays Ives Piano Sonatas no. 1 and 2 (Concord) played with stunning originality, ferocity, and humor. 2. Janelle Monae: The ArchAndroid (Suites II and III) Loopy utopian Afro-futurist nonsense made sexy and irresistibly danceable.   3.

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Maybe President Obama has some regrets about decisions he's made this campaign season and maybe he doesn't. Me, I have at least one very big one. I never got around to writing about the gubernatorial race in Florida. Not only is it the state where I grew up and where most of my family still lives.* It's also the state where the Republican candidate is former health care executive Rick Scott.  Fortunately for me and for any Florida voters who may be reading this blog before they head to the polls, Andy Kroll of Mother Jones has published a nice primer on Scott's career.

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