No plans for Fall Weekend? Go to Europe.

If you’re agonizing over the prospect of planning a fun-filledย Columbus Day Fall Weekend, you should consider ditching the pumpkin patch or the apple orchard and head to the other side of the pond.

According to a recent Fox News article, there’s never been a better time to spontaneously pick up and go to Europe. After years of planning, developing, and building in anticipation of the London 2012 Olympic Games, the entire continentย is now feeling the effects of the Olympic comedown after the masses of humanity have returned to their respective countries. You don’t need to have taken ECON0110 (or Logic, for that matter) to know that thousands of empty hotel rooms = low demand, and low demand = cheap prices. You do the rest (hint: use the transitive property).

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Berkeley, je t’aime?

Why are French academics saying au revoir to the Sorbonne?

Rumblings within the French academic system are nothing new. Ditto prominent French intellectuals coming to the United States to teach.

But as a recent New York Times article discussed, academics now make up a disproportionate amount of French migrants to the United States, leaving France worrying about “brain drain.” Apparently shocked that anyone would ever want to leave a land known for valuing its intellectuals (not to mention the food), the NYT’s Room for Debate has helpfully surveyed scholars on both sides of the Atlantic, asking them about possible causes for the trend. Unsurprisingly, most point to money: American universities simply pay better (where do you think all that tuition goes, anyway?)

Still, the whole section is worth a read for some interesting musings about academic life in both countries, even if we’re still confused about what the author of French Women Don’t Get Fat is supposed to contribute to the discussion. Maybe she brought the champagne?


WaterFire in Venice?

Venice

Venice: looking to Little Rhody for style tips?

Providence and Venice already have a lot in common. Both have a recent history of organized crime, controversial bridge projects, and really great Italian food. Soon, we’ll be able to add one more thing to the list: the Providence art installation WaterFire is coming to the Floating City.

The project was meant to go up this weekend, but it’s been postponed “indefinitely” according to the ProJo, which assures us it’s still going to happen. We’re proud but a little confused about why such a famous tourist destination would look to Providence for its public art needs. Were they seduced by WaterFire’s new-agey soundtrack? Or are they just looking for an excuse to make gondola rides even more expensive?