Cornell Police Chief Apologizes for Saying “All Lives Matter”

On the evening of Friday, Dec. 13, Kathy Zoner, Chief of Police for the Cornell University Police Department (CUPD), sent out an all-campus email in which she apologized for using the phrase “All Lives Matter” in an earlier message.

ZonerApology Continue reading

Unknowns Stealing Trees from Cornell Plantations

Source: Ithaca Journal, Phil Syphrit

Source: Ithaca Journal, Phil Syphrit

This past week two trees have been cut down and stolen from Cornell Plantations property.

The first discovery came on Thursday, Dec. 4, when a 12-year old 18-foot white spruce was noticed missing. Plantations gardener Phil Syphrit was cited in an Ithaca Journal report stating that this tree is worth $2000. Then just this past Tuesday Plantations workers noticed a 4-foot red cedar was missing too. Continue reading

About Those Canada Goose Coats…

Canada Goose coats have quickly become the latest must-have clothing for the well-off at Cornell. The coats, designed for rugged outdoors men and city-slicking, coffee-sipping hipsters alike, are lined with coyote fur and packed with goose feathers. All of the company’s winter items—jackets, parkas, vests, gloves—have a distinctive bright white, red, and blue emblem that lets passers-by know they are sporting premium, expensive clothing.

Over the past decade the Canadian-based company has increased yearly revenues from $5 million to nearly $200 million, according to Businessweek. That’s no surprise considering their best-selling item is a female jacket that costs $695.

From Amazon

From Amazon

What is surprising is that Canada Goose is owned by Bain Capital, the vilified private equity and venture capital firm 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney helped co-found. In fact, Bain acquired a majority stake in the company for an undisclosed amount exactly one year and a day ago.  Continue reading

Venezuela On the Road to Default

PetroleumTowardsSocialismOriginally posted on Legal Insurrection. Link here.

Over the summer I covered the Argentine government’s default on its debts owed to U.S. hedge funds—its second default in just 13 years.

Now fellow Latin American socialist paradise Venezuela is gearing up for a default of its own, as precipitously falling oil prices have decimated the country’s budget and will continue to pressure its currency reserves. Since mid-June, crude oil prices have declined by more than 30%, with West Texas Intermediate (the benchmark measure for North American oil) dipping to $60.55/barrel before ultimately settling at a 5-year low of $61.54/barrel on Wednesday.

A CNBC report on the prospect of a Venezuelan default cited a Capital Economics report stating that a default could be expected by next September or October when $5 billion in debt payments come due. Only an upswing of oil prices to somewhere around $121/barrel would allow Venezuela to balance its budget, according to some estimates. But with OPEC recently slashing its 2015 production levels to a 12-year low in response to decreasing estimated global oil demand and increasing supply via U.S. shale production, a significant oil price increase in the short-term seems highly unlikely. Bloomberg reports that the implied probability of default—derived from complex financial formulas—in the next five years stands at 93%, the highest in the world. Continue reading

Die-In at Duffield


Students littered into Duffield Hall this afternoon to stage a 15-minute die-in followed by several minutes of chanting slogans like “black lives matter” and “hands up, don’t shoot.” The event was organized by Cornell’s chapter of the the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE).

Approximately 150 students partook in the die-in, which lasted specifically 15 minutes because Eric Garner uttered “I can’t breathe” 11 times on video and Michael Brown’s body lay on the street for four hours before being removed. Continue reading

Cornell Researchers Call for Creation of ‘Science of Climate Diversity’

It’s just what the doctor ordered: the science of climate diversity.

Climate diversity?

Here’s an excerpt from a Cornell Chronicle report released today:

There is cloud hanging over climate science, but one Cornell expert on communication and environmental issues says he knows how to help clear the air.

In the December issue of Nature Climate Change, Jonathon Schuldt ’04, assistant professor of communication, joins co-author Adam Pearson ’03, assistant professor of psychology at Pomona College, to argue that only by creating a “science of climate diversity” that helps guide researchers and public leaders can climate science and the larger climate-change movement overcome a crippling lack of ethnic and racial diversity.

“There is an invisible but very real barrier to climate engagement,” Schuldt said. “We need to engage with all kinds of diverse folks if we’re going to face this challenge. It will be a problem if the perception, and the reality, is that it’s a bunch of white male scientists at the table.”

Those interested can read the rest of the article here. Pearson and Schuldt’s actual paper is entitled “Facing the diversity crisis in climate science.”

Students Spray Paint Goldwin Smith Hall with “I Can’t Breathe”

"I Can't Breathe" spray painted 11 times, the same number of times Eric Garner uttered those words on video.

“I Can’t Breathe” spray painted 11 times, the same number of times Eric Garner uttered those words on video.

The photo above shows one of two columns in front of Goldwinsmith Hall on the Arts Quad that were each spray-painted with the words “I Can’t Breathe” eleven times. The photo was posted early Monday morning on the public Facebook group called “Overheard at Cornell,” in which anyone can post quotes or pictures of things heard or seen around campus.

Later, a photo was posted of Cornell maintenance workers scrubbing away at the graffiti.   Continue reading