Jun 242008

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is an extraordinary woman who grew up in an East African tribal-Islamic society, experiencing first-hand the endemic brutality and repression of the culture. By virtue of her courageous spirit and questioning mind, she freed herself and fled to the West. Her autobiography, Infidel, is a truely inspirational read. I’ve written a review of this book that was published in the March 2008 issue of American Atheist Magazine.

You can read the review here.

Software Recommendation: EndNote

 Posted by on 20 June 2008 at 12:27 am  Academia, Recommendations
Jun 202008

Sometime early in graduate school, Paul recommended that I buy EndNote, a program for managing citations in writing. Since I’ve found it an invaluable time-saver, particularly for large projects like my prospectus and dissertation, I’m passing on the recommendation to other academics and writers.

The program allows you to maintain a database of citations, easily insert them into your papers, and then format them in whatever format you want, e.g. Chicago 15th A. In addition to standard formats, you can customize existing formats or create your own. It handles parenthetical citations, footnotes/endnotes, and bibliographies. In addition, it allows you to make notes on sources, include keywords and abstracts, etc. So for my dissertation, EndNote has served as a master database of sources. So I know that I’ve skimmed, read, and/or taken notes on a source; I know what sources I need to review or read as I write each chapter; I know whether a source will likely be helpful. For me, EndNote is software that I cannot write without.

The program is available for Mac and Windows. EndNote “X1″ is a bit pricey: $110 for students and $220 for non-student educators from the Academic Superstore. However, I’ve found that it’s well-worth the price. With every paper I write, the program has saved me enormous amounts of time in preparing citations and bibliographies.

Manassas Restaurant Recommendation?

 Posted by on 15 April 2008 at 8:47 pm  Recommendations
Apr 152008

Paul and I will be visiting the Manassas Battlefield Park in Virginia this Sunday with my parents. Can anyone recommend a good and hearty but reasonably-priced restaurant — say $15-25 per entree — on Route 66 back to the Capitol Beltway? Somewhere along the Beltway north to the western end of the Metro Red Line (i.e. to Medical Center or Grosvenor-Strathmore stations) would also be fine, as my parents will be dropping us off at one of those stations. I wouldn’t wish to travel more than a few miles from our main route.

So… any recommendations?


 Posted by on 5 January 2008 at 7:05 am  Love/Sex, Recommendations
Jan 052008

Sometimes Mother Nature is wise and wonderful. Sometimes she’s a nasty old hag in need of improvement from modern medicine. Case in point: Seasonique.

(Warning to the men: I’m about to discuss the female reproductive system. Steel yourself!)

Seasonique is the birth control pill that produces only four periods per year, i.e. every three months. The research indicates that it’s as safe and effective as monthly-cycle pills.

I just finished my first three-month pack. I suffered absolutely no ill effects. From what my doctor told me, it’s actually a lower dose of hormones than my prior pill (Ortho/Novum 135).

This pill does not merely eliminate the hassle of the monthly period, this particular pill allows a woman to have more sex. And here at NoodleFood, we’re all in favor of that. Hence, this post.

Christmas Shopping

 Posted by on 5 December 2007 at 9:24 am  Recommendations
Dec 052007

From The Objective Standard:

A subscription to The Objective Standard is the perfect gift for your active-minded friends and relatives. The journal presupposes no specialized knowledge and will be appreciated by anyone with an interest in cultural or political issues. (While supplies last, we can even provide recipients with the complete set of back issue.)

You can give a gift of The Objective Standard via this gift subscriptions page, by mailing or faxing this order form or by calling 800-423-6151.

The page on gift subscriptions also notoes: “Gift subscriptions can be given to institutions, such as libraries, too. And, although institutions pay the institutional rate, gifts to institutions are sold at the regular rate of $59 for a one-year subscription ($109 for two years). Promote your values widely; give liberally!”

We the Living

 Posted by on 29 September 2007 at 11:43 pm  Announcements, Recommendations
Sep 292007

I’m super-excited by the recent announcement from the Ayn Rand Bookstore that the audiobook of Ayn Rand’s We the Living will be available on CD in October. Until now, it’s only been sold on cassette. It’ll be available on both regular CD and MP3 CD. The MP3 CD is just $45, whereas the regular CD is $120.

I love We the Living intensely: Kira is the Randian hero/heroine with whom I most strongly identify — by a long shot. So I’m really looking forward to listening to it.

(I wonder if it will also be available for download via Audible. I hope so!)

Aug 252007

Onkar Ghate’s excellent course A Study of Galt’s Speech is currently half price from the Ayn Rand Bookstore. It’s part of their big fire sale on audiocassettes. (I love cheap!)

Red Pawn

 Posted by on 26 June 2007 at 6:34 am  Announcements, Recommendations
Jun 262007

Last year, one of my favorite courses at OCON was Dina Schein’s Savoring Ayn Rand’s Red Pawn. Not only was it delightful to talk about my absolute favorite work of Ayn Rand’s outside her novels, but Dina did an excellent job of taking us step-by-step through the literary analysis.

Finally, it’s available from the Ayn Rand Bookstore. Hooray!

Good Stuff and Awesome Stuff

 Posted by on 23 May 2007 at 6:05 am  Announcements, Recommendations
May 232007

Registered users of the Ayn Rand Institutes’s web site now have access to…

The Ayn Rand Multimedia Library

Thanks to an exclusive permission generously granted by the Estate of Ayn Rand, aynrand.org is now able to offer its registered users, free of charge, an expansive collection of Ayn Rand audio and video recordings. This unprecedented selection includes lectures, interviews, and the complete series of Ayn Rand’s Ford Hall Forum lectures.

The ARI Lecture Series: The Complete Video Collection

On September 12, 2002, Yaron Brook, executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute, inaugurated the ARI Lecture Series before a crowd of 600 with a lecture titled “9/11–One Year Later: Why America Is Losing the War!” Since then ARI speakers have delivered about six free public talks per year on topics ranging from ethics to foreign policy to history. As a registered user of aynrand.org, you now have access to the lecture portion of each of these talks. A complete selection of full-length video and audio recordings, including the Q-&-A sessions that followed, is available at the Ayn Rand Bookstore.

The second is cool, but the first is simply awesome. I’ve listened to most of the recordings of Ayn Rand already. I particularly enjoyed the Ford Hall Forum lectures, for the reasons explained here. Even those well familiar with the in-print Objectivist corpus will likely find interesting tidbits to tweak their brains in these recordings. And, as I said about the Ford Hall Forum lectures, “those who wish for some small first-hand glimpse of the real Ayn Rand, undistorted by ax-grinding critics, will find these lectures to be an invaluable treasure.”

Flemming Rose

 Posted by on 10 February 2007 at 7:36 pm  Announcements, Recommendations
Feb 102007

A while back, Ari Armstrong reported on Flemming Rose’s December lecture in Denver. Even better, he posted the whole speech in MP3 format.

Also, the full set of lectures from the fall 2006 Boston weekend conference “The Jihad Against the West” is now available from the Ayn Rand Bookstore. That version of Flemming Rose’s talk was definitely better than the one given in Denver.

I really enjoyed talking to Flemming Rose while he was in Denver. He’s a remarkable — and very admirable — man.

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