The resident faculty looked dazed this morning. Maybe too much football, or the too soon start of a new semester. Or maybe it was a clue. (More)

First our thanks to last week’s guest lecturer. Last Tuesday, Professor of Topofclassclownistics and HEMMED Lab Director JanF dug deeper into how China and India are Creating Consumers, and what that might mean for their people and the world. It was an excellent discussion and is worth reading if you missed it.

This Tuesday, Professor of Ecoinsaninsuroscamology winterbanyan will dig deeper into the use of fertilizers to boost food production. This Wednesday, GlendaW271 makes her debut at the Morning Feature lectern to discuss the Iowa Supreme Court, their decision on LGBT marriage, and the conservative backlash in last year’s retention elections. As always, Chef will provide coffee and bagels and the Professor of Astrology Janitor will provision his cleaners and buffer.

Note: At present, we have no Morning Feature guest lecture scheduled for next Tuesday or Wednesday (January 11th and 12th). We also have openings for our campus soapbox, Furthermore!, our afternoon people-watching series Midday Matinee, and our evening environmental series Our Earth.

We’ll also add a new category this month: Evening Focus. Like Morning Feature – but more convenient for evening and West Blogistan readers – Evening Focus will allow Authors to explore topics over two or more days. Authors wishing to contribute to Evening Focus should contact NCrissieB. We will work out a posting time and other details by group emails.

If you are already a BPI Author, you will find a complete list of category openings in the Authors Notepad in your Dorm Room. To reserve a slot, type in your user name, topic, and date, and click “Save Notes.” I will remove your note when I add you to our Schedule.

If you are not yet a BPI Author and would like to contribute at BPI, please contact the BPI Webmistress.

Also: Please share your stories of offline activism, including holiday volunteering and/or family Fred Whispering, in Things We Did This Week.

That leaves only our resident faculty, looking dazed. Maybe they watched too much football this past weekend. There was certainly plenty to watch, from college bowls to the last week of the NFL season. South Blogistanis are pleased that our Buccaneers defeated the New Orleans Saints to finish with a 10-6 record. South Blogistanis are less pleased that a 10-6 record was not enough to qualify for the playoffs, especially as the 7-9 Seattle Seahawks got in as NFC West “Champions.” Yes, for the first time, a team with a losing record will go to the NFL playoffs – and have home field advantage against the 11-5 Saints – while the Bucs and Giants with 10-6 records are left out. But North Central Blogistanis are thrilled with their Packers’ win over the Chicago Bears yesterday. The 10-6 Cheeseheads visit the 10-6 Cheesesteaks this week.

However, the resident faculty are rarely dazed by football. They don’t watch much, and the games are mostly commercials anyway. The resident faculty are sometimes dazed by announcers, who apparently have a contest to make the most absurd comments. For example, near the end of the first half of yesterday’s Green Bay game, after a questionable roughing the passer penalty against Chicago, Fox analyst Troy Aikman opined that quarterbacks are so protected that it has changed the game “over the past few years.”

Perhaps Aikman is too young to remember that football commentators have bemoaned the “coddling” of quarterbacks since at least the 1970s. Just a few weeks ago, the NFL’s big concern was that too many quarterbacks were suffering concussions. Perhaps Aikman forgot because of the many concussions he suffered as a quarterback. Yes, the NFL has changed rules, several times. Sensible rule-makers do that when the old rules don’t work well enough.

Maybe the resident faculty are dazed by the prospect that the Senate may change the filibuster rule this week, or by their research last week into the devilish details of that process. If the Senate do agree on and enact a change this Wednesday when the 112th Congress convenes, the resident faculty may discuss that later this week.

But the Senate may not change the rule, and the resident faculty would still be dazed. Any Senate debate on the issue will doubtless include conservative demands that we recognize tradition. Perhaps some GOP Senator will opine, as conservatives often have, that the filibuster reflects the Providentially-inspired “original intent” of the Framers.

If such arguments block filibuster reform, the resident faculty may instead discuss the authoritarian nature of conservatism and their idolizing of dead people and days gone by.

Or maybe the resident faculty will just wander in a daze. If so, the staff may need to inspect the BPI wine cellar library, where the resident faculty spend their weekends drinking thinking on our motto of Magis vinum, magis verum (“More wine, more truth”). At the very least, Chef could take inventory.

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Happy Monday!