On a recent Monday morning, my office mailbox was bulging with 24 magazines, demonstrating that 1) in the department mailroom, The Dale clearly is the big guy, and 2) when I ask UMagazinology readers for something, they respond. This surge in print matter has continued for several days. By the way, the 15th new title to find its way to me was Vanderbilt Medicine, so as promised, Kathy Whitney, if you’re in Atlanta for the Editors Forum, I owe you a drink.
St. Thomas, from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota (Brian C. Brown, editor), has a striking cover and cover story on engineering professor John Abraham, who took on a climate-change skeptic and ended up in a fight that became nasty in ways that Abraham never anticipated. The cover piece, by Jim Winterer, recounts how Abraham examined the evidence cited by combative critic of climate science Christopher Monckton. After his investigation, Abraham concluded that Monckton was wrong in just about every claim he made, and the St. Thomas professor issued an 83-minute video in which he laid out his case. Not much notice was taken until The Guardian in England picked up the story. Then things got interesting. Monckton was furious. He publicly called Abraham “snake-like,” “deliberately dishonest,” and—this is my favorite and I give St. Thomas marks for publishing it—a “wretched little man” who “only belongs to this half-assed Christian Bible college.” He also called St. Thomas’ president, Father Dennis Dease, a “creep.” Dease good-naturedly noted that this was a first time he’d been lashed with that particular epithet, at least in public. And you thought academic politics on your campus got nasty.
Stories worth a good read? “Rock Stars and Wrestlers,” editor Tina Owen’s conversation with legendary wrestler Dan Gable in Iowa Alumni Magazine (no link because story is behind an alumni association paywall); Jesse Kornbluth’s excellent piece on Senator Al Franken in Harvard Magazine; and from Notre Dame Magazine, Ronald J. Alsop’s “Gotta Have It, Right Now.”
I don’t know how long this has been going on, but Portland has been having some fun with its masthead. Click on the three thumbnails below and pay close attention.
Finally, great cover on the last Swarthmore College Bulletin under Jeff Lott’s stewardship.