Week in Review: July 5 – 12

Since summer’s in full swing and you’ve got better things to do than catch up on Princeton news, we round it up here for you on The Ink. In this week’s edition: Some people talk about Sonia Sotomayor ’76, and some Princeton climate researchers serve up some obvious. Our financial troubles aren’t as bad as we tho — oh wait they might be. But at least they’re not as bad as Harvard’s. Campus gets some Dubya flavor, and holy crap a Princeton professor is actually dubbed “the infomercial king.”

First of all OMG SONIA SOTOMAYOR HEARINGS THIS WEEK. Now that that’s out of the way,

  • In the Post, Peter Winn, who taught Sotomayor five courses and advised her senior thesis and calls himself her mentor, wished he could “have taken detailed notes on [their] conversations and filed them away in anticipation.” In anticipation of what? Probably turning it into a screenplay, by the way the rest of the op-ed reads.
Dont cha wish your student was wise like me?

Don't cha wish your student was wise like me?

  • More Post-Princeton antics: University Provost Christopher Eisgruber says that Sonia Sotomayor is boring because she “will be the ninth federal appellate judge on the nine-member Supreme Court” making the body pretty homogeneous in terms of prior experience. Or maybe he’s just jealous.
  • A recent study by some Princeton-led researchers finds that wealthy individuals pollute more. Apparently this was gathered by looking at “lifestyles including frequent airplane flights, automobile use, and heating and cooling of large homes.” File this one under “things we could’ve guessed.” Also under “things I’d look stupid for saying in precept but which professionals get paid to say.”
  • Hey guys, good news! We only lost 25%, not the full 30% we expected! The endowment situation isn’t as disastrous as we thought it was! But… oh, great, Annual Giving’s in the crapper, $11.4 million below expectations. Really doin’ your share, alums.

The rest of the rundown after the jump…

  • On the bright side, Vanity Fair‘s August issue has a neat little exposé of Harvard’s crashing endowment, the fund’s mismanagement, and general financial shitstorm. The article isn’t online, but help keep print journalism afloat(!) and pick up a copy, if only for this little gem: “The hedge fund manager’s conclusion: ‘They are completely fucked.'” Also included are details on the Harvard Management Company’s compensations (north of $30 million a year for some men) and Harvard looking stupid for, thanks to Larry Summers’ huge campus expansions, “it will probably take more than a decade for the value of the endowment to return to where it was in the heady days of 2008.” Chalk one up for Old Nassau. (Well, tentatively, according to this little scorecard VF.com compiled tracking the rest of the Ivies’ financials.) Also!, check out Press Club alum Todd Purdum ’82’s cover story flaming Sarah Palin in the Vanity Fair issue.
  • This week in the public/private sector revolving door: Joshua Bolten ’76, former chief of staff to George W. Bush, returns to campus next year to teach as the Woodrow Wilson School’s John L. Weinberg/Goldman Sachs & Co. Visiting Professor. He’ll teach an undergraduate course on the federal budget in the fall and two graduate seminars in the spring. No word yet on if Dick Cheney will hang out all creepily in the back of the lecture hall.
The infomercial king at right, chilling with the late, great Billy Mays

"The infomercial king" at right, chilling with the late, great Billy Mays

  • Perhaps most importantly, why has no one told us that “the ‘infomercial king” teaches at Princeton? A.J. Khubani, professor of entrepreneurial engineering at Princeton, sells the Ab Roller and the Swivel Sweeper. He became a millionaire at 26. He has sold more than 10 million pieces of “a $10 cheese grater-like callous remover.” I am signing up for his next class.