Alex M. Mcleese

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Choose Your Friends Wisely

<p>If Medical School Professor and Professor of Sociology Nicholas Christakis, the co-author of the new book Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks, sat with your friends in Pfoho, where he is the House Master, he could tell you a lot about yourself—how likely you are to become obese, and maybe even whether you would be an efficient choice for a flu vaccine.</p><p>Earlier this year, Time magazine named Christakis one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Connected’s co-author, James Fowler ’92, an associate professor of political science at the University of California, San Diego, provided the first evidence of the positive “Colbert bump” in polls for politicians appearing on the Colbert Report.</p><p>The book has received favorable reviews in the press, and popular Harvard Professor of Psychology Daniel Gilbert raved about their new book: “We think we are individuals who control our own fates, but as Christakis and Fowler demonstrate, we are merely cells in the nervous system of a much greater beast,” he wrote. “If someone you barely know reads Connected, it could change your life forever.”</p><p>More on fat, flu, and Facebook after the jump.</p><p>

Peggy Noonan's Mind, Exposed Again

<p>We were on to Peggy Noonan before she even started her IOP study group, when we reported on her hilarious syllabus, frequent misspellings and all.</p><p>Now, thanks to a tipster for Gawker, we can peer deeper than ever inside the inner machinations of Noonan’s complicated mind. These study groups are supposed to be off the record, but apparently the vultures in other parts of the blogosphere could not obey the rules. However, we straight-laced Harvard journalists are more than happy to share their illicit reporting.</p><p>Peep some of the more savory quotes and episodes after the jump.</p><p>

Pfoho's "Fuck My Life": Pfun?

<p>Every house comes together in its own way. Pfoho, with its remote location, unpronounceable name, and endangered polar bear mascot, is a bit more conscious of its shortcomings than most (or so it seems to this chauvinistic Cabot cod). But its hardy residents, fresh off the shuttle, are happy to celebrate them.</p><p>An email the HoCo sent out over the house open to announce the second year of their newest tradition contains fully 10 instances of their ubiquitous “pf.” There are three “pfailure”s, followed by “pfun” and even “pflove." Why are these polar bears so emotional?</p><p>It’s pFML, or pFuck My Life—the Pfoho version of the popular blog “FMyLife: Get the guts to spill the beans.” More after the jump.</p><p>

PETA Debate: On Tolstoy and Bonzai Trees

<p><p> </p></p><p><p>Most Harvard students eat meat. And most Americans probably think of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals as an extremist group.</p></p><p><p>You wouldn’t have known it at the debate the Harvard College Vegetarian Society organized this afternoon between Wesley N. Hopkin ’11, a social studies concentrator and member of the Harvard Speech and Parliamentary Debate Society, and Bruce G. Friedrich, vice president of policy and government affairs for PETA.</p></p><p><p>The most heated dispute concerned our own Harvard University Dining Services. Hopkin praised HUDS: “They are moving in the right direction,” he said. “We can, generally speaking, eat meat or eat meat products with a relatively clear conscience even now.”</p></p><p><p>Friedrich responded sharply. He noted that HUDS buys eggs from cage-free farms, but said that is the only bright spot. “Eating meat in HUDS when they are doing nothing for farmed animals, and eating meat in the real world, in any restaurant around here,” he said, “for people here who said you do eat meat: that is unethical.” Get the skivvy on Hopkin's response and more after the jump.</p></p><p><p>

Vegetarian Society Holds Debate on Meat-Eating

A Saturday afternoon debate, organized by the Harvard College Vegetarian Society, featured a representative from the People for the Ethical