Prof gang-bangin', Pope called out in Rome school

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Chicago â€" Being a gangster is a pastime typically reserved for rappers and drug dealers ... not professors.

But Columbia University sociology professor Sudhir Venkatesh spent seven years hanging out with gang members in the gritty underbelly of Chicago, where he witnessed their lifestyle for his doctorate at the University of Chicago.

During his studies, Venkatesh befriended J.T., the leader of the Black Kings, one of the United States’ most violent drug-dealing gangs. J.T. took a liking to the grad student and even let him lead the Kings for a day.

Student by day, gangster by night, Vankatesh has since turned his bizarre â€" and daring â€" research into a book, Gang Leader for a Day.

Rome â€" Italy might be the last place you’d expect to see protests against the Pope, but at the nation’s renowned Sapienza University students succeeded in preventing the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI.

Benedict was to speak at Sapienza on Thursday to open the school year, but faced opposition from students and professors. At a staged sit-in to protest the Pope’s supposed hostility towards scientific progress, students cheered upon hearing of the papal cancellation.

This resentment towards the Pope stems from a 1990 speech he gave as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, on the church’s condemnation of Galileo for arguing that the Earth revolved around the Sun. In that speech, Benedict quoted an Austrian philosopher who said the church’s verdict was “rational and just.”

Cambridge, Mass. â€" Paris Hilton is getting an award. From Harvard.

We’re not joking, it’s true! However, the award for the socialite-turned-porn star-turned-celebrity is, thankfully, a joke. Hilton is the winner of the Hastiest Pudding of the Lampoon title by the esteemed university’s comedy magazine.

Hilton is expected to pick up her prize on Feb. 6 while in town to film her upcoming flick The Hottie and the Nottie (which is not expected to be an award-winner).

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