in the space + time continuum: I have just spent a few days writing tenure letters. It's hugely interesting... you get to read pretty interesting stuff that you wouldn't normally read, and you have to think about where the profession/subfield is headed. One can even live with the pleasant thought that one can influence (in a small way) where one's own field is going. Of course, the time cost is staggering. I hit "word count" on the last letter I wrote, and it weighs in at ~2,000 words. An average academic article is ~ 8,000 words, and much of the work that goes into it - except for the data analysis - isn't so different either ... the sifting of evidence and the ferreting out of research trends, plus the polishing of the text to make sure it conveys finer nuances. Good thing one only gets to do this with tenure under the belt!