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Reporters, readers get new ways to publish and read

Reading the news on a computer may soon be passe. Internet-enabled mobile phones and hybrid devices are fueling the next wave of change, and journalists need to know how to deliver content to these devices. –Vivek Shankar –Reporters, readers get new ways to publish and readOnline News Association) This is some light, friendly PR-style coverage of a conference on online journalism. The sidebar has short summaries of other panels that…

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Clocked by Two Smoking Barrels

The world’s only double-barreled cannon is now proudly displayed on the lawn of the Athens City Hall, about a hundred miles off Route 1. It is a monument to every geek who ever had what seemed to be a really good idea at the time. –Michelle Delio –Clocked by Two Smoking Barrels (Wired) Unless you’re into history, this story is a little dry until the appearance of the robot with the…

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Writing Like Crazy: a Word on the Brain

How can both neuroscience and literature bear on the question of what makes writers not only able, but want, even need, to write? How can we understand the outpouring of authors like Joyce Carol Oates or Stephen King? Why does John Updike see a blank sheet of paper as radiant, the sun rising in the morning? (As William Pritchard said of him, “He must have had an unpublished thought, but…

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Grading on My Nerves

High schools no longer prepare most students to express ideas coherently or follow accepted English, let alone carry on serious intellectual work….. The task falls to me — in courses ostensibly about specified topics, not composition — to patch up these leaky vessels…. I hold that a university education ought to include a significant writing component, that student writing deserves substantial professorial comment, that every student can become a better…

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Robert Mendler, Holocaust Survior

Robert Mendler, Holocaust SurviorLiteracy Weblog) I recently heard Holocaust survivor Robert Mendler, a resident of nearby Latrobe, Pennsylvania, who spent six or seven years in 10 different concentration camps. Mr. Mendler is a regular speaker here at Seton Hill and in the region; I attended his visit to a youth group at Our Lady of Grace church this past Sunday. I had met Mr. Mendler and his charming wife a…