CC photo by inazakira
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‘The Meatball: Not a Funny Rhyme’ says Peter Jerz, age 5-3/4; or, Child Traumatized by ‘On Top of Spaghetti’

I went into the office for about an hour and a half tonight. When I came back, my wife was writing busily at the kitchen table. “I’ve got a blog entry for you,” she said. This is rather momentous — she has very little interest in cyberculture. But here’s what she wrote. (Let this be a warning to other couples who start a family when they are both English Ph.D.…

Web's Inventor Gets a Knighthood

The inventor of the world wide web, Tim Berners-Lee, has been awarded a knighthood for his pioneering work. –Web’s Inventor Gets a Knighthood (BBC) Definitely one of the good guys. If he had tried to keep control over his invention, of course it wouldn’t have worked, since the web depends upon the contributions of thousands and millions of user-authors.

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Man Trapped Under Mountain of Books, Papers

Patrice Moore, 43, had apparently been standing up when the books, catalogs, mail and newspapers swamped him on Saturday. Firefighters and neighbors rescued Moore on Monday afternoon and he was hospitalized in stable condition Tuesday morning with leg injuries. –Man Trapped Under Mountain of Books, Papers (CNN/AP) Note to self: find a sturdy box and insert all the papers students didn’t pick up last term. Mark box for recycling at the…

Lessons in Time Management

I thought I was busy as a graduate student, and I was…. As long as I showed up at the right place — the library, the classroom, the data-entry warehouse — I got through. Being a faculty member lumps the hours and the tasks all together, and there is little immediate feedback on what’s important to complete. Yes, you have to prepare for class, but how well? No, you don’t…

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The self-critic: The man who praised literary theory to thousands of students now wants them to bury it

Roland Barthes famously announced the death of the author. This weekend, as thousands of professors and their apprentices mill about the annual meeting of the Modern Language Association in San Diego, one might ask: Has theory succumbed to the same fate? … [T]heory’s promised political liberation never happened. Cultural theory, he argues, instead mutated into a free-for-all, where students now use Derrida to deconstruct ”Friends,” not to change the world…

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Give 'em Enough Rope

‘The fakir drew from under his knee a ball of grey twine. Taking the loose end between his teeth, he, with a quick upward motion, tossed the ball into the air. Instead of coming back to him, it kept on going up and up until out of sight and there remained only the long swaying end… [A] boy about six-years-old… walked over to the twine and began climbing up it……

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The Return of the King (but only after 25 minutes of infernal movie trailers)

The Return of the King (but only after 25 minutes of infernal movie trailers)Jerz’s LIteracy Weblog) My parents came to visit for a few days, so Leigh and I skipped out to see The Return of the King at a matinee. (We saw The Two Towers separately last year.) (*Spoilers*) Of course any cuts are painful; and I was particularly sad not to see Christopher Lee and Brad Dourif in…