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Magic of Images

The hand is the great symbol of man the tool-maker as well as man the writer. But in our super-mechanized era, many young people have lost a sense of the tangible and of the power of the hand. A flick of the finger changes TV channels, surfs the web, or alters and deletes text files. Middle-class students raised in a high-tech, service-sector economy are several generations removed from the manual…

Workers asked to train foreign replacements

“You feel like you’re the guy wearing the red shirt on Star Trek,” says Kirwin, referring to characters who often died on the TV show. He helped train his replacements in 2002. “It’s a very unpleasant situation. It’s unfair. These people appeared, and they’d sit and shadow us and watch what we do.” –Stephanie Armour –Workers asked to train foreign replacements (USA Today (will expire)) A wry bit of geek humor…

1

Journalism and Storytelling

Unfortunately the economics of journalism push it into entertainment. Opinions (called columns) are cheaper than news as on columnist can crank out an opinion (based on the news of others) every day without leaving the office. Editorials ditto. Big colour pictures are cheap. Add a few token journalists that crawl around writing “in depth” stories about whatever place they are in when the story is due and you can call…

11

The marketing of breast cancer

Now the U.S. ambassador to Hungary, Brinker is the E.F. Hutton of the breast-cancer world. When she speaks, anyone who‘sanyone listens. Brinker relies on the blockbuster PR value of the 5K Race for the Cure. The year-round calendar of cancer walks that draw grief-stricken yet hopeful patients and their loved ones, along with a fawning media, preserve Brinker and her group‘simage as being on the side of the average American…

3

Blue Screen of Death

Here at work, one of my co-workers captured a screenshot of the blue screen of death and made that his screensaver. I’m wondering if it is to make people feel bad for him, because if he is behind on a project and his screensaver comes on, then you think ‘poor guy is going to lose all his work because his computer crashed again.’ –Brian McCollum, in a comment. –Blue Screen…

5

Blogs as Course Management Systems: Is their biggest advantage also their achille's heel?

Lawley is not alone in looking to blogs as a potential escape from the “course as online powerpoint slide” stranglehold of today’s commercial course management systems. Charles Lowe of Cyberdash.com recently published an account of his own experience using open source weblogs (PostNuke) to support his online writing class; in a companion piece he compares PostNuke to Blackboard, and finds Blackboard lacking. And he is not the only one coming…

2

The Worst Game-Room Ever!

Say, how do you feel about ice cream? Fan of the ice cream? Maybe it’ll help soften the punch of Quality Inn’s video game assortment. You’ve got three different kinds of ice cream bars to choose from, and they’ll only cost you a buck and a half each. Finally, Atlantic City has a stereotypical bargain to match Vegas’ gamut of three dollar all-you-can-eat buffets. There’s just one little problem… It’s…

An Anniversary

Looking back I am amazed that Mary and I have made it this far, both of us laboring as freelance writers, and nothing but. There is the constant danger of work running out, and from time to time it has. Once due to the harassment of the aforementioned child support authorities. However, we’ve always found more. In time. Sometimes barely, like the winter when the check arrived a week before…

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1066 and all that: how Hollywood is giving Britain a false sense of history

The study raised new questions about the teaching of history after it found that 11 per cent of the British population believed Hitler did not exist and 9 per cent said Winston Churchill was fictional. A further 33 per cent believed Mussolini was not a real historical figure…. Some 27 per cent of people interviewed thought Robin Hood, whose story has been featured in films by directors such as Kevin…

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What I Need

What I Need The power cord for my rechargeable razor didn’t make it back from my last trip. The shaver has lost the last of its charge, and I will be quite stubbly for the forseeable future. Wal-Mart and Sears are no help… It’s time to make a trip to the dollar store.