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New Media's Age of Anxiety

Most Americans claim they don’t believe what they read in newspapers or see on TV — only a third say news organizations generally get the facts straight — yet their opinions continue to be influenced by the media. Multiply this curious effect by the dozens of cable TV news shows, the hundreds of newspapers and perhaps thousands of websites and millions of blogs dedicated to disseminating news, and it offers…

Is the Musical Comedy Dead?

The reason most pre-1940 musicals are unrevivable is that their books tend to be both slapdash in literary quality and fanciful to the point of absurdity. It was only in the late 30’s that the songwriting team of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart began to emphasize dramatic plausibility, most notably in Pal Joey (1940). And it was not until Rodgers joined forces with Oscar Hammerstein II in 1943 to write…

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Usability

Chunking | Forms | Frames | Fitts Law | Flash Usability | Guidelines & Principles | Link Rot | Liquid Design | PDF | ROI | Writing, Reading & Content | Articles & Related Links –Usability (The Net Place) Great collection of links to practical online articles on each of the above subjects.

No Train, No Gain

–No Train, No Gain A great collection of short articles focusing on such topics as how to find an interesting story in a boring budget meeting, the basics of interviewing, and taking notes. For the first time this fall, students will be able to get credit for working for the student paper (of which I am the adviser). Blogging this so I can find it in the fall.

Is Graduate School a Cult?

Let’s say a mother finds an application to Duke University’s Ph.D. program in English under her daughter’s mattress. Obviously the mother is devastated. If she does nothing, in a year her daughter will be dressed in black and sneering in obscure jargon at the Thanksgiving turkey and Aunt Sally’s cranberry Jell-O mold. Where can a concerned parent turn for help? To serve this need, former academics could reinvent themselves as…

Net fans jolted by man's blog hoax

She was witty, sexually adventurous and intimate with her readers, sharing photos of her travels and exchanging private e-mails and instant messages with fans. She posted messages to other people’s Web logs and created personal profiles at social networking sites. Many readers felt deeply connected to her. Then, three weeks ago, the “Plain Layne” Web log mysteriously disappeared from the Internet, sending her fans into a tizzy. Now the person…

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John Henry: The Man – Facts, Fiction and Themes

The story of John Henry, told mostly through ballads and work songs, traveled from coast to coast as the railroads drove west during the 19th Century. And in time, it has become timeless, spanning a century of generations with versions ranging from prisoners recorded at Mississippi’s Parchman Farm in the late 1940s to present-day folk heroes. –Carlene Hempel –John Henry: The Man – Facts, Fiction and Themes (ibiblio) I’ve got a…

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Low Taxes Do What?

Those who complain loudly about how many jobs have been “exported” to other countries because of international free trade totally ignore all the jobs that have been imported to the American economy because of that same free trade. Siemens alone employs tens of thousands of American workers, and Toyota has already produced its ten millionth car in the United States. –Thomas Sowell –Low Taxes Do What? (Hoover Digest) I’d never considered…

Spirit Finds Hematite; Opportunity Discovers Signs of More Water

Spirit has begun to negotiate her way up into the Columbia Hills where she has encountered a strange rock called Pot of God that she found contains hematite, something that may well lead to the discovery of past water there. On the other side of the planet, Opportunity has continued her descent into Endurance Crater and is now investigating some intriguing rock layers that are already expanding the water story…

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Latrobe men admit setting apartment building fire

On his way into District Justice Mark Bilik’s office, Harris, wearing a “Flamehead USA” T-shirt, told reporters “Yes, I did,” when asked if he set the fire. –Jason Lesher –Latrobe men admit setting apartment building fire (Tribune Review) Note to self… if ever going anywhere near someone involved in the investigation of an arson case, change out of “Flamehead USA” T-shirt before speaking to the media.