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Mapping the Tale: Scene Description in IF

If your IF game has a story, your scene descriptions should serve the story. If you want to give your game atmosphere, broaden your use of sense details within your scene descriptions to include sounds, smells, and even textures, instead of just sights. If you want your game to have a strong narrative voice, scene descriptions are a good place to establish it. If you are using a well-defined PC,…

Teaching with Blogs

[E]ach student blog was given a set of categories. If students had already had blogs before class began, these categories could have been added to their existing blogs: ewriting: agenda item – outside reading ewriting: agenda item – student assignment(s) ewriting: assignment submission ewriting: general discussion / announcement non-ewriting (for students who did not create other categories) …an aggregator (Blagg) was used to pull category-specific RSS feeds from each of…

Muppet greetings fail to fire up staff

One member of staff, who did not want to be named, said: “East Kilbride managers were at a training day when it was announced they would replace good morning with Mahna Mahna. “The staff had just returned from lunch and all the managers were in a training room, sitting in a semi-circle and looking really pleased with themselves. Then one of them blurted out ‘Mahna Mahna’ at us without warning.…

3D holograms to crack forgeries

No two signatures by one person are exactly the same in style, so the new technique involves making a 3D model of the pressure applied when a person writes. The model translates the writing into an image showing dips and furrows of the sample so that anomalies can be detected. Conventionally, handwriting has been analysed by forensic experts in 2D, looking at the sequence of pen strokes in handwriting, like…

History Lessons: The View From Out There

According to Canadian texts (six are cited), the United States planned to conquer and annex Canada during the Revolution, the War of 1812, the Civil War and at various points in between. During the Cold War, the United States repeatedly bullied Canada into supporting its aggressive military policies. Canadian officials hoped that NATO would evolve into a North Atlantic community that would act as a counterweight to U.S. influence in…

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Don't Be That Guy

I warn my students not to freak out when they see a lot of ink in the margins of their papers. I explain my golden rule: “You put effort in, writing to me? I put effort in, writing back to you. That’s the respect writers give each other.” Whenever I’ve watched my under-confident students in remedial courses scour returned essays for my comments, I knew it meant something to them…

Kerry Unveils One-Point Plan for Better America

WICHITA, KS?Delivering the central speech of his 10-day “Solution For America” bus campaign tour Monday, Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry outlined his one-point plan for a better America: the removal of George W. Bush from the White House. “If I am elected in November, no inner-city child will have to live in an America where George Bush is president,” Kerry said, addressing a packed Maize High School auditorium. “No…