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Watching TV Makes You Smarter

For decades, we’ve worked under the assumption that mass culture follows a path declining steadily toward lowest-common-denominator standards, presumably because the ”masses” want dumb, simple pleasures and big media companies try to give the masses what they want. But as that ”24” episode suggests, the exact opposite is happening: the culture is getting more cognitively demanding, not less. To make sense of an episode of ”24,” you have to integrate…

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No Longer a Desperado

It’s cute that those friends think the academic job search is anything at all like other job searches, in which you have a reasonable hope of living in a region you find desirable and getting work commensurate with your qualifications. They don’t realize how someone intelligent, competent, and disciplined enough to earn a Ph.D. can be utterly desperate, forced to apply for every job advertised and to take anything offered.…

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Incredibles DVD Freezes in My Player

Incredibles DVD Freezes in My Player (Jerz’s Literacy Weblog) The other day, my wife picked up a copy of the widescreen, 2-disc DVD of The Incredibles. The movie disc loaded, played the FBI warning, then froze on the screen that threatens our little family with legal action if we ever offend The Mouse. I’m used to the annoying tendency of DVDs to refuse to let you jump right to the menu,…

PRIVATE AND URGENT

I discovered an abandoned deposit in my company owned by one of our Outer Rim customers who died along with his entire family as a result of an landspeeder crash. He actually deposited this funds amounting to IC12,000,000,000.00 (Twelve billion Imperial Credits), for safe keeping in my company here in Mos Eisley. Company file records shows that the funds was actually for a project our late costumer wanted to start…

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Snails are faster than ADSL

First, pigeons cannot fly through Windows. Second, since they don’t fly in darkness either, this method’s bandwidth drops to zero 50% of the time. Finally, there’s the problem of droppings download. We are pleased to report that all these shortcomings were resolved in our new data transfer protocol, as we now turn to describe. System architecture: the system is constructed of a back end – a carriage, Ben-Hur movie style,…

Last Week's English Department Meeting

Professor Ernesto wants to talk about plagiarism in student papers. Floor open.Questions: Is there really a problem here? (Smythe)Professor Ernesto: What‘sthe percentage of student work that‘ssuspect? Really, that high? Why don’t we just castrate their damn laptops? That‘s obviously where it‘s coming from.Professor Dale notes that the act of appropriation may sometimes be an homage.Professor Ernesto grabs Professor Dale‘s briefcase and shakes out all the papers. Yells, “This is an…

'Smart' classrooms, ritzy dorms lure 'Millennials'

“Their parents posted ‘Baby on Board’ signs in their cars. They have been protected as children. Their free time was replaced by organized activities and structured programs. They have a high need for achievement and attention,” said Xavier spokeswoman Kelly Leon. She said this generation prefers learning from hands-on experience, craves technology-generated education, and feels comfortable working in teams. “Millennial students do not learn in the traditional ways of 50,…