You say ''Looting,'' I say ''Finding''

You say ”Looting,” I say ”Finding” (Jerz’s Literacy Weblog) Two interesting discussions on Flickr, regarding the ethics of captions that accompany stories about the looting in New Orleans. See: “Racism on Flickr.” It’s certainly worth noting that in one picture, a black an is identified as “looting,” but in a different picture, two other people (initially represented as white, but the woman seems to be Hispanic) are described as “finding” food.…

Reading with Our Ears

Mayor Cabot,” he wrote, “cast the only dissenting vote.” Then the editor reconsidered. Without altering its meaning in any way, he recast the sentence to read, “The mayor cast the lone dissenting vote.” With a stroke of the pen, so to speak, he had achieved a line of perfect iambic pentameter. The MAY-or CAST the LONE diss-ENT-ing VOTE. He had added a touch of cadence to his story — and…


A Word Involves the Whole Body

An inseparable but special part of the feeling of words lies in the fact that they have to be produced by a human body — with an exception noted for parrots and the like. The act of producing a word involves breath and muscle, and various kinds of muscular activity tend to produce various kinds of feeling. Thus, aside from all other considerations, the bodily involvement in sounding the word…


Classes Start

—Classes Start (Jerz’s Literacy Weblog) Today is the first day of classes. I’m teaching News Writing, Drama as Literature, and two sections of American Literature I. I also advise the student paper, The Setonian.

Colleges try to deal with hovering parents

A memo sent to departments ranging from residential life to counseling to public safety reminds employees: “We will not solve problems for students because it robs students of an opportunity to learn.” […] “We get quoted the price tag frequently,” said Dean of Student Affairs Jim Terhune. “But what you’re paying for is an education, not a room at the Sheraton, and sometimes that education is uncomfortable.” —Colleges try to…

The Dream of a Lifetime

Engelbart encountered the idea of the Memex while serving as a radar technician in the U.S. Navy during World War II. It took root in his imagination and, in 1950, he had an epiphany, one that guided him and his work for the next two decades. Markoff writes that Engelbart “saw himself sitting in front of a large computer screen full of different symbols….He would create a workstation for organizing…


Miles O'Brien's Hurricane Blog

Mayor Ray Nagin told folks to make sure they fill their upstairs bathtubs with water, and in case of real trouble, make sure you have a way of hacking through your roof — so you are not trapped by rising water. —Miles O’Brien —Miles O’Brien’s Hurricane Blog (CNN) The CNN newsman is blogging Katrina.