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Colleges Ward Off Overinvolved Parents

A number of colleges and universities are having to assign full-time staffers or forming entire new departments to field parents’ calls and email. Others hold separate orientations for parents, partly to keep them occupied and away from student sessions. The University of Vermont employs “parent bouncers,” students trained to divert moms and dads who try to attend registration and explain diplomatically that they’re not invited. At one parent-student orientation session…

Why Truman Dropped the Bomb

In 1945, an overwhelming majority of Americans regarded as a matter of course that the United States had used atomic bombs to end the Pacific war…. The critics divide over what prompted the decision to drop the bombs in spite of the impending surrender, with the most provocative arguments focusing on Washington’s desire to intimidate the Kremlin. Among an important stratum of American society–and still more perhaps abroad–the critics’ interpretation…

Suicide Bomber Killed En Route by Car Bomb

Terrorist cells in Baghdad are in mourning for suicide bomber Ahmed al-Khalaf, 19, who was killed by a car bomb Monday, 200 yards from an Iraqi police station, his intended target. Suicide Bomber Killed En Route By Car Bomb Sources within the insurgency said al-Khalaf was “on his way to becoming a glorious martyr” when he was struck down by the car-bomb explosion. Twenty-three other civilians were also killed. –Suicide…

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Reading (and Writing) New Media

What does it mean to read new media? How have digital spaces changed the activity of reading? How does reading digital texts?including games, instant messages, digital art and music, and other forms?enlarge our conception of what a text is? Is there a digital canon forming, and what are the consequences of such a move? We also recognize that every act of reading is also an act of writing?a construction?and that…

The First Amendment Handbook

At a time when newsgathering techniques are under increasing scrutiny, big business tries to intimidate news organizations by filing lawsuits based on novel tort theories ranging from fraud to breach of duty of loyalty, courts order journalists to jail for refusing to disclose confidential sources, and government officials are finding new ways to close down access to public information in the name of national security, American journalists need to be…

Best Practices for Newspaper Journalists (PDF)

Readers spoke compellingly of their experiences with newspapers and their observations about the behavior of journalists. Their comments evoked a sense of belief in the press as an important institution in our democracy, but they were unsparing, as well, in documenting their concerns about basic journalistic practices that they see as being unfair: Newspapers get too much too wrong too often; they are not factually accurate often enough. Newspapers are…

R.U.R.: Themes

The entire concept of cyborgs or automated labor of any kind is inseparable from the contexts of economic production, and R.U.R. emphasizes this context much more than the first cyborg text, Shelley’s Frankenstein. Some of the basic concepts of Marxist analysis involve recognizing the social and economic structure as consisting of a base and a superstructure. The base consists of the government structures and the superstructure consists of the markets,…