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23,040 Bridges

In the game, you listen to a story about someone’s death and the events leading up to it. There are five characters in the story; your job is to rank them from most culpable for the death to least culpable. The trick is that the story should be balanced in such a way that any ordering is defensible, and thus each listener’s list shows something about that listener. But that…

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Freedom of speech redefined by blogs: Words travel faster, stay around longer in the blogosphere

Jessica Prokop thought the textbook for her class at Seton Hill University was biased and that its author “seems like a bitter man.” In the annals of student rants, nothing extraordinary there. Except she didn’t just blurt out those words in her journalism class. She blogged them. Soon, the author himself was responding all the way from England, pledging to re-examine an upcoming edition given her critique. Junior Mike Rubino…

Federal agents' visit was a hoax

The UMass Dartmouth student who claimed to have been visited by Homeland Security agents over his request for “The Little Red Book” by Mao Zedong has admitted to making up the entire story. –Aaron Nicodemus –Federal agents’ visit was a hoax  (South Coast Today) This does not come as a surprise to me. Kudos to Nicodemus for posting a follow-up to the original story, in which he reported on flaws…

Video-Game Characters Denounce Randomly Placed Swinging Blades

“We are here to demand an end to the shockingly casual placement of dangerous blades in our places of work,” said Tomb Raider star Lara Croft, who estimates that she has lost more than 600,000 lives to spinning, falling, swinging, and suddenly appearing blades this year alone. “This kind of thing has been going on since the days of Pitfall Harry, and it has got to stop.” –Video-Game Characters Denounce…

So I have a blog

Strangely enough, the web took off very much as a publishing medium, in which people edited offline. Bizarely, they were prepared to edit the funny angle brackets of HTML source, and didn’t demand a what you see is what you get editor. WWW was soon full of lots of interesting stuff, but not a space for communal design, for discource through communal authorship. [...] So this is for all the…

Frosty Returns

Frosty Returns (Jerz’s Literacy Weblog) Last week we watched “Frosty Returns,” a 1990s sequel to the 1960s “Frosty the Snowman.” I don’t see how you could say Frosty returns in the sequel, since this one is set in what appears to be a completely different town (someplace that has a long tradition of celebrating “Winter Carnival,” where all references to Christmas are carefully avoided), and concerns the animation of a completely…

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Agents' visit chills UMass Dartmouth senior

A senior at UMass Dartmouth was visited by federal agents two months ago, after he requested a copy of Mao Tse-Tung’s tome on Communism called “The Little Red Book.” Two history professors at UMass Dartmouth, Brian Glyn Williams and Robert Pontbriand, said the student told them he requested the book through the UMass Dartmouth library’s interlibrary loan program. –Aaron Nicodemus –Agents’ visit chills UMass Dartmouth senior  (South Coast Today) I’ve…