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Astronomers find first habitable Earth-like planet

“We have estimated that the mean temperature of this super-Earth lies between 0 and 40 degrees Celsius, and water would thus be liquid,” explained Stéphane Udry, from the Geneva Observatory (Switzerland) and lead-author of the paper reporting the result. “Moreover, its radius should be only 1.5 times the Earth’s radius, and models predict that the planet should be either rocky — like our Earth — or covered with oceans,” he…

I can't hear you, Bert.

I can’t hear you, Bert. (Jerz’s Literacy Weblog) I walk into my classroom about two minutes before class starts. It’s a great hybrid room, with 24 workstations around the outer edges, tables in the middle, and a huge projection screen up front. As usual, a few students who aren’t in my class are using the computers. Some have obviously just come into the room and are just logging on. “A class…

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Super Columbine Massacre

The vast majority of gamers know life is not a Doom level – these rules are merely simplifications and abstractions that streamline very complex actions for smoother gameplay. We know when someone is shot in the head they do not lose 20 hitpoints. Games are not an excuse for their worldview, but rather a useful metaphor that allows us to jump into their heads for awhile. One thing that kept…

FYI, 13yo skool grl is nu US txt mssg chmpN

Contestants had to stand with their hands behind their backs until a bell sounded and a message appeared on an overhead screen. The winner was judged on whoever’s message — checked for exact punctuation — reached the judges first. The text tests ranged from “faster than a speeding bullet…” and “what we do in life echoes in eternity” to the less poetic “OMG, nd 2 talk asap,” which for those…

Olympus DS-50 Voice Recorder

Olympus DS-50 Voice Recorder (Jerz’s Literacy Weblog) Two brand-new Olympus DS-50 voice recorders just arrived at SHU. I’ve ordered two DS-40s as well. My students have been learning podcasting basics with some older voice recorders, but the virtue of that older equipment is that it’s very easy to understand. The DS-50s are state-of-the art, but I realized with dismay just now that they only record in Microsoft’s proprietary WMA format, rather…

Stage Fright

It was six hours before opening night. Sarah Holdren, director of a Yale student production, had just entered the theater for a routine pre-performance errand when the man who runs the hall gave her an update: In the wake of the Virginia Tech shootings, a Yale administrator decided that she didn’t want any weapons used or portrayed during theatrical productions. –Elia Powers –Stage Fright (Inside Higher Ed) Puh-leese. Grown-ups and all…

50% Good News Is the Bad News in Russian Radio

At their first meeting with journalists since taking over Russia’s largest independent radio news network, the managers had startling news of their own: from now on, they said, at least 50 percent of the reports about Russia must be “positive.” In addition, opposition leaders could not be mentioned on the air and the United States was to be portrayed as an enemy, journalists employed by the network, Russian News Service,…