RUR Cats

RUR Cats (Jerz’s Literacy Weblog) My first (and probably only) contribution to the LOLCats meme. In the 1920s, the Czech play R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots) introduced the world to a word that quickly displaced older terms such as “automaton.” As author Karel Capek was working out the plot, he fretted that calling them “labori” would be too stuffy. His brother Josef, a cubist painter and author, muttered, “Then call them Robots,”…

The Death of a Virtual Campus Illustrates How Real-World Problems Can Disrupt Online Islands

It isn’t clear whether Linden Lab simply took the Woodbury island offline, or actually destroyed the software behind it. Dori Littell-Herrick, an assistant professor and chairwoman of the animation department, said she believed it was the latter. If so, the university would need to build another island if it re-established a presence in Second Life. Ms. Littell-Herrick suggested that Woodbury’s island could have attracted unruly avatars because it was more…

Has the novel been murdered by the mob?

It feels somewhat ungrateful to complain in today’s television environment, with so many well-written, superbly acted shows available, that the screen is destroying the page. But it’s true, especially if you pause to consider that reading fiction is something that requires time, time away from a screen. More and more, though, Americans don’t have the time to think, let alone to read. They are working harder and less efficiently than…