Lower-cased initialisms

Via Language Log: It is a small but not insignificant recent change in written English that in Britain the newspapers have started spelling acronyms in lower case with capital initial instead of all in caps. The Universities and Colleges Employers Association and the the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs are not UCEA and DEFRA, but (at least fairly often) Ucea and Defra. Another recent example: Figwit.

Rejlander, Oscar Gustave

Interesting historical anecdote of an early attempt to make an artistic statement with photography, using visual elements that were acceptable in painting, but considered controversial in photography: Rejlander’s “Two Ways of Life.”  (via Metafilter). Useful, perhaps, as a point of comparison for what happens when video games cross the line, and attempt to make serious, or shocking, or deliberately provocative, treatments of issues that are, if not universally accepted, nevertheless…

''The Balloon Hoax'' by Edgar Allan Poe

When steampunk was speculative fiction, not charmingly retro… Edgar Allan Poe pulbished this mock news story in the New York Sun. The Atlantic has been actually crossed in a Balloon; and this too without difficulty — without any great apparent danger — with thorough control of the machine — and in the inconceivably brief period of seventy-five hours from shore to shore! By the energy of an agent at Charleston,…

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Blog Comments and Peer Review Go Head to Head to See Which Makes a Book Better – Chronicle.com

Jeffrey R. Young (Chronicle): The idea was to tap the wisdom of his crowd. Visitors to the blog might not read the whole manuscript, as traditional reviewers do, but they might weigh in on a section in which they have some expertise…. “We are a peer-review press–we’re always going to want to have an honest peer review,” says Mr. Sery, senior editor for new media and game studies. “The reputation…

This is fun? (Question posed to a text-adventure newsgroup.)

On Jan 21, 3:47 pm, Conrad <conradc…@gmail.com> wrote:> I’m supposed to not know what direction I can walk in?> > This is fun? Play Adventure it to appreciate the big jump from Hunt the Wumpus and mainframe Trek.   Play it, not merely seeking conformation for your own definition of “fun,” but rather to understand why computer users across the early ‘net who (according to one humorous estimate) lost about…

Flight Of The Conchords – The Humans Are Dead

Robots gloating, and occasionally philosophizing, over their decision to destroy the humans. Love the binary solo. The guy on the left does an excellent imitation of a standard PC speech synthesizer voice. Overall, this is a great send-up of the “arrogant humans create robots who turn on them” meme (which was first widely spread by the Czech play Rossum’s Universal Robots, from which languages around the world acquired the word…

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CrimeFictionWriter: Today I'm a crabby editor

Michael Bracken offers practical tips to new writers. Later this week I’ll begin teaching Seton Hill’s “Intro to Literary Study” class again… it’s often the first class in which the English majors get a taste of what it means to write fiction for a college-level class. That means I emphasize basic stuff such as how to punctuate quoted speech, and the difference between “correcting the mistakes your teacher has circled…