3

What rough binder, its hour come round at last, slouches towards the provost's office to be filed?

Here’s how I’ve been spending my time lately.  It’s after 8pm Sunday, and I’ve been at work since I handed my kids off to my wife this morning right after church.  Tomorrow morning I drop this baby off in the Provost’s office. The question is… should I add this photo to the front cover or not? English Program Review Self-Study   2007-08 Seton Hill University   A chunk of pages…

Oldest Voice Recording, A French Folksong

Information Week: The recording played Thursday predates Thomas Edison’s invention of the phonograph (previously thought to have recorded the first sound) by 17 years. It captured about 10 seconds of the French folksong “Au Clair De La Lune” on April 9, 1860. Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville recorded the voice by using a “phonautograph” to scratch sound waves onto a sheet of paper covered in black smoke from an oil lamp.…

2

Sonnet Exercise

I’ve been making an extra effort this year to create some new worksheets designed to teach basic, stand-alone concepts in my Introduction to Literary Study class. Here’s a new worksheet to help students write a sonnet.  Below is the part they’re actually supposed to submit… after that I’ve included the text that explains the assignment. I’ve already taught the basic form of the sonnet, so this is a review, but…

Desire2Learn Patent-Information Blog

Blackboard, a company that sells popular course-management software, recently won a $3.1 settlement against Desire2Learn.  According to Slashdot, Blackboard has been granted a patent that covers a single person having multiple roles in an LMS: for example, a TA might be a student in one class and an instructor in another. You wouldn’t think something this obvious could even be patented, but so far it’s been a very effective weapon…

2

Interesting Slant in News Headlines

Here’s a “glass is half full” headline that makes me proud to work at Seton HIll: Seton Hill U Students Step In, Help Officer Being Attacked By Man Here’s a “glass is half empty” headline that makes me go “oops”: Seton Hill student turns Taser on Greensburg police officer Here’s a more neutral headline that went out on the state news wire: Westmoreland Co. university student turns Taser on police…

1

The News Business: Out of Print

The New Yorker discusses the fate of print news: Philip Meyer, in his book “The Vanishing Newspaper” (2004), predicts that the final copy of the final newspaper will appear on somebody’s doorstep one day in 2043. It may be unkind to point out that all these parlous trends coincide with the opening, this spring, of the $450-million Newseum, in Washington, D.C., but, more and more, what Bill Keller calls “that…

5

Disemvoweling

New to me… disemvoweling: a compromise between preserving free speech and letting trolls take over a public online forum. In the fields of Internet discussion and forum moderation, disemvoweling, (also spelled disemvowelling) which appears to model the word disemboweling, is the removal of vowels from text either as a method of self-censorship (for example, either “G*d” or “G-d” for those whose religious beliefs preclude writing God in full), or as a…

Print as a Thought-Control Device

From Orwell’s 1984, which I’m teaching today in my History and Future of the Book class. This is an excerpt from the book-within-the-book, purportedly written by Emmanuel Goldstein. By comparison with an existing today, all the tyrannies of the past or halfhearted and inefficient.  The ruling groups were always infected to some extent by liberal ideas, and were content to leave loose ends everywhere, to regard only the overt act,…

What Will Life Be Like in the Year 2008?

I love the retrofuture. The year I was born, 1968, Mechanix Illustrated offered this prediction of life in the year 2008. I’m still waiting for my flying car, but some of the other predictions were remarkably accurate. The single most important item in 2008 households is the computer. These electronic brains govern everything from meal preparation and waking up the household to assembling shopping lists and keeping track of the…

Play This Thing Reviews ''Photopia''

Play This Thing offers this review of “Photopia” (a text game by Adam Cadre). Photopia is very, very linear. It has very simple puzzles. It’s barely interactive at all. And yet it works. Photopia could be a short story, but it would lose most of its impact. It’s difficult to explain why that is without ruining the game. The key to Photopia’s success is the interactions between the player and…