Beware the Plath copycats

Guardian If generations of gloomy boys could pretend they were the next TS Eliot, then there have been plenty of gloomy girls who have their very own role model in Plath. And a very powerful role model: unlike Eliot, she succeeded in killing herself. Cue thousands of lines of self-pitying poetry without the command and talent of Plath’s. I regularly introduce poetry to freshman English majors. Some who write angsty…

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Dr. Jerz, the Facebook n00b

I thought maybe two or three students would “friend” me out of pity, but I was rather surprised that within about 24 hours I had 35 confirmed “friends” — several of those within the first few minutes of registering for the service. Only half of those contacts are from Seton Hill — the rest are academics I know from the blogosphere and from conferences. A few are people I knew…

Blews

Microsoft researchers discuss Blews, which is a horrible title for a promising new tool that sorts blogosphere chatter according to the red/blue political shift, and also identifies the emotional intensity of the response. Our current visualization shows the count of liberal inlinks to a news article as a blue “wing” on the left, and the number of conservative inlinks as a red “wing” on the right. The emotional charge of…