The effects of addition can lay whole families to waste…

I read the blurb for this article four or five times, trying to figure out what it was about. The effects of addition can lay whole families to waste…  (Register) I should think that subtraction causes more stress on the family unit than addition, and disagreements over multiplication can probably cause division. You never know… some shady characters might try to establish, right in your neighborhood, a lab for cooking…

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Disney accused by Catholic cleric of corrupting children's minds

“The message behind every movie and book, behind every theme park and T-shirt is that our children’s world needs Disney,” he says. “So they absolutely must go to see the next Disney movie, which we’ll also want to give them on DVD as a birthday present. “They will be happier if they live the full Disney experience; and thousands of families around the world buy into this deeper message as…

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Idlewild's Story Book Forest Improves Its Signage

In the past, I have pointed out copy-editing weaknesses at Story Book Forest at Idlewild Park, in southwestern PA.  When I was last there, shortly before Halloween, my son stopped in his tracks and said, “They repainted the Little Miss Muffet Sign!” And he was right… they repainted some of the signs. Just now, when I was clearing out my camera’s SD card, I noticed I had a set of…

Involuntary Moral Reformation in Babes in Toyland

My family saw the American Family Theater‘s production of Babes in Toyland this morning. Barnaby the Bumbling Villain, sneering from under a painted-on handlebar mustache as he gloats over his possession of the widow’s mortgage, pursues the heroes to Toyland. There, after much stock-character humor (cunning disguises, stunning surprises… lovers divided get coincided) the climax comes as the heroes pin Barnaby down, tickle him, and force him to eat a…

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New Study Shows Time Spent Online Important for Teen Development

“It might surprise parents to learn that it is not a waste of time for their teens to hang out online,” said Mizuko Ito, University of California, Irvine researcher and the report’s lead author. “There are myths about kids spending time online – that it is dangerous or making them lazy. But we found that spending time online is essential for young people to pick up the social and technical…

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Collaborative Academic Writing: Exploratory Thoughts

As a professor, I collaborate with other authors all the time.  But I rarely assign collaborative writing assignments. I often ask students to critique each other’s papers or beta-releases, but that’s not the same thing as having them collaborate to create a single, coherent document. I’m teaching a literary criticism class next term. The last time I taught it, students expressed a lot of frustration at how long it took…

Students as Game Creators

Young people around the world are learning, in their pre-teen years, to use tools like Game Maker, Click & Play, Stagecast Creator and others to build simple games. As they move into their teens and twenties kids learn to master and use Flash, modding tools, and even sophisticated tools like C++, game engines and graphics tools to create the complex, sophisticated games they imagine and design. Many of these students…

MySpace trial: Jury finds woman guilty of lesser charges

A federal jury delivered a mixed verdict today convicting a Missouri mother of misdemeanor charges in a nationally watched cyber-bullying case in which the woman was accused of using a fake MySpace account to torment a teenage girl who later committed suicide. The jurors, however, rejected more serious felony charges against Lori Drew, 49, who was involved in a hoax on 13-year-old Megan Meier. The panel deadlocked on a conspiracy…

Vatican unveils ambitious solar energy plans

And then there was light — and it was powered by the sun. The Vatican on Wednesday activated a new solar energy system and announced an ambitious plan that could one day make it an alternative energy exporter. The massive roof of the “Nervi Hall” where popes hold general audiences and concerts are performed, has been covered with 2,400 photovoltaic panels to provide energy for lighting, heat and air conditioning.…

Scanning Infocom (GET LAMP weblog)

Jason Scott has started a new blog that will discuss the progress of his documentary, GET LAMP.  Here’s a good entry on the contents of Steve Meretzky’s basement. As part of the GET LAMP project, I’ve been collecting artifacts and images throughout the commercial heydays of text adventures, and nobody got bigger than Infocom in the early 1980s. And Steve was one of the big designers at Infocom, creating or…