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A WELL HOUSE FOR A LARGE SPRING

I was digging through my archives and came across this e-mail from caver and author Roger Brucker, responding to my request for anything he might remember about the well house — described so vaguely in Will Crowther’s 1976 game “Colossal Cave Adventure,” but such a real-seeming place. The wellhouse was one of a series of concrete catchments placed by the NPS [National Park Service] around the flanks of Flint Ridge.…

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The day the music died

A nicely done feature on the closure of the last player-piano roll manufacturer. One machine dates back to the 1880s when it was used to make shoes, and for the past 100 years has made the tabs with brass eyelets used to hook the roll into a piano. There are also aging machines to perforate and punch the holes, to cut the stencils to print the lyrics, to spool the…

Proving the Benefits of Peer Instruction

Another article that’s on my mind as I consider how to integrate group work into an unusually large literature class. In an undergraduate genetics course, students were, on 16 occasions during the course of a semester, asked a pair of “isomorphic” questions, which have different facts but require students to apply the same principles or concepts. Instructors asked students one of the questions, had them “click” their answers, discuss the…