The Day the Newspaper Died

On October 10, 1765, an Annapolis printer changed his newspaper’s title to the Maryland Gazette, Expiring. Its motto: “In uncertain Hopes of a Resurrection to Life again.” Later that month, the printer of the Pennsylvania Journal replaced his newspaper’s masthead with a death’s-head and framed his front page with a thick black border in the shape of a gravestone. “Adieu, Adieu,” the Journal whispered. On October 31st, the New-Hampshire Gazette…

CMA board issues censure of a west coast university

The College Media Advisers issues a censure of Western Oregon University for firing its newspaper adviser in the wake of a student report that publicized a computer security breach. See the press release amd the letter of censure (PDF). Wickstrom’s firing followed the June 2007 Journal publication of a story concerning a university computer security breach. A file containing the names, Social Security numbers, grade point averages and other sensitive…

Dada in the Classroom

Bring on the bongo drums and the black turtlenecks — this looks like fun. Students in a poetry class were asked to write their poetry on a piece of fruit, and then share their text with the class. Melanie stood holding her Cassaba melon like a globe or Yorick’s skull in her left hand and read it slowly rotating it to see all the lines; she then passed the Cassaba…

The DNA of detection

An informative tribute, from the BBC. It’s remarkable how many of the genre’s classic elements can be traced back to the feverishly fertile imagination of one man, Edgar Allan Poe. Once you start looking, the clues are everywhere. Edgar Allan Poe is best known for his gloomy gothic tales Born 200 years ago, on 19 January 1809, Poe was a prolific writer of poetry, fiction and essays. But his influential…

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Presidential inaugurals: the form and the content

Educated Americans have a tendency to think that (i) intelligence can be directly assessed through the surrogate of compliance with the rules of Standard English grammar, and that (ii) compliance with the rules of Standard English grammar can be checked quickly and easily by glancing in Strunk and White’s brainless little pamphlet of 19th-century grammar nonsense. Both propositions are wrong and dangerous, yet tacit acceptance of them is widespread. I…

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Picasa 3 Screen Capture Bug

I’ve been using Google’s Picasa for years. It’s a very efficient tool for sorting, cropping, and otherwise tweaking images, and it’s integrated with Google’s online photo album and Google’s YouTube service, so it’s very convenient. It’s also behaving very strangely. After I updated recently to Picass 3, I notice that, every second the program is active, it dumps a 3-megabyte screen capture into a “My Pictures/Picasa/Screen Capture” folder, which very…

Ricardo Montalban will always be Khan to me

Ricardo Montalban (1920-2009). My kids know him as the grandfather in Spy Kids 2 and 3. Let’s hope they lay him to rest dressed in a spotless white suit, in a casket lined in soft, Corinthian leather. He will always be Captain Kirk’s finest foe, the would-be conqueror who first tried to steal the Enterprise in the classic Star Trek episode “Space Seed” and then finally robbed Kirk of his…