Adventure Themed Play in The Brick Theater's Antidepressant Festival

Clever piece on a games-themed theater performance in Brooklyn next month. One of the more unusual plays in this year’s Antidepressant Festival is Adventure Quest, which mimics old-school computer adventure games, combining live action with vintage graphics and 8-bit music. For those too young to remember these strange, puzzle-intensive artifacts of the Reagan era, the creators of Adventure Quest have been kind enough to provide a brief “walk-through” that captures…

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Magic Tree House: The Musical

Okay, I’m officially lame. I teared up a few days ago during Star Trek, and tonight I teared up during this song from The Magic Treehouse: The Musical, based on a series of easy-reader books by Mary Pope Osbourne. The touring show was in my town tonight; we had front-row seats. The song is a perky, sappy tribute to brotherly and sisterly love, and the lyrics perfectly describe my own…

Hypercritical

A budding artist learns his real skill is not artistry, but the ability to critique. I’m blogging this for the next time I introduce iteration as an important cognitive skill — something that requires dedication, time, and a willingness to take risks in order to learn from failures (something that doesn’t often fit will with millennials who fear losing points for not “getting the right answer” on the first try).…

David Simon Advocates Non-Profit Status for the Future of Journalism:

High-end journalism can and should bite any hand that tries to feed it, and it should bite a government hand most viciously. Moreover, it is the right of every American to despise his local newspaper – for being too liberal or too conservative, for covering X and not covering Y, for spelling your name wrong when you do something notable and spelling it correctly when you are seen as dishonorable.…

Practicing Some Affirming Language

How many of you make a point by asking how many people in the room already know it, and then praising everyone who does? This fall, I’ll be teaching my most content-heavy course — “News Writing.”   I have to teach a lot of vocabulary, along with research, interviewing, revision, and copyediting skills, in addition to crash courses in civics, criminology, psychology, and statistics.    It’s too early to think about…

Blackboard Buys Another Rival, to Customers' Dismay

[C]ourse-management software has become a new kind of campus building–a virtual one where online classes are held and new kinds of “hybrid” courses take place. The unsettled question is who controls what these classrooms look like and how stable their foundations are. Colleges don’t want to just buy these online classrooms out of a catalog. They want to feel like partners in the design process. Angel apparently got that part…

The rise and fall of the "bus plunge" story

Nowadays, layout editors can just expand the size of a photo or cheat the typesize to make a story fill a gap. But in the days before such digital magic, newspaper editors needed a steady supply of filler stories — short items, just long enough to plug gaps of a few inches at the bottom of a page. The words “bus” and “plunge” both fit nicely in a one-column headline,…