Livetweeting Buck Rogers: Planet of the Slave Girls

Soon I’ll start livetweeting the first episode of the 1970s #BuckRogers series. I livetweeted the series-opening movie a few weeks ago.http://jerz.setonhill.edu/weblog/2010/10/livetweeting_the_1970s_buck_ro_1/ Remote battery died. Crisis! #BuckRogers Planet of the Slave Girls. Clearly they are going for high concept SF. Still, Buster Crabbe and was that Jack Palance? #BuckRogers Nameless, sweaty extra under attack by pirates… Scout 3 seems out of it. #BuckRogers “There’s something wrong with your Funk and Wangals,”…

blender.org – Blender 2.55 beta

Must… mark papers… must resist downloading Blender 2.55. The Blender Foundation and online developer community is proud to present Blender 2.55 Beta. This release is the third official beta release of the Blender 2.5 series, representing the culmination of many years of redesign and development work. This version is called a “Beta” because it’s now for the most part feature complete. The Python API has had some extensive changes, most…

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Preparing my Pre-teen Readers

I vividly remember the day I got bored with the juvenile section of the library. I had read all the Encyclopedia Brown books, all the Lester Del Rey books (about moon rocket pilots and such), and the entire shelf of astronomy books. Walking around the corner to the adult stacks was a powerful epiphany. (For some reason, I checked out a book by Sigmund Freud on the interpretation of dreams.)…

Group Work that Works (Even in Large Classes!) – ProfHacker – The Chronicle of Higher Education

Bottom line: effective group assignments do not require students to collectively author a paper or make a presentation. Writing and presenting are often individual tasks, and charging a group with these tasks, without special guidance on how to perform them, is to set up yourself (and your students) up for frustration and mediocrity. On the contrary, effective group assignments simply give groups a set of data and require them to…

10 Emerging Book Genres You've Probably Never Heard Of

Literature, as with other creative pursuits, exists as one of the most diverse outlets for human expression available. Movements ebb and flow over time, allowing themselves to both influence and be influenced by the prevailing philosophical and cultural constructs swirling around them. Some obtain prominent – if not permanent – mainstream status and find their way onto syllabi across the world. Others tarry about on the fringes of general awareness,…

Get Lamp. Show Documentary.

I’ve been waiting quite a while to be able to blog this campus newspaper story about Jason Scott’s visit to Seton Hill. Unlike today’s traditional videogames, which are jam-packed with high-resolution graphics, text adventure games force players to utilize their imaginations. Also known as interactive fiction, these were the precursors for some of the most popular Role-playing games (RPGs) today. In a world in which Playstation 3s and Xbox 360s…

Nov. 1, 1909: 'The Machine Stops'

I’ve taught E. M. Forster’s 1909 “The Machine Stops” in a few classes. The message is a little heavy-handed, but the world Foster created is eerily familiar a hundred years later. “The Machine Stops” appeared in the November issue of The Oxford and Cambridge Review. At 12,000-plus words, it’s sometimes called a longish short story, sometimes a novella. Forster is not thought of as a science-fiction writer, but this piece…

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World's Most Precise Clocks Could Reveal Universe Is a Hologram

As a rule, I’m suspicious of any news article that has the world “could” in the headline, but this is certainly interesting stuff. Our existence could be coded in a finite bandwidth, like a live ultra-high-definition 3-D video. And the third dimension we know and love could be no more than a holographic projection of a 2-D surface. A scientist’s $1 million experiment, now under construction in Illinois, will attempt…