The Nature of E.B. White – The Chronicle Review – The Chronicle of Higher Education

During my research into the inspirations for and the writing of Charlotte’s Web, which took me back to White’s early childhood, I was intrigued by many aspects of his personality: his anxieties and hypochondria, his passionate defense of free speech and civil liberties, his one-man campaign for world government. But nothing else about him caught my own imagination more than his attitude toward animals. –Michael Sims, The Nature of E.B.…

Facebook, Twitter Aren’t Responsible For Your Online Behavior – Techland – TIME.com

There will never be an easier way to break this to you other than to just say it: Facebook is not your friend. It’s a business. Repeat this to yourself until it begins to sink deep within in your social-loving brain cells. “Facebook is not your friend. It’s a business.” Laws on Internet activity and speech are just beginning to manifest in court, and nine times out of ten, companies…

Why I Will Never, Ever Hire A “Social Media Expert”

I do still see value in teaching students how to blog, precisely because academic blogging (as practiced by academics) involves reflection, citation of sources, interaction with archived posts from the past and current posts by peers on other blogs. Blogging, as a genre, extends beyond using any one piece of software. Being an “expert” on Twitter or Facebook means you’re very good at following the grooves that have been placed…

What are Your English Students Reading Right Now? | Learning by the Book

An interesting snapshot of what books some profs are teaching in thier lit classes, and why. I freely admit that the literary canon could still use some work, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t celebrate the progress that’s already been made. For this project, I e-mailed a litany of professors in both English and some of its related fields and asked them the following questions: What are your students reading…

Soldier surprises daughter with reunion at school

Students who are learning news writing for the first time sometimes overuse phrases like “so-and-so told reporters” or “when asked about X, so-and-so said…” Readers only encounter those phrases in journalism, so when students are new to news writing, they tend to reach for these phrases (and similar ones such as using “this reporter” as a synonym for “I”) in order to signal their intent to write like a journalist.…

The Shifting Media Landscape: Intelligent Gaming And Dumbed Down Films – PSFK

Portal 2 is essentially a demented series of puzzles – like being stuck inside a physics-based logic problem designed by the Python team; LA Noire is a trad adventure game. Adventure games used to be as close as gaming got to fiction. They started out as interactive text-based shaggy dog stories (a prime example being Douglas Adams’s fantastic Hitchhiker’s Guide Infocom adventure), transformed into point-and-click comedies (such as Monkey Island),…

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Post Gazette Corrects Headline of Seton Hill iPad Followup

Everyone makes mistakes. As a student journalist, I completely muffed the last name of a faculty member I was assigned to interview. (A few years later, I found myself working a PR job, with that guy as my supervisor. It’s a small world.) So, with the full understanding that I am the pot calling the kettle black, and that what goes around comes around, for the benefit of my journalism…

Overusing the Em Dash (Slate)

The problem with the dash—as you may have noticed!—is that it discourages truly efficient writing. It also—and this might be its worst sin—disrupts the flow of a sentence. Don’t you find it annoying—and you can tell me if you do, I won’t be hurt—when a writer inserts a thought into the midst of another one that’s not yet complete? Strunk and White—who must always be mentioned in articles such as…

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For Seton Hall Hill students and professors, iPads open new paths

Because the headline gets the name of the school wrong, it’s a little hard for me to assess this objectively. I’m glad Katie got so much space to share her experiences, and very glad this story mentions the importance of training and tech support. The story of my students reading Emerson’s Nature is a little abbreviated — it was actually a student who noticed the sunset, not me. “I just…

NASA’s Spirit Rover Completes Mission on Mars

If by “completes mission” you mean “makes us all sad by dying,” well, okay. It is not scientific or logical that I am sad because a cool little robot is dead on another planet, but it is human. This press release from NASA suggests that PR professionals are also apparently living on another planet, where the only use of language is to construct a reality distortion field to prevent anyone…