A cut on Mary Torkos’ cheek saved her life and her family … and other Titanic ties to Monessen

That day, on the Southampton docks in England, the Torkos family wallowed in disappointment. Anxious to head home to Monessen, Westmoreland County, the Hungarian family had been banned from boarding the ship because of the cut on 7-year-old Mary’s cheek. Fearing the spread of infection throughout the ship’s steerage, officials banned Mary, and thus the Torkos family, from boarding. Catherine Torkos and her three children would have to wait a…

NBC Fires Producer in Flap Over Manipulated 911 Call in Trayvon Martin Case

“This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black,” Zimmerman is heard saying in NBC’s edited version. The difference is significant, since activists have been claiming that Zimmerman had racially profiled Martin. Critics have argued that NBC set out to purposely advance that narrative by condensing the 911 tape to make it appear that Zimmerman’s motivation for assuming Martin was “up to no good” was based on…

The Next Time Someone Says the Internet Killed Reading Books, Show Them This Chart

Looks like this blogger presented the chart as an implicit argument about the quality of literature being read today, rather than the quantity. We were a civilized civilization. This was before the Internet and cable television, and so people had these, like, wholly different desires and attention spans. They just craved, craved, craved the erudition and cultivation of our literary kings and queens. Well, that time never existed. Check out…

York Crucifixion of Christ (Toronto, 1977) 2 of 4

Christ willingly stretches himself down on the cross. Surprised, one of the soldiers observes: “Behold, himself has laid him down,/and bent his back unto this tree.” From one of the first web pages I created, for an academic article about a computer simulation of the epic medieval Christian pageant the York Corpus Christi Cycle. The tiny, grainy video clips were cutting-edge multimedia back in 1997.  via York Crucifixion of Christ…

Chicago State University tries to limit speech

According to my 9yo daughter, “It’s completely and utterly stupidulous.” Pancho McFarland, an associate professor of sociology at Chicago State, fears the policy could restrict all types of communications by professors, including speaking engagements. “It will put a chilling effect on our ability to speak in a number of venues,” he said. “It is part of this bigger history to quiet criticism of the administration.” [..] Nelson, an English professor…

There are giant feathered tyrannosaurs now… right?

Regular readers will perhaps know that I (and others) have been saying for a while that Mesozoic Earth was not the global hothouse that many have long assumed. There’s evidence for cool continental interiors and poles during parts of the Jurassic and Cretaceous (Barron & Washington 1982, , Sloan & Barron 1990, Sellwood et al. 1994), sea surface temperatures that were similar to those of the cold, modern north Pacific…

3 Major Publishers Sue Open-Education Textbook Start-Up – Wired Campus – The Chronicle of Higher Education

“Whether in the lecture hall or in a textbook, anyone is obviously free to teach the subjects biology, economics, or psychology, and can do so using, creating, and refining the pedagogical materials they think best, whether consisting of ‘open source educational content’ or otherwise,” it reads. “But by making unauthorized ‘shadow-versions’ of Plaintiffs’ copyrighted works, Defendant teaches only the age-old business model of theft.” To illustrate this claim of intellectual…

Crabby 9yo Constructs a Head-mounted Frump-amplification Isolation Cube

My 9yo was ordered not to leave the kitchen table until her lessons were done, but she wanted to communicate to the world that she was in a bad mood. From where she was sitting, she had access to paper, scissors, and tape, which she used to construct this  head-mounted frump-amplicfaction isolation cube. Ironically, it was a spelling lesson that she was trying to avoid. I made her correct the…

Building and Sharing When You’re Supposed to be Teaching Journal of Digital Humanities

In Stallybrass’s mind, students—and in fact, all scholars—need to do less thinking and more working. “When you’re thinking,” Stallybrass writes, “you’re usually staring at a blank sheet of paper or a blank screen, hoping that something will emerge from your head and magically fill that space. Even if something ‘comes to you,’ there’s no reason to believe that it is of interest, however painful the process has been” (1584). This…