Updated Journalism Handouts

I updated the journalism portal of my online writing site, and touched up some existing handouts: News Story vs. English Essay Your English instructor carefully reads your essay to evaluate the depth of your knowledge, the breadth of your vocabulary, and the loftiness of your ideas. Joe Sixpack glances quickly at your news story to learn who won the game, or when Route 30 will reopen, or what happened at…

Six Reasons a Non-Computer Nerd Might Want to Learn to Code

Atwood, on his blog Coding Horror, miffed by the “everyone should learn to code” meme, likens coding to plumbing. It’s not for everyone. “Look, I love programming. I also believe programming is important … in the right context, for some people,” he writes. “But so are a lot of skills. I would no more urge everyone to learn programming than I would urge everyone to learn plumbing. That’d be ridiculous,…

Stage Right! Homeschool Musicals

My daughter was recently in the Stage Right! Greensburg homeschool preteen production of Once Upon a Mixed-up Fairy Tale, playing Little Red Riding Hood. Here the girls are singing “Astonishing.” My son played Marshal Cord Elam in the teen production, Oklahoma. He’s wearing the vest and white hat.

The Evolution of Adventure: Make Game – Asio City

In the early 1970s William Crowther worked for the high-tech R&D company BBN Technologies as part of a team developing the ARPAnet; a computer network predecessor to the Internet. Crowther has never shown any desire to court celebrity for his achievements. Aside from a couple of interviews from books, Where Wizards Stay Up Late and Genesis II: Creation and Recreation with Computers, and some email exchanges for Dennis Jerz’s Colossal Cave article, there isn’t much…

How and Why to Make Your Digital Publications Matter

My intuition is that, even for the wary, recalcitrant, or skeptical, the ways individuals connect now online and learn from one another’s connections no longer represent the pathological or aberrant (i.e. the shallow, distracted, lonely, asocial, unprofessional digital generation:  you know the litany!), but “the future.”  Since many are worried about “the future,” those who seem to have a firmer grasp on it are now seen not as needing rehab…

Choosing Our Own Adventures, Then and Now

If you were a kid during the ’80s and read any books at all, you probably read at least one Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA), probably by either R.A. Montgomery or Edward Packard. And if you read one, you read more than one. They were addictive, candy for our brains, but also, they empowered us in a way that normal books did not. At key plot points, the reader got…

Ancient life, millions of years old and barely alive, found beneath ocean floor – The Washington Post

Scientists now believe that much of the life on Earth is barely able to fog a mirror, as it were. The deep-sea microbes may be an extreme example of a laid-back norm. Most of Earth life, measured by numbers, is not rambunctious and charismatic like life in the sunshine, nor is it akin to the microbes that grow quickly in a laboratory petri dish. Rather, it’s kind of boring —…