The Lure of the Fairy Tale

There are two varieties of fairy tales. One is the literary fairy tale, the kind written, most famously, by Charles Perrault, E. T. A. Hoffmann, and Hans Christian Andersen. Such tales, which came into being at the end of the seventeenth century, are original literary works—short stories, really—except that they have fanciful subject matter: unhappy ducks, princesses who dance all night, and so on. To align the tale with the…

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Pulitzer Alert: Local TV Reporter Throws Cookies to Dramatize Destructive Walmart Flash Robbery

The serious-faced TV anchor introduces a live crime report about a destructive Walmart flashmob: “Channel Four’s Emily Turner spoke with our crime analyst about how dangerous these situations can really be.” Emily Turner, looking equally serious, while standing in front of a completely featureless background that doesn’t even have the Walmart logo in frame, says the following, while tossing cookies at the camera: “They probably just thought they were throwing…

Media Helping Media’s Free Training Resources

Some useful-looking journalism resources. These training modules have been put together to offer ongoing help to journalists in transition states, post-conflict countries, and areas where the media is still developing. The only condition for using these modules is that you let us know if you spot any typos. Many have been written on planes, in departure lounges and in hotels and they may contain spelling errors. Also, please credit Media Helping Media (or the…

45 Epic Blender Tutorials

We’ve scoured the web in search of the best Blender tutorials out there and compiled a list of 45 of the most epic we could find. This collection includes a variety of tutorials covering everything from modeling and animation, to rigging and VFX. So grab a coffee and savor the Blender goodness! –45 Epic Blender Tutorials.

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YouTube & News: A New Kind of Visual News

What is the nature of news on YouTube? What types of events “go viral” and attract the most viewers? How does this agenda differ from that of the traditional news media? Do the most popular videos on YouTube tend to be videos produced by professional news organizations, by citizens or by political interest groups or governments? How long does people’s attention seem to last? The Pew Research Center’s Project for…

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n+1: The Stupidity of Computers

Computers are pretty dumb, but they’re dumb fast. Computers are near-omnipotent cauldrons of processing power, but they’re also stupid. They are the undisputed chess champions of the world, but they can’t understand a simple English conversation. [...] [On SHRDLU:] Every human sentence had to be transformed into a logical syntax that represented its meaning. The sentence “pick up a red block” was represented as the following: (((PICK UP A BIG…

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Appreciating the Writing Process — Mistakes, Wordiness, and All

In the past few days, I’ve read a few of those head-shaking “you won’t believe how poorly college students write” essays, which always make me uncomfortable. They typically quote student “mistakes” out of context — maybe the assignment was to brainstorm or take risks, rather than produce polished gems; maybe the student is not a native English speaker; maybe the assignment is more complex than communicating a safety warning to…

Nielsen needs to work on its graphics

There’s a lot of interest in infographics nowadays, but doing them correctly — and making them look simple — is not easy. From 9to5 Mac: Nielsen released smartphone purchasing data yesterday that depicted Apple grabbing more than a third of the total smartphone market in the most recently surveyed month. Android was over 50 percent. That is almost 85 percent of the market together, which is a striking number (and over 90 percent…