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Crazy-looking keyboards that never caught on

As the typewriter become popular, it was sometimes referred to it as a “literary piano,” or “the sewing machine of thought.” But the piano and the sewing machine both require a more complex interaction between fingers and machine parts than does the keyboard, which essentially requires you to press whatever button features the letter or symbol you’d like to type. But there is a more complicated sort of keyboard, called…

Amherst College launches open-access scholarly press

…Amherst thinks that there may be long-term gains — both for scholarship and the economics of academic publishing — by publishing books that are subject to traditional peer review, edited with rigor and then published in digital form only, completely free. Some university presses issue some of their works in free digital formats. And Rice University revived a dormant press in 2006 with the idea, only to abandon it in…

Losers exist. Don’t hire them

The headline is provocative — I wouldn’t have phrased it that way, but this anecdote was certainly interesting. [W]hen I asked him about his BA in English, which he had earned about five years earlier, he got nervous. “What was your favorite century of English literature,” I asked. But he hadn’t really focused on any particular era. Nor did he have an opinion. “Did you have a particular affinity for…

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FDR and Grilled Millionaires

Tonight we’ll be blocking my big scene as FDR in Annie. In this speech, delivered to students at UNC, Roosevelt is more playful than he is in his better known more formal speeches (his first inaugural “The only thing we have to fear” and the Pearl Harbor “A date that will live in infamy“). Here. he’s even a little snarky towards his detractors, though in the play it’s always Warbucks…

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I like Zite, but what’s with the slogan?

What was the quality control process behind the creation of this logo? Should that be “Discover Your Interest” or “Discover You’re Interesting”? I’m not sure I associate owls with curiosity. Owl from the Christopher Robin stories is pompous and oblique. The owl from the Tootsie Pop commercial is impatient and destructive. The Owl in “I Heard the Owl Call My Name” is a messenger, as are owls in Harry Potter.…

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A Message from Hester Prynne (Student Video)

Have I mentioned lately that I have awesome students? For a “Creative Critical Presentation” in my online American Literature survey, English major Tyler Carter created A Message from Hester Prynne,  a 9-minute video that explores Hester’s psychology and spirituality, through music, dance, poetry, and cinematography. All the technology Seton Hill offers to its students would be worthless, in my opinion, if we could not point to projects like this one,…