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little drops — Why Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketches” Video Makes Me Uncomfortable… and Kind of Makes Me Angry

Very insightful…. A reminder that even the much-praised Dove “we are exposing their advertising techniques” campaigns are just that — campaigns, designed to sell a product. (The parent company of Dove also owns Axe, which is blatant in its use of demeaning sexual stereotypes.) Brave, strong, smart? Not enough. You have to be beautiful. And “beautiful” means something very specific, and very physical. Essentially every movie and tv show and…

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FBI: ‘Exercise Caution and Attempt to Verify Information Through Appropriate Official Channels Before Reporting’

The FBI reminds journalists about a few things they should have learned in News Reporting 101. After multiple media outlets (especially CNN) wrongly reported that an arrest had been made in Boston, the FBI is urging media to “exercise caution and attempt to verify information through appropriate official channels before reporting.” “Contrary to widespread reporting, no arrest has been made in connection with the Boston Marathon attack. Over the past…

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Boston marathon bombing: All the mistakes journalists make during a crisis like the Boston attacks.

First, do not pass on speculation. For much of the day, the New York Post was sharing unconfirmed reports, which were later proven erroneous, that 12 people had been killed in the attack. I actually retweeted BuzzFeed’s Andrew Kaczynski, one of the smartest and most conscientious journalists on Twitter, and repeated this tidbit on the official Slate account. In hindsight, it would have been wiser for both of us to broadcast that news in more…

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Frodo Baggins, A.B.D.

When I had pneumonia a few years into my current job, I spent 10 days bedridden (or, having been banished to the basement, futon-ridden), and watched the extended Lord of the Rings trilogy over and over, since I needed something that would occupy my mind enough to distract me from my suffering, but I couldn’t do any of the things I usually do (read, write, think, etc.). I spent a…

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Games Based Learning through Text Adventures

As I make progress in designing the class text adventure, I’ll post about my process and challenges. Right now, I’m foreseeing the following challenges: how to let students know how far to read/play at any given time (this will be a hybrid class, so there will be less in-class f2f support and motivation) students may challenge my method of using a text adventure as the syllabus for the course: how…

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The Reading Brain in the Digital Age: The Science of Paper versus Screens: Scientific American

As digital texts and technologies become more prevalent, we gain new and more mobile ways of reading—but are we still reading as attentively and thoroughly? How do our brains respond differently to onscreen text than to words on paper? Should we be worried about dividing our attention between pixels and ink or is the validity of such concerns paper-thin. –Scientific American.

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Richard Scarry unfinished manuscript to be published

Some of my happiest memories of fatherhood include introducing my kids to the Richard Scarry books. Featuring a huge anthropomorphised cast, with recurring characters such as Sergeant Murphy, traffic hound and pursuer of miscreants, and solid, cheerful, lederhosen-wearing Huckle Cat, Scarry’s tales of mishap, derring-do, industry and shopping always feel deeply, richly safe. Some aspects of Busytown and its environs are slightly perturbing – a lot of traffic accidents happen,…