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What Can You Do With a Humanities Ph.D., Anyway?

Victoria Blodgett, director of Graduate Career Services at Yale University, told me, “People who take their Ph.D.s into other realms are not necessarily being hired for their content expertise, but for their process skills: the ability to do excellent research, to write, to make cogent arguments.” These skills, it turns out, are in high demand. | So why are humanities Ph.D.s outside academia so invisible? One reason is that within…

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MS Paint Adventures

Wonderfully silly take on old-school point-and-click adventures. I’ve only played through the first few turns but found quite a few good laughs. I’ll be back to play more when I’m done chauffeuring the offspring this evening. A young man stands in his bedroom. It just so happens that today, the 13th of April, is this young man’s birthday. Though it was thirteen years ago he was given life, it is…

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Pew finds embattled newspaper industry still pulls in more than half of all news revenue

Revenue is not the same thing as profit, but still I was surprised by these findings. The Pew research team attempted a revenue estimate for all the branches of the United States news industry it has covered in past reports. The surprising conclusion: Even though newspaper advertising revenue has fallen by half over the last decade, including subscriptions and other revenue, the industry still accounts for $38.6 billion of $63.6…

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Facebook brands and organic reach: Why no one likes your self-promoting posts anymore.

The real concern here is that the little guys—the Pies ‘n’ Thighs, the charitable causes, the artists and merchants trying to scrape by with the help of their Facebook fans—will find that they can’t reach even the users who really do want to see their updates. So far, the data suggest that they’re being spared the worst of it: It’s the pages with the most likes, upwards of 500,000, that…

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The Little Girl from the 1981 LEGO Ad is All Grown Up, and She’s Got Something to Say

Great article featuring the little girl from the 1981 Lego ad. What’s the problem with girl LEGOs? Why is everyone against pink? ask many parents. I’ll let Rachel Giordano answer that question: “Because gender segmenting toys interferes with a child’s own creative expression. I know that how I played as a girl shaped who I am today. It contributed to me becoming a physician and inspired me to want to…

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Two computer screens aren’t better than one

I turned off the extra screen on my desktop computer. At first, the smaller workspace felt punishingly cramped. But after a few days of adjusting to the new set-up, an unusual serenity invaded my normally harried workday. With a single screen that couldn’t accommodate too many simultaneous stimuli, a screen just large enough for a single word processor or browser window, I found something increasingly elusive in our multi-screen world:…

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English teaching: Johnson: Talking past each other

When I got to college, I had already learned complex grammar fairly well thanks to 3 years of High School Latin. At the University of Toronto during grad school, I took a history of the English language course, which helped tremendously when I later took a medieval drama course. It was very clear during that language course that a good portion of my classmates were hearing much of the grammar…

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Don’t Help Your Kids With Their Homework

Greater parental involvement in school (serving on committees, checking the kids’ homework) does not correlate with greater academic achievement. I wonder how these findings would relate to homeschooling. The theory was that more active and invested mothers and fathers could help close the test-score gap between middle-class and poor students. Yet until the new study, nobody had used the available data to test the assumption that close relationships between parents…