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Winners Chosen in Annual Shakespeare Monologue and Scene Contest

Michael Henninger took this wonderful photo of Carolyn and the boy she tied with, CAPA’s Logan Schiller. Both had been in the same coaching session with Ken Bolden Saturday morning. (Thank you, Ken!) Pittsburgh Public Theater’s 23rd annual Shakespeare Monologue & Scene Contest that began Feb. 6 with more than 1,000 student participants culminated Monday night, when winners were crowned after the Showcase of Finalists. In the Monologue competition, there…

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My dad predicted Trump in 1985 – it’s not Orwell, he warned, it’s Brave New World

As my father [Neil Postman] pointed out, a written sentence has a level of verifiability to it: it is true or not true – or, at the very least, we can have a meaningful discussion over its truth. (This was pre-truthiness, pre-“alternative facts”.) But an image? One never says a picture is true or false. It either captures your attention or it doesn’t. The more TV we watched, the more…

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Lie to Me: Fiction in the Post-Truth Era

I’m trying to remember what it was like, a few months ago when I was thinking about picking “fake news” as the topic for a media course, when I was briefly worried I wouldn’t be able to find enough background reading on the issue. I’m no longer worried about that. (I am, however, a lot more worried about fake news.) The problem with our “post-truth” politics is that a large…

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New “Adventure” Details from Will Crowther in Mammoth Cave Book

The new book from the University of Kentucky Press, Mammoth Cave Curiosities” A Guide to Rockphobia, Dating, Saber-toothed Cats and Other Subterranean Marvels, offers some new tidbits from Will Crowther about his ground-breaking 1970s computer game, “Colossal Cave Adventure.” In a subsection confidently headed “The First Computer Adventure Game,” we find this weaselly clunker: “Developed in 1976, Adventure was probably the first computer adventure or IF game…” (217). Probably? Of course…

Two classic novels returning to Accomack schools following vote

Accomack County Public Schools announced Tuesday that “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” and “To Kill a Mockingbird” will immediately returned to school library shelves. The books were temporarily suspended on November 29, after a complaint was filed….The Accomack County School Board voted on Tuesday to permanently reinstate the two novels. “These novels are treasures of American literature and inspirational, timeless stories of conscience and bravery,” said Dr. Ronnie E. Holden, Chairman…

This is How Literary Fiction Teaches Us to Be Human

Practicing empathy through drama and poetry and art and games and face-to-face conversations and human acts of all kinds matters. This article covers the specific social benefits that come from reading literary fiction. Film critic Roger Ebert called movies the most powerful empathy machines, but someone with the right knowledge base can say pretty much the same thing about other genres. What we can say about the virtues of movies…

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Finished Reading “Deathly Hallows” for the First Time

Whem my kids started reading the books on their own, I fell behind. I finally just finished reading “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.” I’m glad there were just 3 Hallows, and rather wished there were about that many Horcruxes. Shortly after I arrived at SHU a student compared me to Lupin, so I’ve followed his arc through the books with interest. Lots of subplots to tie up. The “WTF…