I know stuff must be important to people who don’t spend their evenings generating 1400-word memos.

In my defense, I broke that long email down so the recipient (my chair) really only has to read about three bullet points in order to grasp the “Action Item” section… but then I had to *write* all those “just in case this become important later” details, and corral them under increasingly woebegone subheads like “Background/Still More Details” and “Heading Even Further Down This Rabbit Hole.”

A new study says young Americans have a broad definition of news

I expect that many of my students will be living the experiences documented in this study of how young people encounter news; nevertheless, it’s difficult to notice your own environment if you can’t compare it to *different* environments. Because I grew up with the three TV network news shows and the copy of The Washington Post (my dad would pick it up in the driveway on his way out to…

Some fairy tales may be 6000 years old

Fairy tales are transmitted through language, and the shoots and branches of the Indo-European language tree are well-defined, so the scientists could trace a tale’s history back up the tree—and thus back in time. If both Slavic languages and Celtic languages had a version of Jack and the Beanstalk (and the analysis revealed they might), for example, chances are the story can be traced back to the “last common ancestor.”…

As CRT Supplies Vanish the Classic Arcade Machine is Virtually Dead

If you understand the environment in which medieval scholars created and used books, you can better appreciate why medieval books look and function the way they do. Understanding the cultural impact of computers requires us to study the development of both hardware and technology. Playing a text adventure game on an iOS device is convenient, but does not capture the physicality of the original games, with their instruction manuals (often…

Why Shouting Down Speakers Is Absolutely Wrong

Wilson offers a good explanation of the position that shouting down speakers is not a form of constitutionally-protected speech. Such arguments are especially important on college campuses, where it’s the job of students to engage with new ideas — even uncomfortable ones; and the job of faculty members to equip students with the critical thinking skills they’ll need in order to recognize, and reject, fallacious arguments in the outside world…