“Syllabus Day”: The Absolute Worst Way to Start the Semester

I’d rather blog about prepping my fall classes than actually start prepping my classes, so here you go. I don’t spend much time on the syllabus on the first day, though I do show students where key topics are, and I do assign a take-home syllabus quiz. (“If Gus Griffin tells you he’s worried about missing class due to an upcoming surgery, what advice would you give him?”) But there’s…

While at Sadecky’s Puppets to record the role of Heidi, Carolyn met a new friend.

We spent Sunday afternoon at the Sadecky’s Puppets studio/workshop in Tarentum, Pa. Carolyn recorded an audio track for a musical adaptation of “Heidi,” to be synced with performances of live puppeteers touring across 9 states during the coming school year. Mr. Sadecky, who has been performing with his puppets since the early 80s, was charming but also thorough. He worked patiently with Carolyn to deliver the performance he wanted. “That…

Facebook’s News Feed: Often Changed, Never Great

I’ve never liked Instant Articles — Facebook’s Newspeak term for “We want to make it harder for users to leave Facebook even when they’ve chosen to follow a link to an article on a news source.” In The New Yorker, Om Malik writes about Facebook’s evolving interface. There are days when I look at my news feed and it seems like a social fabric of fun—a video of the first…

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Blade Runner | Typeset In The Future

This is nerd heaven — a deep analysis of all the text that appears in the 1980s cult science-fiction film Blade Runner. (I really want this typeface to be Caslon, but despite everything else matching nicely, the top of the 6 is just wrong. I can only apologize for the discrepancy.)UPDATE: Several folks have noted in the comments that this looks a lot like Cheltenham, and I think they are correct. Source: Blade Runner…

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‘Thought Leader’ gives talk that will inspire your thoughts

Saving this for the next time I assign an oral presentation. Now that doesn’t sound important, and it’s not. But if I repeat it three times, I’m making you believe that it is important… Let’s look at a picture of the planet for no reason …. Slowing my speech, lowering the volume of my voice, by looking at you directly, and by making a list on my fingers, I’ve made you…

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Franz Joseph and Star Trek’s Blueprint Culture

In 1977, when I was about nine, I saw the original Star Wars, and I certainly enjoyed it, but unlike many of my friends, I kept my allegiance to Star Trek — which was on every afternoon in reruns, and was also available as an animated series, novels, comic books, etc. My fourth-grade classmate Dean Weigh sold me his Star Trek Starfleet Technical Manual, a big paperback full of cross-sections…