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Two Cheers for the Middle Ages! by Eric Christiansen

I love good writing. “Even those who doubt that hot air is the best way of defeating hot air will be impressed by the main body of the work…” Prejudice against the medieval runs deep…. Remember those angels dancing on a pinpoint? They still dance for those who believe that the medieval schools were engaged in a wasted intellectual effort. | Unfair! the medievalists have shouted, from the days when…

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English Major: Working as student journalist “helped me get the job” of technical writer

I just got this email from a student who graduated in May. I’m the adviser to The Setonian, the student newspaper. I think it’s safe to say that working with the Setonian helped me get the job. Several of the tests I took with the company involved me compiling given information into paragraph format, which was pretty similar to writing news articles! The teamwork and leadership experience with the Setonian was…

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Nicholas Winton, “Britain’s Schindler,” Dies at 106

Nicholas Winton, a British stockbroker who saved the lives of more than 650 children trapped in Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia on the eve of World War II, died on Wednesday. He was 106… Working primarily on his own, Winton arranged safe passage for the group of mostly Jewish children, who were placed with foster families in the United Kingdom for the duration of the war. Although he would later be compared to fellow…

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Essay on how much a professor learned about teaching from his mentor

I had a similar experience, with a mentor who very rarely praised my work. But when he read my first full draft of my dissertation, and along with his notes told me to schedule my defense, I knew he wasn’t being polite or friendly or sympathetic — I knew he was treating me like someone who had finally met the expectations he had set for his colleagues. Every single paper…

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A Robotic Dog’s Mortality

Fascinating video journalism from the New York Times. They didn’t shed, chew the sofa or bite the postman, but for thousands of people Sony’s Aibo robotic dog was the closest thing to a real canine companion. So when the Japanese company stopped servicing the robots last year, eight years after it ended production, owners faced a wrenching prospect: that their aging “pets” would break down for good. —The New York Times

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Go Ask Alice

From the tangled tale of mass literacy one can pluck a few specific objects—books that were to be found in every household where there was somebody who could read and people who wanted to listen. Aside from the Bible, a typical list would run like this: “The Pilgrim’s Progress,” “Robinson Crusoe,” and “Gulliver’s Travels,” to which were later added “The Pickwick Papers” and “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.” Notice that Alice…

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Hermann Zapf, the font designer behind Palatino and Zapf Dingbats, has died at 96

Hermann Zapf, the designer of fonts such as Palatino, Optima, Zapfino, Melior, Aldus, and the bizarre but much beloved Zapf Dingbats, has died at age 96.The revered German typographer and calligrapher passed away on June 4. In his long and prolific career, Zapf worked on many fonts, but his personal favorite was the humanist sans serif typeface Optima, the lettering chosen for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall in Washington, DC. — Quartz