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Finished Reading The Chronicles of Prydain

We could hardly stop reading just before the big final battle. And really, how could I stop reading until we found out how the battle turned out. And once the battle ended, could we stop before we found out whehter Taran finally proposes to Eilonwy? So it was a quarter past midnight when we finally finished reading my tween the fifth book in Lloyd Alexander’s Chronicles of Prydain series. The…

Indie video gaming creativity a bit like making literature

“It’s not a game I made for other people,” he says. “I made it for myself.” That might be the creative creed for a new generation of independent video games and game makers that has sprung up in the past five years or so. Unlike the makers of mainstream blockbuster games — slick packages produced by creative teams numbering in the hundreds — indie game makers working alone or within…

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Melissa Terras’ Blog: Male, Mad and Muddleheaded: Academics in Children’s Picture Books

Labcoats, suits (but not if you are female!) or safari suits (but not if you are female!) are the academic uniform du jour. The names given to the academics are telling, with the majority being less than complimentary: Professor Dinglebat, Professor P. Brain, Professor Blabbermouth, Professor Bumblebrain, Professor Muddlehead, Professor Hogwash, Professor Bumble, Professor Dumkopf, Professor Nutter, and two different Professor Potts. There is the odd professor with a name…

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Robots Are Coming for Our Poems

The robots are quickly and surely coming for our jobs, and we’ve comforted ourselves thus far with a palliative that goes something like this: They can’t do our creative work. They won’t do our journalism or make our art or write our poetry. Except that the startup Narrative Science has $6 million to execute its human-free reporting, I’ve seen firsthand an automated 3D printer artistically render the apocalypse, and now,…

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Alice in Quantumland: A Charming Illustrated Allegory of Quantum Mechanics by a CERN Physicist

Alice in Quantumland: An Allegory of Quantum Physics is absolutely fantastic in its entirety, certain to engage the simultaneous states of entertainment and education with unequaled grace. Complement it with scientists’ answers to little kids’ questions about how the world works, then bend your mind by considering what it’s like to live in a universe of ten dimensions. For a look at how physicists’ understanding of the field has evolved…