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Report: Many U.S. Schools Can’t Afford Mannequins, Human Urine For Art Classes

“It’s sad, but my students don’t even have the supplies they need for an exercise as simple as depicting patriarchal oppression with a mannequin that has been painted orange, set on fire, and then doused with a bucket of warm urine,” said Robert Kessler, a sixth-grade art teacher in Cleveland, noting that his supply closet also lacks the old doll heads, used syringes, and Virgin Mary statuettes his pupils require.…

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What Twitter Changes Might Mean for Academics

This is one of the reasons I still consider my blog to be my main presence on the internet. Twitter and Facebook and all the other commercialized social media platforms regularly change their algorithm in oder to suit their business model, without warning and without the consent of their user bases. Even though I am dependent upon WordPress (and my blog host, and several free plugins, and to Google for…

Joan Rivers

4 writing lessons from the comedy of Joan Rivers

All writers can learn from studying the work of great comics — especially in the age of Twitter, where economy and a sharp point matter. It is said that humor does not lend itself to analysis, that you either get it or you don’t. But I don’t buy that. I believe there are patterns to Rivers’ most interesting work that can be traced, not to imitate her voice or style,…

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Robot Dramas: Autonomous Machines in the Limelight on Stage and in Society

A thoughtful overview of robots in culture, addressing the fear and hope that go hand-in-hand when humans reflect upon, fictionalize, and create our relationships with with mechanical workers of all stripes. Aaron Dubrow, National Science Foundation media officer, includes his perceptions of a panel on robots in theater, where I brought up the legacy of the 1920s Czech play that introduced the word “robot.” Theater is not an arena where the NSF…

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Robert Morris University to offer video game scholarships

Robert Morris University’s video game scholarships make exactly as much sense to me as sports scholarships. “It’s a team sport,” Melcher said. “There’s strategy involved. You have to know your role in the game. Obviously it’s not cardiovascular in any way, but it’s mental. There are elements that go into it that are just like any other sport.” Since news of the scholarships broke last week, Melcher said, the school…