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Play-Doh was Originally Wallpaper Cleaner

The story of Play-Doh began when Kutol, a Cincinnati based soap company, was about to go under in the late 1920s.  Cleo McVicker, just 21 years old, was tasked with selling off the company’s remaining assets, which at the time comprised mainly of powdered hand soap. Once that was done, the company would be too.  Cleo, however, managed to turn a nice profit in performing his task, the result of…

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Editors and editorial board quit top linguistics journal to protest subscription fees

When I publish as a scholar, my goal is not to make money, but to share my intellectual creation. That’s part of my job description, so my university writes my paycheck with the expectation that I will publish. My publications will have more impact if more people read them. Hiding them behind subscription paywalls will reduce their audience. Scholars at public instutitons, whose salaries are paid by taxes, have a…

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‘NPR Voice’ Has Taken Over the Airwaves

  In literary circles, the practice of poets reciting verse in singsong registers and unnatural cadences is known, derogatorily, as “poet voice.” I propose calling this phenomenon “NPR voice” (which is distinct from the supple baritones we normally associate with radio voices). This plague of pregnant pauses and off-kilter pronunciations must have come from someplace. But … where? A primary cause of NPR voice is the sheer expansion of people broadcasting…

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Ermahgerddon: The Untold Story of the Ermahgerd Girl

Deciding against the coonskin cap, Goldenberger put on the vest, hoisted her hair up into intentionally dorky pigtails—she never wore them like that otherwise—brandished the chosen books, and pulled an intentionally hideous face for the camera. Normally, she hardly ever wore her retainer like she was supposed to, but it felt right for the character: she put it on for the shoot. Kaelyn had the resulting Polaroid picture posted on…

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Why Twitter’s Dying (And What You Can Learn From It)

Someone who thought Twitter was da bomb, and who apparently has very little historical awareness of previous forms of social media, now realizes that, human nature being what it is, this is why we can’t have nice things. We once glorified Twitter as a great global town square, a shining agora where everyone could come together to converse. But I’ve never been to a town square where people can shove,…

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80 Days review

80 Days was my go-to game over the summer, though lately I have switched back to Faster Than Light. I haven’t had the chance to play the updated game, though I have installed it on my iOS devices. This paragraph, from Christian Donian’s review on Eurogamer.net, really impressed me. Great writing, and a great explanation of what kind of game 80 Days is. It’s interactive fiction at heart, each moment…