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‘A Klingon Christmas Carol’ Translates Dickens’ Scrooge Fable to ‘Star Trek’ Universe for Fifth Chicago Season

Be still, my nerdy heart. (The other heart can go on beating.) Written by Christopher Kidder-Mostrom and Sasha Warren, A Klingon Christmas Carol is the first play ever to have been performed entirely in the Klingon language. The made-up tongue was developed for the Star Trek universe by Marc Okrand from basic elements created by actor James Doohan (“Scotty”) for the first Trek film, 1979’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture.…

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I gave my class a Poem to read. The author’s Name — I hid.

I gave my class a Poem to read. The author’s Name — I hid. I said, “What if my sole Intent Were to really flip your lid? “What if I removed Dashes — And lowercased some Words?” The students said, “Well, Dr. Jerz, Then you would be a jerk.”   P.S. It wasn’t actually an Emily Dickinson poem, and I hadn’t actually changed it at all, but some students guessed she…

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Fantasy football and the cold future of robot journalism

For fantasy football players, the service is a clever added bonus that keeps people on site longer. It’s like having a hometown beat reporter covering your fantasy team: analyzing your draft picks, providing fun recaps of games, and insightful game-day analysis. But Automated Insights, and contemporaries like Narrative Science, are having a major impact outside the realm of fantasy football. Such prominent news organizations as Associated Press are trialing this…

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News Feed FYI: Click-baiting

It’s hard for me to think of Facebook as the “good guy” in any situation, but I am pleased to learn that FB is adjusting its algorithm to penalize click-bait headlines. A small set of publishers who are frequently posting links with click-bait headlines that many people don’t spend time reading after they click through may see their distribution decrease in the next few months. We’re making these changes to…

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Confuse Students to Help Them Learn

Confusing sometimes helps cats, so why not students? I’m afraid your cat badly needs to be confused. Confusion is a powerful force in education. It can send students reeling toward boredom and complacency. But being confused can also prompt students to work through impasses and arrive at a more nuanced understanding of the world. “Common wisdom holds that confusion should be avoided during learning and rapidly resolved if and when…