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Dennis Jerz, R.U.R (Rossum’s Universal Robots), Karel Capek’s “Fantastic Melodrama” – YouTube

“In which the origin of the word “robot” is traced, precursors and context are briefly examined, and the Human soul is displayed for your consideration.” Karel Chapek’s 1920 play R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots) coined the word ‘robot,” which in the play was applied to an artificial worker, a living being manufactured with a chemical substitute for protoplasm. However, by the late 1920s, the word “robot” was almost universally applied to…

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The Psychology of Getting More Done In Less Time

Summary of not-so-new scholarship, but perhaps worth a look if you are curious about the psychology of motivation and procrastination. If I were to ask [you] to describe the practice regiments of world-class musicians, you’d probably envision a shut-in artist who plays all day long and then tucks in their instrument at night. Amazingly though, research by Anders Ericsson that examined the practice sessions of elite violinists clearly showed that…

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The New American Man Doesn’t Look Like His Father

NPR has a story that should probably have run last weekend, for Fathers’ Day. It’s still an interesting exploration of how the traditional definition of masculinity in culture has changed, as more men are not only studying and working alongside women (and seeing them as peers) but also playing a larger part in childcare. Noguera also has seen men become much more involved with raising their children and general housework. “But…

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William Shatner: My Problem With Twitter’s Verified Accounts

At age 84, William Shatner (most famous for portraying Star Trek’s Captain Kirk) is quite knowledgable about social media. I have no dog in the Twitter Verified Accounts fight, but I’m still interested to hear from a celebrity of his generation (my father’s generation) who is this informed about Twitter, Google Plus, Facebook, etc. Acting gives you the courage to go (for the lack of better words) where you haven’t…

Peter Greste trial: Egypt rejects criticism of judicial system after jailing of Al Jazeera journalists

Egypt sentences Al Jazeera journalists to years in prison

An Egyptian court has sentenced two Al Jazeera journalists to seven years in prison and another to 10 years, on charges including aiding the Muslim Brotherhood and reporting false news. A judge delivered the verdicts Monday against Peter Greste, an Australian citizen; Mohamed Fahmy, a Canadian citizen; and Baher Mohamed, an Egyptian citizen. Al Jazeera has always rejected the charges against its journalists and maintains their innocence. –Al Jazeera America.

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Essay on meaning of a life grounded in the liberal arts @insidehighered

For David N. DeVries, the critical thinking, openness to other viewpoints and appreciation of diversity are all well and good, but those are not why he values the liberal arts. The real reason is pleasure. The pleasure of having my mind tickled into action by the vibrations of words sprung into patterns “where more is meant than meets the ear.” The pleasure of having within my reach congeries of words…

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Academic study concludes that teaching kids to touch-type can make them better writers

Improving students’ handwriting skill did improve their writing ability, but improving their typing skills improved their writing even more. From 1999, so not exactly news, but interesting info in light of the pro-handwriting links that have been making the rounds on the Intertubes. There was a significant relationship between orthographic-motor integration — handwriting and the length and quality of handwritten text, and a stronger relationship between orthographic-motor integration — typing…

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Millennials Shy Away from Voice Mail

I was happy a few years ago when Seton Hill got a new phone and email system that allowed me to get my voicemails directly via email, but I do so little work over the telephone that the feature is really not that useful. Having grown up in a texting-friendly culture, with unmediated cellphone access to their friends, they have had little formative experience leaving spoken or relayed messages over…