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Facebook, Now You Remind Me of a Half-Drunk Cocktail Party Schmoozer

Last week, Facebook asked me what sportsing teams I cared about (and helpfully supplied me with a list of the teams I’d be statistically most likely to favor if I had any interest in sportsing). Now Facebook is asking me what TV shows I’ve  watched. Well, yes, I’ve watched episodes of each of these shows, but I have no particular desire to define my online presence (and thus the marketing targeted to…

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Why do so many small US newsrooms shun innovation? “The goat must be fed.”

We started this report to assess the use of digital tools and provide a road map for the work of the Reporters’ Lab at Duke University’s DeWitt Wallace Center for Media & Democracy. Along the way, we discovered that despite all the hype we’ve heard in the past five or 10 years, there is still a wide gap between digital haves and have-nots in the use of data reporting and…

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Serious reading takes a hit from online scanning and skimming, researchers say

  The brain was not designed for reading. There are no genes for reading like there are for language or vision. But spurred by the emergence of Egyptian hieroglyphics, the Phoenician alphabet, Chinese paper and, finally, the Gutenberg press, the brain has adapted to read. Before the Internet, the brain read mostly in linear ways — one page led to the next page, and so on. Sure, there might be…

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The Little Girl from the 1981 LEGO Ad is All Grown Up, and She’s Got Something to Say

Great article featuring the little girl from the 1981 Lego ad. What’s the problem with girl LEGOs? Why is everyone against pink? ask many parents. I’ll let Rachel Giordano answer that question: “Because gender segmenting toys interferes with a child’s own creative expression. I know that how I played as a girl shaped who I am today. It contributed to me becoming a physician and inspired me to want to…

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You’re not going to read this

I ask my students to contextualize links with informative text, rather than hype. Puppies! Schadenfreude! Thinly veiled primal urges! If you aren’t weeping angry tears by the 3rd paragraph, a gargoyle has your soul! Prove your cleverness and sensitivity by sharing this link! Also so you can find this article again! Link traffic! Earlier this month, there was yet another lengthy public debate about Upworthy, the two-year-old publisher that has become one…

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“Let It Go,” Idina Menzel’s Frozen ballad: It sends the wrong message.

This author is probably overthinking things, but I myself have been known to overthink musicals, so this is worth blogging. It turns out that Elsa is wrong — unleashing her powers in this particular manner brings disaster on the people she was trying to spare (though of course she also wants to flee their judgment, so her flight is not solely altruistic). I love thrilling to Elsa’s race up the…

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The Real Reason Why You Can’t Write

Have you ever stopped to think about what you believe about yourself as a writer? Have you ever considered what you believe about the work you produce? Your beliefs run the show, usually subconsciously. And if they’re limiting or negative beliefs, they’ll stop that show dead in its tracks. You believe certain theories about why you suffer from wanting desperately to write but are unable to. Each writer has their…

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School ditches rules and loses bullies

Swanson School signed up to the study by AUT and Otago University just over two years ago, with the aim of encouraging active play. However, the school took the experiment a step further by abandoning the rules completely, much to the horror of some teachers at the time, he said.When the university study wrapped up at the end of last year the school and researchers were amazed by the results.…