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What Is Gamergate, and Why? An Explainer for Non-Geeks

I’ve been following the frustrating slow burn that is #Gamergate for some time. I’m planning to introduce it in my online Video Game Culture and Theory class this January. This ground-level introduction will help add context to the mayhem. Until recently, you might have lived a life blissfully unaware of the online #Gamergate movement. But last week, computing giant Intel pulled its ads from an independent game-development site thanks to…

Chilling Dawn's treatment of the Poe story.
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The Masque of the Red Death, by Edgar Allan Poe

So, who else is taking advantage of current events and assigning “The Masque of the Red Death”? Are we thoughtful educators? Shameless opportunists? Both? (The disease Poe describes is more sudden than that caused by the ebola virus.) No pestilence had ever been so fatal, or so hideous. Blood was its Avatar and its seal—the redness and the horror of blood. There were sharp pains, and sudden dizziness, and then…

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Man Infected with Ebola Misinformation Through Casual Contact With Cable News

On the other end of the link, the New Yorker has illustrated the blog post with a screen shot from Fox News, but the text of the post actually blames CNN (which recently hyped ebola as the ISIS of bio-agents). An Ohio man has become infected with misinformation about the Ebola virus through casual contact with cable news, the Centers for Disease Control has confirmed. Tracy Klugian, thirty-one, briefly came…

Dennis G. Jerz | Associate Professor of English -- New Media Journalism, Seton Hill University | jerz.setonhill.edu
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When a Textbook Plagiarizes Your Student’s Work

In a few days I’ll be gearing up to teach my freshman writing students about plagiarism. Not the “terrify them and make them fear punishment from the authorities” speech, but the “why people who work in a community of minds take plagiarism so seriousy” speech. How interesting, then, that I found a textbook published in 2009 that includes whole passages from a handout that a student originally submitted as a…

Reporters say White House sometimes demands changes to press-pool reports

The decades-old White House press pool was created as a practical compromise between the news media and the nation’s chief executive: Instead of having a mob of journalists jostling to cover the president at every semi-public function, a handful of reporters are designated to act as proxies, or “poolers,” for the entire press corps. Poolers are chosen on a rotating basis from among regular White House correspondents, and they typically…

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BP Lawyers Cheat by Adjusting Line Spacing in a Legal Brief

U.S. District Court Judge Carl Barbier was not amused. In his ruling Monday, Barbier issued an order and then reminded BP’s lawyers that their brief was supposed to be limited to 35 pages, double-spaced: “BP’s counsel filed a brief that, at first blush, appeared just within the 35-page limit. A closer study reveals that BP’s counsel abused the page limit by reducing the line spacing to slightly less than double-spaced.…

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Kids, Pants, Booze, Music: Trouble In River City And Always

He’s not holding back here; he is telling these people, now that he’s poked their fear of booze, elites, outsiders, slippery slopes, and those who would interfere with authentic and worthy pursuits they perhaps love like harness racing, that the difference between pool and billards, those six pockets, mark a person as decent or not. And now: the children. All week long, your River City youth will be fritterin’ away,…