The Digital-Humanities Bust

Dinosaurs evolved into birds. Not all of them, of course. Birds are so much a part of our environment that we barely notice them. I’ve said the same about weblogs. Monetized and platformized and app-ified, the basic functions of blogging life on — a reverse-sorted stream of posts, a mechanism to engage with visitors to your stream, and a mechanism for engaging with the authors of other streams. It is…

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British Politician begins reciting colonial-era Kipling poem in in Myanmar temple

After the UK ambassador cut off his recitation of a pro-colonial Kipling poem in a Maynmar temple, UK foreign secretary Boris Johnson said, “No? Good stuff.” The foreign secretary has been accused of “incredible insensitivity” after it emerged he recited part of a colonial-era Rudyard Kipling poem in front of local dignitaries while on an official visit to Myanmar in January. Boris Johnson was inside the Shwedagon Pagoda, the most sacred Buddhist site…

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Who cares about hyphens, commas and capital letters? You should.

You’re a busy editor, fighting a deadline. Two submissions arrive in your email. One is brilliant but full of grammatical errors and style inconsistencies. You’d have to spend an hour fixing it up. Another submission is just okay, but it’s ready to go. Which would you publish? I often encounter students who’ve been told all their lives they are good writers, but who struggle with the details of MLA Style…

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Edgar Allan Poe Was a Broke-Ass Freelancer – The Millions

His despair is only part of his artistic journey. When researching Poe last year, I was surprised to come across an anecdote about him playing leap-frog with his wife and splitting his pants, causing both of them to collapse in fits of laughter. I’m sure it was the memory of joyful moments like this that haunted him as she lay dying and long after she was dead.

Liberal Arts Classes Could Teach Neil deGrasse Tyson a Thing or Two about the Path from Data to Wisdom

Your mileage may vary, but I immediately thought of Galadriel in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, who states this problem in negative terms. Yes, she’s a made-up character delivering a line in a movie about an imaginary ring from a fantasy book, but anyone who really understands Tolkien’s story will have reflected on the connection between localized morality (the imagined injustice Gollum faces, and the real prejudice he experiences…

Shakespeare on Eclipses

Prepping for tomorrow’s first meeting of my Shakespeare class. In 1598, during Shakespeare’s lifetime, England experienced a total solar eclipse, with the path of totality tracking from Cornwall in the southwest up to Aberdeen in Scotland. As we in the twenty-first century prepare for the Great American Eclipse on Aug 21, let’s look at three of the ways Shakespeare used eclipses in his plays and poems: 1. An eclipse as an ill…