How Fake News Happens: It’s simple! A governor tweets a Fox News graphic from a story that cites a British tabloid’s misinterpretation of a scholarly study, and a false narrative about Biden banning beef stokes political rage

How dare President Biden be invoked by a British tabloid that rather creatively linked a scholarly study to a plan Biden floated during the Democratic primary. How dare Biden be implicated in a Fox News graphic that falsely lists cutting beef sales by 90% as a requirement of Biden’s “climate requirements.” How dare Biden be targeted by the Texas governor who retweeted the misleading Fox News graphic that amplified the…

Is Babylon 5 secretly the most influential TV show of the past 25 years?

When my wife and I were grad students in Toronto, my sister would fill up VHS tapes with episodes of Babylon 5. When the tape was full, she’d send it off. (Together with some Mystery Science Theatre 2000.) What that means is that, though the episodes aired weekly, I binge-watched them. (I assume they were available on cable TV somewhere, but as students we opted not to splurge for that…

Why Can’t My New Employees Write? | Just Visiting

We’re talking about elite students here landing jobs in highly desirable firms. These are Deresiewicz’s “Excellent Sheep.” We can presume that their educations have been rigorous as they’ve climbed to the top of the meritocratic heap. If these young professionals can’t write well, who can? And if they’re not writing well, why not? My belief is that the experience of these elite students is similar to my very accomplished, but…

All those fights over late-ar­riv­ing mail bal­lots were much ado about very lit­tle

Just in case you haven’t been thinking lately about the passionate accusations of massive voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election (which led led to the Jan 6 storming of the Capitol  Building), here’s an article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Note that the Post-Gazette editorial page endorsed Trump in 2020. Massive voter fraud? This author, an NYU professor of constitutional law, checks the numbers and begs to differ. Perhaps surprisingly,…

What is a CRT and Why Don’t We Use Them Anymore?

I remember when I started seeing political cartoons that began depicting office workers using flatscreen LCDs instead of bulky CRTs. I inherited a handful of CRTs as people I know upgraded. I still haven’t bought a new LCD TV — I’ve inherited several hand-me-downs from family members. The next time I offer my course on the history and culture of video games, I’ll have to include this article so my…

No, Prince Philip did not dress as a palace guard to prank the queen

I didn’t share this miscaptioned photo, but each time I’ve seen it before on social media, I’ve accepted it as true. This time I checked. According to Snopes, Prince Phillip did not prank the Queen of England dressed as a palace guard. That’s ceremonial attire he has worn in public on several occasions, and the queen would certainly have known who he was. This is a small thing, but it…