Candy Land Was Invented for Polio Wards

It is a game absent strategy, requiring little thought. Consequently, many parents hate Candy Land as much as their young kids enjoy it. Yet, for all its simplicity and limitations, children still love Candy Land, and adults still buy it. What makes it so appealing? The answer may have something to do with the game’s history: It was invented by Eleanor Abbott, a schoolteacher, in a polio ward during the epidemic…

Because Internet: the new linguistics of informal English

I’m planning to begin my online Shakespeare class with commentary on how it’s a good thing that language changes, so that students will (I hope) see the effort they will need to put into understanding English from 400 years ago as part of the process of engaging with a living language, the same process that inspires each generation to change the language to suit their needs. Large-scale analysis of internet…

Innovative journalism: A game about the rising sea, a podcast about fire, a 20-year Columbine massacre memorial

How do you tell a story that people know, or maybe just think they know? Each of the newsrooms featured here this week took on that question in different ways. In Los Angeles, the LA Times made a game to go with project on sea level rise. The Chico (California) Enterprise-Record made a podcast to accompany its coverage of the deadly smoke that came with the recent Camp Fire. And…