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October 02, 2010

A view of school in the October 1860 issue of Scientific American

Overcoming Bias : 1860 View Of School
A child who has been boxed up six hours in school might spend the next four hours in study, but it is impossible to develop the child’s intellect in this way. The laws of nature are inexorable. By dint of great and painful labor, the child may succeed in repeating a lot of words, like a parrot, but, with the power of its brain all exhausted, it is out of the question for it to really master and comprehend its lessons. The effect of the system is to enfeeble the intellect even more than the body. We never see a little girl staggering home under a load of books, or knitting her brow over them at eight o’clock in the evening, without wondering that our citizens do not arm themselves at once with carving knives, pokers, clubs, paving stones or any weapons at hand, and chase out the managers of our common schools, as they would wild beasts that were devouring their children.

September 20, 2010

What is Neal Stepheson's "The Mongoliad"?

A serialized adventure novel about the Mongol Horde's planned invasion of Europe, set to be delivered soon on mobile device as an app. It'll be interlocking stories and might even include videos. Tor.com / Science fiction and fantasy / Blog posts / What is The Mongoliad?
The Mongoliad is a serialized adventure novel set in 1241, and it concerns the imminent invasion of Europe by the Mongol Horde. The commonly accepted history is that the Mongol army showed up, decimated a pair of European armies that managed to get into the field, and was then poised to sweep through the rest of Europe. Instead, they were called home by the death of �gedei Khan and never came back. Our story starts with the premise that the recall of the Mongol army seems terribly convenient for Europe, and from there we’ve started to fiddle a bit with the corners of history that aren’t well documented. Subutai Corporation is the parent company that is releasing The Mongoliad, and while 100% of Subutai is working on The Mongoliad, that may not always be the case with future projects. Part of the premise of our operating plan is that agile cabals with highly specialized skill sets can create fully realized products in different mediums. . . .

September 16, 2010

Recommended Reading: Three great graphic short stories by Kurt Huggins and Zelda Devon

These are three comic-format short stories, available for free on...

Phone sex scandal hits University of New Mexico's Creative Writing department

Here's the nutshell version: Some grad students at UofNM were looking for work since being a grad student pays poorly. They were members of the local BDSM scene and found a phone sex hotline thhat paid $40 an hour. They mentioned this to their teacher, Ms. Chavez, who later took on work there herself and appeared in a promotional photo for the hotline. Eventually the school found out about it and some educators tries to get Chavez fired. But she didn't back down and counter-sued. It *seems* to boil down to people on one side demanding the sex workers be ashamed of what they are doing versus folks on other side saying they are consenting adults doing legal work, so piss off. In Professor-Dominatrix Scandal, U. of New Mexico Feels the Pain - Faculty - The Chronicle of Higher Education
Life has become extremely complex in the University of New Mexico's English department in the three years since Lisa D. Chavez, a tenured associate professor, was discovered moonlighting as the phone-sex dominatrix "Mistress Jade," and posing in promotional pictures sexually dominating one of her own graduate students. Although she quickly quit the phone-sex job, admitted to a serious lapse of judgment, and was not found by the university's administration to have violated any law or policy, Ms. Chavez remains at the center of a bitter controversy that has raised questions about faculty governance, the obligations of professors to protect students, and the exact definition of a hostile workplace in an environment of shifting sexual mores. Several members of the English department accuse Ms. Chavez of abusing her power over students, and allege that the administration retaliated against professors who complained about her extracurricular activities. They also say that the university administration violated a basic principle of shared governance by not entrusting the investigation of Ms. Chavez to a faculty ethics committee. For her part, Ms. Chavez has accused her accusers, in complaints to the university and the state, of discriminating against her because she is bisexual and Hispanic.

September 15, 2010

Haiku Hero!

Like Guitar Hero, but instead of hitting notes on a plastic guitar you are writing haikus. Play it for free right here. IndieGames.com - The Weblog - Browser Game Pick: Haiku Hero (Paper Dino Software)

The Brothers Grim and Grimy give us the quickness on Call of Cthulhu and The Hobbit

Call of Cthulhu distilled into 120 ditzy seconds...

Continue reading "The Brothers Grim and Grimy give us the quickness on Call of Cthulhu and The Hobbit" »