1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  9  |  10  |  11  |  12  |  13  |  14  |  15  |  16  |  17  |  18  |  19  |  20  |  21  |  22  |  23  |  24  |  25  |  26  |  27  |  28  |  29  |  30  |  31  |  32  |  33  |  34  |  35  |  36  |  37  |  38  |  39  |  40  |  41  |  42  |  43  |  44  |  45  |  46  |  47  |  48  |  49  |  50  |  51  |  52  |  53  |  54  |  55  |  56  |  57  |  58  |  59  |  60  |  61  |  62  |  63  |  64  |  65  |  66  |  67  |  68  |  69  |  70  |  71  |  72  |  73  |  74  |  75  |  76  |  77  |  78  |  79  |  80  |  81  |  82  |  83  |  84  |  85  |  86  |  87  |  88  |  89  |  90  |  91  |  92  |  93  |  94  |  95  |  96  |  97  |  98  |  99  |  100  |  101  |  102  |  103  |  104  |  105  |  106  |  107  |  108  |  109  |  110  |  111  |  112  |  113  |  114  |  115  |  116  |  117  |  118  |  119  |  120  |  121  |  122  |  123  |  124  |  125  |  126  |  127  |  128  |  129  |  130  |  131  |  132  |  133  |  134  |  135  |  136  |  137  |  138  |  139  |  140  |  141  |  142  |  143  |  144  |  145  |  146  |  147  |  148  |  149  |  150  |  151  |  152  |  153  |  154  |  155  |  156  |  157  |  158  |  159  |  160  |  161  |  162  |  163  |  164  |  165  |  166  |  167  |  168  |  169  |  170  |  171  |  172  |  173  |  174  |  175  |  176  |  177  |  178  |  179  |  180  |  181  |  182  |  183  |  184  |  185  |  186  |  187  |  188  |  189  |  190  |  191  |  192  |  193  |  194  |  195  |  196  |  197  |  198  |  199  |  200  |  201  |  202  |  203  |  204  |  205  |  206  |  207  |  208  |  209  |  210  |  211  |  212  |  213  |  214  |  215  |  216  |  217  |  218  |  219  |  220  |  221  |  222  |  223  |  224  |  225  |  226  |  227  |  228  |  229  |  230  |  231  |  232  |  233  |  234  |  235  |  236  |  237  |  238  |  239  |  240  |  241  |  242  |  243  |  244  |  245  |  246  |  247  |  248  |  249  |  250  |  251  |  252  |  253  |  254  |  255  |  256  |  257  |  258  |  259  |  260  |  261  |  262  |  263  |  264  |  265  |  266  |  267  |  268  |  269  |  270  |  271  |  272  |  273  |  274  |  275  |  276  |  277  |  278  |  279  |  280  |  281  |  282  |  283  |  284  |  285  |  286  |  287  |  288  |  289  |  290  |  291  |  292  |  293  |  294  |  295 

January 31, 2009

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Classic Regency Romance—Now with Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem! Quirk Books $12.95 : Chronicle Books

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies -- Pride and Prejudice and Zombies features the original text of Jane Austen's beloved novel with all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie action. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton—and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she's soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers—and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield as Elizabeth wages war against hordes of flesh-eating undead. Complete with 20 illustrations in the style of C. E. Brock (the original illustrator of Pride and Prejudice), this insanely funny expanded edition will introduce Jane Austen's classic novel to new legions of fans.

A rather genius and weird way to encourage new readers to enjoy classic lit: insert zombie scenes. I look forward to more in this series from Chronicle books. Perhaps a "Brothers Karamazov and Zombies" wherein Father Zosima rises from the grave and Alyosha is forced to put down his former teacher?

January 26, 2009

"There will come soft rains" By Ray Bradbury

Anil - August 2026: There will come soft rains - 25 de enero del 2000

One of Bradbury's greatest short stories.

In the living room the voice-clock sang, Tick-tock, seven o'clock, time to get up, time to get up, seven o'clock! As if it were afraid that nobody would. The morning house lay empty. The clock ticked on, repeating and repeating its sounds into the emptiness. Seven-nine, breakfast time, seven-nine.

In the kitchen the breakfast stove gave a hissing sigh and ejected from its warm interior eight pieces of perfectly browned toast, eight eggs sunny side up, sixteen slices of bacon, two coffees and two cool glasses of milk.

"Today is August 4, 2026," said a second voice from the kitchen ceiling, "in the city of Allendale, California." It repeated the date three times for memory's sake. "Today is Mr. Featherstone's birthday. Today is the anniversary of Tilita's marriage. Insurance is payable, as are the water, gas, and light bills."

Somewhere in the walls, relays clicked, memory tapes glided under electric eyes.

January 24, 2009

Are We a Bunch of Amateurs?

johnaugust.com -- Professional Writing and the Rise of the Amateur...

Continue reading "Are We a Bunch of Amateurs?" »

January 19, 2009

On the New Epistemology

Wake Up and Smell the New Epistemology - ChronicleReview.com

One of my students put it this way: "It is imperative that someone studying this generation realize that we have the world at our fingertips — and the world has been at our fingertips for our entire lives. I think this access to information seriously undermines this generation's view of authority, especially traditional scholastic authority." Today's students know full well that authorities can be found for every position and any knowledge claim, and consequently the students are dubious (privately, that is) about anything we claim to be true or important.

Contrast that with 50 years ago, when students would arrive in awe of the institution and its faculty, content to receive their education via lecture and happy to let the faculty decide what was worth knowing. Even 25 years ago, that pattern still held among most students. But it holds no more. While students often report satisfaction with their institution and its faculty, after interviewing some 400 students on 34 campuses nationwide, I found few in awe of their institutions or faculty, many averse to lectures, and most ambivalent about anyone's knowledge claims other than their own.

Of course, this new epistemology does not imply that our students have become skilled arbiters of information and interpretation. It simply means that they arrive at college with well-established methods of sorting, doubting, or ignoring the same. That, by itself, is not troubling. Many professors encourage students to question authority, and would welcome more who challenged and debated ideas. But this new epistemology carries some heavy baggage — indeed, it is inseparably conjoined with personal economics. Short of fame or a lottery win, today's students recognize that a college degree is the minimum credential they will need to attain their desired standard of living (and hence "happiness"). So this new epistemology produces a rather odd kind of student — one who appears polite and dutiful but who cares little about the course work, the larger questions it raises, or the value of living an examined life. And it produces such students in overwhelming abundance.

January 15, 2009

The graph of linguistic incomprehensibility

Language Log -- The directed graph of stereotypical incomprehensibility

When an English speaker doesn't understand a word one says, it's "Greek to me". When a Hebrew speaker encounters this difficulty, it "sounds like Chinese". I've been told the Korean equivalent is "sounds like Hebrew".

Has there been a study of this phrase phenomenon, relating different languages on some kind of Directed Graph?

Note: The graph is large, so please right click and choose "view image" to see it.