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Weekend Reading: Here Comes Peter Cottontail Edition

This weekend marks the return of one of my favorite contests: The Washington Post’s annual Peeps Diorama contest. Here are the winners and finalists for 2014. Also sharing in the Peeps love, Slate asks, “What happens when you throw a Peep out an airlock?” This experiment builds on the research done by the Peeps peeps themselves, who document various scientific results on their website. If you would prefer to eat your peeps, you can find a variety of recipes online.

Tuesday, April 15 was the one…

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Mellon Funding for the Open Library of the Humanities

Stacks of the José Vasconcelos Library in Mexico City from Wikipedia>

Here’s some exciting news for readers interested in experiments in academic publishing: the Open Library of the Humanities has just received a substantial Mellon Foundation grant to build its technological platform, business model, journal and monograph pilot scheme.

The Open Library of the Humanities (OLH) — run by the enterprising Martin Paul Eve (@martin_eve) and Caroline Edwards (@the_blochian) — is an ambitious project to replicate the Public Library of Science (PLoS) project for the huma…

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Open Thread Wednesday: Favorite Podcast Apps?

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Back in February I asked you to share your favorite new podcasts. Today, I’d like to learn what your favorite app for listening to those podcasts. (Obviously, there are several candidates to choose from.)

What software do you use — mobile or otherwise — to listen to your favorite podcasts? And what do you like about that software? Please share in the comments!

[CC-licensed Flickr photo by Thomas Kamann]

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Five Lessons for Online Teaching from Finishing a MOOC

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[This is a guest post by Michelle Moravec, a historian currently working on the politics of women's culture, which you can read about at michellemoravec.com. Follow her on Twitter at @professmoravec.--@JBJ]

At the end of January 2014, I enrolled in an MOOC on corpus linguistics offered by the U.K.-based Open University’s Future Learn. CorpusMOOC, as it was affectionately known and hashtagged on Twitter, was billed as a “practical introduction to the methodology of corpus linguistics for resea…

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Remembering the 2013 Boston Marathon with the Our Marathon Archive

5ee847e668198e774022be574d3716b2Today marks the one-year anniversary of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings and subsequent events that shook the city of Boston. I teach at Northeastern University, blocks from the Marathon’s finish line, and many of our students were directly affected by those events: they were participating in the race, they were helping in the medical tents, they were cheering on friends and family, or they lived in buildings that were evacuated during the tense days following the bombings. Some of our students…

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Software and Services for Managing Group Tasks


The world of software and online services is a densely populated field of companies who want you to share your to-do list with them. We’ve reviewed some of them here, including Todoist, Gqueues, Wunderlist, Basecamp, and Got Milk?. New options are appearing all the time, but I’ve long been a fan of Omnifocus and have good friends who swear by Things, both of which grow out of the Mac/iOS ecosystem.

However, task management software and services for individuals are increasingly clashing with an …

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2048, Gamemaking, and Creativity


If you’ve been hanging out on social media lately someone has probably linked you to an addictive time-wasting number game, 2048. But did you know you can create your own customized version? The free “Make Your Own 2048” tool is delightful to work with, and it’s really easy to make simple changes to the text or create an entire makeover through replacing the number boxes with images.

The story of 2048 is a great starting point for discussing originality in a world of convenient digital clones. …

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Weekend Reading: When Pollen Attacks Edition

Happy Friday ProfHackers! A disclaimer: I’m writing this week’s weekend reading through pollen-induced haze thanks to a triple whammy of tree pollen here in the Southeast that has sent allergen counts through the roof from Virginia through parts of Florida.

Last week, I included the news of David Letterman’s retirement. Yesterday, it was announced that Stephen Colbert will be his replacementThe LA Times argues that “Colbert is not a conservative choice.” Apparently Rush Limbaugh and other pol…

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A Not-so-gentle Reminder about Security: Heartbleed

A couple of days before yesterday’s post was scheduled to run, we started hearing about the Heartbleed Bug.

This is a nasty one. It’s been out for quite a while, and it’s a flaw in a software library that’s used by a very high number of websites. Check the link above for the details of just how nasty the bug is.

What can readers do to protect their data?

An important part of the necessary response is beyond any individual user’s control. If a website was using the affected version of OpenSSL, i…

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A Gentle Reminder about Security

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[Editor's note: We will publish a follow-up post next week tomorrow about the Heartbleed Bug, which has been making headlines this week. You can read this follow-up post here.]

There are a lot of benefits to doing much of our work online. Collaboration with far-away colleagues is easy, we can have ready access to our work no matter what device we’re using, and having our work backed up in the cloud can be reassuring.

But there’s danger as well, unfortunately. In just the past two months, at lea…