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Weekend Reading: Lunar Eclipse Edition

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Early Wednesday morning (6-7AM), there was a total lunar eclipse, an event where the whole of the moon turns a kind of reddish-orange. I was awake to see it, but despite my best efforts, it eluded me. According to Scientific American, the next full lunar eclipse won’t occur until the summer of 2015.

In addition, the New York Times reports, “Supreme Court Delivers Tacit Win to Gay Marriage.” The decision to not-decide will clear the way for gay marriage in several states, all of which had pote…

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Open Thread: Thoughts on Providing Documentation?

A librarian doing bibliographic instruction in a computer labMany of us have had a lot of practice in planning courses and specific classes. We’re experienced at designing assignments, too.

But as more of us experiment with blogging assignments and electronic portfolios, we often find ourselves asking students to do things with tools that they may not be familiar with. They’ll need some instruction in how to use those tools, and they’re likely to appreciate some reference material, even if we devote some class time to hands-on practice.

What kind of refer…

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Updating Your Web Security


Web security isn’t something we tend to think of on a day-to-day basis. Usually, we only become aware of the security concerns of our accounts once something goes wrong. Recently, I’ve seen several friends fall victim to attacks on their accounts and identity, which has motivated me to take steps towards thinking about my own web security practices. We know that we should have high-security passwords and not reuse them across networks, and yet most of us don’t follow those rules.

Here are a few…

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Weekend Reading: Hello October Edition

Happy Friday, ProfHackers!

The Atlantic confirms what many us have known for some time now: “Online Relationships Are Real.” Also from The Atlantic is an interesting look at they way NYU philosopher Helen Nissbaum is shaping national policy on privacy.

It’s football season, which means different things for different campuses: tailgates, crowds, difficulty parking, empty libraries (my personal favorite!), but this year it also means something very different: concussions. Last weekend, the Univers…

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Ello and Academic Social Networks

If you’ve been on Twitter or Facebook lately, you might have seen the first apparent signs of a migration, with users announcing their new account names on the currently invitation-only social network Ello. This isn’t the first time there’s been a new network apparently on the horizon (remember the short-lived exodus to App.net, the still-on-life-support Google Plus, and the decentralized concept of Diaspora pods? Konrad, at least, certainly appreciated Diaspora.), but it’s caught the attention…

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Better Living Through Advanced Tricycling

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Longtime readers (George, mom) will know that I have a giant internet crush on Merlin Mann, who most people outside of Tallahassee first heard about through his productivity-themed website 43folders, then through his Inbox Zero e-mail talk at Google, and most recently as a podcaster on shows such as Back to Work, Roderick on the Line, and You Look Nice Today: A Journal of Emotional Hygiene. (How big a crush? I invited him for a 3-talk visit bac…

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Scholarly Writing Hacks: 5 Lessons I Learned Writing Every Day in June

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[This is a guest post by Jennifer Ahern-Dodson, an assistant professor of the Practice in Writing Studies at Duke University where she teaches digital storytelling and researches learning communities and community-university partnerships. You can follow her on Twitter @jaherndodson.--@JBJ]

On May 31st panic set in. I had agreed to commit to writing every day in the month of June as part of a faculty writing group experiment. Inspired both by National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), recent conv…

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Weekend Reading: Pumpkin Spice Edition

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Autumn 2014 officially began this week. Less daylight and cooler temperatures are here (or on their way), and pumpkin spice is taking over: from Starbucks and beer to yogurt, bagels, PopTarts, and hummus (side note: yogurt?! PopTarts?!)–even Trident chewing gum. Alternately, you might consider using the Pumpkin Spice Latte as a way to explain Jean Baudrillard

For a brief moment (it was taken down in a matter of minutes), Forbes magazine published a column which demonstrated that rape culture is…

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A CFP on Executable Culture

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As a blog, we have always been interested in translating aspects of maker culture into higher ed. (For just a couple of examples, see Erin “On Building” or Anastasia on “Making Games in the Classroom with Scratch”.) Having said that, it is difficult to translate the products and process of making things into quantifiable academic publishing units.

Addressing this problem, Friend-of-ProfHacker Kathi Inman Berens points to a journal that’s calling for “executable” projects:

CALL FOR PAPERS: HYPE…

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Dancing in the Rain? Underwater Audio Review

10289242945_373324ff29_z Thanks to a stress fracture in my foot, I’ve been spending a lot of time underwater lately. Swimming laps and pool running is the only kind of exercise my injured self can tolerate right now, so it’s what I’m doing. But as some of you know, pool running in particular, is about as exciting as watching paint dry. Upon hearing my complain, one of the other pool regulars suggested that I look into a waterproof iPod, and just like that, my life changed.

Before that day, I didn’t know that there was …