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Weekend Reading: Mid-Semester Edition

On my campus we’re halfway through the semester, and the air has turned cooler… on most days.

Pumpkins have appeared on many front porches in my neighborhood, but it’s still unusually warm every once in awhile.

I have a pile of grading that I should be attending to, but instead I’ve put together some links to what I hope are interesting reading selections for the weekend:

  • How’s Your News, Election 2012: developmentally disabled reporters go to GOP and DNC,” by Xeni Jardin The project features a team of reporters with various developmental disabilities roaming the halls at the Republican and Democratic national conventions, interviewing big TV news personalities and politicians. (Download this documentary for $5. Also, check out this 2002 segment on “How’s Your News?” from This American Life.)
  • Empowering Patients Through Design,” by Daniela Hernandez Michael Graves lost his ability to walk in 2003 when a sinus infection infiltrated his nervous system, impairing his spinal cord. As he learned to navigate the world from his wheelchair, Graves noticed that places meant to empower patients, like rehab centers and hospitals, weren’t.
  • 99 Life Hacks to Make Your Life Easier,” by Joel Zimmerman Use a staple remover to save your fingernails when trying to add things to your key ring… Rub a walnut on damaged wooden furniture to cover up dings… Take an old CD spindle and turn it into a bagel tote…
  • Profits, Lies, and Education Innovation,” by Audrey Watters Innovation comes from a community in the service of building a community and reflects that community’s values and vision, whether in military technology, bio-tech, or ed-tech. If the community values profit, then perhaps profit will spur innovation. But as it stands, the education community doesn’t particularly value profit. It is motivated by other things — the sharing of ideas, the care and nurturing of young minds, and the construction of knowledge.
  • Digital Writing Uprising: Third-order Thinking in the Digital Humanities,” by Sean Michael Morris As a self-proclaimed Internet non-user (a proclamation that elicits hoots and howls from my friends), the allure of digital writing for me does not lie in its medium; instead, I’m tantalized by the proposition that digital writing is action. Not that the writing inspires action, or comes out of action, or responds to action. But that the words themselves are active. They move, slither, creep, sprint, and outpace us.

In this week’s video, DJ Spooky and Cellist Joshua Roman cover Radiohead’s “Everything in Its Right Place”:

[Creative Commons-licensed flickr photo by Kam Abbot]

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