In the US, this weekend is the Presidents’ Day holiday. Weirdly, my school observes this on both F & M, which means that those of us who teach on MWF miss an extra 2 days of class (esp. when there’re a lot of snow days, the effect of this is that I forget students’ names pretty quickly in the spring), while those of us on a TR schedule get no holiday at all. It’s . . . peculiar.
Anyway, I am not a historian, but apparently the United States at various times has had presidents, governors, and legislatures–from various parties–who believed that their charge was to make the country stronger, and to invest in its infrastructure and future, rather than to desperately slash spending. They even, heaven forfend!, raised revenue without fear that the very wealthiest among us would pout.
What must that have been like?
On to the links . . .
- How many times this week have you heard someone on campus say, “Well, actually . . . “? If you are a sagacious well-actuallista you need to understand that you are not outwitting anyone. It takes more intelligence to build a joke, tell a funny anecdote or narrate a gripping story than it takes to nitpick. (via Gina Trapani)
- Does Prezi (see Ethan’s post from back in the day) make you a little nauseous? The queasiness is an entirely different matter. That seems to come from the apparent movement of the material on the screen, that as you focus on something and get oriented to it directionally, it will then move and tilt as part of the transition to the next piece of information. (via NeuroDojo) If it doesn’t, here’s a WordPress plug-in for your Prezis.
- What can a professional organization be in a digital age? Though the kind of community the AHA built has varied, the basic “product,” the quarterly journal and the annual meeting, has lasted for years. I’d argue that they don’t serve us as well now, because new forms of communication have rendered them obsolete, and because they both now reinforce a very narrow sense of what historical practice is and who does it.
- How the iPad and other mobile devices affect when we read: When a reader is given a choice about how to consume their content, a major shift in behavior occurs. They no longer consume the majority of their content during the day, on their computer. Instead they shift that content to prime time and onto a device better suited for consumption.
- Google allows you to filter search results by reading level: We paid teachers to classify pages for different reading levels, and then took their classifications to build a model of the intrinsic complexity of the text. With this model, we can any webpage with the model to classify reading levels. We also used data from Google Scholar, since most of the articles in Scholar are considered advanced.
This week’s video is obviously going to be from Wisconsin:
Bonus: For OmniFocus devotees, Merlin Mann’s recent presentation on Tricking-Out Your OmniFocus Perspectives.
Have a great weekend!
Photo by Flickr user Paul Baker / Creative Commons licensed