Things of Interest: 01/09/15

I read and watch a lot of stuff on the Internet that I find interesting; plus, as a university student, I receive a lot of recommendations from students and teachers alike. In these posts, I share a few of the highlights I’ve come across.

  1. Tragedy struck the offices of a French satire magazine on Wednesday when three gunmen entered a meeting and murdered twelve people. More details here. Just insane.

  2. In The New Yorker, Lincoln Caplan isn’t happy about analysis that seems to indicate the United States Supreme Court seems to pick cases to look at based not only on the merits of the case but the merits of the lawyer as well.

  3. UCR was handing out free tickets for the 10 pm showing of Taken 3 today; the line was super long and lasted for hours. Not sure how the theater handled that. In honor of the new movie, Screen Junkies has released an Honest Trailer for the first two installment.

Things of Interest: 01/04/15

I read and watch a lot of stuff on the Internet that I find interesting. In these posts, I share a few of the highlights I’ve come across.

  1. Mike Masnick at Techdirt looks at the events of the past year, many thought to be impossible, and is optimistic about 2015.

  2. This one is from my archive of bookmarks, but back in May, Robinson Meyer at The Atlantic wrote that taking notes by hand was better for remembering lectures, while trying to type the lecture verbatim could actually be a hindrance to study.

  3. Mentalfloss has an article about twenty-five English words that have contradictory definitions.

  4. This video is old, but Casey Neistant was ticketed by the NYPD for not riding his bike in the bike lane, so he made a video showing why staying in the bike lane is quite impossible at times.

Things of Interest: 01/02/15

I read and watch a lot of stuff on the Internet that I find interesting. In these posts, I share a few of the highlights I’ve come across.

  1. The Virtual Politician posted about a political-alignment quiz you can take to see where you fall. I think I fall in the Social Democracy area, if I’m reading the coordinates right.

  2. David Guaghran has a post about muckracking reporter Jessica Mitford and her work in exposing the financial scam of The Famous Writers School back in the early 1970s.

  3. I wrote on Christmas about the Humble Doctor Who Audiobook Bundle. This week they’ve added three more titles to the bundle, all of which are based on Doctor Who stage-plays performed for brief periods during the classic era. I didn’t know those were even a thing until now. Colin Baker is featured as the 6th Doctor. You still have four more days left to get this set!

  4. I know Christmas is over, and this video is a year old, but if you want one of your iconic childhood Christmas movies to be ruined for you, check out Screen Junkies’ analysis of Home Alone, answering the question: How many lives would it take for the Wet Bandits to make it through the first two movies? The brick scene makes me cringe.

Stronger Writers Are Better Workers. Who Knew?

writing skills matterA few months ago, the online grammar-check website Grammarly conducted a study with over four hundred freelancers to see what effect, if any, writing skills can have on career options. They published the results in an infographic, shown on the left (click to make it larger), which was covered by The Huffington Post, and I was asked to cover it as well (though being a student at university caused a several-weeks delay). In the interest of full disclosure, Grammarly will donate $20 to the charity Reading Is Fundamental as a thank-you for this coverage.

I work in a community college writing center, and am acutely aware of how poorly the K-12 school system in my area prepares students for college life. In fact, the community college system here offers dozens of remedial English courses per semester to prepare these students for the actual college English courses of ENG-1A and 1B. The K-12 system’s insistence on focusing on test scores and “measurable” results has resulted in hundreds, if not thousands, of young adults who are unable to clearly articulate their thoughts and ideas in writing. This simple fact holds them back from completing their college education, as nearly all college courses require quality writing to achieve passing grades, and rectifying this problem can and sometimes does require students to take an additional year of schooling. Worse, according to the study, this can even hinder their employment options!

Continue reading “Stronger Writers Are Better Workers. Who Knew?”

Things of Interest: 12/31

I read a lot of stuff on the Internet that I find interesting. In these posts, I share a few of the highlights I’ve come across.

  1. The Chicago Tribune has written about the troubles surrounding red-light cameras in Chicago.

  2. The biopic Selma had to paraphrase Martin Luther King Jr.’s speeches due to copyright restrictions. This is not the first time The Kokiri Reader has discussed the results of stringent copyright restrictions on the historical examination of the civil rights leader (even though I only have about a dozen posts so far).

  3. One reader/contributor of Cracked.com sent in 19 examples of modern-day sexism in pop culture.

See you in the New Year!