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!

Geeking Out: Doctor Who audio dramas deal!

Humble Bundle announced yesterday that they have a new bundle pack ready for you to purchase at any price with the proceeds going to charity, and instead of games, today it’s Doctor Who audio dramas, produced by Big Finish (plus the mobile game Doctor Who: Legacy for good measure). If you’re looking for some Doctor Who media to tide you over after tonight’s Christmas special while waiting for series nine next year, this is a great deal, and it’s available for two more weeks!

Continue reading “Geeking Out: Doctor Who audio dramas deal!”

Take a Deep Breath: Doctor Who is Back in Fine Form

I’ve written this post a couple of times now, and each time I’ve started over, because it’s hard to explain how much I liked the premiere of Doctor Who‘s eighth season without also explaining how I disliked a number of things about its seventh season. The result has repeatedly been a post that’s supposed to be positive but ends up sounding negative. So here goes attempt number three as I try to get this posted before the next episode is aired tonight.

Alonzy! Continue reading “Take a Deep Breath: Doctor Who is Back in Fine Form”