Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Blogging Like Chaucer

    I love academic bloggers. Academic bloggers worry me sick. And the bloggers who keep me up at night are the ones who have adjunct or alt-ac jobs but are trying to move to the tenure track. Some of those people are using blogs and social media to advance their careers in ingenious ways which I would never have foreseen. But others seem, at least from my vantage, to expect or hope that their online work will help their career in specific ways that it will not and cannot. Being online can help an academic career. But it's important to be clear about what it can help and what it can't.

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    Ramona's picture

    Six Things Media Personalities Could and Should Avoid when Covering a Disaster

     

    On Monday, May 20, a devastating monster of a tornado hit Moore, Oklahoma; the second category 5 tornado to hit this little town. (It happened before on May 3, 1999, with 44 deaths.) Reports coming in today, the day after, state it was two miles wide, of colossal, possibly even record-breaking, proportions.

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    Ramona's picture

    A Psychic Got it Wrong. Who Knew?

     

    As if it wasn't enough this week that three young women held captive and terrorized by a madman were found alive after 10 long years, we now learn that in 2004, celebrated psychic Sylvia Browne made an appearance on celebrated sinceremeister Montel Williams' television

    William K. Wolfrum's picture

    Satire killed in suicide bomb attack

     

    NEW YORK — The writing style of satire was blown up in a suicide attack at its home in the upper West side of Manhattan. Snark and Snide Disregard were also injured in the attack and are currently in intensive care.

    Satire, which gained prominence via writers like Jonathan Swift and Voltaire, has struggled to find its footing recently in the Internet-driven world, as more and more satire is associated with mindless attacks, sophomoric humor and the oft-imitated “Breaking” news story. Satire reached a low point recently when the magazine “The New Yorker” hired Andy Borowitz, who then proceeded to write the exact same story 175 consecutive times.

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Things We Did Not Learn About the Marathon Bombings

    Let's recap the things that did not happen on the sorry day that the Boston Marathon was bombed:

    Five unexploded bombs were not discovered nearby. No unexploded bombs were discovered nearby.

    The government did not shut down cell-phone service as a precaution to prevent more detonations. The cell phone system around Copley Square simply became massively overloaded, so that calls could not get through (but texts, which take much less bandwidth, could).

    The police did not arrest anyone or identify any suspects.

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    Ramona's picture

    Hulabaloo at the Soo

     

    Let me just say right off that when it comes to Homeland and border security, I'm all for it.

    When it comes to appreciating how essential shipping is to the Great Lakes, I'm right at the head of the line.

    When it comes to being in awe of the engineering feat that is the Soo Locks I am so in awe I can't stand it.
     

    Ramona's picture

    Will the Real Bob Woodward Please Sit Down?

     

     Once there was a young Washington Post reporter named Bob Woodward who became a celebrity almost overnight by joining with another reporter named Carl Bernstein (remember him?) to expose the inner workings of a seemingly minor break-in at the Democratic Headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington. D.C.

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    Ramona's picture

    Oh, no. Sybil

    I've started a new non-political blog at WordPress and this is one of my posts there.  Come on over and check it out!

    Oh, no.  Sybil

    William K. Wolfrum's picture

    Outbreak of Brazilian virgins has imaginary bidders lining up

    When Justin Sisely announced that he planned to film a “Virgin Sells Virginity” porn, the media went wild, endlessly repeating a story based on nothing.

    Now, that’s not a big surprise. What is a surprise is that after the announcement – heck, even before it – random dudes with lots of walking-around money started hurling incredible bids at Sisely, asking to be the male lead in said porno.

    Michael Wolraich's picture

    The Information Jacuzzi - Part II

    This article continues from The Information Jacuzzi - Part I.

    The Middle Ages was not a great era for budding writers. In those days, there was only one large publisher in all of Western Europe: the Catholic Church. Nearly every scribe on the continent worked in one of its affiliated monasteries or theological universities. Any writer who hoped to have his work duplicated and distributed had to win the sanction of Church leaders, and they were not known for permissive editing. Even writers who published outside the Church suffered from its monopoly on information, as the Pope routinely ordered heretical works banned and burned—usually along with the author.

    That’s why the printing press, invented in the 1440s, was so significant. It bypassed Church scribes and produced books so quickly and cheaply that anyone with a little money or a wealthy patron could spread their ideas across the continent. Seventy years after its invention, Martin Luther published his famous 95 Theses criticizing Church practices. His ideas were not entirely new, but they spread far further than those of his predecessors, who lived before the printing press. As with previous heretics, the Pope excommunicated Luther and banned his writings, but his tracts had already flooded every corner of Europe. Thousands of people read and reacted to his ideas. The Protestant Reformation was born.

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    Michael Wolraich's picture

    The Information Jacuzzi - Part I

    Back in 1996, when mobile phones looked like giant calculators, and a social network was a just group of friends, comedian Dave Barry published a book called Dave Barry in Cyberspace. He devoted a chapter to the newly popular “World Wide Web,” which he titled, “The Internet: transforming society and shaping the future through chat.”

    Sometimes truth is stranger than comedy. Internet chat and its heirs—blogs and social networks—are in fact transforming society and shaping the future in ways that no one imagined in 1996.

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Your New Year's Public Domain Report: 2013

    It's January 1, which means it's the day that works whose copyright has expired enter the public domain. Here's the list of works that entered the public domain in the United States today:

    Nothing. Nada. Not a thing.

    Ramona's picture

    I don't need to know their names

     

    It's Saturday, the day after what will forever be known as the Sandy Hook School murders.  Yesterday Adam Lanza, a 20-year-old man, broke into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut and shot to death six adults and 20 small children.

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    William K. Wolfrum's picture

    Why we women can’t have it all and should lower our expectations especially when it comes to men

    We women have had a rough few decades. The modern woman has to worry about pleasing their man or finding a man. We have to worry about children. We have to worry about our jobs and vaginas. But it didn’t used to always be this way. Since the great feminist uprising came and washed away our self-respect and dignity, we women lived a far simpler existence. We indeed had it all.

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Excusing Petraeus

    David Petraeus's downfall at the CIA, resigning after his marital infidelity was exposed, has gotten the kind of press coverage generally reserved for winning the Nobel Prize or becoming the first man on Mars. Story after story about his resignation rhapsodizes about the greatness of Petraeus, his military brilliance, his reputation for "probity and integrity." He is hailed as the model of a modern general, without a whiff of Gilbert & Sullivan irony in that phrase.

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Predictable Results

    The Eastern Seaboard is getting clobbered by a combined late-season hurricane and blizzard, flooding large areas and knocking out electricity in even larger areas. As I write this, the New York City subways are flooded, there has been an explosion at a Con Edison power station, and a large part of the Rockaways is burning while firefighters, trapped by the floodwaters, are helpless to stop it.

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    William K. Wolfrum's picture

    Brazilian girl auctioning off virginity for a documentary? I doubt it

    It seems like every four years or so, a story or person comes to my attention. In 2008, it was Martin Eisenstadt. In 2012, so far, it’s “Virgins Wanted.”

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    William K. Wolfrum's picture

    100% of Mitt Romneys think U.S. citizens are jerks

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A new Gallup poll today showing that a large percentage of Mitt Romneys think U.S. citizens are “jerks.”

    The poll – which took the opinions of one Mitt Romney over a 10-state area – showed some negative trends for the U.S. public. By wide margins, American citizens were thought to be “stupid,” and “Jerks,” and that they “should not be involved in the governing process.

     

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