New Yorker: The Case of the Missing Oxford English Dictionary Words.
“The process of creating a dictionary involves many small decisions, and studying the result of these decisions can be fascinating: Did the editors privilege male authors? Should American books have been quoted more? How did the editors decide when a foreign word could be considered English?”
The Atlantic: 1 Terrifying Graph About the Value of College (and 1 to Calm You Down).
That first graph is a doozy.
The Modern World: Eco - “The Author and his Interpreters”
The man always brings me to my mental knees. If you’re an Eco fan like I am, a remarkable read.
Ghost in the Machine: Fact-checking Lincoln.
Great observations as per usual, Kevin.
Civil War Memory: Review of the Museum of the Confederacy – Appomattox.
Truth wins out. Cheap controversies obscure truth.
The Atlantic: Did Texas Just Discover the Cure for Sky-High Tuition?
Hmmm. Howzabout certifying and testing online curricula? Worth a sharp look at Thomas Edison State College. I note the costs are no longer as economical as they used to be, however.
Civil War Memory: Some Thoughts About Spielberg’s Lincoln.
New Scientist: Neuroscience gets behind the mask of Greek theatre.
ArtDaily: Legendary Aztec Emperor Moctezuma II’s feather head-dress restored in Vienna.
Click through and check it out; it must have been even more spectacular with its golden beak/visor.
MedicalXpress: Study suggests humans are losing intellectual and emotional abilities.
“… recent findings from neuroscience suggest that genes involved in brain function are uniquely susceptible to mutations. Dr. Crabtree argues that the combination of less selective pressure and the large number of easily affected genes is eroding our intellectual and emotional capabilities.”
Smithsonian: Bringing the Color Back to Ancient Greece.
“If only I could shed my beauty and assume an uglier aspect
The way you would wipe color off a statue.”
[The mind clogs with puns about ‘disrobing’ and ‘Euripides’ …]
Chronicle of Higher Ed: Growth in Study Abroad Approaches Standstill.
TG’s Political Wire: Rasmussen Explains What Went Wrong.
Quickly, it seems they have no system for monitoring the changing demographics. Minorities are growing, elderly are disappearing. Surely a professional firm should be aware of such things?
Chronicle of Higher Ed: Community-College Degree Often Smooths the Path to a B.A.
If you’ve got a kid who’s on the fence, or being difficult about college, it’s a great strategy. It can also be a low-cost way to a degree with a better rep than you could have afforded for four years (two years at a CC, transfer to Ivy League).
ReadWrite: Why Nate Silver Won, And Why It Matters.
“Nate Silver and his computers may not put Scarborough and his ilk out of business - there’s loads of airtime to fill, and windbags are still needed for that. But Silver has exposed those guys for what they are, which is propagandists and entertainers.” Folks need to stop putting Mr Silver on a pedestal; with overly gleeful praise, his first statistical error will bring his reputation needlessly crashing down. His calculations are only as good as his input—something he really can’t control.
TG"s Political Wire: The Most Accurate Polls.
Of interest. And bookmarked for future reference.
ArtDaily: Egyptian Princess Shert Nebti’s tomb discovered in Abu Sir, south of Cairo.
“The discovery of this tomb marks the beginning of a new era in the history of the sepulchres at Abu Sir and Saqqara.” This is an *old* find, undisturbed, at a crux point in Egypt’s history. The cult of Ra starts about this time. Going to watch for further discoveries at Saqqara, for sure.
The Atlantic: Astronomers Read the Shadows of the Universe’s Earliest Stars.
Missed this the other day. Fascinating.
ArsTechnica: Quantum entanglement shows that reality can’t be local.
Oy, makes my brain hurt.
Los Angeles Review of Books: Hiding In Plain Sight - The Origins Of The Book Of Mormon.
“In comparative terms, the stories of Abinadi and Faithful are far more similar to each other, both in content and expression, than, say, West Side Story is to its narrative source in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.” Forensic holy book investigations.
Guardian.UK: On Evil.
Washington Post: Jacques Barzun, wide-ranging cultural historian, dies at 104.
“I was surrounded by the young poets, painters, musicians and sculptors who made Cubism, concrete poetry, atonality and the rest. [snip] Varese, Apollinaire, Ezra Pound, Leger, Gleizes, Severini, Villon, Duchamp, Duchamp-Villon, Marie Laurencin, Cocteau and many others were to me household names in the literal sense — names of familiar figures around the house.” Growing up in a culture of intelligence. It matters. RIP, sir.
The Atlantic: Did the For-Profit College Bubble Just Go Pop?
“Last Tuesday, Apollo Group Inc., the corporate parent of the University of Phoenix, unloaded a round of hellacious news on its investors. The company’s fourth quarter net income—essentially, its profits—had fallen 60 percent from the year before.”
Pacific Standard: Social Networks Degrade Political Thinking.
“Close-knit social networks generate low-quality reasoning regardless of the network’s level of political sophistication, or the existence of a variety of political views in the network.” We’ve seen this effect on weblogs for over a decade now; you’d think it would be common knowledge.