Saturday, August 15, 2009

BOOKS: Was Atticus Finch Really A Radical?

BOOKS: Was Atticus Finch Really A Radical?: "

Mocking080309 Lots of people love To Kill A Mockingbird, and I'm guessing it's still taught in a lot of classes. 

Here, the book gets the Malcolm Gladwell treatment in the New Yorker (Atticus Finch and Southern liberalism), including some questioning of just how much of a radical Atticus Finch (and the real-life person the character was based on) really were:

“Big Jim did not seek a fundamental shift of political power or a revolution in social mores,” Sims says. Folsom operated out of a sense of noblesse oblige: privileged whites, he believed, ought to “adopt a more humanitarian attitude” toward blacks"


Thursday, August 13, 2009

What's the Deal With World War II?

What's the Deal With World War II?: "


A look at videogames and wars of the 20th century

By Scott Sharkey

"Another WWII shooter" has long since passed beyond the point of being mere clich&eaute; to becoming something almost entirely meaningless -- so common there's little point in even pointing it out. The sun came up in the East today, the ocean is kind of wet, and we stormed the beach at Normandy for the five hundredth time this week. It's not until we remember, based on the minimal attention we paid in history class, that there were a crapload of other wars fought over the last century or so that it starts to feel a little odd that the second World War gets such disproportionate representation in gaming. In fact, performing a casual census of game releases since 1980 and checking them against 20th century American conflicts is more than a little startling:

The obvious question is, 'Why?' Part of the answer lies in the dates the games were released, which reveals a huge spike in WWII titles around the late '90s. While games were always heavily weighted toward WWII before that point, over two-thirds of the titles on the list were released after 1998, and almost all of them have been first-person shooters. It's true that more games of all kinds were being published by then than in the industry's younger days, but the number of titles set in other wars actually decreases at that point. Perhaps more tellingly, a large percentage of the games on the list represent only a few franchises:


iPhone Textbook Apps Just Keep Coming

iPhone Textbook Apps Just Keep Coming: "

It may not be great as a phone--don't scream, Apple fans, but the iPhone has taken some knocks on call quality and battery life, though the latest version has improved--but the iPhone is getting more and more fans as a college-textbook reader.

CourseSmart, an


Teaching about diseases with games

Teaching about diseases with games: "

A Dutch academic project uses a computer game to teach citizens about the spread of swine flu.

The game is played online and gives players the unenviable task of containing, as much as they can, the spread of an unknown flu virus.

The more time passes, the more people become infected, more people die and more nations are hit.

(via Ed Webb through the gaming and liberal arts Diigo group)