URLs du Jour


  • Out at UC-Fresno, there is a lonely beacon of good-humored sanity named Craig Bernthal, and his short (unexerptable) essay on the "National Survey of Student Engagement" he was asked to complete is a classic. So go read it. (Via Stuart Buck.)

  • Continuing in the higher-ed vein: there's a school called "Harvard" about 90 minutes south of here; one of their law professors, Charles Nesson, together with Wendy Seltzer, advocate that Harvard resist recent demands from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) to "point fingers at their students, to filter their Internet access, and to pass along notices of claimed copyright infringement."
    Instead, we should be assisting our students both by explaining the law and by resisting the subpoenas that the RIAA serves upon us. We should be deploying our clinical legal student training programs to defend our targeted students. We should be lobbying Congress for a roll back of the draconian copyright law that the copyright industry has forced upon us. Intellectual property can be efficient when its boundaries are relatively self-evident.
    No word on whether Harvard is going to take Professor Nesson's good advice. Here at UNH, the decision has been made to act as a conduit for the RIAA. (Harvard link via GraniteGeek.)

  • In the News That Makes You Go Wha?! Department: James Lileks' employer, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, is intent on reassigning him to write "straight local news stories."

    Using my vast talent for polite understatement: this is a poor match for his talents and a tragic misallocation of the newspaper's resources. (Not that I care about the newspaper so much.)

    Hugh Hewitt comments and has links to other comments. And Dave Barry saith:

    This is like the Miami Heat deciding to relieve Dwyane Wade of his basketball-playing obligations so he can keep stats.
    "Indeed." Lileks says he doesn't mind if his readers contact the Star-Tribune's Reader Representative, and I've done so.

  • Speaking of my close personal friend Dave: he had a review of an e-mail etiquette guide in the New York Times yesterday. Sample:
    I do almost all of my communicating by e-mail. I've been known to e-mail people who were literally standing next to me, which I know sounds crazy, because at that distance I could easily call them on my cellphone. But I prefer e-mail, because it's such an effective way of getting information to somebody without running the risk of becoming involved in human conversation.
    Hey, me too!

    Good for fellow-blogger Dave, getting published in the NYT is a real step to perhaps becoming an actually successful professional writer someday.

  • It's hard to believe that this guy is the same guy as this guy. But he apparently is.

Happy Feet

[Amazon Link] [3.5
stars] [IMDb Link]

There's this kid penguin, Mumble, who's a dancer when everyone else in his tribe are singers. This makes him an outcast, and he goes on an odyssey of discovery, adventure, and (eventually) a long-shot quest to save the penguin food supply.

This is pretty good kid stuff even for adults. Animation is great, the voices are fantastic, music fine (although somewhat obscure—Earth, Wind & Fire?). I laughed a lot. There's an environmental "message" attached, but (fortunately) not in an overly didactic way.

It's rated PG "for some mild peril and rude humor," although the peril didn't seem too mild to me. Seals are scary!

Last Modified 2012-10-19 1:32 PM EDT