This little one is 28 today. I can’t quite wrap my head around that. Happy birthday, Althea!
Summer is here and, with it, I again have the privilege of teaching a grad class with the (mouthful of) a title “Digital Citizenship, Intellectual Property, and Internet Legal Issues” AKA “Nousion” because…shorter titles FTW. It’s a small class (12-weeks, a half-dozen students) about big ideas. Any one of the clauses in the title could be a semester-long class, a PhD dissertation, or a book!
But we start with digital citizenship because, as problematic as the concept is, I think it works to have everything else in the course be part, or a function of, it. And the questions there are perennial:
You get the idea. I love exploring this topic every summer with a cohort of engaged students even if by the end of each term the most important lesson I’ve learned is just how much more I don’t know and if the only answers to those questions are more questions.
One of my favorite new podcasts is WNYC’s 10 Things That Scare Me, a “tiny podcast about our biggest fears.” The premise is simple: someone (the guests, sometimes famous, often anonymous, are unidentified until the end of the show) shares—directly into the mic—ten things that scare them, each with little bit of narrative.
Sometimes funny, sometimes harrowing, mostly brutally honest…there’s just something beautiful in the simplicity of this direct sharing of fears. To get a taste, here’s a random sample of fears from recent episodes:
Also, the relatively lo-fi (but very much intentionally so) format and editing fit the idea perfectly.
Best listened to without looking at the title of the show which, unfortunately, gives away the guest’s identity.
This tweet has been making the rounds as an illustration of why the Oxford (serial) comma is necessary, including a few gloating notes from friends (because those are the kinds of friends I have):
But, while Stephen Harper isn’t in my top 5—or 5000—politicians, this example doesn’t mean what my friends think it means. Adding a comma just creates a different ambiguity. Who in the “fixed” sentence, “Special mention to @LaureenHarper, my mother, and daughter,” is Laureen? Harper’s mother or someone else?
As with many such examples here, the problem isn’t a missing serial comma (for the record, I am 100% pro-Oxford comma where needed to prevent ambiguity), but a sentence that needs to be rewritten.
From Secular Buddhism with Noah Rasheta (#72 – Yanny or Laurel? A Lesson in Mindful Communication)