24 mai 2014

All Things Google: A Busy Month

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/profhacker-45.pngBy . There’s been a lot going on for Google lately. Since just before the end of April, Google has made changes to its mobile apps, introduced a new tool for educators, and run into some trouble in Europe. Given the degree to which All Things Google play a role in our lives (for good or for ill), it seems appropriate to offer some brief commentary on each. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 17:45 - - Permalien [#]

Tools I Use: Online Noise Generators

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/profhacker-45.pngBy . We’ve written before at ProfHacker about choosing your playlist to change your life, about creating a soundtrack for the semester, about choosing songs for the pace of your desired daily run, and about noise-cancelling headphones when you just want silence. But sometimes you don’t want either music or silence, but just the right sort of background noise. Many people love Coffitivity, a site (and also mobile app) that offers the background noise typical of a coffee shop. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 17:44 - - Permalien [#]

Fun City

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/linguafranca-45.pngBy . When a friend in his thirties came up to me at a party the other day and said, “I have a question about fun,” I knew he wasn’t going to ask about whether the word could be used as an adjective. That would be like asking if iced tea could be used as a beverage. Writing in The Atlantic Monthly in 1997, Barbara Wallraff described Steven Pinker as remarking that “he can tell whether people are under or over thirty years old by whether they’re willing to accept fun as a full-fledged adjective.” Today that translates to over or under 47, which seems about right. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 17:42 - - Permalien [#]

‘Origins Unknown’

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/linguafranca-45.pngBy . It’s such an American thing, an impartial observer might say: taking pride in an unclear ancestry. But as lovers of words know, etymology, like genealogy, gets mixed up in interesting ways.
Most words have traceable origins. Sometimes, though, we have nothing to go on, and so we get the dictionary’s best guesses:
• from Wolof (?)
possibly related to Old French
altered (?)
I’m particularly fond of dictionary entries that have “origins unknown” or “origins obscure,” or that exist in other states of etymological contingency. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 17:41 - - Permalien [#]

Cursing in a Second Language

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/linguafranca-45.pngBy . Europeans cast their votes this week in a European Union parliamentary poll in which nationalist, Euro-skeptic parties are expected to do well—suggesting waning enthusiasm for the European project, and growing xenophobia. I saw evidence to the contrary, however, on display two weeks ago in the final rounds of the Eurovision Song Contest. (Americans make fun of the marathon of mediocre music and canned camp aesthetics, but if soccer’s anything to go by, it won’t be long before Brooklyn hipsters are cramming into bars that screen the contest.) More...

Posté par pcassuto à 17:39 - - Permalien [#]

The Politics of Taboo Words

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/linguafranca-45.pngBy . Two currently hot news items in Britain involve public figures using controversial language with political consequences. The Chronicle follows strict New York Times style rules about vulgarity, so I must use caution in giving some of the details about the cases I want to contrast. The first concerns a radio DJ who made the mistake of playing the wrong version of a song: a 1932 recording with lyrics containing a word that today is regarded as an offensive racial slur (though in 1932 it wasn’t). One listener complained. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 17:37 - - Permalien [#]

EDM and the Selfie

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/linguafranca-45.pngBy . Last year I thought selfie, the generous posting of one’s self-portrait on the Internet for all to admire, deserved to be word of the year. Thanks to a canceled flight, I now know I was wrong; 2013 was merely the prologue for the grander opening of selfie in 2014. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 14:12 - - Permalien [#]

Spanish University Investigates ‘Chamber of Horrors’ on Its Campus

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/Ticker%20revised%20round%2045.gifBy . A Spanish university is investigating how a campus basement turned into a “chamber of horrors” that contained 250 bodies, after the newspaper El Mundo published disturbing photographs of the scene. (Click here for an English-language report.)
The Complutense University of Madrid released a statement that said the bodies, used in medical research, were due for incineration but that spending cuts had caused delays. It said the bodies posed no health risk as they had been treated with formaldehyde. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 14:05 - - Permalien [#]

Japan’s Kinki U., Aware of the Laughs, Will Change Its English Name

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/Ticker%20revised%20round%2045.gifBy . Japan’s Kinki University plans to change its English name to avoid misunderstandings among English speakers, The Japan Times reported. The name “Kinki” refers to the region of Japan in which the institution is located, but the university’s president acknowledged that English speakers sometimes laugh when hearing the university’s name. A university spokesman said the name change was part of an effort to attract more foreign students. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 14:04 - - Permalien [#]

More Consumer Protections Would Hold For-Profit Colleges Accountable

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/Ticker%20revised%20round%2045.gifBy . Report: “Perils in the Provision of Trust Goods: Consumer Protection and the Public Interest in Higher Education”
Author: Robert M. Shireman, executive director of California Competes
Organization: Center for American Progress
Summary: Frequent investor pressures prompt for-profit colleges to compromise student and public needs in order to maximize profits. And while all colleges seek revenue, nonprofit institutions are overseen by boards without an ownership interest. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 14:03 - - Permalien [#]