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Showing posts from March, 2012

Yes, You Do Have to Give a Presentation

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You know that old adage, "People would rather die than give a speech." Well, it's true, at least until you get used to giving speeches or presentations.

How do I know? As a brand new professor, after handing out the syllabus for my very first college class, I moved a chair to the front of the room and sat down. I thought I was going to faint (I didn't). Then I thought I was going to throw up (I didn't). I READ the syllabus from start to finish without looking up. My anti-antiperspirant gave out about half way through. And for all I knew everyone could have left before I was finished. But I showed up to the next class and my butterflies weren't as bad. By the fifth class they were almost gone. Now I can't wait to get to class.

Students go to great lengths to get out of giving presentations, from calculating how many points they can miss and still have that A or B, to calling in sick, to video taping the presentation and then showing a YouTube c…

Intertextuality - It's More Than Just Text

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Intertextuality is the shaping of texts by other texts. It is the theory that a literary work is not simply the product of a single author, but also the product of its relationship to other texts. Postmodernist authors and creators exploit intertextuality in some thought provoking and entertaining ways.

John Kessel's 1985 short story "A Clean Escape" - later adapted into a play - references Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four in subtle and overt ways.
"My name is Robert Havelmann."

That's right," Doctor Evans said calmly. "What year is it?"

Havelmann watched her warily, as if he were about to be tricked. "What are you talking about? It's 1984."
A prophetic reference to a dystopian diegetic that seems like paradise compared to what these characters are living through after a nuclear war.

Later in the story there is a specific reference to Orwell's work.
"What year is it?"

Havelmann adjusted himself in this c…

Free Comic Book Day - May 5, 2012

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Can you believe it? It's almost time again for Free Comic Book Day! Each year the comic book industry encourages READING by giving comic book stores FREE comics to share with local communities. In the Bay Area we are lucky enough to be able to visit the birthplace of the world's largest comic book event -- Flying Colors Comics in Concord.

Flying Colors is located at 2980 Treat Blvd. (at Oak Grove) and they will be giving everyone who shows up for Free Comic Book Day at least three free comics.

But that's not all! Flying Colors Comics will host pro guests for Free Comic Book Day--- writer Zack Whedon (FCBD Star Wars/Serenity Flip-Book) and artist Georges Jeanty (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)! From 3PM-5PM, meet writer LANDRY WALKER and artist ERIC JONES (Image Comics' new DANGER CLUB, SUPERGIRL: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade).

You are encouraged to show up to the event in your favorite comics (especially!) or media-related costume (Browncoats, Jedi, Stormtro…

What Would You Do?

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Congratulations! You just graduated from college and you are at your first interview. You've cleaned up your Facebook page and email accounts (no more iluv2gethammered@email.com). Not only that, but you made your Facebook settings private so there's no chance of some random post (or some idiot friend) making you look bad.

The interviewer looks up from her desk, "What's your Facebook login? I can't view your page it's on private and we screen each applicant's social media."

Do you give her your login or not?

That's the dilemma Justin Bassett faced when he recently went to a job interview. What did Justin do? According to The Telegraph, "Mr Bassett refused and withdrew his application, saying he did not want to work for a company that would seek such personal information."

But what if you really, really, really needed that job? What if your family was counting on you getting that job? What if it meant the difference between …

World's Dumbest Facebook Criminals

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Everybody knows to avoid posting really dumb stuff to Facebook - except, apparently, these guys.

Criminal Justice Degrees Guide just posted an infographic entitled "20 Cases Solved by Using Facebook." Here are some of the highlights:

An EMT (who lost his license BTW) posted crime scene photos of a beaten and strangled woman on Facebook.

A 16-year-old bragged on Facebook about plugging up the local library's toilets causing $247,000 worth of damage and a five month closure. Guess who's going to jail?

Another guy tried to hire a hit man via Facebook to kill a woman who accused him of rape. He now faces 11 to 22 years in jail.

A young woman posted a video of a burglar she caught in her house. "Wait is that the guy I just befriended on Facebook?" Yup. Arrested.

If someone has a restraining order against you, do not "poke" them on Facebook.

Don't eat endangered species and then post a video on Facebook. Do not masquerade as a royal …

Science Fiction or Fantasy?

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I was wondering what I was going to read this summer when a student added NPR's Top 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy Books to a class discussion board.

Not to be outdone, SF Signal turned NPR's list of Top 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy Books into a flowchart.

But SF Signal didn't stop there. They turned the flowchart into an interactive list. To begin, you must first decide whether you want to read science fiction or fantasy. After clicking science fiction, you are asked about cyberpunk (Gritty noir, Neo-Victorian, or Samurai). If Neuromancer's not your thing, or you've already read it (which I suspect), then you can blast into space.

At the "start" screen, you are also asked if you like neither and instead "only read books with pictures." Hmmmm, do I detect hoity-toity comic phobia? If you choose to read "picture books", then you get to choose between Heroes (Watchmen) and or "Master of Dreams" (Neil Gaiman&#…