Category Archives: Optional Readings

Friday Links

Spiders tune their webs like guitar strings. Very short video; worth the click. This upcoming Macbeth movie looks potentially pretty cool. Sounds like David Foster Wallace’s essay “Consider the Lobster” caused more than a couple of arguments with his editor. … Continue reading

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Cool Story

Over at Slate they have a pretty good essay about how the word “cool” changed over time, from its origins in African-American subculture, through its place in ’60s and ’70s youth culture, to a concept that crosses ethnic, gender, and … Continue reading

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Sleep Tonight. Crush the Test Tomorrow.

In case you think I’m kidding about going to bed early tonight, here are a few links about the importance of adolescents getting sufficient sleep. For example this, from PBS:  In experiments done at Harvard Medical School and Trent University … Continue reading

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Tropes vs. Women in Video Games

Here’s the web video I mentioned, by Anita Sarkeesian: “Damsel in Distress: Part 1 – Tropes vs Women in Video Games.” If you like her work, go visit her blog. What’s a trope? Here’s a short answer. Here’s a longer … Continue reading

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Exposition by Analogy: Michio Kaku on Big Think

Want to know what string theory is? Michio Kaku will tell you, but he might break your brain doing so.

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Peter Singer on Big Think

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A Few Good Book Reviews

Here are the three book review essays I discussed in class this morning: Diane Ravitch, “Schools We Can Envy.” Hugh Eakin, “Will Saudi Arabia Ever Change?” Andrew Hacker, “How He Got It Right.” And here’s another interesting one: “Single Women … Continue reading

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The Battle Over Homework

Louis Menand, essayist and editor for The New Yorker, and author of the brilliant book The Metaphysical Club, reports that French president François Hollande intends to abolish homework in his country. He takes this opportunity to look at some research on whether … Continue reading

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Gallagher-Corvino Debate

Here is the BookTV debate on gay marriage that we watched in class. If you’re interested in learning more about either Maggie Gallagher or John Corvino, or about their book, or the issue overall, here are some additional links for … Continue reading

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