Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Zombie vs. Humans at Goucher College

Students are playing a game on the campus of Goucher College in Baltimore where students become either zombies or stay human, and only nerf guns or balled up socks stand between humans and zombie-hood. Check out the article and especially the video here.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Almost May (It just doesn't look it)

Our late winter storm appears to be finished with its ham-handed reminder that it holds sway in this part of the country. After having told some Norwegians from north of the Arctic Circle that we here in SD say we have two seasons--winter and road construction--he said they too have only a pair--a white winter and a green winter. How many words do you have for winter?

Friday, April 25, 2008

Spring in South Dakota, Blizzard Style

Snow continued to give South Dakota a beating, at least for those of in the eastern half. The video and photos here were from this morning, and the snow continued all day, the wind driving full force.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Video to Tighten Your Glutes

JB points to this video that will could give you a coppery taste in your mouth it's so spooky. From southern Spain, this walkway video is bold enough to keep you off-balance for all of its six minutes. Watch it full screen!

"Sleeping it Off in Rapid City"

The title of the book jumped out at me from the NY Times: Sleeping it Off in Rapid City, a new book of poems by August Kleinzahler. Read the review and an excerpt of the title poem.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Omaha and Back Again

Thursday the wife and I headed down to Omaha for the "Death, Murder, and Mayhem" Symposium put on by the University of Nebraska, where I delivered a paper on the use of Native American imagery in violent electronic games. I had a good turnout, and the participants asked good questions about violence and racial stereotyping.

We enjoyed staying at the old downtown area and checked out some of the shops and eateries, and we went to a play that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize: "The Man from Nebraska," by Tracy Lett, put on by the Blue Barn Theater. Saturday we enjoyed lunch in the 70 degree sunlight.

Saturday, before we left, I had to drive onto the Omaha Marathon course where it used to finish uphill into the domed arena, the site of my just-too-late finish that kept my first marathon from qualifying me for the Boston Marathon (to be run tomorrow!) by 34 seconds. Then we hustled home again, jiggety-jig.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Computers and "Writing"

Imagine the volumes you could write if you could just get the computer to do most of the work--like the writing itself--for you. A guy who should be a hero to our English for Information Systems majors at DSU has figured that out. What's the answer? Algorithms. A New York Times article describes how Philip M. Parker has "licked the problem," publishing over 200,000 books, by having computers search for publicly available information, compile it, and put it into a book, which will be printed on demand. You can watch a demonstration of his method for books and video (and games) on Youtube. Consider the implications! It's worth a look.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Signs of Spring

From wasps appearing in the office and intruding on private email correspondence, to muskrats wandering onto dangerous roads, to robins hopping across the lawn, to snowmen melting into nothing, it appears that spring is here. Finally.

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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Evidence of Being Human

While hypertext and technology are evidence of human intelligence and tool-making capacities, it's also important to recognize that being human also means making poop, as has been true for 14,000 years in North America, according to a new discovery. Not only did they poop, they pooped in caves. I'm sure it made the caves less livable.


My students and I tried out a hypertext fiction site today. Thanks for the tip, Dan. It's like living in Hypertextopia!