The Narcissistic (American) Anthropologist

THIS JUST IN OVER A YEAR LATER: SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM FOR ANOTHER SHOCKING CRIME OF HILARITY!

Last night after a very long day of dealing with the laughable nuances of client service work, an email came through from one of my Canadian coworkers with this headline:  Canadian crime story: Police probing Quebec maple syrup heist worth up to $30-million.

The email trail between a couple of folks went this way:

Canadian team member:

“Serious journalism here guys.

From The Globe and Mail:

Police probing Quebec maple syrup heist worth up to $30-million

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/police-probing-quebec-maple-syrup-heist-worth-up-to-30-million/article4510740/

Via The Globe and Mail news app for BlackBerry”

U.S. team Member:

“This heist is on par with the 1975 robbery at Willie Wonka’s chocolate factory when 300,000 tons of chocolate was siphoned off from the chocolate river.”

Canadian team member:

“We also had an issue with the Hamburgler in the 70s. Tough up here.”

U.S…

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Draper's Den


In Hollywood lexicon a meet cute is the serendipitous crash between strangers. Usually a man and a woman, the chance encounter ignites the plot and the ensuing laughter and romance. Jack stumbled upon a wilting Rose moments before she leapt off the (then intact) Titanic. Harry initially met Sally in need of a ride to New York City. And Sean Parker spawned his longtime business partnership with Shawn Fanning discussing computer security in a chat room.

The universe has an affinity for coincidence. So why not cull this cosmic co-mingling through technology? By matching strangers based on similarities and interests, companies like Mr. Parker’s Airtime hope to harness serendipity.

Equal parts Skype and Zuckerberg, with a hint of eHarmony, Airtime hopes to expand and explode the social graph. Where social networks remain remarkably confined to coworkers, classmates and college buddies, people discovery offers a way of interrupting routine by…

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streetsofsalem

I always feel a bit sorry for myself on Labor Day weekend, as it’s back-to-school time and usually I am engaged in a mad dash to get my course syllabi done.  Of course this is ridiculous, as I have the cushiest job ever and most of the summer I’ve been free to do as I liked.  It’s good to remind myself what labor really is, and nothing does that better than the photographs of Lewis Wickes Hine (1874-1940), who transitioned from educator to social activist, all the while armed with a camera.  In 1908 Hine became the official photographer for the National Child Labor Committee (NCLC) and began his life’s work:  documenting child labor across the United States. This was a time when one in six children between the ages of five and ten worked outside the home in “gainful occupation”, and the percentage increases dramatically for children over the…

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No Poster Girl

An old friend who is a serious comic book collector flattered me recently by likening me to the character Oracle. For those of you, like me, who aren’t intimately familiar with the DC universe, Oracle is the nom de guerre of Barbara Gordon, librarian, Commissioner Gordon’s daughter, and the former Batgirl.

I will pardon if you haven’t quite seen the likeness yet. And I promise I have a reason besides my own vanity for relating this.

As Commissioner Gordon’s daughter, she is shot through the spinal cord by the Joker. Paralyzed from the waist down, she is relegated to a wheelchair, and retreats from her crime-fighting past. Eventually, though, in response to her straitened physical circumstances, she emerges from the shell the wounding has put her in and turns her prodigious intellect, remarkable memory, research abilities, and knowledge of computers to a new role as an information broker

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Adventures in Kevin's World

Wrangell St. Elias National Park is the biggest park in the U.S.  Denali National Park is 6 million acres, approximately the same size as Massachusetts -pretty big.  Wrangell, at 13.2 million acres, is well over twice as big.  As big as Vermont and Connecticut put together.  Bigger than Switzerland.  In a big state with lots of space, it’s overwhelmingly huge.

As is most everything in it.  The Bagley ice field is 127 miles long and 6 miles wide.  The Malaspina Glacier is bigger than Rhode Island (a tiny state, true, but still!).  Mount St. Elias at 18,008 ft is the 3rd tallest peak in North America, and is tallest coastal mountain in the world.

Yadda yadda yadda.

How about some pretty pictures?

I left after work on Wednesday night, and drove for 4 hours until I was too tired to go on.  I slept in my car on the side…

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Bill Boyd - The Literacy Adviser

As a former English teacher, I have often argued on the blog and elsewhere that the English curriculum in schools offers a distorted syllabus, in which non-fiction is heavily outweighed by fiction texts – no doubt reflecting the fact that most practitioners have degrees in English Literature – and that there needs to be a re-balancing to reflect more accurately the texts with which we are surrounded in daily life. Time and again however, my attention is drawn to the importance of storytelling and the need to understand ourselves and the world through the medium of story.

In The Storytelling Animal, Jonathan Gottschall of Washington and Jefferson College in the USA, explains how stories shape and define us as human beings, arguing that stories help us navigate life’s complex social problems, just as flight simulators prepare pilots for difficult situations. The theory is that storytelling has evolved, like…

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