“I’m not joking, boss. I think of God as being exactly like me. Only bigger, stronger, crazier. And immortal, into the bargain. He’s sitting on a pile of soft sheepskins and his hut’s the sky.” – Nikos Kazantzakis, Zorba the Greek
- Consortium of Colleges Takes Online Education to New Level-A story in the New York Times about the new deal between a number of universities and Coursera, an online course system. Right now Coursera is making the courses available for free or cheap and almost no college or university gives credit hours for these courses. As of right now Coursera does not consider itself a challenger to the actual universities.
- The Single Most Important Experiment in Higher Education-Some analysis of the news above. It somewhat suggests that, someday, high enrollment online courses through a site like Coursera could replace the traditional campus.
- There’s No Learning When Nobody’s Listening-A column in the Chronicle relating an experience of requiring a classroom of students to sit and listen rather than expressing an opinion, talking, or communicating with the outside world. Her opinion was that actually listening is something that college-age students struggle with.
- Exploiting the Neuroscience of Internet Addiction– A piece in the Atlantic about how the mantra of internet companies is “create an obsession, then exploit it” rather than Edison’s “I find what the world needs, then invent it.”
- Dutch Zoo Feeds Sloth Baby with Teddy Bear Surrogate-Leave it to the Germans to come up with excellent cute animal stories. This time, there was a mother sloth incapable of producing enough milk and sloth babies cling to their mothers while feeding, so they got a teddy bear (donated by the 2 year old child of a zookeeper) that it can cling to while getting its supplemental milk.
- Medieval Lingerie-An article in the BBC History Magazine about some medieval bras that were discovered in an Austrian Castle.
- Religious Products: Prayers and playthings-From the economist, a note about the booming trade in consumer items geared at the religious.