* The New Rock-Star Professor: Should celebrities teach online classes? (2011-Nov-06) [Slate]
Free online courses do big numbers these days. So-called MOOCs, or massive open online courses, typically get tens of thousands of sign-ups to watch video lectures delivered by tweedy academics, some more photogenic than others. But imagine how many students would tune in—or make it through the class without dropping out—if instead of bookish professors, Hollywood stars delivered the lessons. …
* DeathStar Renovations (2013-Nov-07) [John Birmingham’s Cheeseburger Gothic]
I changed my work set up recently, and I know some people have a bizarre fascination with that sort of thing, because I am one of them. I’m a sucker for those blog posts where people take a photograph of their unnaturally clean desk looking like an homage to the Picard-era bridge on the Enterprise. …
* Apple Maps v Google Maps (2013-Nov-03) [The Age]
The tight integration with Mavericks will probably be enough to win reluctant Mac users across to Apple Maps, but otherwise satisfied Google Maps users will probably stay put.
* Congrats to this year’s World Fantasy Award winners! (2013-Nov-03) [io9]
The winners of the 2013 World Fantasy Awards were announced at the World Fantasy Convention in Brighton, England. A round of applause to all of the nominees and winners.
* Neil Gaiman: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming (2013-Oct-16) [The Guardian]
… Well-meaning adults can easily destroy a child’s love of reading: stop them reading what they enjoy, or give them worthy-but-dull books that you like, the 21st-century equivalents of Victorian “improving” literature. You’ll wind up with a generation convinced that reading is uncool and worse, unpleasant.
We need our children to get onto the reading ladder: anything that they enjoy reading will move them up, rung by rung, into literacy. (Also, do not do what this author did when his 11-year-old daughter was into RL Stine, which is to go and get a copy of Stephen King’s Carrie, saying if you liked those you’ll love this! Holly read nothing but safe stories of settlers on prairies for the rest of her teenage years, and still glares at me when Stephen King’s name is mentioned.) …
* The Complete Guide to November’s Must-See Science Fiction and Fantasy! (2013-Nov-01) [io9]
Something from Bandcamp: