Weekly Web Harvest (weekly)

  • “When it comes to the second strategy, home shopping networks have always cultivated what psychologists call “parasocial relationships”: the illusion that you are having a social experience with someone on television. That is, for example, why there is almost always a QVC host and a product representative on the screen; it creates the feeling of a conversation in which you are being included. When I toured QVC’s headquarters, a lot of the people on the tour had amazing, encyclopedic knowledge of all the hosts, past and present. “She talks about them like they’re her friends,” said one exasperated granddaughter.
    But home shopping networks have never wanted the hosts to get too big. The hosts are decently paid — low six figures on average, from what I was able to gather — and they tend to live in small towns where that goes a long way. But the home shopping networks have deliberately discouraged them from getting too big, because that gives them negotiating power over the networks. There has been some suggestion that hosts who got too popular were often fired before their popularity got big enough to let them make big financial demands. (I’m talking here about presenters, not celebrities such as Joan Rivers or Isaac Mizrahi, who presumably extract all they can get.)”

    tags: weekly mooc qvc amazon

  • “Luckily for Randy, his sister’s aim was not true.”

    tags: weekly language true ninja star attack @twitter

  • ““We try to create an environment in which they don’t feel they must participate in the exchange of oral secretions,””

    tags: weekly tradition stanford kissing language

  • Some useful enhancements for multisite.

    tags: wordpress multisite plugin weekly

  • “The school district last week attempted to squelch rumors that a number of fights broke out at Grissom throughout the day last Thursday. Keith Ward, a Huntsville City Schools spokesman, said that there was a minor disturbance after the pep rally, but not the number of fights that students and parents were reporting. 

    Several parents posted on social media that their children were calling them and texting them during the day, reporting fights at the school. Students also posted about the incidents. 

    “Welcome to Grissom High School. #westayclassy #somanyfights,” one girl posted on Twitter.

    “What a day at Grissom High School…. #11fights,” another student posted.

    When asked about the rumors, the Huntsville Police Department also issued a statement. “

    tags: socialmedia twitter fights school truth lies weekly high school hs

  • “Chances are, if you have a famous ancestor far enough back that finding out about them is a surprise, you share them with a small city of other people. And the farther back you go, the truer that is. In 2004, statistician Joseph Chang, computer scientist Douglas Rohde, and writer Steve Olson used a computer model of human genetics to show that anyone who was alive 2,000-3,000 years ago is either the ancestor of everyone who’s now alive, or no one at all.”

    tags: human dna ancestor weekly descendent math statistics

    • Most of the people you are descended from are no more genetically related to you than strangers are.
  • “The pugnoses somehow gained entry (hypothesised to be through the gills) and made their way to the heart, where they dined on the beasts blood up until it died.  Maybe they would have burrowed out again after the animal expired, maybe they would have suffocated (remember – the eels had be swimming in and breathing the sharks blood once they were inside, how bizarre is that?).  “

    tags: weekly shark blood parasite nature

  • “State-owned channel Rossiya 24 even showed footage of a technician opening up an iron included in a batch of Chinese imports to find a “spy chip” with what he called “a little microphone”. Its correspondent said the hidden devices were mostly being used to spread viruses, by connecting to any computer within a 200m (656ft) radius which were using unprotected Wi-Fi networks. Other products found to have rogue components reportedly included mobile phones and car dashboard cameras.

    tags: weekly China Russia cybercrime spam attacks

  • “One SAT student I work with refuses to move forward with any lessons until we’ve graded his homework and calculated what percent he got right. Invariably, no matter how well he did, he asks how good it was compared to my other students. Every week he updates me about where he falls in his class ranking at school, the amount of extra credit he’s done, and how many more books he reads than his twin brother. Last night, his parents emailed me to ask what percentile he’s in, based on his homework and practice tests. I told them I didn’t have those numbers, but that he had 90% accuracy or better on almost everything. They responded, Well, but anecdotally… how’s he doing compared to the other kids?”

    Ruminations from the Test-Prep Industry: Playing the Game. http://t.co/EPhXLotcAz #hcpsitrt

    — Tom Woodward (@twoodwar) October 30, 2013

    tags: IFTTT Twitter testing education school competition weekly itrt

    • But she needs to get into a high school—I don’t know what we’ll do if she doesn’t. I don’t want to drive her crazy or make her think she’s not good enough, but the stakes are so high for her already. We’re on the field whether we like it or not, we don’t have any choice but to play the game, right?”
  • There may just be a lesson about education in here . . .

    “It’s so incredible to think that Playtex entered this competition to design the Apollo spacesuit against all these military firms and won.

    Yes. And of course all of the competing suits were designed much more like the missiles and the weapons that the rest of the NASA equipment was adapted from, which is to say designed from their first principles in a very structured way, which works very well when you’re designing that kind of thing, but it turns out it works terribly when you’re designing for the body.”

    tags: space story suit education weekly

  • “You can tell charlatans when they say ‘big’ in front of everything.””
    or ‘massive’ or ‘e’ or ‘digital’ . . .

    tags: data weekly obama

  • Henrico teachers Schuyler T. Van Valkenburg and Drew Baker have a history podcast. You should support them and spread it to your teachers.

    Between Bells | A Conversation with Your Favorite History Teachers http://t.co/ILV26Jm10g #hcpsitrt

    — Tom Woodward (@twoodwar) October 30, 2013

    tags: IFTTT Twitter history teachers podcast hcps henrico itrt weekly

  • “Srinivasan didn’t stop there. Silicon Valley’s “hit list,” he argued, had already knocked off newspapers and the music industry. Next up: “We’re going after advertising, television, book publishing.” Higher education “is next in the gunsights.” That’s three lethal metaphors, brought to you by a man arguing that Silicon Valley should secede from the United States.

    tags: weekly he highered disruption language dystopia

  • tags: weekly harpers news

    • a model arrested in Florida for stabbing her boyfriend after his dog ate her marijuana claimed that the victim had repeatedly walked into her pink pocket knife.
    • in Venezuela, where toilet-paper shortages were reportedly ongoing, President Nicolás Maduro announced the creation of the Ministry of Supreme Social Happiness
  • “The Web Literacy Standard is a map of competencies and skills that Mozilla and our community of stakeholders believe are important to pay attention to when getting better at reading, writing and participating on the web.

    Web Literacy Standard – Mozilla Webmaker http://t.co/xW5dcbM49S #hcpsitrt

    — Tom Woodward (@twoodwar) October 29, 2013

    tags: IFTTT Twitter weekly itrt mozilla literacy web standards

  • “Things were going great—but I didn’t want to just be an employee, a cog in the capitalism machine—I wanted to make a difference, a really, really bad difference. So when my internship turned into a full-time job, I started Blake. Ever since then I’ve been putting my ideas to work, taking things one day at a time, and doing my best to destroy America from within.”

    tags: McSweeney’s startdown weekly profit loss

  • “Software developers have been trying to build adaptive systems for years. We have lots of ideas about collecting data, analyzing it, and building models of how those systems behave. The problem with those models is that they’re prescriptive. They might tell you the optimal speed to travel to get from point A to point B, but they can’t make real-time adjustments to maintain your speed in response to actual conditions. In contrast, feedback systems are all about responding to actual conditions (and not about optimization). Modern software systems need to react to real-world conditions, such as radical variations in load; they can allocate more processors, memory, storage, and even network connectivity in response to changing conditions. For software to react intelligently and without constant human intervention, feedback isn’t an option; it’s a necessity.”

    tags: programming feedback weekly progress

  • “Embedded in The New York Times’s institutional perspective and reporting methodologies are all sorts of quite debatable and subjective political and cultural assumptions about the world. And with some noble exceptions, The Times, by design or otherwise, has long served the interests of the same set of elite and powerful factions. Its reporting is no less “activist,” subjective or opinion-driven than the new media voices it sometimes condescendingly scorns.

    tags: weekly truth lies nytimes

  • “Even our love notes are passed between servers.”

    tags: print paper digital reading Aesthetic weekly

    • The spatial memories seem to translate into more immersive reading and stronger comprehension.
    • We were probably mistaken to think of words on screens as substitutes for words on paper. They seem to be different things, suited to different kinds of reading and providing different sorts of aesthetic and intellectual experiences.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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