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Compendium of Links #3

Last night I was up until 2:30 a.m… so I guess that means I was up until early this morning? And yet my eyes popped open at 8:30 a.m. Sigh. But I guess it gives me time to do a little homework before Mom shows up with my newly-repaired car! Oh yeah, and Valentine’s Day is Monday, but I probably won’t be posting anything before then.

3 Fun and Useful Google News Mashups will let you make a customized timeline, topic/article cloud, or even a map. Great for a visual person! (Via Interesting Pile.)

I’m still working on finishing this article, but “Get Smarter” from The Atlantic Magazine is pretty fascinating.

Pandemics. Global warming. Food shortages. No more fossil fuels. What are humans to do? The same thing the species has done before: evolve to meet the challenge. But this time we don’t have to rely on natural evolution to make us smart enough to survive. We can do it ourselves, right now, by harnessing technology and pharmacology to boost our intelligence. Is Google actually making us smarter?

In other words, this article is the antithesis to Nicholas Carr’s “Is Google Making Us Stupid?”. And that one is one of the articles a couple of my friends had to read for their English Capstone class.

Another one they had to read was “The Art of Slow Reading” from The Guardian. The fifth paragraph reads as follows:

Still reading? You're probably in a dwindling minority. But no matter: a literary revolution is at hand. First we had slow food, then slow travel. Now, those campaigns are joined by a slow-reading movement – a disparate bunch of academics and intellectuals who want us to take our time while reading, and re-reading. They ask us to switch off our computers every so often and rediscover both the joy of personal engagement with physical texts, and the ability to process them fully.

Speaking of reading, an old friend from the Ramblin’ Irishman homeschool message board has started a new YouTube stream, Dan Reads Good Poems. The name explains it all. “If” by Rudyard Kipling, “The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe, and “The Road Less Traveled” by Robert Frost are among the offerings. He has a good reading voice.

Computers, however, do not; but you can at least tell whether it’s a girl or a boy by the voice. Interesting Pile gave me another link, this time one that tells us how to find out the gender of your computer. (Mine’s a girl.)

Another visual person used his computer to make a set of elegant word clouds visualizing the words in the 66 books of the Bible. Then this person put them all together in a YouTube video and put a little pretty music under the slideshow.

And the closing humorous video for your entertainment: courtesy of The Onion, via a computer-science friend.

Dark humor, but funny.

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