Weekend Reading: Groundhog Edition



Happy Friday ProfHackers!  earlier this week, Punxsutawny Phil saw his shadow, thus predicting another six weeks of winter (to be clear, that’s not usually the answer we want–if he doesn’t see his shadow because it is overcast that day, winter will end sooner).

Phil’s prediction wasn’t the only bad news this week. Faculty and staff in the University of Wisconsin system are reeling from Governor Scott Walker’s announcement of a $300 million budget cut, despite efforts to the contrary. Not only that, but in addition to slashed budgets, Walker also told faculty that they needed to work harder (to which one faculty member in Maine, who also happens to be a UW alumna, has offered a salient rebuttal). The cuts will likely hit the regional campuses especially hard and have already resulted in hiring freezes according to sources at UW Oshkosh. NBC News reports on the national attention the proposal is getting as Walker begins his presidential bid.

And it’s not just Wisconsin getting hit with budget difficulties this week. The Baltimore Sun reports that the University of Maryland is considering a midyear tuition hike and has implemented furloughs for campus employees. And late last night, Kansas announced that it might be getting in on the action as well.

In other news, it was announced this week that Harper Lee would be publishing a second novel at long last. The announcement was met with both glee and controversy as some worried that the elderly Lee was being taken advantage of by her publisher and/or her lawyer. Vulture published an interview with Lee’s editor, who claimed to only have learned of the book’s existence days ago and to not have been in communication with Lee. The Toast raises more questions about the book and its author. Lee herself issued a statement Thursday night “expressing happiness about the publication of a new novel” according to the New York Times. The Wall Street Journal reports that Lee has said she “is alive and kicking and happy as hell with the reactions of Watchmen.” 

DC Comics also made an announcement that may generate some excitement in the publishing world: a new all-female Avengers team. This announcement comes on the heels of the campaign started by an 11 year old girl’s letter to DC Comics asking for more girls in their comics, not only in print but also in the film/TV adaptations and merchandising.

A ProfHacker hat tip to Wendy Belcher for sharing this article from WIRED about the way that we now get our news via social media and the effects that new media, particularly outlets such as BuzzFeed, is having on journalism, information, and those who consume it. To some, this phenomenon is known as clickbait, which according to The Atlantic, is “everywhere.”

Our video this week is a bit of levity from Jimmy Fallon: a reunion of the cast of Saved By The Bell

[Creative Commons licensed image by Flickr user Matt MacGillivray.]

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