I currently feel like this squirrel looks: pancaked by, yet ready to flee from a semester that refuses to end, and so rather than talk much here, I’ll simply wish American readers a happy Memorial Day holiday, and everyone a good weekend. (Spare a minute, though for the students in Quebec!)
On to this weekend’s links!
- Kate Clancy draws on that evergreen scientific resource, Justin Bieber’s hair, to teach good poster design: For the last few years, one of the running jokes in my lab has involved a striking physical (or rather, follicular) similarity between biological anthropology researcher Dana Ahern (now a University of Illinois graduate!) and multi-platinum pop superstar Justin Bieber. I thought this observed correlation would make an excellent foundation to help students think about how to demonstrate causality, present a convincing argument, and visually represent their ideas.
- David Simon gave the commencement address at Georgetown: There cannot be two American experiments, one for the fortunate and another for the rest. All of us must share the same future – like it or not. For the republic to long endure, there must be a real American collective and all of us must have some stake in that collective.
- An empirical look at book reviews: professionals prefer books that have already won prizes; that they “reward books written by authors who have received media attention (measured by the number of mentions of the authors in the New York Times outside of the book review section)” — in other words, praise most that which has already been praised by somebody else (via Jessa Crispin)
- Stefany Anne Golberg on the history of the backpack and backpacking: In the 1960s, backpackers left as much as they could behind in order to release themselves from the burden of self. Now backpackers take as much as they can take in order to be self-sufficient. In the ’60s, the backpacker’s quest was to remove everything — often one’s self-understanding, one’s identity — to access something pure. Today, backpackers want to assert their identity across national boundaries with the help of the things they own.
- Zen Faulkes offers 7 design problems with academic transcripts: Some of these problems can be fixed by just having someone care redo the design with some attention to detail. . . . The bigger set of problems is comes because some of these features are attempts to prevent document forgery. But even here, the tools are crude.
Bonus: Video from “The Fixit Clinic,” where Peter Mui teaches folks to fix, rather than replace, their broken stuff.
Have a great weekend!