Monthly Archives: December 2006

Department of Tangled Webs

Sometimes it’s good to savor the branching pathways that one follows while scanning the day’s blogs. Today’s case in point is a Language Log posting on Words of the Year: Another year of truthiness, which notes that “Webster’s New World College Dictionary went with Crackberry…”, a term that showed up in a link I harvested and delicious’d yesterday. Sez the Webster’s story:

Whether on BlackBerries — the PDA’s that spawned this latest appellation — or cellphones, or other handheld devices, people hunched over these tools are a common sight. That devout-looking hunch itself, note Webster’s New World editors, is called the Crackberry prayer, homage to this latest obsession…

I was reminded of the existence of a Japanese term for those who live this life, and a quick Google search retrieved oyayubizoku, via I then remembered that I’d pointed to this a couple of years ago, and another quick resort to blessed Google retrieved a page summarizing some investigations on Electronic East Asia from mid-November 2004 (a lot of the links are 404 now…). And at the bottom of that page are links to two novel things I was playing with at that time: a first podcast On Musical Variety (20+ minutes, a pilot for the Cross-Cultural Studies in Music course I taught in Winter 2005) and a screencast on [alas, hafta use IE to view it] when it was a new service that most of my colleagues didn’t know about.
…and that all connects somehow to this Gem from the Past, christened “Bad Hair Derby 1966”:
Bad Hair Derby 1966

CALI is the bomb-digg[e/i]ty

Readers of this blog will know that I find Language Log a perennial source of toothsome things. Today’s Mark Liberman posting hits several targets at once. He’s pointing to a screencast about some Digital Commons possibilities for legal education.

There are details in the presentation [a 23:14 Camtasia creation] that I’d quibble with, or formulate differently, and I care not a whit about legal education… but the screencast is worth 23 minutes of your time as an example of …well,
(1) what to do when weather keeps you from getting to the conference at which you’re supposed to speak [really what happened to the author, John Mayer of the Center for Computer Assisted Legal Instruction],
(2) what’s just over the horizon in education generally, and
(3) an elegant and efficient summary of relevant technologies to inflict upon colleagues who don’t get it yet.

Mayer’s other presentations from a [Carnegie Mellon] workshop on “approaches to the analysis of U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments” are also worth your attention: his Introduction to the work of CALI [15:08] and something on their Fantasy Supreme Court project [8:39].