Randomness #415P

The story of borshch

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Cool ABC pop-up book:

(via Book Design Review)

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Thoughts on whether Second Life is particularly suitable for teaching languages. A commentary on this Forbes article:

In addition to providing resources, Boahn also offers free ESL workshops through “Second Life English”–a great deal, he says, since private language lessons in-world can cost as much as $20 an hour. Like many “Second Life instructors,” Boahn takes a hands-on approach to teaching in a virtual classroom. During workshops, he uses a team of teachers to present students with different linguistic tasks, which could include anything from asking for directions to bargaining to buy a knickknack. To do those tasks, Boahn and his colleagues use “holodecks,” rooms that can flip through as many as 40 different scenes at the mere click of a mouse. Want to practice ordering American fast food? Just switch the holodeck to Dara’s Diner and line up at the counter.

Another popular way to teach English in “Second Life,” says Boahn, involves role-playing and quests. “I once dressed up as a pirate, had a ship and everything. I was kind of rough on the students,” he admits. “I put some of them in cages, and had them confront language in a shock-and-awe kind of way. They seemed to like it, and they learned all sorts of new words, like ‘loot’ and ‘booty.'”

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Is it time to turn to Keynes for economic advice? “The End of Laissez-Faire”, by John Maynard Keynes (1926)

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