A guest post on Kory Merritt's children's books by Sukie:
When I first found Kory Merritt’s work I felt just like I suspect I would have felt had I found Chas Addams early in his career. I knew that I was watching the budding of genius.
Strong words? Kory Merritt’s work is quirky, at times spooky without being too scary for grade school kids, and he can make even the most improbable characters multidimensional and endearing in his art work, wording, and plots. Besides, he has managed to come up with many of the most amazing ice cream flavor names ever devised, and some of the strangest characters. To see some of those characters just go to
Although I am a lot older than 14 and some of our relatives are younger than 11, we and they already have preorders for the book which will come out in early October.
So, if you enjoy moving characters with strange appearances, fun stories, and seeking unexpected hidden gems then definitely give _The Dreadful Fate of Jonathan York, a Yarn for the Strange at Heart_ a try!
If you want to share info on a fun book with people who have children, classes, libraries, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, or others who are young at heart then pass along this post to them. Feel free! I do not mind being quoted about how marvelous Kory’s work can be and has been. With a first issue of 5,000 copies I expect them to sell out fast and do not want to wait for the second printing so have already ordered, an action I recommend.
Dan Gillmor sent a notice of a media literacy course he's been working on. A MOOC designed to help people manage information overload. Free unless you want a certificate.
Week 1 – How media have changed; key principles for becoming an active user of media; and why media/news literacy is so important in a data-saturated environment. What it means to be a critical thinker.
Week 2 – Be skeptical of everything, but not equally skeptical of everything. Why judgement is so important. More on why we all need a personal credibility scale. We’ll look at the two-sides fallacy, understanding risk (statistical), social media and the velocity of information.
Week 3 – BS detection with Howard Rheingold. Slant vs. opinion; astroturfing and native advertising, where to find credible information.
Week 4 – Opening our minds: Escaping echo chambers and filter bubbles. Recognizing “confirmation bias” in ourselves, not just others. Seeking out opposing views and other cultural worldviews.
Week 5 – Literacy is also creation: Principles of creating media with integrity: Ownership of media, tools for creating media, legal and ethical issues in media creation, integrity in creating media.
Week 6 – Trust and reputation in a saturated media landscape. How media providers engender trust (or mistrust), fact-checking, transparency, community. How we in the audience can help our information providers be more trustworthy. Why we – audiences and information providers alike – need to adopt a “slow news” approach.
Week 7 - Next steps: How you can put all of this into long-term action; why you should be a media literacy advocate (and how to do it). Plus: resources for parents and teachers.
1996 Charlie Rose interviews Carl Sagan prior to his death
We’ve arranged a society on science and technology in which nobody understands anything about science and technology, and this combustible mixture of ignorance and power sooner or later is going to blow up in our faces. I mean, who is running the science and technology in a democracy if the people don’t know anything about it.
pathos /ˈpāˌTHäs/, n. 1. The quality or character of those emotions, traits, or experiences which are personal, and therefore restricted and evanescent; transitory and idiosyncratic dispositions or feelings as distinguished from those which are universal and deep-seated in character; — opposed to ethos.
It continued. 2. That quality or property of anything which touches the feelings or excites emotions and passions, esp., that which awakens tender emotions, such as pity, sorrow, and the like; contagious warmth of feeling, action, or expression; pathetic quality; as, the pathos of a picture, of a poem, or of a cry.
Dear god! How did I not know about this dictionary? How could you even callyourself a dictionary if all you give for “pathos” is “a quality that evokes pity or sadness”? Webster’s definition is so much fuller, so much closer to felt experience.
Notice, too, how much less certain the Webster definition seems about itself, even though it’s more complete — as if to remind you that the word came first, that the word isn’t defined by its definition here, in this humble dictionary, that definitions grasp, tentatively, at words, but that what words really are is this haze and halo of associations and evocations, a little networked cloud of uses and contexts.
What I mean is that with its blunt authority the New Oxford definition of “pathos” — “a quality that evokes pity or sadness” — shuts down the conversation, it shuts down your thinking about the word, while the Webster’s version gets your wheels turning: it seems so much more provisional — “that which awakens tender emotions, such as pity, sorrow, and the like; contagious warmth of feeling, action, or expression; pathetic quality; as, the pathos of a picture, of a poem, or of a cry” — and therefore alive.
Most important, it describes a word worth using: a mere six letters that have come to stand for something huge, for a complex meta-emotion with mythic roots. Such is the power of actual English.
The pleasure of finding things out
I could go on forever listing examples. I could say, “Look up example, magic,sport. Look up arduous, huge, chauvinistic, venal, pell-mell, raiment, sue, smarting,stereotype. Look up the word word, and look, and up. Look up every word you used today.” Indeed that’s what motivated this post: I’d been using Webster’s dictionary for about a year; I kept looking words up, first there, then in whatever modern dictionary was closest to hand, and seeing this awful difference, evidence of a crime that kept piling up in my mind, the guilt building: so many people were getting this wrong impression about words, every day, so many times a day.
There is a lot of artisit talent in my family. One of my father's brothers was artistic. In my generation my sister Corinne has a lot and is a serious professional. The talent fairy skipped over me, but visited both of my nieces.. Alys is a family photographer and put up a webpage showing some of her work. If you have a need and live in the East end of the Phoenix metropolis you might want to drop her a note. good stuff:-)