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Anita Sarkeesian, a feminist cultural critic, has for months received death and rape threats from opponents of her recent work challenging the stereotypes of women in video games. Bomb threats for her public talks are now routine. One detractor created a game in which players can click their mouse to punch an image of her face.

Not until Tuesday, though, did Ms. Sarkeesian feel compelled to cancel a speech, planned at Utah State University. The day before, members of the university administration received an email warning that a shooting massacre would be carried out at the event. And under Utah law, she was told, the campus police could not prevent people with weapons from entering her talk.

“This will be the deadliest school shooting in American history, and I’m giving you a chance to stop it,” said the email, which bore the moniker Marc Lépine, the name of a man who killed 14 women in a mass shooting in Montreal in 1989 before taking his own life.

The threats against Ms. Sarkeesian are the most noxious example of a weekslong campaign to discredit or intimidate outspoken critics of the male-dominated gaming industry and its culture. The instigators of the campaign are allied with a broader movement that has rallied around the Twitter hashtag #GamerGate, a term adopted by those who see ethical problems among game journalists and political correctness in their coverage. The more extreme threats, though, seem to be the work of a much smaller faction and aimed at women. Major game companies have so far mostly tried to steer clear of the vitriol, leading to calls for them to intervene.

The New York Times, "Feminist Critics of Video Games Face Threats In ‘GamerGate’ Campaign" (via inothernews)

(via theartguy)

Implants and wearables will replace tools we carry or purchase. Technology will be biological in the sense that those who can afford it will ‘receive’ it as children. It will be part of our body and our minds will not function well without it. We will be dependent on it. There will probably be new forms of addiction and theft. It will also redefine what a ‘thought’ is, as we won’t ‘think’ unassisted.

Karen Landis, Killer Apps In The Gigabit Age 

(via stoweboyd)

The best thing — maybe the only thing — is to tell the student that telling the truth is the most important thing, much more important than the grammar.

Stephen King on teaching kids to write

Also see King on writing and creative sleep – doubly poignant in the context of high school students, given how cognitively crippling current school schedules are in working against adolescents’ internal clocks

(via explore-blog)

Pinpointing specific genetic variants — areas of the genetic code that vary from person to person — wasn’t always possible, so it was hard to tell whether caffeine was the most important factor in coffee drinking behaviors. Now that scientists can decipher the genetic components of behaviors, we’re that much closer to figuring out why coffee affects us the way it does.

Here’s why you’re bouncing off the walls: the genetics of coffee consumption (via thisistheverge)

Textbooks are full of useful information and handy to have around when you need to look up a fact. Memorizing facts is not as important as knowing how to ask questions and how to synthesize information to formulate an answer.

When we plan out our courses—and our entire curriculum—we should keep this in mind: How much of the information that we are going to cover do the students really need to know? How much time do we devote to making sure students know when they need a fact and how to look it up? Finally, and most important, do our students know what to do with the facts once they find them?

Why Don’t We Teach the Telephone Book?

Here’s the thing…when we dismiss something because of our fear of the unknown as educators, we don’t just lose out ourselves, but those that we serve lose out as well. Teachers impact students, principals impact teachers and students, and superintendents can impact everyone. When our fear holds us back, it often holds others back as well. Fear often has the power to kill innovation.

What Our Fear Actually Inhibits

Most teachers will say that there’s very little time in the day for reflecting, and I agree with them. But I still make sure that I find time to reflect because it’s too important to put by the wayside. All educators need time in their day to reflect and think about the different ways they can be better. We ask this of our students, so why shouldn’t we do the same?

The Reflective Teacher: Taking a Long Look