Experimental Writing Seminar: Constraints & Collaborations. In addition to setting out a few dozen writing exercises, the online syllabus for an introductory course taught by Charles Bernstein (poet and co-editor of L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E) links to a variety of poems, poetry generators, and prose experiments on the web. [more inside]
Researchers at Humboldt State University have mapped hateful tweets. Dr. Monica Stephens, at Humboldt State, has teamed up with undergraduate research assistants to study the geographical distribution of hate speech in tweets. The graphical map breaks down by "genre" of hate (homophobia, racism, disability) as well as by individual words flagged. Far more details are available on floatingsheep.org; the data was provided by the DOLLY Project at the University of Kentucky.
Of all the things to livetweet, a trip to the hospital with a dildo stuck in your rear would have to be the pinnacle of TMI. "What did you do last night" "I shoved a dildo up my ass and needed the hospital to extract it" "oh man me too"
Twitter is experimenting with online shopping: "American Express card holders who connect their card numbers to their Twitter accounts can post on Twitter to trigger a purchase of select products, including discounted American Express gift cards, Kindle Fire tablets from Amazon.com Inc. and jewelry from designer Donna Karan. The program will roll out over the next few days." [more inside]
"It feels strange to be active and highly visible on the Web for 15 years but it was only when I joined Facebook that someone from elementary school or high school ever contacted me." In which on Ev Williams's platform, Mr Haughey compares his experiences of Facebook and Twitter. [more inside]
Mordor’s going about it all wrong, incidentally. Harness all that geothermal energy, sell it to the humans, LIVE LIKE KINGS.
SF author and Mefi's Own Jscalzi was alone one night during a LOTR marathon and decided to live-tweet a running commentary.
High school student Emma Sullivan posted a tweet disparaging Kansas Governor Sam Brownback while on a field trip to the State Capitol. Brownback's staff called Sullivan's principal and complained. This has not resulted in postive PR for Brownback.
"The next time you hear a bird chirping outside your window, you might think twice about what’s going on inside his little birdbrain."
Are birds’ tweets grammatical? [Scientific American] But are the rules of grammar unique to human language? Perhaps not, according to a recent study, which showed that songbirds may also communicate using a sophisticated grammar—a feature absent in even our closest relatives, the nonhuman primates. Kentaro Abe and Dai Watanabe of Kyoto University performed a series of experiments to determine whether Bengalese finches expect the notes of their tunes to follow a certain order.
Not to be outdone by the New York Time's efforts to cover the American Civil War, the Washington Post is offering a blog (too), before and after photographs of the District of Columbia from 1860 to today, a guide to ongoing Civil War events, and for those with a short attention span and a fondness for 140 characters, Tweeting the Civil War (daily events 150 years after they happened as if they were happening today).
Invented by Charles Dow in 1896, The Dow Jones Average ("The Dow") is perhaps the most widely known metric of equity market behaviour. Calculated as a price weighted average of thirty stocks, The Dow is generally eschewed by professional investors who prefer the broader S&P 500, a so-called market capitalisation weighted index consisting of 500 stocks. Regardless, proponents of the Dow claim its simplicity, long history and careful design as a reliable proxy of US economic activity as points in its favour. But can they now claim predicability as well? [more inside]
Klout.com attempts to measure influence on Twitter. Recognizing that follower count does not measure influence, Klout considers 25 factors to determine how engaged you are with your network, how widely your tweets are read, and how likely your tweets are to drive action (retweets, replies, clicks). [more inside]
Liblr "takes the twitter stream and replaces one phrase with another, in the name of fun. The people depicted here did not say these things."
Standards editor Philip Corbett at the New York Times (allegedly) issues memo officially discouraging use of the word "tweet." [more inside]
Twirdie allows you to play golf via twitter. Type a word and swing: the strength of your shot is proportional to the number of times the word has been tweeted in the last 20 seconds. A project of Twitter game outfit Local No. 12, whose SXSW presentation "Playing with 140 characters" is available here. (Via the just-concluded 2010 Games, Learning and Society conference here in Madison.)
We asked some of our friends to film their favorite tweets. We didn't care how they did it. They could read it. They could act it. They could do it with puppets. Whatever they wanted. The only rules were it had to be a tweet written by someone else and it had to contain the entire tweet and nothing but the tweet. (via Matt Haughey's Twitter)
Since late January of 2010, the International Space Station was able to access the Internet for personal use, leading to the first tweet from space. The previous tweets were e-mailed to the ground where support personnel posted them to the astronaut's Twitter account. Currently there are 17 active NASA astronauts and 6 internatual'nauts tweeting from on high. If their words aren't enough, they're also posting pictures, primarily from Soichi Noguchi (@Astro_Soichi) and José Hernández (@Astro_Jose, whose socio-political messages were covered previously). [more inside]
So* you want to learn the Language of Birds? There's the mnemonic route and the youtube guide. You can listen to the birds in your local habitat or geographic area: New York State**, Florida, Southwestern US, Tropical America***, for example. Or, just find your favorite bird out of 104,517 audio and 33,693 video samples at Cornell's Macaulay Library, and listen. [more inside]
What the Hashtag?! is a Twitter wiki (a twiki?) that explains most of those inscrutable acronyms and helps users find the sweetest tweets on any given topic. If you set up the TwitterBot, you can investigate hashtags on the fly. For other topics, though, you may wish to tweet your local librarian.