Recent developments in online learning have increasingly democratized the exchange of information in higher education: the launch of University of the People, a tuition-free online university; Khan Academy's acquisition of SmartHistory and its growing emphasis on humanities and liberal arts; the University of Reddit's crowd-sourced lessons being taught in real-world classrooms; Skillshare creating a community marketplace for teachers and students; Lore opening its doors to learners from all walks of life; major institutes in India putting every class lecture on YouTube in English; LectureFox collating together free university lectures from across the web. Of course not everyone is happy with the way things are going.
In honor of this Saturday's Supermoon, a story from Italo Calvino about a time the moon was even closer. And a short film based on the story. (Hebrew w/ English subtitles)
"Of the four strokes swum in competition, butterfly is almost universally regarded as more exhausting than freestyle, breaststroke or backstroke. And therein lies its allure. In an age of ultramarathons, Ironman triathlons and crowds chugging up Mount Everest, long-distance butterfly swimming is becoming a new and less-crowded frontier for fitness fanatics." [more inside]
Voices of the Fallen: the war in the words of the dead-- In letters and journals and e-mails, the war dead live on, their words—urgent, honest, unself-conscious—testament to the realities of combat. What do they have to say to us? ... The result is a window on Iraq we have not had before: the bravery, the fear and the chaos of war, and the loves and hates and dreams and nightmares of the warriors. Things are incredibly busy, then they are not. The Iraqis are welcoming, then they are not. The war is going well, then it is not. The mission makes sense, then it does not. ... (video, audio, email, and text)
Irv Gordon has driven his 1966 Volvo P1800 2,000,000 miles. My current car has gone about 140,000 miles and is just now "broken in". Our last one had was retired at 266,000 miles. How many miles do you expect to put on your vehicle before you get a new one?
Find the distance between two American telephone exchanges with the Interoffice Mileage Calculator. Find the distance between any two cities in the world with How Far Is It?. The latter also has a full database of American and Canadian towns, so I know that my hometown is 4864 miles from Athens, Greece, and 768 miles from Athens, Georgia.