Fun Friday Links: Cursive is Dead, Galactic Poetry, and How the Internet Can Help You Stop Wasting Time (on the Internet)
Welcome to Conspire’s Super Happy Fun Friday Link Time, a weekly collection of cool discoveries from around the Web. Most times the goal is to get you thinking differently about communication, collaboration, culture, and life in general. Other times, LOLCAT ATTACK! Submissions are welcome, and you can send them to firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration.
Technology is Killing Personal Calligraphy
In an age where the average person’s hand will start to burn after too many minutes writing with, you know, an actual pen, it’s easy to forget why we all ever learned cursive in the first place. Still, I remember a pretty intense sense of accomplishment and pride when my second grade class got the news that we were about to go from choppy scribblers to elegant, grown-up writers. I was dead-set on having a fancy signature like my mother’s, and so I did; that is, until I actually became an adult, replaced penning with typing, and all of my beautiful script fell into chaos.
Recently, cursive writing was removed from the many requirements put forth in the nation’s Core State Standards, which 45 states have already put in place, and the omission caused a bit of an uproar. From potentially derailed cognitive benefits to the death of a national rite of passage, the arguments for maintaining the requirement are many. Says occupational therapist Suzanne Asherson:
“In today’s world … children need to know how to both use keyboarding to type, as well as being able to pick up a pencil or a pen and be able to write. Both skills are necessary and should be taught to our children in order to have functional adults who are efficient in their jobs and in the real world.”
What do you think?
Mars in 5/7/5
This November, NASA is sending their MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN) spacecraft to the red planet, and it’s going to be quite poetic. Literally — from May through July of this year, over 12,530 people submitted haikus to the organization in the hopes that their work would get to hitchhike into space. Five pieces were selected for the honor. You can read the winning entries here, but below is my personal favorite:
“It’s funny, they named
Mars after the God of War
Have a look at Earth.”
Distracting Internet is Distracting (But it Doesn’t Have to Be)
In the same way that some people put padlocks on their refrigerators or hide their cigarettes in a rarely-perused junk drawer, the Internet has some checks that you can put in place when the web simply proves to be too much for your willpower. Whatever your guilty pleasure — from nonsense sites to weekend work, gratuitous tab use or a fear of never seeing that one video ever again if you don’t watch it right now — the Internet has apps to help you cut that ish out. Spoiler — I am guilty of all of these things, and should probably get on board with every single one of these:
- Nanny for Google Chrome (to keep you away from Buzzfeed et al.)
- Mac Freedom (for you Appleheads that are addicted to working while “relaxing”)
- Controlled Multi-Tab Browsing (this one’s pretty obvious)
- Pocket (kind of like a better Bookmarks bar)