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Coursekit Raises $5 M. from Joel Spolsky, David Tisch, IA Ventures | Betabeat — News, gossip and intel from Silicon Alley 2.0.

by Scott Smith

The startup, founded by Wharton dropout Jospeh Cohen, hopes to take on the billion dollar incumbent, Blackboard, by selling direct to professors and bypassing the red tape and slow sales cycle of academic IT departments. Blackboard rakes in $400 million of the $500 million spent on this type of software per year, Mr. Cohen said, but Coursekit isn’t interested in that money. “Our business model is not to compete with Blackboard by selling software,” Mr. Cohen told Betabeat. “It’s to create large audiences of students and teachers that we can then leverage for all sorts of things.

Joel’s an Angel now. Wow.

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Physicists Seek To Lose The Lecture As Teaching Tool : NPR

by Scott Smith

Mazur’s physics class is now different. Rather than lecturing, he makes his students do most of the talking.

At a recent class, the students — nearly 100 of them — are in small groups discussing a question. Three possible answers to the question are projected on a screen. Before the students start talking with one another, they use a mobile device to vote for their answer. Only 29 percent got it right. After talking for a few minutes, Mazur tells them to answer the question again.

This time, 62 percent of the students get the question right. Next, Mazur leads a discussion about the reasoning behind the answer. The process then begins again with a new question. This is a method Mazur calls “peer Instruction.” He now teaches all of his classes this way.

A Year of Disappointment for Hollywood – NYTimes.com

by Scott Smith

The good news for Hollywood is that the first quarter of 2012 looks much stronger than the same period this year, when studios had little to generate audience excitement.

Warner has two sequels — “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” and “Wrath of the Titans,” while Sony has a prominent remake in “21 Jump Street.” Disney will re-release “Beauty and the Beast” in 3-D, followed by Fox’s 3-D re-release of “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace.” And Lionsgate will weigh in with its highly anticipated “The Hunger Games.”

“It’s an extremely strong hand for the industry to play,” Mr. Fellman said.

That Q1 in 2012 reminds me why I didn’t see any movies last year. Hollywood really is just that dumb.

Philip Greenspun’s Weblog » Is the continued existence of involuntarily single people proof that online dating is a failure?

by Scott Smith

[One obvious flaw in online dating/personal ads is that people should not be allowed to describe themselves. What difference does it make what a person thinks of himself if others don’t share that view? That’s why I wrote a personal ad for a friend (see http://philip.greenspun.com/romance/clarissa/ ) a few years ago. The ad worked and she celebrated her first wedding anniversary last summer.]

Why I love following Philip Greenspun.

LD OnLine: The world’s leading website on learning disabilities and ADHD

by Robinson

Media_httpwwwldonline_ranjn

good resource.

Assistive technology for disabilities; dyslexia, dyscalculia, RSI, VI

by Robinson

The leading web site and online shop for: hardware • software • gadgets • and other technologies

For people with: dyslexia, dyscalculia, dyspraxia, visual impairments, RSI and other disabilities.

Help • Information • Advice • Comparisons • Reviews • Research • Training

There are some links for downloading free fonts that are designed to help people with dyslexia as well as those with other visual impairments. Lots of articles on reading issues.

And that’s why you should learn to pick your battles. — TheBloggess.com

by Scott Smith

So he loaded it onto a trolley, but Beyoncé was surprisingly unstable, and the giant 5 foot metal chicken crashed over onto the floor.  And Laura and I were all “CHICKEN DOWN!  CLEAN-UP IN AISLE 3″ but he didn’t laugh.  Then the manager came to see what was causing all the commotion, and that’s when he found the very-conservative salesman unhappily struggling to right an enthusiastically pointy chicken which was almost as tall as he was.  The salesman was having a hard time, and he told everyone to stand back “because this chicken will cut you“, and at first I thought he meant it as a threat, like “That chicken has a shiv”, but turns out he just meant that all the chickens’ ends were sharp and rusty.  It was awesome, and Laura and I agreed that even if we got tetanus, this chicken had already paid for himself even before we got it in her truck.

Bill Simmons can’t believe the Lakers are no long the hot ticket in Los Angeles – Grantland

by Scott Smith

The best thing about following sports? When the stars align and your team wins a championship. The second-best thing? Anticipation. Having a quality team, knowing it’s headed someplace, dreaming about the possibilities. Staring at the schedule, circling games, knowing that something like 50 of your next 150 nights are going to be a blast. Glancing at the clock at 3:30 in the afternoon and saying, “Four more hours.” Standing in front of your seat 20 minutes before tipoff, watching warm-ups, feeling that buzz, feeling those goose bumps slowly form on your arms.

Louis C.K.: The Next Steve Jobs Will Be A Chick | Fast Company

by Scott Smith

I myself have two daughters, a 9-year-old and a 6-year-old, and I’ve learned from those girls how to be a better man. If I’d had a boy, then there’d be two shitty versions of me. The last thing I need to do is fail twice with two different people: me and my son. But I benefit from an uncomplicated relationship with my daughters–I get to observe how great they are. I’m always learning from them, and they are well-mannered with far better living habits than I have. When I get up in the morning, for instance, they’re already dressed, with their teeth brushed and looking nice. I’m not capable of any of that.

Louis C.K. Reflects On ‘Louie,’ Loss, Love And Life : NPR

by Scott Smith

On emails from people who saw some of his clean stand-up

“I get a lot of email from people saying, ‘I saw something you did on TV that was clean.’ Like I did this clip on Conan that went viral that everything is amazing and no one is happy, and it just was about appreciating what the world is like and not grousing about it. And it got really popular with Christian groups. And I heard that a lot of pastors would play it before their services and stuff. So a lot of people that saw it would go to my website and be horrified by everything else that I say.