Weekly Roundup

March 28, 2014

Here are a few stories from this week that deserve notice:

* A teenager came up with a scientific study to show how state and federal governments in the U.S. could save $400 million a year: change fonts. He showed how moving to the Garamond font would save lots of costly ink. I have taught my students that fonts communicate different meanings (even when the words do not change). Apparently part of that message for lighter fonts like Garmond could be efficiency.

* The Washington Post offered a good piece noting the importance of referring to "Ukraine" instead of "the Ukraine." President Barack Obama used the latter some, but rightly is shifting his language to the former. Words matter and so we must be careful about which ones we use.

* The New York Times review of the movie Noah ends with a great view warning:

"Noah" is rated PG-13 (Parents strongly cautioned). "And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and only Noah remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark."
Using a biblical passage to quickly explain why the film is rated PG-13 is a great reminder why this story might not be all that great to use for little kids. Instead of reducing this and other biblical stories to cute little stories (often with cute animals), perhaps we should pay attention to the complexity and messiness of the stories.

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