Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Dark Kingdom: The Dragon King

A student has pointed me to the Sci-Fi channel's Dark Kingdom: The Dragon King, based on the Nibelung legends, primarily, it seems, off the Middle High German Nibelungenlied, which is the most famous and the one used by Wagner. I'm partial to the Völsunga saga and the earlier poems that make up the The Niflung Cycle of the Poetic Edda.

See also Ring of the Nibelungs.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England Database

The Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England (PASE) was funded for five years (2000-4) by the AHRB (now the AHRC). The on-line publication is built round a relational database comprising a structured register of persons that includes, in principle, every recorded individual who lived in, or was closely connected with, Anglo-Saxon England from 597 to 1042.

Memes in Cognitive Science: An Amazon Listmania List

While checking out Cognition and Reality: Principles and Implications of Cognitive
, which Jim Kalmbach recommended to me, I came across this listmania list Memes in Cognitive Science. While studying cognitive science can earn one snarky comments from some in composition studies, cognitive studies today is vastly different than it was in the 1970s and we shouldn't, we can't, ignore it, and we'll never understand the canon of memory without it.

Link Roundup

When I first read Mark Bauerlein's attack on last week's CCCC, I thought it was a joke. It reads som much like the standard bash-the-MLA fare that comes up year after year that I found it hard to take seriously. It seems, however, that Bauerlein is the type who would write those bash-the-MLA pieces. Anyway, Donna's response is by far the best I've seen.

Educational Weblogs offers a link to Evoca, a free audio-hosting social software site. You can upload audio via phone, PC mic, or Skype.

Educational Weblog cites Mashable* as the source for the Evoca link. I mention Mashable* here as I've not seen it before and it looks like a good source for new Web 2.0 resources.

And ArchaeoBlog points to a story about a recently discovered 2,500-year-old sarcophagus painted with scenes from the Iliad and Odyssey.

Monday, March 20, 2006

CFP: 25 Years of Reading and Misreading Orality and Literacy (April 15 2006; CCCC 2007)

2007 CCCC Convention: Call for Proposals

25 Years of Reading and Misreading Orality and Literacy

This session is intended to mark the 25th anniversary of the publication of Ong's Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word by exploring the ways the text has been read and misread by those working in the fields of composition studies, rhetoric, literacy studies, orality-literacy studies, and communication studies. Suggested topics include but not limited to considerations of its reception and its influence, reflections on reading and rereading the text over time, its connection to Ong's other works and the related work of others, as well as extensions, critiques, contextualization of its ideas.

Please send inquiries and 1-page abstracts by April 15, 2006 to John Paul Walter (walterj [at] slu [dot] edu).
If you or someone you know may be interested in participating, I'm more than happy to discuss suggested topics and exchange ideas as the proposals are being drafted.

I've set the submission deadline early enough (April 15) so that if I can't include someone's paper, they'll have more than enough time to work up and submit another proposal to the conference if they wish.

Cross posted to Notes from the Walter J. Ong Archive.

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Sunday, March 19, 2006

Electronic Textual Editing Pre-print Version

While at MLA, I saw an advert -- a poster, really -- for the forthcoming collection Electronic Textual Editing, to be published in April by the MLA and edited by John Unsworth, Katherine O'Brien O'Keeffe, and Lou Burnard. Pre-print versions of the entire collection is available from the Text Encoding Initiative Consortium at

Via The Stoa Consortium

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It's CCCC + Computers!

The 5th C SIG

Friday, March 24, 6:30 - 7:30 PM
Salon 5, 3rd Floor, Palmer House

Sponsored by the CCCC Committee on Computers in Composition and Communication.

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Friday, March 17, 2006

Junicode 0.6.7 Now at Sourceforge

Peter Baker has moved Junicode to According to an email he sent to the Digital Medievalist list, recent additions to Junicode 0.6.7 "include characters in all styles for the transliteration of medieval Arabic and characters and OpenType features to support African languages."

Junicode (short for Junius-Unicode) is a Unicode font for medievalists. The current version is a beta; the selection of characters and the arrangement of the Private Use Area are subject to change. Your comments, suggestions and bug reports will be a great help to me as I complete the project.

Junicode currently contains 1768 characters in the regular style (the italic, bold and bold italic styles are less complete). It implements these Unicode ranges completely:

* Basic Latin
* Latin 1 Supplement
* Latin Extended A
* Latin Extended B
* IPA Extensions
* Spacing Modifier Letters
* Combining Diacritical Marks
* Runic
* Phonetic Extensions
* Latin Extended Additional
* Number Forms
* Enclosed Alphanumerics
[Read more.]
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Thursday, March 16, 2006

Orality and Literacy at 25 Update

I got 11 proposals for my planned session for MLA 2006. I'm pleased with all of them, and deciding which three to accept is proving quite a task. This is the sixth or seventh conference panel I've put together using an open call for papers, and while I've had more papers to choose from once or twice, I've never had so many papers I want to accept. We still have to see if MLA will accept the panel, but even if they don't, just seeing what people are doing has been worth it.

But with the great response I've had, I am going to try to organize "25 Years of Reading and Misreading Orality and Literacy" for CCCC 2007 and "Orality and Literacy in the Digital Age" for Computers and Writing 2007. I'll put the CCCC CFP out soon (over the weekend, I hope), and the CW 2007 CFP after the formal Computers and Writing 2007 conference CFP comes out.

I'll post more information about all the sessions as I have it.

Cross-posted to Notes from the Walter J. Ong Archive.

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U.S. Memory Champion Relates Competitive Secrets (NPR)

Talk of the Nation, March 14, 2006 · Freelance writer Joshua Foer talks about his first place win at the U.S. Memory Championship in New York this past weekend. Foer says centuries-old memory techniques are the key to beating the competition. [Listen]
I have some comments on this piece, but will need to come back to it after I listen a few more times.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Freyja: Oct. 4, 1994 - March 13, 2006

Freyja, a cat Freyja never got along well with the kittens Monteigh and Minnie, siblings we got in 2000. She put up with them, sometimes, but, eventually, she stopped coming upstairs at night to sleep. She would meet us in the morning, usually on the stairs, and would follow us into the kitchen. One of her favorite spots was the garden window above the kitchen sink, and we'd feed her breakfast there before we'd make breakfast for ourselves. This morning, there was no one to great me as I went downstairs, and the window was all too empty.

We brought her home from the vet last Friday with all the gear to treat feline chronic renal failure. She responded to the initial treatment, so we had hopes that she would remain with us for some time to come. We weren't that lucky.

She was my first cat.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

"Brain activity that tells how well your memory will work in advance"

Via CogNews:
Scientists can now predict memory of an event before it even happens. A team at UCL (University College London) can now tell how well memory will serve us before we have seen what we will remember. Scans of brain activity, published online in the journal Nature "Neuroscience," indicate that the brain can actually get into the *right frame of mind* to store new information and that we perform at our best if the brain is active not only at the moment we get new information but also in the seconds before.

Dr Leun Otten from UCL Psychology and the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, who led the research project, said: "It sounds a bit like clairvoyance in the sense that we're able to predict whether someone will remember a word before they even see it. That's really new - scientists knew that brain activity changes as you store things into memory but now we have found brain activity that tells how well your memory will work in advance." [Read more.]

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Link Roundup: Sound, a Bibliographic Tool, and ME Texts

The Rhetoric and Composition Sound Archives is an organization dedicated to "collection, production, and preservation of audio, visual, and print interviews that document the history of rhetoric and composition studies." The archives are hosted by Texas Christian University. (Via WPA-L)

Created by one of the founders of Blogger is Odeo, an audio sharing site. (Via WPA-L)

Citation/Bibliography Resource
Recommended on the Digital Medievalist list is Wikindx, a free, cross-platform, open source bibliographic tool (stores quotations, paraphrases and notes as well as citations), that can run on personal computers or on a web server. (Via dm-l)

Middle English Texts
University of Michigan's Corpus of Middle English Prose and Verse has expanded from 62 to 146 texts. (Via ChaucerNet)