Posts by William Holt
With steep tuition making higher education unaffordable for many families, colleges and universities are being pressed to embrace innovative learning tools that can make earning a degree far cheaper. While a four-year bachelor’s degree is still considered an essential ticket into a competitive job market, experts agree that colleges have little choice but to adapt to changing technological and economic realities.
For some colleges, the future includes massive open online courses (MOOCs) that can free up students struggling to balance academics with work and also reach an exponentially greater number of learners. Other institutions reject the digital approach altogether, stressing hands-on experience over more theoretical coursework.
In March, Britain’s Institute for Public Policy Research released a paper on the challenges facing the modern university titled “An Avalanche Is Coming.” The foreboding title sent a blunt message to traditional academic institutions: Move quickly to embrace new technologies, or prepare to become obsolete.
To meet such warnings head-on, an increasing number of high-profile colleges and universities now offer their most popular classes as MOOCs.
When 21-year-old Vanessa Cagno lost out on a spring internship with the boutique marketing firm MKG, she redoubled her efforts.
“I knew that for the summer I had to do something to stand out,” she said. “I specifically got a Twitter for that. I didn’t have a smartphone, so it was a very concerted effort.”
“With anything interesting, I’d make sure to give them a shout-out,” Cagno said.
Now, the senior at Rutgers University School of Business is finishing her summer as MKG’s executive intern. And MKG says her persistent Twitter stalking helped land her the job.
“I didn’t know how powerful social media could be,” Cagno said. “At MKG, they told me that they looked for my application specifically because they had seen me on Twitter.”
While Schepp said he doesn’t have any horror stories, he suggested that more and more people are taking steps to avoid the usual pratfalls.
It's Sunday morning, and for illustrator Travis Millard, it's time to do battle — over pancakes. Armed with squeeze bottles full of batter, the 37-year-old Los Angeles illustrator creates edible artwork right in the griddle — from his favorite Ghostbusters character to the punk bands he listened to as a teenager.
Before wolfing down his works each week, he takes photos and posts them on his Instagram with the hashtag #pancakemorning.
Three thousand miles away in New York, no one watches closer than his buddy, Vice magazine co-founder Gavin McInnes, 43, who's constantly trying to figure out how to one-up Millard.
“It’s becoming almost the only thing I think about all week, which is becoming a little unhealthy,” Millard joked.
On June 16, McInnes tried to top Millard’s pancake drawing of a pocketknife with his griddle-cooked rendering of a sword. On July 21, Millard’s Slimer squared off against McInnes Captain America, while a set of nunchaku went up against the Tapatío hot sauce mascot just a week later.
“I decided I would steal his thunder and beat him at his own game,” he said.
Former President Bill Clinton and ex-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joined New York City's political elite on Thursday to mourn the death of Bill Lynch, the political consultant and activist whom many knew as the "rumpled genius." It was a remarkable show of star power for Lynch, who helped steer Bill Clinton's successful 1992 presidential campaign and helped elect New York City's first black mayor. Speaking together before a packed audience of mourners at Manhattan's Riverside Church, both Clintons recalled the strategist fondly and noted that their ties to Lynch went back more than two decades.
"If you heard Bill Lynch's voice only once, you would remember it," said Hillary Clinton. "If you heard that gravelly sound, you just felt a little better."
"He made history with Mayor Dinkins, he made history bringing our friend Nelson Mandela here, he helped make me president," said Bill Clinton. "But the most important thing he did was help prove that politics could be a noble endeavor."
Sharpton also spoke of Lynch in glowing terms, recalling a lifelong friendship with the political strategist.
Imagine sitting down to a gourmet 12-course meal of pickled Kobe beef, poached halibut and rib eye steak. The first appetizer is a plate of local cheese, followed by ricotta ravioli, shiitake mushrooms, risotto made from wild leeks and French onion soup. For dessert, there’s a French canelé, crack pie and a hazelnut latte to wash it all down.
Now imagine dumping all of this out on your plate in a quavering, gelatinous heap.
Titled “All In One,” this stomach-churning meal-in-a-can is the creation of Chris Godfrey, an art student at Kingston College in London.
Godfrey told Wired that the piece was intended as a humorous commentary on consumer culture, in which shoppers are constantly bombarded with the latest gimmick.
“It’s not a statement on the food industry, so much, nor was it ever made for consumption,” he said.
Godfrey meticulously prepared every course, from the halibut poached in truffle butter to the rib eye steak with grilled mustard greens. He then ran each menu item through a food processor and carefully combined them all with gelatin.
The U.S. has seen a proliferation of meth labs since the early 2000s, and pharmaceutical companies are partly to blame, Mother Jones reports.
According to the magazine, the number of meth sites busted by police has increased 63 percent nationwide since 2007. In Kentucky alone, the number of sites discovered has more than tripled in the same time frame.
The steep rise in production is mostly a result of the “shake-and-bake” or “one-pot” method of cooking meth that gained popularity in the mid-2000s. This simplification of the way that meth is synthesized from pseudoephedrine — a decongestant in popular cold and allergy medicines like Sudafed — meant that meth cookers had all the ingredients they needed with just a handful of cheap, over-the-counter ingredients. Complicated chemistry sets gave way to basic kitchenware, while production shifted to poor, rural America.
Hundreds of revelers flocked to the Manhattan Bridge in New York City on Saturday night for a pop-up electronic dance party hosted by someone who isn’t even old enough to drink, the New York Post reports.
Dubbed “Xandernation,” the event was organized by Brooklyn native Alexander Shlaferman, a 19-year-old New York University dropout who has made a fortune running a multimillion dollar toy company. The party brought roughly 600 people to a pedestrian walkway in the middle of the Manhattan Bridge and was hosted without a permit.
“What more could you ask for? Everybody else is stuck in a little box they call a New York City club,” Shlaferman told the Post. “We had people out in the open air for free, having the time of their life.”
According to the Post, the party started around 9 p.m. on Saturday and lasted almost three hours. Soon after 12:30 a.m. on Sunday, police from Brooklyn’s 84 th Precinct arrived and took Shlaferman and two other organizers into custody.
“The sergeant said he’s never seen anything like that in 15 years,” said Shlaferman. “I told him, ‘Thank you.’"
A top salesman at Lacoste claims he was fired for posting a photo of his paycheck to Instagram, Gothamist reports.
While working at the clothing company’s flagship store in New York City, Wade Groom says he became the brand’s top seller in the United States. Still, he says in the Gothamist story, his $15-an-hour salary and 3 percent commission wasn’t enough to support his family.
“I was making as much as $1,500 a week selling shirts, but I’m not able to give my kids a better life, even if I’m working my butt off,” Groom told Gothamist. “I’ve got twins that are four years old, and I don’t make enough money to save any. This is what we accept in New York City.”
Groom, who lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two children, posted the image of his paycheck a few weeks ago. On July 31, his manager took him off the floor for a fateful conference call.
According to Groom, that possibility never even occurred to him when he posted the photo.
"Star Trek" actor and gay rights advocate George Takei has signed an online petition to move the 2014 Winter Olympics from Sochi, Russia, to Vancouver, Canada.
The petition, started by the organization Equality For All, has proposed Vancouver as an alternative to Sochi in light of Russia’s increasingly oppressive treatment of gays, both legally and culturally.
“Discrimination in any form is a blight upon the Winter Olympics, and it must not be tolerated,” wrote Takei on his blog. “Russia’s cynical and deplorable actions against the LGBT community have given license to hate groups within its borders to act with violence and impunity against a group, based solely on whom they were born to love.”
According to Takei, the best option would be to move the Winter Olympics to Vancouver, which hosted the games in 2010.
Women’s rights activist Sandra Fluke officially endorsed New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn as the city’s next mayor on Tuesday, hoping to bolster support among women voters for the sole female candidate in the field.
“My decision to endorse her is based not only on what she’s done for women, but on many aspects of her record as a leader and on the fact that she has the experience and the seriousness of purpose to be a leader for New York City,” said Fluke at an event in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood. “Having Chris as the next mayor is going to send such a strong message to girls and women throughout New York City.”
Fluke — whom Quinn referred to as “a tremendous power of example for all of us” and “one of America’s great feminist leaders” — first came to national attention as a Georgetown University law student in February 2012, when she argued at a congressional hearing that birth control should be covered by insurance policies.
Quinn raised the controversy on Tuesday, saying that Fluke was “viciously attacked in a horribly sexist way” and bravely stood up for women when she could have easily returned to private life.