If you’ve taken or taught a college class in the last decade, you can probably attest to the changes brought about by digital technology. We have so-called “smart classrooms” where the technological interface is front and center; and even when it’s not in the limelight, digital technology is omnipresent.
Subscribe to Matthew Pate RSS feed
The 19th century poet and cultural critic Matthew Arnold once observed, “Culture, then, is a study of perfection, and perfection which insists on becoming something rather than in having something, in an inward condition of the mind and spirit, not in an outward set of circumstances.”
Regular readers of this column might well guess that I’m a fan of the absurd.
As a criminologist, I have seen time and again that the process one is due and the justice one is accorded depend largely on one’s bank account.
Only the truly devoted will recall Prof. Roy Hinkley, but legions remember “the Professor” from the 1960s sitcom Gilligan’s Island. The actor who brought the Professor to life, Russell Johnson, passed away on Jan. 16. He was 89.
My parents just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. In a world that coined the term “starter marriage,” such accomplishments are all-too rare.
The Internet has been described as a kind of “great equalizer” in that it holds the power to give otherwise voiceless masses a platform for public opinion.
Back in 2008, the topic of my Christmas column was the song, Good King Wenceslas. Since its original publication, I’ve only become more fond of the familiar refrain. I’ve collected many versions of the tune, everyone from Mel Tormé — the best version — to the Beatles and REM.
Pete, my best friend from college, used to teasingly call me “the man with a thousand hobbies.” Perhaps “a thousand” overstates it a bit, but I will admit to having a variety of interests. Most of these interests would likely be curious to the uninitiated.
When I was around 17, my father gave me a piece of advice.
As the holiday season creeps closer, I fall prey to the same rush and urges that many people experience in their drive to find just the right Christmas present. It’s all-too easy.
Ayn Rand, the controversial darling of the rightmost extremities in modern politics, once wrote, “Civilization is the progress of a society towards privacy. The savage’s whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men.”
A few years ago I wrote a book chapter on the scandal surrounding silent film star, Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle. The research taught me many things. I learned that Arbuckle was perhaps the first real movie star. He was among the first — if not the very first — actor to write, direct and star in his own films. He was one of the original Keystone Kops. He was a mentor to Buster Keaton, and his million dollar studio contract even predated Charlie Chaplin’s.
This week the New York Times ran an article titled “Sparse Competition and Higher Premiums.” If ever five words could sum up every broken aspect of American health care, those do it perfectly.
Occasionally, I am able to pretend that such things don’t exist, but on a recent sojourn to Ohio, prejudice stared me square in the face.
Without delving too deeply into the politics of the government shutdown, one inescapable fact came to my attention: Some things deemed “non-essential” might need reclassification.
It would be difficult to state with any certainty how many people read this column each week. Even so, I’m pretty sure about the identity of my biggest fan.
In Christopher Hill’s seminal 1940 treatise, “The English Revolution,” he describes the economic and political arrangements of the European feudal era: “By feudalism I mean a form of society in which agriculture is the basis of economy and in which...
As a birthday present, Kathleen — the nice lady who lets me live in her house — took me over to the Mud Island Amphitheater in Memphis to see Steely Dan in concert. I’ve been a fan of The Dan since I was a little kid. Some of my first musical...
Last week the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics released a new report, Measuring the Prevalence of Crime with the National Crime Victimization Survey. The report contains information couched in often complex details, but they...
For nearly 500 million people, the social media leviathan, Facebook, is a part of their daily lives. According to recent research, Facebook’s ability to link us with long-forgotten (and new) “friends” may be bad for our emotional well-being. Led by...
A recent Associated Press report by Katie Zezima, “Dealers now being charged in drug overdose deaths,” details a growing law enforcement trend that bucks the traditional model of drug prosecutions. Citing U.S. Centers for Disease Control statistics...
Survival dictates that we each make thousands of decisions every day. Most are wholly benign with little in the balance. Some are matters of life or death. Some seem benign, but hold life or death consequences. We like to think of ourselves as...
Writing for Wired.com, Roberto Baldwin recently published the article, “Say Goodbye to the Tech Sounds You’ll Never Hear Again.” In it he highlights a number of once-common sounds that many of us will never hear again — and that many younger folks...
“Mashup” is a term in popular music used to describe the blending of elements from two or more different songs. Often DJs will take the vocals from one track and lay them on top of the melody or rhythm from another. Just such a sympathetic...
- Page 1