Do Writing Programs Actually Make Good Writers Worse?

“Can good writing truly be taught? Is the traditional workshop structure—a writer stays silent while her peers lay bare her pages—good pedagogy or licensed cruelty? What people, and what size bank accounts, are allowed safe passage through exclusive academic programs? And, more importantly, what effect do all these factors have on the writer herself?” – The Walrus

How ‘The Most Complex Archaeological Rescue Mission Of All Time’ Saved The 3,200-Year-Old Temples Of Abu Simbel

Egyptian President Nasser’s Aswan Dam project involved flooding an area full of ancient monuments, including Ramses II’s famous temple complex at Abu Simbel. So, in 1960, UNESCO and the Egyptian government organized a massive international project to move the monuments beyond the reach of the floodwaters. – National Geographic History

The ‘Scrubber Bar’ Changes Everything About Listening To Music

That line at the bottom of the screen of a digital music player that shows the length of the recording at the right and has a cursor showing how far along you are? That’s the scrubber bar. And you can use your mouse on that cursor to skip ahead or behind to any particular point in the recording. That gives a listener control over the time element of a piece of music — and, music being a time-based art form, this (though we may not realize it) completely changes a listener’s relationship to music. Brandon Lincoln Snyder digs into that change. – NewMusicBox

Social Workers Are Joining The Staffs Of Some U.S. Public Libraries

With public libraries open to the entire public, librarians in recent years have been seeing needs for services that their MLS programs didn’t train them to provide — from aiding job seekers to assisting growing numbers of people experiencing homelessness to treating drug overdoses. So some library systems have begun hiring resident social workers, who say that the lack of any stigma around going to a library makes it easier for people who need their help to ask for it. – NPR

What Is That Odd Ungrammatical Language People Are Using On The Internet?

Today, thanks to the development of autocorrect, we could all easily write “correctly,” and yet, as Gretchen McCulloch notes, we don’t. We override automatic capitalization when our phones provide it, if it doesn’t suit our purposes. We purposely “misspell” and “misuse” words, ignore and overuse punctuation marks, and modify the basic rules of grammar. Hell, we even retype a keyboard smash (like “asdjhfksaskd,” which I just typed three times) if it appears insufficiently smashy. – The Baffler

‘Russian Ark’ Director Closes His Film Foundation, Citing Hostility From Putin’s Government

Alexander Sokurov (Russian Ark, Faust, Father and Son, Mother and Son) set up the Primer Intonatsii (Example of Intonation) foundation in 2013 to aid young Russian filmmakers. But the organization has had trouble getting and maintaining funding and suffered what Sokurov called “unfriendliness and aggressiveness,” including an embezzlement investigation, from Russia’s Ministry of Culture. (Yes, Sokurov is a critic of Vladimir Putin.) – The Hollywood Reporter

These Two Guys Mean To Become The Kings Of Temporary Theatre Venues

Tristan Baker and Oliver Royds first became business partners in 2015, when they designed and built the pop-up theatre in London that housed Phyllida Lloyd’s all-female Shakespeare trilogy and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights. “Out of that experience came Troubadour Theatres, their new company … [which has] developed a reusable, modular construction kit that can turn an empty site into a huge temporary auditorium in 12 weeks.” – The Stage