Melanie Jade Alexandrou

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Should We Learn To Write Cursive? An Education Expert Weighs In

"Why do we have to learn how to do something we’ll never use in the real world?"<p>I’ve always thought that if I learned anything from cursive lessons in elementary school, it was the art of persuasion.<p>When my second grade teacher, Mrs. Hasselhoff, let me and my fellow students know that it was time …

June 30th Gets a Leap Second Because Earth's Rotation is Slowing Down

If you’re the sort of person who lives by the motto that every second counts, next week, you get to put your money where your mouth is. That’s …

Earth Science

Beastly Verse: From Lewis Carroll to William Blake, Beloved Poems About Animals in Vibrant and Unusual Illustrations

“Stories are a meal. But poetry is a glass of water, perhaps even a single drop that will save your life.”<p>Half a century after <i>Beastly Boys and Ghastly Girls</i>, legendary artist Tomi Ungerer’s illustrated compendium of famous authors’ verses about brothers and sisters, another singular illustrator of …

Let Them Eat Cake

Ten-layer cakes. Intergalactic chocolate. Cheesecake push-pops. Baking festivals and DJ’s dessert degustations. A new generation of young bakers is …

Placards of earthly delight: Vera Chytilová’s film posters | Sight & Sound

<i>Web exclusive</i><p>As Michael Brooke writes in the April 2015 issue of Sight & Sound, Věra Chytilová’s films are “mercurial, energetic and instinctively …

John Waters at Williams festival: 'Trash and camp just don't cut it anymore'

“Welcome to the John Waters Massacre!”<p>So it was that John Waters, with typically provocative aplomb, announced his presence at the Tennessee Williams New Orleans Literary Festival. The dark blue stripes that amplified his gold blazer were the only visual distraction on stage at Canal Street’s Joy …

Uncommon Ground: a word-lover's guide to the British landscape

<b>Clitter/Clatter</b><p><b>Related terms: tor, scree, talus</b><p>Clitter in Devon, clatter in Cornwall - these are the piles of irregular granite boulders that litter and clutter the hillsides around tors. The sculpting of the tors began 280 million years ago, when the vast granite domes of Devon’s and Cornwall’s …

Nineteen Eighty-four: bad good or good bad fiction?

George Orwell is “the supreme mediocrity”. His texts are “lacklustre”. He plays to “the dull and cack-handed gallery”. Nineteen Eighty-four is overrun with “obvious didacticism”. He has “little originality”.<p>But don’t shoot me! I’m just the messenger. Those quotes – as fans of internet flame wars …

‘Adventure Time’: The Trippiest Show on Television

People come to Los Angeles so they can have an experience like Pendleton Ward’s: Two years after arriving, he was about to move into his car. Three …