Briefly Noted for September 24, 2009

New Anglo-Saxon Finds: The "Staffordshire Hoard" — The History Today blog has an account of the recent archaeological finds in Staffordshire, England. The site appears to contain the largest cache of Anglo-Saxon gold ever found.

Study Finds Students Write Good — Jim Porter at AIMS has a good summary of the Stanford Study of Writing (by way of Wired Magazine), which found that although digital technology is changing students’ writing styles, it’s not necessarily changing them for the worse.

Interview with NEH’s New Chairman — I just finished listening to an Inside Higher Ed audio interview [.mp3] with Jim Leach, the new chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities. A former memeber of Congress from Iowa, Leach emphasized global perspectives, open access, and NEH’s political independence as priorities for NEH moving forward under the new administration.

Umberto Eco on the "Lost Art of Handwriting" — Writing in the Guardian, Umberto Eco waxes philosophical about the decline of handwriting among young people (including yours truly, if I can still call myself young.) Refreshingly, he dates the decline not to the advent of the computer or text message, but to the invention of the ballpoint pen.

57 College Presidents Endorse Open Access — An open letter [.pdf] signed by fifty-seven college presidents calls on Congress to pass the Federal Research Access Act of 2009, reports Inside Higher Ed. The legislation would require peer-reviewed journals publishing the results of much, if not most, federally funded research to make that research freely available on the web within six months of publication.

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