Friday Roundup: Tidbits from Around the Web

A few bits from here and there that I’ve come upon this week.

1. FluentU and Do It Yourself Language Learning. This company does a clever thing with existing YouTube videos. They wrap them in a player that is tricked out for language learning, and then provide quizzes, exercises etc. I’ve been sort of doing the German ones and it has revived some of my rusty (and not great shakes in the first place) German. They also had a great post about “DIY” German language learning, but applicable to any language, and to other topics.
“How to DIY German: Learn Better Than Ever on Your Own”
The whole flash card thing he mentions seems pretty intriguing (good advice to write the whole sentences, by the way–you can learn a lot of German vocabulary and still not be able to read. German word order and syntax is, um, interesting.)

2. Lady Gaga Goes Normal. NY Mag has an essay about her latest in transgression, Lady G does normcore? Perhaps it started with The Sound of Music?  But even Maria really is a higher form of drag? From Lindsay Zoladz’ article:

“So what I loved most about Lady Gaga was how unapologetically fake she was, especially when she was at her most girlie. (The wigs! The affect! The Alexander McQueen shoes!) The much-needed message that she beamed to the world was that — even if you are a straight, cisgender woman, as she turned out to be — femininity is always a drag act. And so, during her reign, pop stars’ ideas of womanhood mutated into something robotic, grotesque, and unavoidably performative. This leveled the playing field somehow. In the early days of Gaga’s rule, I thought often of a quote from the theorist Mary Russo: “To put on femininity with a vengeance suggests the power of taking it off.”

3. The Onion nails “trigger-free” zones on campus.
Parents Dedicate New College Safe Space In Honor Of Daughter Who Felt Weird In Class Once. Bye-bye philosophy majors!

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