The real post--A-bomb Hiroshima, a 1st person acct 60 yrs late

After the physicality of an event in time all else is interpretation. And, journalists are not necessarily any better than any other human at defining boundaries. How different would our understanding of Vietnam if we'd had only embedded reporting upon which to rely. It's 60 years later til we can read 1st hand accts, and only recently has other scholarship begun to re-define the textbook account of what happened. A slightly shorter summary of the matter can be found in the Japan Times "Pair want reporter's Pulitzer for '45 story on A-bomb revoked". Good luck @ finding the finally released text. I can find selections of it in Google Cache. George Weller's "A Nagasaki Report": Parts 1, 2, 3, 4,


The clarity of simple thinking!

I love reading/hearing/seeing Alan Kay!

Today, science (a concern with what is real) is mixed with mathematics (a concern with what is true) is mixed with engineering (a concern with how something can be made). Each worker in each of these fields also partly works in the other two. Each field has a different temperament associated with it: mathematicians tend to be idealists, scientists realists, and engineers pragmatists. And each finds themselves temporarily adopting a borrowed temperament when they use the other areas to aid advances in the one they most love.
So saith the man in the foreword to Mark Guzdial's Squeak: Object-Oriented Design With Multimedia Applications, (Prentice-Hall, 2001).

"Do what you love, forget the money"


Can One Be Smart Enough about Blogging?

Another unintended consequence of techne too intertwined in our lives? Or, another to file under eth-tech @ del.icio.us. From TVC Alert Research News, 7 September 2005:
(2 Sep) In this follow-up column, Ivan Tribble offers cautious advice to bloggers, who are also seeking new employment, especially in an academic environment. He continues to argue that it's especially important for bloggers to 'be careful [about] what you say.' SEE: Bloggers Need Not Apply Chronicle of Higher Education, 8 July 2005 (Tribble's original article) RELATED: Why I Blog Under My Own Name (A University of Maryland professor's response to Tribble's original article)
Also, see other interesting leads @ TVC Alert on Microsoft suing the European Commission & the on-going debate with regard to copyright and the Google library program.


political doublespeak

Reality re-defined by the power of language? Try to understand better and Google it—define:doublespeak!
BBC News [UK] August 30th, 2005 Families of Israeli Arabs shot dead on a bus in Galilee are not considered terrorism victims because their killer was Jewish, the defence ministry says. Under Israeli law, only attacks by "enemies of Israel" are considered terrorism, the ministry said. The ruling means families of the four victims will not be entitled to the lifelong monthly payments given to Israeli victims of Palestinian attacks. The ministry says it has offered them an unspecified one-off payment. The Arabs were killed by a 19-year-old Israeli army deserter who was thought to be trying to derail the evacuation of Jewish settlements in Gaza.
Courtesy of bedouin @ News From Babylon.


Must blobbing heads and clueless commentators annoy!!!

Ahhh, nothing like another disaster whose magnitude forces me to crawl out from my cave and actually want to see news coverage. But, it's mere moments before I need to run screaming far away from reality because (1) OK, this ain't brain surgery, to quote a former professor and (2) could I have some actual analysis of why the circumstances are what they are. Is that too much to ask? I listened to one news commentator/anchor ask some question about whether the New Orleans residents in the SuperDome were allowed to go outside. Now, I suppose it could have been an innocent query as opposed a value-laden message suggesting that those in question were either prisoners or somehow lost their right to exercise their freedom to move. But there is hope tonite with PBS's NOW's "Katrina: Why the Devastation Was So Bad" an update to a 2002 piece where it took on just such a question what happens when a big hurricane hits the Gulf coast. The original reporter, NPR's Daniel Zwerdling , will be in the house. (Props to truthout.org for the data bit.)
    PBS Airdate: Friday 02 September 2005 at 9:00 p.m. on PBS. 
(Check local listings at http://www.pbs.org/now/sched.html.)
What you don't know about Katrina and the Gulf Coast. NOW investigates why the devastation was so bad. With the death toll rising and the damage estimates in the billions, NOW reports on why New Orleans was virtually defenseless against hurricane Katrina. ...explores how one of the biggest civil engineering projects in US history-the levying of the Mississippi River-set off an environmental chain reaction that helped destroy the natural barrier protecting New Orleans from catastrophic storms.
Aside from the fact that I consider W. the best worse case example of a legacy child and mediocrity, I can only fantasize that some good will emerge from the cascade of disasters now embodied in the latest miasma -- Katrina's aftermath; the good would occur if somehow, some way more people could see fit to heep more blame on W. What can I say, I want a leader who sees a global community; the good leader owns the current situation as well as the detritus and barnacles along for the ride -- even if he knows they are external to his control and admininstration. Instead the best that W. has to offer is a tautalogy: well those who are now suffering in New Orleans are poor are Brown; that's why they are suffering. They are what they are. So I've been incredibly reductionist but it's not that far off the mark. And, the science writer for the Houston Chronicle wrote on Dec. 1, 2001:
"New Orleans is sinking. "And its main buffer from a hurricane, the protective Missis sippi River delta, is quickly eroding away, leaving the historic city perilously close to disaster. ... "So vulnerable, in fact, that earlier this year the Federal Emergency Management Agency ranked the potential damage to New Orleans as among the three likeliest, most catastrophic disasters facing this country." The other two were an earthquake in San Francisco and a "terrorist attack on New York City."


Culturally Situated Design Tools: teaching math through culture

Very cool if you're into elementary math and relating geoblocks/patterns to different ethnicities.


Gifted males and the "Bartleby Syndrome"

Because, I ask you -- can we ever know enough about genius and gender?


"Hyena People of Nigeria"

Pieter Hugo's photo series shows that there are more than one way to live tough.



OK, watching Weird USA last nite/this morning, I learned the existence of a word of which I'd never heard - "melungeon" - whose meaning seems, to me, a more specific type of mulatto. Googling for a definition brings up a lone Wikipedia entry. Yet another example of serendipity?
  • In May 2005, while looking for who all might be of mixed Japanese-black ancestry because of international nite @ Jordan's school, I bumped into a list of largely known, or safely-guessed-at terms at MixedFolks.com.
  • I have this unattached interest in "invisible" ethnic minorities such as Japan's Burakumin.
All of which connect to my fascination w/ linguistic anomalies as in foreign accent syndrome, regionalisms and translation idiosyncracies as described in "Minority Wonders" and "Lost in Translation".


Finding comics on the brain

First, I bumped into the amusing "Whatever happened to Speedy Gonzalez?" via growabrain: Comics & Cartoons Archives. Then, yet another encounter with Shujaat, from Al-Jazeera; this time in his (?) "Choppers for Food Programme" , again, courtesy of growabrain. Encountered some Middle East heroes in AK Comics, then with some time to spare, wandered over to Beautiful Stories for Ugly Children.


girls' development as explained in "the pizza story"

My interactions w/the K-4 set makes me curious as to what does happen @ schools. I recall some of what I think I wasn't taught @ school & much of what I merely imbibed in the home of one, often, angry black woman. My most vivid memory is of a conversation w/her (aka my mom), my brother (approx. 20 yrs my senior) about the solution to South Africa was arming legions of us folk and aiding in an actual revolution. Child development is a mecurial transformation on so many levels. From a review of Tomboys! Feisty Girls and Spirited Women, we learn:
New York University professor Carol Gilligan, author of In A Different Voice, acts as a talking head. She emphasizes socialization and other factors that threaten a girl's development. In a pithy synopsis, Gilligan retells what's known as "the pizza story." She says, "Ask a 11 year-old girl what she wants on her pizza and she'll say, 'Peppers and onions.' Ask a 13 year-old girl what she wants on her pizza and she'll say, 'I don't know.' Ask a 15 year-old girl what she wants on her pizza and she'll say, 'Whatever you want.'"

MBTA riders in search of better outcomes

And, "MBTA resolves to coordinate trains" [May 2005].
Pat of Plymouth says that after rushing home from caring for her 93 year-old mother in Pennsylvania to tend to her hospitalized husband, she got the boot from a Plymouth & Brockton bus. She wasn't loud or drunk or throwing food. She was $2.13 short on her $16 one-way fare.



no 2004 "Patterns of Global Terrorism" from State

When is no news not good news? When the State Department decides to stop publishing an annual report on international terrorism--especially when combined with the US' top terrorism center saying that were more terrorist attacks in 2004 than in any year since 1985, the first year the publication covered.
The annual "Patterns of Global Terrorism" report is submitted in compliance with Title 22 of the United States Code, Section 2656f(a), which requires the Department of State to provide Congress a full and complete annual report on terrorism for those countries and groups meeting the criteria of Section (a)(1) and (2) of the Act.


End of an Era? Adobe's buying Macromedia

I've not found anyone cheering yet but...many people blown away about the cognitive effect. Does anyone else remember the MA-based Allaire? Travel back to January 17, 2001: "The outlook for the next fiscal year is a little muddier as [Macromedia] today announced the purchase of Web applications platform developer Allaire (Nasdaq: ALLR), which owns the HomeSite webpage editor and the ColdFusion application server for developing scalable e-business software." (Courtesy of the Motley Fools.) Going forth to 2002, we have this commentary, courtesy of evolt.org posting:
Macromedia started out as a developer of animation products for the CD-ROM world only to find that market being quickly replaced by the burgeoning World Wide Web. Their product line was quickly changed to attack this new market. Two of the products it introduced, DreamWeaver and Flash, became the most widely used products in their respective categories. More recently, Macromedia acquired Allaire, which brought with it three important products: HomeSite, ColdFusion, and JRun. HomeSite, like DreamWeaver, was the most widely used product in its category and seemly competed with DreamWeaver. ColdFusion and JRun were both pioneers in the Web application world that had strong followings. These five products effectively guaranteed Macromedia a spot on almost every Web developer’s desktop, and in some cases, their servers as well.
Jeremy Allaire's still around; see a interview from just last week @ Engadget. So who fires the next salvo? Oh, yeah nobody...nobody else left standing but Microsoft. Here's a an alternate history in what couldabeen -- "Will Macromedia Soon Become Micromedia?" from 2003.


The 1st cell phone was a brick!

The DynaTAC8000X weighed 2 pounds See wireless evolution in photo of Rudy Krolopp, lead designer of the first cell phone, sitting with the DynaTAC8000X and Motorola's new Razr cell phone in Schaumburg, Ill. "The brick" weighed 2 pounds, offered just a half-hour of talk time for every recharging and sold for $3,995." And, I'm growsing b/c I didn't get bluetooth w/my Nokia 3120.


Planning as a Criminal Act

Palestine. Pretty much sums it up!!! Read it and think.


City Kid, Country Kid - a lot of the same needs

Harvard PR, but also a good read in "Urban Legends of Rural Schools" which is an interview with Donna San Antonio, a Harvard University School of Education lecturer and author of Adolescent Lives in Transition: How Social Class Influences the Adjustment to Middle School. Regardless of locale, schools still have work to do to:
  • build diverse learning environments and the skills to teach in them
  • invite more parent participation, and
  • integrate experiential and inter-disciplinary methods of teaching and learning

One Conservative Hoping for a Change in Another

As blogs have shown anything is possible with the right amount of force. Fareed Zakaria thinks that the issues of the World Bank might bring about transformation in one Paul Wolfowitz, its quite-criticized incoming president. I'm not familiar with Zakaria but perhaps it's another dynasty in the making. Catch Brit-sounding Bombay-born neo-con/neo-liberal/yadda yadda yadda intellectual's new weekly show called Foreign Exchange on PBS.


"worlds enough and time / to spare an hour to find a rhyme"

Unbeknowst to me, the British Association for the Advancement of Science decided to celebrate national science week and the year of Einstein in verse, based around the work of the famous physicist. The competition was open to the public, and the winners were announced March 17, 2005, with the adult prize going to a versified imaginary conversation with Einstein. The title quote above is from Terry Pratchett who was among the iluminati who offered up paeans. Aside from the adult category, there was a winner for each of the following age brackets: 4-7, 8-11, 12- 15, and 16-18.


The SP2 Nightmare as Personal Stories of Technology Support

Anecdote as confirmation! February 25, 2005 gave rise to "The SP2 Nightmare: Why I Will Never Install Or Buy Again A Microsoft OS - Personal Stories Technology Support".

seeme hearmes & a hearme brain-wiggly

seeme is my del.icio.us tag for film related stuff. And hearme is for audio-related stuff. And brain-wiggly is for the odd, stop-and-say-what stuff. Cinematical's Michael W. Geoghegan has relaunched his weekly movie-review podcast program Reel Reviews Radio. And Cinema Minima is a great movie news site team-blogged by correspondents from around the world. And finally, fina a Harry Potter brain-wiggley in Brad Neely's alternative soundtrack to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.


SF in mono

More leads on things to hear. Lead me to URLs for folks whom I know but whose highlighted writings I'd missed: e.g., Ursula K. Le Guin's "The Fisherwoman's Daughter" and Cory Doctorow's "To Market, To Market: The Branding of Billy Bailey".


design : Massive Change :: liver : ?

Considering how untraveled I am, how did I ever get exposed to culture? How did I ever know anything prior to the Internet? Go think big thoughts after visiting Massive Change: the Future of Global Design, a project by Bruce Mau Design and the Institute without Boundaries, commissioned and organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery. Exhibit now at the Art Gallery of Ontario thru May 2005. [bread crumbs. began with my reading Simson Garfinkle -- journalist, entrepreneur, and international authority on computer security -- on wearable tech.]

It's not always about overscheduling a child...

Depending on where you end up, having a child in BPS can seriously suck and/or demoralize in ways I thought not possible. And Lucy Stone would probably be fine if didn't consider art, music, or exercise a mere enrichment in kindergarten - grade 2 (althought I think the last 2 are available in 3rd grade). So my spirits are lifted when I find that others seek (and find and can afford) solace elsewhere. LA's Punk Rock Kids in the Hall and Cambridge, MA's Jamnastics cause me to pause and think that a solution can be found! Perhaps another visit to one of the kids group lessons at NE Akikikai will re-ignite J's interest. More of a trek, and costlier is Guard Up! in Burlington.

Brain-wigglies when it comes to animals and technology

  • African Elephants text msg more than humans in the US. Who knew? I do not make us these stories up; they just find me! BTW, only 25 percent of Americans use SMS.
  • ...And the Quack-Project lets you learn the the obvious but initially odd fact that animals sound differently across languages. The mere idea is enough to cause you to stop and think; after you get over the initial brain freeze, go forth and buy this fascinating CD and hear just how ducks, horses, pigs, cows, frogs and cockerels are different by languages. Demo for Mac OS X and Windows available for download!
  • Do Duck Dialects Mimick Human Dialects? Not really, but the cockney quack is like a shout and a laugh, whereas the Cornish ducks sound more like they are giggling... Brought to you by the same force behind the Quack-Project Victoria de Rijke, who was originally a primary school teacher.


Feynman-Tufte Principle

Visual display of data should be simple enough to fit on the side of a van. www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/si_05


What is "reading" if it can be said you can read delicious nonsense?

My usual blipverting led me far and wide today but as usual pedagogy seems topmost. Personally, I have no recall of learning how to read. If memory were something to trust, I'd say I was a favor pupil in 1st grade. I attended a traditional public school for the first year and a half whereupon I disembarked and landed at Campus School, a place that was far from typical I imagine. It was what I've learned to call a lab school; as students, we worked at our own pace, had contracts, and one year report cards involved a color code instead of letters. It was the mid-70s. The first book, I recall is a hardcover about the Duke of Windsor and his abdication; I imagine its image and its subject stays with me because it's a book that I defaced, i.e., as a young child I wrote in it. Books have always been major characters in my life. And, now I'm dealing with the mind of a 6 year old as he grows literate, or resists that eventuality. But I had a small victory today when he settled on a Zoobooks about little cats after having subjected me to countless queries as whether he could afford one of a gazillion toys he'd shown me (he'd brought his own money since I'd made it clear the day before that I wouldn't buy him anything--and then purchased a small bag of as many rocks as would fit into it. (Afterwards in the car on the way home from the Children's Museum I even turned it into a math moment with us each guess at the quantity. ) I didn't have to exert much pressure, a mere nudge in pointing out how many toys had broken shortly after purchase; he even baited me and said that he got what I was trying to do--not buy a toy--but he still bought the magazine. One point for the reading team. More often than not, the child and I battle over what is possible. He feigns incomprehension. And, now I realize that I should point out that yes, he may not know a word but he could try decoding it... The power of such a simple idea is re-affirmed with "What is Reading? Decoding and the Jabberwocky's Song. Negotiating with a six year old who claims not to know how to read words I know he knows is a f-t job. Or perhaps R.D. Laing put it plainer, "If I don't know I don't know, I think I know. If I don't know I know, I think I don't know." Trying to be mindful of his perspective. And obsess less. Take a break now and read Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky". Follow it up with "Ladle Rat Rotten Hut: The Story of a Wicket Woof and a Ladle Gull", aka the jabberwocky for kids. And cap it off with english is tough stuff.


Chess & the female mind

Courtesy of WSJ.COM (aka The Wall Street Journal), OpinionJournal introduced me to Susan Polgar--"the pretty, gracious and friendly 35-year-old mother of two boys"-- who just so happens is "currently the top-ranked woman player (and No. 11 overall) in the U.S., and No. 1 among women on the active list (and No. 199 overall) in the world, according to FIDE (Fédération Internationale des Échecs)".

Why Black-Middle Class Youth Are Behind

Do we even count as middle class? Hard to believe. Anyways...even if the income don't make the cut, we exist as "middle class" so...caught a snippet of Dr. Ronald Ferguson, economist and lecturer at Harvard University, on Tony Brown's Journal. The tiny sound bite I awoke to hear (fate intervening?) suggested that we are doing the right thing as parents--talking about nature, not leaving Jordan's education up to the school. And, the summary from C. as to what I missed makes me think him worth further reading!


diy home on the web via .Mac

Scripting Dot Mac by Matthew Russell gives me another something to add to that list-o-things to do! "Recently we compared .Mac to Spymac's Wheel, and in the process provided a good overview of .Mac services. One of the tools missing, especially for those who want to publish web pages on their .Mac account, was server-side scripting. Well, just because it isn't in the package doesn't mean you can't do it. Take a look at this tutorial and see how."


Gotta love the title Bitch. Ph.D.

Hating to begin another day, I bumped into Bitch. Ph.D. over breakfast. There the 02-28 Feminist of the Day is one Mary Lyon, a teacher and activist for the creation of higher institutions of learning for women; the quote of merit--"Nine-tenths of our suffering is caused by others not thinking so much of us as we think they ought."