"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."