20071228

Classroom Incident Sparks First Amendment Debate - News Story - WISC Madison

Of course, this wanna-be librarian thinks tearing up a book is sacrilege but would I feel threatened by someone ripping pages out of the Bible? Doubtful unless maybe if it had some significant historical import...and I knew that was why said person was desecrating the book. Then, I would consider the act one of terrorism -- to use a much overused word. And that would be equally true for historic books I know to considered sacred or valued by others even if I don't follow or know the belief system.

20071221

Listenin to...



remixes uploaded and created by Dez

20071117

When USB accidents happen

The Risks Digest offers up a scary tale of what your cell phone may be doing to your laptop when you're not looking. Caveat emptor!

20071114

Do you buy meat thinking it's been carbon monoxided?

Regardless, you may want to read ABC News: Hill Debates 'Carbon Monoxide Meat' where you can learn that CO makes meat and fish look fresh indefinitely.
The FDA's David Acheson, who along with other FDA and USDA officials sat at a table covered with various samples of year-old meat that still appears fresh, and said that 'this particular issue is not a safety concern even remotely high on our radar screen.' He added that he believes that most people are aware that meat is packaged with carbon monoxide...

It just makes me wonder what exactly would make this a bad idea to officials; I can only guess their thinking...since it don't kill it's okay for corporations to add whatever they deem necessary to the food web.

20071117 info UPDATE: Even after reading about the scientific merits of the minute levels of CO exposure, I still think it's a slippery slope ... because of unanticipated consequences and strange coincidences. I still want greater assurances ... with regard to actual habits of those increasing numbers at the margins -- on the street, or unsupervised -- along with the unknown animals being fed whatever from who knows where ... ! I understand the need to save the many over the imagined or projected unknowns but recollections of efforts to track down mad cow disease makes me pause and ask do we really ever know what monsters we're creating.

20071101

"If you ask amateurs to act as front-line security personnel, you shouldn't be surprised when you get amateur security"

Fav infosec guru Bruce Schneier clarifies what's important -- and ignored in by most current government attempts to makes "US" safe in Schneier on Security: The War on the Unexpected, which originally appeard in Wired.com.

"the Chemistry Set is toast"

The 12 Angry Men Blog's recalls my own youth with two chemistry sets in its take on the "Endangered Species - The Chemistry Set.."

20071031

Is saying you got kiddie porn the same as actually having it?

What a slippery slope the porn plane becomes if the Supreme Court agrees with Slate Magazine's characterization of the legal merits when the Solicitor General Paul
...Clement says that to be liable under the PROTECT Act, you need not be selling or advertising the porn. It's enough to say you have it.

A sad day indeed. Oral arguments were yesterday.

20071021

DNA Pioneer, Suspended Over Racial Comments

The Wall Street Journal's Health Blog brings us old news from the UK where the October 14, 2007 The Sunday Times Magazine displayed more than we wish to know about how Doc Watson thinks.

But, a few days later he goes on to assure us, he didn't really mean what his words said:

To all those who have drawn the inference from my words that Africa, as a continent, is somehow genetically inferior, I can only apologise unreservedly,” he said. That is not what I meant. More importantly, there is no scientific basis for such a belief.
Early onset... Or, perhaps, he needs a better keeper.

20071017

Street Mathematics vs School Mathematics

I love what I know of the mathematician Keith Devlin -- aka The Math Guy on NPR's Weekend Edition -- who is a researcher at as well as the executive director of Stanford University's Center for the Study of Language and Information. Here are two good reasons for my adoration:
  1. His October 2007 "Devlin's Angle" at MAA Online wherein he adds fuel to my qualms about school math in
    Kinds of Math
  2. Mathematics, the Science of Patterns The Search for Order in Life, Mind, and the Universe. New York: Henry Holt, 2003.

By the way, yesterday I finally saw Danica McKellar's Math Doesn't Suck: How to Survive Middle-School Math without Losing Your Mind or Breaking a Nail which I only wish also came out with a boy-cover....maybe I'll design one to print up so I can try using it w/J. Check out a review at MAA Online.

20071002

Richard Scarry's The Best Word Book Ever: 1963 vs. 1991

Who wins? Us or our children?

Perhaps this is a good place to reference Sidney Hook's 10 rules for discourse from "Ethics of Controversy" given that #1 is Nothing and no one is immune from criticism. And, #4, reminds us that while words may be "legally permissible" does not mean they are also "morally permissible". Here, I'm reminded of my unease when J., in first grade, brought home an alphabet worksheet referencing "Eskimos".

20070923

someone on the "social graph"

Or, as he says, let me declare the problem statement, as I see it, and the underlying assumptions I've been making.

The someone is Brad Fitzpatrick whose company developed LiveJournal and its backend software all of which were purchased by Six Apart.

20070915

Conspiracy Theory + Schoolhouse Rock

"Media-opoly" from Saturday Night Live's TV Funhouse skit was created by Robert Smigel and broadcast on "Saturday Night Live" during the March 14, 1998 airing on NBC, a subsidiary of GE; it was shown only once and edited out of subsequent reruns.

According to Lorne Michaels, he "didn't think it worked comedically."

More commentary @ http://snipurl.com/contheoryrock

20070901

Soul Sides: my fav audioblog

Trying to explain to C the source for a song that she was grooving on...I was listening to Soul Symphony, the downloadable mix of some Asian guy's first soul/jazz/funk mix CD...I realized how little I really knew about DJ O-Dub. So I went and read his bio only to discover that I probably have heard (maybe, even read) him without knowing given the breadth of his portfolio. Also, he maintains Poplicks.com. And, his day job -- like that of many of my St. A's siblings I envy -- is professor. But, I should probably check out the parenting blog in which he's involved Rice Daddies.

20070813

20070712

A cultural transliteration: Harry Potter to the 'hood?

Is that even practical? Readable? A possible answer resides in one Troy CLE.

Now, I offer a long intro en route to the point...

As a black kid who grew up in that lap of all that is black and soul-identified -- Memphis, TN, I left as a Jethro Tull loving folkie it is only fitting that I'd remain at the margins with a list of Eurocentric literary favs that include classics such as Stendahl's The Red and the Black, Thackery's Vanity Fair and anything penned by a Bronte sister. Epic and dramatic, and I'm enthralled; see Mario Puzo's The Godfather: Parts I (1972) and II (1974) but NOT III (1990) which was pretty much ruined by the director replacing Winona Ryder with his daughter Sofia Coppola. (And, who knew she'd blossom into a decent director.)

I also loved the Arthurian tales as captured by TH White's The Once and Future King and Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Mists of Avalon. Yep, just another little brown girl with a classical education; I didn't resist what I was fed even as I now flirt with the margins. So while I love mythology having a child makes me more fond of fractured tales and re-tellings such as Eve Merriam's Inner City Mother Goose.

I think I may have attempted The Hobbit when younger I never cozied up to LOTR although Peter Jackson's films have a similar place in my heart as the books I've mention.

To further elaborate the odd outsider theme... I am a child of the sixties who today is a reformed pessimist with a soft spot for dystopias and disquieting utopian visions -- the ususual suspects: Brave New World, Farenheit 451, Solyent Green, and Gattaca; also add Marge Piercy's Woman on the Edge of Time and Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game. (And, I still wonder how I got here from back there...a midnight train from my reality (?).) But, I digress.

Somewhere along the path, I discovered Samuel Delany, still in his SF days; I still love the sound of the first one I read Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand. And much later found Octavia Butler's Xenogenesis trilogy which led me to her Patternists series.

But I was a reluctant late arrival to the Harry Potter band wagon; I enjoyed the series despite their unevenness always reading the book before seeing the film. I think it was book #6 that I mused about what would it take for a fiction book to have that level of appeal to urban youths with whom I work and see where I live.

Of course, JK Rowling's books already appeal to those kids who do read big long books yet I wondered about what might populate a story with a broad appeal AND have the vibrancy of actual flavors that feel their eyes and ears daily. Few names came to mind; ok, one -- Nalo Hopkinson who I still haven't managed to read but know I should. If I push my brain, I think of a few others I might imagine taking that plunge: Neil Gaiman, China Mielville, Pat Cadigan, Harryette Mullen, Colson Whitehead (ne Arch Colson Chipp Whitehead), Don Byron, directors Julie Dash or Kasi Lemmons.

And finally, we arrive at the point...
The simple truth is the epic tales I love on screen or in print never have faces with complexions close to mine or the kids with whom I've worked. So I was delighted to learn about Troy CLE who has laid out plans for The Marvelous World series which has its own website and has been described as the "black Harry Potter". And, if we're to believe the hype The Marvelous Effect combines elements of fantasy, science fiction, hip-hop, video gaming, NASCAR and anime.

NOTE: Episode #327 of PBS's NOW is where I saw the author in early July when I began the original draft for this post.

20070711

this just in from Threat Level @ Wired Blogs

Security Researcher Wants Lube Maker Fined For Privacy Slip.
There are just so many delights in the headline even as I pity those affected by this April 2007 FUBAR. Among the 200,000 suffering are the San Franciscans so dramatically showcased here in the researcher's own Yahoo maps mash-up of the addresses that were sent a nice wet package of Astroglide.

All these tidbits, and more, available from Christopher Soghoian, an Indiana University School of Informatics grad student by day, and possibly a true masked superhero by night.

20070625

Play has begun to do real work

Speaking of class, the quote below, on virtual transactions, reminds me that there are no new stories, just repeated failures to learn.
Real-money trading harms the game, they argue, because the overheated productivity of gold farms and other profit-seeking operations makes it harder for beginning players to get ahead. Either way, the sense of a certain economic injustice at work breeds resentment. [emphasis mine]

And, doesn't that sound like a why for affirmative action? Inequality overtime breeds contempt and bad karma!

Real-money trading, or R.M.T., is the practice of "selling virtual [gaming] goods for real money", and there's a whole cottage industry serving those who can afford to pay to play.

The writer is Julian Dibbell who is forever mentally cross-linked to his 1993 "A Rape in Cyberspace" which I still have on its original newsprint, from The Village Voice. In this new tale he brings us "The Life of the Chinese Gold Farmer" -- the outsourced minions who do the gamers' dirty work giving them the goods required to elevate their virtual existence.

Related:

One social scientist thinks that Facebook | Myspace mirror class divisions in US society

So the question of the new generation isn't Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?. Instead it's why are the well-off on Facebook and the subalterns* on Myspace. See a working draft of the paper:

boyd, danah. 2007. "Viewing American class divisions through Facebook and MySpace ." Apophenia Blog Essay. June 24. http://www.danah.org/papers/essays/ClassDivisions.html

*"N.B., My use of subaltern is not kosher; see term's coverage in "Glossary of Key Terms in the Work of Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak". Regardless of the proper usage, the reason for its use here relates to the Indian critic Gayatri Spivak who borrowed "...this term from Antonio Gramsci to describe dominated, subordinated and marginalized groups especially those who are doubly oppressed, such as colonised women." [from www.adamranson.freeserve.co.uk/critical%20concepts.htm]

Related:

Theremin cover of Gnarls Barkley’s "Crazy"

There are about 5 people in the world who know this but I've got a major jones* for the Theremin, the only instrument played without being touched. (I also happen to love this song!)

The Theremin was invented in 1920 by a Russian physicist named Lev Sergeiyvich Termin (whose name was later changed to Leon Theremin); he also invented the first electronic listening device, or "bug", for the USSR.
The performer in the video is Randy George, of Aether and Ether Experiment:

This gem courtesy of a Yahoo widget RSS feed from Boing Boing leading me to the re-discovered coolness of Laughing Squid Related:

*"The slang term 'jones,' meaning an addiction to drugs, is said to have originated among addicts who lived in [NYC's] Great Jones Alley, off Great Jones Street, between Broadway and Lafayette Street." [from "Jargon, slang, and niche vocabularies"]"

20070612

What exactly is Abt?

C. has worked for one company for more than ten years. And, that company is Abt Associates, Inc. Often, the people I expect to have heard of it haven't (e.g., a school principal) and those I'm not expecting to have (random soccer parent). When queried about her job, I usually say something about it being a think tank/consulting firm then make some joke about Halliburton largely because both companies pulled staff out of the Middle East around the same time. (A more apt big comparison -- based on consulting sectors -- would be Booz Allen, McKinsey & Company or Westat; or, a small comparison would be the similarly Cambridge, MA-based Goodman Research Group, Inc.) Well, here's the marketing blurb, I found in recent news about the company changing its ISP:
Abt Associates, a private, employee-owned company, applies scientific research and technical assistance expertise to a wide range of social, economic and technological policy issues; international development; clinical trials and registries; and complex business problems. Founded in 1965, Abt Associates provides services to U.S. federal, state and local governments; foreign governments; international organizations; foundations; and business and industry. Its staff of over 1,000 is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts; Bethesda, Maryland; Durham, North Carolina, Chicago, Illinois; and in Africa, Asia, Central Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East.

20070524

Serendipitous unblinking

Despite the fact that I'm the owner of two books about knots and keeping trying out various cross-platform geometry visualization software, I still am wowed by this book's title:
The Shoelace Book: A Mathematical Guide to the Best (And Worst) Ways to Lace Your Shoes

But, then again who am I to be surprised; it's only been a few weeks since I bought a book about a topological object The Mobius Strip: Dr. August Mobius's Marvelous Band in Mathematics, Games, Literature, Art, Technology, and Cosmology.

While I'm fascinated by math, it's not my forte. And, in case you're wondering, I discovered this title after entering a similarly authored book QED about the beauty of proofs at Goodreads.com.

From whence do the best bloggers originate?

Or, as The Boston Globe put it "Where the bloggers blog".

20070517

Best analogy involving porn

The bastion of good family morals, Utah, is now behind policing Wifi for the kids. Old news from April but I like the quote so much! You can read the details from a local perspective courtesy of the Deseret Morning News. Of course, I'm more fond of the commentary wherein aim is taken at proposing to ban all open wifi networks and to mandate wifi network providers police traffic content vigorously.
[It's]...like fining the state's transportation department for building roads that people might drive on to go buy porn somewhere.
(In an otherwise unrelated note, the domain porn.com recently went to the highest bidder for a whopping $9.5M!)

20070516

ohmygod, now I know why my cell ... CINGULAR bites

Serendipity at work again. This time browsing the cell phone sub-section of The Consumerist I discovered the truth about the pre-ring utterance emitted by our GSM cellphone, a Sony Ericsson z525a -- N.B., the american is important to me since discovered in December 2006 that the only difference between it and the international version is that us USA-ians can't install security-signed third party software on our cells.

Anyways, this noise causes SOME serious radio interference that has allegedly blown out one of someone's speaker. Curious...it's all captured (too) fabulously in this consumer art byte-back:

Other fun to catch at The Consumerist include "Wendy's Wins Fast Food Zagat Survey" and "McDonald's Employee Hides Pot Stash In Happy Meal Box, Gives Happy Meal To Child".

20070508

MySpace: bound to keep getting dirtier and uglier

We have this kernel by way of /. post that brought me to the Post's “OFF/beat” blog.
"MySpace Photo: Costs Teacher Education Degree
Teacher Sues For Diploma And Damages"
.

Regardless of the merits of the action's sentiment, do we really want to go down this slippery slope? If the institution in question actually has legal standing to re-direct a student's degree shouldn't more college students be very very afraid? Myspace...is just an moment away from whatever is the next administrative anathema.

20070507

What kind of [???] are you?

Not enough of a programmer to have a code preference but knowledgeable enough to appreciate the humor in "Programming languages and their relationship styles"; nevertheless, if I were to guess as to how I'm perceived...hard to choose between ADA (which I've only read about) and Assembler (which I never really grasped). But, we do exist on a continuum so when I'm feeling more flexible, it'd be a toss up between Logo or Python. Although I do covet the code simplicity of PERL.

Now, ask me to fill out a silly series of questions...and I'm willing to oblige. Saturday, I learned of my superhero designation:
Green Lantern

Green Lantern
75%
Spider-Man
65%
Batman
65%
Hulk
50%
The Flash
50%
Superman
45%
Catwoman
45%
Iron Man
40%
Supergirl
25%
Wonder Woman
20%
Robin
18%
Hot-headed. You have strong
will power and a good imagination.
Click here to take the "Which Superhero are you?" quiz...

For more ancient takes, on my persona traipse over to .Mac.

20070425

Futsal? Indoor soccer w/outside smarts

Who knew that a soccer-related game about which I've never heard is slated to become an Olympic sport in 2008. Furthermore, it seems like it'd be good for skill building during the winter months for adults and children. I write that having finally understood the physicality of hockey once I'd played indoor soccer a few years back.

Wikipedia is kind enough to explain that the portmanteau word, or blend, futsal simultaneously signifies

the Portuguese "futebol de salão" or the Spanish "fútbol sala", both of which mean "indoor soccer".

Holistic Futsal breaks it down for the uninitiated especially as it relates strategically to outdoor play which boils down to it's a good match for those who want indoor skill-building that transfer to regular outside play. Furthermore, you learn that futsal is the official five-a-side indoor soccer game and the only indoor soccer recognized by FIFA.


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revised again @ 8:10 PM

20070424

Beeman leaves for U of MN

On any college/university campus there are always those profs whose classes you never take but you end up knowing them by reputation and/or domain. So into that Brunonian pool I can't put political commentator Darrell West whose poli sci course I tooked (if not finished) or Barrett Hazeltine in whose "gut" Engin 9 I fumbled and managed to pull a C. (Note: "guts" aren't easy if you have zero interest in the topic! And, perhaps if I'd paid more attention I'd be another B-entrepeneur instead of unemployed.).

Other profs that come to mind include Ken Miller, a biologist now more commonly known for being a religious (Catholic) scientist than for having attended many of the same Brown women's basketball games that we did. Same with public policy prof Ross Cheit who along with his wife Kathleen Odean, a librarian, were at the same games. (BTW, she's also the author of Great Books for Girls (1997) and Great Books for Boys (1998).)

There's also Thomas F. Banchoff, a mathematician much noted for his dimensional lectures involving a little old book Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions which may arrive at a cinema near you! Or public speaking aficionado Barbara Tannenbaum whose kids I once babysat and now are old enough to be in high school and college. (Heck, they may have graduated from both by now!) While a professor in Brown’s Department of Theater,Speech, and Dance, Tannebaum was much involved in women's politics at the campus level as well as locally including being a consultant to a range of political hopefuls.

Since I realize now that politics has become a theme here, this headline seems sad news for Brown, if not Minnesota:

Frustrated with Middle East studies program, longtime prof. leaves Brown.
Bill Beeman is another who I seem to recall being a professor whose political voice was a standout in a less disinterested way than the intentionally apolitical academic. For a deeper drink from the Beeman faucet, here's some archived op-eds and his blog:

"Baby Got Back" Gilbert and Sullivan Style

As anyone who has spent any significant time with the J-man knows, he has a fondness for Sir-Mix-a-Lot's "Baby Got Back". [The child has a propensity to just break into song extemporaneously.]

Methinks we can thank that parental amusement kid-friendly closing medley in Shrek for his awareness that the song even exists. And this tasty bit on YouTube is a riff from a 1980 production of the comic opera The Pirates of Penzance, or The Slave of Duty. And if you're on your toes, you catch a young Kevin Kline and former heart throb Rex Smith. A Wikipedia entry with a cast list makes me think this clip comes from Joseph Papp's Pirates.

For the uninitiated here are the actual song lyrics (according to azlyrics.com):

[Intro]
Oh, my, god. Becky, look at her butt.
It is so big. *scoff* She looks like,
one of those rap guys' girlfriends.
But, y'know, who understands those rap guys? *scoff*
They only talk to her, because,
she looks like a total prostitute, 'kay?
I mean, her butt, is just so big. *scoff*
I can't believe it's just so round, it's like,
out there, I mean - gross. Look!
She's just so ... black!

[Sir Mix-a-Lot]
I like big butts and I can not lie
You other brothers can't deny
That when a girl walks in with an itty bitty waist
And a round thing in your face
You get sprung, wanna pull out your tough
'Cause you notice that butt was stuffed
Deep in the jeans she's wearing
I'm hooked and I can't stop staring
Oh baby, I wanna get wit'cha
And take your picture
My homeboys tried to warn me
But with that butt you got makes me feel so horny
Ooh, Rump-o'-smooth-skin
You say you wanna get in my Benz?
Well, use me, use me
'Cause you ain't that average groupy
I've seen them dancin'
The hell with romancin'
She's sweat, wet,
Got it goin' like a turbo 'Vette
I'm tired of magazines
Sayin' flat butts are the thing
Take the average black man and ask him that
She gotta pack much back
So, fellas! (Yeah!) Fellas! (Yeah!)
Has your girlfriend got the butt? (Hell yeah!)
Tell 'em to shake it! (Shake it!) Shake it! (Shake it!)
Shake that healthy butt!
Baby got back!

(LA face with Oakland booty)
Baby got back!

[Sir Mix-a-Lot]
I like 'em round, and big
And when I'm throwin' a gig
I just can't help myself, I'm actin' like an animal
Now here's my scandal
I wanna get you home
And ugh, double-up, ugh, ugh
I ain't talkin' bout Playboy
'Cause silicone parts are made for toys
I want 'em real thick and juicy
So find that juicy double
Mix-a-Lot's in trouble
Beggin' for a piece of that bubble
So I'm lookin' at rock videos
Knock-kneeded bimbos walkin' like hoes
You can have them bimbos
I'll keep my women like Flo Jo
A word to the thick soul sistas, I wanna get with ya
I won't cuss or hit ya
But I gotta be straight when I say I wanna *fuck*
Til the break of dawn
Baby got it goin' on
A lot of simps won't like this song
'Cause them punks like to hit it and quit it
And I'd rather stay and play
'Cause I'm long, and I'm strong
And I'm down to get the friction on
So, ladies! {Yeah!} Ladies! {Yeah}
If you wanna role in my Mercedes {Yeah!}
Then turn around! Stick it out!
Even white boys got to shout
Baby got back!

Baby got back!
Yeah, baby ... when it comes to females, Cosmo ain't got nothin'
to do with my selection. 36-24-36? Ha ha, only if she's 5'3".

[Sir Mix-a-Lot]
So your girlfriend rolls a Honda, playin' workout tapes by Fonda
But Fonda ain't got a motor in the back of her Honda
My anaconda don't want none
Unless you've got buns, hun
You can do side bends or sit-ups,
But please don't lose that butt
Some brothers wanna play that "hard" role
And tell you that the butt ain't gold
So they toss it and leave it
And I pull up quick to retrieve it
So Cosmo says you're fat
Well I ain't down with that!
'Cause your waist is small and your curves are kickin'
And I'm thinkin' bout stickin'
To the beanpole dames in the magazines:
You ain't it, Miss Thing!
Give me a sista, I can't resist her
Red beans and rice didn't miss her
Some knucklehead tried to dis
'Cause his girls are on my list
He had game but he chose to hit 'em
And I pull up quick to get wit 'em
So ladies, if the butt is round,
And you want a triple X throw down,
Dial 1-900-MIXALOT
And kick them nasty thoughts
Baby got back!

(Little in the middle but she got much back) [4x]

And, for a totally different take, catch folk-altie Jonathan Coulton in Los Angeles performing "Baby Got Back".

20070417

As if we didn't know...from watching US 'pro' athletes: it's ugly out there!

And as if there's not enough to fill a third grader's parents minds, I can start to anticipate all that I want to avoid as it relates to sports...in high school.

The report, “What Are Your Children Learning? The Impact of High School Sports on the Values and Ethics of High School Athletes,” summarizes the responses of 5,275 high school athletes to a written survey administered in 2005 and 2006.

See Youth Athletes Survey - The Josephson Institute's Report Card for all the gorey details.

I suppose I should attach a caveat to my title about it being obvious as it relates to US mainstream "pro" sports such as hockey, basketball, football and baseball. I only reference them because I hear about their shenaningans, or see the replays.  Who knows maybe it's just as bad where I never look -- curling, field hockey, wrestling, etc.

But I guess the outlook's not all bad; it just ain't all benign. (And, here I hear the internalized voice of the child scolding me; he just doesn't get using poor grammar for effect and just sees it as wrong -- when I do it!)


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20070322

the strangest thing....

Exquisite photos and maps are what thrill me. It use to be folk music but I guess age does something... I never was into the great outdoors but as fate would have it, the child is crazy about animals. So now I find myself -- when not fighting with said soon-to-be-nine child -- seeking out interesting animalia. Life is twisted.

20070310

If Suess Returned as Dylan

Dylan Hears a Who CD tray card This find courtesy of Music For Maniacs whose blog-ish description says its "dedicated to extremes in music, 'Outsider' recordings and utterly unique sounds". Quite the earful...as well as a complete *FREE* download in Dylan Hears A Who! Other recent delights sighted there include Elvis re-done in Latin and an Arabic-flavored Shaft theme.

20070321: N.B. someone must have gotten a cease-and-desist order.

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20070309

The prospect of education can feel more promising...

...despite my complaints -- sometimes, in light of the Internet age. My childhood had none of the immediacy of events like a total lunar eclipse such as this; as seen from the UK 20070303:

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20070302

Strangeness I hadn't considered

Admittedly, I am an oddball since I was Googling for D.I.Y. hand sanitizer recipes since we have a constant need to minimize cross-contamination between child, hermit crab(s), and hamsters) but others find tastier bits than I:
  • reasons to avoid coffee pots in hotel rooms (makes me glad I don't travel or drink coffee)
  • just how drunk can one get off liquid hand wash (again, glad that I'm more of a stone-cold soda drinker & prefer a nice orange soda over anything alcoholic, any day!)
  • Microwavable Grape Plasma
  • On the hand, I did find compelling:
  • forensic tracking codes on laser printouts
  • pipe clamps as a means to kitchen hooks
  • 20070120

    Turning Obsessed?

    Googling
         teach logic "third grade"
    I found the writings of one Rick Garlikov. So far much to like. I didn't imagine my life as an adult and parent being so consumed with elementary education--that's the thought I had while reading "Teaching Effectively: Helping Students Absorb and Assimilate Material". So have I become obsessed?

    How to teach without seeming to given that you already sent the child out of house for numerous hours for that exact purpose. The pint-size lawyer never accepts the words of a parent as edict; that is the (monster-)child, we have raised. But as someone put it, "It's so simple to be difficult, but so difficult to be simple". Is there a way to stay (invested) in the public school system if your heart feels as cold as "Adopting a Kidnapper's Creed for Education: No Child Left Behind". I'm too much in agreement and feeling like the other extreme is the only answer.

    20070114

    2006 MLK tribute @ YouTube

    ...featuring a medley by Sounds of Blackness.

    20070111

    Biggest brain-wiggley: Boeing 747 as glider

    "brain-wiggley" is my del.icio.us tag for oddities of various proportions. I bumped into this via digg.

    20070102

    A Clue as to How I Was Forged...Mentally, That Is

    Dateline 12.2006:
    U Memphis Campus School has been named as one of the top schools in Tennessee
    Almost all of its students - 99 percent - scored "proficient" or "advanced" in both reading and math.
    When I lived down there, MSU was Memphis State, but now it's gone and matured/re-brandedUniversity of Memphis. Campus School, AKA the elementary laboratory school for the College of Education at the U of Memphis for more than 100 years, is where I received the majority of my elementary education. I was enrolled there at the start of what would have been the 2nd semester of 2nd grade at a more traditional school; but back then, Campus had mixed grades in "communities", and I stayed for the duration through what was 6th grade elsewhere.

    And, looking back, I'm certain that my inclusion in C.L.U.E., or Creative Learning in a Unique Environment, in 3rd grade pretty much explains the me that I am as well as the what I expect from schools that J. attends. C.L.U.E.'s guiding methodology I just saw nicely encapsulated as "teach for thinking".

    20070101

    A Film that I Imagined Making Once Upon a Time

    Do some good for a cause close to your heart and invites others by watching this film; two for the price of one.

    Inspired by love and concern for his two daughters, and wondering what kind of planet they will inherit, actor and award-winning director Turk Pipkin traveled the world to pose the toughest questions of our time to some of today's greatest minds. The result is Nobelity, a highly acclaimed documentary that explores the crises and possibilities facing the environment, education, economics, family, peace, social justice, and spirituality. Pipkin's odyssey took him across the United States, and overseas to France, England, India, and Kenya. One of the distinguished Nobel laureates he spoke to was Rev. Desmond Tutu (Nobel Peace Prize, 1984) who talks about the power of love and forgiveness, and the human capacity to accomplish great things. Pipkin says 'The most moving of the meetings was with Sir Joseph Rotblat, a 96 year old nuclear physicist (Nobel Peace Prize, 1995) who fifty years earlier had joined with Albert Einstein in signing an open letter to the world calling for an end to nuclear proliferation. Sir Joe confided to me that the mission for the remaining days of his life was to fulfill the task that Einstein left to him, and put America and the world back on the track to nuclear disarmament.' ("Event Detail: Nobelity." Artsopolis. 01/01/2007. Artsoplis. 1 Jan 2007 . )

    Bumped into details of this courtesy of an advertisment during my listening to a a stream of the December 24, 2006, re-broadcast of Childhood Matters' "Using Stories to Explore the World". Also, disovered a new children's author--Uma Krishnaswami.