27 July 2010


An educational graphic on the history of lolcat. For the good people at online schools (scroll past the ads that take up the entire top of the page).

26 July 2010

Real Men Don't Like Killer Commie Squirrels

I am not sure what the message is I am supposed to be getting [here].

And really ... can be?

23 July 2010

Support the Little Guys

If you are going to license music, which is not a bad idea if you are using it for projects, support the little guys at Friendly Music. After all, you're probably a small indie yourself, otherwise your lawyers and publicity agents would be dealing with all this for you.

17 June 2010

Follow Up

The music in the video in my previous post is by ChouChou, a Second Life band devoted to exploring new frontiers of creating music.

That is awesome. Especially since they seem to be part of a movement. Check out the in-world music store where you can buy real MP3s and AIFFs. It even comes with music previews.

You can get ChouChou's songs on iTunes (though if you buy them through Second Life then Apple can't take most of the money on the sale), and check out their "live" concert images.

23 May 2010

The Internet is Over

Yep, the Internet is over. It has nothing left to document. Now go read a book or something. I hear it's good for you.

Terrible Gallery Signals End of Internet via the Awl.

21 May 2010

Gnome Defenders

Just in case you thought there were all red point hats and cuteness.

Ninja Gnomes, available at Design Toscano.

via Foolish Gadgets << Nerd Approved.

10 May 2010

Distributed Faces

Diaspora - the privacy aware, personally controlled, do-it-all distributed open source social network.

The open source alternative brought to you by a group of enterprising college kids.

09 May 2010

Powered by Tesla

A blade-free Tesla wind turbine, coming soon to an ecologically friendly location near you.

04 April 2010

But it could never happen now ...

Steven Weber assures us this could never happen now ... it is too 19th century.

Ooh! I know! Perhaps the Republicans are playing into some master plan wherein all power is gradually, systematically leeched from the masses and centralized into a snug, capitalistic, corporate version of an aristocracy, keeping The People perpetually strained but entertained by shiny yet easily broken/disposable/replaceable baubles and only minimally involved in the basic running of the country so as to provide the citizenry with an illusion of democratic participation and therefore allowing them to distinguish their lives from that of common, old fashioned serfs.

Read the full-article on the Huffington Post.

Word of the Day

1.) Vacuous anti-establishment fear mongering.
2.) What passes for anti-federalist rhetoric these days.

27 March 2010

24 March 2010

Happy Ada Lovelace Day!

Happy Ada Lovelace Day!

Excitement! Drama! Women being good at math!

Historic videos!

Historic Comics!

Historic T-Shirts!

Okay, seriously, a computer used to be a female profession, not a machine. There have been some wonderful histories of computing discussing the images of early computers showing men in uniforms in front of computers who were really the office managers and didn't have a clue as to how the things actually worked. The women were shooed out of the room, or cropped out of the picture because the military thought it would hurt their credibility if computers weren't properly butch. The above linked PDF has one such example. The rise of automated computing removed a significant career path in mathematics from the hands of women and put its tasks in the hands of their (male) managers. And when programming shifted from being the work of mathematicians to the work of engineers, women were not brought along for the ride.

Interesting side note: In the mid-1980s, computer programming was considered a joke degree that you only took because you didn't have what it took to be an engineer. I always wondered how many of those first generation of college-trained programmers were laughing all the way to the bank.

Oh, and links mostly pillaged from boingboing.

21 March 2010

Evoking Collaboration

An online game about tackling real problems in the real world collaboratively ... Evoke.

What an awesome concept.

via TreeHugger.

20 March 2010


New animations from CCP, makers of EVE Online, make their new Incarna look very promising.

Not to be greedy or anything, but I want a way to do this in Second Life.

via Massively.

01 March 2010


Have to say that I kind of find this a little creepy.

20 February 2010

New Modes of Learning

You know, I can still sing a fair number of the old Schoolhouse Rock songs. Maybe that should tell us something.

18 February 2010


"Several studies have shown that poor families tend to have very few assets."

Well, I'm glad we cleared that one up.

06 February 2010


Don't press play unless you have a few hours to watch all of them ... repeatedly.

05 February 2010


Is between inclusive or exclusive?

Dunno why that question just struck me, but I think in perceiving it as exclusive we may be making a mistake. I also think that between is exclusive in Western culture, but inclusive in Asian culture. Though I could be wrong.

I suppose I should acknowledge that the between I am referring to here is the between that is the social and the political. The thing is that the Western tradition puts the social as something that happens between people but is exclusive of those people the social is happening between. While Asian cultures are more like to think of the social that is between as inclusive of the people it is between.

These two models are significant in what they say about the social, the political, and how it is that people interact. And perhaps by thinking of between as exclusive of what the between is between, we are creating a socio-political situation that impedes communication and negatively influences personal involvement. In other words, we are defining the very sources of the between as not part of the between and thus something that stands apart from the process that is between.

Between, in the social sense, is really something that must be inclusive of those that it stands between, so that it does not stand apart from that which defines it, but rather those that define it stand together as a functioning unit of between. I don't mean this in the sense of traditional Asian cultures, because there are other flaws with the model there. Though between is inclusive it it functions to define those who define it, rather than just letting them define the between that is between them. As such, it may be an odd quasi-circumstance where between is both inclusive and exclusive, or is claimed as inclusive but functions as exclusive.

And I have no idea of where I am going with that, it is the just the germ of an idea.

02 February 2010

Quantifying Education

In the big push to quantify education, I have come up with some measurement systems of my own that I would like to present here. I feel these will be invaluable in advancing our ability to effectively measure key components in education, as well as applying educational measures to other endeavors in life.


Primarily a measure meant for post-secondary educational organizations, though also appropriate to private and charter schools, the Full Tuition Waiver Equivalency is the measure of the number of full tuition waivers could have been given out to students if that money had not instead been spent, for instance, on a fireworks display to celebrate the president of the college winning a golf tourney that the school paid to send them to.

All proposals for non-necessary expenses should be proposed both in dollar values and in FTWE. By using FTWE as a measure of expenditures, it is hoped it will make people much more sensitive to the nature and amount of their expenditures, given the sense of increased need to justify them that will potentially arise.


The Five More Minutes measure (5m2) is the amount of effort required to maintain student attention for five more minutes after some significant breakpoint is reached. The subscript "X" is the time factor (in hours) involved before this significant breakpoint. Further research is required in the rate of progression in this equation, though it appears to approach infinity somewhere shortly after three hours. The measure is somewhat complicated by the fact that it is non-zero when the time factor itself is zero. Though the range of results from a positive non-zero value to infinity does allow us to say with certainty that the time factor cannot function as a simple multiplier.

This measure is not meant purely as a school measure, beyond the ability to assess effort required, so much as a baseline for the measurement of other seemingly impossible tasks. For instance: "You've got to be kidding, that's at least (5m2)2.5, if not significantly more! I want danger pay."

25 January 2010

Terror for the Hearing Impaired

Yes,the zombie song, Re: Your Brains, is now available with ZSL (Zombie Sign Language).

Remember! The undead are equal opportunity destro- ermm... employers. Well, okay, except for those snooty, perfectly coiffed, perfectly emo, unholier-than-thou vampires. Ever notice how they never go after ugly people? Elitist bloodsuckers.

24 January 2010

QiQi Studios

QiQi Studios is a truly awesome Second Life machinima studio out of China. The art work, the production values, and the ideas are all simply awesome.

See their work, be impressed.

You can also find them in Second Life in China and China West sims.


The bookbook!

23 January 2010


Just in case you have any doubts that cats aren't slowly taking over the world, step by step ... cat gets promotion.

22 January 2010

Broadacre City is One Step Closer

NASA Unveils All-Electric Personal Flight Vehicle

I think I liked Wright's ornithopters better. Well, it will redefine the problems with drunk driving if nothing else.

And when you need to recharge it in the middle of nowhere because you forgot to stop at the station: Eolic: A Foldable, Portable Wind Turbine

19 January 2010


Yeah, yeah, looks like a bad Photoshop job, but is a real place.

Details via TreeHugger.

18 January 2010

Publish or Perish

Being a book reviewer is beginning to convince me that the publishing industry might be a better place if more academics picked the perish option instead. Can one get tenure for picking the perish option? Maybe schools should give it some thought. Especially those with publishing units.

Think of it as akin to the government paying farmers to leave fields fallow to help prop up the value of agricultural produce. Rewarding faculty for not publishing (just teaching) in order to prop up the value of academic produce, or at least that portion of it that is in print. Particularly because academic produce has a very long shelf life and people are really still working on digesting products that were marketed a century or more ago.

If we don't take such a drastic action, are we at risk of a knowledge bubble collapse? We may already be approaching that point. Certainly, people are throwing new academic produce out there faster than it can be digested by anyone, thus limiting it to smaller and smaller targeted markets. The problem with targeting these small markets is that academic produce, as with all produce, is unhealthy if one consumes too much of one type, instead of consuming a balanced diet of knowledge. This means that the glut of specialized knowledge contributes less and less to the overall health of the knowledge economy and its consumers.

14 January 2010

Language Lessons

The true international language of the world!

Well ... you'll just have to click it to find out.

10 January 2010

Obsessive Diagnosis Disorder

Is the compulsion to diagnose things other than the statistical mean as aberrant a psychiatric disorder?

You will become mentally ill in 2013 via boingboing.

The Americanization of Mental Illness from the New York Times.

06 January 2010

Allow me to communicate at you with my languaging skills

Found on the InterWeb:

"Anyone else who texts me first is at their own risk that I don't really care about what they have to say. If I did, I would have texted them first."

It is to laugh,
It is to cry,
It is to scream and wonder why.