Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Twitter stirs lazy journalism

I understand newspapers and their desire to vilify the disruptive technologies that will one day lead to their demise or render them irrelevant. This is what people who aspire to jobs that may no longer exist when they graduate think of new media. Let's reduce it for you:

  • Talking ain't what it used to be.
  • Telephones are cool, even though it ain't face-to-face.
  • IMs are cool, even though there's no voice.
  • But SMS (oh, my!) is the bane of our existence and the demise of Westen Civ.!
  • And Twitter! Don't get me started! I don't get it, but don't get me started!
  • If we had a Twitter account, we would wear our Luddite tendencies on our sleeves!
Let me help you out on the Twitter part. Dr. Donna Murphy of the Edinboro University of PA had a very interesting take on this struggle in education and conferences recently in the SLED discussion list:

"There's some misunderstanding here...twitter, backchannel, etc. isn't necessarily multi-tasking. When you're focused on the topic that you're hearing about, and thinking/responding to it through various media, it's the same task for you. It's just a different way to take notes. I find it interesting that people rarely see taking notes in a lecture as multi-tasking, but twitter is. For some of us, our brains don't stop asking questions during a lecture. These other media allow us to ask those questions, and in some ways declutter our brains and capture our reactions. As a bonus, I can also get some response to that process (say, another expert telling me that the information I'm listening to has been debunked already) with the same ease as glancing at the clock in the room."

Interactive note-taking. Funny that journalism students (or their advisors) wouldn't think of that.

Of course, that may be why newspapers are failing.....

SL in Education on CNN (Again)

Caught this video while working out @ the RUSH this weekend:

Some good examples educational tools that can be deployed, some universally.

Simon the STUD!

My youngest has the intestinal fortitude of my wife!

Did the ran-too-fast-fell-flat-on-my-face-and-bit-a-hole-in-my-lip thing @ the gym play area while my wife was working out...not a peep, apparently! How did the gym employees find out? They noticed a big splotch of blood, and followed the red trail until they found him...playing as though nothing had happened!

Took him to East Tennessee Children's Hospital, and he had to get 3 stitches deep into his mouth. Oh, he cried, but not because it hurt...he was mad that 5 people held him perfectly still and immobile for about 5 minutes while the sewing took place!

Levi, the yin to Simon's yang, is more my temperament. Had the same thing happened to him, all of Knox County would have known about it!

Simon rocks!!!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Lulu's (kinda) back in town...with Mel and on Sesame Street?

There is a great version of this song that Mel Tormé sings with the Marty Paich Dek-tette that I CAN'T FIND ANYWHERE ONLINE! (Not on Blip, not on Pandora that I can tell).

I managed to find a live version that isn't bad, a scat duo of the song with his son:

And, if you can believe it, I found a version on SESAME STREET, of all places...a bit bowdlerized, although it's not clear to me how "pretty coquettes" differs from "blondes and brunettes" except that the former may be more inclusively sexist. "Lulu" has the physique of Sam the Eagle, the fur of a darkish Harry, and the voice of Cookie Monster:

Pepsi is IT!!

I always knew I was cool....

Monday, March 23, 2009


Isn't this a lovely way to start a Monday? I really like this song because I think I "get it" a little better than others, not as good as some...

In a not-so-distant former life, I got a front-row seat to a wide spectrum of mental illnesses, from organic confusions to BPD. The easiest class I took as an undergrad was abnormal psychology...I slept through the chapter on medications and still aced the test,with high mention for the essay on tricyclics, because I was a daily (and occasional nightly) witness to it. From an outsider's perspective, I couldn't at the time imagine ever wanting to live that roller-coaster life first-hand (it was nauseating enough living it second-hand). To the point: my companion at the time was convinced I had BPD (Actually, it was ADD, thankyouverymuch), so much so that I soon found myself at the doctor's office, getting a prescription for lithium. At the time, I didn't want the ensuing conflict of telling my companion "no", I did have a problem (just not BPD), and I was not averse to better living through prescribed pharmaceuticals.

I took them for 1 week, and that's it. I can't truly describe the feeling to you, it was like being tightly wrapped up, inside and out, with a metaphorical version of bubble wrap. My passion is teaching (technology and French), and I couldn't get half the rush I usually got from teaching, and apparently neither could my class, as they finally broached the subject (intervention-style) mid-week to ask me if I was sick or dying or something. I've never really wanted to or think I could fathom being on that stuff long-term.

I would imagine that for some, it's a relief to not be on that emotional roller-coaster. For others, I suspect they prefer the disorder.

And for someone who has never taken it, Amy Lee seems to capture the desperation-turned-to-anger that having one's "will to fly" drowned in medication evokes in some. Some people are willing to undergo, and even thrive on, the ascent from the ashes to "l'azur", knowing full well that, like Icarus, they will find themselves in the ashes once again.

Oh, BTW...like the video, too.

Monday, March 16, 2009

W is WoW (and I'm not talking about guilds...)

Hotwire really overdid them selves this time. I was looking to save some money @ SCOLT, and got a rate with Hotwire for a 4-star on the ATL Perimeter at half the price of the conference hotel. I was expecting a dump, even for a 4-star. I had never before heard of the W hotels, but I'm telling you now that I so lucked out!

When I first got there, I actually thought I was in the wrong place! It looked like a club/day spa! Nice fusion Asian restaurant to the left (complete with spinner on the nights I was there) and a lobby with several "living rooms" to the right:

The entire hotel was adorned with candles and the sweet smell of incense (every floor seemed to have a different scent piped into the halls...my floor smelled a lot like sandalwood). At night, the halls were awash in a soft blue light that was very relaxing.

I truly found sanctuary in my room... spacious balcony, rainforest shower and the legendary Bliss Sinkside Six. The lemon sage aromatherapy from that alone was worth Hotwire's price! And sweet dreams: 350 thread count linens (not up to home snuff, but not bad at all for a hotel), featherbed, goose down duvet. Surfing the Internet on acustom designed blonde wood oversized desk while watching a movie on the mammoth flatscreen with a DVD from the in-room library.

I also suggest the W Personalized Wake-up Service. A nice woman apologizes profusely for disturbing the no-doubt awesome dream you were having, and tells you that it is time to rise and shine, unless you want them to just call you back in 15 minutes? No, I need to go use sWeat, the posh gym facility in the hotel.

I was describing this place to some of my friends, who then called my account "so metro...". If you had any idea how "meat n' taters" I am, you'd understand how great this hotel is.

Enough free advertising. Just had to gush.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Marilou et Garou -Tu Es Comme Ça

Waiting for some time to post some SCOLT stuff....been busy this week with class stuff.

If you like Garou, you might like this:

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Web 2.0 ... The Machine is Killing Us...

Here we go...

You had to know that this was going to be the next attack on progress. I intend to collect all of the articles of this vein I can find. If you find some you would like to share for this meme (each of which will find its own entry in this blog), by all means send them via comment, and you will be credited appropriately. I noticed this morning on FR3 that Le Figaro has an article on how Facebook is killing us...as soon as the web version catches up, I'll post that here as well.

This one in a nutshell:

"The constant need to publish new and exciting facts is putting stress on successful bloggers, and the recent deaths from heart attacks of three popular writers is causing something of a rethink in the industry."

Yes, and beat writers were SO healthy back in the heyday of the newspaper....