Thursday, October 30, 2008

Intellagirl talks about Social Media Implications

Featured Speaker : Social Media and Education: The Conflict Between Technology and Institutional Education, and the Future
You can learn a lot from Social Media and it has a big roll in learning, but would you want your doctor or bridge engineer to get their knowledge from Wikipedia? Higher Ed. still has an important roll in the future!
Watch and listen to what Sarah has to say...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Educause 2008 - day 1

I attended a seminar at Educause 2008 today: "Millennials and Web 2.0: 'Prosumer' Education in Practice" long title but great presenters, AJ Kelton and Sarah Robbins-Bell (intellagirl)
I've been to a few web 2.0 presentations over the last few years and intella-g knows her stuff. I've borrowed a few of her ideas and recommendations for web2 at my Uni.
Hey, she actually gave me a good reason for this anti-social, (actually I profess as my religion to be a 'radical individualist') to use Twitter...
If that's not a good speaker, then I haven't heard one.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Vilayanur Ramachandran talking at Educause 2008

Vilayanur Ramachandran is giving a talk similar to this TED Talk, on Wednesday morning at Educause this year in Orlando, Fl. I get to go, and I'm so excited; this doc is an awesome presenter and studies fantastic anomalies of the human brain.

Sweet! I'll try to post after the I can gloat about how amazing it was.

Poetry Contest part 2

As a follow up to a post "Poetry Contest" on Oct 5, I receive a comment from BEANS and CORN with a link to a poetry contest on I feel like I'm doing a disservice to any reader by actually posting the link, but since it is so easy to find, there you go anyway. (Search for "poetry contest" on Google and it's the first sponsored link and the second regular link that shows.)

So, I'm a bit cynical about poetry contest, especially online and mail order, so I decided to explore this one a bit further. So I picked an old poem and submitted it. They wanted my name, address, email, etc.; assuming that I won something, they would need my address to mail it to me right? That's not so unusual; besides I read through their privacy statement and they plan on sharing my address with others that want to send me offers. Typical. I'm sure I'll be getting Viagra offers by mail soon.

Before I go on, let me tell you about the dead-ringer, this is a load crap, scam indicator. On the submit page, the page linked above, there is a "Need Help Rhyming?" button link. No shit, for real. That tells you right there that only real poets come here to submit their fine work. (that was sarcasm) Do you think for one second that if you need help rhyming that you should be submitting poetry here? Don't be gullible! That's how these jerk-wads make easy money.

Also they seen to have a weird copyright clause that states "...I understand that it will be published on the Internet as my original work and under my own copyright by The International Library of Poetry ( The community of poets who use this forum for self-expression will also be able to view and share my poem, always as my original work and under my own copyright in the various ways described on this website."

That's why I sent them an old poem that I'd given up on getting published. Anyway so once I agreed that the poem was my original work and is own by me, etc., I clicked submit. This is where the hook-in-the-mouth happens. The next screen tells that my poem has been "selected to receive the honor" of being glued to a plaque for only $39.00. AH-HA, boing! This is the scam part. In addition to the plaque-crap they also would like "to extend to you some very special reward benefits created just for you." Barf, gag, speew!'s pull on your purse string

People, please don't fall for this crap. It doesn't matter how good or bad your poetry is, they will sell you shit on a shingle as long as you are buying. Only submit your work to reputable publications. Do some research before you waste so much as a stamp. Go to your local book store and look for publications printed at universities or well known journals like The Atlantic.

Here is a screen shot of the "congrats you just submitted a poem page" from The red outlined boxes I added over my name. They pull your name from the form on the previous page and personalize this page. So as to be fair and let you make up your own mind (I mean who am I, right? I'm not so great; I've only had 2 poems published in twelve years of trying and they weren't even in The Atlantic, they were in Poesia, and I didn't get any money for them.) I say take a writing class at your local community college and see how you do. Or put up your own poetry blog and see what kind of attention you get. People online are fiercely truthful; they won't lie to you and try to sell you a plaque. you think that you've written the next Footprints? You deserve to be on a plaque, and posters, and keychains, and air freshiners? If you want the truth about your writing skills be sure you are ready to take it. Grow your skin thick. You're no Footprints.

Otherwise, buy a frigging plaque and give it to your grandmother and make her smile, because that's all the praise you'll ever get.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Ultra Deep Field Image by Hubble Telescope

This is awesome. This is a zoomable image of the deepest field image yet taken by the Hubble Telescope.
The exposure time was a cumulative time of 11.3 days during the span from Sept 24, 2003 - Jan 16, 2004.

While you are viewing it think about what you are seeing. These galaxies are not as they are now; but you are seeing them as they were "between 400 and 800 million years...after the big bang."
Now consider that the universe is between 12 and 14 billion years (source: and you are seeing the extreme past. Doing the math with the average of both numbers, imaging that the universe is currently a person between 21 and 22 years of age. Now image that you could look at them through a telescope from far away and see them as they were when they were 1 year old. Wow!
"This will hold the record as the deepest-ever view of the universe until ESA, together with NASA, launches the James Webb Space Telescope in 2011."
- I can hardly wait...


It’s time to coin a new word.

Faschionism [fas-shun-nizum]
The meeting of fashion and fascism. Extreme totalitarian adherence to the current manner of dress.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

New for the cold and flu season, the DVD Nap Pauser.

The DVD Nap Pauser.

When you are sick and in the recliner watching your favorite DVD do you ever nod off and miss 20-30mins? Then you have to rewind and try to remember where you were?

You've seen this feature on fine European luxury cars, if you get sleepy and your head tilts forward, a sensor notices and beeps to wake you up.

This function has been adapted into the DVD Nap Pauser; if your head tilts forward or if your gaze strays for more than 30secs, the DVD Nap Pauser will automatically pause your DVD player. And your movie will be ready for you to resume when you wake up! Easy as hooking up a web cam; plugs directly into the back of your DVD player.

Like magic, but real!

(Patent pending)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Body Odd blog

The Body Odd blog has some interesting posts about body and health related topics.
The one that caught my searching eye was (Does your nose grow with age?) that negated the belief that ears and noses continued to grow as we get older. I had always heard that as fact. The truth of the matter is that the collagen and elastin in our skin breaks down and succumbs to gravity.
So take heart when our civilization finally becomes space bound and leaves this planet, our skin will stay young, taut, and supple long into old age. However, that will be at the price of our bone density, and after a certain amount of time we will never be able to walk again. Eh, a decent trade off to stay young.
That makes me think of people in extended comas. In the movies, people who wake from extended comas never go through physical therapy to recover from their atrophied muscles. But in reality extensive measures must be taken to prevent permanent deformity (drugs, passive exercise, and passive supported standing can help). Christoper Reeves was trying to prevent his muscles from permanently atrophying in hopes of regaining muscular control. I know he wasn't in a coma, but he was suffering from the same inactive body problems. Rest easy big guy.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Poetry Contest

In our Sunday paper my wife found an advertisement for a "Poetry Contest with $100,000 in Prizes Awarded Annually!"
There is no company or publishing house mentioned at all--suspicious! The mailing address is simply:
Poety Contest
Editor 210-3
305 Madison Ave.
Suite 449
New York, NY 10165

I'm wagering that this is one of those scams where they tell you how wonderful your work is and offer to publish it in an anthology if only you'll send them $49.95 - a sweet deal for a nave. Still I plan on mailing something in and exploring the scam, because I'm curious. I'll post the results here.