Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Urban Architecture - Reflecting Contrast

Lately I keep 'seeing' the contrasts and correspondences of current urban architecture and how it frames itself. Digital cameras entice me to practice seeing what I see.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Zonbu - A Green and Cheap Computer

I was sitting in my exercise Second Cup, a 20 minute walk each way, and leafing through one of the magazines - Forbes, I think, when I came across and article on a new make of computer. I could hardly get my head around the price for Zonbu, a computer.

Just $99.00 - (and currently, it doesn't matter whether that's Canadian or American!) It's a gift price. Even though you have to supply a keyboard and pay $12.95 (or more) a month, it's still remarkably cheap.

I like the set-up, too. I'm a fan of online applications, especially free ones. I already use Firefox and Open Office, and store some of my files online in my G.Space - and in my Box account. I think the plan to use the web is very forward thinking.

This is not an advertisement and I'm not going to give up my Mac for a Zonbu just yet, but this is the future. High storage and high cost applications will be for professionals, and perhaps the first home computer. Second or third computers, and computers for students, will be Zonbu computers, or something like them.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Mac + Kitten - Way Too Cute!

Sometimes even cuteness has a purpose

My apologies if you're offended by cuteness or kittens, or Macs;->

Found through Christopher Sessums

Saturday, October 20, 2007

A Wiki Showcasing Web 2.0 Learning Tools

releasethehounds - is a wiki aimed at teachers and showing what can be done, by teachers and by students.

Among the tools it showcases are VoiceThreads, - - YouTube, - - and SlideShare, - - all free and fairly straightforward to learn how to use. All both audio and visual.
Courtesy of the prolific and generous Stephen Downes's OLDaily

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Information Revolution

I believe that we are in the middle of an amazing shift in our knowledge semiosis. After about 6000 years of writing and 400 years of print, we are in the digital age with world wide access to an abundance of information, available on a world wide platform, delivered in a mixture of media. Michael Wesch has put another of his brilliant short videos up on YouTube, this one demonstrating the impact of the information revolution we are currently careering through.

Link found through Donna Papacosta, blogger, podcaster, and all round amazing!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

"Knocked Up" - A Story by and for the Boys

I saw "Knocked Up" a couple of nights ago, and I was underwhelmed. What I had expected to focus on a highly female experience was told from the point of view of immature males. First, to respond at the depth the movie encouraged, that is, shallowly, I couldn't believe the couple. The woman, Kathleen Heigl, was beautiful, and she can act; I've seen her in Grey's Anatomy. The male lead was about as unlikely as possible, and certainly no pleasure for females to look at. (Did I mention "shallow"?)And he declaimed rather than acted. I couldn't feel any chemistry between him and Kathleen Heigl, or, indeed, between him and his future brother-in-law. He was the geeky guy who got, so to speak, the girl, and thus the projection of male fantasies.

The jokes and gags were male-oriented; it was a story about how one of the gaggle of pointlessly-stupid males got cut from the herd. From the bong jokes to the practical-joke jokes, it was male sentimentality and gross-out humour all the way. Even the sex scene was about the male's problems with sex with a pregnant woman, not about her experience, except for her frustration at his irrational idiocy.

One contrast to this male-oriented approach did exist. Kathleen Heigl kept her bra on and her butt covered in all the sex scenes while he had his ass clearly displayed on camera - no treat that! However, there were improbably large breasts displayed in the nightclub scene to balance Heigl's dignity.

I had read that "Knocked Up" was a "sweet" story of young people taking responsibility and "growing up". What I saw was a version of the "Animal House" approach applied (quite improbably) to a situation that could have been seen in a less shallow and more nuanced way.

I give it a finger down the throat.