Category Archives: Video and Audio

Alec Steele and the Chambersberg Power Hammer

I’m often taken in by restoration and conservation stories. Recently, the thoughtful machine learning algorithms at YouTube suggested to me a set of videos related to Alec Steele and company’s efforts to install an industrial power hammer in their steelwork shop.

This is industrial equipment at a scale with which I have no experience. Yet, the sheer joy and curiosity exhibited by this crew as they work to address practical, physical, and design issues with making this equipment functional is glorious.

Continue reading Alec Steele and the Chambersberg Power Hammer

The Machine Stops ~ E.M. Forster

The Machine Stops, a story ahead of its time being published in 1909, foretells of a society in which individuals are almost completely physically isolated from one another in an underground enclave where communication is achieved only with technology and all life’s necessities are attended to by a vast, unseen network of tubes.

What happens when, as always must happen, the machine stops?

Continue reading The Machine Stops ~ E.M. Forster

Charlie is so Honest Like

In the early days of the universe, 9 or 10 years ago, I remember being impressed by this young man‘s musical and video creations.

Worlds collide and memes cross, and that’s how I recently ran across Charlie again in the context of a tomato risotto recipe on the SORTEDFood feed. Sorted.

Here, Charlie speaks to an issue that’s near to my heart and that too many people have forever gotten far too wrong: sex & consent. He speaks well and he speaks honestly. I commend you, lend an ear.

In this age of people doing awful things to one another and yet somehow justifying it to themselves, consent is fundamental. As humans, we should be able to discuss it and manifest it in meaningful ways.

If you’ve experienced non-consensual sex at any age, I hope you have or will find your way to talk about it with people you trust. RAINN—the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network—is available, if you need assistance.

Science and Communication: Alan Alda in Conversation with Neil deGrasse Tyson

Despite the reality that we use tools and techniques every moment of every day that have been devised and revised through the constant questioning and reflecting process we call science, far too many people don’t believe they understand what science is, don’t consider themselves scientists, and don’t trust the expert opinions of the scientific community. How can that possibly be?

“We’re not really listening, unless we’re willing to be changed by the other person.” ~ Alan Alda

Science and Communication—Alan Alda and Neil deGrasse Tyson at the 92nd Street Y in New York City

Visons of Science

I’m supporting a friend with a great idea that’s a little less than 12 hours old….

My friend and fellow computer science education researcher, Brian Danielak, has worked hard today to create what we hope will be the first of many video podcasts to promote high quality visualizations in science.

He and his team would like feedback ASAP on their initial effort.

If you have ~25 minutes tonight (or as soon as you can) watch his ‘cast and provide feedback via the form underneath the video…

http://briandk.com/2013/07/visions-of-science/

Making Space for Others

Whatever your personal level of achievement, it’s vital that you remember to make space for others to stand up and stand out. Here are three examples of celebrities rising to that challenge.

Michael Bublè and Sam Hollyman in 2010

Billy Joel and Michael Pollack– a Vanderbilt University student in 2013

Bono of U2 and Adam Bevell– a self-taught, blind guitarist– in 2011

Thank you to Christie Veitch and Brian Danielak for reminding me.

The Calculus of Friendship

When a close friend sent me a copy of this book, his inscription read, in part

it has always been about the students

In this short video, Dr. Steven Strogatz– a Cornell Mathematician– reminds us that the student-teacher relationship is complex, dynamic, enduring, and often unpredictable; far from the Brave New World-style cold, isolationism espoused by the so-called professionalization of education that the United States has experienced over the past 100 years.

 

Adding a keyboard shortcut for Save to PDF… in OSX

When I’m commenting on electronic documents, I find it useful to be able to quickly generate a PDF of the marked-up version of the document to return to authors for review. I annotate the document using track changes and adding comments (using the INSERT > COMMENT feature… not by adding text to the body of the document!!!), then

Save as PDF…

to keep a copy for myself and to email (or post to a course management system) for the author to review.

Unfortunately, OSX doesn’t have a built-in keyboard shortcut for Save to PDF…, but it’s easy to add one.

[Note: you can’t Save to PDF… from an Adobe Acrobat print dialog box… it would bruise their ego]

Storytelling, which I take to mean teaching

This 70-minute lecture by Charlie KaufmanEternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Adaptation, Being John Malkovich— on screenwriting applies equally well, I think, to being an educator. Consider the following excerpt, but replace screenplay with learning– for the student perspective– or even teaching!

A screenplay is an exploration. It’s about the thing you don’t know. To step into the abyss. It necessarily starts somewhere, anywhere, there is a starting point, but the rest is undetermined, it is a secret, even from you. There’s no template for a screenplay, or there shouldn’t be. There are at least as many screenplay possibilities as there are people who write them. We’ve been conned into thinking there is a pre-established form.

While I sometimes found it difficult to distinguish quotations from his original thoughts, I found both to be engaging and inspiring.