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Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

I blogged about animated gifs a couple of years ago when I came across the inspirational work of George Redhawk.

Just now though, I’ve come across another master of animated gifs: James Eads in whose work we can simply get lost!

 

Born in Los Angeles, Eads lives and works at the Brewery Arts in Los Angeles, I came across his work on a September 2016 blogpost by Moss & Fog.  Check out his tumblr and instagram profiles for more inspirational art.

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Even though this is an ad published late last year for the new MacBook Pro, the video encapsulates some of the most revolutionary ideas that have been developed by man.

Quite literally

Ideas push the world forward!”

 

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Stephen King’s writing is legendary.

His books, of which there are more than 50, have sold more than 350 million copies worldwide.  Many of them have been adapted into movies, TV shows and comic books.  In addition to his novels, he has written more than 200 short stories.

While reading the genre of horror, supernatural fiction, suspense, science fiction and fantasy may rule him out as being your favourite kind of author, it is not many writers who have had such an impact on the world of literature or written as prolifically.

So having the opportunity to listen to Stephen King’s thoughts in a short radio interview late last year, I was surprised to find that his words resonated strongly with me.  Most particularly when he said

We forget what it is to be a child.”

my ears pricked up.  Why is it, King questions, that adults forget how to look at the world through the eyes of a child.

His thoughts remind me of the words of that well known educator, Sir Ken Robinson, who in videos such as Do schools kill creativity? also laments the fact that children lose their creativity as they work their way from pre-school through to the end of high school.

Have a listen to this short interview and in the process be spellbound by the incredible drawings that accompany the interview.

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I came across this video a little while ago.

It’s one of those videos which makes you appreciate how easy it is to impart knowledge in the most simple of ways.  For teachers we refer to it as our

bag of tricks!

Once you’ve been in teaching for a little while, knowing how to present to students so that they really ‘get’ the point of the lesson really becomes second nature.

Teaching becomes so routine, that sometimes, we even forget that we have these skills ‘up our sleeve’!

What am I talking about?  Simple teaching skills such as

  • Gaining attention by breaking with routine.
  • Using silence for optimum results.
  • Ensuring words of instruction are minimized.
  • Engaging with students at their level.
  • Asking pointed question to stimulate thought.
  • Utilizing student knowledge to highlight information being shared.
  • Injecting humour into the lesson.
  • Incorporating physical objects to illustrate a point.
  • Exploring alternate teaching styles.
  • Allowing students to draw conclusions.

The lesson being imparted in this video is valuable for us all.  The point of the lesson is made clearly and strongly.

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I’m not really very good at thinking through tax related issues, but when I listened to this recently released interview by Quartz with Bill Gates, his words made perfect sense to me.

If robots are taking over the jobs of workers why shouldn’t they pay the same kind of tax that would be paid by the people they replace?!

And … as Gates questions with that endearing giggle at the end of the video ….. it’s somewhat unlikely that robot companies are going to be outraged that there might be a tax?!

Gates’ thoughts on the subject have already drawn commentary with Forbes describing his ideas as “bafflingly simple”.  Headlines citing reference to this interview such as this one: Robots that steal human jobs should pay taxes  are bound to proliferate across the web over the coming week as more thought is given to Gates’ not so outrageous thoughts!

Interesting – no?

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My fascination with 3D printers never ends – after all its applications really are without end!

A while ago I fleetingly read about a pop up 3D restaurant in the newspaper, but with the restaurant scheduled to open in London, I didn’t really pay all that much attention.

Then I saw this video and ….. well ….. as I just said …… anything is possible!

But the magic of invention took a new turn when I read a post about an invention by a Dutch design studio which has created a compact 3D chocolate printer perfect for use in restaurants and homes.

Just look at it!  Apart from what it can do, this ‘must have’ kitchen accessory is sleek and sexy and I can already imagine it sitting on my kitchen benchtop!

3D chocolate printer

Most definitely, this is the most perfect ‘find’ for me which has popped up just in time for the summer holidays.   You don’t need much imagination to know what I will be spending the summer playing with!

See you back here in February 2017 when our school year ‘Downunder’ restarts.

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I’m not really a ‘car’ kind of person, so I don’t usually follow news articles about the car market.

But I couldn’t help stopping in my tracks just a couple of weeks ago when I saw an article which forecast that self driving cars will be on the market in 5 years.  Why?

1.  The thought of cars zipping around the roads was at one time a little overwhelming while at the same time reminiscent of that immortal TV show – The Jetsons.  – Stop for a tic to either wander down memory lane or discover this futuristic family for yourself!

2.  The second reason I stopped in my tracks was because I had the pleasure of going for a drive in one about a year ago – The Tesla Model S.  Even if I was a little nervous sitting in the front passenger seat while watching the driver’s hands be anywhere other than the steering wheel, it really was quite an awesome experience!

While the article I read seemed to be a promo for Ford’s predicted entry into the self drive market,  others including Google, Uber and BMW are starting to compete with Tesla who are so well advanced in the self driver market that they are now working on a more affordable version.

Self driving cars are, it is said, is a development that will place the incredible advances that have been made in artificial intelligence squarely into the lives of the masses.  But with this development, a whole range of ethical issues arise.  And like many of you, I’ve not considered these issues until I read a recent article in NovaNext: Can Autonomous Cars Learn to be Moral? (July 27, 2016)

As artificial intelligence develops increasingly subtle and complex decision making processes, it will become harder to determine who’s accountable for a machine’s actions: the engineer who designed it, the consumer who purchased it, or the machine itself.

The kinds of decisions that need to be incorporated into the ‘thinking’ of self driving cars are really quite scary.  If, for example, the self driving car is heading into a crash with another vehicle or an oncoming train should it veer sideways to avoid the crash knowing that the car and its driver will roll down the bank on the side of the road with the possibility of the driver being either injured or killed?

Referred to as The Trolley Problem, this kind of ethical decision has long been debated by philosophers:

Food for thought – no?

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