SuperAleja’s ‘A second life’!

Filed under: Livejournal, Apple, Special Needs, Second Life, SuperAleja — jason September 9, 2007 @ 10:31 am

As you well know, around April 9th, Larry and I started working on the superaleja needs a laptop to do second life project, to help our online buddy Alejandra Ospina (AKA SuperAleja get a laptop so that she could join us in using Second Life and share with us her experiences in using virtual reality as someone who has always lived with mobility issues.

So many people have helped bring this forward. Since April we have raised over $2400 CDN ($2275 USD) to get Aleja outfitted. Please visit our donations page to see everyone who has helped. Special thanks goes out to Nolan Transportation Agencies for their significant support of our project.

Early on, Mark Dubin of 3DEmbodiment got involved, and has provided some lindens as well as land and building materials to help Aleja explore.

The project, however, has grown from helping out a friend to realizing that this is really the start of an educational research and development project AND we hope it will be the start of a fundraising project. We hope to study how SL can be efficacious for individuals with mobility issues, how to develope new tools to support the use of SL, and raise funds to support individuals who need better computing to access second life… but more on that later… check out Alejandra’s A SECOND LIFE page, and the pictures below.

Thanks for all your help!

Aleja with an Apple Wiz
Aleja with an Apple Wiz

Apple in a bag
The Macbook Pro coming out of the box.

Andrew and Alejandra
Alejandra with Andrew Emig who took care of the financial issues down in NYC, and, along with Laura (below) donated the laptop case.

Aleja and Laura Alejandra with Laura Schutter, who came along to take pictures…

Aleja at the Apple store Alejandra on her way, laptop where it should be, with what looks like a bemused grin.

Aleja putting her body on
Aleja putting her body on

Aleja with Mark
Aleja with Threedee Shepherd (Mark) at the 3DEmbodiment island.

Ken is the “Wizard of sound & light”

Filed under: Ken Emig — jason September 7, 2007 @ 11:12 am

This is from the Ottawa Citizen’s article: Wizard of sound & light

Welcome to the world of Kenneth Emig. He’s an Ottawa phenomenon. He is part acoustic designer, part visual artist and part dancer.These various creative disciplines are not incompatible for Emig. They are, in fact, interconnected. And while he likely never danced his way around the lab when he worked for Bell-Northern Research, he certainly incorporated his acoustic wizardry into his unique dance performances and sculptures. Emig’s world goes on display, beginning Sept. 12, at Axe Néo-7 in La Filature. Axe Néo-7 is that most contemporary of the capital region’s contemporary art galleries. The gallery offers large exhibition rooms, exactly the kind of spaces Emig needs for his artworks to breathe and his body to dance. The musical accompaniment will come from Edmund Eagan, a prominent Ottawa composer whose continuum almost seems intelligent enough to make music on its own.

If you’re in ottawa, you MUST check out his show.

Me and Mom

Filed under: Livejournal — jason September 5, 2007 @ 9:33 pm

Me and Mom, originally uploaded by complicitytheory.

Spy Rock, Westport, Ontario. Yuka took the picture.

Mom, Yuka, Larz and Me

Filed under: Livejournal — jason @ 9:32 pm

Mom, Yuka, Larz and Me, originally uploaded by complicitytheory.

Cartoons from Evolution: a journal of nature, 1927-1938

Filed under: Early Childhood Education, Jeremy Hunsinger — jason @ 5:26 pm

I found this on Jeremy’s site. Everyone should check out Cartoons from Evolution

John Tory, the leader of The Ontario PC Party, is said to have given the green light for creationism to be taught in publicly funded schools in Ontario if he is elected as the Premier of Ontario.
You can read more at Creationism raised as Ont. election issue.

Note that Ontario already funds the Catholic education system, and the background issue is the funding of all religious schools that want into the system. I have no opinion on whether this is good or bad, as I’ve not looked into what it means. As long as the Ontario Ministry of Education is set by educators, I don’t see how he can allow creationism into the curriculum. And I don’t see a problem with funding all, or none of, the faith-based school myself.

David Onley

Filed under: Livejournal — jason @ 5:17 pm

Today David Onley became the 28th Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario.

The world is a brighter place.

Journal of Applied Research on Learning

Filed under: News and Events — jason August 31, 2007 @ 10:53 am

The Journal of Applied Research on Learning is a “biannual research publication for the Canadian Council on Learning that addresses specific, practical problems affecting learning in Canada and applied research of significance to learning in Canada.”

‘Put CCTV in addicts’ homes to protect children’

Filed under: Early Childhood Education — jason @ 7:53 am

‘Put CCTV in addicts’ homes to protect children’

A controversial plan for CCTV to be used to protect children in the homes of chaotic drug-abusing parents has been proposed by one of Scotland’s most eminent drugs experts.
Professor Neil McKeganey, head of the centre for Drug Misuse Research at Glasgow University, believes radical measures are required to protect the estimated 160,000 children in Scotland living with an alcoholic or drug-addicted parent.

I’m of course curious about the impact that this would also have on the children who will grow up under permanent surveillance. There are no dark corners left to childhood.

7-month-old dies in hot, parked car

Filed under: Jeremy Hunsinger, Rochelle Mazar — jason August 30, 2007 @ 11:27 pm

7-month-old dies in hot, parked car talks about the tragedy of “multitasking parents breaking routine and losing track of who had the baby”.

This is always a tragedy. No parent or anyone involved feels anything more than horror and sadness, and no matter what the outcome of responsiblity, I feel for the parent’s loss and the child’s suffering.

On a systemic and cultural level there is something going on here that strikes me. Something societal. Someone mentioned today that North Americans hate their children. Well, I don’t know about that, and I have no children of my own, so I don’t pretend to have an opinion. This tragic situation is blamed it on multi-tasking… which is unfair. Multi-tasking is doing more than one thing at a time. MIS-multi-tasking is trying to do more than one thing at a time and failing. That’s a problem. We have a crisis in terms of being present and attentive; people not thinking about where they are and what they are doing. To be a good multitasker you have to know who you are, what you can do, what you are doing and why. I watch people who are care givers to young children. They are multi-taskers, giving attention to a child, watching a number of other children, communicating with co-workers and parents, and also being responsible for a myriad of other activities. To do that you have to know what your job is… to give care to children and help them learn and grow in a positive and safe environment. You can’t do that if you can’t multi-task. Perhaps we need more multi-tasking who are paying attention, and fewer sequentially mono-taking individuals who forgot what is important. Multi-tasking can be a learned skill of the educational professional.

Another point is that we have the technology. Motion detectors and thermometers, a RFID tag that tells when a baby seat is in or out of the car. A myriad of fixes. Or proximity alarms… you lock your child in with the car seat using the same key as ignition. If the adult is more than 3m away from the car, but hasn’t unlocked the car seat, the windows go up and the alarm goes off. Or if the car is turned off and the child is in the car seat then the windows must open.

The problem is unnatural, as car windows are unnatural occurances, but there are solutions beyond blaming the parents, who are after all victimized by this as well. But the event itself is tragic; all the more so for the regularity of its occurrence.

Does Google Own Your Content?

Filed under: Livejournal — jason August 29, 2007 @ 5:14 pm

Slashdot | Does Google Own Your Content? talks about The Content in Google Apps Belongs to Google that quotes from the google TOS:

“…you grant Google a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license to reproduce, adapt, modify, publish and distribute such Content on Google services for the purpose of displaying, distributing and promoting Google services…”

Also noted by Does Google own your content?. You can read all about it on the Google Terms.

Nothing new in terms of Terms of Service, but we’d expect more from google. Perhaps it will change. And of course this doesn’t mean they own it, but it sure means you can’t restrict google’s using it. I’d like to see a list of sites/services that are in the main stream that don’t have this neat little feature. Of course, this probably means that it includes all your posts, so don’t go workshopping that novel onlin!

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