“25 things about me” collage; thanks to Pete McGregor for #25; all other photos except #8, #10, #16 by the author
Mindmap as Course/Conference Curriculum: My friend Geoff has done something important, world-changing: He has used a mindmap (a tool called Mind42 that lets you post your mindmaps online) to outline a complete conference presentation, with embedded links to blog posts, videos, podcasts, slide presentations, and articles, in the order you should read/view/listen to them, with a lead-in to each from Geoff, in the context of a mindmap showing how they all interrelate. Why is this important?: (1) This format really obviates the need for bums-on-chairs conferences and courses entirely. If I am asked to present at conferences in future, I will use this tool to organize and illustrate my presentation, and show the audience that this is a better way to learn. What about the Q&A? No reason why this can’t be scheduled right on the mindmap, in real time, or using a wiki you can add your question to, or even offer with a link to the speaker by IM or Skype at a specified time. (2) Geoff’s links in the presentation are amazing. Not only are the speakers in these videos excellent (way better than you get in conferences and classrooms), but the sites and tools the videos are hosted on are also noteworthy and bookmark-worthy. And you can go at your own pace, and drill down or skip over what you think merits more/less attention. Wow!
Laugh Your Way to Zen: Communicatrix Colleen provides us with a hilarious guide to discovering and achieving your purpose. Lots more fun than my book, and it has the same destination in mind, and the same caveats on getting there. “Really, how the hell are you supposed to know what the hell it is you want when either you haven’t experienced it yet or it doesn’t exist, or both?” Brilliant.
25 Things About Me: Sharon takes a novel and poetic approach to the exhausted Facebook meme ’25 things you didn’t know about me’. I’m still thinking about how I would respond — is there anything significant my readers don’t already know about me? The illustration above is a collage I put together that might tell you a bit about what’s important and meaningful to me in the meantime.
Joe Bageant on our Prison/Asylum Culture: My buddy Joe writes about the deep and broad psychological malaise in America, and the efforts of psychologists to heal it, exploit it, and keep the lid on it.
Obama Afraid to Admit Bank Insolvency?: A leading British economist says Obama knows that the major US banks like CitiBank are insolvent and will have to be nationalized or allowed to fail, but won’t say so because it would set off a market panic. Thanks to Valdis Krebs for the link.
The Art of Hosting on Video: Three people pointed me to this video featuring three facilitators I know through Art of Hosting. This video has a really good quality picture — why can’t YouTube do this?)
The Future of the American West?: Photographer-travel writer Erik Gauger travels precariously to the hard-to-reach, spectacular Coyote Buttes in Arizona, and speculates on what it will be like when the American West runs out of water and the world goes plunk.
The Art of Memory: Tuzz writes about the difference between men’s and women’s brains, Botticelli, and how we remember. The Loci/Memory Palace technique she describes (for those wanting to learn it) is explained here.
The Amish on Technology: Tree points us to an article on how the Amish use technology:
A few years ago they installed a massive, $400,000 computer-controlled milling machine behind the horse stable. This massive half-million dollar tool is about the dimensions of a delivery truck. It is operated by [the Amish patriarch’s] 14-year old daughter, in a bonnet. With this computer controlled machine she makes parts for grid-free horse and buggy living.
One can’t say “electricity-free” because I kept finding electricity in Amish homes. Once you have a huge diesel generator running behind your barn to power the refrigeration units that store the milk (the main cash crop for the Amish), it’s a small thing to stick on a small electrical generator. For re-charging batteries, say. You can find battery-powered calculators, flashlights, electric fences, and generator-powered electric welders on Amish farms… Nowadays solar panels are becoming popular among the Amish. With these they can get electricity without being tied to the grid, which was their main worry. Solar is used primarily for utilitarian chores like pumping water, but it will slowly [penetrate] into the household. As do most innovations. The Amish use disposable diapers (why not?), chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and are big boosters of genetically modified corn.
All is never as it seems. Their aversion to reliance on the grid is probably wise. I’d respect them more if they didn’t abuse animals.
The Family: The Hard Right’s Religious Cult: An underground reporter infiltrated the evangelical extreme’s most powerful clique, replete with leading Congressmen, and paints a frightening picture of what might happen if fans of the Rapture capture the White House. Thanks to Dale for the link.
Just for Fun:
Adobe’s site has an intriguing “house of cards” animation (it takes a while to load). Some of their case studies are also worth a look (especially photoshop apps ‘episode 2’ and ‘episode 5’). Thanks to my neighbour Brenda for the links.
Have a 10 foot by 110 foot garden to spare? You can grow enough grain there to make 120 loaves of bread per harvest.
Obama’s stimulus package is lampooned by a libertarian group as if it were a ‘performance enhancing drug’ in a send-up commercial. Thanks to Sojourner for the link.
And my friend Ivor says that, if we have ‘comedy clubs’ to get together to laugh about things we find funny, why not ‘rage clubs’ to get together to rant about what drives us crazy?
Thoughts for the Week:
Crisis Down Under: My thoughts go out to those in SE Australia coping with the horrific and tragic fires and in NE Australia coping with devastating floods. Bloggers and Twitterers and other social networkers in Oz have played an important role in coordinating disaster response and communicating information. Hats off to them! Thanks to Cheryl for the link.
Lines From a Robot Owner’s Manual: More amazing work from Dave B. I’m just in awe of this guy’s writing ability, and imagination.
Hawksbill sea turtle
The list of endangered species keeps growing longer every year.
Dive me deep, brother whale, in this time we have left.
Giant sable antelope
Ooze me, alligator, in the mud whence I came.
Quick, lift off. Sweep me high over the coast and out, farther out. Don’t land here.
Hide me in a hedgerow, badger. Can’t you find one?
Crawl me out of here, caterpillar. Spin me a cocoon.
Atlantic ridley turtle
Swim me out beyond the ice floes, mama. Where are you?
Sway me slowly through the jungle.
In the time when his world, like ours, was ending, Noah had a list of the animals, too.
We reenact Noah’s ancient drama, but in reverse, like a film running backwards, the animals exiting.
Your tracks are growing fainter. Wait. Wait. This is a hard time.