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May 27, 2005

KMD2003 and Julia D

KMD2003: Knowledge Media Design and Learning will be co-taught by Julia D and myself, rather than me alone. Actually, it will be largely Julia's show, with lots of famous name guests. I'm looking forward to it.

Posted by jason at 03:44 PM | Comments (0)

The Apple of the Eye: Parents’ Use of Webcams in a Danish Day Nursery

Surveillance & Society has an interesting article by Vibeke Jørgensen that I'm just printing out entitled "The Apple of the Eye: Parents’ Use of Webcams in a Danish Day Nursery" (pdf).

Posted by jason at 02:32 PM | Comments (0)

Wired @ Ry

I've finally gotten a couple of ethernet drops live into my office at Ryerson, ready for the monday move. Aside from the closet that I had at OISE for my server, this is the first office I've not had to share. Can't wait to move the espresso machine in!

As for what I'm doing here... finishing up a book chapter for Forgotten Gems of Horror Fiction that is due June 1. I'll get a draft online for comments asap.

Posted by jason at 11:25 AM | Comments (0)

May 25, 2005

Shelia Egoff dies at 88


Sheila Agnes Egoff, Officer of the Order of Canada, died on May 22, 2005 in her 88 th year at Vancouver B.C. Her multiple careers as children's librarian, professor of children's literature, and critic and advocate of children's literature had a profound impact on the development of academic teaching and criticism of children's literature, on the growth of Canadian publishing for children, and on Canadian public library service to children. Born in 1918 in Auburn, Maine, she grew up in Galt (now Cambridge) Ontario. Sheila's childhood in rural Ontario was marked by avid public library use and exposure to the children's books of the early years of the twentieth century. Her lifelong career as a scholar and critic of children's literature, and pre-eminent promoter of Canadian children's literature in particular, began at the Galt Public Library. After graduating from the University of Toronto and qualifying as a librarian at the University of London ( England), she worked at the Children's Room of the Toronto Public Library. As a children's librarian in the internationally renowned children's library service of the Toronto Public Library, Sheila Egoff was a disciple of Lillian Smith, a towering figure in early children's librarianship and a pioneer critic of children's literature. Sheila learned her philosophies of quality library service and stringent evaluation of children's literature under Smith. Sheila was instrumental in bringing the famed British Osborne Collection of Early Children's Books to the Toronto Public Library and was that collection's first curator. Her experience in serving the reading needs of contemporary children was balanced with learning about four centuries of writing, publishing, and illustrating books for children.

Posted by jason at 10:00 AM | Comments (0)

May 22, 2005

Elizabeth's up to her old tricks again...


Bat Conservation International

Posted by jason at 04:16 PM | Comments (0)

A day and night on the town...

Yesterday was a day that would have made paris hilton proud. Jason and his trusty side-kick Cedo, or the reverse, revved off into the morning yesterday, making it as far as Mangiacake, about 50m away, for two cappuccino, and a chat with Martin Mangia. After a while we sauntered up to Computer Systems Centre to vidi the 'puters, and purchase some accessories. Good sale on special paper for my inkjet printer... 100mm x 8m (Regular $25 on sale for $20).

You see, Cedo's on a mission to shop. Full bore WWF shopping. So, after we price things and he picked up a audio interface for his yet to be purchased puter, we went to the UofT Bookstore (Campus Computer Shop), where Harvey was ready for us with a 12" iBook. Though we have to wait a week for the gig ram chip. But harvey's prices are best. Then off to carbon computing for accessories. I won't tire you by listing them all. Then off to Henry's for a camera, back to the first place to return stuff, having found better at Carbon computing. And to buy more of the cheap paper, as Carbon Computing was selling it for $28 a roll.

Then we took everything back to my place to try all the bits and pieces out. We even chatted with Rochelle online via iChat for a bit. And there was much rejoicing.

Finally, Yuka came home and laughed at all the stuff,and we headded over to Cedo's house to feed and walk his pug Fritz. You can see where this is going, right? After Fritz had his fill of activities, and yuka was covered in dog fur, we were back in the car off for an interesting dinner. And we arrived at Southern Accent restaurant off bloor street on Markham. And the evening got strange. Someone Cedo knew was in the window doing psychic readings, and there was no place for us except at the bar. And the barman, and apparent owner, introduced himself as Sugar Bob, on account of his selling Maple Sugar from his family's own sugarbush. We learned that on Friday nights he's known as Miss Kitty and looks to me like a Canadian version of Dame Edna (i.e. clean and neat) despite the Restaurant's tag line: "Black as Night, Hot as Hell, Sweet as Sin".

Oysters, Cajun blackened liver, roast garlic, Jambalaya, and lots of Guigal. Cedo chatting up the women at the bar, me hearing stories about Bob's trip to France on a boat, and yuka wondering if Bob had a tail. We didn't look.

Can't wait to go back on a thursday to see Swamperella play.

Posted by jason at 10:36 AM | Comments (0)

May 20, 2005

Mohawk Language Sells to Microsoft

Mohawk Language Sells to Microsoft : Thunderbay IMC

The Canadian government Department of Indian Affairs band council in Kahnawake is launching a "language" auction. They're selling the Mohawk language to the highest bidder. They're signing an agreement with multi-national corporation, Microsoft, to "co-develop an innovative Kanienkehaka language project"! Section 4- Ownership of Work By Microsoft; License To Microsoft Materials states as follows: "The Mohawks" agree to dissolve all rights that we may have to any and all copyrights in the work and assigns all rights, title and interests over to Microsoft including but not limited to . the right to sue for infringements which may occur before the date of this Agreement, and to collect and retain damages from any such infringements.." A Maori student visiting from New Zealand warned, "Language is a sacred thing not to be appropriated by Microsoft. This is how they co-opt our culture. Microsoft will make a lot of money on this. Now you have no river, no land, you don't even have your own language. Your language is your essence of being and they are stealing it". She said that the song of one of their people has been copyrighted by a football team down there. Now they can't write about it unless they pay money to the football team.

Posted by jason at 03:58 PM | Comments (1)

May 19, 2005

Alchemy Baking

Alchemy Baking in Kensington Market has the best bread I've ever had.

"It's not work. It's a religious experience," is Kirk's mantra.

Posted by jason at 09:04 AM | Comments (0)

May 18, 2005

If I Ran the Zoo

Joel didn't see me at the zoo last night so he didn't believe I was there. Here's proof, at least that Yuka was there:



Posted by jason at 01:04 PM | Comments (3)

on journalistic hubris... Guest Post from Rochelle Mazar

[as mazar.ca is offline at the moment, Rochelle let me post this on my site. ed.]

From the Baltimore Sun: The Long Arm of the Blog by Victoria A. Brownworth. In sum:

Blogs are not essays, but somehow blogs are going to replace essays, and that's bad because essays are great, whereas blogs are crap posted on the interwebs by the illiterate unwashed. Samuel Pepys and Jonathan Swift would not be impressed with the blogosphere. But you should be impressed that I mentioned those two men, because I am smart and am a Real Essayist. Respect me.

Why am I being so harsh? I generally try to be respectful of the articles I link to, but my sinuses feel like their full of concrete at the moment and I have less patience for this kind of strong-arming by the mainstream media than I usually do. And strong-arming it is: this article is maliciously disingenuous, and you can consider that my thesis statement.

Any dot-commer can blog - a serious journalist with years of experience like, say, myself, or the teenager down the block spewing political rants during breaks from Grand Theft Auto. The problem in the blogosphere is that the kid and I will be received with equal credibility.

To suggest that everyone in the blogosphere has the same level of credibility shows a startling lack of research on Brownworth's part. Even a basic understanding of the Google ranking algorithm flies in the face of this idea. Authority is calculable and regularly calculated online. Why, just yesterday I was talking to my buddy Jason about the problem of "A-list" bloggers, the ones with all the credibility and all the attention, and how that ranking system hurts women and minorities. So, not only are we not all equal on the internet as Brownworth suggests, but we are actively in the midst of a years-old debate about the lack of diversity in the blogosphere hierarchy.

[Jonathan Swift's] "Proposal" works as well today as it did three centuries ago, its ideas still relevant. Do you remember last week's blog? Yesterday's?

Brownworth obviously misunderstands the term "blog". If you want to make a comparison between "essay" and something related to the blogosphere, the term you're looking for is "post". A blog is not an essay. A blog post, however, could very well be an essay. It could be an essay that took four years to write. It could be an essay that was originally published in the New Yorker. Or, it could an essay that was published on a blog and then later in a book by a reputable publisher. A post could be a snippet of dialogue, too. It could be a link and nothing else. It could be an audio file, a podcast. It could be a picture. It could be a piece of short fiction. It could be a book review. But it could also very easily be an essay.

...blogs are pretenders to the throne of true essay writing. They mimic the essay much as Eliza Doolittle mimicked the Queen's English before Professor Higgins got his hands on her. Like Eliza, blogs are captivating in their earnest, rapid-fire approach. But they are rarely, even at their best, true essays.

No. they are not essays at all. They are sources in which one might find essays posted, but they are not in and of themselves essays.

What's a little fudged definition between friends? Am I being deliberately obtuse? What's the problem with confusing "blog" with "post"?

Brownworth's problem with bloggers is that they do not have all the careful editors and quality-control personnel imposed upon them the way that essayists do. Because the essay as a literary form is a technology so advanced that it actually comes equipped with five other human brains attached, so that whenever you sit down to write an essay you are immediately surrounded by an editorial team.

In blogging, the checks and balances of standard essay writing seem not to apply. With its component of endless ruminations, incomplete (and often inconsistent) ideas and run-on sentences, is blogging really an online tributary of the art of the essay or the Internet kudzu slowly wiping it out?

Here is where Brownworth's vocabulary problem twists around and becomes a non sequitur, where it becomes intellectually dishonest. The "art of the essay" is not being lost as she is suggesting. If anything, the literary form of the essay is at an all time high, since so many people are latching on to non-fiction writing. Suddenly it's not only paid "essayists" who are can write essays that other people can read and respond to. Anyone can do it; that means there are more essays around. They may not all be good, but they're definitely not all bad. If Brownworth's interest is in encourage thoughtfulness and good essay writing by us as a society, she should be applauding the blog, since writing is something that improves with practice. The pool of practiced essayists is in fact growing.

There are no "checks and balances of standard essay writing". There are "checks and balances" in the mainstream media, which is what Brownworth really means to talk about. This has nothing to do with Pepys and Swift and everything to do with big business and what it wants you to know.

I am the last person in the world to suggest that bloggers will or should supplant journalists. But the reality is this: the mainstream media, particularly in the US, has failed, and bemoaning this as the loss of an art form is disingenuous.

A wake up call: that little law about freedom of the press that everyone jumps up and down about? That doesn't actually apply to journalists. It applies to the press, as in, the publisher of the newspaper itself. The journalist is merely an employee of the person who has the right to publish whatever he wants. (See Fox News if you think I'm making this up.) If a journalist covers a controversial story, the owner of the press in under no obligation at all to publish it. Journalists are required to represent their employers first and foremost, not the "objective truth", whatever the heck that is.

Further, newspaper articles are never exactly the length they need to be according to the topic at hand, with just enough examples and quotes and research and exposition. Newspaper essays are never considered complete simply when they have reached the end of their argument. They are crafted and edited to fit into a certain number of inches on a page.

So here we have two clear influences on the "pure" art form that is the newspaper essay; the bias of the owner of the press and the space available that particular day. Do either of these things improve the quality of the essay as a literary form? Would Jonathan Swift have taken kindly to chunks of A Modest Proposal being sliced out to fit the confines of a particular publication? Why should we prefer this content to the product of blogs, since bloggers are, in fact, the owners of their own presses, responsible only to themselves with no word count limits?

And why exactly should we prefer an essay written by a journalist?

There are lots of active conversations about the relationship between the mainstream media and the world of blogs. Those are very worthwhile arguments to have. What we've learned is that objectivity is dead, everything is subjective. When publishing is as easy as it currently is, what sort of subjectivity do we prefer: institutional faux-objectivity or on-the-ground-running personal experience and upfront opinion? Whose point of view do you want to hear first: that of an intelligent and articulate Iraqi woman living in Baghdad during the occupation, or that of an intelligent, articulate and well-trained journalist embedded with the American forces?

This article of Victoria Brownworth's strikes an elitist and nonsensical low blow that is enabled by that legitimate argument about blogs and the media. Hiding behind the spectre of a dying literary form is intellectually dishonest. The issue at hand is about legitimacy. The jury is still out on how we as a society are going to rule on that one.

Posted by jason at 12:57 PM | Comments (1)

US: Wireless Industry and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children Team Up for Child Safety

Wireless Industry and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children Team Up for Child Safety

Statistics show that when a child is abducted, the first three hours are the most critical to recovering the child alive. Recognizing their unique ability to provide timely assistance to law enforcement in these unfortunate situations, the wireless industry and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) have officially partnered to launch Wireless AMBER Alerts', an initiative that will help galvanize 182-million wireless subscribers in the search for an abducted child. Beginning today, any wireless subscriber capable of receiving text messages, and whose wireless carrier participates in the Wireless AMBER Alerts Initiative, may opt in to receive alerts by registering at www.wirelessamberalerts.org or their wireless carrier's website. Subscribers may designate up to five geographic areas for which they would like to receive Wireless AMBER Alerts.

While I do support any initiative that promotes safety for children, alarm bells go off in my head whenever, without any consideration for the deeper effects, we add one more technological layer to the surveillance net that surrounds us. Watch your children. Be part of your physical community. Connect with families. But with each new form of technological surveillance the impact on our identity and sense of self is challenged.

Posted by jason at 10:35 AM | Comments (0)

enCore Consortium

I just joined the enCore Consortium as an extension of the MOO work that me and the crew have been doing with project achieve since it started up in 1999. We'll be taking Achieve offline sometime this month, but hope to resurrect it sometime after I get localized at Ryerson.

Posted by jason at 09:42 AM | Comments (0)

May 17, 2005

RyHigh from the Sky


This is a bird's eye view of Ryerson University, much of it anyway, brought to you by Google Maps. The green roof in the centre is the copper roof over my office. I'm on the forth floor, facing north overlooking the quad. Nice view.

Posted by jason at 10:21 PM | Comments (0)

Toronto First Duty

Aaron Chan just put me in touch with Toronto First Duty Project. Am I always the last to know everything. :)

A universal early learning and care program for every child that simultaneously: meets the developmental needs of children to ensure they reach their full potential supports parents to work or study supports parents in their parenting role. Toronto First Duty brings together the three streams of kindergarten, child care and parenting supports into a single program designed to meet the learning needs of children at the same time as it meets the care needs of parents. Through the Toronto First Duty sites parents are able to access the full range of child and family supports available in their community.

Posted by jason at 02:28 PM | Comments (0)

Canada's first Apple Store to open May 21May 16 - 3:00 pm EST

AppleInsider | Canada's first Apple Store to open May 21

Canada's first Apple retail store will finally open its doors this Saturday, May 21st at 9:30 am in the Yorkdale Shopping Center. The first 1500 people to visit the store will receive a free Apple Commemorative T-shirt.

Posted by jason at 08:40 AM | Comments (2)

Drum Cafe

I'm heading to the Toronto Zoo >Toronto Zoo this afternoon with KAT!, Elizabeth and Yuka for the launch of the Drum Cafe. All I can say is that there better be animals, or I'll be travelling with three women out for fur.

Posted by jason at 08:06 AM | Comments (0)

May 16, 2005

Latin American Research Group (LARG)

Judith Bernhard just sent me info on a new report on a project she's part of with the Latin American Research Group (LARG) called Social cohesion and international migration in a globalizing era: Transnational solidarities and newcomer incorporation in Canada". The link is on the LARG web site at the bottom. Here's some info about the project:

A complex set of economic, political, and socio-cultural factors associated with globalization are contributing to the growing displacement and scattering of families across space. Economic and cultural globalization, migration, changes in travel and communication technologies, changes in employment opportunities and related processes, contribute to further displacement and fragmentation of family networks across space, meaning that the transnational multi-local family may be here to stay. However, there has been only limited consideration of the ways in which institutional landscapes shape immigrant families' experiences of spatial ruptures. For instance, the narrowing of family reunification criteria in the immigration policies of receiving countries may delay or prevent spatial family reunification.
The Latin American families component of the project on Social Cohesion and International Migration in a Globalizing Era: Transnational Solidarities and Newcomer's Incorporation in Canada, explored the character of long distance relationships, child rearing, and family members' ability and willingness to negotiate and manage their personal lives across borders. It also examined the adaptation and incorporation process of Latin-American families into Canadian society.
This research examined fundamental questions such as: What are the experiences of Latin American migrant families as they establish and maintain bonds across long distances? Are Latin Americans in Canada as fairly 'Ccomplete' nuclear or extended families? How do families address social reproduction in a transnational context? To what extent do family members make use of mainstream social services and ethno-specific Canadian based organizations including religious and community leaders?
LARG's research team conducted 40 interviews with Latin Americans who experienced separation from their children as a result of their migration to Canada. The study included families from Colombia, El Salvador, Ecuador, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Guatemala.

Posted by jason at 03:09 PM | Comments (0)

First, to the white guys who have been proclaiming

Rochelle forwarded this post to me: Burningbird Steve Levy, Dave Sifry, and NZ Bear: You are Hurting Us. It is another in an interesting line of discussions of power online and who gets a voice. When I spoke at SXSW years ago on the hegemony of ASCII in the next rooms journalists were crying the blues. There is the ever present A-list themes that come around and around. But one thing remains the same, blogs allow for a diversity of voices, LJ more than the national average, IMHO. And this is always going to bug those who think they get to control who says what.

I just hope that people like Shelly keep challenging it, though I doubt it will go away. As a White male, I think that the anything that challenges the existing power structure is good for us all in the long run. Gotta keep this book marked for my summer course.

First, to the white guys who have been proclaiming your race and sex with such pride: It would seem that not only are you not content with being king of the hill, you also want to be chief underdog, too. Not content to being the center of too many dialogs within weblogging, you also want to be the center of one discussion that, oddly enough, doesn%u2019t center around you: being a weblogger who is not a male, or is not white, or both.

Posted by jason at 02:41 PM | Comments (0)

May 15, 2005

When it all began...

Archbishop James Ussher (1581-1656), English theologian and scholar, author of a biblical chronology printed in margins of Authorized Version; archbishop of Armagh 1625; placed date of world's creation at 4004 BC. And I used to think it was Bishop George Berkeley. I turns out that though Ussher's dataset was not too good (the bible), he did a great job of research and analysis, or so I've heard.

Posted by jason at 09:42 AM | Comments (1)

Re: Profs who argue with their students could get sued

Forwarded from: -To: Language in New Capitalism lnc@listserv.cddc.vt.edu

I am obsereving a rather intricate network of discourses relating to the so called left-wing bias in higher education in the US. Drawing from Henry Giroux's "The Terror of Neoliberalism" I am starting to see this network as necessary if the prot-fascist agenda is to take hold. It is a late capitalist version of book burning. Intellectuals and scholars who question the consolidation of power are a threat to rising fascism, so we must be delegitimized in the eyes of the public. Portraying us as left wing extremists, terrorists, and the elite who are out of touch with 'common sense' is an effective way to neutralize our dissent. Powerful figures such as Lynn Cheyney are among the leaders of these organizations.

An assistant professor of higher education, I am quite interested in analyzing these discourses and their effects on intellectual freedom. My research agenda relates to colleges and universities as sites of ideological struggle. Though I am new to discourse studies, I see that critical analysis of these discourses is of paramount importance. Any ideas about how I might approach the right-wing assault on higher learning would be appreciated (dfayers@uncg.edu).

For those who are interested, here's a list of some more websites that threaten academic freedom in the US:


http://www.goacta.org/flashindex.html (Lynn Cheyney's organization)








These sites are rather disturbing.

David Franklin Ayers, Ed.D.
Assistant Professor of Higher Education
Department of Curriculum and Instruction
UNC Greensboro

Posted by jason at 09:33 AM | Comments (0)

ECE jobs at Ryerson this Fall

Working@Ryerson/Careers@Ryerson/Job Postings lists a number of part time positions at Ryerson this fall... if you've got a background in ECE, check it out.

Posted by jason at 09:31 AM | Comments (1)

May 14, 2005

Expanded Cinema

I was chatting with Arun and he mentioned a book that he's rereading and enjoying called Expanded Cinema. And voila... it is available as a free download PDF now. Imagine that.

Posted by jason at 01:26 PM | Comments (3)

May 10, 2005

The McLuhan Lectures 2005

The McLuhan Lectures 2005

The McLuhan Program in Culture & Technology at the Faculty of Information Studies, U of T presents a series of distinguished local researchers who will look at information literacy in light of McLuhan's insights for communication, culture, and technology today. FIS friends and Fellows will respond.

Posted by jason at 10:59 AM | Comments (0)

May 09, 2005

Assistant Professor Jason

The contract has been signed. As of August 1, 2005 I will be an Assistant Professor in the School of Early Childhood Education at Ryerson University.

And there was much rejoicing.

The Ryerson School of Early Childhood Education is the oldest school of its kind in Canada with a proud history and an excellent reputation nationally and internationally. The School is linked globally with other institutions that specialize in early childhood education and related fields. From its origins in 1959 as the Preschool Education Option (a two year diploma program) of the Home Economics Department, the program evolved to a three-year diploma in the mid-sixties. In 1972, a four-year bachelor of applied arts (BAA) degree program was initiated. In 1982, the School again broke new ground by offering the direct entry program to graduates of two-year community college diploma programs in early childhood education. The program continues to expand as more college graduates choose to build on their ECE diplomas and achieve the baccalaureate degree. The direct entry program is available on a part-time as well as full-time basis and is attracting students from across Canada. In 2002, the School was authorized to grant the Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree and Ryerson was officially recognized as Ryerson University. Over many years, the School of Early Childhood Education has consistently demonstrated its relevance to the learning needs of the communities it has served and its innovativeness in meeting emerging professional interests.

Posted by jason at 06:31 PM | Comments (6)

May 08, 2005


Megan Boler's Blog is back from the dead...

Posted by jason at 07:05 PM | Comments (0)

Old shots from the Japan Foundation

I took these shots at the Japan Foundation a couple years back. Kate McDonald Butler (LM Montgomery's granddaughter) is in some of them, as is our friend Claire Fawcett (behind the podium). Yuka's there, as are all her Anne of Green Gables related books on display. And no, that's not me with the camera at the end.

Posted by jason at 10:26 AM | Comments (0)

the academy's new electronic order? open source journals and publishing political science

the academy's new electronic order? open source journals and publishing political science

For many years, the dissemination of academic research has been controlled by commercial publishers. However, in light of the continuing inflation of subscription prices for scholarly journals, many academics are investigating open access publishing over the Internet. Although most advanced in the natural sciences, given its essentially political character, open access publishing should also be carefully considered by political scientists (and associated disciplines). This article explores open access publishing and suggests the reputational pay-off of 'normal' publishing can easily be maintained in the open access realm.

Posted by jason at 10:18 AM | Comments (0)

May 07, 2005

MOO - the Second Decade?

MOO%u2014the Second Decade? | Kairosnews

MOO, or Multi-User Object Oriented Domains, were one of the first real time synchronous tools that connected %u201Conline%u201D users within composition classrooms or virtual communities in the early 1990s before the Internet. But the text-based origins of MOO have not weathered well the growth of the Internet and the blog-era. Other online tools like blogs, CMS platforms like Drupal, and course platforms like WebCT or Blackboard have dominated the online teaching space for writing teachers in recent years. Some question has been raised whether (as Tari Fanderclai stated) %u201CMOO is dead.%u201D Last year saw a number of MOO decline landmarks%u2014the shift of the Computers & Writing Online synchronous discussions to another platform than a MOO and the death of Connections MOO. Can MOO evolve to fit a modern Internet environment?
This presentation will discuss the present state of MOO for the field of Composition and Rhetoric. Is it still relevant and why? In particular, it will showcase the new evolutions of the enCore Learning Environment and discuss the effort of the new enCore Consortium created to support development of the enCore. The presentation will highlight the unique aspects of MOO (especially within an enCore interface) that are still desirable features for teaching and collaborative learning. It will showcase the new enCore version 5 and discuss the new directions enCore is taking to make MOO a viable online learning environment for the future.

Posted by jason at 01:02 PM | Comments (0)

May 06, 2005


Yuka and I went to see the Massive Change exhibit at the AGO last sunday, as guests of our local city councillor Olivia Chow. The gallery is in our neighbourhood, which is largely asian, and doesn't really represent the diversity of the area, let alone Toronto which is the most culturally diverse city on the planet, according to the UN.

Yuka and I walked out after about 15 minutes. Massive: fraud, con, waste of time, joke... or as a good friend of mine put it "Yeah, massive mess. Load of sophomoric crap with a pot-pouri of "gee-whiz" attention getters... Love the spelling mistake on the splash wall at the entrance; set the whole tone."

The notion that design is a substitute for content, thought, art or anything more than fashion is an interesting one to contemplate... for a pico-second. I lament the death of a liberal arts education.

Posted by jason at 07:25 PM | Comments (2)

IT Hustle: The next generation

EDUCAUSE REVIEW | March/April 2005, Volume 40, Number 2 Next-Generation Educational Software: Why We Need It and a Research Agenda for Getting It.

I have to digest this more. I just had time to skim. At first it is a return to silliness, but they mention microworlds, so you know they're not totally off the mark. And there's a sense that they may suggest a move away from IT as administration of courses to IT as humble support for teachers and learners. Though how often do faculty and students ever know what questions to even ask of technology?

Posted by jason at 01:51 PM | Comments (0)

May 05, 2005

CSS Art... where's Rochelle?

css Zen Garden: The Beauty in CSS Design

A demonstration of what can be accomplished visually through CSS-based design. Select any style sheet from the list to load it into this page.

Posted by jason at 05:40 PM | Comments (0)

Bill Gates praising the MAC

MilkandCookies - Bill Gates Praising the Mac

Of course YOU shouldn't use a mac. No. Never.

I like having the cutting edge all for myself.

Use a PC.

Posted by jason at 05:21 PM | Comments (0)

Protest centers on military-sponsored research

From JuliaD:

University of Toronto -- News@UofT -- Protest centers on military-sponsored research (May 3/05)

Protesters held a demonstration at Simcoe Hall Monday morning, demanding to speak with U of T administrators about the role of the military in university research. The protest stemmed from a meeting originally scheduled for Monday between officials from the U.S. military and the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering to introduce academics to research funding opportunities; a decision had been made last week to postpone the meeting to a later date.

Posted by jason at 11:21 AM | Comments (0)

International Campaign Against Mass Surveillance

From the "well meaning, but perhaps misguided" department:


Global security and the "war on terror" now dominate the global political agenda. Driven largely by the United States, a growing web of anti-terrorism and security measures are being adopted by nations around the world. This new "security" paradigm is being used to roll back freedom and increase police powers in order to exercise increasing control over individuals and populations.
Under the public's radar screen, a registration and surveillance infrastructure of global reach is quietly being constructed. It includes the convergence of national and international databases, the creation of data profiles for whole populations, the creation of a global ID system, the global surveillance of movement, and the global surveillance of electronic communications.
The International Campaign Against Mass Surveillance (ICAMS) has launched a petition to demand that international organizations and national governments stop participating in the construction of this system.

Posted by jason at 10:23 AM | Comments (0)

Parents 'neglect ugly children'

BBC NEWS | Health | Parents 'neglect ugly children'

A team from the University of Alberta looked at how much care parents took to ensure their children were safe while shopping. They claim children they assessed as less attractive were more likely to be neglected.

Posted by jason at 08:38 AM | Comments (1)

May 04, 2005

Alan does Nomi!

Alan Rutherford is a local artist yuka and I have known on and off for over a decade. He's opened a store on baldwin, AND he's doing a painting of Norman the CAT!

Posted by jason at 08:24 PM | Comments (0)

Jeremy's up to no good... again.

From Too many topics, too little time.

The Center for Digital Discourse and Culture(CDDC) is announcing an expanded call for proposal for our Research E-ditions, Hosting Services, and our new Digital Originals publishing series. CDDC in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University is accepting new manuscripts for digital modes of publication in its Research E-ditions series. The CDDC (http://www.cddc.vt.edu) has been in operation for nearly two years, and it publishes hypertext journals, hosts digital research archives, and cooperates with many international cyberculture organizations.

Posted by jason at 03:25 PM | Comments (0)

May 03, 2005

Greenpeace co-founder Bob Hunter dies

Bob Hunter, co-founder of green peace, named by Time as one of the eco-warriors of the 20th century died. He was a local TV dood who chatted about public media every morning...

From ThisisLondon:

It was Hunter who adopted the term Rainbow Warriors to describe Greenpeace activists, as well as the phrase Media Mind Bomb to describe the activist impact on the public consciousness. He left Greenpeace in 1981 and turned to writing and broadcasting. In his most recent role, Hunter was the ecology news specialist on Canadian television.

Herald Sun: Kids tuck into whale burgers [03may05] and The Standard - Whale meat back on Japanese school-lunch menus - World

Posted by jason at 09:49 AM | Comments (0)

Thanks Rochelle

Rochelle let me scarf the css from her blog: Diary of a Subversive Librarian so that I could have her neat blockquote layout. She also made my cool logo.

Posted by jason at 09:34 AM | Comments (0)

Dracula Blogged

[Reference brought to you by the letter J and the eight-ball (jeremy)]... blogging novels is cool take on the chronological novel. This one starts on the day the novel starts and posts fragments of the text each day mentioned...

Dracula Blogged: Draculablog launches

This blog will publish Bram Stoker's Dracula for the next six months.� Individual pieces of the novel will appear on the calendar dates indicated in the text, starting with Jonathan Harker's May 3rd Bistriz journal entry, and finishing up with November 6 and the final Note.

I'm planning on two categories of posts.� First, and primarily, will be the novel's text.� Secondarily I'll post about the novel, or reflections on this project.�

Posted by jason at 09:20 AM | Comments (1)

Pirate Publishing

Stuffola: Happy Birthday Pirate Publishing:

Pirate was founded when Sigge Sigfridsson, Liza Marklund and Jan Guillou--three best-selling genre novelists--abandoned their publishers to start their own publishing house with the help of Guillou's wife, Ann-Marie Skarp, who became head of the company.

The publisher Guillou left was spitting mad and called the action a declaration of war. He also said, according to DN, that the Swedish book industry was facing something entirely new: a pirate publisher.

Posted by jason at 08:45 AM | Comments (0)

May 02, 2005

Jeremy says...

that I should keep [yuka] busy with kitten wars

Posted by jason at 06:34 PM | Comments (0)

30% off Internet Based Workplace Communications

Since you are all my friends and colleagues, here's a form for a discount on Internet-Based Workplace Communications: Industry and Academic Applications, which includes Rhonna and my chapter on MOOs(pdf)... along with other stuff.

Internet-Based Workplace Communications: Industry and Academic Applications examines the different ways in which online media are becoming a part of and affecting educational and professional writing practices. By overvieiwng how Internet-based technologies affect the communication process, this timely book provides educators with a synopsis of the tools and techniques that could be applied to a variety of educational and professional activities. Similarly, by covering the uses of online media in communication education, this book provides employers with insights related to the Internet-related discourse skills of prospective employees. This book serves as a bridge between educational developments and industry practices, and readers from a broad range of backgrounds learn of different concepts, technologies, and techniques that can affect the online communication process.

Posted by jason at 05:35 PM | Comments (0)

New Course @ UofT: 1545 The Literary Vampire

Elizabeth Miller
Is teaching a new course on Vampires at UofT.

Course Details:
The figure of the vampire made its first appearance in English literature in the early nineteenth century, reaching its apex in 1897 with the publication of "Dracula" by Irish author Bram Stoker. Vampire literature soared in popularity during the twentieth century, essentially taking two directions: reinvention of the Dracula archetype, as in Stephen King's "Salem's Lot"; and rejection of the Dracula model in favor of the sympathetic, morally ambivalent vampire, as in "Interview with the Vampire" and the other works by Anne Rice. In all three novels, the vampire is a metaphor for the fears and anxieties of contemporary society, a factor which accounts in large part for its continuing endurance.
Learner Outcomes:
An awareness of how supernatural fiction can illuminate social and cultural realities. An exploration of how the figure of the vampire moved from folklore to literature. An appreciation of the vampire as literary metaphor.

SCS 1545 - 001
4 21 SEP 2005 to 12 OCT 2005
pm100 - pm300
Number of Sessions: 4
Campus: St. George Campus
Delivery Method: IN-CLASS
Instructor: Elizabeth Miller, M.A., Ph.D.
Tuition: 195.00
LLL: 180.00

To register for this course go to http://learn.utoronto.ca/uoft/search/publicCourseSearch.do?method=searchCNOnly&courseSearch.courseNumber=1545 or go to http://www.learn.utoronto.ca and search for the course using the course number.

Posted by jason at 08:24 AM | Comments (1)

May 01, 2005

Diary of a Subversive Librarian: Open Letter to Heather Menzies

Rochelle's always a "must read" and her post Diary of a Subversive Librarian: Open Letter to Heather Menzies is no exception: "Some snippets from today's Toronto Star: "Dumbed down on campus, bit by bit" by Heather Menzies, professor of Canadian Studies at Carleton University..."

Posted by jason at 06:25 PM | Comments (0)

Imaginary Companions

I read an interesting article in the Toronto Star about Marjorie Taylor and her research into Imaginary Companions and children. I can't remember if I ever had any such friends... I'll have to check wtih my parents.

Posted by jason at 12:51 PM | Comments (0)