Stress Related Disorders Respond to Nature Remedy By 30 Percent, an Organic Education Antidote for Natural System Dysfunction (NSD) Increases Wellness and Reduces Budgets. The Institute of Global Education has identified a debilitating disorder known as Natural System Dysfunction (NSD), and has developed a readily available online Organic antidote for it. At home, work or school, the easily learned antidote, by 30 percent, increases our well-being and reduces budgets. read more:
Kamaron Institute Reports: Causalities Mount In Word Wars The best workplace and school bullying solution is 'Preemption' reports Margaret Ross, Kamaron Institute 'The locations may vary, work place, neighborhood, Internet, school or bus, but the bully's weapon of choice remains constant. WORDS,' says Kamaron Institute president Margaret Ross. read more:
Big Dogs, Bikers, and Woolly Worms Work to Benefit Katrina's Kids Abused children work to raise money to share Christmas with the youngest of Katrina's victims read more:
Senior Great Dane Receives 2005 Broadway Barks Hero Award Broadway star, David Hyde-Pierce from Spamalot, presents Hero award to an aging Great Dane in recognition of his work with abused children. read more:
80% of children under two watch HOW much media per day?
I realize that we're an outlier in the entire TV and media discussion because we don't watch any TV at all. That's right. When they're deathly sick we might okay a video once in a blue moon, but I estimate that our three children, ages 2, 6, 9, watch less than twenty hours of TV/movies annually, and zero video or computer games.
Usually when I tell people that they gasp and act uncomfortable, immediately trotting out rather daft rationalizations for why the hour or two of daily TV their own children watch is educational, important, valuable or otherwise important. I mean, we wouldn't want our six year old to miss an episode of American Idol, would we?
Frankly, being a no media family works really well for us. Our kids are active, sporty, creative and artistic, and always seem to find things to fill the time, whether it's bicycling, skateboarding, playing on the swings, drawing, reading books, or finding neighborhood kids to play with. It works for us. This doesn't mean, however, that I think it can work for all families.
With that said, it was darn interesting to read the latest statistics from the recent Kaiser Family Foundation's research entitled The Media Family. According to that study (as reported by David Kiley in BusinessWeek)...
I'm part of a local men's group that varies in size from about six of us up to twenty or more, depending on the phase of the moon and various other mysterious factors that I haven't yet figured out. Every other Thursday night we meet and share our experiences as fathers, husbands and men, and it's reaffirming, often amusing, and always valuable.
While some of us are more on the geeky end of the continuum there are a number of artists and creative types too, and so it was with enthusiasm on my part that we had one of the members invite us to meet at his metalwork studio rather than our usual venue.
Last night I was therefore brought into the brotherhood of metalworkers, and it was a truly enjoyable experience.
Welcome to the Alaska ICE Forum! We hope that this can become an “on-line community” where Alaskans can share their opinions, wisdom, stories and knowledge with each other, as we all work together to make Alaska the best place it can possibly be to raise and educate our children. Keep checking this space to see what people are talking about, and [...] read more:
wOrk liKe tHaT!?
i realli do not like the way i am being treated in my team .... i am a guy who do all the disgusting suppoer taskssss... i am not blaming for the heavy workloads.... how to say .... i am a 'helpful' person in my team .... if 'THEY' do not hv time to finish any easy stuff..... then they will ask me to do for sure.... 'THEY' will discuss, talk and work together ..... but i am alone and work at the corner of the office.... i feel like i am not being trusted.... my ability is being doubted....... the feeling is not good.... hahah... it is not the real case... coz 'THEY' , my superviser, Loren, and teamate carmen, are better friends..... so... sign .... realli not know how to sayyyy .... just weird feelingggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg...........
.... just think this is the place that i can put down all my unhappiness..... mmm.... realli hate to deal with money problem ... when a person grows up ... he starts to face the fanacial situtation ... sometimes realli dun wanna work for money .... wanna spend more moeny on buying things that i want ... wanna spend more time for my favourite activities... ai.... it is not the case though ... hahaha read more:
awful week ..... starting from monday ... it reminds me my 'masterpiece' in my sceondary school, namely 'an unlucky day' ... haha ... u know what .... quarrelled with every person around .... argued with my manager about the project and enahncements of several system .. i insisted on implementing some modifications of the the system .... but she said it 's not nesscessary... how come !!!!!!! argued with my mum again ... this time ...realli totally disappointed ... dunno .... i start to hate my newly-decorated room ... although still needa buy all the furnitures for it .... this room made me argue 12315524 times with my mum .... talking about the design ... the works .... the money stuff.... i do think our relationship can only be improved if i move out .... i love her ... but dunno how to communicate with my stuborn mum .... she won't listen to anybody .... sometimes we should learn how to understand others... listen and accept other's opinions ..rite? still hv many things not to be mentioned here luuu.... the more i write ... the unhappier i am .... fridy pls comes lah ... i needa hv a big rest ... i needa play for this long weekend .... hahahaha .......call me if u guys are free.... but i still hv my tutorial lessons with 2 kids... work hard and play hard then !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Quite an interesting test ... but am i stylish?? HAHA... dunno know ... relaxing weekend ... but bak to work again ... >.<
Your dating personality profile:
Stylish - You do not lack for fashion sense. Style matters. You wouldn't want to be seen with someone who doesn't care about her appearance. Outgoing - You can liven up any party. You've got a way with people and have little difficulty charming your dates. Big-Hearted - You are a kind and caring person. Your warmth is inviting, and your heart is a wellspring of love.
Your date match profile:
Shy - You are put off by people who are open books. You are drawn to someone who is a bit more mysterious. You want to draw her out of her shell and get to know what she is all about. Practical - You are drawn to people who are sensible and smart. Flashy, materialistic people turn you off. You appreciate the simpler side of living. Conservative - Forget liberals, you need a conservative match. Political discussions interest you, and a conservative will offer the viewpoint you need.
This, by the way, is how I have to carry Aidan when he's upset. In a kangaroo pouch. It's the only thing that settles him. And here we are posing here with our dear friends Cindy Gordon and Dr. Ralph Pennino from Intervol.
Photo: Shanghai Sunset:Or, Why I do Environmental... Photo: Shanghai Sunset:Or, Why I do Environmental Work in ChinaThis is Shanghai at 5pm. A mix of twilight, sunset, and gloom. One of the 15% of days that the government says pollution is below acceptable levels. Your narrator's man-onthe-street standar read more:
Taking a breather I?ve decided to have a nice chilled day at the Dome today. It?s all been a tat too hectic lately. So today I just want to hang out with my kids, read, swim, faf around on the computer, take pictures and read. There are plenty of things to get on with, but I?ve decided that everything can wait for a day. It?s so tempting for a new mum to do too much too soon & run herself into the ground. Anyway, I choose not to go there.
Talking of doing too much?I remember how we all used to overdo it at MTV. Seeing as I had never really had a ?normal? job before, I actually thought that it was normal for people to work and work and work (and party like crazy too) until they had a breakdown. These breakdowns could happen anywhere and at any time. People would literally loose it at those moments. They would usually cry their eyes out and say something like ?I can?t do it anymore, I can?t do it?. We all recognized those moments and were very understanding. The person in question would take a few days off and when they returned they would work like crazy again until their next breakdown.
Isn?t it insane that I used to believe that this happened in all professions? Anyway, none of that for me anymore.
Last night we even managed to have a quiet evening. Both the kids fell asleep early! What a treat! Sitting by the side of the pool, eating a late-night bowl of cereal & staring at the stars (the stars are amazing in Belize as there isn?t any light pollution) made me realize again how good life really is. Andy and I could really do with more nights like that.
So enjoy your weekend, wherever you are! And may it be a relaxing one.
Living in Belmopan is just so civilized. We have cable television, DSL Internet, shops that are open till 8 o?clock in the evening and there are tennis and basketball courts around the corner. As it?s a concrete house, it?s nice and cool. There are no creepy crawlies, very few mosquitoes (the town sprays against them), no snakes and (best of all) bin men to collect your garbage!
Living at the Dome is more like being in the Wild West in comparison. You have to rely on yourself and your neighbors for so many things. Finding your own solutions to waste disposal, catching snakes, scorpions, tarantulas, putting out your own fires (we once waited all night for the fire brigade?they never showed up) & now the police asked us for a ?contribution? to buy a car and supply it with gas, to patrol our area more.
So again, we?ve come to the conclusion that we?re better off relying on ourselves and on our direct neighbors, even for something like security. It seems to be the best system when you live ?out in the sticks? like us.
So that makes our list of what we?re up to at the moment look like this:
Take care of a toddler and a newborn
Expand our resort with 2 extra rooms (in what used to be our living space)
Build our own house
Look after our guests every day (we?re fully booked most of the time)
Buy back our old store in San Ignacio (The Green Dragon)
I'm in another CHI paper session on privacy issues.
Hi session -- Privacy
I'm in the CHI session on Privacy.
The first paper is on incidental informational privacy. The scenarios is that you're at work, or in an airport gate area, and someone might look over your shoulder. They surveyed a broad set of users on their preferences and behavior. Not any real surprises here, just some good quantitative results that reinforce intuition.
Second paper: Being Watched or being special. They reference a study from a study from the '70s that shows that people are much more willing to comply with impositions if a reason -- any reason, no matter how absurd -- is given. Their study shows that this extends to privacy. Fascinating.
I'm in the CHI panel on 'Why Taggigng systems work.'
This is really frustrating to watch. There are representatives from Yahoo/Flickr, Google, and various research institutions on this panel, all trying to define tagging, but REALLY trying to define tagging in a way where it's more important and signficant than just metadata. In essence, they're trying to define the 'tagging phenomenon' while skirting around the fact that they all have a vested interest in tagging being an important phenomenon with long-term staying power.
The one useful point raised is that in contrast to prior metadata efforts that were really designed around archiving and re-dscovery, tagging is largely focused on distribution (though certainly has an IR use too).
Out of this has grown Luis von Ahn's work on cooperative community tagging (and how to use games to do this). I'm a big fan of Luis's work at CMU.
Interesting observation/question from the audience: it seems like you need to be a 'tag devotee' and pretty religiously do it to get a lot of value out of it. (panel answer: there's a fair amount of value just as a consumer for others' tags, e.g. Wikipedia)
'man on the street' video, surveying people on their own filing/searching habits. What would get people to spend 30 minutes a day tagging web sites? Two most common answers: money (i.e. getting paid to do it) or 'nothing.'
Interesting insight from George Furnas, University of Michigan: people overestimate their own ability to tag items accurately, and underestimate a group's ability to come up with a good diverse set that represents the object well.
Furnas is definitely the star of this panel: he has a great historical perspective and a thoughtful approach that goes beyond the obvious memes of the tagging community (something the other panel members are having trouble with).
Good audience question: will tagging make it outside of the community? Will out mothers ever tag things? (the moderator punted; he wants to come back to it at the end of the session)
A panel member cited a UC Berkeley study that showed that tags are very similar to dialects: well-connected groups of people quickly converge on common sets of tags.
When asked where tagging will go, really no clear ideas. Except fr one panel member who thinks we'll end up tagging (and thereby judging) people.
An audience emember brought up that amazon added tagging to product pages a couple of months ago and it was a total disaster. A panelist said that it's Amazon's fault because the page is too busy. (another member jumped in and also blamed the UI) A third panelist is suggesting that the implementation was too eglaitarian -- not only could everyone tag, but everyone could define new tags.
Question from a panelist: does tagging scale up to large, heterogeneous groups? the panelists seem to say 'no' and I would suggest that this might be a more general indictment of social software systems: they almost never scale to large-scale, heterogeneous groups.
recurring point that relates to this: one universal, flat terrain for tags probably doesn't work. You need to think about clusters of tags (potentially overlapping) and hierarchies. In other words, in classing Internet form, the tagging community has just rediscovered IR, taxonomies, and semantic hierarchies.
Audience question: how many tags to people associate with an item? On delicious, the average is two (not surprisingly, that's the same as the number of words people type into a search box on MSN Search or Google).
I'm in the CHI 2006 session on Schools of Information, aka 'i-schools.' The session chair suggests that i-schools focus on information as the central concept vs. computers or computing.
There's no single model for an i-school; some evolved from computer science, some from library science, some are hybrids of several departments. There are about 20 i-schools in North America. They tend to grow up in places where there isn't already an independent School of Computer Science, at least partially as a way to raise the awareness and importance of subfields (like HCI) that tend to get buried in a department of CS that's buried in an engineering school.
If you imagine a triangular 'problem space' with information, people and technology at the points, you've mapped out the area of concern for an i-school.
This 'i-school movement' raises lots of hard questions:
is HCI more central/relevant to i-schools than to Computer Science?
will it make HCI even less central to CS?
what publications are important for tenure decisions?
is research biased toward studies and away from actually creating intellectual property that could be commercialized?
over time, will i-schools 'silo' to the detriment of interdisciplinary subfields (like HCI)?
what's the difference between a 'school of information' and a 'school of informatics'?
within i-schools, is HCI in danger of becoming too diffuse?
will i-schools buck the trend of the overall decline of enrollment in CS programs?
This is a very frustrating session. There's a long list of audience members waiting to comment or ask questions, so I'd never make it to the mike before the session ended, but they're asking all the wrong questions. They're focused on branding, identty, and how to facilitate interdisciplinary work. The right questions to ask are all more basic:
what kind of jobs are your preparing people to? (one of the panelists said that he hoped that their graduates would go to work in other i-schools!)
have you actually talked to any employers to see if they value what you're offering?
How do you 'market' i-schools to the rest of academia and to industry?
where do researchers in your field publish? (besides CHI)
Is it easier of more difficult to get funding for research when you're in an i-school vs. a CS, engineering or other school?
will i-schools create anything that will ever get commercialized? (I realize this is in my list above, in a slightly different form)
is this really anything more than an attempt to get HCI and interdisciplinary work more respect wthin the university?
What kind of degrees do people get from an i-school, and do they mena anything to anyone? Is the undergraduate degree BS or BA? (similar question for the master's degree)
I'm in the first session on privacy issues. Clare-Marie Karat is presenting a paper on a system for how to express formal privacy rules in natural language.
Who has access to what personal information:
for what purposes
to carry out what actions
under what conditions
with what obligations
Many of the question revolve around ways to handle exceptions -- which is the downfall of most data and workflow automation systems.
Karen Tang presented a paper on how to preserve privacy/anonymity in mobile location-based services. Person-centric applications reduce the fidelity of queries to increase anonymity. But location-centric services/queries are different in some ways and does the fidelity-degradation approach work? (no) so what does work? The discussion of the work point out that this is really an application-layer system, and that there are many threats from other layers particularly if the application layer system is dependent upon lower layers to accurately label locations.
Kirsten Boehner is talking about 'Advancing Ambiguity' Ambiguity is 'the admitting of multiple interpretation' (Gaver, 2003).
Generally more information and awareness reduces ambiguity, but sometimes there are exceptions. 'If you have one clock, you always know the time. If you have two clocks, you never know the time.'
Wendy March talked about 'Girls, Technology and Privacy: Is My Mother Listening?' Question: do you make phone calls sitting in your closet? It turns out that lots of teenage girls do. (so their parents can't overhear)
Important learning: girls pay attention to 'location privacy' -- don't trust IM to be secret, just voice calls. But they don't feel like home is 'their place' and will take phone (cell or cordless) somewhere that they can have a private conversation. Will only use computer for private conversations if they can physically move it somewhere private.
I'm going to try to blog at regular intervals this week while I'm at CHI in Montreal. They have the student volunteers organized to do this too, so it should be an interesting collection of entries on the official CHI blog site by the end of the conference.
The opening plenary this morning, by Scott Cook of Intuit, was great. Scott is a very genial, affable guy who quickly builds a cnnection with the audience. The official topic for his talk, which he generally stuck to, was 'Creating game-changing innovation.'
He had many interesting insights into the business of innovation, many cribbed from Peter Drucker (in a good way, with appropriate credit given). Of particular note was his list of five 'models of innovation inside a company:
1. the lone genius 2. the boss is the genius 3. copy competitors' innovations 4. cloister the geniuses in a lab 5. make the people the geniuses
and of course he subscribes to the last one.
The heart of his talk, though was about five principles of innovation and invention. His principles:
1. Invention comes from mindset change. 2. Mindset change comes from seeing differently. 3. Savor surprises -- as learning. (and 3a. celebrate your failures for the learning you derive from them) 4. Focus managers on a customer metric 5. Nurture and protect teams that are doing innovative work.
Cook talked a lot about how Intuit has a culture of always starting with the customer need. He gave several examples of how Intuit products were created directly out of customer studies that gave them key insights about how they weren't solving the needs of their customers.
It was a fun and inspiring talk. If you get an opportunity to hear Cook talk, I would strongly encourage you to do so.
Last Friday, I flew down to Northern California to visit with my family and participate in my fantasy baseball league's auction draft on Saturday.
Sunday I flew to DC. OK, that part's theory. In practice, I got as far east as Phoenix, missed my connection by 10 minutes, got rerouted to Las Vegas then on to a red-eye to Newark, then Monday morning caught a shuttle flight to DC.
Why, you may ask, did I put myself through that kind of hell to get to DC? Because I testified in front of Congress; specifically, the House Government Reform Committee, on exactly how broken the current processes are for trying to get a visa to enter the US. (short description: submit application, wait 3-5 months, come in for interview, get asked a few irrelevant questions, get random answer). So by getting to DC midday Monday I still had time to get briefed and prepped to testify (and get some sleep -- I arrived at our DC office on exactly one lousy hour of sleep).
Side note: I was flying US Airways/America West. They just merged -- sort of. The tickets and flight numbers are sort of merged. The branding is not -- it's a huge, confusing mix. And most of all: the employees are totally, utterly checked out. Zero customer empathy -- they don't care, and they can't be bothered. DO NOT FLY US Airways or America West. They don't deserve your business.
Testifying went well. Yo-Yo Ma was also on the panel with me, talking about how difficult it is for artists and performers to get into the US as well. The committee was very receptive.
Tuesday afternoon I spent 4 hours on the Mall in DC with my camera. Took almost 500 pictures. I've culled down to about 50 I like, and am cleaning them up for posting to my Flickr site. Stay tuned...
Wednesday morning I flew home and went in to work.
Tonight I head out with my daughters and their school choir (on another red-eye, two in one week) to Philadelphia and DC (another two-fer-one special this week).
So I'm behind on everything. Sorry about that. Next week will be better. Promise.
Background: last week Google was added to the S&P 500. Which on its own is actually neutral -- it signifies that a company is big and important, but doesn't really signal anything about expectations for the stock to go up or down.
But here's the thing: all of the S&P index funds suddenly need to have that stock represented in their holdings, so they have no choice but to buy it up. So whenever a stock gets added to the S&P 500 or any of the other big indices, it immediately has a bump up.
Apparently someone got wind of this and made a bundle just before the announcement. Put aside that Google (the company) is involved, because it may not have involved anyone at Google. And, in fact, it may not even be illegal since the S&P 500 is not a publicly traded company and thus falls outside of SEC regulations for insider trading.
But someone clearly made the system work to their advantage last week.
Getting back in touch It’s unfortunate that I only seem to be able to get back in touch with old friends when something big is happening, like moving away from those old friends. Work, life, and everything else gets in the way of maintaining friendships with people you don’t get to see every day. Maybe it’s just [...] read more:
New Project This is my new project. It randomly began yesterday when I was driving down my street and saw this chair stacked up by some garbage cans. So, I did what anyone would do, I screeched to a stop, thinking... read more:
MetaBlogging Or, blogging about blogging. But in a roundabout way. Okay, technically just blogging about getting a desk from which to blog, er, work. Compute? So, I got a new desk! Actually, it's more like a table. Actually, it's more like... read more:
[Surfnetkids Newsletter] Italy ================================= Surfing the Net with Kids Newsletter (via RSS)
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Table of Contents
1. Introduction 2. Sponsor's Spot 3. Weekly Topic: Italy 4. What Did We Miss? Submit Site or Link To Us 5. Note from a Reader 6. Related Games 7. Quote of the Week 8. Classified Ads 9. Subscription Management
Italy Printable (** for premium members only) http://www.surfnetkids.com/printables/italy.pdf
In celebration of their World Cup victory (and my recent vacation there) this week's topic is Italy. Italy is a republic in southern Europe known for its rich history, good food, natural beauty andexcellent soccer team.
Rome, Italy's capital, got its name from the legend of Romulus and Remus, two orphaned twinsraised by a wolf. The Roman god Mars told the boys to build a city, but the two ended up at warwith each other. Romulus won, so the city was named after him. Highlights of this wonderfulBBC site include seven printable activity sheets, a quiz about Roman technology such asaqueducts and arches, a Roman timeline, and a glossary of Roman terms from 'amphitheater' to'wreath.'
A terrific introduction to Italy for elementary and middle-schoolers, including an overview ofimportant country stats, along with lots of maps and flags to print and color. Other interestingclicks are the coloring pictures of Italian art masterpieces by Michelangelo, da Vinci andRaphael, and an overview of Italian inventions such as the battery, eyeglasses, parachute andradio. Don't leave without looking at the printable story books with simple Italian vocabularywords.
In July, 2000, Elaine M. Doolittle took a twenty-two day tour of Europe with her husband anddaughter. This section of her annotated photo album covers Italy. Her adventure starts in thenorth ('We crossed the Alps into Italy and passed some lovely villages.') and heads south ('Aferry took us to Venice, known for its canals in place of streets.') all the way to Rome ('Romehas many beautiful fountains.') Follow Elaine to the Vatican City by clicking on its flag at thebottom of any page.
'Thank you for all the stuff that you have sent me.' Brooke Kostak
**Printables Club members get 6 to 9 recommended sites (instead of the 3 included in this freenewsletter) and oodles of additional educational content with the Surfnetkids Premium Newsletter. Get your ten-day trial: http://www.surfnetkids.com/printables-club.htm
Daily Education Quote via Email http://www.surfnetkids.com/quotations/
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