In my decade of conference-going, this was easily the most remote venue I had ever encountered.
Challenging, no doubt, but one good thing is that there is never a shortage of resources for classroom discussions.
Fox News interview with Reza Aslan (July 2013)
Fairytale prisoner by choice: The photographic eye of Melania Trump (Kate Imbach, Medium, 16 April 2017)
Trump gave an ‘impromptu’ interview to the NY Times. Did it grill him hard enough? (Keith Wagstaff, Mashable, 29 December 2017) — in reaction to Excerpts from Trump’s interview with The Times (The New York Times, 28 December 2017)
Not literally this month, but you know what I mean!
A crowd-powered travel metasearch engine that can help you pick a ticket as per your budget, not destination. 🙂 Comparable, in a sense, to Skyscanner’s ‘Still undecided? Explore our map’ service.
Last Saturday evening, on my way back home from a workshop, this notification popped up on my phone.
And this time we went on.
First, Trevor Noah on American sportsing. I am certain this is not an exaggeration. This is the whole premise of Moneyball (2011)! By the way, his accounts of South African sports culture are also equally hilarious.
Next, Michael McIntyre on rugby versus football.
We then ended with the famous “This is not soccer” moment. 😀
Last night I was video chatting with my mum and one of my sisters. My 24-month-old niece was with them and busy navigating YouTube on my mum’s phone while we were chatting through Skype on my sister’s phone. I was desperately trying to win my niece’s attention, waving and saying “Hi, your big auntie here” non-stop in a pantomime manner.
She proved to be too cool to respond to this imposition though. She cast a brief look and simply minimised the Skype app away. With one aloof tap. My mum and sister ROFL’ed. Me? I was jaw-droppingly impressed and feeling a little rejected at the same time. 😦
We hear a lot about the digital mastery of children and young people. I follow the latest developments in the field with interest. Among what I enjoyed reading most recently are Sonia Livingston’s comments on the YouTube Kids scandal and David M. Perry’s “How to teach a cyborg“.
In the meantime, Livingstone recommends keeping an eye on children’s YouTube binges. “It depends on the age and resilience or vulnerability of the child, of course, but the best advice is occasionally to share an interest with your child on YouTube,” she says. “Don’t always look over their shoulder, or check up on them secretly,” but watch with them to see how they go about using the app and how they react to what they view. And make sure to turn on restricted mode for some basic protections.
Because while it’s Google’s responsibility to do better, at this rate, your toddler may well be a teenager by the time Silicon Valley admits it’s time to hire human moderators to make up for algorithmic failures.
Having an understanding based on second-hand accounts, however, means that certain things will always be difficult to imagine. For example, it didn’t come to my mind until the second sister told me that in order to fulfil the Santa role successfully this time, she had to make sure there were no shopping traces on the phone and the tablet in the lead up to Christmas. !!!!!
I wrapped up 2017 with baking. Creating something in the kitchen is not my strong suit, but with an unparalleled sweet tooth, I did a little bit of baking when I finally moved out of the campus halls of residence and had my own kitchen in 2009. It has been a while since that phase.
At that time I discovered many grownup-sounding desserts (e.g. green tea muffins, prune brownies, and a Guinness cake with Bailey’s cream), but in the end, the ultimate fail-proof recipe was for a tarte aux pommes. And that’s what I picked this time around.
While waiting for it to be ready, I suddenly started to think about a talk I attended on 14 December: Algorithmic Authenticity by Wendy Hui Kyong Chun. It was a fascinating talk from beginning to end, but the particular bit that came back to me was her comment on how we as a society are obsessed with the currency of being authentic and believe/claim that we know when we see something that is not. What is interesting is that given this combination there now is a formula for appearing authentic. To paraphrase her words, the formula is to present a slightly less than best possible version. 😀
I thought it was spot-on. Her discussion was focused on the 2016 US presidential election, but the phenomenon is certainly not limited to it. Think about all those “no-makeup makeup” tutorials on YouTube, for example!
Against this backdrop, here is my authentic pie just before going into the oven.
2 apples + 1 egg yolk + 100g cream + 100g sugar.
190 degrees, 30 minutes.
I am someone who just has to have a knick-knack box. I have always had one since, well, as far as I remember. Much of that compulsion has now gone digital. I see my Tumblr page in particular as my virtual knick-knack box and treasure it more than any other spaces I have carved out in this vast digital world.
My only complaint, however, is about its search function. It sucks. So this post is to move one of my collections from there to here for easier navigation. I have collected quite a few ‘pedagogical gems‘ over the past couple of years. <puffed with pride>
A timeline of earth’s average temperature (xkcd, 2016)
Timeline Tools (Florian Kräutli, 8 April 2016)
Data Viz Project (Ferdio, 2017)
Fundamentals of Data Visualization (Claus O. Wilke, free e-copy of a forthcoming O’Reilly Media book)
Introduction to Social Network Methods (Robert A. Hanneman & Mark Riddle, 2005)
Kind of a (growing) YouTube playlist with my methodology students in mind. To borrow Ed Yong’s words, I scour the internet so that you don’t have to. 😉
Common errors made when conducting a literature review (Michael Quinn Patton, 2015)
Methods 101: Random sampling (Pew Research Center, 12 May 2017)
Increasing validity in qualitative research (Denise Clark Pope, 2017)
Why you can never argue with conspiracy theorists (Wired, 17 June 2017)
Relativity & the equivalence of reference frames (Hillary Diane Andales, 1 October 2017)
Let me start off my twelfth year of blogging on an indisputably positive note. In this age of misinformation and disinformation, I still feel that I am learning a lot on the internet. I now boil eggs perfectly every time thanks to a tip that I picked up on Twitter, for example. I also love hearing about little things that make people happy. Sound of Music style. There are numerous subreddits on that exact topic. There is also a Tumblr account called Things We Like, which used to have regular posts including one of my own a couple of years ago. One happiness hack that I will always remember was from a random stranger on Twitter: brighten your phone screen up a couple of notches in case you need an immediate mood booster. Yes, I have tried, and yes, it works.
Today I have discovered one such hack myself so I am sharing here – as a way of paying forward. WD-40 all door handles around your house. You will feel like your whole life is running swimmingly.