Archive for January, 2015

Weekend funny – OK, don’t try this at home. Extreme pogo stick

Saturday, January 31st, 2015

I still remember the accidents I had on my pogo stick in the 60’s.

Extreme pogo

I reminds me of a time in my youth when a friend rigged a chainsaw motor up his billy cart and nearly decapitated himself when the chain ripped free (that was after it mounted the curb, but before he hit the tree).

Some kids toys are not suited to extreme sport (anyone for ‘razor Frisbee’).

The downside of lecture capture

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

Monkey, Captivity, Zoo, Imprisoned, Grid, Cage, Eyes

There’s nothing particularly new in this article, by Mark Smithers, but it’s worth a read.  The underlying notion is that live lectures (i.e. dull, didactic yacks, delivered by a uninspiring presenters) are not suited to video.  And he’s right, but they are also not suited to learning in general, which I think is the core problem.

Based on past experience and conversations with numerous students, I think the upside significantly outweighs the downside.  I think some lecturers could make a considered case for not recording or at least delaying the release of recordings  But usually the decision not to record, when you strip it right down to the pedagogical bones, is an ego issue.

The best stuff is in the comments.

I found this via Stephen Downes


Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

For those who think group work is not just about cutting down workload

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

I recognize that you are in the minority but these 2 links might help.

Here’s a primer.  The case for group work
(found via Stephen Downes)

If you are looking for more detail on how to put together group a work assessment have a look at his document from James Cook University.   It’s a collection of information from a range of other sources.  It mentions the peer assessment program SPARK, but if you are looking for a free open source product WebPA is worth a look.

2014 End of year – Top Cleantech Buzzwords and phrases

Monday, January 12th, 2015

I think it’s telling that the top 10 includes Solar-Plus-Storage, Grid Defection, and Dirt Cheap Solar.

The One Chart That Shows Why 2014 Was a Breakthrough Year for Utility-Scale Solar in America

As the price of solar continues to slide, the issue of load balancing begins to loom.  Some of the current calculations reckon you’re OK until you hit 35-40%  from solar and wind.  I suspect the top phrases in 2015 will include Small Modular Reactors and Safe Nuclear.  Not that these are actually viable.  Even bog-standard nuclear is about the most expensive way we have to produce power.  But, when compared to the cost of coal carbon capture it starts looking a bit more attractive, particularity if they actually prove to be safe and production can be scaled up to make them relatively economical.

2014 End of year – Top ten words (according to Merriam-Webster)

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

“This year, the use of the word culture to define ideas in this way has moved from the classroom syllabus to the conversation at large, appearing in headlines and analyses across a wide swath of topics.”

Here’s the rest of the list (losers)

  • nostalgia
  • insidious
  • legacy
  • feminism,
  • je ne sais quoi
  • innovation
  • surreptitious
  • autonomy
  • morbidity

I think the top word in our home was ‘out’ (put your washing out, you can go out side if you’re to do that, I can’t dad I’m going out).

2014 End of Year – Best photos of 2014

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

2015 Sony World Photography Awards – Latest Open Entries


The Sony World Photography Awards is widely recognised as the leading global photographic awards programme in existence today.

Launched in 2008, the awards are dedicated to supporting and cultivating photographic culture.  Through a range of annual competitions, we hope to discover new talent in the world of photography and moving image.