I am super excited about this new digital learning partnership that the California Academy of Sciences has begun with the amazing Khan Academy. For those that don't know, the Khan Academy is an online school where millions of students learn everything from basic math to python programming to art history. All for free!
The Cal Academy has chosen to focus on one of our key priorities: biodiversity, offering a fun, engaging multi-part course on this subject. Check out one of the introductory videos for a flavor of what you can learn about.
Right now there are two tutorials available:
Why is biodiversity important?
Where is biodiversity found?
Five more will be added later in the year. I love the metaphor of exploring different "islands" to get to the different topic areas.
Today was so strange I don't even know where to start.
I'm in Ivano-Frankivsk, a small city in Western Ukraine, where I was brought by the US Embassy to lead some trainings in digital media for local NGOs. I've done a few of these technology trainings for civil society organizations around the world, and had not really thought of our conference as being in any way controversial or threatening.
But I guess at least one person felt threatened, because shortly after I finished my first workshop, we received a bomb threat on the building.
I've met the awesome folks at BAYCAT (The Bayview Hunters Point Center for the Arts) and admired their work with at-risk youth, giving teens access to digital media equipment and tools so they can express themselves and achieve a better future for themselves. So I was devastated when I learned that BAYCAT was broken into last week and robbed of every single one of their student laptops.
To recover, BAYCAT has launched a campaign called "The Show Must Go On" to raise the funds so that their students can continue their digital media projects. I just made a contribution and encourage you to do so also.
What you see above is a ridiculous picture of three generations of MacBook Pros sitting on my home workstation. The back left computer is a 2006 model MBP with 1.83 Ghz Intel Core Duo processor -- my home and work computer for the past six years. The back right computer is a 2010 model MBP with a 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i7 chip - my new work computer. And right up front is my brand new 2012 model MacBook Prop with 2.3 Ghz Intel Core i7 chip and the much-hyped "Retina" display.
I'm loving my new MacBook Pro, which is nine generations of computer ahead of my old laptop. It's sleek, fast, shiny, and a joy to use so far. I've been saving up for the the last year for a laptop upgrade, and I am about to be paid for completing a one-year consultancy gig, so I deserve a great machine.
Honestly, the latest MBP is probably way beyond what my actual needs are right now. I don't plan on editing any films or doing any high-end image manipulation anytime soon. And side-by-side I can barely tell the different between the "Retina" display and the "normal" display on my 2010 MBP, except when squinting at tiny text.
But hopefully by getting the top-of-the-line machine, I am future-proofing this purchase for at least the next 4-5 years. Crossing fingers.
I got this appeal from the nice folks atLindyGroove, one of the largest lindy hop weekly dance in the country. Apparently a bunch of LindyGroove dancers have put their noggins together to create an iPhone app called "EverSmart", built on top of the popular "Evernote" note-taking tool.
I use Evernote literally every day, for work, personal planning, and archiving stuff to read later. So I'm excited to find out that a bunch of LA lindy hoppers have created an app that extends Evernote's already impressive functionality.
If you like Evernote and want to support some local dancers who have created what looks like a really neat app, head to this link to vote for them in the Evernote developers contest. If they win, they got some nice seed funding to launch their app.
Here's an infographic on me and my tweeting profile based on my Twitter data , provided to the infographic service visual.ly. I'm not sure I agree with the topics listing at the end -- what, no "food porn"? And I could hardly be called a "shopper." But otherwise, kind of interesting.
You can generate your Twitter infographic own here.
Say you worked with someone 12 years ago. You were friendly in the workplace, chatted during lunch, but didn't socialize after work. Then, one day, many years later, out of the blue, an instant message from that person pops up on our screen.
"Hey, Rik, it's so-and-so..." it begins.
You, hesitate for a moment, then click "ignore."
This has happened to me a few times with old acquaintances: folks from my old church, high school, college and previous jobs. I routinely ignore them, because I feel just kind of awkward about it. I think to myself, why is this person contacting me now, and in this fashion? What do they want? Why aren't they emailing me?
When I have replied, I find myself having to describe over IM what I've been doing for the past ten years to someone I wasn't that close to to begin with. Often I find out that the person has had some life transition and wants to re-connect with people in their past life -- lost a job, a failed marriage, moved to a new city, etc. So I get drawn into some drama.
Is this akin to running into the person at the supermarket and having a quick conversation? Or someone showing up on your doorstep?