How Could Microsoft Have Set Expectations Better for the Xbox One?

I work with a lot of students. And they love video games. Most of them are Xbox owners, or play Xbox at friends’ houses. Not one is excited for the Xbox One. It’s taken some digging to figure out why. They’re pretty savvy. They’ve either watched the reveal or talked with friends who have, and they’re pissed that there wasn’t much time devoted to games. I have an explanation for that — they wanted to get the platform and TV and services stuff out of the way so that they…

Jealousy: My Life With Phones

Horrible. Crippling. Jealousy. I had to hit the internet to figure out how long I’ve been deep in the “hate” part of a love/hate relationship with my phone. September! It’s been since September. Pretty much the moment the first round of Windows Phone 8 devices were announced and I knew my phone wasn’t long for this world. Then my students started showing up with new phones. Galaxy S3. iPhone 5. A Lumia 920. An HTC 8X. Generous damn parents those kids have. *** I was a late adopter for cellphones…

#NJGWedding Rememberances

Remember that Sunday recently when I suggested that you should be reading nothing but the #NJGWedding hashtag on Twitter. That wedding was between Claire and Jared, two of the most amazing people you’ll ever meet. And their wedding, a blowout Jewish affair in Montreal, was amazing. There was an incredibly talented photographer documenting the entire affair, but I thought I’d put my own twist on it. I had my Moleskine with me all night, and it’s taken a little while to get around to sharing my recollections of the wedding…

What is wrong with Star Trek Into Darkness?

I am an unapologetic nerd. I’m a furious devourer of minutiae and I have logged more hours on Memory Alpha than any person in a proper adult relationship has any right to claim. I have spent plenty of time on the internet talking about Star Trek, and yet here’s the thing: I don’t think I GET my fellow nerds anymore. What on EARTH are people up in arms about? I watched Star Trek Into Darkness this past weekend, and I know there’s a lot of hostility about it. There are…

Sunday Reading: 18/05/2013

Folks, there’s only one thing you should be reading today, and that’s all the tweets coming out of Claire and Jared’s wedding hashtag. Go and wish them well and see the fun! And if you’re not done reading, go check out Claire’s fantastic writing about wine over at foodiePrints. Claire and Jared are wonderful, kind people who have more than a little bit adopted Natalie Joy and I. They’re nerdy and love good food and company and laughter and are so incredibly in love. They’re some of my favourite people and…

Art and Science in Perfect Harmony: IBM’s Atomic Stop-Motion Film

  Researchers at IBM have made me love stop-motion animation. Using a scanning tunnelling microscope, these fine folks have painted perfect pointillist pictures using individual atoms, and made a fun little short film about a boy and his one special atom.     This may just be a smile-inducing aside to real research into quantum computing but MAN is it cute.

TED Tuesday: Plant Some Shit

Ron Finley has a simple message that I want to impart not only to my little ladies but also to my students. Take responsibility for yourself and those around you, and be healthy. It’s sometimes a struggle to get my ladies to eat vegetables. Carrots are frequently left uneaten. But last summer, when we grew veggies in the garden, they wouldn’t even wait to get all the mud off before crunching through a carrot or five. Ownership of your own health and nutrition, of the process of feeding yourself, is…

TED Tuesday: Build a School in the Cloud

Sugatra Mitra presents a model for education that I absolutely love — present students with a problem to solve, a practical challenge that demands to be solved, and then provide them the resources that they need to learn for themselves the skills required to solve the problem. What a great idea–put the students in charge of their own skills development! I question, though, how effective that would be in certain situations. Can a student become a skilled communicator without feedback and refinement? Can a kid learn organically the relationship between…

Sunny Monday

I have afternoons off this week, as my program is between sessions. After the winter we’ve had, I’ve been looking forward to spending some time getting ahead on prepping classes and spring cleaning. Imagine my delight, though, when I stepped outside and was greeted with this weather. More than that, CBC mentioned that the UV index for today was 6. That’s pretty high. I don’t know much about what that measurement actually means but I do know that vitamin D comes from your skin processing UV and I wanted some…

Sunday Reading: 07/04/2013

Who’s Responsible For The Obesity Epidemic? – Massimo Pigliucci, Rationally Speaking   To set the stage here, I’m going to quote directly from Massimo’s article: The current situation in the United States is hard to believe: one third of adults are clinically obese, and so is one fifth of all children; a whopping 24 million Americans are affected by type II diabetes, usually the result of a poor diet. And the numbers are getting worse in much of the rest of the developed world as well. This is going to…

The Autum Road: Demonstrations

Marco Dante Ferraris is a rad dude. You’ve seen his handiwork before on spillway, and he’s been playing his leftie guitar for years. For the first time, the Ottawa native has put together an album of original songs that I am suddenly rocking right out to. It’s hit me right in the Valley sensibilities with a rocky, folky vibe that’s an absolute outpouring of joy. When I asked Dante about why it’s taken so long for him to put out a demo album like this, he gave a typically pragmatic…