Friday, February 25, 2011

do you ‘Like’ revolution?

image A friend of mine asked me recently about my thoughts on how technological advancements might effect pedagogical philosophy and methodology. Of course that is something that one can easily boil down into neat little 140 character answers…

imageHere is my twitter feed if you are interested:

One of the factors that we talked about at length was the notion that the institution of education in North America has ceased to be nimble enough to anticipate the next wave of technological advancements. Instead it seems that the focus has been on reactive strategies to the manage the exponential growth in tech advancements and their effects on our lives. It seems like if the classroom focus in on managing existing technology- we will inevitably remain mired in the irksome position of either endorsers of technology or resistive luddite hold-outs against the inevitable advancement. If the questions you are asking are about whether to ban these things or not – you are asking the wrong question. If the only thing you are interested in is incorporating the latest tech option – guess what you will never catch up.

If on the other hand we can begin to proactively affect the climate of the as yet un seen NEXT product (that we won’t be able to live without!) then we are at least heading in the right direction. This does not mean we Nostradamus this thing through some logarithmical formula or other equally dubious prediction. Instead we begin to teach the values and principles that OUGHT to guide which technologies will survive as vital in our future world. When the developers of the next greatest thing come calling on educators – not to endorse their products through clever classroom application (**cough—SMARTBOARD—cough**) – but as consultants on were development ought to go in the future then perhaps we might begin to have a more healthy position toward technology in the classroom than we currently do.

Understanding the latest tech stuff is fine. Being the agents of change for future tech is what we ought to be aiming for. I think that perspective ought to guide…

And now for something totally different and hopefully a little humorous…

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Race #1

Weight Log: 189lbs (never really thought this day would come but tonight as Char and I were at dance class she said – I don’t want you to lose any more weight. So I’ve gone from being unattractively large to being unattractively unlarge – hmmm!)

Also I just registered for the first post weight loss running race April 9th (see the link here:

I’ve been running a minimum of 5K for the last month or so. Recently, imageI have been averaging between 50K a week (with about one day off per week). I have found some free running music at PODrunner. The nice thing about his music is that it is mostly just beats and is paced at certain bpms so that you can keep a steady rhythm as you workout. I look forward to running everyday even though I am starting to feel a few aches in my knees and hips but all in all its fine. I have been thinking about seeing a podiatrist since losing weight has not seemed to cure my intolerably flat feet.

Of course just about the time I think I am really getting somewhere with all my exercising along comes Weighty Matters with some poignant stuff about how exercise doesn’t really make that much difference. So there…

Friday, February 18, 2011

Brain Juice Baby

coffee-500x265Look at this…

Is it just a coincidence that some of the nations with the  highest consumption of coffee are also some of the highest achievers on the PISA academic results in MATH, SCIENCE, and LITERACY!

want proof? here and here


Drink Up Folks!!!!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Beep Beep - Egypt!

Great article on the way the idea of revolution has become mythologized as a peculiarly Eurocentric piece of rhetoric. Facebook, social media and the like have danced at the corners of this event - waving their victory flags (and all the more in the RELATIVE non-violence of this uprising). It worries me that revolution might already be just another commodified entity in an ever cheapening rhetorical sociological frame work.
"If the mythology of revolution indicates a pure state of popular will, the mysticism of the state—its modern political theology—reposes on a redundancy: a mysterious ritual of self-establishment that literally allows it to float in the air without the need to look down; it does not need awareness since it is itself, in Hegelian parlance, the peak of consciousness, spirit incarnate. Every state, by definition, walks on the edge of—and indeed across—a precipice: not just by demanding that millions of citizens comply with the law by imposing just a modicum of violence in routine times but also, as more people in the world are now becoming aware, by piling up hundreds of billions of “sovereign” debt for decades without anybody really worrying about it."

See entire article here:The elusive subject of revolution « The Immanent Frame

Monday, February 7, 2011


Beside some problematic racial stereotypes - Dora might now be interested in exploring ways to help pre-pubesent girls make the leap to adolescence 'effectively'
check out this article here...

look at her adorable transformation. Can you say, 'caliente' boys and girls?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

no ribbons please…

image Yoni Freedhoff over at Weighty Matters has posted a timely bit on the connection between health organizations and the Food Industry. Timely, given my recent post about the connection between Walmart and Michelle Obama. imageCHECK out this quotation from the posting:

The risk is straightforward. Partnerships by definition serve to benefit both parties. For the health organizations the benefits involve some combination of money, resources and exposure. For the food industry the benefits include sales, brand image improvements (which in turn translates into sales) and spin which may serve to help deflect criticism or further political needs.
The increase in sales is problematic in that more often than not, the brands that partner with health organizations are the very brands whose images or products may be considered unhealthy. Moreover, the consumption of more food, even more healthy food, won't help with our obesity problem.

Dude its time to quit clapping for Big Food and their healthy food schemes – lets just admit it – THEY ARE JUST IN IT FOR THE MONEY!

Still unconvinced read Wendell Berry’s article “The Pleasure of Eating” or read his books…

while you are waiting for those links to load think about this…

“This is certainly true also of patrons of the food industry, who have tended more and more to be mere consumers — passive, uncritical, and dependent. Indeed, this sort of consumption may be said to be one of the chief goals of industrial production. The food industrialists have by now persuaded millions of consumers to prefer food that is already prepared. They will grow, deliver, and cook your food for you and (just like your mother) beg you to eat it. That they do not yet offer to insert it, prechewed, into our mouth is only because they have found no profitable way to do so. We may rest assured that they would be glad to find such a way. The ideal industrial food consumer would be strapped to a table with a tube running from the food factory directly into his or her stomach…As capital replaces labor, it does so by substituting machines, drugs, and chemicals for human workers and for the natural health and fertility of the soil. The food is produced by any means or any shortcuts that will increase profits. And the business of the cosmeticians of advertising is to persuade the consumer that food so produced is good, tasty, healthful, and a guarantee of marital fidelity and long life.”

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Should we applaud?

"Wal-Mart has changed the way people shop, now it wants to change the way they eat." (see the rest of the article here)
As most of you know by know any really important news eminates from the creative genius of either John Stewart or Steven Colbert. So it was that after a long night of learning the two step with my wife i sat down down to get caught up on IMPORTANT NEWS. Its not like there is much of great significance happening out there these days. So it was refreshing to hear Steven identify perhaps one of the most profoundly significant news stories of this relatively young year. Watch the clip here:
Yes, Walmart intends to lower prices on healthy foods - so yippee right?!?
OK! <<<>>>
Why does Walmart get to decide which products are healthy?
Does this new healthier eating rhetoric just a convenient distraction from the larger problem of their complete market dominance?
If carrots and milk and stuff is gonna be cheaper - why not make twinkies cheaper too - expecially if you can lose weight on them?