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George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950), Man and Superman (1903) "Maxims for Revolutionists"
You see things; and you say, 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?"
George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950), "Back to Methuselah" (1921), part 1, act 1
Don't let fear convince you that you're too weak to have courage. Fear is the opportunity for courage, not the proof of cowardice.
McCain, John (2004, September). In Search of Courage: Finding the Courage Within You. FastCompany, 51-56.
In the search for character and commitment, we must rid ourselves of our inherited, even cherished biases and prejudices. Character, ability and intelligence are not concentrated in one sex over the other, nor in persons with certain accents or in certain races or in persons holding degrees from some universities over others. When we indulge ourselves in such irrational prejudices, we damage ourselves most of all and ultimately assure ourselves of failure in competition with those more open and less biased.
J. Irwin Miller, Chairman of the Board (1951-1977), Cummins Inc. From 1983 letter about diversity at the company.
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June 30, 2004
The Night Aunt Lois Exploded the Toilet Brush
Ok I'm an academic, if I had been good at household chores I might actually have a spotless house. I always figured classes and such were a good way to get out of the domestic requirements of life. I mean whose going to say that taking out the trash is more important then getting a class paper done, right?
Well one of my nieces is staying over with us tonight. It's been a bit of a camping trip for her since the water in the house was off earlier while hubby fixed a leak. Thank the gods my in-laws live close by so we could borrow the "necessary" when needed.
My niece and I were talking while hubby was in the basement and I was putting away the nonperishable items we had brought home from the grocery. The last item to be put away was the refill canister for my new Lysol Ready Brush. Now this is a very nifty tool. You slide the canister into the handle. Then to use the brush you set a switch to on and push down on a button and whammmmo foam blows out the end of the brush were it can be quickly worked into any stains. Very neat, especially for cleaning-phobics like me.
Well I decided to go ahead and refill the brush even though I was not planning on using it this evening. What would I clean since we had no water? We were still talking as I moved from the kitchen to the bath and popped out the old canister then slide in the new one. I had to fight a bit to get the handle back on and locked, but I have never been good with things that have instructions like "insert tab A into slot 10." Then it happened, the final click and the canister was seated...and suddenly...the locking tab made a hiss and blue foam shot out of the hole around the tab in a thin high pressure stream. Blue foam shot everywhere...the bathroom walls the floor even had it in my hair. I started laughing. I mean come on I'm standing on the bathroom holding a toilet brush that is shooting foam all over the place. Wouldn't you laugh? Well my niece came running into the bathroom to find out why I was laughing so hard and got to see most of the show laughing along with me. Finally I dropped the brush into the bathtub and continued to laugh while it emptied it's contents. Blue foam covered the bottom about 0.5 inches deep.
Figuring the worst was over I went to the kitchen and paper toweled the foam out of my hair. Then back to the bathroom to rinse the bathtub out as soon as we had water. Now the tub is sparkling clean and I need another new canister of cleaner. But doesn't my hair smell clean and country fresh. LOL I'm quiet sure my niece will be telling the strange but true story of The Night Aunt Lois Exploded the Toilet Brush. Sleep overs with the relatives are family stories in the making.
June 29, 2004
End of the Month Advisory Committee Report
It is end of the month advisory report time again. I am always glad I prepare these reports since it actually does look like I am doing more then I think I am. I knew that April - July would have far less productive then I would hope for since I am on the road so much. However it has not been a totally dead time as I had feared. For a look at what I've been up to this month, academically speaking of course, June Advisory Committee Update.
June 28, 2004
Christina Courtright defended her qualifying paper this afternoon. Her work is available online as a pdf file and is entitled Researching newcomers and everyday life information practices: The problem of context and change.
Abstract: This paper reviews and analyzes theoretical and empirical research literature from library and information science (LIS) and related social science fields in order to propose a conceptual and methodological framework for the study of information practices in context, specifically for the case of newcomers in a given community or setting. The selection of newcomers as a study population for research on information practices in context brings to the forefront questions about situation, context, and change that may inform the subfield of information needs, seeking, and use (INSU). The shift from a system-centered to a user-centered paradigm has inspired research on information practices that is holistic, process-oriented, and based on the user’s cognitive standpoint. However, research in this area remains limited by its failure to theorize adequately the relationship between individuals and the social, institutional, cultural, and technological factors that constitute their information contexts. In addition, there is a tendency to view context as monolithic and static. This review examines each of these aspects of context in turn, and weaves them together into a dynamic, complex, and relational framework for the study of information practices in context. Methodological approaches for the application of this framework are also discussed.
Christina's presentation was interesting and insightful. I expect that after voting she will be entered into candidacy. I look forward to reading more of her work as she progresses through dissertation.
June 23, 2004
Interesting Evening Goin' On's in Rural Indiana
Our local volunteer Fire Department was called out this evening to a homestead about 3/4 of a mile from my home. Hubby and I, like so many others, followed the firetrucks...at a significant distance of course...to see what was burning. We went the indirect route to the nearest 'ville to avoid the traffic jam that usually accompanies such events. After we figured out exactly which homestead was having problems we headed home taking a different long way around to stay out of the firefighters way. On the single backroad through 'ville, a place once mentioned on Hee Haw as having a population of 32...SALUTE, we encountered the entire local running team...a team of one. You have to be very committed to your exercise to be a runner at night in the country especially when there is a fire a blaze up the road.
My friend and fellow Ph.D. student Tyler Waite defended his qualifying examination paper today. His paper is titled: HCI Theory and Methods for Augmented Reality Interface Design, I'll post a link to the final copy when he has it online. Tyler is employed by Information In Place in Bloomington IN. Check them out if you are into VR and AR work, they do very cool stuff. I've been particularly interested to see their Virtual Aids to Navigation (vATON) program created in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard Research and Development Center. It is an excellent use of VR technology to support maritime operations.
Tyler's presentation went well and questions from the faculty present allowed him to explicate additional points from the presentation. I expect that he will be entered into candidacy but we must wait for all of the faculty to vote on the issue. SLIS allows the entire group of faculty in the department, both faculty members who attended the defense and those that did not, vote on the examinees admission to candidacy a process that takes place the week following the defense. So we have to wait to know if all is well, though again I expect it will be so in this case.
June 21, 2004
Last day in Boulder
I had some time Sunday June 21, 2004 before my shuttle left for Denver and my Frontier Airlines flight home There were many things I wanted to do but my time was to short for most of them so I returned to the Pearl Street Mall to pickup my final souvenirs. I had gone down to the Mall on Wednesday Jun 16, 2004 while I waited for my room to be ready at the millennium Harvest House. I'm not usually much of a mall shopper but this place is different. Many unique shops are peppered along this pedestrian mall, giving the space the feel of an outdoor market. On Wednesday I didn't take pictures since it was raining steadily the entire time I was there. Had enough to do to juggle my purse, shopping bag, and cane.
I started out my walk by having an excellent lunch at Hapa Sushi Grill & Sakie Bar, their menu is a fusion of asian and hawaiian cuisines and the sushi was excellent. I sat on the patio and enjoyed the view of the mall while I waited for my food. It was a beautiful sunny day just like the ones you expect in Colorado where the sun shines roughly 300 days out of the year.
I then walked down to a store where I had ordered a couple of t-shirts for me and hubby. Mine says "If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?" - Albert Einstein. I got a really large roomy version since I will probably start living in the t-shirt for the duration of quals and diss. I thought this was the perfect quote for those days in a long project where faith wavers. Hubby's says "Hell, there are no rules here-- we're trying to accomplish something." - Thomas A. Edison. Wish I could remember the name of the store - they don't currently have a web presence - Science something or Scientific something. *sigh* Cool store.
So I snapped various pictures as I walked, sorry these are in no specific order. Have to admit I was just soaking up the rays and snappin' pics.
I stopped to listen to some great music from the local buskers. In particular I was intrigued by the sound of this husband and wife duo. The drum on the left of the picture, it looks like a captive flying saucer, is called a "Hang" Steel Drum (pronounced Haaaang). The sound was heavenly and it looked so easy and restful to play, I think I want one of these to play myself.
The players were Eileen and Per Hunltquist both play the Hang and the didjeridu. You can see them playing didjeridus in the picture on the right. They are performing what they call "brain message". The idea is a volunteer puts on the headphones, seen in the picture on the left. The headphones are hooked up to funnels via flexible tubing. By playing the didjeridu's and moving them in figure 8's in front of the funnels a holographic sound is heard via the headphones. This is what the Hultquist's call a brain message. I liked the sounds I heard in the open air of Pearl Street so I bought their CD. I plan on MP3ing it for use on my iPod. I expect that the music might be nice for napping on planes. If you are interested in the Hultquist's and their musical work check out their homepage.
What is Colorado without pictures of a train?
Ok I admit it I love old trains. There is a feel about them. As though you can reach out and touch all the people who used them as conveyance. Well after the tea ceremony I wondered into the park, across the street from the Teahouse, and found this lovely protected behind a short fence.
After all this I joined several of the Workshop participants at Zolo Grill for dinner. I had a fantastic Grilled Ahi with a Tropical Margarita. Of course I didn't realize that the "Tropical" was a Margarita or I would have skipped it, never have truly developed a taste for margaritas no matter what other ingredients are added.
Japanese Tea Ceremony
While questing around on the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse site I found the following announcement for the preformance of a Japanese Tea Ceremony and was very pleased to see that it would take place while I was in Boulder. I immediately called and ordered a ticket.
Chado - The Japanese Tea Ceremony with The Kita Sokyu- Shacyu Tea Group
Saturday June 19 - 6:00pm
This is a great opportunity to witness the traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony, presented by the Kita Sokyo-Shacyu Tea Group. The demonstration will include explanation of the history of the tea ceremony and its cultural significance. Members of the audience will have the opportunity to taste the special whisked tea prepared in the ceremony.
Kita Shachu Tea Group has conducted performances at various locations and events, including: The Denver Art Museum, the Denver Botanical Gardens, and The Japan America Society.
I arrived at the Teahouse early, I hate being late, and was able to grab the best seat for me - one that is close to the front on the right. It turned out to be a lucky choice as I was selected by the performers to act as a guest at the ceremony. I was the second guest at the koicha (thick tea) ceremony and had to follow the actions of the first guest as closely as I could.
The Matcha green tea is wisked rather then steeped as in the familiar English Tea. The Matcha site has posted pictures that show how very bright green this tea is actually. Apparently Matcha is filled with caffeine and I had a total buzz when I left the ceremony. The pictures below show some of the utensils used during the ceremony. Check out the utensils link for drawings, names, and general information about each. Oh and I am the women in the bright pink jacket holding the delicate white bowl to her lips.
After the koicha ceremony a usucha (thin tea) ceremony was performed and tea was passed to all of the remaining viewers of the performance. This website gives step by step instructions for performing the usucha ceremony that appear to be consistent with what I saw at the Teahouse. The ceremony appeared to be much the same as what had been done when making koicha tea.
Oh and the fellow who keeps appearing behind the performers is the manager of the Teahouse. He was apparently oblivious to the fact that he was in ever frame, filmed or not.
The Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse
A week or so before I headed to Boulder I was exploring what the city had to offer online and I found the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse. I was fascinated with the lovely colors and began thinking about recreating some of the artwork in beads. The designs are very intricate and in the bright colors I love. I have to do more study on this style of painting when I have time, read post quals exam. Oh an I'm told the food is very good here as well.
My visit to Boulder
|The Understanding Internet Research Ethics Workshop was held June 17-19, 2004, at the beautiful Millennium Harvest House Boulder. The hotel is part of Millennium Hotels and I was impressed with the nicely appointed rooms and the incredibly courteous and helpful staff. I will now be looking to stay in Millennium Hotels as I travel.|
|During my stay the The Denver Post Ride the Rockies riders spent the night in the hotel. Boulder was their starting point for the ride, take a look at the map. Apparently the riders were "stalled in Estes Park on Monday [June 21, 2004] by 40 to 50 mph winds, hail, black ice and a couple of inches of snow on Trail Ridge Road."|
|I arrived in Boulder during record setting cold and rain. My hotel balcony which was purported to give views of the mountains but actually gave me great views of clouds...thick grey rainy clouds. It was very odd that I could feel the mountains out there though they were not visible for several days.|
|I got tired of hiding from the rain on the afternoon of June 17 so I grabbed my rain jacket and umbrella and took a short walk down the Boulder Creek Path as it runs behind the hotel. The path is wide nicely paved and very busy with mountain biker carrying heavy looking panniers. I assume this is because the path travels near the University of Colorado at Boulder campus. I snapped this picture from the middle of the path so I waited until no riders were in ear shot...other then taking my life into my hands with the speed demons tearing around.|
|The creek was full and swift due to all the rain. Though is was a lovely tree covered walk with the wonderful sound of running water enveloping me.|
|There are several planting areas along the walk, with what appear to be native plants. The small shots of color really liven up the walk.|
|Behind the hotel and next to one of the bridges on the Path is a understream viewing area. The boulder at right marks the entrance to the stairs down to the Stream Viewing Area. There is something amusing about a self titled "Boulder."|
|The seating area was very wet but since I had no intention of sitting it was not a significant problem. Four viewing ports, at various heights, are available so that all can view the life of the creek.|
|The fast moving water made for churning and murky viewing. This photo is taken of the third portal from the right as seen in the previous picture.|
|By standing on my toes and pressing my camera up to the space you see at the top of the viewing port in the previous picture, I was able to get an interesting picture of the creek as it rushed across rocks and washed against the glass of the portal.|
|Had I been able to actually find something alive on the other side of the portal a nicely colored cheat-sheet is available to help the viewer identify the creatures they see.|
The workshop took most of my time later in the day on June 17 and all day on June 18, and 19 (the links are to the appropriate permalinked posts in this blog). During our afternoon break on June 19 I went back up to my room to make a couple of calls including one to arrange my shuttle trip from Boulder to Denver International Airprot on Boulder Express. I looked up in the middle of the call and had to say "wow," the sun had come out and burned off the haze and clouds. There were mountains visible from my room. I grabbed my camera and snapped a couple of shots to somewhat mirror the first outdoor shot presented above.
After I snapped these pictures I went back down to the meeting room. Bruce Henderson was about to reconvene the session when I told him I had an emergency announcement. I then walked over and throw open the double doors that lead to the patio behind the hotel. Almost in unison the participants signed "sun" and we all streamed out into the light. Annette Markham commented that we all looked like escapees from the Star Trek: Voyager episode where the inhabitants have been living inside the Ocampa planet for generations and are liberated, returning them to the surface to see the sun for the first time.
June 20, 2004
Day Two of the Understanding Internet Research Ethics Workshop
Today we also had two excellent keynote speeches from Annette Markham and Daniela Dimitriva. Annette discussed reflexive ethics and gave a number of recommended readings. One huge take away from her presentation is the idea that methods should come first and ethics follow. I like that concept, it contains the idea that ethics is embedded in each of us and that we must know what we plan on doing in our research before we look at the ethical ways to accomplish the goals. A second point that bubbled up during discussion was the idea that subjects and researchers are not distinct entities, rather that a form of alchemy is worked that eliminates or lessens the divisions between researchers and subjects.
She outlined the following positions of the reflexive researcher:
The following steps were outlined for developing methodology:
Recommended reading list:
Daniela Dimitrova presented a research paper she co-wrote with Michael Bugeja entitled "Exploring the Half-Life of Internet Footnotes"
Abstract: This exploratory study examines use of online citations, focusing on 2003 AEJMC papers accepted by the Communication Technology and Policy division. Authors analyze papers using URL reference addresses in bibliographies and document some 40% of online citations being unavailable a year later. Results show that .edu is the most stable domain. Reasons for "dead" URL addresses also are explored. Finally authors offer recommendations for researchers who use Internet citations. This abstract was lifted from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.
The paper looks at online information as historical artifact. They contend that footnotes are the most basic research component There are two key elements of academic citations: Attribution, and Access.Secondly they assert that webpages exhibit two types of longevity: Constancy/stability of information, and permanence of the site.
They calculate that the half-life of internet footnotes = 1.4 years or 1 year and 3 months. Half-life is defined as the point at which 50% of the citations as given in the articles have disappeared from the internet.
June 18, 2004
A Variety of Useful Quotes and Links from Today's Discussions
Today we had two excellent keynote speakers in Charles Ess and Phil Weiser. Charles presented Internet Research Ethics in Historical Context. Charles presented the background on ethics and internet research needed to frame the workshop. I'm not going to get into details here...would take to much space, oh and more skill then I possess...but here is a productive Google search that will help you if you want to do some reading. The following are a loosely grouped - as in not really grouped at all - set of notes, quotes, and sites that came from Charles' speech.
Phil Weiser's speech was entitled Legal Issues of Internet Research.
Understanding Internet Research Ethics Workshop Opening Keynote Discussion
The kickoff banquet for Understanding Internet Research Ethics Workshop was held earlier this evening. The keynote speaker was Elizabeth Buchanan, assistant professor and co-director of the Center for Information Policy Research at the School of Information Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee her talk was titled "Internet Research Ethics: An Introduction." It was a fairly small audience so there was lots of discussion. Much of the discussion centered on contextualizing ethics within the internet spaces we use as research locales. In particular there are two primary points I want to expand on a bit here.
The issue of anonymizing participants was raised. Initially the discussion was a binary choice either to make participants anonymous to protect their identities or we don't. I have long thought that this binary choice over simplifies the question and moves the lens in to micro-focus on our participants only. What is often forgotten is that anonymizing means that in pseudonymous environments researchers may be anonymizing the participant by changing their pseudonym to that of another participant who is unknown to us either in this or another similar environment. In essence we are protecting our participant by potentially indicting a person outside our study.
Two entangled issues surround the concept of public vs. private spaces were discussed at length. Researchers often present this discussion on a graph showing the two terms on a continuum while discussing the theories as though they too are binary concepts. The binary discussion privileges the participant's perception that their communication is private or public. This deontological discussion is valid but should not be the only questions asked in making the decision to treat the space in either manner; more needs to go into the discussion. Specifically do the "owners/operators" of the space as public or private? What access restrictions are present? Among other questions that must be considered by the researcher.
To give this theoretical discussion of cyberspace a down-to-earth example, let's say we have a privately owned park space. A gang utilizes the park as their space and feels a form of ownership for it. The gang treats the park space as private and limits access by other to the space. Who owns the park? Obviously the answer to the question is nuanced by the physical ownership, psychological ownership, and authorship of the discussions held within the park space.
June 15, 2004
Sitting Downtown and Watching the World Whirl By
I spent some time yesterday sitting in front of the mall downtown watching the rhythms of my Southern Indiana county seat Columbus. It was a beautiful blue sky summer day. One of those sky's where a few cotton ball clouds waft through your view just to remind you that thunderstorms will be banging later in the day, much like the ones that are popping up outside my study as I write this blog entry.
Columbus is an odd mix for Southern Indiana towns, with it city center of old brick buildings and federalist facades juxtapositioned with award winning modern architecture. A city that prides itself in having transcended its farming roots to become a manufacturing center. A city that is proud of the huge modern church steeples that pierce the sky line. Locals refer too many of these structures as "lunching pads" for the people who gather there to listen to their charismatic leaders whatever their flavor of Christianity may be. A city with old and new money, and lots of it.
The contracts are often stark as it was yesterday. A well dressed black man - medium blue shirt, patterned necktie, dark pants with sharp cresses, and shiny shoes - wondered down the main steps of city hall. He waited politely for the lights to change, only occasionally shifting the professional-looking portfolio under his right arm. After crossing the street he wondered purposefully up Washington Street heading for…I don't know where…possibly any of a number of law offices, or banks, or taking the scenic route and enjoying a beautiful day as he walked back to the Cummins Corporate Office Building. Where ever he was headed he represents the "New Columbus" to me; young, affluent, well-educated, non-local, here for now and gone as soon as their fortunes can be better served elsewhere. I wish him well in his pursuits and I hope he enjoyed his walk.
For me the real Columbus is always here, a smaller bifurcated group - well-healed and not so well-healed - to be sure, but still here. The real Columbus is built on the people whose families have been here for more then a century, the hard working men and women who work the land. You see fewer of them in town now then you did when I was a child. Then people ventured to downtown to buy kids clothes at J. C. Penny, pickup a wedding gift at The Whitehouse, or file forms at the county courthouse. Now most of the shopping is out on the edge of town, money trading hands in stores that have only existed here for 15 years or less.
You still do see the farming community downtown at the courthouse or the county building where we pay taxes, or file land titles, etc. Yesterday there were a couple of pickup trucks outside the courthouse that may belong to farmers; pickups with diesel engines, trailer hitches, red dirt on the wheels, and farm plates. Not the kind of trucks you see office and factory workers drive so they can haul their bass boats or carry jumbo bags of dog food home from Walmart. These trucks are the tough work horses that can be used to tow a planter to the next field, carry enough hay to feed the herd in the back pasture, and can pull their fancier cousins out of snow drifts when they escape from their more refined usually clear tracks - vehicles as tough and weathered as their owners.
It's interesting as I reread this post that I have ended up discussing the external trappings of lifestyles, neckties vs. dirt on the tires of a truck. Of course the differences between the two run much deeper and I won't begin to try to distill them into 200 words or less for a blog entry…even a rambling one. Both groups belong, both have places, and without the other the opposite group would not be the same.
Where do I fit into this schema, where I usually fit in-between the two. I am a farm kid who has spent hours playing in pastures, felt the distinctive squish of chicken manure between my bare footed summer toes as I gathered the eggs, and arisen early to pick green beans from the kitchen garden so that canning could be done before the heat of the day. Now I am an educated women who has spent large sections of her adult life inside modern buildings greasing the wheels of manufacturing and now academe; a women who can instantly assemble the female equivalent to the dress of the man on Washington Street from the clothes hanging in her closet, but far prefers to wear jean shorts and t-shirts while she ride around the farm in a truck with dirt on the tires.
And so I sat and watched and heard the hum of Columbus as it spun around me I was struck by the dichotomies and juxtapositions, not really longing for the old world but missing some of it's trappings while being happily mired in my modern role. I may never align all of it and I'm sure that changing focal point will stay with me.
June 13, 2004
9/11 Memorial Song Touches a Nerve in a Good Way
I have become a huge fan of Sirius Satellite Radio particularly their Folktown Channel 38. I often have the channel on as I am working with research data or writing papers, it's great background music for a old-time folkie. One of the songs they play often is called Land of the Living lyrics by Lucy Kaplansky and Richard Litvin, music by Lucy Kaplansky, and performed by Lucy Kaplansky. The song tells the story of a person coming to New York immediately post-9/11. Lyrics available here. Downloads are available here and a video in RealMedia Video format. I haven't seen the video since I hate Real Audio products...long story.
I have been hearing this song for probably months, it seems I often tune in during the middle of the song and the hook gets me and I can't get past it. But whatever the reason I had not totally understood the story of the song. The taxi driver's comment that his wife is a home and afraid to leave the house stuck in my mind, but with very little picture of why she would be afraid to leave the house. Finally yesterday I heard the lyric, I mean really heard the lyrics and got their meaning. What a great song. Wish I had had the lyrics when 9/11 happened I would have felt less helpless in responding to people I heard made negative comments about all Muslims rather then commenting on fanatics.
If I continue on with my dissertation on adolescent emotional communication pre- and post-9/11 in a chat space I'm sure some of the lyrics will end up in the final document.
Nature's Chorus Outside My Door
Today has been a busy day spent analyzing data and drafting sub-sections of BROG's next HICSS paper due on the 15th, helping hubby switch out our refrigerator for a "new to us" version we picked up at a yard sale before my trip to San Antonio, and doing domestic goddess duties like grocery shopping.
Shortly I am off to bed where I'm sure I will sleep soundly absorbing the lovely natural chorus that is currently performing outside my house. Our local Northern Mockingbird has taken to spending much of the night singing in the pine tree in the east yard. Tonight he has been joined by baritone accompaniment, a Grey Treefrog who is worshiping his muse in the yew underneath my kitchen windows. They make quite a wonderful chorus. You can hear the sounds individual through these sound files Copes Grey Treefrog in MP3 file and the Northern Mockingbird in wav file.
It's interesting that in Indiana a single bird will do so much singing. When I was in Alabama I saw Northern Mockingbirds everywhere often five or six times a day, but in the eighteen months I was there I never heard a single mockingbird sing. To sad, because it would have been a lovely performance with that many choral members...imagine the Mormon Tabernacle Choir of the bird world.
June 09, 2004
Response to Geek-guides.com
Today's tasks checked off:
* Collect citations for paper for HICSS 2005
* Clean some data gleaned from blogcensus
* Craft L702 (research practicum) proposal & send to Susan for edits
* Have a fender-bender
* Invite some folks over for dinner on Saturday
* Bang my head against the wall a little more and continue to feel like I am making 0 progress with my own writing and thinking.
I'm overstating the amount of banging-head-against-wall that I'm doing, but there's still an element of that present. It takes a LOT of work for me to accumulate momentum, and so far this summer I haven't felt like things have been going very well. Lots of head-banging seems imminent.
Some stuff *is* going well - like my figuring out what I want to do as my project for L710 (the course that follows the pair of L702 courses I'm required to complete) - but I'm still not possessed of a lot of time to spend on what i *should* be doing. I seem to get stuck doing what I "ought" to do rather than what, by most lucid accounts, I *must* do. This is a hard thing. I say yes to too many things, too often.
My response: I should be archiving our MSN Messenger conversations, as usually you are far from making "0 progress" with thinking. Ok, maybe it's not all centered on your work totally but all of that stuff does come around in the amazing soup we call academia. Just hang in there. Or could it be that the banging is shaking up the thought process and making you forget what you have been stewing on? Think about that one.
p.s. One does not plan for a fender bender...well not usually at least. LOL
June 08, 2004
New Orleans Pictures and Commentary
Any trip to the French Quarter doesn't really begin until you visit Jackson Square. This picture is along the Decatur Street side where the buggy's park. When hubby and I were here in 2002 he took me on a buggy tour of the French Quarter and the Garden District. It was lovely.
Buskers are very common around Jackson Square. Although there has been some legal change that means there are fewer of them then there were in 2002. There were notices on some of the fences for meetings to organize folks to fight city hall. Good luck to them. This gentleman, on the right, is painted a nice silver and can be found around the square doing his imitation of a statue.
One of my first stops will always be any body of water in a city I am visiting. What can I say I'm a water girl. LOL Kinda funny for an Aries to say that. New Orleans has this great river walk area. First day I was there I went down and snapped this shot of the Port of New Orleans. Not sure you can see it but as I sat there two very large ocean going container ships docked beyond the bridge. I would love to go down closer to the port and watch all of it, think I'll save that for the next time hubby goes with me. Not something I should do alone I'm sure. It's easy to forget that New Orleans can be a very dangerous city if you get off the beaten track.
Compass points don't work well along the river because it winds so through the city. This shot is looking in the opposite direction from the previous picture. It's hard to capture it in a still shot but there is a swift current where the river bends, roughly where the ship is seen in this picture. When we were here in 2002 we watched barges fight the current and lose in places as they were carried toward the banks before the engines won out and they moved on down the river. The current was still swift this time but not quite as bad as before.
The French Quarter is the oldest section of the city. The Quarter is full of wonderful narrow streets with buildings that come right up to the sidewalk. Along the way one finds many cafés with huge French doors that open on to the street. I spent many an hour eating leisurely meals (I love anything crawfish), drinking café au lait, and eating beignets. I love the pace of the Quarter. I didn't spend much time on Bourbon or in the Quarter at night, not this trip. The Quarter really comes to life…a randy life at that…at night.
During the day much of the life of the Quarter takes place around the courtyards that are the center of the buildings. I have been in a couple of these spaces that are open to the public. I'm much more interested in the private spaces and snapped this picture, at the right, just to give you a partial view of what is inside the multiple story brick facades of these beautiful buildings.
There are two types of outdoor spaces on the street side of the buildings: balconies and galleries. Balconies are the unsupported (no poles) overhanging structures you see in many locations. Clearly my personal favorites are galleries; apparently I didn't take a picture of a single balcony to use at this point in my writing. LOL Both are often made with elaborate iron work as you can see in this picture. I like the shutters as well. This building had a great old world feel.
This particular gallery is a study of green or of ferns…maybe I should just say of green ferns. LOL The repetition of the plantings echo the order of the arches across the building. The picture only catches part of how vividly coloured this space really is the white and the green almost glowed in the late afternoon sun.
And of course what would a picture series be without a flower decked gallery. Of course I love the variety of colours. For me more colour will always be the best. LOL Well except for the basic black of course…but even then a hint of red is a wonderful addition.
My so called "Garden"
Well today I am attempting to move all of my houseplants outside for the summer. This is by far the latest I have ever done this. Just could not get it done earlier with classes and travel. *sigh* Hope the plants understand because they much prefer to be outside as do I.
So I'm repotting and moving and hauling water from the kitchen to my so called garden. At least it's a green spot on my porch. I'll have to take pictures once hubby has the remodeling stuff off the porch. Right now it is part porch part workshop.
June 07, 2004
Blog research and permanently crossed-eyes
After three days of checking blog sites against a master list my vision and mouse-clicking fingers are shot. But that seems to make the mind more sharp...must be a pain thing. I've been giving a lot of thought to the entire concept of "blogs" while I looked at thousands of them. It seems that the comparisons across the sites breakdown to two things. Blogs are 1) a way to organize material usually in reverse chronological order (but not exclusively), and 2) a place to locate information - personal, business, point-of-view, etc. Which makes the term almost as descriptive as saying "I have a resume." Both are similar, reverse chronological ordering of information, but a resume can be many things as well...which is why there are sub-genres. Blogs need to be broken apart in to many more subcategories to give any information about the site to potential users.
What does the term mean to you?
June 05, 2004
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Hubby and I went to see the new Harry Potter movie last evening. We really enjoyed it. Some of the confusing elements of the book are more easily tracked in the movie. The abridgers did an excellent job in resolving a very long novel into a good 2+ hour synopses. I highly recommend it for anyone who has read the novels and/or seen previous movies.
For those that have not read the novels, but have seen the previous movies, there might be a few minor gaps that will be more visible to you then to your reading friends. Such as the compression of time at Hogwarts and the devices the film makers use to let us know that time is passing both within and between the films.
For one that has no idea who or what Harry Potter is I would first have to ask for GPS locator coordinates to the rock you have been under for the last six years, I want to borrow it while I write my quals and dissertation. Secondly I would not recommend the movie for you because the over arching question you will be asking through out the film will be "Who cares." Without significant background this movie will be totally unapproachable.
As a Harry Potter fan, of both the books and the movies, I was concerned that this movie would not be as good as previous films in the series without Chris Columbus at the helm. I was very pleasantly suprised to find that the franchise is still as strong even under new leadership. One change did jump out at me and I'm not sure if it's related to a new director or if there is a marketing interest, but in the previous films students at Hogwarts - both in the castle and outside it - were usually seen wearing their wizards robes. In this film unless they are in classes the students are seen in regular street clothes, modern street clothes down to the low rise jeans Hermione wears during the scenes at and around Sirius Black's physical introduction. I have been previously struck by how few artifacts, that would date the films, were routinely pictured. Someone seems to have forgotten that clothing is a major dating component of any visual presentation.
June 04, 2004
Funny stuff you find in a vanity search
I decided to kill a bit of time with a couple of vanity searches while other pages were loading. Oh well it's only wasted band-width. I was more than amused to find the following page and quote when I plugged in "professional-lurker".
"He'd been watching the front door since nightfall, watching people come and go. He was pretty sure he hadn't been spotted so far -- "Professional Lurker" was second from the top of Angel's resume, right between "Vampire With a Soul" and "Private Detective Without a License." From the "Angel" novel, Shakedown by Don DeBrandt.
I am a huge Joss Whedon fan, therefore finding this odd link between my blog and a fan novel is pretty funny. I became hopelessly hooked Whedon's series during the second year of Buffy the Vampire Slayer because of the well written snappy dialogue and complex characterizations. Though I'm not sure about the novel, by my count "Professional Lurker" should be third on the list not second.
Social Networks Bibliography
BROG is working on our next HICCS paper which is due June 15. We are looking at social networking between blogs, more about the paper after peer review is done. To help my collaborators and I prepare for writing I ran a general data dump from my Reference Manager looking for keywords: social networks, and networks (general). I am linking the list of 74 (or so) references here as well. I have included abstracts and keywords with the citations. To view the listing in pdf file, click here.
June 03, 2004
Home from eight days of conference in New Orleans
I had the pleasure of presenting at two conference in New Orleans. Truthfully New Orleans is a pleasure without conferences so I guess I would have to honestly say it was a double (triple) pleasure. First I presented avatar research at the International Communication Association Conference. My paper, Buxom Girls and Boys in Baseball Hats: Adolescent Avatars in Graphical Chat Spaces, is available as a pdf file.
Abstract: This paper explores the types of avatars adolescents use in graphical chat spaces and how gender is represented in these avatars. Content analysis found that adolescents predominantly utilize publicly available avatars depicting drawn images of Caucasian human forms. Specifically it was found that females adopt postures that indicate subordination to others, while males display psychological withdrawal from the actions around them. The influence of gaming and fantasy is seen in male avatar selection.
My second presentation, at Console-ing Passions: The International Conference of Feminism and Television, Video, New Media, and Audio, was related to the adolescent weblog audience work I have discussed here previously and will do so again no doubt as the work is forming much of my research thought this summer. The presentation titled The Adolescent Diary Blog and Its Audiences: An External Focus, focused on applying Langellier's taxonomy of performance narrative audience to blogs written by adolescent female bloggers. It's interesting that in my corpus of 24 blogs drawn from eatonweb portal no examples of female weblog production where the audience is a narrative analyst examining genre, truth or strategy can be found. I'm early in this research so I'm not totally sure if the issue is the corpus size or a gender distinction in production.
I selected this picture for the post because it has the feel of a French Quarter cafe and I can visualize sitting over a cup of cafe au lait and beignets with a book at Cafe Du Monde, if they only had large tables. Were it the 1890's I would undoubtedly be a big hat kinda girl, I do have a flair for the dramatic. It goes with being a 6'1'' redhead, all we have to do it walk in a room and we are dramatic. LOL I took a few pictures in New Orleans and I will be posting them over the next day or two.
June 01, 2004
May Advisory Committee Report
May is over and as usually it's time to put the month to bed and complete my advisory committee report. Here it is: http://www.professional-lurker.com/linked/2004_05/2004_05_ACUpdate.pdf