Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Where Were You When...

With all of the looking back and celebrations yesterday of the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission and man landing on the moon, I got to thinking about the "Where were you when..." events in my life and I have come up with seven of them:
  1. Assassination of JFK - I was seven years old living in Bad Godesberg West Germany - I remember a cloudy dark day and everyone being terribly sad.
  2. Assassination of Martin Luther King - I was 11 years old living in Soest West Germany - I remember lots of talk about racism and how Dr. King's death would set back the civil rights movement. We talked about it in school.
  3. Assassination of RFK - I was 11 years old living in Soest West Germany - I remember thinking that the US was in trouble and that the next president had been killed - Nixon was the result...
  4. Man on the Moon - I was 12 years old, and we were renting a cottage on Lake Milo in Yarmouth - we watched the moonlanding on my grandfather's old B&W TV - appropriate as the pictures from teh moon were also B&W. I will always remember Walter Cronkite's calm voice describing this amazing event
  5. 1972 Canada-Russia Summit Series - I was in Grade 11 at St.Paul's High School in Winnipeg - we shut down classes to watch the game, with the series being won by Paul Henderson's goal in the dying moments of Game 8 - the place went wild...
  6. 9/11 - I was facilitating a Visual Basic module team time at ITI Halifax when someone said a plne had flown into the World Trade Center - we all thought a small plane had gone off course and crashed - as we tried to get info the Internet literally crashed - eventually we got onto the BBC's site and discovered the magnitude of the event. People wanted to head home to look after their families - some thought a major war was starting...
  7. The Election of Barack Obama - I was home glued to CNN watching the elections returns with far more intensity than I had ever had for and Canadian campaign. As the evbning progressed i kept in touch with friends and other political junkies through Facebook, Twitter and other Web 2.0 tools. Obama is the 2.0 president.
So where were you when and what events were they? Hmmm...

(Photo from HistoryCentral.com)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Vacation Blogging - My 21st Century Summer Reading List

Remember getting those summer reading lists when you were in school - titles to be read for the next school year? Spent summers doing almost anything except reading what was on that list? Then later, after school was over, making up lists of bookd you wanted to read for pleasure while on vacation or just sitting outside enjoying the weather?

Well, my summer reading list has morphed into vacation blogging. I'm on vacation for the next few weeks and have a list of things that have been making me go hmmm... for a while. Now that I have time, I plan on getting these things posted. Here's the list:
  • New skills for learning professionals
  • Meta skills for learning professionals
  • Informal learning
  • Twitter signs of success - business and adult entertainment
  • Can Community Colleges Save the U.S. Economy? (or any national economy for that matter)
  • Twitter in the classroom - twitter clickers
  • OS X plug-ins
  • Sarah Palin's rant
  • Version numbers
  • Canadians and Traffic Shaping
  • Wal-Mart and the Environment
  • Must "read" audio books
And I'm sure there are more, but that's my list for now. Better get started, but I see the Sun - maybe a walk first. Hmmm...

My Virtual Cross-Canada Trek 2009 - Montreal and Beyond...

It's been a crazy weather year, like summer hasn't really started yet - lots of wet and rain and fog with the odd sunny day tossed in as a teaser of a summer that hasn't shown up yet.

My cross-Canada trek continues - I'm about 100 KM east of Ottawa - in fact at one point I thought my virtual and real selves might have met his week as I am actually in Ottawa right now, but heading home tomorrow. Just as well - wouldn't want to be messing about with that whole space-time continuum thing anyway :-).

Montreal is one of my favourite cities in the World. I lived in Montreal many years ago and love it every time I go back. It's city full of life, and culture, and always something to do, and the food is amazing. From Dunn's for cheesecake to Schwartz's for smoked meat, you never need go hungry in Montreal (and both are MUST stops during any trip to Montreal). Old Montreal is an amzing collection of restaurants, boutiques, and artisans - a very cool place. If you like vibrant, mult-cultural cities with lost to do and see - head for Montreal.

Hard to believe I'm almost 1400 KMs into my yomp across Canada - next stop is Ottawa, then up over Northern Ontario for Sudbury and Thunder Bay. Now if only the weather would cooperate and allow summer to start...

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Maybe NOW You Will Pay Attention to the Pre-Flight Safety Demonstration...

OK admit it - you get settled into your seat on board yet another flight and bury your head into the newspaper, magazine, or book you brought on board with you while you completely ignore the flight attendants who are waving their arms about like hyper traffic cops doing the pre-flight safety demonstration.

Well that may be about to change. The folks at Air New Zealand have taken a whole new approach to the pre-flight demo - with smiles and body paint:

Too funny, but gets the point across - pay attention to the pre-flight demo - I know I will next time I fly, just in case...

And here is the blooper reel which might even be funnier:

Enjoy! Hmmm...

Sunday, July 05, 2009

RIP Compuserve...

AOL has terminated the CompuServe Internet service. For those of us who have been on the Internet since the days of Betty, Veronica, Archie, Gopher, and Lynx remember CompuServe as one of the first commercial Internet services - it's been around since the 70s - sort of a private Internet almost - well it's gone now.

I will always fondly remember the hundreds of unsolicited floppy disks (5 1/4 and 3 1/2), and later on CD-ROMs offering connectivity through CompuServe (and then later on AOL after AOL consumed CompuServe - anyone still have CompuServe or AOL beer coasters?). I will even admit to having a CompuServe account for a few months (yep, I actually installed one of those hundreds of floppy disks :-)...

CompuServe hasn't been the same since the advent of high-speed access and has now been relegated to the halls of the Computer History Museum.

RIP CompuServe...

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Shambhala ALIA Institute 2009 - Some Additional Thoughts and Images

It's been almost a week since ALIA 2009 came to a close and I'm still pondering and reflecting - one of the highlights of the week for me was the focus on self, the reflections of just what my skills were when it came to hosting and facilitating. I learned a lot, met some incredible people and have taken away some amazing stuff that I will be sorting through for some time to come.

I have come to some conclusions though:
  • for me ALIA 2009 was a great experience - it was both relaxing and restorative after a very long academic year, yet stimulating and challenging. I was definitely forced out of my comfort zone several times during the week and I think that stretching was good for me.
  • I am a very good educator and facilitator and have added to my tool kit and practice through what I have seen and participated in at ALIA 2009
  • There is still a ton of stuff out there to learn and distill
  • There is a place for the arts - music, dance, art, and more in education - we need to expres what is in us and for many that is through the arts - amazing people at ALIA
  • My reflecting and analyzing of my experience at ALIA 2009 is far from over...
I've also posted some photos from the week on my Flickr site in a Photo set called "ALIA Institute 2009".

I suspect that I will posting additional thoughts on my ALIA 2009 experience. Stay tuned. Hmmm...

Happy Birthday Canada!! Canada Day 2009

Happy 142nd Birthday Canada!! You may be a young nation, perhaps barely a teenager, but you are still the best place to live in the World. May you have the greatest of days wherever you may be - East, North, West, or South... It is July, so one of the two days of summer should be appearing shortly (of course we don't really have summer in Canada - just two seasons - Winter and Construction - ask any Canadian driver that :-)). As Canadians it is our national heritage and birth right to complain about the weather, so here is something to help you cool down if your part of the country is having one of the those days of summer today (actually with Global warming, I think we are up to four days of summer):

I can feel the snow and sleet and freezing rain already (now where did I put my boots and parka? Hmmm...). Despite our complaints about the weather being too hot, too cold (must be all that oatmeal we eat) it really is just right, "it's a dry cold" (I'm sorry -40C is cold wet or dry), or "just wait 10 minutes it'll change" (from wet and miserable to truly rotten :-)), Canada is still the best place to live - wide open spaces, beautiful scenery, a social support network, complete with its good and bad, multiculturalism, a democracy that believes in and supports basic rights, and so, so, much more....

I'd like to send a special Canada Day Happy Birthday!! to all the members of our military, especially those in harms way in Afghanistan and other spots around the world - thank you so much for what you do for all of us every day. Shakespeare was right - you truly are a "Band of Brothers", true heroes, and I am so proud to have served with you...

Now speaking of the weather, it's pouring here today, so it looks like fireworks are out, so for all of my fellow Maritimers and for anyone else with gray skies and low ceilings, here are some Canada Day fireworks from Ottawa, Our Nation's Capital:

Happy Canada Day to all Canadians wherever you may be...

(Canada_Flag_Sunset from Cynergy Diva)