Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The American Health Care Reform Debate In Pictures

Dan Roam is an author, teacher/lecturer and consultant on the topic of using visual thinking to solve problems and simplify communications. He has branded his approach as "the back of the napkin".

Last year he produced a few slideshows on the American Health Care debate which have now been consolidated into a single presentation. It is worth taking a look:

Rosie the Riveter Lives!

My son just sent me a copy of a report he worked on for Hard-Hatted Women. It is an interesting document. While clearly focused on local (Ohio) issues it also contains material of wider interest.

As I have been (slowly) reading Nick Kristof's and Sheryl WuDunn's Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, which stresses the importance of women's education around the world, one of the organizations mentioned in the Hard-Hatted Women report particularly caught my eye. Rosie's Girls (named after Rosie the Riveter) which runs three-week summer camp programs which acquaint girls in grades 6-8 with basic carpentry, electrical, and metal-working skills in what looks like a VERY enjoyable environment (although, if you ask me, they need a better camp song!):

Sunday, October 25, 2009

On Being Beside Yourself

Thanks to a post by Nina Paley on Facebook, I have just watched this marvelous, disturbing piece:

Skhizein from Josef K. on Vimeo.

Réalisé par Jérémy Clapin

Interview réalisateur et producteur du film Skhizein à la 12e Nuit des Lutins

Skhizein Awards and Nominations:

CANNES 2008 - Semaine de la Critique —> Prix découverte Kodak du meilleur court métrage.

ANIMAFEST (Zagreb) —> Meilleur film (animation and new media students jury).

ANNECY (France) —> Prix du public.

ODENSE (Danemark ) —> Meilleur film d’animation.

PALM SPRINGS (USA ) —> 2nd Best Animation Film.

OFF-COURTS Trouville (France) —> mention spéciale du jury


KLIK fest. (Amsterdam) —> GRAND PRIX - KLIK ! Award

Fest. Int. du Film Francophone de NAMUR (Belgique) —> Bayard d’Or du Meilleur Court Métrage

ANIMADRID (Madrid - Espagne) —> 2nd prize

ANIMADRID (Madrid - Espagne) —> Audience award

ANIM’EST (Bucharest)—> Meilleur film d’animation

IMAGO (Portugal) —> Audience award


CURTOCIRCUITO (santiago) —> Meilleur film d’animation Ex-aequo

UPPSALA film fest. (Finlande) —> Audience award

DOK LEIPZIG (Allemagne) —> Golden Dove

Les UTOPIALES (Nantes) —> Nomination pour le Méliès d’or (public)

ANIMACOR (espagne) —> Meilleur film d’animation

RIO DE JANEIRO INT. SHORT FILM FEST. (Brésil) —> Prix du jury jeune

BRAUNSCHWEIG Int.Film Festival (Germany) —> Prix « LEO » qui récompense à la fois la musique et la mise en scène du film.

FLIP Animation Festival (UK) —> meilleur film international


Festival on WHEELS (Turquie) —> Audience award

BAF 2008 (Bradford - UK) —> Meilleur film professionnel

LEEDS International Film Festival (UK) —> Meilleur film d’animation

LEEDS International Film Festival (UK) —> Prix du public

ENCOUNTERS festival (UK) —> Prix du public - nomination pour le cartoon d’or

Festival International du Court Métrage de LILLE (France) —> Prix du public

I CASTELLI Animati (Rome) —> Meilleur film Européen - nomination pour le cartoon d’or

Les Sommets du cinéma d’animation (Québec, Canada) —> Prix du Public

OSCAR - 81st American Academy Award - Shortlisted

Festival int. de Clermont Ferrand (France) —> Meilleur film d’animation francophone (SACD)

CESAR 2009 - Nomination - Catégorie Meilleur Court-Métrage

ANIMA (Bruxelles) —> Grand prix du jury

ANIMA (Bruxelles) —> Prix du public

FfAT Munich —> Mention spéciale du jury

Festival Regard sur le court métrage au Saguenay —> Meilleur court métrage d’animation

LUCCA Animation festival (Italie) —> Grand prix

Wood Green int. short film fest. —> Audience award

ANIMABASQUE (Bilbao) —> Best 35mm Short Film Award

Ann Arbor Film Festival (USA - Michigan) —> Audience award

DRESDEN (Allemagne) —> Audience award

DRESDEN (Allemagne) —> Youth jury prize

KKO festival (France) —>Mention spéciale du jury

COLCOA (Los Angeles) —> Meilleur film d’animation


TRICKFILM STUTTGART —> Mention Spéciale du Jury

FICA (Algarve, Portugal) —> Meilleur court-métrage d’animation

FESTANIM (Meknès, Maroc) —> Prix de la Francophonie

KRAKOW FILM FESTIVAL —> Prix du jury étudiant

HUESCA FILM FESTIVAL —> Mention spéciale du Jury Jeune


ARCIPELAGO —> Meilleur film numérique

MESSAGE TO MAN (St Petersburg) —> Centaur du meilleur film d’animation

XIIe Nuit des Lutins du Court-Métrage —> Meilleur Producteur

XIIe Nuit des Lutins du Court-Métrage —> Meilleur Film d’animation

L.A FILM FESTIVAL (Los Angeles)—> Best Animated Short

SHORT FILM POETRY SLAM (Braunschweig) —> Prix du Public

ANIMA MUNDI (Brésil) —> Meilleur scénario

FEST ANCA (slovaquie) —> 3e Prix

MOLISECINEMA (Italie) —> Mention Spéciale

CONCORTO (Italie) —> Premier Prix (Asino d’oro)



MILANO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL —> Staff Award + Mention Spéciale du jury

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Original Cast Members of "Chicago" Show How It's Done

I confess that I did not think much of "The Mike Douglas Show" when I was young. Seeing the following clips on YouTube, however, I have to revise my opinion. Chita Rivera, Gwen Verdon and Jerry Orbach are the guests, during the original run of "Chicago". Video quality is pretty good but remember -- these are VCR tapes. Priceless stuff!

Monday, October 19, 2009

How Much College Do Students Need?

In this week's Newsweek Lamar Alexander argues that students should finish college in three years. Both of my kids attended Bard High School Early College and thus received Associate Degrees (in Liberal Arts) at the same time that they received their high school diplomas. Joel, who graduated college (Oberlin) last June, was able to apply enough credits earned at BHSEC that he could complete a major and two minors without two much of a problem. That, however, was when I was still employed. Ruth, now in her first year at Grinnell, may face the decision of either completing college in three years or encumbering herself with the debt for the fourth year. Joel managed to graduate debt-free. Ruth may not be so lucky.

I can readily see the point of finishing college in three years but I also know that the last year (in some sense the "extra" year) that Joel spent in college was a valuable one for him. There may be a case to be made for not thinking in terms of a "one-size-fits-all" model when contemplating the length of a college career. As Alexander points out in his article the statistics seem to indicate that it is no longer the reality -- but unfortunately, in real life, students are taking more than four years:

The average amount of time students now take to complete an undergraduate degree has stretched to six years and seven months as students interrupted by work, inconvenienced by unavailable classes, or lured by one more football season find it hard to graduate.

I'd like to know where Alexander gets that statistic, by the way; I couldn't find anything like it on Google. The National Center for Education statistics seems to say that it takes students a little over five years to graduate.

In any event, Newsweek bolsters the argument for a three-year college career with the following video:

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Paper Bag Princess

For Halloween, 2006 Ruth enlisted Bev's help in creating a costume based on "The Paper Bag Princess". The pictures I took of the process have proven to be popular on flickr in the intervening years, especially around Halloween, that I thought I would collect them into a set .

Ruth Models Her Costume -02

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Fifteen minutes of fame

The travel section of the L.A. Times online has included one of my flickr photos (of the Roosevelt Hotel) as part of a slideshow about hotels named after presidents.

Roosevelt Hotel

Sunday, October 04, 2009

On The Street Where You Live is one component of, which also encompasses StreetsWiki and StreetsBlog, as well as Community and Education components. The span of activity is global but it looks to me that these sites detect where you are logging in from and automagically tailor theirpresentations to your area.

From comes this report on the new center-median, two-way protected bike path on the Sands Street approach to the Manhattan Bridge:

My own community, Inwood/Washington Heights, has its own livable streets group, which has compiled a summary of local issues. Overall the group wants to make it easier for everyone in these communities to 'walk more, bike more, ride mass transit more, drive less.'

By making these tools available and easy to use, the LivableStreets Initiative makes it much more likely that its goals will be reached.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Working Against Child Marriage In Nepal

I don't want to make unrealistic claims; Nepal, of course, is not Afghanistan. This movie, nevertheless, shows the effectiveness of a grassroots push for fundamental shifts in social attitudes by pursuing changes in reproductive health practices:

Owning Your Online Identity

Facebook affords you an identity. I don't mean to be speaking metaphysically. I mean that when you sign up with Facebook you are issued a unique identifier (similar to a driver's license or a social security card) and, over the course of your Facebook career, that identifier comes to be attached to other identifiers, to your posted verbal communications, to the various apps to which you subscribe, etc. You have some control over this identity and, as recent history shows, you may have some say in how your identity may be used (if enough people agree with you and let Facebook know).

Facebook, however, ultimately owns your identity on Facebook. Facebook monetizes your identity. Alternative arrangements are possible. Chris Messina discusses these (and many more aspects of online identity in the socially networked web world) in this (somewhat technical) lecture.

I find it particularly fascinating because his exploration of some of the dimensions of online identity resonated with my study (mostly long ago) of the negotiation of identity in face-to-face interactions.   It is interesting to think of what Chris Messina is talking about in connection with the work of such sociologists as Erving Goffman, sociolinguists such as William Labov and Penelope Eckert, students of nonverbal communication like Paul Ekman and Adam Kendon and conversation analysts such as Harvey Sacks and Emanuel Schegloff.

Identity is the Platform from Chris Messina on Vimeo.