Sunday, May 17, 2009

The importance of reading
Being able to read opens the doors of independence and freedom for the mind. It's fascinating to know that different cultures have had this skill for thousands of years and often regarded writing and reading to be a gift from the gods. From the wonder in the child who realises he can suddenly enjoy reading a book without laboriously working out each word, to the satisfaction of completing a university assignment, our ability to read (and write) can be imensely satisfying. One of my joys as a parent was reading books with my family. Often the older kids would still look over my shoulder as we shared a picture book with the younger ones. I remember a memorable occasion when the whole family(husband too) were in the grip of an exciting Harry Potter moment. A colleague recently showed me a biography of a 98 year-old Afro-American gentleman who had just learnt to read! It's never too late. Reading expands our horizons and is almost essential for life in this Information Age. Still I think it's vital that we nurture and support the survival of oral traditions worldwide as these are links to our ancient past. Recording or writing them down is only a part of this and I think humanity would loose something special with their demise.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Exercise 18 - YouTube

I Love it!
The endless possibilities, the total freedom and freeing up of information, the connections with people everywhere right now, the wierd and wacky(and probably the sick and ugly, but I won't go there!), and because I'm a 'visual' person, I love being able to see what's happening, what people find and create. When looking on google maps I explored the link 'videos on youtube' which gave clips linked to locations, Fantastic! There was a clip from the seventies of two guys who bought a lion cub from Harrods. They had to release him when grown as he wouldn't fit into their flat! The clip showed their reunion with him in Africa a year or so later. It was so cool, he leapt all over them hugging and purring.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Originally uploaded by blastav
This one's for Mum who chose this day to go to Heaven, we sit and see the glory into which she has passed.

Exercise 17 - Exploring Web 2.0 Awards

Spent awhile looking at various sites:- my heritage, vufind, picnik (interesting), technorati (I remember why I didn't like it), Pandora, and twitter. Lastly I looked at Google Maps and finally found one I could write about.
First, you don't need to sign in, you can jump right in. Features I liked were the zoom in/out capability with either satellite, terrain or road map choices for viewing. Other useful features included the Hot Spot and Island guides for checking out particular places. I really liked the Videos from YouTube function which allows you to access videos linked to locations. Quality was sometimes dodgy but they often gave an insight into the location. This would be good to share with patrons travelling overseas.
The other site I found useful was picnik. It was free but you needed to register. I didn't, but think its applications really exciting, eg - for photo editing, and its links to sites such as flickr, myspace and facebook for working with your photos.