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   Friday, March 21, 2003  
Last night I couldn't work out what to do. There was a MA presentation on at RMIT and there was the rally at The State Library. I decided I'd go to the rally, got half way there, changed my mind and headed off to RMIT. I was half expecting the class to be cancelled. I'm not sure if it was the right decision to make. The student doing the presentation was American and the thing that finally swayed me was thinking "Imagine if nobody turned up at all. You might end up thinking you'd be boycotted." So I went. I suspect that there will be many more rallies in days to come.

Fake Blog, Real Blog
It's interesting, but not surprising, the way two bloggers- Salem Pax and Kevin Sites have been so heavily discussed this week. We seem to have such a desire for first hand news, something other than in the mainstream newspapers. Interesting also that there is a certain amount of suspicion as to whether Dear Raed is actually genuine blog. Jill had a post about this issue earlier this week and there are some good comments attached. Liz points out that the way blog circles work at the moment, you may not have met all the people whose blogs you read, but you either know people who have- those "friend of a friend" connections. From what I've read, this was the catalyst for the Kaycee Nicole hoax coming unstuck- people realised that no one had actually met her.

I think it's also true what Liz says about it being difficult to maintain a fake blog existence would be difficult, particularly if it is in any detail. But not impossible, especially for a short period.

There is also a link on Boing Boing today to further discussions on this topic.
   posted by *mcb* at 8:16 AM


   Thursday, March 20, 2003  
Masters- chat
Old Diary


Hey guess what? I found your first ever diary the other day, from when you were 9.

The one from 1980? I hate to think what's in that.
It's sort of funny/cute at first, but it rapidly descends into boring.
That sounds about right.
It's very events-based, almost a list: I did this. I went here. Emotions are broken down to their basest forms: I hate her. I am happy. I am angry.
You know, the funny thing is, I can remember being 9 and I know things weren't so black and white. I wonder why I wrote that way?
Maybe you couldn't be bothered writing in that much detail, so just recording the events and your immediate reaction was all you could manage.
That's probably very true. And maybe even then I was wise to the fact that recording your true feelings in a diary, is a perilous undertaking.
My favourite entries are from April 23 and 24. On the 23rd you've had a fight with your dad and you've drawn a mean picture of him.

Then the next day you've made up and you're clearly feeling guilty so you've drawn him again.

Do you think you were worried he'd read it?
Maybe, but maybe it was about recording things for posterity. Perhaps I didn't want it to be left like that for future generations to discover.
You didn't want to be immortalised as The Child who A Drew Mean Picture of her Father.
That's rather self-serving, don't you think?
I was only 9.

previous Grumpy Girl
   posted by *mcb* at 8:53 AM


   Wednesday, March 19, 2003  
Not Knowing What Else to do, Woman Sends Email

So I woke up with that sick feeling in my stomach. Why? It took me a moment to work it out. Did I have a meeting at work? No, that was yesterday. Had I had an argument with someone? No. Oh yeah. That. Never mind that 70% of Australians don't want our troops committed. I think I might start calling myself a New Zealander.

The only politician, besides Helen Clarke and Bob Brown who I've heard say anything sensible was Robin Cook.
In particular, this:

Threat questioned

Ironically, it is only because Iraq's military forces are so weak that we can even contemplate its invasion. Some advocates of conflict claim that Saddam's forces are so weak, so demoralised and so badly equipped that the war will be over in a few days.

We cannot base our military strategy on the assumption that Saddam is weak and at the same time justify pre-emptive action on the claim that he is a threat.

Iraq probably has no weapons of mass destruction in the commonly understood sense of the term - namely a credible device capable of being delivered against a strategic city target.

It probably still has biological toxins and battlefield chemical munitions, but it has had them since the 1980s when US companies sold Saddam anthrax agents and the then British Government approved chemical and munitions factories. Why is it now so urgent that we should take military action to disarm a military capacity that has been there for 20 years, and which we helped to create?

Why is it necessary to resort to war this week, while Saddam's ambition to complete his weapons programme is blocked by the presence of UN inspectors?

So, much in the vein of the woman in the Onion who, post Sept 11 bakes a cake in the shape of the American flag, I found John Howard's "email" and sent him a tersely worded letter, expressing my disapproval for his actions.

So that should sort things out, I'd say.
   posted by *mcb* at 8:09 AM


   Tuesday, March 18, 2003  
Masters- link
Info Lit

I came across this link in the RMIT newsletter today:

RMIT - Info-trek: researching in the Library and on the Internet

It looks like quite a good starting point for students who are unfamiliar with search strategies for both the RMIT data-base and the Internet as a whole. However, as with many online tutorials whether people actually ever use them is another matter altogether.
   posted by *mcb* at 1:56 PM


Masters- link
Info Lit

Jill posted recently about teaching critical blogging and links also to a post by Adrian on Google Literacy- that is, developing successful strategies for using this seach engine. The Frontier Librarian would daresay that the students problem with Google literacy would come down to not understanding Information Literacy and if they had paid more attention in their Library Ed. tutorial they would be a lot better off.

I very much like Jill's idea off setting her students the task of defining "usability". Such a bad word. I'd be interested to see what they come up with. One thing I'd do if I had students would be to tell them that anyone describing anything at all to do with the Internet as "sexy" would automatically drop a grade on their final mark and would be sent for councelling. There is nothing sexy about the Internet and it's rather creepy to refer to it this way.

It's interesting that some of Jill's students seem to have taken to blogging very quickly, where as others are reluctant. I wonder if this will change? I have a feeling that blogging is one of those things that really captures the imagination of some people where as others find it leaves them completely cold and a chore rather than something they take pleasure in.
   posted by *mcb* at 7:40 AM


   Monday, March 17, 2003  

Petite and I are talking about a guy cast to be an "Everyman" in a commercial. A sort of beer and footie type, but one who would own a Morcheeba album, too. Someone that women want to go out with, but men don't want to hurt.

Petite says "He's really too good-looking to be an Everyman."
"Can't you accessorise him down?" I ask.

Nearby, a rookie policeman is hovering; waiting for jay-walkers, so he can make his first arrest. Behind him, a more senior copper watches proudly, the mother lion overseeing the cub's first kill.

"No, I don't think so," says Petite. "He has those chiselled cheekbones. They are practically impossible to downplay."
So true, so true.
   posted by *mcb* at 1:21 PM


Masters- Link
Online Comics
Sbs' Cornerfold initiative has some interesting things- some of the short flash animations are good. My favourites are the two by Allison Colpoys and Donald Brooker called Modes of Formidable Engagement. (actually, the one that follows Modes of Formidable Engagement is my favourite.)

Then there is Nathan J's Scary Girl which Looby Lu blogged last week. I love his stuff- saw his contribution to GAME ON last week. I've even downloaded the Scarygirl wallpaper. Excellent stuff.

Got to do some animation. Even just 30 second pieces.
   posted by *mcb* at 8:23 AM


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