Scott McCloud at TED

Via Johndan’s blog, I came across Scott McCloud’s talk at TED:

I only got a chance to watch the first few minutes of it (another crazy busy day ahead of me, though soon the craziness will end and it will settle back to just busy), but it looks a lot like the talk McCloud gave at EMU a few years back. I may very well have to teach this in English 328 or English 516 this term. Maybe both.

“By virtue of being elected, he has made my life as a traveler much much easier”

From this web site “Chewing the Fat: No Reservations’ Anthony Bourdain” comes the following:

Q. The inauguration is tomorrow. Do you have any advice for our soon-to-be president?

A. I would not presume to advise him on anything. By virtue of being elected, he has made my life as a traveler much much easier. I’ve felt the impact abroad already. I get congratulated by complete strangers walking up to me in Sri Lanka and Vietnam. It’s been a tough eight years to be a traveling American. I don’t think people hated Americans, but there was a look that people gave you. Just by virtue of being an American you were like some well-intentioned, but rabid golden retriever. A look of curiosity, disbelief and horror. And this was in England and Australia. I’m particularly proud and happy about our new president. There will be a tangible difference in the way Americans are treated abroad. It just feels better. Above and beyond all the policy.

Bourdain says a bunch of other stuff in his typical fashion– some of it smart, some of it not, some of it just kinda mean– but I think he’s probably right on target with this one.

I can at least change the picture….

Sorry to disappoint my millions of readers by not posting a whole lot here lately, but it has been the classic “one thing after another” in terms of work and life, and much of what is going on with work is stuff I can’t really write about right now. Good stuff, mind you– just not for public consumption.

Anyway, I thought I’d at least share a weather-related header. This is when Will and I went sledding a couple of weeks ago. It wasn’t near as cold as it was last week, but still chilly enough. I took a little video on this sledding trip too which I’ll probably put up on YouTube sooner than later.

Why yes, it is cold enough for me, thanks for asking

I knew we were in for some cold weather today, but I have to say I wasn’t expecting the current conditions: as of 6:30-ish or so AM, it’s -11 with a windchill of -30 (Fahrenheit, of course). I think windchill is kind of bullshit– unless it really is windy– but that is indeed pretty freakin’ cold.

In fact, it’s so cold, schools in the county (including Will’s school, Greenhills) are canceled because of it. That’s a new one for me, a “cold day.” It makes sense for schools that are busing in students because the last thing you want is a third-grader waiting for a bus that is running late turning into a popsicle. But I’m not sure it makes as sense for a place like Greenhills since all students find their own way there, though I have to say that I am happy I don’t have to go out and warm up the car quite this early. And it does create a four-day weekend/break for folks, too.

A few teacherly links

I perhaps should be posting this over at the web site/blog for the grad class I’m teaching right now, but since they are things I’ll want to come back to again later anyway and for perhaps other purposes, I guess I’ll post them here:

  • “Teachers’ lessons go viral on education video web site,” which is a Dallas News article about teacher videos “going viral” on sites like Teacher Tube. The example of “Dr. Loopy” is a lot less interesting to me than the Teacher Tube stuff.
  • “At MIT, large lectures are going the way of the blackboard” in the New York Times. Surprise surprise: small and interactive classes teach students better than lecture halls. But also surprise surprise (which is buried in the story): these classes are really expensive, and this format was made possible in part because of a $10 million grant from an alum.
  • Alec Couros at the U of Regina has invited here participants in his “open access” undergrad and grad courses. The idea, as I understand it, is if students from elsewhere want to follow along and become at least kind of a part of the community, they are more than welcome. Sounds like it might be fun for someone in 516.

I’d write more now, but there is that whole dinner thing, and I believe that Will and I are going to watch Get Smart! this evening….