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James Crook
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James Crook

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A lovely simulation and animation of the heart.
 
Our sister project UT-Heart, a detailed heart simulation, has won "Best Visualization or Simulation award" at SIGGraph 2015 for this movie presenting their results. It's a cool movie.
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"Education is the answer to everything".

+John Heffernan - on the surface this is 'just' a critique of our industrial society,  based on created needs.  Under the surface it hints at how education, how asking simple questions that have difficult answers, could transform society.  It comes down to not allowing education to be controlled and constrained by a power elite.  The video is  radical media, in a very good sense.
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHGaH-7wq6M&sn
It appears that I shared this brilliant assessment of our situation the for first time in Feb 17, 2010 on Facebook.

I am posting it again because I was just triggered to revisit it through a semirandom series of improbabilities. and I am reposting today it because it seems highly pertinent to - and might actually prove useful in unraveling - the critique presented by BLM protesters at Bernie's rally last Saturday in Seattle.

As I have stated many times, I am generally pretty uncomfortable letting other people put words in my mouth - I don't do covers, yet I will quote people, but I very rarely parrot them.

But from time to time I encounter a critique that's so brilliant that all I can only stand back and point to it and stammer "This is prerequisite reading for any further discussion of the geography and the dynamics of the situation in which we are mired!!!"  This is one of those moments.

Please give it a few minutes and pay close attention to how you react to the words you hear.
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Jacky Jones in the Irish Times health section.  I was expecting a 'rats on wings' piece about the unseen unacknowledged health risk of seagulls.  Instead something much better and deeper.
Gulls, and other birds and animals, have the right to forage for food wherever they like
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This is a super idea, using a fractal and zoom to make a tree look good and be easily browsable, even when the nodes and branches of the tree are actually very different (unbalanced) in their sizes.

It would also work superbly with pictures.  You no longer have the worry about how to tile the pictures in to the space.

Any book that has a table of contents could be put into this format.  All of Wikipedia could be put into this format.
 
Climbing the tree of life

It's fun to explore the tree of life at http://www.onezoom.org

It only has amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals - and only those that are still alive today.  But still, it's fun to keep zooming in and see how your favorites are related - along with many others!

One nice feature is that you can see when branches happened.  And at first it seemed shocking to how new so many mammals branches are. 

To set the stage, remember that an asteroid hit the Earth and a lot of dinosaurs went extinct 65 million years ago.  About 24 million years ago, the Earth cooled enough that Antarctica becomes covered with ice.  This cooling trend also created the great grasslands of the world!  Humans split off from other apes about 5 million years ago: we are creatures of the grasslands.  The glacial cycles began just 2.5 million years ago... and Homo erectus is first known to have tamed fire 1.4 million years ago.

Now compare this:  the cats branched off from hyenas about 40 million years ago.  Cheetahs branched off from other cats only 17 million years ago.  That makes sense: we couldn't have cheetahs without grasslands!   But bobcats and lynxes branched off only 11 million years ago... and tigers just 6 million years ago!

So tigers are almost as new as us!  And the modern lion, Panthera leo, is even newer.  It showed up just 1 million years old, after we tamed fire.

This changed my views a bit: I tended to think of humanity as the "new kid on the block".  And okay, it's true that Homo sapiens is just 250,000 years old.  But we had relatives making stone tools and fires for a lot longer!  

Here's another fact that forced me to straighten out my mental chronology: the University of Oxford is older than the Aztec empire!   Teaching started in Oxford as early as 1096, and the University was officially founded in 1249.  On the other hand, we can say the Aztec empire officially  started with the founding in Tenochtitlán in 1325.

And that, in turn, might explain why cell phones don't work very well here in Oxford.  But I digress.  Check out the tree of life, here:

http://www.onezoom.org/ 
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I like the idea of doing a book in this format!  I also wish they'd include more data about the animals at the nodes of this tree, e.g. pictures of them.
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Mathematicians aren't the only ones with nice collections of three-dimensional models of the objects they study...
Model-XI – Thomas Sopwith [1841]. First produced in 1841 Thomas Sopwith's wooden models were some of the earliest three-dimensional representations of Earth's geological strata. Layered, glued, hand carved and polished, his models demonstrate the abilities of a skilled woodworker and ...
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The #DragonBox game starts out as a puzzle game, get a box on its own on one side.  As you progress the icons become mathematical symbols, little by little you progress towards "solve for x".  

The game gives feedback in a way that pencil and paper does not.  The feedback helps learners learn that they must "do the same thing on both sides".  After the videos I'm left wondering, why move back to paper and pencil?  Wouldn't it be better to continue working in an algebra environment that gives feedback?

The game does about 50% of what algebra teaching should do.  It practices the algebra manipulative skills.  The other half, how to use algebra on real world problems, in economics, engineering, physics, electronics, construction, these still need input from outside the game to learn.
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Reshared from +Pádraig Ó Dubhaigh 
 
Highly-regarded educator Bianca Ní Ghrógain passed away on 6 June, here her friend Mags Almond pays tribute to the edtech champion.
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h/t +Anne Lewis 
 
#Onthisday  in AD 79, Gaius Plinius Secundus better known as Pliny the Elder died in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. His 'Naturalis Historia' is thought to be one of the largest single works to have survived from the Roman Empire. Here's a copy with a depiction of Pliny: bit.ly/1MKtbzK
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Lovely exploration of almost lost masonry skills.
 
Thanks for sharing this. Very enlightening.
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I'm wondering about this.  To program it you need a computer or tablet.  It's designed to be programmed using TouchDevelop.  One million are being given away free.  

I somehow doesn't seem cool enough to catch on as a wearable.  For learning programming - if you need a tablet to program it, why not write apps for the tablet instead?  It's overlapping arduino-space, but without arduino's shield eco-system. 

The digital in/outs are the neatest part.  Suitable for croc-clips, banana plugs and a motherboard socket.  But for cost reasons it doesn't come with those.   For very first introduction to simple electronics, the Makey-Makey package looks better pedagogically.

So, someone tell me why it is wonderful please.
The BBC and partners today unveiled the BBC micro:bit - a pocket-sized, codeable computer that allows children to get creative with technology. In the BBC’s most ambitious education initiative for 30 years, up to 1 million devices will be given to every 11 or 12 year-old child in year 7 or equivalent across the UK, for free.
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I think the value may lie in the fact it will arrive in all classrooms in Sept, so some of our more reluctant teaching colleagues may "have a go" and more importantly, allow their students to have the same go. I hope that getting the rest of the "stuff" together isn't seen as a barrier.
I see there is a Microbit session in DojoCon this year, looking forward to learning more then.
Wonder will anyone have one at the Scratch conference?
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Günaydın ⛅🌞🌄🌻 Good Morning
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