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Erik Toussaint
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Science for Dummies

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IE Rage
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My thoughts & ideas for Project Glass:

- The glasses should have earbuds included
- The display should only be visible from the inside
- Add pico projector for outside
- Add a laser pointer & flash light
- Constant camera focus and blinking pattern or noise pattern to trigger shutter
- Optional cable to phone or spare battery to recharge batteries on the go
- Mood sensing through skin contact (heart rate, breathing?). Match songs with similar beat pattern to seamlessly find the right music for the mood.
- Foldable bluetooth keyboard accessory to write on the go.
- Use finger in front of glasses as cursor (air touch?)
- Ability to see through someone else's eyes. For example, one could study what a great quarterback looks at to unlock his talent.

So much potential!

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Librarians as Social Workers

This is a must-read post on metafilter from a librarian, which makes the "Digital Divide" viscerally clear, and explains the role of libraries in bridging that divide. I won't try to do it justice. Just read it.

Alas, as budget cuts push libraries to the brink, this librarian (a library science student) wonders if libraries will survive, and if they don't, who or what will fill their role:

"We need to do something which I'll admit is ill defined and perhaps impossible: we need to become the center of civic engagement in our communities. We're one of the few places left in our society where a great cross-section of people regularly interact, and also one of the few places that is free and non-commercial. Even museums, to bow and scrape to the master of Austerity, have begun to put branding on their exhibits, as if they were a sort of cultural NASCAR. We have amazing potential power, but without concerted effort I'm afraid it will be wasted. It will look better to save 10 dollars a year per person in taxes instead of funding community computer workshops, and childhood literacy programs, and community gardens. All the while we play desperate catch-up, trying to get a hold on ebooks, and licensing out endless sub-quality software for meeting room reservations and computer sign-ups and all this other rentier software capitalism instead of developing free and open source solutions and providing small systems with the expertise to use them. Our amazing power is squandered as we cut our staff, fail to attract skilled and diverse talent, and act as a band aid to the mounting social ills caused by slash and burn governance in the name of low taxes and some nebulous idea of freedom that seems to equate with living in a good society but not paying your share for it."

The irony is that I had just tweeted a link to another wonderful post by a librarian, which argued against all the angst, and just urged librarians to "Play the long game, go out there and do something awesome." It's also worth reading: And yes, there are amazing projects to turn libraries into makerspaces and other kinds of community resource, but let's not forget the trailing edge, made so vivid here, in our rush to the leading edge.

via +Max Ogden

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My attempt at 'Ripple-ing' for Haiti

A 30,000 ft view of Haiti:

- The Haitian Revolution was the only slave revolt which led to the founding of a country on January 1st 1804.
- Haiti, initially populated by Tainos, was colonized by Spain and France. The colonists brought in slaves from several African countries. Haiti was once occupied by the US and was host to many Europeans who escaped the Nazis.
- Haiti has one of the most envious cultures in the world. It owes its richness to its adoption of most of the cultures it hosted during its relatively young and illustrious history.
- Haiti endured a long stretch of short stint presidencies and long dictatorships and has been politically unstable practically since its independence.

More recently:

- Haiti, host to only 10 million, was devasted by a 7.0 earthquake on January 12th 2010 which claimed upwards of 300K lives and decimated its infrastructure and major monuments around the capital.
- The current government has recently ratified the nomination of a Prime Minister (10/18/2011), its effective leader nominated by the democratically elected President (05/14/2011).
- The current administration is in the process of filling in its ministries positions and its promising ship will soon sail.
- Haiti's best assets are its history and culture and Tourism is its most promising economic sector.

Attached is a link to the Tourism section of a directory of all things related to Haiti.

Kindly reshare.

Thanks a lot.

Erik's Best of TED Talks:

- David Christian: Big History

- Susan Blackmore: Memes and "temes"

- Jan Chipchase: Our mobile phones
- Kevin Kelly: The next 5,000 days of the web
- Ray Kurzweil: How technology will transform us

- Hans Rosling: The Best Stats You've Ever Seen
- Hans Rosling: New Insight on Poverty

- Malcolm Gladwell: What We Can Learn From Spaghetti Sauce
- Barry Schwartz: The Paradox of Choice

- Dan Gilbert: Why are we happy?
- Dan Gilbert: Our mistaken expectations


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If the World were 100 PEOPLE:

50 would be female
50 would be male

20 would be children
There would be 80 adults,
14 of whom would be 65 and older

There would be:
61 Asians
12 Europeans
13 Africans
14 people from the Western Hemisphere

There would be:
31 Christians
21 Muslims
14 Hindus
6 Buddhists
12 people who practice other religions
16 people who would not be aligned with a religion

17 would speak a Chinese dialect
8 would speak Hindustani
8 would speak English
7 would speak Spanish
4 would speak Arabic
4 would speak Russian
52 would speak other languages

82 would be able to read and write; 18 would not

1 would have a college education
1 would own a computer

*75 people would have some supply of food and a place to
shelter them from the wind and the rain*, but 25 would not

1 would be dying of starvation
17 would be undernourished
15 would be overweight

83 would have access to safe drinking water
17 people would have no clean, safe water to drink

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Tip: Use G+ Circles like Gmail tags. I have one for Quotes, one for Bookmarks, etc...
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