Many are quick to critique social media as being a giant time waste, something incredibly self-indulgent, and even slightly creepy. We have all heard these arguments before. An interesting counterargument posits that social media can be used to increase social capital and even be used for purposes of social good. The same two arguments also swirl around the sphere of videogames as well. I can't tell you how many times my parents told me to turn off my Nintendo and go outside. So what happens when you smash social media, gaming, and social good all into one? We're finding new, innovative sites almost everyday.
I woke up this morning in the most populous city (proper) in the world expecting more noise. At 7:30 AM (7:30 PM, Kentucky time), Sunday morning, only tiny intermittent sounds of bicycle bells, a whoosh of a moped every few seconds, and sneezes from walkers along the street below. My husband, Kevin, and I are staying at a nice, simple, hotel at Shanghai University, on one of the many campuses.
At breakfast in the hotel, there was a choice of American breakfast or Chinese. We both chose the American--fried eggs, toast, and coffee. Tomorrow I’ll have the Chinese one, a hard-boiled egg, congee, (porridge), and another dish that I couldn’t make out from where we were sitting.
If you have read my bio, which I assume you all of course have done, I briefly mentioned my longing for any good reads and the lack of time that always prevents this need from being fulfilled during the semester. Through the glory of seasonal breaks, however, I was given a morsel of precious time that I willingly sacrificed for some recreational reading. Although I read this book some time ago, I felt it was due a revisit so that I may be able to share the brilliance I found it to be with all of you eager minds. The book is called "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks." Please neglect its long title because it is totally worth a glance for those that are interested in entering the medical field or cellular research. So now that it's summer time, I encourage all of you to pick up this book and delve into this truly riveting story.
As the Internet and social media are growing and changing, the idea of of what is proper nettiquete has been debated by many professionals and academics. While there is no one widely accepted canon of guidelines for online behvior, there seem to be a few generally accepted do's and don'ts. I've recently been reading The Chronicle of Higher Education, a great source for all things higher ed. I came across this article, 10 Commandments of Twitter for Academics. The author, Katrina Gulliver, goes over a few commonly asked questions about social media interaction for academics as well as frequent mistakes academics make in the Twitterverse. It's a pretty interesting read.
If you don't have a Twitter account, you should get one. Follow A&S @UKarts_sciences and we'll be your first follow! Join the Conversation!
Coming from a Library & Information Science background, I am always excited when I see resources getting archived -- especially online (despite my reservations about the amount of power it takes to keep all those servers up and running). The web started off as an information commons, where anyone with access could peruse or post their own contributions to the growing pool of knowledge. I was reading the WNYC blog and came across this article about the 2012 WebWise Conference, which focused on "Tradition and Innovation;" mostly dealing with the challenges and opportunities that come along with archiving in the digital age.
I've discovered that a lot of us at the Hive frequent Inside Higher Ed, a great source for higher education news, blogs, articles, and opinions. Recently, I came across this blogpost that gives great advice for college undergraduates, postgraduates, researchers, and professors alike on good practices when it comes to writing a grant or scholarship applications essays, CV's, and even recommendation letters. I highly recommend checking it out if you have a few minutes to spare!
TEDTalks are some of the most interesting pieces of video I have come across, and the stories and findings that are revealed in these talks are going to be coming to WUKY 91.3 on Sundays! There's a fresh article on UKnow about it, which reminded me that I haven't listened to a good TEDTalk in awhile. As an audio nerd, I think that these often lend themselves better to a video format, but I love the mobility of audio-only formats! I will probably be downloading these and listening to them while I walk to work.
If you haven't heard of these TED things, check some out. Or better yet, wait until you're on a deserted island with wi-fi. There are hundreds of these videos posted each year; currently about 900 are online for free. A recent, interesting one is Brian Greene's "Is our universe the only universe?"
Earlier today, I was watching one of my friends trying to get a video playing on their computer. First there was no sound, then no video, then sound but blurred colors behind it. Not exactly what they were trying for. I helped poke and prod a bit, but it seemed like there was nothing we could do. It had been saved as an .avi file, instead of a more friendly .mp4 or .mov, which I wouldn't mention were it not for the fact that when this was pointed out, someone actually asked me, "So, what is an .avi file?"
I honestly hadn't a clue.
I'm not trying to point out my own ignorance, but rather emphasize that the more complicated our technology gets, the less and less we really know about it, and how it works. I call tell you which files will and will not import in Final Cut Pro, but most of the time I can't tell you why that is. I can tell you that recording on a Vixia camera involves a ration of roughly 1 GB per minute of filming, but why that is remains a mystery. The list goes on, and I know I'm not the only person in the office that encounters this from time to time.
So, sometimes when I'm producing a podcast, I think, "Man, I wish I had some recordings sitting around of background noise, or birdsong, or tires on a gravel road..." and now, I don't have to worry about going and getting that audio myself (well, most of the time). Though it is more fun to go out and collect field recordings myself, I don't always have time to do it, and I do like to add some atmosphere here and there in pieces where it makes sense to do so.
Freesound.org is a collaborative database of sounds under Creative Commons licensure. A lot of drum hits, sound effects, and for some reason, 34 tracks of people eating carrots... all under Creative Commons licenses, some of which are really free & open and some of which ask that the artists be attributed, or that the tracks not be used for commercial purposes. Either way, CC licenses seek to allow people fair use of things that would otherwise be subject to traditional copyright law, which is vague at best and erring on the side of caution can mean not using much of a work.