I’m watching the ceremony at the U.S. Capitol right now, Waiting to see the casket moved to the Rotunda. There is “good” trouble and Rev. Al Green says it best: The Message is Love.
Things sure were looking up for Japan and the whole world back then
The Olympic team for Great Britain just submitted a wonder message to the world, marking what would have been the opening ceremony for the 2020 Olympic games. The film makers draw a parallel to ’64, when last the Olympics were held in Japan. It was a bright shining moment. The bullet-train had JUST entered service, Japan had built all new stadiums and venues for the competition. Think too about this, the World’s Fair was going on at the same time in Queens/NYC. The Vietnam War had not yet been informally declared. Things weren’t so bad. Great Britain would score some gold medals, and that’s shown in the video too. Notably they set a world’s record in the Women’s 800m with Ann Packer coming from the back in the last 200m leg of the race (that’s a story all unto itself). But the video really is a call for not only rememberance but for HOPE. There is hope. Truly we will meet again, in July 2021. And maybe by then things will be a little less dark, a little more hopeful if not joyful. We will meet again some sunny day, in Tokyo, July 2021. That message gives me all the feels.
The lowdown: Immunity to covid-19 may be short-lived, according to a new longitudinal study of people who have caught the disease and recovered. The study: Researchers at King’s College London repeatedly tested 96 patients and healthcare workers at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS foundation trust for antibodies between March and June. All of the participants…Immunity to covid-19 could disappear in months, a new study suggests — MIT Technology Review
Here’s my favorite pullquote from near the end of the article. It’s depressing because it indicates coronovirus immunity to Sars-CoV2 is likely to be more like the “common cold” immunity. Not stable, reliable or persistent, meaning you can catch it more than once.
The study raises the prospect that, like other coronaviruses, covid-19 could reinfect people repeatedly.
Just listened to this interesting chat between Jim, Tim and Lauren about the Reclaim Cloud service coming up this month. Definitely sounds interesting and learning what Tim has discovered about self-hosted services like PeerTube is VERY interesting too. I’m hoping it catches on like in a way Mastadon still hasn’t quite caught on as a Twitter replacement. I’ll have to check back in at Mastadon and see if anyone’s posting there
Endangered species decides to freak people out at the busiest train station in the world. Tokyo is a bustling metropolis filled with millions of people who live and work in the capital each day, but within this built-up concrete jungle, nature never ceases to amaze with its tenacity to keep on keeping on in the…Strange bird outside Shinjuku Station looks like a reincarnated salaryman — SoraNews24 -Japan News-
First of all, some good news. On June 8th we launch a new microcredential course – 15pts at postgrad level so not _that_ micro I grant – on FutureLearn. 681 more wordsA new course & the untimely demise of the MAODE — The Ed Techie
Ah yes, the axing of the programs
I once worked in an EdTech center at the Uni where I worked. We had a help desk, student staff, generous hours and plenty of computers with “some” but not of overly specialized equipment. And it was by and large successful (not in an enrollment/profit kind of way, but was well used and atteneded). But priorities changed and the space that place occupied was coveted by the building owners (where we were a tenant), and we by degrees took out the computer/lab space.
This eventually led to staff being re-assigned to other orgs and eventually all operations were shutdown. Whither the instuctors? Indeed that seemed like the first thing that would suffer. And all complaints, requests for assistance would go through our then new director when they fell into the EdTech category. I had left by then for another part of the Uni. But after a year, they posted a job description that was almost 100% my previous job. So I applied for it and got it. And now I’m back to assisting people, but without the “center”, the staff and equipment.
My top 5 favorite urban experiencesMy Favorite Urbanist Experiences — The Urban Phoenix
This is to celebrate one of those community bloggers that no doubt exist all over the U.S. if not the world. They’re not trying to just grow their “brand” but drop knowledge and “science” about their local community and the networks that physically connect them. My fave posting was the Roch-cha-cha to Chicago overnight trip with 12 hour day in Chi-town before hopping the overnight train back to Lake Ontario and Rochester, NY. Truly that is an interesting discovery and adventure. One I would love to try out.
The entertainment industry continues to rely on Apple products and services to continue production amid the COVID-19 pandemic. A new report from Deadline today details how ABC is working closely with Apple to continue production of American Idol from home. more… The post ABC turns to Apple for help producing ‘American Idol’ from home during…ABC turns to Apple for help producing ‘American Idol’ from home during COVID-19 — 9to5Mac
“People ask me or sometimes muse to themselves, “What’s the best camera?” And the answer is always, “The one you have”
I’ve said it time again in a long back-and-forth email with a friend of mine who teaches photography and art in Higher Education. We both come from a background of making do with limited resources. But at the same time there’s this overwhelming desire in Higher Ed to always give student access to “tools” they couldn’t or wouldn’t ever buy for themselves. But in fact, it’s really a desire to make purchases using capital equipment budget that provide the largest number of “units” for a set number of enrollees for a class that’s capped typically at 20-25 students. You get 25 students, you buy 25 cameras and they use them for their class work. You collect up 25 cameras at the end of the semester. And people get to use a digital SLR that they could never justify buying themselves. But some percent may 1-2 students out of the class will later budget buy the same camera they used. Others, maybe 1-2 will already own a camera equal to or BETTER than the cam you bought. The remaining 20 or so students will turn in the camera and NEVER buy a digital SLR. They’re not hardcore photographers. They wanted to “learn” photography, but they aren’t going to pursue it in a concerted lifelong kind of way. Or they take the class because it’s a pre-requisite, a requirement for another class in their major, their minor, or cluster for graduations. So there is that “market” for digital SRL’s. And that will never change, it’s status quo kind of thing.
But whither the casual user who has budgeted and saved for a current or even factory refurbished top of the line iPhone? Given all these little “slips” of info about shows, commercials, film producers adopting iPhones in same way. Maybe as a one-time “joke” or trick to see if it could work, but you hear these things. And then you see things. And you realize it’s not a joke or a trick. iPhones with 128GB of storage, 3 cameras built-in, lidar time-of-flight sensors for “AR” style functions. These devices are an untapped magical treasure box just dying to be used for making art. And literally ARE the camera you have. You have it, it’s already there, it’s yours, it’s paid for. You’re using it as a smartphone or an entertainment device. But it’s a tool, every bit as much as a digital SLR. So what it doesn’t have a glass prism view finder, interchangeable lenses, all the doodads, gimcrack and gewgaws. That’s immaterial. You can still take a picture, compose and capture an image. What are you waiting for. You already have the best camera in the world, Right Now.
Lastnight (Apr.1), I was watching the PBS NewsHour, and saw this segment by Nick Shifrin about Taiwan’s response to Covid-19. After the SARs outbreak in 2003, Taiwan became very sensitive/aggressive to infections migrating from Mainland China. Further, World Health Organization (WHO) doesn’t recognize Taiwan (because of Mainland China’s lobbying to keep them in a state of “future” statehood with the mainland, but that’s off topic). The single biggest “tell” of the segment, was an interview done with former Taiwan CDC head, Steve Kuo. He tells the story of January, 2020 when hints/whispers started to come across from the Mainland about Wuhan. Taiwan CDC sent two officials to investigate:
We pick up the signal that there is some strange outbreak in the Wuhan areas at the end of the last year from social media networks.
We decided, and we did send two medical doctors to Wuhan from Taiwan CDC to get a better understanding of what happened there, OK? And then five days later, on January 20, the government decided immediately to set up and activate the central command centers.
That centralized command center launched border restrictions before almost anyone else, set local quarantine rules, and turned to technology.
One phone app allows Taiwan residents to find stores with masks in stock. Another app provides information on all of those who are COVID-19 positive, where they have been, and their case history. And the government made sure it had enough medical equipment.
After the SARS outbreak, actually, we have the law to require hospitals to have a stockpile for all medical supplies for 30 days for the hospitals.
What I’m finding most fascinating is Taiwan CDC had taken HUGE steps in just a week’s time from the initial monitoring of info slipping through social media channels, to sending two doctors out to Wuhan to find out more. They shutdown the border once they activated their plan. Travel restriction and quarantine to the mainland (as they point out just 81 miles away). They had no qualms, no second thoughts, they just did it. Like preparing for a typhoon or earthquake, just automatic. Here’s the plan, here’s what’s happening, start sending out notices to enact the “plan”. They didn’t even wait or pay attention to WHO, because Taiwan is NOT part of WHO, they cannot depend on WHO protecting their country. I think also I saw reports (mentioned briefly in previous blog entry), that U.S. Intelligence agencies had already discovered through their monitoring of communications that there was cases of under-reporting already going on back in mid-January despite WHO applauding China’s efforts to stem the epidemic. Between U.S. Intelligence reports indicating there was an in-progress epidemic going on in China AND the Taiwan CDC investigation, you got two, count-em’ two HUGE data points that should have put every hospital administrator, County Health commissioner, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, U.S. State Dept. on alert that we needed to stop travel from Mainland China, quarantine anyone in flight from China (from any point on the globe) for minimum of 14 days. The FEMA medical supply stockpile would then put out automatic orders for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and for ventilators, incrementing up ventilator orders each week anticipating a worst case scenario. Getting those manufacturing companies to start putting on more people per shift for all the supplies. Getting hospitals ready to do field operations for non-critical beds, keeping the ICU and ED’s open and operating at max. capacity. Looking at doubling-up on existing ventilators, etc. But it’s too late now 50/50 hindsight, Monday morning quarterbacking. But now at least we know, take action early, definitively and look to Taiwan CDC for a demonstration of competent effective planning and operations when the next epidemic takes hold. This does give me some hope, that someone, somewhere worldwide had a plan and it worked (for them at least).