The Web Log of Stephen Scholz, philosopher, dad, political gadfly and gamer.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
I taught my LIS class Terrorism: Meaning and Media class today.
One of the topics discussed was privacy in the post 9/11 world. The (vocal) majority of the class seemed to believe that people should not be allowed to learn facts which would be of high value to terrorists (how to make a bomb for example). Or if they tried to learn such things, they should be watched or arrested. This was a good discussion since the first article I gave them was about a 16 year old in the UK being arrested pretty much for that.
I expanded the conversation to discuss dangerous 'ideology' such as learning about terrorist organizations, or other 'bad things.' I mentioned how governments had frequently tried to censor ideologies they disagreed with, even our own. I asked the students if we should be allowed to read works like the Communist Manifesto or Mein Kamph. After a brief discussion in which I mention having read those both as an undergraduate, one of my students, expressed some concern for me personally. I will try to paraphrase her accurately.
She: "May I be Frank? I don't want to get in trouble." (with my I assume)
Me: "Of course, say what you like."
She: "Well...a lot of students at this school already think you are pretty weird. I mean you say a lot of weird things, especially in this class,"
Me: "I am not too surprised by that... I aim to be weird on occasion." (Such exclamations are not that unusual)
She: "Well you might want to be careful.. I mean you might not want to mention reading stuff like that."
Me: "Whah?" I think I mumbled something like Luke Skywalker in the Cantina "I'll be careful" or something like that.
Sadly, it was so unexpected, and at the end of class that I didn't really have time to put that statement in the context of the rest of the class. I hope I can remember it Thursday and make it a good jumping off point for discussion.
I assume she meant it in the sense that might worry that my odd reputation among students would only be reinforced (not that I was in danger of the thought police), but I wish I had clarity of thought to jump on it right then. Teaching is often like being in an argument where someone says something mean or whatever, and then as you leave the scene you think of the perfect comeback. Of course, in teaching, we then jot that down and save it for the next time. And then it doesn't come up, so we try to manufacture the scene again, and it fails miserably. Sigh.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Do I have a beautiful daughter or what?
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Thursday, August 07, 2008
Get you war on (animated)
I read this entire series when it was just a webcomic. Oh how fast they grow up.
Monday, August 04, 2008
Ruby's First Video
Ruby is about six weeks old and starting to show interest in the world. There are a couple quick smiles, and coos in this video (well at least we think there are). Catching the smiles on camera is tricky, even with the camera handy. I was hoping with better luck with the camcorder. If the image looks dusty, its because of all the use that camcorder gets.
The camcorder is a Sanyo Xacti, which has many short comings (awkward to hold being the primary). The one thing I do like about it, is that it uses a hard drive (combined with SD card) and basically plugs into my computer, becomes an external drive from which I drag the mpegs directly to my hard drive. That is really convenient. You can also delete files the same way. I like the intuitive interface.
Saturday, August 02, 2008
Latest customer at the Scholz Spa
That spot is a favorite hang out of the cardinals, robins and finches, who behave exactly the same. They sit there with wings extended for several minutes.
I've also seen our little wild rabbit roll around on the earth there.
A squirrel did the same thing on a similar patch on the other side of the yard.
Is there a zoologist in the blogosphere?
My theory: I saw a special on some (african I think) ants that would spray acid at threats. Birds (and lizards I think) would harass these little ants to incite them to spray them with the acid that would allegedly kill (or otherwise offer relief from) tiny mites or ticks or something.
Now, I don't think we have acid spewing ants, but I wouldn't be terribly surprised if the dirt was very acidic. Would having a dirt bath there have a similar effect? Anyone?