Lafayette Twestival Ticket Giveaway

March 24 is Twestival Local 2011.

What is Twestival?

Twestival is a way for people to get together and donate to a local cause. It is mainly organized on Twitter, and showcases the power of Twitter to help people organize and do good.

What happens at Twestival?

Once you get in, you listen to local bands, talk to people, have a drink… it’s just a fun night out, but you know that the ticket money goes to a good cause. This year, the proceeds go to City Foods.

Twestival will be held downtown Lafayette at the Muse.

See more details here.

I believe it’s a worthy event, and a good opportunity to meet people from the community, many of whom love social media just as much as you do!

I know students are strapped for cash, and that’s why I want to give away some tickets.

I will give away 5 basic tickets to Twestival. All you have to do is write a comment below explaining why you want to go, or why you think people from the community should attend.

You do not have to by my student, or a student, to enter.

I will select the winners through a random drawing on Thursday March 24 at 2 pm, so make sure you enter your comment before then!

March 15: Adopt the Internet

Today is Adopt the Internet Day – Petfinder invites bloggers to spread the word about animal adoptions.

I’m happy to participate and feature an adoptable pet from the Greater Lafayette, Indiana, area on this blog. But, with so many adoptable pets out there, how can I choose just one?! There are almost 8,000 adoptable animals within a 100 mile radius

I’m picking this one almost randomly (OK, she’s a cat, that’s not random):

From Cricket’s Petfinder profile:

Cricket’s owner died recently, and Cricket needs a new home. She is between 5-7 years old, she’s has had her shots and was recently spayed. She does not like to be with other cats, but is OK with dogs. She is a very tiny girl, with glowing green eyes and the softest fur we’ve ever felt on a cat. We know that her previous owner mistreated her by withholding food, and we suspect other cruelties as well because it takes Cricket a while to trust a new human. Once she trusts you, though, Cricket is the perfect loving kitty who will sleep with you and will sit in your lap for hours, purring like a motorboat. She’s called Cricket because shes always talking to her human, saying chirrup constantly. She’s had a very rough time and deserves a warm, stable home. Can you give it to her?

We kill too many unwanted animals in this country. You have to take a look at this Pawcurious post to get a sense of the scale of animal deaths in the U.S.



Natural user interfaces, movement, and emotion (Google Talk)

A Purdue ENE student posted this video on Facebook, and after watching, I had to curate it here. The idea is so simple, and so brilliant – after seeing the video, all I can say is “duh! – it makes perfect sense!”

Here’s the brief summary:

  • we have the technology to interface with computers using movement – aka Natural User Interfaces (NUI) – like Xbox Kinect.
  • movement of the body is related to emotion – something yogis have known for a long time, and modern research is confirming. For example, an open, expansive, body posture will make you feel happy and powerful (see, for example, this research study). Also, body posture and movement have social implications – for example, moving in sync creates liking & trust.
  • Therefore, we should create interfaces that invite open, expansive, fluid body movements, in order to increase positive affect (put people in a good mood).
  • Possible applications: Gmail TaiChi – Using TaiChi movements to sort through your Inbox in the morning; OR: A serious game for learning math that requires open, expansive movement is likely to reduce math anxiety.
  • DUH! Brilliant!

Watch Katherine Isbister‘s Google Talk to grasp the details of this argument, and to see applications and interesting research projects:

The most valuable thing I learned in grad school

All the knowledge you could possibly want is out there. You’re a smart person. You can teach yourself anything you want. Then, why go to grad school?

What can grad school do for you that you can’t do for yourself?

In other words, why do you need a teacher?

I remember a time when I looked at an academic research paper, understood almost every word on the page, yet the meaning of the article as a whole was a mystery to me. Then a teacher came along, asked some good questions, and all of a sudden, the meaning of the reading appeared, as if a secret code had been deciphered.

The most valuable thing I learned in grad school has nothing to do with content. I learned how to read. How to think. I learned how to learn.

It’s this process of thinking, inquiring, and understanding that I hope to teach to my students. Beyond content, this is the skill that changes who you are forever. It changes how you see the world.

I asked my husband what’s the most valuable thing he learned in grad school. His answer was:

To know how to look for something when I’m not sure, and to know when I found it.

What’s the most valuable thing you learned in grad school?