The Unbearable Lightness of Being Digital -- Entries on 27th September 2004

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The Unbearable Lightness of Being Digital


27th September 2004

9:17am: So I mentioned the other day that I wanted to see the movie, "What the BLEEP Do We Know?" and that it would be showing in Lawrence in the next couple of weeks.

Well I saw it!

While looking through he movie section of the newspaper yesterday I learned that it was showing at the Tivoli theater in Westport.

It's teriffic. Go see it. Bring your brain.
As a synopsis, it's a "metaphysical documentary". As a bit longer summary, it's a series of interviews (mostly with Phd holding physicists, but there are a few others) interleaved with a fictional portrayal of some of the ideas discussed.

People who will enjoy this film are those passionate about science, buddhism (gracietheswan, are you listening?), learning more about the universe they're in, and those willing to take responsibility for their lives.

9:23am: Shaun of the Dead
On Friday night, I went to see Shaun of the Dead at the Tivoli theater.

I didn't really know much about the film, but my date really wanted to see it and hey, who am I miss a zombie flick?

Well, it turned out to be a wickedly hilarious British parody of the quintessential "zombie film". The movie balances satire, belly laughs, and a tension perfectly. One of my particular favorite themes was how most people are 'zombies' anyway, and how they weren't all that different after the crisis.

Go see it, it's quality satire.

11:10am: Extra-super-great for kids!



What and why are Howtoons?

"Howtoons are one-page cartoons showing 5-to-15 year-old kids "How To" build things. Each illustrated episode is a stand-alone fun adventure accessible to all, including the pre-literate. Our Howtoons are designed to encourage children to be active participants in discovering the world through Play-that-Matters -- fun, creative, and inventive -- and to rely a lot less on mass-consumable entertainment.

We hope to syndicate these Howtoons in the weekly Sunday color comics pages worldwide. Each episode is furthermore in the extremely photocopyable -- and hence mass deployable -- 8.5" x 11" or A4 formats with supporting web links for more information, including translations into a growing number of world-languages, step-by-step photos, action-videos, and other relevant info. Much like MIT has OpenCourseWare distributing curricular materials for college students worldwide, our Howtoons are OpenKidsWare, with practical build-it projects letting kids learn-by-doing, MIT-style!

Saul Griffith and Joost Bonsen started and incubated the Howtoons Project while graduate students at MIT, working in close concert with professional illustrator Nick Dragotta as well as literally hundreds of fellow students, alumni, faculty, friends and their fantastic kids. We have received and continue to welcome ideas from contributors world-wide. One important caveat -- we build and refine absolutely everything we publish and always try variations of each design on a volunteer group of kids and parents. Everything works!

In big-picture terms, we see Howtoons as fast-spreading "Tools of Mass Construction" inspiring kids everywhere to think about hopeful futures while giving them both practical skills and nurturing the creative savvy needed to solve their own very real problems."
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