This Year in Creativity: I normally do a This Week... feature but this post was so long, I felt it needed a broader title.
The fantasy I typically read is based on European mythology. I have lived in South Korea for more than a decade so so I also read fantasy with Asian themes. Can or does science fiction have a similar regional flavour? Gord Sellar wrote a short story about the effects of climate change on African protagonists that showed to me it can. I think the story is Dhuluma No More. And an interview with Sellar that I now want to read. Boingboing has a link to ten of the best African fantasy and Sci Fi stories.--
Mnemonics is a crossover subject for me: it fits here in creative expression and also as something useful for my teaching career. Here are two links from Boingboing: memorizing a deck of playing cards and how a pissing wolf can help your memory. As a layperson in mnemonics, I gotta say you need to put a whole lot of work into the basics of the craft before it all becomes useful.
How have bicycles changed? What will a future bike look like? Kottke has an answer to the first question.
Science fiction authors Randy Rucker and Bruce Sterling discuss their work.
Guidelines for design of London Tube Stations.
1. Achieve balance across the network.
2. Look beyond the Bostwick gates.
3. Consider wholeness.
4. Prioritise comfort for staff and customers.
5. Delight and surprise. Every Underground station should include at least one moment of delight and surprise, to improve customers' journeys and the working environment for staff. Such moments help put the network on the map, as a world-class leader of design.
6. Use materials to create atmosphere.
7. Create ambience with lighting.
8. Integrate products and services.---
9. Prepare for the future.
How should we work in the future? Industrial jobs are vanishing. Flex time is increasing as is tele-commuting. What should the new dogmas be?
I mentioned Sellar earlier. He has a discussion on gamifying education.
Giving up a technology. What would you give up? Almost entirely unrelated, I wonder about giving up technologically obsolete phrases. We should find new phrases for "Roll up/down a car's window" and "Rewind" when discussing digital video, "hang up" when ending a phone call...
A review of ways to Go gradeless in a traditionally graded school:
How does she [Starr Sackstein] and each of her students negotiate the final grade for the course?---
How does she resolve any differences in opinion between her and a student when negotiating the final grade for the course?
Are individual assignments, products, projects, etc. negotiated as well? Do they receive a grade for each of these or just a final grade at the end of the course?
Is she really going gradeless if students are giving themselves a grade?
Computer generated novels. At least one of the 'novels' is a computer generated list of pixel colours on the cover of an edition of "The Sun Also Rises". ""Brass. Brass. Brass. Brass. Brass. Brass. Brass. Brass. Brass. Drab. Drab. University of California Gold. Brass. Brass. Dark tan. Dark tan. Dark tan. Brass. Raw umber. Raw umber. Coffee. Dark brown. Olive Drab #7."
Another story consists of parts of D&D adventure templates.
The Dragon of NuriaThe rules of the computer generated novel contest require posted the code, so others with similar skills can see how you did it. Look here for Dragon of Nuria.
A generated gamebook.
By Mark Rickerby for NaNoGenMo2015.
Throughout your journey in these lands, you’ve heard subtle tales of a spreading shadow that grow more and more threatening as you get closer to the village of Nuria.
The stories tell of Ir, a horrifying green dragon whose foul magic is spreading throughout the air and water and poisoning the countryside. The villagers beseech you to help fight this menace before the darkness takes its toll.
Somewhere near Nuria is the entrance to Ir’s dungeon. Others have found riches in treasure there, though many are never seen again.
To search for the entrance and ENTER the dungeon, turn to §1.
You step into a shrine. There is a monster here: GHOUL (STRENGTH: 10, STAMINA: 12). You must FIGHT. You gain initiative. You find a bag of exquisite diamonds here. If you defeat the monster, you can take the treasure.
To go SOUTH turn to §2
To go EAST turn to §17
You step into a wrecked armory. You find a bag of precious emeralds here.
To go NORTH turn to §1
To go SOUTH turn to §3
To go EAST turn to §18
Cory Doctorow on Neil Gaiman's speech on how to maintain long-haul creativity.
It's easy to be creative in short bursts, but sustained (and sustainable) creative endeavor is hard and often tedious, and requires a bunch of habits that are damned hard to get into and easy to slip out of. In my own writing life, the transition from someone who could only write under inspiration to someone who wrote even when having "writers' block" (which just means that you don't like the words you're writing, and the answer is to write them anyway) was the most important thing that ever happened to me, professionally speaking.---
I cannot get this drum machine to work. Help, anyone?
I think it is a problem for a person to write on a subject they don't know well. On the other hand, I have written a novel set in Nepal and another set in Italy. I did spend a few weeks in Nepal but none in Italy. Anyway, I would like to set a story in historic Central America so this Sci Am article is interesting. It is even interesting if I don't write such a story.
Archaeologists believe the elite sent their fine merchandise with a “middle-man”, in order to do business with the people. “If Cerén’s citizens believed the objects were too expensive, [the merchants] were not compelled to stay, and were free to take their merchandise to the next market, to try and get a better deal,” Gallardo says.
The information found at Cerén contradicts the hypothesis that the Mayan elites controlled every single aspect of society, including the economy, politics, religion, arts and sciences, during the Classic Period, which is considered one of the most productive stages of the Pre-Hispanic Era, between 250 and 900 AD.----
The shed where Andy Rooney wrote.
I spent some time in Rensselaerville, New York, this fall, where Andy Rooney used to pass his summers. Not far from his home, he had a five-sided shed in which he did his writing. It had an AC unit stuck to the side of it and triangle-shaped windows on its roof. He called it the Pentagon.---
Conductive ink spread with a standard ballpoint pen.
The ink, made of silver salt and adhesive rubber, sticks to various surfaces, and the resulting circuits stay conductive despite repeated bending. If the wiring breaks, retracing the lines would fix it. “It’s a very simple method to make hand-drawn stretchable circuits,” says Jun Yang, a professor of mechanical and materials engineering at the University of Western Ontario. “You can easily make wearable electronics,” he says. “Just hand draw a circuit to make a personalized T-shirt.”---
Help learn about Shakespeare's time by transcribing period writings.
Citizen scientists can learn about the period by transcribing letters and ‘receipt’ (recipe) books in the first phase of the project. Later project organizers will add miscellanies, family papers, legal and literary documents. Along the way volunteers will find words that have yet to be recorded in—and will eventually be added to—the authoritative Oxford English Dictionary.---
npr: Jane Golden: Making Art with each other, for each other. Autoplay audio.
public art: statues, murals, even graffiti
public art is not a thrill nor an extravagance