Save Our Dogs, a grassroots effort to save working dogs from CA AB 1634/Now SB 250, mandatory spay/neuter
Visit Save Our Dogs
Dog & Cat Owners Say No to AB 1634 SB 250 ~ ROUND 18plus!
See SB250.org for FACTS on SB 250
Love your Pets? Read my files on Label Animal_Control.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Blogs, Aortic aneurysm and cartoons

When blogrolling is fixed and running, we have another cool blog to add to the list. I love the current header at this site and it only reminds me I never really settled on what to use for mine. :) See Utah Paw.

Several of the blogs have been getting periodic updates so you have to surf a bit from the list page above to find the updated ones until the rolling starts to happen again. Kirsi cracks me up with her Finnish version of Beach Dogs. There's a nice look at one of latest of Turkish imports at Shepherds Rest.

For others who are survivors of aortic dissection or who have a family member that has been affected, there's a page that I recently added to my bookmarks.

I discovered another place to look for captioned video. See http://dotsub.com/
Now if there were only more hours in the day!

On the about.com deaf forum, I discovered some of the work of a cartoonist seeking syndication and I think he deserves syndication so I'm spreading some of his humor so that more will get to know his work. The artist, Peter McEachen has a site here which has samples of his various inspirations. On the link for cartoons, check out his funny family oriented panels for the strips for which he gives examples. I thought the stay at home dad examples were charming (The Daddy Diaries), but I loved them all. The newest strip he is doing is called Living Impaired. This is where he makes cartoons about deafness and other challenges that I can certainly relate to. Living Impaired is not featured on his site as a composite link yet, but he has been posting them on the deafness forum at about.com.

One of my favorites: (click to make bigger)
To see the rest of Living Impaired as posted on the about.com Deafness and HOH forum, go here and have fun! :)

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 2/11/2009 07:35:00 AM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Friday, December 05, 2008

One thing after another...

I love my doctor. Which is saying a lot when one is deaf and one is usually used to short notice appointment doctors that seem to be a little clueless with communicating with the deaf (duh, write it down Doc). My regular doc (no random one for me, thank you) made time for me this week and the short of it is that I'm on a round of antibiotics and have a thousands of bucks worth of scans and tests to come once a referral goes through. (sigh)

Computerwise, I've accumulated some hardware over the past year from various sales that I need to plug into this main machine. For the most part I'm just running out of drive space (blame it mostly on digital cameras, archiving digital pedigrees, also some movie clips and lots of music that hubby wants on the main network drive). Sometimes when space gets tight, weird annoying things happen. I'm still quite comfortably up to specifications for use of my various high resource, hardware hungry programs, and so nothing needs upgrades in that direction for at least another year or so.

I am however, still using IDE hard disk drives and am finally going to go all SATA when this update is done. Unfortunately I don't have all the cables I need yet. Plus, for the past several days or so, my cordless USB keyboard has suddenly started behaving oddly (again). It'll quit working (like totally dead, requiring reboot sometimes within minutes of a reboot) or will lag in bursts, sometimes skipping some keys as I type, or inserting some in multiples (ittttttt likeeeethiii) and function keys going bonkers at any time. argh. That is really irritating when trying to answer emails - makes the replies incoherent so I have a bunch in my draft boxes to get to. Without a keyboard it's difficult to do anything else! (the built in MS keyboard is just too slow for the amount of typing I have to do) I've tried different driver rollbacks and upgrades. Most of the keyboard errors reported online seem to have no fixes. I'm using an old fashioned, newish wired keyboard (PS2) for now but this may or may not be the fix since I had this problem with a favorite PS2 wired keyboard earlier this year - and NOW this kb is occasionally randomly inserting numbers into some w4ords as I type. BUT I need to be able to type to get any computer/internet stuff done!

One of the hard drives I'm installing is a refurbished (like NEW! lol) 750 gig Seagate Barracuda for which the right serial cable doesn't exist in my home, yet... So another delay in the making. But while looking for info on the cable to order or buy, I ran into this picture on google images ---
You can find the rest of the story at this link. If you just want to see the pictures scroll around the whole thread. I always enjoy seeing cool systems people put together and the stories behind them! As it provides useful information that can come in handy. Actually it's a great thread, if you start on page one where the computer-to-be is still in 20 zillion brand new exciting boxes. If you're like me or any of us nutters who need a machine customized to fit specific needs, and like to save money (and get premature grays) by 'rolling our own' computers -- the whole thread will remind you of the gamut of the silly mistakes, the bigger ones, the angst and gnashing of teeth that one might be able to relate to. ;) (btw, the photos of xipotec's new system are really cool... my main machine is not near as 'pretty' any more and I just removed enough dog hair from the bottom of the case to build a small rodent -- :p And notebook computers are just plain boring, I won't even mention them.)

Speaking of dog hair, why is it that two of my Anatolians (Boone and Ruya, born a month apart, January/February 2003) are fully molting their undercoat when the temperatures here are turning so chill!? (Night temps are in the mid-thirties fahrenheit, which converts metrically to about 195 kilometers -- thank you Bintie!) Bella, Coco (both the same age, Oct 2006) and Molly (rescue) are all in full coat with their winter insulation fully installed.

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 12/05/2008 09:45:00 AM | Permanent link | (1) Comments

Blogger Diane sent us a woof // December 06, 2008

lol re: kilometers!

We just rebuilt my desktop pc over the last couple of weeks so I can relate to tales of construction and crisis. A nice feature my new case has is washable air filters - I just have to remember to do it once in a while :/   

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Captioned Video Feed and more about hearing....

Bill Creswell finds captioned online videos or he captions many of them himself. He adds them to a VodPod feed via a widget which provides a constantly updating, wide variety of interesting pieces, from movie trailers, to music video with captioned lyrics, topics in disability, political stuff, oddball humor; many other things. He has another feed of his collection here http://ccmovies.org/ .

So cool! Much appreciated. I told him so. :)

I added his vodpod widget to the left panel of this template. You can find it quickly by clicking here. Take a look at some of the vids in the feed. There are many more on his various webpages, and the widget box gives a link to one of these collections. Thanks again, Bill! :D

Jamie Berke at About.com mentioned an interesting article about the idea of potentially using infrared to stimulate nerve cells in the ear to detect sound at a level better than that of current cochlear implants. The idea of being able to hear music again is very intriguing. The idea of ultra sensitive perception is something that transcends the imagination (or mine at least... I start thinking too much!)... I really wonder what it is that one actually senses when infrared is used this way. For some reason I get a weird vision of Telltale Hearts in the walls, alien communications, ticking watches, and peeling paint or other odd things I'd rather not be hearing. Time will tell if this technology will actually be useful.
Electrical stimulation of the inner ear by a cochlear implant produces blurred maps, but the light stimulation produced maps that were as sharp as those produced by sound in hearing guinea pigs, says Richter, who presented the findings at the Medical Bionics conference in Lorne, in the Australian state of Victoria, earlier this week.... [get the full article here at New Scientist]

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 11/26/2008 10:56:00 AM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Monday, November 17, 2008

CaptionsON - advocate & Captioned Bolt Trailer

CaptionsON.com's video (clicky!) has a very nice video, briefly discussing and demonstrating the benefits that can be had with captioned video for the diverse population of people (many who are not deaf) that are inadvertently forgotten, when people create online video without captions. Click the movie above to see!

Below are some of the points that make captioning so important, as listed on CaptionsON.

Captions matter because captions are.

  • Free to viewers of television and the Internet.
  • Accessible to individuals living in nearly every household in the United States.
  • Professionally produced in the US by highly skilled stenographers and offline captioners. Stenographers transcribe the audio portion of a live program as it is being aired and send the captions across the country in seconds. Offline captioners transcribe prerecorded programming with 100% accuracy before it airs.
  • An essential service for the over 31 million individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, giving them access to the audio portion of programming on TV and the Internet.
  • A tool that improves reading and listening skills of children and adults by visually tying words with sound.
  • A way to strengthen language and comprehension skills for those learning English as a second language, marrying the spoken word with the written word as well as reinforcing grammar and sentence structure.
  • A great way to engage and exercise the mind by challenging the viewer to focus on reading, listening and comprehending in real time
  • Able to enhance family time by not only allowing all members of the household to enjoy programming at lower volume levels but also knowing the added benefits captions are bringing to everyone – regardless of age.


Pixar began working on an animated movie about an German Shepherd a few years ago. Disney wanted it and but not in the four years that Pixar would normally take. Disney has changed the story a bit, and the doggie hero is called Bolt. Bolt will be coming out this Thanksgiving holiday. I initially thought it was a Pixar movie, but in its current form, it is not. It is a Disney movie. I won't be able to watch it in theaters but look forward to seeing it when it's out on DVD. Here is a trailer that was captioned by Bill Creswell. Yay Bill! :)

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 11/17/2008 08:29:00 AM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Friday, October 17, 2008

Deaf, ASL, captioned, funny video logs (VLOG)

The good news is that some of the issues causing stress around here are resolving. I'm still having other stress due to the backlog that has built up in other projects, but I'm so glad for all the great friends and support I've had. There's light at the end of the tunnel.

Since I don't watch TV, often the way I kick back and try to relax is just try to address some emails and also continue to try to self tutor in learning ASL, not that it's very useful for me, since few people I know use it. However it is a beautiful language and the skill of some that use ASL just knocks me off my feet (OMG, I'll never get to be half that good!)

For example, I've been trying to follow along with noncaptioned ASL videos at random, at YouTube, and while I'm not doing so hot... I discovered one lady who blogs with video (VLOG) and uses ASL. A few of her best and funniest VLOGs are also text enabled with open captions. Happy Hands (her handle) is not deaf, nor is she CODA (child of deaf adults) but she's immersed in ASL, is very expressive and quite an inspritation. I won't be up to her caliber any time soon but here are a couple of her VLOGs that really cracked me up. :)

Ask my husband, I'm one of those people that really JUMP when startled, so the following VLOG hit close to home. :D





Now the VLOG that follows is just amazing! Our story teller's expression is one thing by itself, but the story probably added years to my life due to all the laughing I did!



That's all for now!

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 10/17/2008 03:22:00 PM | Permanent link | (2) Comments

Blogger toni sent us a woof // October 17, 2008

Hello
Sorry I guess I jumped the gun with the offer to help....I can't figure out how to e-mail you directly...my husband is a firefighter and has been gone and I just spoke with him about the foster care, we are currently looking to buy a female pup to protect our new family, we have a two year old and a 6 week old sons, I thought it would be a good idea to have the dog for the little boy but my husband thinks he and our son would get attached to the dog, I'm very sorry....hope he gets someone to care for him.   

Blogger Semavi Lady sent us a woof // October 17, 2008

Toni, that's really okay.

If you'd ever like more info on the breed, see the rest of my website. I only have a rescue (Molly) with an unknown background and Bella here right now that need homes, but if you'd like some breed info and to meet other Anatolians in your area, just check out the rest of my website and I can send you more info about what you might be getting into, to have an Anatolian. I do have an email form here.

This can be a difficult breed to own, due to their independence. I have lots of pics of Anatolians with kids though. :) Here.   

Thursday, August 28, 2008

YouTube gets closed captioning support

Woo HOO!!!!!!!
YouTube gets closed captioning support




YAY!! OMG, yes!!

In a move to make videos easier to understand without volume or for the hard of hearing, YouTube has given users the option of embedding closed captions that show up as semitransparent overlays.
The news link above has a link to a Closed Caption (in English) Japanese clip. It looks pretty awesome so if you want to see an example, go there and look.

Here's what the controls on a real Closed Captioned video on YouTube looks like note the far RIGHT hand side:

There are volume control, the control to expand to full window, and finally the NEWest control! The Closed Caption control is on the far right hand side and expands on mouseover to gives you the option to hide or show REAL Closed captions!!


Well...
I did search on YouTube on the keywords "closed captioned" but just end up with all the usual clips that don't actually have captioning at all, or are at least, OPEN captioned, by having text inserted into the images in the clips (which I do appreciate!).



Above video is linked to Harkle.com. See Harkle.com for their collection of found CC online videos - Chad Vader is pretty funny. :D

Well it is NEW, and I hope people using Youtube will take advantage of the CC tool.
For example: I hope some of the National Geographic clips will start to utilize them too! (you can lead a horse to water but... )





And on other news......
Comcast to cap monthly consumer broadband
... hrm

Surprisingly the company is not providing any tools to help users monitor their current usage. An FAQ on Comcast's support site simply suggests that customers do a "Web search" for bandwidth metering software that will track this amount for them. Going forward there may be plans to set up alerts over certain thresholds, or bundle some official tool as part of the company's starter software.


Very likely, a sign of the times.

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 8/28/2008 07:29:00 PM | Permanent link | (1) Comments

Anonymous Anonymous sent us a woof // August 31, 2008

Oh no. That means you will understand more of these? Eep. Now how can we hide the cool stuff?

*ducks*

Mark   

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Software Telephone for the Deaf

My old copy of NexTalk has been getting a lot of use in the past few weeks and suddenly it kept crashing or just truncating my phone sessions - requiring a reboot to resume a call. Ugh! So I decided to uninstall and clean out the registry and file folders of the program and then reinstall an upgrade. I went to download the program again and was happy to find that the newest version is designed so that it also works on Vista now and has a FAX option. Interesting. Anyway, with Vista capability, now I can install it on my (new to me) Gateway notebook which has Vista installed. :)

The link for NexTalk is here. This is a free program that enables a deaf person (who wants to use the computer interface) to call a person who can hear. An operator types text messages back to the deaf person, typing out whatever is being said at the hearing end. It works a lot like using a real time instant messenger. Thanks to all those wonderful relay operators out there that make these services possible. :D

Now here's a wonderful video with text, showing a sweet dog named Cowboy learning something new. :)

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 4/06/2008 05:44:00 PM | Permanent link | (2) Comments

Anonymous Anonymous sent us a woof // April 07, 2008

Oh. So the deaf can call someone that hears. I thought it would help the deaf hear. ;)

(((Hugs)))

I am so glad that technology is at least helping you remain part of the world at large, kiddo!

Mark   

Blogger Semavi Lady sent us a woof // April 12, 2008

You're too funny, Mark! I wish it could help me hear tho. I'd probably want the person on the other end to play me music that I miss so much.

SHUDDUP, just play music for me!!! heehee ;)   

Friday, February 01, 2008

"Vick Pit" Leo Becomes a Therapy Dog

Leo

Some nice news on one of Vick's former pit doggies at Mercury News. (EDIT: I originally posted a link directly to the article but it is doing some Mercury News related odd login/redirect and page failure thing! --so here's the full text followed by the original URL)

Kids, elders befriend a Vick fighting dog
By Linda Goldston
Mercury News
Article Launched: 01/31/2008 01:42:57 AM PST

[picture of Leo above]Caption:
Leo, one of the 50 pit bulls confiscated from former NFL star Michael Vick,... ( Stephanie Lam )

He faced a life of fighting, a cruel death by hanging or drowning if he couldn't make it in the pit.

Now he brings smiles to children, tears of joy to seniors.

Leo, one of 50 pit bulls confiscated from former NFL star Michael Vick's dog fighting kennel, has a new leash on life, thanks to a South Bay rescue group.

He also has a new job: He's been transformed into a therapy dog. Instead of risking his life in a dog fight, he will help fight the fear and loneliness of children and seniors in hospitals and convalescent homes.

"He'll put his paws on the bed and give them the soft warm 'love me' eyes," said Marthina McClay, a dog trainer and founder of Our Pack, Inc., who has worked with Leo since Dec. 16. "That's why he's such a good therapy dog. He's very polite."

When Leo arrived in the Bay Area, he had scars behind his ears and showed signs that handlers at Vick's Bad Newz Kennels in Virginia were starting to condition the pit bull terrier for fights, McClay said.

"He was starting to fight or had done some fighting but it hadn't gone on long enough that he was beyond repair," she said. "Now he's fine and loves to play with other dogs."

Leo shares toy bones with McClay's female pit bull, Hailey, and gives a wide berth to her Chihuahua. He greets visitors with a wagging tail and piercing brown eyes. But there is no jumping up on anyone. This dog sits down and watches you to see what comes next.

"He's a fabulous dog," McClay said. "A real sweetheart."

After authorities seized dozens of dogs from Vick's property in Virginia, the animals were kept in shelters while investigators put together their case. A court-appointed attorney for the dogs decided which rescue groups could take them. Bay Area Doglovers Responsible About Pitbulls or BAD RAP, an Oakland-based pit bull rescue group, helped with the evaluations and drove 13 of the dogs to the Bay Area.

Pack got one of the dogs, Leo, and BAD RAP placed the rest in foster homes.

Vick, former star quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons, is serving 23 months in prison after pleading guilty to a dog-fighting conspiracy.

Dogs bought for fighting went through a testing process; if they didn't perform well, they were drowned, electrocuted or hanged at Bad Newz Kennel.

Even though he has minor scarring from fights, Leo likely would have faced one of those violent deaths, McClay said.

"He just wants to play," McClay said as Leo snored on her couch.

McClay and others said the Vick dog-fighting case is remarkable because the dogs were not euthanized.

"People stood up and said, 'Wait a minute,' " she said.

What the rehabilitated dogs are showing now "is their core temperament," McClay said. "Their hallmark is people-pleasing. Otherwise, Michael Vick couldn't have done what he did.

"The dogs aren't criminals. The humans who abuse them are the criminals."

IF YOU'RE INTERESTED
For more information on pit bulls, dog training and Our Pack, Inc., see the Web site at www.ourpack.org.
______________
Contact Linda Goldston at lgoldston@mercurynews.com or (408) 920-5862.

ORIGINAL MERCURY NEWS URL- http://www.mercurynews.com/lifeandstyleheadlines/ci_8126693



Breed Specific Legislation is WRONG!


And time for some Deaf silliness :)
No captions on this one, but it's all quite clear!

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 2/01/2008 12:05:00 AM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Monday, January 21, 2008

Wireless Platitudes

I'm still trying to shake off a bad cold and just have been too tired lately to keep up with any reading. I have previously read much ado about potential problems from cell phone radiation exposure but until recently, I just really haven't been paying much attention since I don't one. James used the landline primarily but his cell phone useage has become frequent and habitual -- time for us to wake up. Just saw this new article last night about how cell phone use interferes with sleep. Other general warnings which compare cell phone radiation to wireless laptop use. Interesting.

Last month, I read some articles regarding internet accessibility regarding how deaf captioning in online video shows (the professional ones) are so lacking. For example, you can watch some of the same newsclips on TV with the captions but the online versions never do have captions. From one of the articles discussing this issue, I ran into some delightful YouTube films that were captioned (Yay!) and had to do with with deaf topics. Here's one of them that has humor from Deaf culture featured. :)


Jamie Berke at About.com has a wonderful article explaining about how exhausting or frustrating it is for hearing impaired students at school, and actually applies to some extent for all deaf and hearing impaired in almost all social situations... see the Classroom Ghost.

On a lighter note, thanks to Diane who posted a link to a "Human Tetris" clip last week, I ended up looking at several hilarious clips showing a Japanese game show with a Tetris-like theme. Good laughs are much needed sometimes. :)

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 1/21/2008 03:10:00 AM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Doggone it, Pixar is GOOD! BOO on Sony!


Ratatouille Elegance!

Looking forward to this new Rat movie.

I'm not much of a movie watcher but James has been occasionally picking up some cinema titles from Netflix for me. I never go to movies since becoming completely deaf. Not having handy dandy closed captions while at the cinema is a bummer. I miss the pop corn ambience. I understand that where cinema captions are available, deaf folk have problems simultaniously seeing the action in the movie, noting who is speaking -- while correlating the info with a separate caption device provided for deaf viewers - boy IS that even a mouthful. You probably need Marty Feldman eyes to do all that ALL at the same time. It is just more sensible for the time being to wait for shows to be on DVD or VHS format. And lately DVD movies from Netflix are just what Semavi Lady ordered! Convenience, captions (usually) and fun!

Actually, the captions don't always work as they should. On our entertainment center DVD player, sometimes the captions do not resolve, so it's yet another silent movie for me (not to be confused with the comedy called Silent Movie) --but it is rare enough that it is not a huge issue. Also... playing the DVD on the computer sometimes gets different results than our TV/DVD player. At least a couple movies had separate screens for subtitles on the computer, but no caption on the movie itself. While on TV it was all hunky dory. It probably less than 5% of the time (I'm not keeping track). So it's still a good deal, most movies play just fine on the computer.

Anyway, I'm really looking forward to seeing Ratatouille and all the older Pixar movies I haven't yet seen. Finding Nemo was one of the last ones I got to see. Hard to pick favorites but if I had to so far, my absolute favorite is Cars! Pixar is wonderful at telling stories and the artwork is in a league all its own.

In order to help plan out which of the oldies to rent, I checked out the Pixar site to discover what all the names of their feature movies are ----- and then I noted that they had this video material below for bloggers and web sites. I can't resist so here you are! There are several movies on the play list button. I just wish they had these things captioned! Nevertheless it's wonderful eye candy and fantastic animated art!



Noted from my about.com news that Sony seems to be in the rootkit business again. :( At least I don't have to worry about inadvertently installing a Sony Rootkit, since I'm never playing music on my machine but the warning mentions games too? ...hrm, what about movie videos?

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 8/29/2007 06:02:00 AM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

District Files Appeal Against Deaf Student

District files appeal against deaf student: "Administrative Law Judge Clara Slifkin criticized the school for giving Solorzano a sign language interpreter, even though she is an oral learner and uses sign language only socially, not academically."

I chose the graphic to illustrate how the student might feel. Imagine being faced with the challenge of language barrier deliberately imposed by the school as a solution to helping a deaf student to get through her lesson. Not being able to understand the lecture given in a "foreign language" (sign language in this case) just slows down the progress of the student.

I'm late deafened and there are so many times I wish CART were instantly available for me. On the computer it's great to be able to chat to someone using email, or in real time with a text interface (IM programs, MUDS and other such). Some day in the future will it go to everyday living? A cure for deafness would be awesome!

Software is still being developed which will allow a computer to have working speech recognition and there are hopes that perhaps a laptop can be used in real time, to interpret with good accuracy, flowing conversations for someone who cannot hear. This will allow more of us to attend lectures or participate in other communications. I have tried the route of having friends or family members take notes, but often the things they catch and write down are basics that I already know and I wonder if the lecture actually had any depth beyond 3rd grade knowledge of basics. Don't mean to sound ungrateful but when you pay $100 or there abouts to attend a seminar and come back with notes that someone took for you, all content that you already knew and may well be new stuff for your notetaking friend... it really is a darned bit discouraging. Never mind any serious consideration of new academic pursuits that rely on interpretation of lecture material.

I have read about how it (speech recognition) is still quite quirky; some voices and inflections do not convert to text very well and need editing corrections to train the software. Back when I had residual hearing and used an FM system and hearing aids, I still had a lot of problems picking up what people were saying due to the problematic nature of all these combined enhancements. I have no residual hearing now, so text really is the best of the communication tools for me. I've also learned that many hearing people do appreciate captioning and wish more in the way of transcripts could be provided (accessibility!) since sometimes computer quirks, poor software, slow connections are a fact of life for many that cannot make use of the pod casts and other 'enhancements' online.

Related:
Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART)

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 6/20/2007 11:09:00 PM | Permanent link | (1) Comments

Blogger cdlcruz sent us a woof // June 21, 2007

I empathize with your frustration. As I get older, and my hearing lessens, I find I appreciate the captioning on TV. If the captioning is particularly good (and not all is) I even turn off the sound and just read the captions.

Catherine   

Sunday, September 17, 2006

One Laptop Per Child - So Much to Ponder

The $100 Laptop.

One Laptop Per Child
Cute machine! A prototype from "One Laptop Per Child" Project

Julie at DeafDC Blog writes on the subject of One Laptop Per Child… Possible? The cultural questions she poses are among the first things I pondered when I first found information about the project at MIT site last year. Deafness & disability combined with a fascination with science, technology and fondness for animals created ready misunderstanding and rifts where my own family did not always understand nor tolerate my differences in whatever they felt was the 'norm'. It was easier for me to focus on things with which I could be skillful and truly it was the only way to go because as a handicapped child, things others took for granted were difficult for me and often others had no point of reference for understanding.

Browsing and reading from a junior encyclopedia or piles of National Geographic magazines was far more interesting to me than watching TV with my mother and siblings when I could not always hear well enough to understand the words spoken on the programs. My mother's frustration with my differences when I was in grade school included the fact that at one point, I had read every single horse story available at the school library during one of the genre binges I entertained at the time - My instructor had no idea what grief this would cause me in my family when she shared my delight in reading with my parents at one PTA. My father was delighted, but I could not understand why that was such a problem for her -- I had the longest list of 'books I read' among my classmates. :D My sibs didn't have much interest in reading and that just seemed more 'normal' to her. :)

So it is with that background, I wonder about conflict within families, even if the conflict has something to do with better education. There are cultures where females are just not expected to expand their worlds and when they do, they become alienated. Children are quick studies in accepting and seeking new technology, but how will it affect their relationships with their families in third world countries? Will the kids be safe with this technology, could something happen to them if they are alone with one of these machines and another person wants it? It's very easy for me to imagine how technology or pursuit of it could backfire in some ways, while on the other hand there are benefits and advancements to be had.

Will it be welcome? You can find stories such as this one in India providing another aspect of food for thought.

Parents usually are role models and provide guidance to their kids, maybe more so in some cultures than they are in some modern cultures. Kids that understand things far beyond their parents at much younger ages may lose the guidance that they need due to a widening communication and cultural gap between the kids and parents. Painful memories... Parents that didn't get an opportunity at a good education are not always supportive of the achievements of their children when they don't understand those things.

Anyway, the technology is promising. Problems to come?
For now, it's all speculation.

One Laptop Per Child
The first prototype I saw last year

One Laptop Per Child
Another prototype

I think education is a good thing and I hope that in communities receptive to the "One Laptop Per Child" program, that great advancements can be made by first opening up the minds and curiosity of those who will benefit most.

To read more about the project, to see a FAQ and more images, go here to laptop.org

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 9/17/2006 09:36:00 AM | Permanent link | (0) Comments