Today’s Daily Create was inspired by a TED talk I watched the other day.

Here’s my take on a useful robot 🙂

*Disclaimer – my job is really not this bad

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Postcard questions

Time flies, especially recently. But today I came home to find  a card from Kevin, and that prompted me to sort through my collection and write some to CLMOOC friends.

Our theme this month is questions, and as I thought through some to write on my cards I felt myself relax and forget about all of the marking that looms.  Kevin asks a good question:

I wonder …

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Be More Kind

A timely earworm for me this week as I am marking philosophy exam scripts. The lyrics are actually about our broken society, but the title of the song speaks to me as I try to decipher scrawly handwriting and make the best sense I can of the jumbled thoughts written under pressure. Education could, and should, be more kind, in my opinion.

This semester has been particularly hard, with the strike action and weather leading to lost teaching time – and the need to be lenient yet fair while marking seems all the more important. This way of assessing students doesn’t seem at all kind to me.

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Back from a quick weekend break to Shetland. The views from our hotel window in Lerwick was amazing:Niall spent a lot of time looking at divers and working out what they were:


We didn’t see many Shetland ponies, but here is one:

Shetland pony

No puffins, either,but many, many fulmars:


and a bolshie seagull, waiting to cross the road:

Who are you looking at?

Lots of sheep:


Hundreds of guillemots:


And, as we headed back to the airport, we had to wait as the air ambulance crossed over the road:


A beautiful place for a short break:


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Don’t kill the messenger

It’s no surprise to find that Jeremy Hunt is talking rubbish again this week. In a Guardian article we hear that he is proposing a universal social media limit for every child. Sound good? Maybe – except that there’s no evidence to suggest that this policy is necessary.

Politicians – pfff. Not worth wasting typing time on. But there’s an undercurrent here (of course) about controlling the masses, and I suspect Hunt and his cronies are trying to attempt to control our non-state-controlled means of communication. Of course social media can be misused, but the frequent dissing of social media, and the emphasis on studies purporting to show how social media is bad for us, in one way or another, just annoy me. Social media is so important to me – it’s how I communicate, participate, and learn. I was reminded of this earlier when Verena asked the following question:

Like anything else, it depends how it’s used. But don’t kill the messenger if you find others using it badly. For some of us, it is our community, our affinity space, our home.

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Spring is coming, finally. It’s been a hard winter and I think the blooms are 2-3 weeks later than last year, but looking out at my garden I see an explosion of forsythia blooms, and our narcissi and daffodils are cheerfully poking up under our fruit trees. Last October, when I was down for one sister’s 50th birthday, my youngest sister and her daughter gave me a pack of Cornish daffodil buds called “Loveday”. I don’t mention this much, but that’s my middle name (dad’s Cornish, and when mum was looking for names for me she came across this as a Cornish name). I never expect too much from our bulbs – what with the frost and the squirrels, but so far four have bloomed. Here’s one – I think it’s beautiful.

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For the last few weeks I’ve been watching a plan unfold, from the initial glimmering of an idea to glorious technicolour explosion. Moshie took our brief – to design an alchemy lab – and stunned us with her beautiful, detailed drawings. Niall worked his magic and turned these 2D drawings into a 360 degree VR lab. Kevin put together a Thinglink and populated it with the images and all of the submissions. Wendy did some H5P magic and lots of other stuff. We (Wendy, Kevin, Todd and I) put out a call for people to select icons (taken from the lab drawings) and submit an object back to us based on various themes, and are thrilled that there are about 50 of these now displayed in the lab. But you don’t want to sit here reading about it, do you – come and look around the lab for yourself. If you have a VR headset, you can use that for the immersive experience, but it also works on mobile or desktop. At the end there’s also an opportunity to get involved in some remixing, so if you’re feeling left out, here’s your chance to join in.

Image by Moshie

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Happy Easter

Today, as part of the drawing challenge some of us are participating in, I made a gif. Happy Easter, everybody.

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Today I started to learn bootstrap, thanks to a conversation with somebody who thought I was more competent than I think I am. So far all I have learnt is the basics, like how to add background colours, and how to use this skill to write a poem for today’s Daily Create:

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Abstract, repeat, emote

This post is inspired by a phrase Amy Burvall said in the latest netnarr hangout :

  • Abstraction
  • Repetition
  • Emotion

I took one of Susan’s pictures and abstracted the star from it by using Paint:

Then I used the star to create nine images – first with one star in a white square, then two, then three, right up to nine:

Next I launched GIMP and opened all nine files as layers, exported as a gif, and uploaded the result to


I’m still thinking about how to represent the emotions on top of this …

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