A visit to Manhattan isn’t something you should take lightly. Some people may want to just thrust themselves into the city lights and let the push and bustle of the crowd take them where it may. My adventure was a more planned affair, with lists of sights to see, places to eat, and department stores to shop.
We decided to go to breakfast at Norma’s, a famous New York brunching institution in midtown at Le Parker Meridien. It wasn’t just around the corner. We used Yelp (Free), which set us off on our hunt. As the rain poured down we approached the quarry. We knew we were close, but the scaffolding obscured our view and rain continued to cascade down like a wet veil.
I spent most of the day traveling from Seattle to New York. We left a little late as the cold weather precipitated the need to deice our plane's wings.
This is the first entry in what I’m calling my “Urban Adventure Series.” So what is an urban adventure? Quite simply, it is a vacation in an urban setting, in this case, New York City. Each day I will use various technology including my iPad, iPhone, and numerous other gadgets to help share my experiences with all of you.
A system implies more than one thing working together in concert. When using the latest GripStand® from Newer Technologies the word system comes to mind.
Microscopes have been around since 1590. Up until the age of electronics, they too were personal devices. However, with small camera sensors connected to the lenses, researchers and educators can easily share images on a display in real-time.
Microscopes may be portable, but they aren’t made for fieldwork. Those cameras require power. And traditional microscopes require a level surface that won’t cause back strain, and a good light source, either from electricity, or from an old-fashioned mirror. With increased sophistication comes cost and weight. Scanning Electron Microscopes weigh hundreds of pounds and use dangerous elements. No microscopes travel well.
When studying the solar system, it's hard to beat Solar Walk ($2.99) from Vito Technology. You begin with an image of the earth with many light blue lines circling it. Tap one and the app provides a close-up view of a satellite. All the satellites are rendered in 3D, and a clickable info button reveals information and images associated with the satellite. Solar Walk provides enough satellite detail to have good conversations about orbits, satellite construction, and observation. Combine this app with Google Earth and you can have a good dialog about public and private surveillance. There also is information on the International Space Station.
When we peer out at the night sky on a clear, moonless night, we see thousands of individual stars — millions if you count galaxies mixed into the field of view. Look at your finger and you'll see the intricate swirls and folds that make up your fingerprint. In both cases, we only see the surface of vast processes that bend light and time, or those that create and sustain life. Our human senses aren’t sufficient to perceive the magnitude of the activity, nor the structure, that defines the universe.
From the ease of collecting often-broken colored pencils, to cleaning up after a room of young artists who seemingly bathed in tempera, art, unlike literature or history, creates rather messy educational challenges. It is, however, extremely important for learners to engage in visceral exercises that bring the texture of media to hands, and its odor to nostrils.
So I have been trying to plan my work life better. That has turned into planning my life better because as I capture what I must do, I realize that if I only record a fragment of my life’s tasks digitally, the other activities impinge and interfere. You need one central place to negotiate priorities.
So as I set out to once again move things forward that didn’t get done today (though this was on the list and it has, or will have, a big fat check mark next to it shortly) here are some of my lessons so far.