June 15, 2016

Desk for 1 converts to a dining table for 6

Never mind the 300sq foot apt, check out this functional desk design [2:00-2:05] -- desk of 1 converts to a dining table for 6:

May 17, 2016

STEAM Event in NYC

I was lucky to get tickets from NYU to a STEAM event at a public school in Brooklyn.

I gravitated away from the new technologies like Arduino and LittleBits, and found this booth. I was able to experience some of these tools that people used in early 19th and 20th Century. It was a like a tangible museum.

This device reminds me of Google Cardboard:
STEAM_IMG_6896.png

This is what I see in the viewer:
STEAM_IMG_6898.png

Here's a microscope:
STEAM_IMG_6895.png


Here's what someone joked as a Ouija board.
IMG_6919.JPG

But it looks like a mini-printing press or type-plate. It reminds me of a Letterpress class I took at Art Center:
steam_IMG_6935.jpg

See in context:
steam_IMG_6916.jpg


They use these tools for teaching. If interested, here's more information:
The Museum of Interesting Things
Denny Daniel
212.274.8757
Email: dennydanielx@gmail.com
www.museumofinterestingthings.org

NY PHIL BIENNIAL

I was so lucky to have found this event. I was visiting my old hood, and had to make a pit stop for free WIFI at the Atrium. They have free and discounted concert tickets and lecture talks:
http://atrium.lincolncenter.org/
61 W 62nd St, New York, NY 10023
lincolnCenter_IMG_6752.png

I was able to attend the first NY PHIL BIENNIAL: A Player's Guide, where Alan Gilbert hosted conversations with Jennifer Koh, Martin Bresnick, Aaron Jay Kernis, Hilary Purrington, Christopher Theofanidis, Jay Campbell, Dianne Berkun Menaker, Lisa Bielawa, Colin Jacobsen, John Corigliano


Alan Gilbert is a conductor and violinist. He was in season 9 of Mozart in the Jungle
I just wish my nephew was with me because at 18 months, he loves to conduct. And as a novice conductor, he loves to hear me play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star on my violin even though it sounds like fingernails scratching a chalkboard. I guess he's a Mozart fan.

Jennifer Koh shared her experience about a community acquiring a violin for her. She was so thankful. I was grateful to take a photo with her:
lincolnCenter_IMG_6768.png


Good to see you Duane Holmes!

It was a great but brief reunion at Columbus Circle. Several years back I would take the "A" train to Varick Street, and listen to this talented musician. His music engaged little kids.
duane_holmes_20140825.jpg
These photos were taken in 2014, (view playlist)

And here we are in 2016
duaneHolmes_20160517.png


EVENT
Duane is playing in a jazz band that experiments with fashion and supports a mental health organization June 4, 2016, 419 W. 150th Street, on St. Nicholas.

If you're interested in learning more about the event, please contact him:
347.290.9977
duane_holmes@rocketmail.com
youtube: duaneholmes "as" Duke Ellington

February 16, 2016

Google re-engineered a piano's 88 keys to play just one note

June 1, 2015

Google I/O: Expeditions

This was one of my favorite experiences. I went on a scuba expedition using a cardboard viewer to learn about coral in multiple locations: Australia, Philippines, and Hawaii. To learn more, please visit: https://www.google.com/edu/expeditions/

Here's a video:

August 25, 2014

[Jazz Musician]: Duane Holmes

Duane Holmes has been playing jazz and classical improvisations on the platform of Columbus Circle on the A/B/C/D lines. When I used to work for Macmillan Science and Scholarly, formerly Nature Publishing Group, I switched trains from the "1" to the "A" and cut my commute by approximately half, from 35-40 minutes to 15 minutes (i.e. 5 stops at 3 minutes apiece). I would listen to Duane play, and wanted my husband, a music composer to go here him play. Btw, I used to see some high school kids in a Trio play "Careless Whispers" by George Michael -- awesome and talented musicians playing in this station.

Anyway, I have since been taking the "A" in the mornings and able to catch his music again. Sometimes he plays new unique music, or sometimes he plays Carlos Jobim's pieces. I saw the cutest photo... a kid slowly engaged in the keyboard. Duane sort of hinted for him to play, but he didn't bite. Now, you know he's good if a kid is interested.

duane_holmes.jpg

I'm surprised a music agent hasn't discovered this guy. If you are interested, here's his contact info (he's on sound cloud too):
347.290.9977
duane_holmes@rocketmail.com
youtube: duaneholmes "as" Duke Ellington

--

There is so much talent here, it's intimidating. That's how I met my husband. I saw a photo of him playing on one of the "Piano in the Parks" installations (i.e. now "Sing for Hope"), in Long Island City. I have been teaching myself Pachelbel's Canon, some works from the film The Piano [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0107822/], and Once. I had been practicing for 6 weeks. I hadn't played for ~20 years, so reading treble and bass clef notes was challenging. I would practice with the right hand, then the left hand, then simultaneously. At the time, I asked my husband what he played, and he said "Baroque." I didn't believe him, but he really did play Baroque. It's like everywhere there is a piano, there are flocks of professional piano players following you. I've seen even kids, ages 10 play Bach.

So if you see those pianos in the future, you better practice, and play in a recital as practice. And whatever you do, do not play the violin in Central Park... I'll save that as another story for another day.

Event: David Rubenstein Atrium, Lincoln Center

Just happened to be at Cynthia Sayer's concert at the David Rubenstein Atrium [http://atrium.lincolncenter.org/index.php/target-free-thursdays]. They have free wi-fi, and I was able to work simultaneously while enjoying great music. She specializes in Banjo music, and was somewhat discovered by Woody Allen.

Cynthia Sayer (Banjo & Vocals)
Bruce Molsky (Fiddle, Banjo & Vocals)
Andy Statman (Mandolin)

target_thursdays_cynthia_sayer.jpg

She will be at the City Winery on tomorrow between 5:00pm-7:30pm, as apart of Hudson Square Music & Wine Festival 2014, 2nd Annual Hot Strings Festival, "located at 155 Varick Street (back parking lot)."

August 23, 2014

[Edtech]: STEMteachersNYC: Standards-Based Grading

I have gone to one STEMteachersNYC event on Processing.org [http://processing.org/], and open-source Java based code for artists and designers. First off, STEM is an acronym for (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). I was pretty impressed with the teachers in this group. I worked with two high school teachers, who were teaching Processing, Arduino inputs (software-to-hardware and hardware-to-software interaction), scary that some kids are learning this in 10th grade, when I learned this program in my mid-thirties. Within 20-40 minutes, my group created a simulation of a decaying leaf over 365 days, including day and night. That was one of the issues I had in graduate school. Artists and designers were creating beautiful art, but not using the program to simulate science. I saw some projects simulating Visual Calculus techniques that simulated a presentation from a Caltech Professor, Mamikon Mnatsakanian [New Horizons in Geometry(Dolciani Mathematical Expositions) Hardcover – January 18, 2013 by Tom Apostol (Author), Mamikon Mnatsakanian (Author)]. I also saw cool applications of teachers teaching Trigonometry, sine and cosine by creating the application, and editing the program. Processing is the new Mathematica (this software was $100k at one time).

I am attending this event on assessment. I have been interested in retention. Why can I remember almost every colleagues' thesis or class projects in graduate school, but on a MOOC, I need to review content. In both physical classes and digital classes, assessment was very important, but very different. Since approximately 70k-100k can take one Coursera class, students are often graded by their peers using specific examples of rubrics. Anyway, there are 30 spots: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/stem-workshop-standards-based-grading-tickets-12633570349

More about this event and how to join the group below:


WORKSHOP LEADERS:
• Elizabeth Dowdell (Urban Assembly Maker Academy, Manhattan)
• Steven Carpenter (Avenues: The World School, Manhattan)

DESCRIPTION: Standards-Based Grading (SBG) begins with standards that teachers author/choose/revise and that they apply in their classrooms. Rather than a top-down directive, these standards are a helpful tool that teachers use to make required work and acceptable performance levels transparent. Instead of receiving a traditional letter or number grade on an assessment, SBG allows teachers to provide students with feedback on their mastery of a set of specific skills and content knowledge. With SBG, conversations become more focused on learning itself rather than report card grades. SBG can also be used to help meet the demands of Common Core, Next Generation Science Standards, and Danielson’s Framework (especially component 3d).

In this workshop, we will share our experiences developing and implementing Standards-Based Grading systems in our classrooms. During the first part of the workshop we will present specific examples and resources from our classrooms, along with discussions regarding why and how we made the shift to SBG and some of the challenges and rewards we experienced. During the second part of the workshop, you will have the opportunity to work in groups to experience the process of developing/choosing standards and to discuss how those standards impact instruction and grading.

Elizabeth teaches physics and Steve teaches physics, engineering, physical science, and computer programming. In addition to using SBG in their own classrooms, both Elizabeth and Steve have experience implementing SBG with interdisciplinary teams. Thus the focus of the workshop will be on a variety of disciplines, and the strategies and tools considered will be useful to any teacher, irrespective of subject.
Receipts and Certificates documenting participation are available.

WHO SHOULD COME TO THE STANDARDS-BASED GRADING WORKSHOP?
STEM (Science-Tech-Engineering-Math) teachers, including physics, chemistry, biology, earth science physical science, and general science teachers
Teachers of any subject interested in making their evaluation of student work more meaningful and transparent as well as in developing explicit standards and connecting them with grading.

Students interested in becoming teachers or engaged in preparing to be teachers.
ACCELERATED MOTION APPARATUS AND WHITEBOARDS. There is a simultaneous workshop at Teachers College on “Accelerated Motion Lab Make-n-Take & Intro to Modeling.” If you wish to do so, you can order whiteboards (6 for $20) and/or one or more of the accelerated motion apparatus setups for $10 each (or 8 for $64) at . The whiteboards and apparatus will be available for pickup in room 414, down the hall from the SBG workshop at 1 pm.

CAPACITY: limited to 30 participants.
ORGANIZER: Fernand Brunschwig, Math, Sci. & Tech. Dept., Columbia Teachers College
To join STEMteachersNYC, fill out survey:

By the way, I met with Fernand Brunschwig, founder of this program, and author of a college physics text book. You can google him, or check out his books on scribd [http://www.scribd.com/intro_physics].

August 22, 2014

NYPL LIVE: Bryan Stevenson & Sister Helen Prejean

When I was a kid, my parents, as most Asian parents, tried to push me to be a doctor or lawyer. I wanted to be a doctor more than a lawyer, but I was also interested in art. Then I watch Inherit the Wind, and really wanted to be a lawyer. Read more about the film here on Wikipedia [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inherit_the_Wind_(1960_film)]. After I graduated, I went abroad to teach, then decided to apply for law school. You have to take the LSATs, which was fun, but before dropping over $100k, I got my paralegal certificate (3 or 6-month overview of Constitutional Law/Statute Law, etc.), and worked at two law firms, and may I say the experience was far from being "an Erin Brockovich." Julia Roberts played her in the film [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erin_Brockovich_(film)]. My experience was paper pushing, coding, and politics. I am glad I have the experience because I can create my own provisional patents, and edit contract templates. If I were to go back in time, I think I would have been an Intellectual Property paralegal/attorney. I like to draw and read about technology. Anyway, I am glad that there are people like Bryan Stevenson and Sister Helen Prejean, advocates for the poor and incarcerated.

Yes, I am a fan of the film, Dead Man Walking, starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn. Read more about the movie on Wikipedia [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_Man_Walking_(film)]. NYPL Live is hosting a discussion with these two authors.

Does our criminal justice system lack mercy? Could the U.S. legal system exact justice if it abolished capital punishment, or eliminated mandatory minimum sentencing? These questions are at the heart of Bryan Stevenson’s new book, Just Mercy, which explores these issues and chronicles his career as founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative. Joining him at LIVE is Sister Helen Prejean, from The Ministry Against the Death Penalty and author of Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States.

BRYAN STEVENSON is a public-interest lawyer who has dedicated his career to helping the poor, the incarcerated and the condemned. He's a professor of law at New York University Law School and the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) [http://www.eji.org/], an Alabama-based group that has won major legal challenges eliminating excessive and unfair sentencing, exonerating innocent prisoners on death row, confronting abuse of the incarcerated and the mentally ill, and aiding children prosecuted as adults. EJI won an historic ruling in the U.S. Supreme Court holding that mandatory life-without-parole sentences for all children 17 or younger are unconstitutional (too cool). He has won relief for dozens of condemned prisoners, argued six times before the Supreme Court, and won national acclaim for his work challenging bias against the poor and people of color. He has received numerous awards, including the MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Grant. He is a graduate of the Harvard Law School and the Harvard School of Government, and has been awarded 14 honorary doctorate degrees.​ His book is entitled Just Mercy.

SISTER HELEN PREJEAN is the public face of the Ministry Against the Death Penalty. She spends most of her time giving speaking engagements across the USA and internationally, teaching people about the realities of the death penalty and encouraging people to educate themselves on the issue. She is the author of Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty, which was developed into a major motion picture starring Susan Sarandon as Sister Helen and Sean Penn as a death row inmate, and The Death of Innocents: An Eyewitness Account of Wrongful Executions. Sister Helen has served on the board of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, and is a member of Amnesty International and an honorary member of Murder Victim Families for Reconciliation. Presently, she serves as the Honorary Chairperson of Moratorium Campaign, a group gathering signatures for a worldwide moratorium on the death penalty.

Cited from NYPL LIVE website: http://www.nypl.org/events/programs/2014/10/28/bryan-stevenson?nref=56896

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