The Pygmalion Project Pipe Dream

My eldest two daughters grew up with The Magic School Bus and under Ms. Frizzle’s tutelage explored the insides of the human body. Now, when they are not studying for a college biology exam, you might find them exploring Second Life. My youngest daughter is not yet six. She still likes to sit in my lap as I work in Second Life. She is just discovering The Magic School bus. She still believes that I’m all knowing and can explain just about anything and, with the tools available online, I can answer many of her questions.

All of this provides an interesting backdrop to my experiences this afternoon in Second Life. Dr. Douglas Danforth of The Ohio State University Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, showed me some of his work in creating a model the human testis. I sent a picture from the interview as my Wordless Wednesday post yesterday.

As a philosophy major and technologist, I found Doug’s work fascinating and I learned something about the male reproductive system concerning spermatogonia that I didn’t know before.

This came up as a discussions on a Second Life Educators mailing list after I posted my blog post, Second Life as your next browser, where I asked, “Why don’t biology classes take place inside of a human body?” Doug’s work is a wonderful starting point, but it is, in my mind, just a starting point.

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DIGG: New Digg Profiles Launch

The Digg team is excited to launch new Digg user profiles later tonight, the first of many cool new features rolling out this year.

I've gone in and tweaked my profile, which I'll probably add a link to in the sidebar, as well as changed my settings so that I can (hopefully) blog from Digg.

Update: Digg dropped the <blockquote> tags when I submitted the entry, and it doesn't add categories, so I'm tweaking the post a little. Nonetheless, it is neat to see how it works. I'll see how often I use this as opposed to cutting and pasting.

Wordless Wednesday

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Random afternoon notes

I’ve been fairly sick the past few days, so my blogging has been sparser than I would have liked. When I haven’t been sleeping, I have been trying to get through some of my pile of unread emails. In that pile, I found a few things I would like to highlight.

If you think it is bad being banned from running for class office because of a blog post you wrote, consider this:

Nguyen Vu Binh was jailed in Vietnam in 2002 for writing and posting articles about democracy on the Internet and campaigning for human rights

That’s from a fundraising email from Amnesty International. Some people may ask why I’m so concerned about the Avery Doninger case. The abuse of her rights was small compared to what Nguyen Vu Binh encountered. Yet for me, it is part of the same continuum and we must fight for the basic rights of all people, at home, and abroad, no matter how small the abuse is.

Another request I gut was from JubileeUSA. People around the country are fasting right now to draw attention to the issues of third world debt and the role it plays in world hunger. Please, watch this video:

Then, contact your elected officials to urge them to support Debt Cancellation legislation.

Bringing in back home, the Shoreline League of Democratic Women is having a follow up to its State Government 101 forum, State Government 102: Legislation & the Budget Process featuring Reps. Deborah Heinrich, Brian O'Connor, James Spallone. If you live on the shoreline, you should check out this forum.

As I recuperate from my cold, I’ll return to my regularly scheduled rants, reports and other writings.

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Second Life as your next browser

Over on a mailing list of educators in Second Life, there is a raging discussion about the pros and cons of ‘web on a prim’. A prim is a basic building block of Second Life and people worry about all kinds of horrible things that could happen is Linden Labs enabled some sort of Web on a Prim technology. Obviously, there are all kinds of issues that could come up with griefers messing around with web-enabled prims. Yet the bigger issue is what this would do to Second Life as a space for innovation. People would be lazy and simply embed webpages into their Second Life spaces. Second Life would simply become your next browser.

Actually, I kind of like that idea. I hate clicking on a link in Second Life and having Firefox pop up as an external unconnected window. I would like Second Life to be my browser. I would love to see the next iteration of the web be three dimensional, immersive, real time and with a viable microcurrency.

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