Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Virtual bowling

We've been having a bowling competition on Robbie's Wii. Spending a little time making our Mii avatars makes all the difference as the screen gets populated by our alter-egos. It actually begins to create a bit of a virtual space and certainly increases the level of identification with what's happening out there/ in the screen or wherever. I also discovered that you can download software to enhance your Mii design or (less adventurously, really) you can practice your design-craft. Interesting how working through options on multiple templates can begin to create an impression of personalisation. It's the sort of effect that must be explained by a mathematical formula.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Lower Level 2

If you've ever had anything to do with literacies, you can't fail to be struck by the dense textual environment of Hong Kong. It's a sort of junction of so many linguistic crossings. When I hear the term multiliteracies it always brings to mind that order of richness of different practices, in different media and in different places. A kind of multidimensional diversity. This diversity seems to me to be shape of the future (or is it the present?). So it's very good to see Martin Waller launching his Multiliteracies Learning Initiative with a well designed space here. I hope this work continues to thrive!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Take five

Don't think just work

Well, it's time for a nostalgic sort of post. Time because this old blog is now five years old. And in that time it's become a part of my life as I construct this fluid and rhizomic text that weaves in and out of other spaces. Sometimes I surprise myself; sometimes I'm embarrassed. And when there's time I blog about the process over here. More than anything though it provides me with a space to give voice to some of the things that interest me, and some of those things become themes that I pick up in my published work. Other things are more transient. Dead ends leading nowhere. As bloggers come and go, vary in their posting habits, become intermittent or give up all together, I seem to carry on regardless. I must be a born blogger!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Lost in translation

So, after yesterday’s post and in the interest of balance, here’s the Hong Kong duo Fama. Now is that indie, or canto-indie? I’m no longer certain, but I suppose the danger of reporting on cultural hybridity is the danger that in translation you create the exotic. Now to me Fama seem more MOR, but maybe their message is more authentic, or is it just matters of taste that give Alice bad dreams? The more I wonder, the less I know.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Hong Kong rap

One of the most fascinating papers at Hong Kong Pop was Angel Lin’s sociolinguistic study of local hip-hop artist MC Yan. Fascinating because of the ways in which local artists work with (or appropriate) global trends and genres to fashion new cultural forms. MC Yan uses chou hau the unofficial language of the street to make strong statements, remixing familiar rhythms in his conscious rap. Watch the video!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Participation (again)


I finally made it to Hong Kong after getting stranded in Paris with bad weather. If I get a good night's sleep then I should be OK tomorrow for the paper (with Julia) on Web 2.0 and social participation. At the moment I'm holed up on the 13th floor of a modern hotel with a slow internet connection. And this is the conference!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Internet safety

Yale (turquoise band)

There's a great little story here in the Guardian about how easy it is to cut keys from images on your Flickr photostream. This adds a new dimension to debates about internet safety. Local authorities and other administrative bodies may now have to change their policies. I'm taking a different view and hoping that someone can cut a key to unlock the padlocks that keep us out.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Bad games


We often hear stories about the evils of gaming. Earlier in the week I reported about the Italian boy who was diagnosed with PlaySation addiction. Apparently it all ended well when he told his father to throw it away. But the really bad games are played out in the Nevada desert, where miltary operatives dispatch unmanned drones to wipe out settlements of Islamic extremists in Northern Pakistan (news story here). Now what kind of terror is that? I'm still having a personal moral panic attack about this one.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Pirate Macros

This video is interesting in a number of ways. It plays on the amateur feel of a lot of language instruction material to feed that obsession with talking like a pirate. The American attempt at that 50s English voiceover is also a nice touch. But why talk like a pirate in the first place? Who knows? Interesting, at a time when real pirates are very much in the news. Then to entertain us all, along comes the latest mash-up as the lolcats phenomenon meets pirate-talk head on with Pirate Macros – argh Jim Lad, that be photoshopped!