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What is the strongest muscle in the human body?

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Posted on 27th February 2009 by Judy Breck in Biology, Networks and Open Content

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You can ask the Library of Congress. The LOC Everyday Mysteries service has a page devoted to the question about the strongest human muscle, explaining for starters that there is no one answer because there are three different ways to measure strength. That said, three different types of muscles are described for the human body: cardiac, smooth, and skeletal.

With lots of illustrations, the question about the strength of muscles in the human body is answered in interesting detail, in an excellent article packed with information and insight. At the end there are links to related websites chosen by the librarians, and a list they have selected for further reading.

Trusting the Library of Congress to authenticate information

The Everyday Mysteries service of the Library of Congress is an example of an internet source that can be fully trusted for student research. Not only are essays and illustrations provided. The librarian recommended web sites expand into a network of authenticated knowledge about human muscles — and for the many other subjects of the Everyday Mysteries.

Listen to rescued languages

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Posted on 25th February 2009 by Judy Breck in Golden Age of Learning, Language and Networks

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You can listen below to living speakers of four languages that are dying. The material is an excerpt from a SeedMagazine article about The Amazing Race to record dying languages, and a PBS program to be aired on February 26 on the subject.

“The following sound clips are provided by the Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages. They are used with the consent of the speakers and communities who are the owners of these languages.”

Audio: Endangered Languages

Tofa; Central Siberia, 35 speakers
Listen to mp3 | Tofa song, untranslated

Below is an excerpt from a SeedMagazine article about a PBS program on rescuing dying languages that will air on February 26.

Ho; eastern India, 1 million speakers
Listen to mp3 | Translation: “new moon”

Kallawaya; Bolivia, 100 speakers
Listen to mp3 | Untranslated

Chulym; Siberia, less than 10 speakers
Listen to mp3 | Translation: “Where are you going; where are you from; I’ve never seen such stupid people.”

The internet is rescuing languages from oblivion.

GoldenSwamp.com is about the global emergence of what is known by humankind from the working of network laws within the chaos of the internet. A clear example of this golden mechanism of emergence is the preservation of languages. In the days, just a couple of decades ago, when language media were limited to print and tape, languages were dying off with at best fragile ways to remember them.

That has changed. Right now, with one click, you can listen to Chulym, a language now only spoken by ten living people. The mp3 file you will hear is not from a magnetic tape that must be preserved in a physical vault. It is sequences of zeroes and ones in the digital cloud, where it can network with Siberians, their children, scholars, historians, and others.

A curious case and science voodoo

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Posted on 24th February 2009 by Judy Breck in Emerging Online Knowledge, Findability, Learn nodes, Networks and Open Content

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My Point of View article just published by Educational Technology magazine explains the key to SeedMagazine’s lede article on That Voodoo that Scientists Do.

After describing a considerable flap that has been going on among neuroscientists about peer review sparked by the early release of a Perspectives article and the phrase “voodoo correlations” bouncing around online, Seed Magazine quotes Perspectives founding editor Ed Diener: “There are some very important questions that this raises for science. Most important, how can we guarantee quality in what is sent around?

“The internet is full of wonderful information — but it is also full of disinformation and errors. How can readers know whether what they are reading is solid information?”

My article addresses exactly that question, and begins to answer it with some new network analysis from the BarabasiLab. The Curious Case of the Polio Virus Learn Node is the tale of a quality node that found its way to prominence through nature’s network laws.

Download The Curious Case of the Polio Virus Learn Node

Emanuel Saxe Accounting lectures from Baruch College

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Posted on 21st February 2009 by Judy Breck in Business and accounting and Open Content

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The Emanuel Saxe Distinguished Lectures in Accounting, beginning 1973-74 in the Newman Library Digital Collections are a service of Baruch College. Baruch is a major center of thought and teaching in business fields of finance, accounting, and other topics where understanding is urgent today.

These lectures are a pioneering example of open educational resources (OER).
This week Jimmy Atkinson of The .Edu Toolbox sent me their new list of just compiled a list of our favorite open courseware directories, search engines, and Web tools. These listings demonstrate the bountiful OER available now for learning and teaching.

The Saxe Lectures are proof of the durability of small OER nodes. A full ten years ago, in 1999, I reviewed this early OER offering in the Top 8 newsletter I wrote for HomeworkCentral.com. What I wrote then included this about Saxe’s devotion to teaching, which endures in digits today: “We learn in these pages about Emanuel Saxe’s long and distinguished career as a teacher and Dean of Baruch’s School of Business in Manhattan. His sincere concern for his students and the college led to the School of Business being referred to informally as “Saxe’s 23rd Street”. Now the scholarship he inspired travels the information highway.”

Architecture elements Ionic, Doric, Corinthian and dome

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Posted on 20th February 2009 by Judy Breck in Arts, Carnival of the Mobilists, Emerging Online Knowledge, Findability and Golden Age of Learning

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Key, small, elements of architecture are defined: Ionic, Doric, and Corinthian capitals and the dome. This short, sweet learn node was placed online in 2005 by the St. Louis Public Library.The elements are illustrated with drawings from the library’s Steedman Architectual Collection of great published works on architecture and the allied arts.

Via the Scout Report

A speck of erudition beckons learners:
This small art online node is a mere speck in the grand scheme of the internet. Yet the node can add knowledge and excellence to many, many patterns of other links. This is an ideal use in creating learning materials of the network nature of the internet. Great drawings are lifted from books published in a time of excellence of architectural rendering. Basic facts about classical column capitals and the dome are described with the illustrations. The material set loose as a URL in the open internet. A young student, an erudite professor, a working architect, a classical scholar – they all, and more, can benefit from this speck of knowledge.

Grizzly bear underwater footwork

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Posted on 19th February 2009 by Judy Breck in Animals, Golden Age of Learning and Open Content

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Seen for the first time in this video, grizzly bears show fancy footwork as they try to kick dead salmon within reach, without getting their ears wet. Here is a lively bit of direct input from working scientists that would make classroom studies more bearable.

Gateways to cell migration research and learning

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Posted on 19th February 2009 by Judy Breck in Biology, Emerging Online Knowledge and Open Content

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Cell migration, ways that cells crawls, are shone in the video above, which captures the motion from real cells. The video is part of a Video Tour of Cell Motility in the Cell Migration Consortium of Nature, which clusters comprehensive information about cell migration. A Primer on Cell Migration and a Nature Milestones: Cytoskeleton are included.

The Cell Migration Gateway is an open resource from Nature.com, where each gate that opens for non-subscribers is laudable progress toward the global interactive science of the future.

Information is a happy camper in networks

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Posted on 18th February 2009 by Judy Breck in Emerging Online Knowledge, Golden Age of Learning and Networks

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The brilliant folks at Maya have created this video that explains what information is. The Golden Swamp – the internet – is a new habitat that information has been flooding into for the past couple of decades. We do not understand very well yet the life of information within the swamp. I think a fundamental fact about the internet will turn out to be this: information is a happy camper in the internet because, like the internet, information is a network.

As you will see in the video, confusing information with cups and colors is not recognizing what the stuff really is. The narrator shows how he has to give the information of his color choice for us to know. The internet has vast amounts of information to give – which is a key to the future of learning.

Via information aesthetics

How the Body Works: Blood Clotting from Medpedia

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Posted on 17th February 2009 by Judy Breck in Biology, Blogs, Wikis and Swarms, Emerging Online Knowledge, Golden Age of Learning and Networks

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This video illustrating blood clotting in a wound is from the new online Medpedia. The welcome page explains that Medpedia “is applying a new collaborative model to the collection, sharing and advancement of medical knowledge that, over time, will produce the world’s most comprehensive resource.” Having watched new learning content come online since 1997, I can claim some authority when I say this is the right way to do a very important thing that will profoundly benefit humankind! Wow! By networking medical knowledge among all the medical experts, this resource will be superior, comprehensive, and self-vetting. Again, wow!

The following is from the Wired Campus announcement today:
Collaborative Online Medical Encyclopedia Goes Live
Medpedia, a new online medical encyclopedia relying on user-generated content from anyone with an M.D. or a Ph.D. in a biomedical field, officially became available today. The venture, which has the backing of numerous leading medical schools, was explored in an earlier Chronicle article that takes a detailed look at issues for contributors and users of the site. –David Shieh

mLearnopedia community launched today

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Posted on 16th February 2009 by Judy Breck in Connective Expression, Mobile Learning and Subject Sampler

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GoldenSwamp is proud to be a featured founding participant in the new mobile content community described in this press release:

New Mobile Learning Content Community Resource Available
mLearnopedia.com partners with TechEmpower to provide information source for mobile learning

Greenville, WI February 16, 2009: With an increasingly mobile society and the need for instant information for employees and students everywhere all the time, mobile learning and mobile performance support are growing at a rapid pace. Ambient Insight recently reported that the US market for Mobile Learning product and services is growing at a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.7%.

To provide access to the latest news and best practices a new content community has been created at http://cc.mlearnopedia.com. Content is aggregated from sites such as Cell Phones in Learning, GoldenSwamp, mLearning is Good, mLearning World, mLearnopedia, moblearn, Mobile Commons, and MobileDot. “The mlearnopedia project is a terrific idea at the right time! I look forward to being part of it,” states Judy Breck from Golden Swamp. Ben Bonnet from mLearning is Good commented “The cc.mlearnopedia.com community has already benefited me by providing exposure to content I normally would have missed.” The aggregation technology, called BrowseMyStuff, comes from Tony Karrer of TechEmpower with the support of Judy Brown from mLearnopedia.com.

You can get computers directly to these kids

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Posted on 11th February 2009 by Judy Breck in Golden Age of Learning and Terrorism Undermined

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The interview by We_Magazine posted in the left sidebar of this blog was done by Ulrike Reinhard. She is organizing a trip to Benin to bring computers to the children in the picture. This is not a large project, but it is a very direct one. Click on the picture of the kids, or HERE, to find out more.

Profitability post wraps Carnival of the Mobilists

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Posted on 9th February 2009 by Judy Breck in Carnival of the Mobilists

At allaboutiPhone this week, #160 is a winter Carnival of the Mobilists. Hosted by Matt Radford from snow-bound Britain, the best of the season’s mobile blogging emerges along the midway. The final post on the review is GoldenSwamp.com’s recent post on diminishing ignorance profitably.

Nature is the model for networking knowledge

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Posted on 6th February 2009 by Judy Breck in Carnival of the Mobilists, Connective Expression, Emerging Online Knowledge, Golden Age of Learning, Networks and Open Content

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The open internet gives education a new place from which to access the knowledge it teaches. Organization of that knowledge that mimics nature’s network laws will keep us from laboring in vain. Supporting evidence is found in one of the most popular listings this morning on delicious: The 15 Coolest Cases of Biomimicry, which begins:

“Those who are inspired by a model other than Nature, a mistress above all masters, are laboring in vain. – Leonardo Da Vinci . Biomimicry – The practice of developing sustainable human technologies inspired by nature. Sometimes called Biomimetics or Bionics, it’s basically biologically inspired engineering.”

My personal favorite, of the 15 cases, is Lotus Effect Hydrophobia.

They call it “superhydrophobicity,” but it’s really a biomimetic application of what is known as the Lotus Effect. The surface of lotus leaves are bumpy, and this causes water to bead as well as to pick up surface contaminates in the process. The water rolls off, taking the contaminates with it. Researchers have developed ways to chemically treat the surface of plastics and metal to evoke the same effect. Applications are nearly endless, and not just making windshield wipers and car wax jobs obsolete. Lots of researchers are working on it, and General Electric’s Global Research Center is busy developing coatings for commercial application right now.


Harnessing the internet for education is not about technology

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Posted on 4th February 2009 by Judy Breck in Emerging Online Knowledge, Findability, Mobile Learning and Open Content

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This photo from a series Macs through the ages at Silicon.com is the first laptop produced by Apple in its PowerBook 100 series. This colorful seven pounder does not look all that different from today’s laptop, yet this picture was taken in 1991, nearly 20 years ago! The biggest tech difference between then and now is today’s portable computers are usually use unplugged; they are wireless.

It is common practice to refer in education circles to using computers as using technology. But that nomenclature refers accurately only to the now hardly novel machines and their infrastructure.

In 1991 the internet was small, the World Wide Web was one year old, and browsers were still on the drawing boards. In the 1990s, content poured into the internet, including bountiful academic knowledge resources. In 1998 Google came online to replace overloaded indexes and simple keyword search engines with a usage weighted search engine.

Those of us who have spent a lot of time in the past couple of decades working with a machine like the one in our picture will not have noticed a lot going on with the machine itself. For a while it seemed important for the machine to be able hold a lot of content, but when the internet came along content and the action moved online. The cognitive resources of education moved into what I like to call the golden swamp – the internet.

Harnessing the internet for education is not about technology. Instead, organizing the internet cognitively is the challenge. Educators need to focus on optimizing the best knowledge resources so that they are findable. Subjects need to be tagged and interlinked. The gold in the swamp needs to be found, organized, and used.

Diminishing ignorance profitably

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Posted on 3rd February 2009 by Judy Breck in Emerging Online Knowledge, Golden Age of Learning, Mobile Learning and Terrorism Undermined

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The image above is taken from the Vestergaard Frandsen webpage about their product LifeStraw® . The page explains: “Half of the world’s poor suffer from waterborne disease, and nearly 6,000 people – mainly children – die each day by consuming unsafe drinking water. LifeStraw® water purifiers have been developed as a practical way of preventing disease and saving lives, as well as achieving the Millennium Development Goal of reducing by one-half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe water by the year 2015.”

I have added the mobile device in a child’s hands. At least half the world’s children suffer from ignorance. Mobiles are a practical way of preventing ignorance.

The LifeStraw®  story carries a very important lesson for those who would prevent ignorance: Vestergaard Frandsen makes a profit by providing the individual water purifiers, and several other refugee products. There is money to be made by giving people what they need to transform from refugee to productive citizen. The potential for making the money and the transformations is huge.

For more on these thoughts, there is an article in the New York Times this morning about Vestergaard Frandsen:

. . . There are plenty of charitable foundations and public agencies devoted to helping the world’s poor, many with instantly recognizable names like Unicef or the Gates Foundation.

But private companies with that as their sole focus are rare. Even the best-known is not remotely a household name: Vestergaard-Frandsen. . . .