Blog Entries



Science-communication (#scicomm) in East Africa - Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda

Posted 08-Mar-2014 at 11:10 AM (11:10) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 09-Mar-2014 at 07:27 AM (07:27) by Gurdur

There's far more dedicated #scicomm in East Africa than you might have ever thought. It more than deserves recognition, interest and support outside East Africa. Unfortunately it simply doesn't get any interest or recognition outside Africa almost all the time. One of the major sources for observing and interacting with science-communication in East Africa is the site SciDev.Net. Just to pick four to follow on Twitter: there's @SciDevNetSSA, the Twitter account for SciDev's "Sub-Saharan Africa" section;...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 1393 Comments 5 Gurdur is offline

Various initial and unsorted thoughts about the #scio14 conference

Posted 05-Mar-2014 at 11:48 PM (23:48) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 06-Mar-2014 at 12:13 AM (00:13) by Gurdur

The #scio14 conference in Raleigh, North Carolina, 27 February to 01 March inclusive, went pretty much as you could expect of a #ScioX conference. That being reasonably well within certain parameters or limits. It was a lot more successful than certain flamers beforehand opined it would be. It could have done better on certain aspects. Overall, it functioned mostly as it should. The conference schedule opened with a day of non-conference field-trips and the like organized by others, on Wednesday...
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Dedicated to having and making a good #scio14 conference

Posted 28-Feb-2014 at 07:42 AM (07:42) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 28-Feb-2014 at 07:47 AM (07:47) by Gurdur

A couple of tweets today (Thursday) came mighty close to deriding some for attending one #scio14 session and not another. Other tweets derided the ScienceOnline board for not doing whatever the flamer thought they should be doing, or for being what they are rather than something else completely. Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door, to explain in minute detail endlessly why your better mousetrap is something they scorn.

The ScienceOnline board have...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 929 Comments 0 Gurdur is offline

#Scio14 in (Ki)Swahili

Posted 25-Feb-2014 at 07:04 PM (19:04) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 25-Feb-2014 at 08:19 PM (20:19) by Gurdur

I will be doing the best I can to do reports in (Ki)Swahili on the #Scio14 science-communication (#scicomm) conference, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA, February 27 to March 01 inclusive this year, i.e. in a couple of days' time. I will make a new Twitter account, maybe, to do the Swahili tweets. I will also tweet in (bad) German occasionally. One first part in KiSwahli is below. I will be doing my best to promote Tanzanian scicomm and science-reporting people, and to make them known to the scicomm...
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Views 576 Comments 0 Gurdur is offline

Last-minute tips for newcomers to #scio14 (#scioX)

Posted 25-Feb-2014 at 08:42 AM (08:42) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 25-Feb-2014 at 07:11 PM (19:11) by Gurdur

The general #scioX hashtag refers to (all) the different ScienceOnline conferences and activities, while the #scio14 hashtag refers to the ScienceOnline conference at Raleigh, NC, Feb 27 to March 01 this year.

Join In
The most important thing is simply to join in. Of all the complaints in the past about anything to do with #scioX, quite a few seemed to be from people who simply wouldn't join in - who did not make any effort to participate in any group activities, who waited...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 3097 Comments 1 Gurdur is offline
Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.

You do not get to hog suicide risk or depression all to yourself: @mjrobbins, @BoraZ, #scioX and implosions

Posted 03-Jan-2014 at 06:18 PM (18:18) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 03-Jan-2014 at 09:44 PM (21:44) by Gurdur

At an awkward time for me personally, yet again the science communication (#scicomm) world implodes, and that fairly close to an upcoming conference, the #scio14 one in Raleigh, North Carolina. I am on an urgent trip to Australia for only one week, from where I live in Germany, for the funeral of my father in Perth. While here I have also been informed that my paternal aunt is also dying, in Sydney, right on the other side of Australia (the very last relative left on my paternal side); I am simply...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 14023 Comments 0 Gurdur is offline

Information on how to donate for children etc. in Tanzania

Posted 13-Dec-2013 at 05:08 AM (05:08) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 13-Dec-2013 at 05:30 PM (17:30) by Gurdur

A couple of people have asked me how they can help children in Tanzania, given what I described in a previous blog post. While I donate myself, I am cautious about promoting charities in this area, since there are many scams and scammers operating, and I bear a responsibility towards the readers of my blog. The needs in Tanzania are large; it is a poverty-stricken Third-World country, with almost half of its population being 15 years of age or younger. I will recommend only what charities I trust,...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 1669 Comments 4 Gurdur is offline

A child: a photo-essay on depicting life in Tanzania fairly

Posted 05-Dec-2013 at 06:48 PM (18:48) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 05-Dec-2013 at 08:41 PM (20:41) by Gurdur

Once I begin blogging in full about my travels in Tanzania, and putting up a lot of photographs on the net, you will see that there are comparatively few pictures of people. There is a reason for that; a great many people in Tanzania don't like being photographed. One of the more common attitudes sems to be a resentful rejection, based on rightly or wrongly feeling objectified; other attitudes (such as superstition, or xenophobia) also play a part with some. This causes problems; it tends to skew...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 2097 Comments 2 Gurdur is offline

Always sailing to Kilwa

Posted 04-Dec-2013 at 01:55 AM (01:55) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 04-Dec-2013 at 08:16 PM (20:16) by Gurdur

Below is a photograph a couple of decades old. The digital form was made from an old slide, already much degraded, as tends to happen to slide-film over the years. It is a photo of me, most likely taken by my father, and it shows me on a dhow, sailing to Kilwa. There are three different Kilwas in Tanzania, all neighbouring each other. There is Kilwa Masoko, which means "Kilwa of the market", a large, sprawling town. Then, around 12 miles away as the crow flies, there is Kilwa Kivinje, a small town,...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 1268 Comments 0 Gurdur is offline

Classism, sexism, racism, snobbery, community, #scicomm and #citizenscience

Posted 29-Nov-2013 at 03:57 AM (03:57) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 29-Nov-2013 at 06:29 PM (18:29) by Gurdur

The blogger @drisis put up a blog post talking about her take on science-communication (#scicomm) and the people involved in that general area, i.e. what could be called the general #scicomm community. That would include the component communities like the #ScioX community (centering around the anual scicomm conference in Raleigh, NC, USA), or the #SpotOn community (centered around the annual scicomm conference in London, UK, and IIRC the one in NYC, USA). @DrIsis' blog post was titled, "An Open...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 6937 Comments 0 Gurdur is offline

Experimenting with Lytro - picture of a Datoga (Datooga) pastoralist extended family

Posted 26-Nov-2013 at 09:25 PM (21:25) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 26-Nov-2013 at 10:15 PM (22:15) by Gurdur

This is by way of an experiment, with a Lytro camera. I am trying to see if added value for you as people is given when using Lytro pictures. The special thing about Lytro is that it takes a picture of the whole light-field - there is no one single point of focus.

Try it with this picture below. Click on different parts of the picture and see it re-focus on the point you clicked on (thus allowing you to have the picture focused on different parts). You can also zoom in (double-click)...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 19333 Comments 8 Gurdur is offline

Offline for just under 2 weeks from now owing to safari

Posted 08-Nov-2013 at 10:56 PM (22:56) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)

I will be completely offline and without access to the net for just under 2 weeks from now owing to being on a second safari here within Tanzania, this time around the southern national parks.



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Comments are welcome! Please keep in mind if you are not registered that comments posted here to this blog post may take a while to appear - up to 16 hours after you post them, since they go onto a moderation queue and have to be individually approved, in order to stop spammers. The answer to the so-called "Random Question" is always "human".

Posted in Uncategorized
Views 2115 Comments 0 Gurdur is offline

No, I decline to join your "spontaneous, justifiable" mass-action, I mean your mob

Posted 08-Nov-2013 at 10:24 PM (22:24) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 08-Nov-2013 at 10:52 PM (22:52) by Gurdur

Over on Scientific American blogs, Krystal D'Costa ‏(@krystaldcosta) asked the question of what differentiates a Twitter-mob from a mob. Drug Monkey ‏(@drugmonkeyblog) responded on Twitter by pointing out that one man's mob is another man's spontaneous, justifiable mass-action. Only that cuts both ways, and then some. At its best, Drugmonkey's remark is only the truism that moral standards differ from group to group, and from individual to individual. At its worst, it was only a solipstic,...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 3785 Comments 1 Gurdur is offline

Back online for a couple of days, before second safari

Posted 04-Nov-2013 at 07:07 AM (07:07) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 06-Nov-2013 at 07:57 AM (07:57) by Gurdur

I am currently on travel in Tanzania, as previously blogged about here. I have just returned to a lodge outside Arusha from my first safari around the northern nartional-parks circuit and more. I successfully met up with the Datoga (Datooga) iterant blacksmith, Mr. Balagi Butaka, and his family, and with a Datoga pastoralist family as well as a Hadzabe (Hadza) hunter-gatherer group, all of which I will blog on much later.

In these couple of days I have access to the net again, I...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 1159 Comments 2 Gurdur is offline

Away and offline for a few days

Posted 27-Oct-2013 at 10:47 PM (22:47) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)

I will be away and offline for a few days, since I am currently on safari in Tanzania, and for the most part I will not have any access to the net whatsoever. Since the other co-admin of the Hub, Never, is also away for several days, then at the very worst if you make a comment under a blog post it may take up to five days for it to be approved and publically published. Sorry about that, but it can't be helped.

Once these travels are done with, and I am back home in Germany (by the...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 1326 Comments 0 Gurdur is offline

Remembering Grumpy (Amos Capps). R.I.P.

Posted 27-Oct-2013 at 10:41 PM (22:41) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 27-Oct-2013 at 11:09 PM (23:09) by Gurdur

Amos Capps was a member of the Hangout board. He took the username "Grumpy", and he often was. He could be a huge pain in the neck, all 320 pounds (145 Kg) of him. He came to the Hangout when the old IIDB board imploded in 2007, into a mass of flamewars and a frenzy of a mass leaving of that board. In all the rampant hysteria and shouting that accompanied the implosion of that old IIDB board, a lot of those who left it tried taking over other boards by sheer pressure of flaming the admins of the...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 5472 Comments 1 Gurdur is offline

Antidotes for the poisons affecting #ScioX: Part 1 of what the different ScioX's need, not just want

Posted 21-Oct-2013 at 11:18 PM (23:18) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 22-Oct-2013 at 03:18 AM (03:18) by Gurdur

The problem: an important part of the wider science-communication (#scicomm) world, the #ScioX community (centered around annual #scicomm conferences in Raleigh, NC, USA) is now tearing itself apart -- all too predictably. I predicted to others 6 days ago this would happen. Chad Orzel (@orzelc) has posted a good, interesting blog post on what ScioX wants to be; but the questions of what ScioX needs, and needs to be, have to be raised in a better way than what else has gone down on the hashtag over...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 17332 Comments 3 Gurdur is offline

Very odd religion news

Posted 11-Oct-2013 at 03:48 PM (15:48) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)

Just a small bit of very odd news in religion and so on. Normally, clergy are victims of murder (and of assault); it is a very high-risk occupation, leastaways in Britain, Australia and so on, owing to many targeting clergy for whatever reason. So it's a little odd to see a Kentucky clergyman, Pastor Kenneth Allen Keith, charged with triple murder, in reverse of the usual.

The report says, "A small-town pastor charged in a triple...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 784 Comments 0 Gurdur is offline

Meeting @rmathematicus (Thony Christie), in Nuremberg (Nürnberg)

Posted 08-Oct-2013 at 10:38 PM (22:38) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 09-Oct-2013 at 01:50 AM (01:50) by Gurdur

I've long known @rmathematicus (Thony Christie) from his blog and Twitter, but last Sunday was the very first time I met him. I had gone to Innsbruck, Austria, for a #simulateMars tweet-up, and when I looked at the map, Nuremberg (Nürnberg) looked very much on the route between Innsbruck and back home for me (Solingen), so I made plans to stop over a day in Nuremberg just to meet @rmathematicus. Well, it turned out it wasn't exactly on the route, but it was all OK, and train connections were good...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 934 Comments 0 Gurdur is offline

A rogue, however you parcel it

Posted 04-Oct-2013 at 04:25 PM (16:25) by lifelinking (Lifelinking's Blog)
Updated 04-Oct-2013 at 06:29 PM (18:29) by lifelinking

Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont recently said in a speech referring to the Independence debate, that Nationalism is a “virus that has affected so many nations and done so much harm” (as quoted in the Telegraph of 22 September). I remember Lamont being interviewed after the last election which saw the SNP sweeping in with an overall majority in the Scottish Parliamentary elections. Her demeanour was not reflective, but arrogant and combative. In ‘Lamont world’, Labour had done nothing wrong,...
Views 656 Comments 0 lifelinking is offline

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