October 26, 2006

Reasons to love YouTube #24

The greatest song ever written soundtracking a video featuring the greatest invention of all time. For this alone, You Tube I love you:

I came across this video using the impressive I Love Music Video

October 20, 2006

Frankie Boyle is a funny man

Frankie Boyle is a very funny man. One of the funniest on British television right now via his appearances on Mock the Week . Whenever I watch, and listen, to Frankie Boyle, I ache to be living back in Glasgow.

Frankie Boyle

But before I over-romanticise living in Glasgow, here’s some choice words from Frankie, pinched from articles that are reproduced on his website:

On Rangers and Celtic:

Massive corporate entities leeching the soul out of their deprived communities. The area round Celtic Park is like Blade Runner without the special effects. In 1967 Celtic won the European Cup with a team where all the players were born within 20 miles of the stadium. If you tried to field a team from that area now you wouldn’t find 11 people who still had both legs. Both clubs have profited massively from sectarianism. Personally, I think everyone involved over the years has shown that they don’t have Northern Ireland’s best interests at heart and it should now be given to a third party, like Spain. Imagine how little the average Belfast citizen would care for the problems of religion if he could just get a nice bit of tapas on the Falls road. And it wasn’t fucking raining all the time. And he still had knees.

On personal grooming:

The average Glasgow guy now looks like he spends more time in front of the mirror than a pubescent girl. You know what? If you’re going to spend 2 hours on your appearance every day why not work out you fat fucks? If you’re going to have a haircut that makes you look like a moderately powerful Pokemon, try to make sure you’re body doesn’t look like something that’s just been fished out of a river.

September 18, 2006

CancerNursing.org courses make a difference

Writing about web page http://www.cancernursing.org/diedre-mcguigan-poster.pdf

Every day at CancerNursing.org we receive emails and feedback from learners telling us that our courses have made a difference to their professional lives. Now we’ve got some research to back up what we have known for a long time: CancerNursing.org courses make a difference and have a positive impact on patient care.

Dierdre McGuigan and Pam Moule from the University of the West of England and the United Bristol Healthcare NHS Trust have conducted an evaluation of nurses’ use of our Cancer of the Oesophagus course as part of some “research to explore the experience of e-learning in clinical practice”.

Their methodology was as follows:

The delivery of the web-based programme took place with pre- and post testing of knowledge and skills through the use of validated multiple choice questions and quantitative vignette methodology using six vignettes in total.

And their conclusion:

Although the sample is small the results clearly show that staff who undertook the CancerNursing.org e-learning programme gained knowledge specific to care of patients with oesophageal cancer. Through using vignette methodology the results show that this knowledge impacts on care in a positive way.

Deirdre and Pam are now keen to build upon this study with a much larger sample. The link above is to a poster reporting the results of their study that they prepared for a recent conference in Bristol. Thanks Deirdre and Pam – your work is really very much appreciated.

August 25, 2006

Reasons to love YouTube #17

It's a great showcase for experimental local talent. It's great to see your home city being represented in smart little movies. Two examples:

First up '2 Tone Poem – Coventry Calling'. Nice visual treatment. It's rough and ready and out there and here it gets an audience. Many Coventry locations. A guy with the balls to walk the streets reading his work, which is a hymn to the mighty Specials

Dreaming of brewing up pop music as the only bomb worth dropping

Secondly, 'Parkour 06'. I'm fascinated by parkour – free running – having quite recently met an amazingly diverse group of kids performing outstandingly acrobatic moves in Central Birmingham. They are like a bunch of troubadours, an old fashioned, mobile circus act but brought together through internet forums to teach each other their skills on the street.

'Parkour 06' is the first film by Annie D about Parkour runners in Coventry. Simple, stylish, watchable. Nice sound edits. Annie, well done. Keep up the good work.

August 23, 2006

CancerNursing.org recruits its 10,000th online learner

Writing about web page http://www.cancernursing.org/

At the beginning of August, CancerNursing.org, the online learning environment which I co–developed and maintain with my colleague and friend Ray Irving and his brother Mark, a Cancer Nurse Specialist, recruited its 10,000th online learner. CancerNursing.org provides free, professional online cancer care courses that aim to enhance the knowledge and skills of health professionals and anyone concerned with the care of cancer patients.

At present, CancerNursing.org is an entirely voluntary project for the majority of its contributors and developers. With our sparse financial and technical resources, to have recruited over 10,000 learners (and over 17,000 individual course registrations) from over 100 countries across the globe in three years is a milestone that we're very proud of and which I'm I shouting about today.

We've also received some nice coverage today on a new blog about online learning projects - Edufilter.

The comment below, from a nurse in New Zealand, is indicative of the value of our courses and of the sort of feedback we receive about CancerNursing.org every single day.

I didn't realise how much I had forgotten until I started doing the Cancer Care for Children and Young People course. It has been a really good refresher. I have thoroughly enjoyed going over the types of childhood cancers, and treatments available, and it has been very thought provoking. I really like being able to complete it online in your own time. With a young family, trying to continue some education is at times hard to do, so thank you.

I wonder how many other UK organisations have recruited over 10,000 international online learners?

August 22, 2006

UK Terror Plot: Be very sceptical?

Writing about web page http://www.craigmurray.co.uk/archives/2006/08/the_uk_terror_p.html

Former UK Ambassador to the Central Asian Republic of Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, has written a remarkable analysis of the 'UK Terror Plot', its policing and its coverage in the media, which has created quite a stir.

In his first blog post on the issue – The UK Terror plot: what's really going on? – Murray picked apart the various details we then knew of the supposed plot and, in an incredible passage, wrote the following about Bush And Blair:

Both in desperate domestic political trouble, they longed for "Another 9/11". The intelligence from Pakistan, however dodgy, gave them a new 9/11 they could sell to the media. The media has bought, wholesale, all the rubbish they have been shovelled.

Murray concluded his piece thus:

In all of this, the one thing of which I am certain is that the timing is deeply political. This is more propaganda than plot. Of the over one thousand British Muslims arrested under anti–terrorist legislation, only twelve per cent are ever charged with anything. That is simply harrassment of Muslims on an appalling scale. Of those charged, 80% are acquitted. Most of the very few – just over two per cent of arrests – who are convicted, are not convicted of anything to do terrorism, but of some minor offence the Police happened upon while trawling through the wreck of the lives they had shattered. Be sceptical. Be very, very sceptical.

His post has since received considerable coverage across the web and in the mainstream press which he has commented on further in a post entitled Hitting a Nerve

His claims about the political nature of the policing have prompted an exchange between Murray and Chief Constable Ken Jones, President of The Association of Chief Police Officers in the letters pages of The Guardian which Murray reproduces on his blog in the following post:

Police, politics and public safety: Letters in the Guardian

Murray continues to address this issue on his blog at


August 17, 2006

Warwick Blogs gives babies good Google Juice

Follow-up to What to do with your blog when you're on leave from Off message

Having followed Steven Johnson's example and blogged about our new baby, Jude, in an effort to give him an early leg–up in life with a strong Page Rank, it seems that Warwick Blogs really cuts the mustard when it comes to delivering Google Juice to newborns.

A Google search for "Jude Sutherland" or Jude Sutherland sees this new entrant storming straight in at No. 1, the little upstart.

July 26, 2006

Jude Sutherland

Jude William Sutherland, born at home on the 18th of July, weighing 7lb 5oz.

Jude William Sutherland

What to do with your blog when you're on leave

Writing about web page http://www.stevenberlinjohnson.com/2006/07/dean.html

Via Ewen McIntosh I came across this nice little post on 7 Things to Do with your Blog when you take a Vacation.

But what about when your leave is paternity leave, which I'm currently enjoying after the birth last Tuesday, July 18th, of our little Jude? For Steven Berlin Johnson, whose third son Dean was born the day after Jude, it's a post to earn your baby some GoogleJuice when they're still getting used to breast milk. See Dean :

In a strange way, getting to meet him the first time yesterday seemed even more moving than it was with the first two. With your first child, it's just so impossible to imagine that they're going to grow into a little person with such vivid, distinct characteristics. With the second child — particularly if he/she is the same sex as the first — you kind of assume that he's just going to be variation on the theme of the first one. But our two boys are just amazingly different in so many ways now, and so when I saw Dean for the first time, I felt this incredible surge of curiosity: so what are you going to be like? I'm titling this post "Dean" for Google's sake. I think it would be most excellent if everyone would link to this page, and drive this post up Google's results for the word "Dean." I think it would help him get a head start in the world to have a lot of pagerank right out of the gate. So instead of sending flowers or food baskets, just link…

Well, as it's obviously for the good of the child, I'll devote my next post, and my last for a good while, to our new and loved Jude William Sutherland.

July 12, 2006

Reboot the Beeb

Writing about web page http://open.bbc.co.uk/reboot/gallery/2006/05/bbc_homepage.html

This is a site to get lost in full of signposts to a very near future. The brief for this competition to completely reimagine and re–design the BBC homepage was pretty much as follows:

We want to allow Internet users to go into their own BBC space containing all the content they're interested in, all the TV shows they like and all the things they've played with on the Web. We need to come up with a personalised BBC homepage that will provide users with a starting place for their journey through BBC content and beyond.

As a summary of what's working well and gaining ground on the web it's fascinating. Personalisation abounds. Widgets and aggregates. Embedded media players playing your selections gain more prominence. The spaces imagined allow users to feed external content of their choosing into the hallowed BBC internet foyer. The 'user' is in charge.

Are there any lessons in here for online learning spaces?

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