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A Few Tips for Relocating to a New Country with a Toddler

Evin O’Keeffe - Tue, 01/31/2023 - 14:52

I’m honoured to share this guest post by Ashley Verma, Bizzimumzi. Through the early 2000s, I lived and breathed New York City. I was a master at moving. I have moved through a hurricane, moved through the most outrageous break-ups,...

The post A Few Tips for Relocating to a New Country with a Toddler appeared first on EvinOK.

Knitting Socks with a Contrasting Heel and Yarn Combo Sets

Evin O’Keeffe - Tue, 01/24/2023 - 15:34

It is so fun and exciting to see how a self-striping or patterned sock yarn knits up in socks, but sometimes throwing in a bit of personal flair can add that certain touch to a project. That’s just what Contrasting...

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Activating Artists with Social

Bernie Goldbach - Mon, 01/23/2023 - 10:27

by Bernie Goldbachin Stradbally

I AUDIT MY SOCIAL annually and in early 2023 I'm joining a group of aritsts in County Laois to get their appraisal of how I create and share online.

I started this blog post while sitting in limbo at Limerick Junction.


[Learning from the elbow view of creative journaling.]

Be Real.

It helps if you have an identity that is complemented by a real place like an artist studio or an exhibition venue. I have greater trust in creatives who I meet in real life. I often put stars on my maps that correspond to places where I can find creatives at work. I also enjoy putting pins on my calendars that correspond to opening and studio visits.

Listen to "Activating Artists On Social E606" on Spreaker. Find a flow that works.

I create better when I'm in the flow. It's a creative concept outlined by Don Norman in The Design of Everyday Things and I enjoy learning how creatives gets into the flow. Sometimes I learn about 'flow' from podcasts or from YouTube clips.

I also use an Artificial Intelligence (AI) that helps me in my flow. My preferred AI sits inside Magisto, a video production app.

Share and Share Alike.

Especially your concept drawings or your scratch work.

I know an artist is not an AI because I can see how they create by the scratch work they share.

If you want to dive into hands-on social networking with other artists, consider taking the MA in Change Leadership with the Technological University of the Shannon. We have artists and mid-career professionals mingling and learning in the hybrid MA programme that we're running.

[Bernie Goldbach teaches creative media for business on the Clonmel Digital Campus. He's been blogging for more than 10 years.]


Have Your Own American Phone Number Anywhere in the World

Evin O’Keeffe - Tue, 01/17/2023 - 15:34

When I moved to Ireland in 2008, it was meant to be a short-term stay. Over 14 years later, I’m still here. In that time, I’ve learned a great deal about how to live in one country while my history...

The post Have Your Own American Phone Number Anywhere in the World appeared first on EvinOK.

The Writer's Box

Bernie Goldbach - Mon, 01/09/2023 - 16:22

by Bernie Goldbach in Clonmel

I GOT A WALNUT Writer's Box as a combination Christmas Birthday present and now am mesmerised by the thought that I have a tool that my Irish ancestors might have used as they integrated into America in the late 1800s.

The box is modeled after one used by Thomas Jefferson but mine is made of walnut instead of mahogany.

And Jefferson's was crafted in Philadelphia in the 1770s while mine was made in Turkey in 2022.

[For my birthday]

[Bernie Goldbach is getting back to his ancestral roots by resettling in Ireland.]


How To Choose The Perfect Gift

Evin O’Keeffe - Mon, 01/09/2023 - 15:32

Much like my father, I’m an easy person to give gifts to. I’m appreciative, see the thought and time behind any gift, and recognise that a gift isn’t just about the recipient but also about the giver in that moment....

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The TUS DX Ethos

Bernie Goldbach - Sun, 01/08/2023 - 10:05

by Bernie Goldbach in Clonmel

THE DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION module offered by the Technological University of the Shannon attempts to ensure the people who immerse in the study of digital transformation will refine and improve themselves through an iterative refactoring of specific digital processes that thought leaders have identified as prime movers in the arena of digital transformation.

We start with an inventory of our digital lifestyles and discuss in groups of 20 how digital transformation is bubbling below the surface in all of our lives. We will contribute to a Digital Transformation Vault throughout our academic process.

[Cognification is happening]

During the current academic term, we share our baseline digital processes when starting a 15 week journey in January 2023. And then we review any changes that happen with those processes a few months later. Our shared Digital Transformation Vault will look very different when we finish our academic work. It will contain sketches, screenshots, photographs, and workflow diagrams that show how we can leverage the process of digital transformation at work and in our personal lives. 

Like all worthwhile journals, a Digital Transformation Vault will document and complement our journeys in our current lives and it should serve us well in our careers.

[Bernie Goldbach teaches digital transformation on the Clonmel Digital Campus.]

Bringing Back Blogging

Bernie Goldbach - Mon, 01/02/2023 - 15:40

by Bernie Goldbach in Clonmel

AS TWITTER ATROPHIES and Mastodaonie tries to find traction, I'm going to reintroduce blogging into the university modules I teach. And for the month of January, I'm resolved to create at least two blog posts a week.

The posts won't be all on my Old Skool Typepad because I've a microblog now as well as SharePoint News sites I've set up with RSS. Perhaps I can link to all of those locations by putting hyperlinked footnote at the bottom of each of the locations.

[Ten Years After Winning Blog Award]

During January 2023, I'm also joining a directory of bloggers who are participating in Bring Back Blogging. I've noticed writers, photographers, and makers listed in the fledgling directory. And by clicking into their links, I've discovered several of them are actually newsletters, tumblrs, blogs, and microblogs. They have one thing in common: they support their content with Really Simple Syndication.

If more than one voice in Ireland joins this initiative, we could have a soft relaunch of the Irish Blog Awards. Looking back into a time before the iPhone seems like a vanity exercise. But those were heady days when I scrolled through lines of text discovering interesting content uncontaminated by sponsorship. I used to have exceptional street cred with coworkers because I had all the coolest links before tech journos covered the same ideas days or weeks later. And back then, there were no tech journos with national radio slots.  As Ash and Ryan put it, "The blogosphere was once a vibrant network of deep thought and curation, and now has the vibes of an untrimmed yard.

I want to add my address to the Bring Back Blog Directory (it's powered by Airtable!) and see what happens. I have my mobile IA Writer, my Moleskine, and my mobile blogging software ready to go.

[Bernie Goldbach is an elder blogger who lives in the sunny southeast of Ireland. There are no birds in his home.]


More Creative Gift Wrapping Ideas

Evin O’Keeffe - Thu, 12/22/2022 - 12:06

It’s the season for gift wrapping and I am back with more ideas. You may recall my previous post with creative gift wrapping ideas, well it was popular so I’m sharing another installment. Here are a few ideas for creative...

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Experimenting with thoughts connected by images

Bernie Goldbach - Wed, 12/21/2022 - 08:20

by Bernie Goldbach in Clonmel

I AM SETTING UP several new academic modules for early 2023 and believe I we can learn from images that students snap, scrape, and share. The process involves using Flickr groups in which students can directly upload content from their handsets' share sheets.

The first experiment involves MA students learning Digital Transformation. I want students to upload images in support of 12 inevitable trends cited by Kevin Kelly. Each student should upload images to the Flickr Digital Transformation Group in support of the 12 trends. Really Simple Syndication (RSS) is running behind the scenes to create a mailing list that summarises work by the academic group. I want to port the RSS feed into Feedly and Inoreader where the best elements of the group's imagery drops into an Obsidian Vault for group work.

Students should sign up for the weekly email updates below.

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I will update everyone on how this project unfolds at the end of January 2023.

[Bernie Goldbach teaches digital transformation for the Technological University of the Shannon.]

Using Two Wireless Rigs

Bernie Goldbach - Tue, 12/20/2022 - 17:00

by Bernie Goldbach in Clonmel

If you follow my Instagram or my Flickr photos, you'll know that I have a lot of old equipment along with some new stuff. I talked about both of those types of equipment and also about how we are setting up behind the scenes recording "Heritage and Stories" with the Tipperary libraries. This is important because I'm hoping that some of the people who join us--young kids on the youth media team and the librarians that are part of the staff--might listen to this Topgold Audio Clip and learn what's happening behind the scenes.

[Using Rode Wireless II as Laptop Mic]

Wireless Rig Number One

We're trying to put mics onto the lapels or onto the collars of people who want to share stories about heritage points around Clonmel. We're using square Rode Wireless Go II microphones. They can send audio hundred of metres away to a receiver that is wired into my Android handset. I call this setup "Rig Number One". I can make this rig work with an iPhone as well.

On Android, I use HiQ MP3. On iOS I use Voice Record Pro. As soon as a clip is recorded, it goes up to a Google Drive location where someone can edit the file or catalogue it with the name of the file, the date the people talking on it, and anything else that provides context.

So Rig Number One was just using the wireless mics clipped onto the lapels of the people and then the receiver for the wireless mic is cabled into the bottom of either an iPhone or an Android phone. The cabling and the 3.5 mm jacks make this setup work. We use a cable with two 3.5 mm pins on each end. We need a 3.5 millimetre pin to plug into the Rode Wireless Go receiver. We need another 3.5 mm pin to plug into the phone. Because iPhones don't have the 3.5 millimetre hole, we use a lightning-to-3.5 mm adapter cable.

This cabling can confuse people. And cables can get lost. They can break. Or fittings might become loose. Fortunately, the Rode Wireless Go receiver shows the signal strength. You can see a blue light on the transmitter that appears when the unit is communicating. The Rode Wireless Go Receiver shows green and yellow moving lines when it receives a good audio signal. And the recording app on the handset displays lights or levels.

Rig Number Two

We use a Zoom H6 field recorder with a X-Y module on the top of it that accepts the cables from the Rode Wireless Go II receiver. In my experience, it is easier to record with traditional gear such as Zoom recorders. You just push cables into fittings, press the record button, and monitor the recording as it's underway. We have cables and mics for two other positions when using the Zoom H6. This means we can record two people with the Rode mics, and two more people with the mics stored in the field case with the Zoom H6.

You can hear how all of this sounds by following Tipperary Heritage and Stories wherever you listen to fine audio.

Listen to "Lessons In Wireless Recording E605" on Spreaker.

[Bernie Goldbach teaches creative media for business on the Clonmel Digital Campus.]


Mastodon - The Server You Are On Is Most Important When You Are Starting Out

Bernie Goldbach - Tue, 12/20/2022 - 16:46

Reposted from Dan York;s Disruptive Conversations

“How do I choose which Mastodon server to join? It’s SO CONFUSING! I just want to sign up to ‘Mastodon’!”

This seems to be a common refrain from some people exploring Mastodon as part of the Twitter migration/exodus.

The reality is that the Mastodon server you join is most important in the beginning when you are trying to discover new users. Over time, and as you follow more and more people, the server you are on becomes less important.

via www.disruptiveconversations.com

Find Bernie @topgold@micro.blog or follow me at https://topgold.micro.blog/subscribe/

How to Make a Simple Pie Crust

Evin O’Keeffe - Tue, 12/20/2022 - 15:06

The comfort of a crisp pie crust and warm gooey filling has a comforting combination. I have previously shared my Snyder Family Pie Crust Recipe, but this post is about how to make a simple pie crust that works for...

The post How to Make a Simple Pie Crust appeared first on EvinOK.

Tantrum Capitalism Killing the Bird Site

Bernie Goldbach - Tue, 12/20/2022 - 05:05

Photo by Daniel Oberhaus. Insights by Fintan O'Toole.

I'M ADDING CONTENT from today's Irish Times opinion column because the commentary by Fintan O'Toole helps explain the demise of Twitter, a social networking site I've used since 2006.

Irish Times Opinion by Fintan O'Toole Musk's tantrum capitalism explodes myth of bucaneering liberarianism.

It used to be cocaine that was, as Robin Williams had it, God’s way of telling you that you have too much money. Now it’s buying Twitter for $44 billion and setting fire to it.

But perhaps there is some continuity here. Both drugs heighten the sense of invincibility you feel while you are making a complete fool of yourself.

Elon Musk has made himself the idiot savant of our times, half genius, all man-child. Yet he has, in the process, illuminated two important truths about contemporary culture.

The first is that there really is such a thing as having too much money. Right-wing economics is based on the belief that the super-rich will ultimately use their vast wealth for the common good. Musk seems to have set out to disprove this thesis by a spectacular demonstration of the wanton wastefulness of excessive riches.

We’re living in an age of grotesque inequality in which a tiny number of people have cornered a vast share of the wealth. We’re no longer even talking about the top 1 per cent, or the top 0.1 per cent. Or even the top 0.01 per cent.

Musk belongs, rather, to the top 0.001 per cent in the United States. That’s 2,400 people who had (in 2016, the latest year for which there are such detailed calculations) $1,631,821,000 between them.

The theory is that these are the “wealth-creators” whose accumulation of such astronomical riches somehow benefits all of humanity. They are the Medicis or the Carnegies of our time.

Agent Musk has set out, presumably on behalf of the worldwide communist conspiracy, to explode such notions. For he has shown – like a global version of our own Seán Quinn – that there is a level of accumulation beyond which “wealth-creators” become wealth-destroyers.

It may well be true that, up to a point, the profit motive drives innovation. But profit gets boring. Too much of it leads to satiety and saturation.

A much more potent and primitive force takes over: megalomania. Beyond the satisfaction of basic needs, beyond security and comfort, there is the search for status, the need to be number one.

And this drive is unbounded. The manic ego knows no limits. Its hunger for domination is insatiable. It eventually takes the shape of an ouroboros, the ancient symbol of a serpent eating its own tail.

It becomes, even by the very narrow measure of money, destructive. Musk has managed, not just to incinerate his own investment in Twitter, but has seen the value of its main enterprise, Tesla fall by half.

The top 10 investors in Tesla have alone lost $133 billion since Twitter’s board accepted Musk’s buyout in April. It must surely be dawning on them by now that, even for lovers of buccaneering capitalism, the madness induced by excessive wealth corrodes the very thing it seeks.

We also have to thank Musk for exposing the myth of libertarian devotion to free speech. His fairytale transformations from self-declared “free speech absolutist” to whiny little snowflake to authoritarian censor is this season’s premature Christmas panto in which the whole Twitter sphere gets to call out: “Oh no he isn’t.”

It has long been obvious that the libertarian commitment to free expression is mostly one-sided: I have absolute freedom to say what I like but if you answer back, you are oppressing me. For the over-privileged (and yes they are still nearly all rich white men) “free speech” really means “Shut up and listen to me.”

Yet no one has managed to make this point so clearly and memorably as Agent Musk. What he got for his $44 billion is a big red card to wave at his enemies and rivals and send them off the pitch.

Presumably he got jealous of Antonio Mateu Lahoz, the referee who issued 15 yellow cards in the Argentina-Netherlands match at the World Cup. Musk needed to prove he could be an even more ridiculous martinet. It does not seem to have occurred to him that if he keeps sending people off there will be no one left to play the game.

Musk banned an account that uses public information to track his private jet and those of Russian oligarchs. Then he banned journalists, some (like Donie O’Sullivan) more or less randomly, some (like Linette Lopez) because they have been reporting critically on his business practices. Then he banned links to the rival social media platform Mastodon.

This is tantrum capitalism. Any notion of making Twitter a profitable business comes a very distant second to the instant self-gratification of banishing the insolent and the impertinent from the perfect realm of Musk’s digital Freedonia.

Rampant egomania is not creation. It is not even, in the jargon of neoliberalism, creative destruction. It is merely destruction.

The (not unreasonable) criticism of Twitter used to be that it is an echo chamber. Yet, in the Greek myth, Echo was ultimately destroyed by Narcissus, who fell in love with his own reflection. At the end of the story, the echo and the narcissist both withered away and died.

Musk has provided 21st-century feral capitalism with its own moral tale of self-destruction. The narcissism that springs from excess wealth kills the thing it loves most: itself.

[Opinion column written by Fintan O'Toole, The Irish Times, December 20, 2022. Links inserted by Bernie Goldbach to aid in classroom discussion with a class of students studying digital transformation. Paper copies of this opinion piece have been archived in the Clonmel library of the Technological University of the Shannon.]


Inside the Media Literacy Tent Learning Methods of Fact-Checking

Bernie Goldbach - Thu, 12/15/2022 - 12:57

By Bernie Goldbach in Clonmel

WE WERE A CAMPING family several years before COVID and as a teen, I spent several weekends in a snow-covered campsite. I'm thinking about these passages of time as I head to the annual Media Literacy Ireland conference where I will learn about programmes to alert people to the importance of fact-checking things such as the challenges of winter weather.

The current Irish winter has been very challenging. I've slipped twice on black ice. On Irish social media there's a story going around about a young girl who died in a tent in Dublin. The story is plausible. During COVID, two homeless people were found dead in Dublin and the current winter weather is a lot worse than in 2020.

Although the temperatures can be fact-checked, the story of the young girl passing away in a tent cannot be confirmed. And yet several far-right groups and conspiracy theorists have lionised the imaginary woman to buttress their anti-immigration agendas.

Throughout 2023, Media Literacy Ireland will be publicising campaigns that encourage people to look at the sources of information around them. During the next semester, I'm guiding 40 people through a series of topics related to digital transformation and emerging trends. Those students will see first hand how they can filter information to offset the powerful effects of algorithms that promote content merely because many people have read it or upvoted it.

We need to be more responsible with information we see online, perhaps by cross-checking its sources before we share it or electronically indicate we like it.

Bernie Goldbach teaches digital transformation on the Clonmel Digital Campus.

Learn to Knit

Evin O’Keeffe - Tue, 12/13/2022 - 15:02

Knitting is a method of creating fabric by interlocking loops of yarn or thread. To knit, you will need two knitting needles and some yarn. How to Knit To start, hold one needle in each hand. The needle in your...

The post Learn to Knit appeared first on EvinOK.

Singlemost valuable tool for creation

Bernie Goldbach - Tue, 12/13/2022 - 09:25

by Bernie Goldbach in Clonmel

MY MOST VALUABLE tool for creating and curating content is the Microsoft Surface Book. I cannot overstate its value.

DISCLOSURE: Unconstrained and Open Tech

My year-long use of the Microsoft Surface Book comes with an important user notice. Unlike all other devices on my university campus, my Surface Book is not locked down. I have full Admin privileges on it and that alone saves me countless hours. I can set up and run programs without queuing for tech support. This streamlined access has allowed me to test and tweak dozens of applications before setting them up for use by my students in higher education lab sessions.

[Walking around classroom with Surface Camera] Beauty of Windows Hello

I'm up and running with my laptop without having to type in a user name and password. The Windows Hello service authenticates me locally. If I need cloud access, I get that through the MSFT Authenticator on my Samsung phone. I've set up several user accounts on the Surface Book so Windows Hello also works with my teenaged daughter.

Unfinished Business

As I approach the end of another academic year, I need to cross-check how the Surface Book has been automatically uploading content into my personal OneDrive and into the campus SharePoint services. There are gems inside specific folders that I will be able to revise and reuse as I prepare coursework for another cohort of students.

[Bernie Goldbach teaches creative media for business on the Clonmel Digital Campus.]

Before the end

Bernie Goldbach - Thu, 12/08/2022 - 10:34

by Bernie Goldbach in Clonmel

I WANT TO recap 2022--an important year because we finally restored face-to-face communities--before the end of the month so I'm making a public proclamation of my intentions. Starting with me acknowledging that I need to change some of my underlying processes. More on that later.

My Reading List

I want to share what's on my bookshelves because I've discovered some of the titles I enjoy also resonate well with my daughters and with my father-in-law.

Things that made my year

I want to list 10 things that made 2022 special for me. My reference point is where I'm spending most of my time and if those things count, I have to ensure the Surface Book, my Samsung Note 9, Obsidian, Stoop inbox, Top Drawer Journalism, YouTube, Readwise, Moodle, and Flickr get mentioned.

Big accomplishment using OneNote

Secret Sentences

I inscribe a sentence in the front of all my Moleskines and my Leuchtturm journals. I should share them with readers when I publish my end-of-year post.

[Bernie Goldbach teaches digital transformation on the Clonmel Digital Campus of the Technological University of the Shannon.]

Gift Ideas: Christmas 2022

Evin O’Keeffe - Tue, 12/06/2022 - 15:28

Each year, I share some of the brilliant things we’ve purchased that calendar year as well as things that will be under our Christmas tree. You can see those older posts under my Gift Ideas category. Today, I am sharing...

The post Gift Ideas: Christmas 2022 appeared first on EvinOK.

Learning How to Read Better

Bernie Goldbach - Sun, 11/20/2022 - 12:32

by Bernie Goldbach in Clonmel, Ireland

MY TEENAGED DAUGHTER inspires me to read more because I see her perched in the corner with a paperback nearly every evening. She is a smart person because she reads a lot.

There's something about reading that makes you smart but the smartness isn't measured by how many pages you scroll on your Kindle or how many books you buy in the shop.

Simply reading doesn't make you smart.

If you don't think about the words you've read, you don't learn from the pages you've seen.

I can clearly remember the name of the book I've read most recently. It was Tom Crean The Brave Explorer. I read the book with my primary school son. Unfortunately, besides remembering where Tom Crean grew up in Ireland, I don't remember the specifics about his role in exploring Antarctica, a place I supported as a C-141 pilot. (Photo below was taken in Greenland, another cold part of my flying experience.

I've looked into what smart people do when they read. They think about what the author is saying. They take time to reimagine sections of the books they've just read. This is an important process because when you're reading, you're just following the narrative set by the author. You're letting the author offer a mental map but you often don't know where the map is taking you.

At least that's what I think is happening when I'm just flipping pages and scrollling text. I believe to read better you need to read actively.

Highlight as you read

I highlight parts of paragraphs that resonate with me. Sometimes those sections are items that cause me to think. Other times, the highlights are sections I need to remember for classes I teach. I see my daughter highlighting parts of her school books and then using those highlights as points of reference. My highlights often fold into Readwise where they resurface as part of a daily routine.  I get to see the highlights as part of email summaries and inside the Readwise app. I know that this mass exposure effect cannot be used in isolation because simply scannining hightlights doesn't make you more intelligent.

Annotate your highlights

I think it's important to know why you highlighted an item. For that reason, I add short notes to most of my highlights, either when initially saving them in Readwise or when I spot them inside Obsidian, my personal knowledge management system. It's very important to read why you hightlighted an item and then to review the words you wrote about the highlights. Writing in your own words (instead of copying and pasting the original text) forces you to think about ideas more thoroughly. Seeing your perspective about someone else's idea improves your thinking.

Review your highlights

I spend a lot of money on paid subscriptions, e-books, and traditional books. This could easily be money I flush away without even opening the cover of the book I bought. Most of the people I know will at least read cover notes of the books they own but they don't take notes on what they read. That's a recipe for forgetfulness because I know that I need to review my notes constantly because when they resurface, I'm often in a different place or I need additional support material provided by the notes. Reading my perspective from years ago helps me improve my perspective.


I hope to improve my reading because I want to develop better and enhance my insights. At this mature stage in my life, I know my notes will never be complete because I can always update and enhance them. Good notes are like green shoots that grow and cross-pollinate. But this growing process never happens if you do not regularly review notes you make from items you read.

I'm looking at a way of being able to share notes that I've made through Craft.do, a top-rated well-designed iOS app that's also on my Windows 11 Surface Book. Click here to see my shared notes about this blog post.  I treasure the ideas I've shared online. I get excellent follow-up ideas from friends who often blast me for my unformed thoughts. The thought leaders I hear on podcasts tell me that they have built their audiences and grown their opportunities by sharing ideas. And I know that oftentimes the most-discussed items aren't original thoughts because well-read people keep notes about things that have evergreen characteristics.

Now it's time for more deep reading and note-taking. And if I'm successful with this goal today, I'll crank out a Topgold Audio Clip to share what I've annotated during today's 100 page reading session.

If you're a deep reader too, let me know if you would add to these tactics that I'm using while learning to read better.

[Bernie Goldbach teaches digital transformation on the Clonmel campus of the Technological University of the Shannon.]