Sunday, February 2, 2014

Worthy Projects

Two worthy projects came to my attention at Multnomah Meeting today.

Ann Hyde gave me a copy of When a Peace Tree Blooms, a telling the story from the Japanese side, of being atom bombed.  Yet good relations are restored with the perpetrators, a representative of whom brings a gift of seeds that grow into beautiful and fruitful trees with healing powers.

I'll pass this book to Carol and the Disarmament Day (August 6) Committee.  More libraries and gift stores than ours might be interested in this slender tome, the story by Hideko Tamura Snider, and illustrations by Mari Kishi.

All profits will be donated to charities supporting the children of Fukushima. ISBN: 978-0-9894858-0-7.

Even as Ann was sharing about this project, Lew Scholl was setting up the projector for our invited speaker, Dana Iglesias, MD MPH.

This young yet already experienced family practice doctor has done stints in Haiti, Peru and Nigeria, as well as in the US in some hardship areas.  Her parents hail from Panama.  She grew up in New York and started her medical training in North Carolina.

After testing the waters and searching her soul, Dana feels ready to commit fully to the Egbe Hospital Revitalization Project.  Her participation is being organized by SIM.  She needs to fund her own way, about $50K a year which covers travel.  The positive multiplier effects have huge potential.

Dana is especially focused on mothers giving birth and pediatric care, though she practices the full gamut of cradle-to-grave medicine.  She is skilled at several kinds of surgery, such as delivery by C-section.  However she feels she makes an even bigger long term difference when able to help influence public health through improved infrastructure and education.

As of this writing, she was just getting started on her website.

I adjourned to a Peace and Social Concerns Committee after Dana's presentation, in my capacity as AFSC Liaison.  We'd had our meeting of the Area Program Committee since the last meeting and I was to report back.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Didactic Visualizations / Animations

I'm glad I caught the Tomi Ungerer bio, Far Out is not Far Out Enough.  Like me, he's a pioneer in the edgy cartoons area and sees andragogy as distinct from, yet inter-mixed with, pedagogy.  We have ratings for a reason.

What caught people off guard is he was spanning G (General Audience) to MA (Mature Audience) with the same aesthetic, unifying the levels in some sense.

Was that interference in childhood innocence?  The Puritans thought so.

My agenda is a little different:  to impart technical content but to not eschew the animated form, even the demented or unrated.

Take these excellent lectures by Sapolsky at Standford for example, and imagine the animated reveries that could go with them, ala this movie on Chomsky, or these well-known RSA lectures.

Or I think of the more Bakshi / MAD style in the Morton Downy documentary.

Having a "movie track" for a lecture adds value.   Using animations is not "dumbing it down" even where higher and lower math, and quantum physics is concerned.

In our coffee shops, I don't necessarily want to monopolize the audio track, though an ear buds "airplane seat" setup might be used.  You get the reveries disconnected from the anchoring lectures and maybe spliced together by enthusiasts.

That's OK, as our coffee shop is more trafficking in a "meme soup" than in any particular subject or discipline.  We're providing ambiance, an atmosphere conducive to study and / or daydreaming, but we're not necessarily directly competing with the Apollonian Academy.   We're complementary.