Utah Jazz – ‘Qunicy’ v Mav – ‘Me Against The Machine’…

I was just about to slap my 12″ record on my decks to listen to this tune but thought – hang on, this has got to be on YouTube!

Quality rolling D&B with some nice samples pinning it together. I also have the full vocal version on the vinyl copy which is equally awesome – see below (but at a lower recorded volume)…

And also the other record I was going to play, one which is a good roller and with some very nice melodic sections. The B-side on the vinyl has a great intro, which I haven’t heard in about 10 years!


Riots, looters and thieving…

I wasn’t going to jump into this whole debate but i’ve seen a few things over the last couple of days which has changed my mind. Gloucester hasn’t escaped the influence of the riots, with some vandalism and fires started in a couple of places and some clashes with police.

The impact image from the first phase of the riots was the burning of the of the Carpetright building, with people escaping from the flats above.

Since then, i’ve also come across a few other interesting things, including a website which features altered photos of a number of the looters.

Another is YouTube video link to an interview with a local resident of London, who makes some good points about why the riots started.

My personal view is that there was some basis for the initial protest based on the initial fatal shooting of Mark Duggan, in that Mr. Duggan didn’t shoot at police first and was dragged from his vehicle then shot. In an area where there is existing tension between police and residents, this was always going to escalate. The subsequent looting and vandalism is not acceptable.

Some of the basis for why these people feel it is acceptable to go out and vandalise property, loot shops and endanger lives is that the example being set by influential members of our society is so fundamentally flawed. Politicians have been involved in illegal expenses claims for years, banks have been taking wild and irresponsible risks and gambles with our money for years (culminating in a long recession with all it’s associated problems and impacts), the police have been criticised for their handling of the student protestes and various enquires, religious hypocrisy has reared it’s head again in the form of the abuses of children.

So, the Government, police, bankers and religious leaders are not providing the kind of moral guidance which is needed, particularly at a time when the world economy is suffering and unemployment is high. When every job in some of these areas attracts in excess of 50 applicants, it must be very hard to get out of the situation. A recent job vacancy in my organisation attracted over 90 applicants, all with degrees and post-graduate qualifications.

The fact that the looters feel they have nothing to loose in doing what they are doing is a very sad reflection of the situation in some parts of our urban areas. I can’t imagine being in a position where I have nothing to loose. It must be a pretty grim position, especially as they know they are being filmed, photographed and now tracked down.

Having said all of that, all of this is not some kind of justification for what happened, but it is part of why it happened. I can’t condone much of what’s happening and not what’s happening in other urban areas. Compared to the real poverty experienced by the vast majority of the world’s population, people in this country are in a much better position, but it’s easy to say that when i’m not in that position!


TEDx education lecture + amazing guitar video…!

This is the first time i’ve really missed not having the WordPress video upgrade…

You have to see the video of FUNTWO playing Pachelbel’s canon… more than 84 MILLION views on YouTube! It is incredible. I watched it lasted week maybe 3 times in a row and was so impressed. This kid has inspired thousands of people to play guitar and learn a new skill. Amazing talent.

If you are self-motivated and interested in learning something, you will learn it quickly and thoroughly, and will have a greater chance of sticking with it for longer.

So, this FUNTWO thing was inspired by an education lecture by Gever Tulley, dated 18.05.10.

…’the atrophy of delight…’

‘Apathy is the antithesis of learning & creativity.’

Another good video lecture which talks about, among other things, being self-directed learners. I’ve seen this in action many times. One recent example is of someone I know (no names just in case they don’t appreciate being famous!!), who seemingly out of the blue got a Rubix Cube and just started learning how to solve it. He got to know how it worked, found out via the internet some ways to solve it, wrote out a complete set of instructions, which he refined over a number of weeks, then completed it. He then improved to the point that his record time was 1 minute 25 seconds (probably a lot less by now).

The speed at which he went from nothing to that record time was amazing. The video was also setting out a number of examples of how the standard school system actually slows down learning, and in many cases actually destroys many creative processes, in an attempt to streamline and test kids to get results. part of this is the trend for wider learning and creative subjects to be marginalised when the spectre of testing looms its twisted head!

Gever Tulley also speaks about the author Alfie Kohn. His expertise is on education and learning, and Gever lists some of the detrimental impacts of grading, on students. Grading…

– reduces students interest in learning itself

– reduces students preference for challenging tasks

– reduces the quality of students thinking

One example Gever gives of the process of learning (of which i’ve heard many others) was that of the superintendent of Schools (unsure which State, but in the USA) during the 1930’s (Great Depression). Funds were very tight, so they decided to drop maths teaching for the kids between Kindergarten and 5th Grade (5 to 11 years olds). Students would only start learning maths at age 12. They found that those students who had only started at age 12 (6th Grade), finished that year with better test scores than those students who had been learning maths for the previous 6 years!

The formal teaching started later when the kids were more capable of learning – at which point they learnt more efficiently and faster.