October 29, 2014

NYPL Live Photos

I think I will miss the New York Public Library and the NYPL Live events the most, along with all the World-Class-Museums like MoMA and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. My colleague told me to view it as a sabbatical. To those moving here, definitely sign up for the NYPL Live events. I have enjoyed listening to authors tell their story, their process, and most of all their activism. It just inspires you to go to something that will change the world. These authors were gracious enough to let me take a photo with them.

Here is a photo and blog entry for Marjane Satrape:

Here are photos and blog entry for Bryan Stevenson & Sister Helen Prejean:


August 30, 2014

[Math]: Immaculate Accounting

I decided to start my new Non-Profit based on a PDF my business colleague, Khoi Pham, sent me. He specializes in Non-Profit Organizations as well. Here is how I am bookkeeping, and leaving a "paper trail." I am tying it to my "Field Research" project, which is why I am categorizing this project in "science," and will use it as "evidence" for taxes, in case IRS wants to audit me. For valuable receipts, use 3M tape ;D



Branding tip: If you like music, try listening to Madonna's The Immaculate Collection CD (1990), maybe searching for it on Pandora.

Data Visualization Project: The Art of Currency and The Process of Circulation

I just started my new data visualization project in New York on August 28, 2014. The first person to christen this project is Alyar, who gave me a lesson a "micro" economics, so I am going to "Pay It Forward," one of my favorite movies. I had this idea back when I was in graduate school, taking one of Clay Shirky's classes, Networked Effects.

Here is what I wrote:

Final Project Proposal: Parameters and Iterations
Social Capital
Healthy amount of social interaction, negative results occur with health/economics/political participation.

Network Design Ideas:
• find out how many people have fakester profiles of any kind (pseudo emails reserved for spam accounts, sarcastic online profiles, fake phone voices, ways they avoid revealing true self to maintain privacy)
reasons for faking?
• does fakester side affect actual physical personality in any way?
look at social pressures that cause people to fake or avoid social networks altogether -- even at ITP there are people we don't really know or ever see. how difficult is it for them in an environment as social as ITP?

• survey/interview sample of Gen X & Gen Y people about friendships, means of communication - compare the 2. only ~10 yrs difference, but the social models for each generation differs immensely


Basic Synopsis: A teacher gives his students an assignment: " Come up with an idea that will change the world." The student comes up with the idea to make a difference in three people's lives, and then have each of them make a difference in three other people's lives, which will increase exponentially.


DataViz Idea: The Art of Currency and The Process of Circulation


Maybe, I will iterate on this visualization on front/back citations for The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Gladwell. Malcolm ( 2002 ) Paperback by Malcolm Gladwell:

Credit: Developer/Nick Sears, Professor Lisa Strausfeld, Assistant Professor/Christian Marc Schmidt, Co-Founder and Chair/Red Burns

p.s. Buy the paperback in the used section. The hardbacks are not well-designed.

August 29, 2014

Media Comparison...

I found this artist on Pandora via "Katy Perry's Radio" station.

I am a fan of Katy Perry after watching her documentary ["trailer to the documentary].

I really like the simplicity of this video, and motion graphics/typography, which is poetic [need to investigate]:

Compare this to Lawrence Lessig's style:

Similar in "composition" but the left rail contains text. Is "Queen Bee" a reference to one of my all time favorite shows? Gossip Girl? Watch the show, then read Nymag's analysis [http://nymag.com/arts/tv/features/46225/].

August 28, 2014

"There are good and bad in every organization"

I think I learned this quote in Clay Shirky's class while at ITP, or either interpolated this theory while experimenting with social media on a forum in his "Social Facts" class. In any case, I found this hilarious video on the ITP list on Criminal Penguins:

To bad I don't have a television, or subscribe to National Geographic, not because of the publication itself, but for the sheer space of a New York apartment (metaphor is like living in a shoebox or with other roommates, a sardine can). My mom used to subscribe to this magazine when we were kids, then my colleague MarcinA from Nature Publishing Group told me he took a DNA test. I won't take this test because of the cost, and frankly I don't really care where I come from, only where I'm going. Although the text is dense in these magazines, I really love the photographs. My fascination with penguins come from the Disney movie, March of the Penguins narrated by Morgan Freeman [see trailer: http://youtu.be/L7tWNwhSocE], and my friend CindyJ who worked at a law firm with me. She was a rocker-femme, but was always fascinated with baby penguins. She would just collect miniature crystal baby penguins.

I found this photo on the ITP list:

And I took a photo of this pin I found and bought at Book Culture in NYC (Harlem/Columbia University). There are 2.5 stores a couple of blocks from each other:

They sell other cool items related to books and pins, which I will try to post here.

August 25, 2014

[Jazz Musician]: Duane Holmes

Duane Holmes has been playing jazz and classical improvisations on the platform of Columbus Circle on the A/B/C/D lines. When I used to work for Macmillan Science and Scholarly, formerly Nature Publishing Group, I switched trains from the "1" to the "A" and cut my commute by approximately half, from 35-40 minutes to 15 minutes (i.e. 5 stops at 3 minutes apiece). I would listen to Duane play, and wanted my husband, a music composer to go here him play. Btw, I used to see some high school kids in a Trio play "Careless Whispers" by George Michael -- awesome and talented musicians playing in this station.

Anyway, I have since been taking the "A" in the mornings and able to catch his music again. Sometimes he plays new unique music, or sometimes he plays Carlos Jobim's pieces. I saw the cutest photo... a kid slowly engaged in the keyboard. Duane sort of hinted for him to play, but he didn't bite. Now, you know he's good if a kid is interested.


I'm surprised a music agent hasn't discovered this guy. If you are interested, here's his contact info (he's on sound cloud too):
youtube: duaneholmes "as" Duke Ellington


There is so much talent here, it's intimidating. That's how I met my husband. I saw a photo of him playing on one of the "Piano in the Parks" installations (i.e. now "Sing for Hope"), in Long Island City. I have been teaching myself Pachelbel's Canon, some works from the film The Piano [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0107822/], and Once. I had been practicing for 6 weeks. I hadn't played for ~20 years, so reading treble and bass clef notes was challenging. I would practice with the right hand, then the left hand, then simultaneously. At the time, I asked my husband what he played, and he said "Baroque." I didn't believe him, but he really did play Baroque. It's like everywhere there is a piano, there are flocks of professional piano players following you. I've seen even kids, ages 10 play Bach.

So if you see those pianos in the future, you better practice, and play in a recital as practice. And whatever you do, do not play the violin in Central Park... I'll save that as another story for another day.

Event: David Rubenstein Atrium, Lincoln Center

Just happened to be at Cynthia Sayer's concert at the David Rubenstein Atrium [http://atrium.lincolncenter.org/index.php/target-free-thursdays]. They have free wi-fi, and I was able to work simultaneously while enjoying great music. She specializes in Banjo music, and was somewhat discovered by Woody Allen.

Cynthia Sayer (Banjo & Vocals)
Bruce Molsky (Fiddle, Banjo & Vocals)
Andy Statman (Mandolin)


She will be at the City Winery on tomorrow between 5:00pm-7:30pm, as apart of Hudson Square Music & Wine Festival 2014, 2nd Annual Hot Strings Festival, "located at 155 Varick Street (back parking lot)."

August 23, 2014

[Edtech]: STEMteachersNYC: Standards-Based Grading

I have gone to one STEMteachersNYC event on Processing.org [http://processing.org/], and open-source Java based code for artists and designers. First off, STEM is an acronym for (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). I was pretty impressed with the teachers in this group. I worked with two high school teachers, who were teaching Processing, Arduino inputs (software-to-hardware and hardware-to-software interaction), scary that some kids are learning this in 10th grade, when I learned this program in my mid-thirties. Within 20-40 minutes, my group created a simulation of a decaying leaf over 365 days, including day and night. That was one of the issues I had in graduate school. Artists and designers were creating beautiful art, but not using the program to simulate science. I saw some projects simulating Visual Calculus techniques that simulated a presentation from a Caltech Professor, Mamikon Mnatsakanian [New Horizons in Geometry(Dolciani Mathematical Expositions) Hardcover – January 18, 2013 by Tom Apostol (Author), Mamikon Mnatsakanian (Author)]. I also saw cool applications of teachers teaching Trigonometry, sine and cosine by creating the application, and editing the program. Processing is the new Mathematica (this software was $100k at one time).

I am attending this event on assessment. I have been interested in retention. Why can I remember almost every colleagues' thesis or class projects in graduate school, but on a MOOC, I need to review content. In both physical classes and digital classes, assessment was very important, but very different. Since approximately 70k-100k can take one Coursera class, students are often graded by their peers using specific examples of rubrics. Anyway, there are 30 spots: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/stem-workshop-standards-based-grading-tickets-12633570349

More about this event and how to join the group below:

• Elizabeth Dowdell (Urban Assembly Maker Academy, Manhattan)
• Steven Carpenter (Avenues: The World School, Manhattan)

DESCRIPTION: Standards-Based Grading (SBG) begins with standards that teachers author/choose/revise and that they apply in their classrooms. Rather than a top-down directive, these standards are a helpful tool that teachers use to make required work and acceptable performance levels transparent. Instead of receiving a traditional letter or number grade on an assessment, SBG allows teachers to provide students with feedback on their mastery of a set of specific skills and content knowledge. With SBG, conversations become more focused on learning itself rather than report card grades. SBG can also be used to help meet the demands of Common Core, Next Generation Science Standards, and Danielson’s Framework (especially component 3d).

In this workshop, we will share our experiences developing and implementing Standards-Based Grading systems in our classrooms. During the first part of the workshop we will present specific examples and resources from our classrooms, along with discussions regarding why and how we made the shift to SBG and some of the challenges and rewards we experienced. During the second part of the workshop, you will have the opportunity to work in groups to experience the process of developing/choosing standards and to discuss how those standards impact instruction and grading.

Elizabeth teaches physics and Steve teaches physics, engineering, physical science, and computer programming. In addition to using SBG in their own classrooms, both Elizabeth and Steve have experience implementing SBG with interdisciplinary teams. Thus the focus of the workshop will be on a variety of disciplines, and the strategies and tools considered will be useful to any teacher, irrespective of subject.
Receipts and Certificates documenting participation are available.

STEM (Science-Tech-Engineering-Math) teachers, including physics, chemistry, biology, earth science physical science, and general science teachers
Teachers of any subject interested in making their evaluation of student work more meaningful and transparent as well as in developing explicit standards and connecting them with grading.

Students interested in becoming teachers or engaged in preparing to be teachers.
ACCELERATED MOTION APPARATUS AND WHITEBOARDS. There is a simultaneous workshop at Teachers College on “Accelerated Motion Lab Make-n-Take & Intro to Modeling.” If you wish to do so, you can order whiteboards (6 for $20) and/or one or more of the accelerated motion apparatus setups for $10 each (or 8 for $64) at . The whiteboards and apparatus will be available for pickup in room 414, down the hall from the SBG workshop at 1 pm.

CAPACITY: limited to 30 participants.
ORGANIZER: Fernand Brunschwig, Math, Sci. & Tech. Dept., Columbia Teachers College
To join STEMteachersNYC, fill out survey:

By the way, I met with Fernand Brunschwig, founder of this program, and author of a college physics text book. You can google him, or check out his books on scribd [http://www.scribd.com/intro_physics].

August 22, 2014

NYPL LIVE: Bryan Stevenson & Sister Helen Prejean

When I was a kid, my parents, as most Asian parents, tried to push me to be a doctor or lawyer. I wanted to be a doctor more than a lawyer, but I was also interested in art. Then I watch Inherit the Wind, and really wanted to be a lawyer. Read more about the film here on Wikipedia [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inherit_the_Wind_(1960_film)]. After I graduated, I went abroad to teach, then decided to apply for law school. You have to take the LSATs, which was fun, but before dropping over $100k, I got my paralegal certificate (3 or 6-month overview of Constitutional Law/Statute Law, etc.), and worked at two law firms, and may I say the experience was far from being "an Erin Brockovich." Julia Roberts played her in the film [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erin_Brockovich_(film)]. My experience was paper pushing, coding, and politics. I am glad I have the experience because I can create my own provisional patents, and edit contract templates. If I were to go back in time, I think I would have been an Intellectual Property paralegal/attorney. I like to draw and read about technology. Anyway, I am glad that there are people like Bryan Stevenson and Sister Helen Prejean, advocates for the poor and incarcerated.

Yes, I am a fan of the film, Dead Man Walking, starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn. Read more about the movie on Wikipedia [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_Man_Walking_(film)]. NYPL Live is hosting a discussion with these two authors.

Does our criminal justice system lack mercy? Could the U.S. legal system exact justice if it abolished capital punishment, or eliminated mandatory minimum sentencing? These questions are at the heart of Bryan Stevenson’s new book, Just Mercy, which explores these issues and chronicles his career as founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative. Joining him at LIVE is Sister Helen Prejean, from The Ministry Against the Death Penalty and author of Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States.

BRYAN STEVENSON is a public-interest lawyer who has dedicated his career to helping the poor, the incarcerated and the condemned. He's a professor of law at New York University Law School and the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) [http://www.eji.org/], an Alabama-based group that has won major legal challenges eliminating excessive and unfair sentencing, exonerating innocent prisoners on death row, confronting abuse of the incarcerated and the mentally ill, and aiding children prosecuted as adults. EJI won an historic ruling in the U.S. Supreme Court holding that mandatory life-without-parole sentences for all children 17 or younger are unconstitutional (too cool). He has won relief for dozens of condemned prisoners, argued six times before the Supreme Court, and won national acclaim for his work challenging bias against the poor and people of color. He has received numerous awards, including the MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Grant. He is a graduate of the Harvard Law School and the Harvard School of Government, and has been awarded 14 honorary doctorate degrees.​ His book is entitled Just Mercy.

SISTER HELEN PREJEAN is the public face of the Ministry Against the Death Penalty. She spends most of her time giving speaking engagements across the USA and internationally, teaching people about the realities of the death penalty and encouraging people to educate themselves on the issue. She is the author of Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty, which was developed into a major motion picture starring Susan Sarandon as Sister Helen and Sean Penn as a death row inmate, and The Death of Innocents: An Eyewitness Account of Wrongful Executions. Sister Helen has served on the board of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, and is a member of Amnesty International and an honorary member of Murder Victim Families for Reconciliation. Presently, she serves as the Honorary Chairperson of Moratorium Campaign, a group gathering signatures for a worldwide moratorium on the death penalty.

Cited from NYPL LIVE website: http://www.nypl.org/events/programs/2014/10/28/bryan-stevenson?nref=56896

NYPL LIVE: Marjane Satrapi

I am soooooo lucky that I scored tickets to see Marjane Satrapi, one of my favorite Graphic Novelist/Author of Persepolis. This book is so good that it even made me cry. I have her collection.

Marjane Satrapi mesmerized audiences with her poignant graphic memoir Persepolis, a narrative that was at once personal and political. Satrapi joins Paul Holdengräber to discuss the unique challenges and rewards inherent in narratives of social protest, and offers a sneak peek of her new film, The Voices.

Produced with support from the British Council and in partnership with the IRCPL at Columbia University. The nature of personal narratives in the context of social movements will also be the topic of conversation in an afternoon session on Friday, October 17 at Columbia University, featuring academics, memoirists, and journalists. Please visit IRCPL.org for details.

MARJANE SATRAPI rose to fame in 2000 with the success of her graphic novel Persepolis, a story about her youth in Iran in the 1970s and '80s. Published in France, the novel won several prestigious comic book awards, including Prix Alph’art Coup de Coeur at Angoulême, Prix du Lion in Belgium, Prix Alph’art du meilleur scénario, and the Prix France Info, and was named one of the "100 Best Books of the Decade" by The Times (London). The animated film adaptation of Persepolis garnered international acclaim, including the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, an Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Feature Film, and won two Cesar Awards for Best First Film and Best Adaptation. Satrapi’s other literary works include Monsters are Afraid of the Moon, a children’s book, Embroideries, and Chicken with Plums, which was turned into an award-winning live action film. She has worked on a number of films, such as Gang of the Jotas, and The Voices, which stars Ryan Reynolds and will be released this year. A painter in her free time, her work has been exhibited at the Grand Palais in Paris (October 2011) and Galerie Jerôme de Noirmont (January 2013).

Cited from NYPL LIVE website: http://www.nypl.org/events/programs/2014/10/18/marjane-satrapi?nref=56896

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