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Communicating DND, in a nice way.

A while ago I listened to Professor Daniel J Levitin give an LSE lecture, The Organised Mind: thinking straight in the age of information overload, which I’ve recommended to a number of people since. I’ll take this chance now to generally recommend a sub. to the LSE public lecture series to anyone reading this. Among many of the topics Levitin brought up, I’d like to write briefly about focus. Here’s what I do… I’ve adopted a number of productivity measures: checking emails, pomodoro techniques, kanban, and various others- even public academic writing accountability. Some have stuck, some haven’t, some are adopted ad-hoc. Here’s what I am going to do… I came away from the lecture knowing I needed to implement a daily “chunk” of time that exceeds anything else I do- something truly indulgent. I’ve opted for a three hour (minimum) chunk where anything that creates a notification is turned off. I’ve been trying to do it for a while, but I always break the chunk so I need to improve and I believe writing this post equals something I can hold myself to. My current full time concern is finishing my post-grad. thesis (like yesterday) whilst having other pursuits (that keep me sane) so I want a way to communicate when I begin a chunk as it won’t start at the same time…

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WordPress horrorshow

So it’s with some regret that I login here to write a quick post and then I end up writing this post. For reasons common to most people who administer their own hosted wordpress I’ve only just ran some updates which has spoilt my blog- to some degree. The main spoil comes from the theme update which is now not the theme I installed but the theme on steroids, to the extent it has a lot of wasted features and some features I can’t find the off-switch for (see the image placeholder in the blog page). The regret is naturally not keeping my own site updated. <grumble /> Naturally this is a recurring theme which I’d rather do without. I’ve been convinced for a few months now that I will flatten this site and do away away with dependencies of trad. blogs (such as wordpress), php, mysql, plugins, updates, etc. and go for static site generation. I’ve been getting experience with Jekyll so that’s a likely contender. As is Hugo.

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Creating a University Makerspace

Back in June last year I ended up at a meeting organised by a principal lecturer and biologist from LJMU, Mark Feltham.  He wanted to meet the “makers” in the University and start a working group, the Maker Education Working Group- a bit of a mouthful so officially we’re MEWG but generally we go by the name HEdWorks; a project that Mark set up a few years prior for teaching Science undergraduates via social media and Maker Education, (tres creative!).