24 May 2013

Crafting a Stellar Portfolio

Whether you're in the middle of a job hunt, day-dreaming, or just the consientious type who wants to be fired up when the time comes, check out these expert tips on creating a stellar portfolio...

22 May 2013

Europe's treasures at your fingertips

Europeana is an astounding mega-library of cultural artefacts from VanGogh paintings, and Newton's laws of motion to sheet music, letters and historical photographs.  What's really impressive is that these artifacts are nested in the knowledge and inspiring stories that surround them.

All in the public domain!

"Explore millions of items from a range of Europe's leading galleries, libraries, archives and museums. Books and manuscripts, photos and paintings, television and film, sculpture and crafts, diaries and maps, sheet music and recordings, they’re all here."
"Found something you like? Download it, print it, use it, save it, share it, play with it, love it!"

They've done a beautiful job with the presentation of this treasure (for example, they hold regular digital exhibitions and update a blog which features items of daily relevance).
Surely, this is what the internet is all about. 

Check it out:  www.europeana.eu

09 May 2013

Gaming for science

Supporting cancer research is undoubtedly important, but playing computer puzzle games is undoubtedly more fun.  The makers of Foldit have literally managed to combine the two by building a game around the problem of deciphering protein structures, and then letting this scientific challenge loose on the world.

Fold-It takes crowdsourcing and educational gaming up a serious notch. Not only do budding scientists (or the armchair variety like myself) get to learn about what it takes to fold a protein, they get to be part of serious research and discovery.  In fact, it has already worked.

In 2011, FoldIt players deciphered the crystal structure of the Mason-Pfizer monkey virus, marking the game's first major scientific discovery.  Overtime, players could conceivably make discoveries that contribute to treatments for AIDS, Alzheimer's, or to better biofuels.  No, mom, I really am saving the world.

Foldit is just one of many interesting jewels spawned at the University of Washington's Centre for Game Science, which "focuses on solving hard problems facing humanity today in a game based environment".  Now, that's what I'm talkin' about. They do this, primarily, by combining what computers do best with what humans do best (creative puzzle solving, for example, which is leveraged en masse with Foldit).   So go play their other games.  No guilt required.