• Category Archives Internet
  • The Expanse -Watch this #epic series!

    Engaging Fanboy Mode:

    People, go and watch The Expanse!

    It has been two weeks since I opened an account with Netflix and I am already despairing! I binge-watched The Expanse, but to my dismay, it is only two seasons long so far, with another season due in 2018.

    But what seasons they are!

    The Expanse offers a relatively hard sci-fy look into what the solar system could look like in about 200 years. It features:

    • A united Earth and Moon
    • An independent Mars
    • An independent coalition of various factions in the asteroid belt beween Mars and Jupiter and settlers on the Jovian Moons
    • realistic high-tech space flight
    • realistic problems of space travel and colonies
    • realistic battles and weapons technology (all based on our best understanding of science)
    • political intrigue
    • a strange alien artifact which may be a weapon, or something else entirely
    • great characters and character development

    The Expanse is hands down the best science-fiction series I have ever seen. It is gut-wrenchingly realistic in its portrayal of the struggles one faces when confronted with the fact that outside is nothing but hard vacuum. All the characters are real, have real motivations (even if it just greed) and the really good guys and knights in shinig armor types are few and far between, but all are human and even the bad guys are not beyond redemption.

    And the space battles are simply one step beyond everything I have seen so far!

    Try it out yourselves, watch it!

    I hope The Expanse will be for science fiction what Game of Thrones is for fantasy.

    And now, enjoy the Season 3 ComiCon Trailer!



    Header image © Syfy, fair use

  • And then I noticed I am the resident Tech-Priest / Technomage

    For the past almost four months I have been working as a teacher and it has thus been the best time of my working life (not counting university and actually eclipsing my time with Games Workshop).
    Before that, I spent the last ten years working with, in, and on the internet. Mostly SEO-related stuff, but also some social media and some backend development and programming. Of xourse, I learned a few things and tricks during this time and I know some tools which are not common knowledge or not as commonly known as I would like.

    As I state on my personal portfolio site, I am a proponent of using the internet in the class room and now there is something I noticed:
    The majority of my colleagues are not really internet-savvy, which is something I hope to change.
    For example, I used the service of Animaker to create this video, which I used as an opener for a lesson recently (and which really impressed my tutor):

    Time to do this: About half an hour.

    Then we had the problem that we needed some listening-comprehension material for the novel all the 8th graders are reading at the moment, so I did the following (please click the file):

    Again, my tutor was rather pleased with the results I delivered.
    There have also been instances of teachers being concerned that pupils were using the Darknet. All that was happening was, as we found out a bit later,  that the pupils were chatting via a service provided by a certain website where you can purchase things. Steam.com.

    I have not felt so much like a tech-priest of Mars or a technomage from the Babylon 5 universe in my life…

    What is even better (or worse), there is a pupil in one of my classes they call „The Hacker“ (his classmates do). So, when I casually started a conversation about Linux and the benefits of dual-boot machine (we were talking about the Internet and social networking sites during sociology) he told me he knew some JavaScript and that was it. So no, no hacking potential there, yet.

    So, the next steps I think I have to take is spread the knowledge of useful tools on the web to my colleagues (and pupils) and cure some of my other colleagues of their fear of unknown sites and/or the internet in general.

    The internet is an excellent pool of ressources for teaching and also a great medium for teaching in and of itself, to neglect this in this time would do our pupils a severe disservice and it should not happen.