Friday, February 13, 2009

dNYel's Big Day

dNYel's big day has finally come to an end. All the running around the past few weeks and the last spurt of frenzied activity over the past few days have come to quite a satisfactory conclusion, and I can finally look at this weekend with only "dinner" pencilled onto the calendar.

We themed Get Ed! day to focus on the mass media industry. We roped in speakers and guests from the press (broadcast and print), media academics (local and foreign), a local activist blogger, a psych, the Authorities, and a couple of other media interest groups to discuss industry issues in "breakout sessions" with the whole college. A local talk radio station set up a forum in LT3 to chat about "advertising", broadcast 'live' on air; while on our part I was thoroughly impressed with Madam A who ran with my idea for her to host a talk show (I once had a convincing vision of her as a talk show host and I spoke aloud about it) and she went whole hog, interviewing the queen of TV talk shows, Diana S, herself, on the "Terror Blanks Show" which she hosted in LT2.

Me, I got my own shot as Jeopardy! host, sans Sean Connery and his shenanigans, fortunately.

Why am I writing so much detail? 'cos I've been tasked to do a write-up of the event's more innovative aspects for Kevin's committee, and I need to remind myself who to interview for their side of the story.

In what was to become a very long day, we had reps from the three Universities' admissions boards to discuss entry requirements with the kids and their parents in the evening. We are very gratified that the Unis themselves have spoken on the issue that good grades are definitely not enough to guarantee entry. Rather, applicants need qualifying grades but must "stand out from the crowd" through their personalities, their activities outside of the curriculum, and their general and current affairs knowledge in one or more interviews with the Unis they are applying to.

This is good to hear because this is exactly what our GP programme aims to train the kids in. We feel much more validated now. 

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Setting up for Jeopardy!

Ladies and gentlemen, this is... Jeopardy! And tomorrow is your's truly's big debut as a game show host for the JC1s. I consider yesterday's run with the JC2s as just a rehearsal.

This afternoon, we set up LT1 with CL's electric buzzer and scoreboard system, so the place really looks like a skeletal version of a TV studio set. Well, perhaps like one in some developing nation with an ambition to explore high technology in its near future, anyway.

Coincidentally, I found the above video clip about how TV's Jeopardy! has changed over the years. LT1 today is a hybrid of ancient marker-pen and current networked technologies. It's a little Frankenstein monster I can proudly call my own -- at least until the real Jeopardy! lawyers come a-callin'. Bwa ha ha!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sums up the week

I began an email I sent today as follows:
"One thing I love about my job is the constant practice in juggling conflicting requirements and coming up with desperate, if not creative solutions to keep the show running. And I always thought I was never any good at improv."

That kinda' sums up the week I'm having. And it's only Tuesday.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

The robots are coming!

This is typical cat behaviour. 1st, check to see if the newcomer is at all a) edible, or b) bully-able.

Maui gets a new playmate, and the playmate collects a new toy.

After some getting used to each other, Maui and the Roomba are new best friends.

May picked up a Roomba for us on her travels. With all the fur, fluff and whatnot sloughing off our pets, and forming a daily layer of sediment on the floorboards, we simply cannot spare the time to keep our place neatly vacuumed all the time.

Solution: let a robot from iRobot do it for us while we're out at work so that the house is pristine by the time we come home. Enter the Roomba 560, electronic self-directed dustbuster extraordinaire! Battery-operated, it circles our floor and sucks up all the pets' sheddings. When it gets low on power it automatically docks itself with its charging bay for a nom, and then it's ready to go again, if that's what we want.

May gave it an initial charging while in the US, and on that single charge it performed quite a satisfactory job in our living and dining rooms. But to charge it again, Tong will be helping us to find an adaptor that can tansform our current (240V) to a voltage its American tastes are more accustomed to (110V). Until then, its initial charge expended, it's temporarily dormant while it awaits its next meal.

The Roomba isn't capable of miracles, though. It's a lot faster to do our vacuuming manually, and it misses the occasional spot, but that could be perhaps due to Maui messing with its operations as he tries to play with his new friend. But since we expect it to be working while we're out, it should be able to get most of the floor clean by the time we get back. For us, that's good enough.

Cool! My 1st Robot.