• (this is important, please read carefully and share around this TRUE story I just heard from a friend of mine) Yesterday morning a (probably) north-american traveler made a complete, utterly ridiculous ass of himself in the Fiumicino airport, interrupting service and thus harassing everybody else around who (who would have imagined it) couldn’t risk to lose their plane for a kid’s tantrum. Why? Simply because he went to one of the bars in the airport, asked “a LATTE” and got just what he had asked for: one glass full of MILK straight out of the fridge and nothing else.
  • John Tolkien started to write the Silmarillion one hundred (one HUNDRED!) years ago and continued to work on it until he died, 41 years ago. Forty years later, an Illustration and Graphic Design student worked all by himself, for about one year, to produce a wonderful deluxe, hand-illuminated edition of the Silmarillion. But he can’t publish it. Because other people, who are NOT those who wrote those texts, haven’t given permission (synthesis from the interview):
  • You can think how much you want about effective ways of getting a discussion started, but sometimes reality just does all the work for you. I officially challenge EVERYBODY to find something better than this specific couple of stories, that came back to back in my RSS feed, as brain food for a wide-ranging discussion on the impact of mobile tech on society in general, not just transportation (links to the full stories below):

  • Robert Talbert writes that, even if he remains convinced that “online video is an idea whose time has really come in education”, and thinks that the current videos of Khan Academy are a great resource for the niche in which they were designed to work, they have some inherent limits that should not be forgotten, namely: the Khan Academy videos are (normally good) demos on how to finish mathematics exercises, with little modeling of the higher-level thinking skills this kinds of learning objectives (learning mechanical skills) that Khan Academy videos focus on are important
  • It is time to admit that when it comes to global development, mobile phones will not be able to achive it on their own, says Hibah Hussain of the New America Foundation. Promotion of social change and economic growth cannot dismiss established communications networks like radio, “the mass media that reaches the widest audience in the world”. Above all, says Hussain, it is radio, more than mobile phones, that reaches best the people you should think about when talking about development: poor people who, especially if they live in flood prone areas, always carry cheap radio sets along.