Sunday, April 25, 2010

Monty Python's Search for the Holy Grail clips

My favorite comedy movie of all time is Monty Python's Search for the Holy Grail, so I was thrilled when I found some of my favorite clips from it on You Tube. I have posted some of them below for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy! :)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Celebrating Earth Day

Over the last several months I have attempted to lead a greener lifestyle (I particularly like the ideas of the bright green movement), noting the usefulness of conserving resources, and have done so with some success. Baby steps seems to be the name of the game for me; an CFL here, a way of saving water there, etc.

As Earth Day is today I ahve celebrated by Planting a Tree with Dell, ordered The Year of the Flood from Audible, and signed up with the declaration of energy independence. All in all not to bad. Looking forward to next year and seeing where I stand. I hope you too are leading a greener lifestyle.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Are We the Same Because We're Blind?

A good article from Fred's Head which asks the question of the title. The points made are valid ones IMO, particularly the point about how the public in general views us. As a blind person you are likely to be the only blind person John Q Public ever meets. This is why being polite (no matter how vexing the person) is so important. This is not always a success- there have been many times where I have simply not been in an educator mode and ripped someone's head off. I always regret this, as I know my behavior directly reflects on my blind brothers and sisters. Diplomacy has become easier for me since being involved with the NFB, but there is always room to learn.

On a side note Through Our Eyes is an outstanding podcast on blindness. During their next show (4-21 8pm EST) they will be discussing the International Braille and Technology Center (IBTC) the place I would live if only they would let me set up a cot. If you don't know about the IBTC, or simply wish to hear the discussion I suggest tuning in.

The National Federation of the Blind

Braille For Everyone

Monday, April 19, 2010

Some Thoughts on Low Vision Aids

I am scheduled to begin training students during the summer program at the Colorado Center for the Blind in a month and a half. From previous experience I always find at least two or three (if not more) students who absolutely insist on not useing their sleep shades. I even recall one student indignantly insisting to me that he was not blind. When I asked him exactly what he was doing at a blind summer camp he had no rejoinder.

This attitude reflecting the hierarchy of sight (the idea that a blind person's success and happiness are directly related to how much or little vision they have) seems to me to be most unfortunate as it poorly serves those who proclaim it. I myself used to do so, and I recall nothing but worry that I might loss what "blessed sight" I had left. This made, in my opinion, what was already a stressful and unpleasant situation into a emotionally damaging one. I can see the use of remaining vision, but only after one has come to accept emotionally and mentally the concept of blindness and the fact that it is respectable to be blind. (For excellent reading on this front I recommend Freedom for the Blind by James Omvig.)

I subsequently came across an article on what a low vision person could do in order to ensure his safety. I thought to myself that one could do this or one could simply be cautious and recognize that their vision is going, and act accordingly.

The more I see individuals going to amazing lengths to avoid the dreaded "b word" and having it applied to them, the more I am convinced that a defined positive philosophy on blindness is needed in every school, organization, and service provider who claims to serve the blind. As I visit my old high school as a part of the alum group the philosophy put forward by the school is obvious, and it is neither defined or positive. I hope to have some impact on that.

The National Federation of the Blind

Braille For Everyone

Saturday, April 3, 2010

On Colorado's Internet Tax

I found Colorado's recent adoption of the "Amazon Tax" to be both foolish and bad for business. I just found the below from the Colorado Business Magazine. The report is before the tax was passed. I hope that with the next round of elections here in the state we can get some leaders who don't wish to tax us to death.


Thursday, April 1, 2010

Full Page Display in Wired

For those of you who share my longing for a full page refreshable Braille display the day may indeed soon be near, as sited in this Wired magazine article.

The work referenced is one of the projects of the Center for Braille Innovation, which I contribute to on a monthly basis. I believe the advent of affordable electronic Braille for the common blind person will be revolutionary when it comes to real literacy. I wish the researchers of this project great and swift success.