Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The next big thing

The next big thing.

As part of her masters work at the Interaction Design Institute in Italy, Ruth Kikin-Gil developed what she has called BuddyBeads. Her website notes:

BuddyBeads are techno-jewelry items that facilitate non-verbal and emotional communication among group members, through codes and signals which the group decided upon together.

Each group member has a matching jewelry piece and can use it to communicate her emotional state to the other group members. Messages are decided by the group in advance and construct a secret private code among its members
How it works: the bead designs make use of the mobile phone network to provide opportunities for girls to convey emotions and group identity. A group of girls each have a buddy bead bracelet which is connected via mobile phone. The electronic beads are activated by pressing and send information to the other bracelets via the mobile phone connection. Different patterns of bead pressing provide information to the others allowing a version of digital chatting.

The beads, bracelets and communication system were developed in conjunction with groups of girls (and boys).

This time next year we'll all be wearing them (well, those of us with enough friends).

Sunday, January 15, 2006

G'day (hello) from Australia, the land "down under"!

Australian Barbie® sports an outfit typical of a jillaroo (female rancher) in the outback. Her brown, wide-brimmed hat protects her face from the hot sun while her tan skirt and vest match much of the dusty terrain found in the outback.

Yes, this is exactly what I wore last time i was a jillaroo in Sydney!

cool new DIY vlog

A new vlog has arrived. Techie Diva found Switch and it's brilliant. It is a "Do It Yourself show where we create fun and fashionable items with electronics". In the first episode the host, Alison and her guest star, Diana Eng, "create a little ipod-like case made out of a dental floss container for voice recording/playback module. They add the module to a photo frame so you can leave a voice message with our photo".

To create this little goodie, you will learn how to solder, drill and strip wire. Doesn't get much better than this!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Cereal boxes

Did you learn to read from cereal boxes and road signs? I did. As an adult, i continue to read road signs and road-side advertising aloud (to the confusion of my partner) which says something about how much time i spent in the back seat of a car as a child.

Perhaps this is also why I am so attracted to the amazing collection of cereal boxes at

"The frosted corn cereal that makes artificially flavored strawberry milk" !!!!!!!

A person whose hipness is non-existent

lachrymology - crying as therapy
lachrymotormouth - one who can't stop talking about her (sic) troubles.
L7 - a square. a person whose hipness is non-existent
L16 - to go L16 is to become haughty and precious in the glow of your own ego

I am enjoying the L section of pseudodictionary.

Other gems include:

z'it - to wipe clean or re-format a computer's hard drive
z-monster - tiredness so excessive you can't keep your eyes open

Bonus round: you can submit your own pseudo-word and meaning to the dictionary and "enshrine your vocabulary on the internet". Love it!

Hmm..interesting how keen we all are to be recognized and valued online: blogs, websites, encyclopedias and dictionaries, photo-sharing sites with attribution levels. Is this where we can finally have our 15 minutes of fame?

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


Last year I pointed out a site called Paper Doll Heaven which allows you to dress up celebrities. Lately, I've been playing on another fabulous site--eLouai--which allows you to design entire rooms and houses as well as people, smilies and animals.

This is the new, improved me for 2006 (of course, i secretly want to be a mermaid, but for now, wings will do). I have decided to opt for comfortable footwear this year.

Given the growing interest in online avatars (one section of the site allows you to create caricature avatars), identity and the importance of play, sites like these are important to examine and play with.

Note my use of the term 'play'. There is a fabulous ESRC seminar series called "Play, creativity and digital cultures" continuing throughout 2006. The blog of the series is Let's Get Digital: Play.

Monday, January 02, 2006


I'm not sure what to make of this. However, i am pretty sure there are few useful links to literacy to be made (or maybe there are quite a few?).

For more unbearable cuteness, go to CuteOverload.