Category Archives: Education

Something I didn’t know before…

Interesting note about copyright in Canada (and the US, wording is different).  I didn’t know this before – I automatically assumed that the creator of a work was the first owner of the work.  However, this is different when the work is a “work made for hire”.  Here is the relevent tidbit.

Section 13(2) of the Canadian Copyright Act states that the copyright owner is the one who commissions and pays for the �engraving, photograph or portrait. In other words, provided a client or buyer commissions the production of a photograph and pays for such a work, the client/buyer automatically holds the copyright on the photograph and/or �engraving – not the photographer or person who created the �engraving – unless the buyer and photographer/creator have an agreement to the contrary.


So.  If you hire a photographer, unless you sign an agreement to the contrary, you automatically own the copyright on the photos taken as soon as you fnish paying for them.


Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

This is the space that I’ll come back and use to plug Cory Doctorow’s book, Little Brother.  It’s hard to give it a strong enough reccomendation, but I’ll come back and try.

PS.  You can download it for free from his site at the link up above.  You have no excuse not to read this book.

PPS.  Cory Doctorow is Canadian.  For what it’s worth.  To me, that’s a bit.

PPPS.  This is a story about being a geek, and a bit of a social misfit.  If you’re reading this, there’s a pretty solid chance you will connect with the protagonist.

PPPPS.  If you are somehow in charge of getting books into the hands of kids, this might be one to get onto the young adult shelves.  *hint, hint*

PPPPPS.  This is a book I want my kids to read when they’re 13 or older.  I may force it on them, but I know the old horse and water adage.  That’s ok, I’ve got 11 years to figure out how to get them to read it, starting with buying a couple of copies.

Also because I’ve been creative lately

John Scalzi recently wrote a post entitled “Unasked-For Advice to New Writers About Money“.  It’s a great read for anyone who is, or is considering being, a freelancer.  Not just writers, though that’s what it’s geared towards.

Interestingly, this has always been a day-dream of mine.  However, I know I have the fiscal and time management skills of a slightly retarded rock, so I know it’s never going to happen unless I become independently wealthy.

Here is a quick excerpt:

“Lots of wanna-be writers wax rhapsodic about how great it would be to ditch the day job and just spend all their time clickety-clack typing away. These folks are idiots. Look, people: someone is paying you money and giving you benefits, both of which can support your writing career, and all you have to do is show up, do work that an unsupervised monkey could do, and pretend to care. What a scam! You’re sticking it to The Man, dude, because you’re taking that paycheck and turning it into art. And you know how The Man hates that. You’re supposed to be buying a big-screen TV with that paycheck! Instead, you’re subverting the dominant paradigm better than an entire battalion of college socialists. Well done, you. Well done, indeed.”

He continues in this vein thusly:

“People who aren’t full-time writers tend to have a hazy, romanticized view of the full-time writing life, in which writers wake up, clock four-to-six hours of writing truth, and then knock off for the rest of the day to be drunk and brilliant with all the rest of their writer friends. They tend to gloss over the little things like all the time you spend worrying about where the next writing gig is coming from, or all the e-mails and phone calls to publishers reminding them that, hey, they’ve owed you a check for nine months now, or (due to the previous) deciding which bill you can allow to go to a second or third notice, or the constant pressure to produce something you can sell, because you’ve heard of this crazy idea called “eating,” and you think you might like to give it a whirl. The full-time writing life isn’t about writing full-time; it’s about a full-time quest to get paid for your writing, both in selling the work, and then (alas) in collecting what you are owed. It’s not romantic; it’s a pain in the ass.”

It’s worth a read.   The whole thing is full of good financial advice, specifically geared towards freelancers, but applicable really, to anyone.

Go and read it.  Really.

Kids and TV.

At several posts ago there was one about children and TV.  The synopsis is that “A study mentioned in Time Magazine by Dr. Zimmerman and Dr. Christakis at the University of Washington, notes that language development may actually be delayed by watching Baby Einstein DVDs.

Ryan pointed out that “I can say honestly I failed here. My children had almost every Baby Einstein ever made and they loved them. But too redeem myself, my dog has never watched a dog training video…yet.

(Incidentally, in case anyone takes this the wrong way, I like and enjoy it’s particular variety of humour…though I wish it was updated more often.)

In their comments I posted the following:

 My child watched some Baby Einstein videos, but generally wasn’t interested in them. With our next we want to use sign language videos – I’ve heard good things about a few.

Ours doesn’t get much TV, and what she does get it targeted for little children – and her vocabulary and animal/person recognition has risen considerably with what little TV she does get.

To which Ryan replied:

Ryan Lee said…

Thanks for the comment, Jeff.

My experience with baby sign language demonstrates not too expect too much. Some take to it and others just aren’t ready. Many kids will just need the ever important “milk”, “mom”, “play”, and “cookie.”

Inicdentally, I think this study is trying to convey that working directly with your daughter in baby sign would be better than using a video. There is just something about human contact that accelerates learning.

Good luck….tell us about it if you do.

Today I went back and wrote thusly:

  Jeff said…
Been awhile since I’ve been here. I would agree that working directly with your child will produce better results than expecting a video to teach them, but I also believe that a video can reinforce ideas that you’ve helped implant.
Ours is nearly two now. She uses 4 and 5 word sentences – though they may not be grammatically correct.
“Want daddy some socks please” is a good example – meaning she wants daddy to put on some socks please, not to get her some. ;)
She doesn’t watch alot of TV, compared to what I know some other kids her age watch – but she got her share of Baby Einstein and still gets her share of Treehouse – when she asks for it.
I don’t believe her vocabulary or language development is delayed at all by what TV she’s watched.
I will keep you updated how the next one turns out, if we do pursue baby signs more fully.

Do any of you have any sort of input on this?  Does anyone truly believe that watching TV will set a child back if they are otherwise properly educated?

What have you done with your children, what choices regarding TV have you made – and further, how do you feel about them?  Do you feel guilty or good about letting or not letting your infant, toddler or child watch TV?  Do you let them watch too much?  How much is that?

A note concerning the last post.

First of all, and further to the last post, I want to give some kudo’s to the Library of Congress for putting these photos on flickr.  It’s pretty cool that someone there had the bright idea to share them on a public, super popular, photo sharing venue, instead of putting them on their own gov’t served webpage where dramatically fewer people would be exposed to them.

Further, it makes economical sense in a couple of ways.  First, they don’t have to foot the bandwidth bill for constant use of them – flickr is doing that.  In return flickr has an archive of historical photos that are royalty free.  Secondly, some of the people on the internet may very well be able to provide interesting and pertinant commentary and insight to these photos – something that I dare say would not have happened to the same extent had they only been hosted at the LoC website.

Example, a comment on Wil Wheaton’s Blog:

OK, this is weird. One of the very first photos is of a barn in the Catskills. The angle of the June sun puts the viewing angle as SE, and with the distance of the Catskill Mountains in the background, I would place this photo within 10-15 miles of the farm where I grew up. I can see why my grandfather bought those 400 acres in 1940. With a view like this, Brooklyn must’ve seemed a purgatory.

People often forget when they’re paying their taxes that these things are supported too.  That good works are being done by the the Gov’t. (this is an US example, but our Canuckian Canadian Gov’t is doing some good things too.)

I’m not going to make spiel about contacting your MP’s/Congresscritters or anything here – but I am going to make note that although we may not see  all the good projects are governments are involved in, but they do exist.  So it’s a good reminder to find someone to publicly or privately thank for those we like and support, and voice our opposition to those we don’t – otherwise, no institution, no matter how right thinking, can correctly gauge the community support for the projects proposed to it.

Sign Language

Misty @ Live Granades writes about sign language today:

“I can’t tell you the amount of frustration his ability to sign cut down. Many times when he was tired, a sign would ease the way to compromise. We didn’t do the endless pointing and asking, “Is this what you want? No? How about this?” And it gave him some power. Even without vocalized words he could still let us know what he needed. We also got an excellent start on good manners. To this day, he will still sometimes make the sign for ‘please’ when he says it out loud. I was continually amazed at him making signs for stuff and me for understanding what he wanted.”

Sign language is something we talked about with Ivy but never followed through on.  I think this is one thing that we’ll probably change with the upcoming baby – Misty has some good book recommendations that I’ll be taking a look at.