Archives for August 2014

Use of the Virtual Environment for Learning: Upcoming Presentation

Second_LifeWith thanks to Sarah Jones via the SL Health group:

The University of Texas at Arlington College of Nursing will present a program with Dr. Dee McGonigle (SL: Houstonccn) speaking on the topic “Use of the Virtual Environment for Learning”.

Date: Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Time: 2:00-3:15 pm SLT

Location: The UT Arlington Conference Center in Second Life, UTArlington III, SLURL:

More information:

Dr. Dee McGonigle, PhD, RN, CNE, FAAN, ANEF, is a Professor and Chair of the Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) at Chamberlain College of Nursing. She is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and the NLN Academy of Nursing Education.

She co-founded the Online Journal of Nursing Informatics (OJNI) and was Editor in Chief from 1996 through 2013. She is an active researcher and through her grant writing, has received over $870,000 in funding. She is an active researcher, presents internationally and nationally, and co-authored two textbooks: Nursing Informatics and The Foundation of Knowledge, one of Jones & Bartlett’s best sellers and AJN’s 2010 Technology Book of the Year, Integrating Technology in Nursing Education: Tools for the Knowledge Era.

Dr. McGonigle has written more than 100 publications including work books, book chapters, and articles. She is a member of both the Informatics and Technology Expert Panel for the American Academy of Nursing and the Serious Gaming and Virtual Environments special interest group for the Society for Simulation in Healthcare. She is searching for a way to facilitate translation by helping those who know (researchers) and those who do (clinicians) communicate and share. Her current areas of interest are in the nursing informatics competencies and diffusion of innovative technologies, especially those impacting learning.

Bruce Springsteen Gets His Own Academic Journal


No, it’s not a joke – McGill University have launched an academic journal devoted purely to the work of Bruce Springsteen. The brief is to publish scholarly works looking closely at Springsteen’s creative output in context of wider society.

The first issue is available for free now, and here’s an example of one article’s title and abstract:


Based on differing theories of moral development proposed by Lawrence Kohlberg, Martin Hoffman, and John Gibbs, this paper posits that listening to Bruce Springsteen’s music can increase moral growth. Scores of Springsteen songs parallel psychological techniques used to increase moral development, such as being exposed to two or more beliefs that are contradictory, social perspective-taking by listening to moral dilemmas, gaining empathy with the distress that another person experiences, hypothetical contemplation, and meta-ethical reflection. Through qualitative-based autoethnographical storytelling, the author outlines how his moral development was enabled through such Springsteen songs as “Factory,” “Highway Patrolman,” “Independence Day,” “Johnny 99,” and “Used Cars,” as well as two self-disclosures from Springsteen’s Live 1975-85 album.

It’s easy to scoff, but hell if anyone has observed the progress of life in the USA over the past forty years, it’s Bruce Springsteen. I wouldn’t say no to a PhD in Springsteenology. Would you?

Album Review: The Empty Hearts

The_Empty_Hearts_New_LP_out_August_5__2014_-_YouTubeA rock band is a machine. It’s a totally unoriginal analogy, but powerful all the same. There’s a bunch of moving parts and when things are running well, a band can feel like it could go into perpetual motion. This is particularly the case where you have each member coming into the project with a decade or four of experience under their belt and a willingness to leave egos locked in the bathroom, if not at the door.
This appears to have occurred with The Empty Hearts. Consisting of industry veterans Wally Palmar (The Romantics), Elliot Easton (The Cars), Andy Babiuk (Chesterfield Kings) and Clem Burke (Blondie), their debut album is as polished as you’d expect, but there’s more to it than that. The agreed approach within the band was to recreate a time where playing music was plain fun, and to use the vintage gear at their disposal to achieve it. Which I’d argue they’ve done in spades.

The self-titled album contains twelve tracks and it’s driving rock from start to finish except for the Petty-esque I Found You Again, but even then the tempo doesn’t drop that far. Picking highlights is always fraught with danger, but the opener and Soul Deep stood out for me. I know it’s somewhat of an anachronism, but picking favourites is a little trite here, as this is an all-too-rare album experience. I’d actually make a plea to The Empty Hearts: get this album out on vinyl. Now.

For the older listeners amongst us, there’s going to be occasions of hearing The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and The Rolling Stones to name three, but the songs are well and truly strong enough to make it a pleasurable comparison on style rather than any concerns on being derivative. They’ve set out to recreate a period in time and have done it in stunning measure. The keyboard work of Ian McLagan (The Faces) also deserves a shout-out for the too infrequent times it appears on the album.

This is an album that any fan of rock is going to enjoy. I tend to judge a rock album on its ability to put out the feeling of that well oiled rock machine working for all the right reasons, and that’s exactly what The Empty Hearts have done. You’d hope they’re planning on touring in support of this release, as they could play the twelve songs in album order and bring the house down, let alone anything else in their repertoire.

Have a taste of some of the songs:

The City 2 Surf Run Summarised In 14 Simple Points

city2surf(A guest post from Wendy Symons – thanks Wendy!)

Ok so I have been asked a lot of questions about the City2Surf for beginners. Here is my spin on it.

1. It’s a bloody long way.

2. There are a lot of people.

3. There are a lot of stupid people.

4. Heartbreak hill is not a hill, it is actually a mountain that is 1.6 kilometres long. Anyone that tells you differently is lying.

5. There are people that sit about 1kilometre up the mountain and tell you that you are at the top. They are also lying and they should be punished or stabbed with a fork.

6. There are people who sit outside their fancy houses having champagne breakfast/brunch. They are cruel people and should also be punished.

7. Everyone says the run is 14 kilometres. More lies. It is 14.7 kilometres. Which is practically 15 kilometres. Trust me, every metre counts when you are running up and down hills.

8. There is lots of nice things to see along the way, but you won’t see any of it.

9. When you finish, you may just run into the only other people you knew were running. Just randomly. Whilst buying a T shirt. With 80 000 other people.

10. The bus ride from Bondi to Bondi Junction afterwards will be far more painful than the actual run.

11. You will be unable to walk up or down stairs for a couple of days without looking like an idiot. Random people will ask you how you went in the run purely because you are walking like a duck.

12. Despite all this you may contemplate doing it again next year.

13. And if your beloved has done the run more than half a dozen times, you may prefer to get tips from him, rather than waiting till the day before the run to tell him you are going in it.

14. And if you want to do it, just do it. Life is short. Go your hardest.

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