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>It has been a few very intense days in the Computer Science department at UL. With all student events coinciding, ranging from our first cohorts undergraduates in music, media and performance technology (MMPT) and in digital media design (DMD) showing their Final Year Projects, to the Masters students in Interactive Media and in Music Technology showcasing their course work Lighthouse eleMENTAL, it’s been a great week. The creative energy in the work the students delivered is almost positively overwhelming.

Lighthouse eleMENTAL (photo by Lette McNamara)

Conor Higgins demonstrating his Final Year Project to Malachy Eaton

Thinking back a few years, around 2005, when we finished writing the new curricula for DMD and MMPT, envisioning a new kind of graduate that could handle both aesthetics and technology, science and art, working and living in a computer-augmented world, it is just amazing how this year’s students have made our digital dreams come true. Initially, when we proposed the new courses, there was quite a lot of resistance to the radical change we suggested, while we had a strong belief in the necessity for changing the profile of our future graduates. We knew, from talking to young people looking for something interesting and relevant to study, that we needed a multidisciplinary approach. We also knew from our contacts with industry that they had difficulties finding graduates with a more creative and all-rounded profile. Last but not least, we know that students had to be introduced to what research is ideally already from their first year at university. When the new programmes had been approved and more than twice the number of students we had anticipated arrived, the hard work started – both for the students and for faculty. It feels like a real reward for all the laborious hours we have invested and all the money it required to modify laboratories, lecture rooms and to have new recording studios built, that we finally have a large group of excellent students, ready to take on the future.

>(sung to the melody of the Banana Boat Song by Harry Belafonte)
—–
…This version of the song can be heard as the Irish Builders and Developers are escaping (walking away) scot-free from their liabilities, as Cowen & D’Greens saving their banking friends, all at the Irish tax-payers future expense for many years to come….
——

Day-o, day-o
NAMA cometh and me wanna feck off
Day, me say day, me say day, me say day
Me say day, me say day-o
NAMA cometh and me wanna feck off

Work all night on a drink of stout
NAMA cometh and me wanna feck off
Stash some euros till de mornin’ come
NAMA cometh and me wanna feck off

Come, Mister Tee-Dee man, screw us with ba-NAMA
NAMA cometh and me wanna feck off
Come, Mister Tee-Dee man, screw us with ba-NAMA
NAMA cometh and me wanna feck off

Get six bill’, seven bill’, eight bill’ loan
NAMA cometh and me wanna feck off
Six foot, seven foot, eight foot bunch
NAMA cometh and me wanna feck off

Day, me say day-o
NAMA cometh and me wanna feck off
Day, me say day, me say day, me say day…
NAMA cometh and me wanna feck off

A beautiful bunch o’ ripe ba-NAMA
NAMA cometh and me wanna feck off
Hide the lively black econ’my
NAMA cometh and me wanna feck off

Get six bill’, seven bill’, eight bill’ loan
NAMA cometh and me wanna feck off
Six foot, seven foot, eight foot bunch
NAMA cometh and me wanna feck off

Day, me say day-o
NAMA cometh and me wanna feck off
Day, me say day, me say day, me say day…
NAMA cometh and me wanna feck off

Come, Mister Tee-Dee man, screw us with ba-NAMA
NAMA cometh and me wanna feck off
Come, Mister Tee-Dee man, screw us with ba-NAMA
NAMA cometh and me wanna feck off

Day-o, day-o
NAMA cometh and me wanna feck off
Day, me say day, me say day, me say day
Me say day, me say day-o
NAMA cometh and me wanna feck off

>The 18th of April 2009, the Softday Bacterial Ensemble performed the live music and multimedia Nobody Leaves ’till the Daphnia Sing. The performance with both humans and Daphnia Magna was a once off, but the INFECTIOUS exhibition and our installation with the Daphnia runs until the 17th of July 2009.

http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=4357140&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=0&show_portrait=0&color=00ADEF&fullscreen=1

>A new Softday project


Finally Sean and I got the NLUTDS installation finished at the INFECTIOUS exhibition in the Science Gallery in Dublin.


The installation has four stations, each with a Petri-dish with a few Daphnia swimming around, veiwed by a web-cam connected to an Apple iMac (Thanks to Apple for support!), with a PD/GEM-patch making vocalizations depending on the movement of the Daphnia. The voices of the stations are Bass, Tenor, Alto and Soprano.

We are also growing Daphnia on site….

The exhibition runs from the 17th of April 2009 to the 17th of July 2009

>The Bootlegin Band is being reincarnated, now with the addition of a sax and a trumpet. We rehearsed today (which is extraordinary by Bootlegin standards) and it sounded really good. I felt this was REALLY fun and it sounded the way I would lke the band to sound.
The band will be playing this Friday, the 6th of March, in Hurlers Pub in Castletroy in Limerick. I hope you can join us.

>From my perspective, as a lecturer and researcher at UL, Dell represents yesterday’s computing needs. For the last few years, all the new laboratories I have specified, together with colleagues in the Computer Science and Information Systems department at UL, have been filled with Apple computers, and lots and lots of software tools and peripherals. That is the technological platform we needed to create the graduates for today, and perhaps more important, tomorrow. 

In our research, we’ve been working on Ubiquitous Computing since the late 90s and we have published extensively in internationally recognized scientific journals. Many of our research projects have been financed by the EU. We are currently looking at what will happen after the Internet, as we now know it. What I would like to indicate is that while it is very sad to see Dell and many, many subcontractors and suppliers winding down, we have a fantastic opportunity to pick and choose among new technologies that have been created here, to help to get tomorrow’s technology off the ground, facilitate real people’s needs, make organizations more efficient, enable more people to participate in an ever-increasing web of ideas and possibilities.

>The reasons for the current global financial crisis are easier to understand if you read Leo Huberman’s Man’s Worldly Goods. We’ll al be paying for George W. Bush’s unjust (criminal) acts of war. These acts were committed for the sake of greed. Unfortunately for GWB, his creditors (Arab countries producing oil and China producing most material goods for the US) didn’t accept the flaky security of US banks (property) hence won’t sell anymore. Reult: system grinds to a halt and they need everybody else to pay.
This is unacceptable.

>When one has to catch a flight at some totally inhumane hour of the morning, it does not work to go to bed early. At least not for me. For the last 50+ years, the only strategy that has worked for me is sleep-deprivation. Hence, I’m sitting here, now, writing.

>After a week in Paris at ICAD2008 and a week back at UL, I’m trying to stop neglecting this blog.
While in Paris, I rediscovered La Ferandaise an excellent little restaurant. In the mornings before the conference I enjoyed the fountain outside IRCAM

>For some time now, I’ve been considering if any of the Polish or Russian shops in Limerick might stock some of the Scandinavian speciality foods that many Nordic people would consider essential. Eventually I found Taste of Europe in Mungret Street in Limerick. It’s a wonderful shop! Most of the wares seem to be Polish, but I found both Kalles Kaviar as well as Matjessill. The also have a great selection of sausages, way beyond what the Irish think can be made and eaten.