The turning (film) and good ads

The turning

This film sounds unique and intriguing – the adaptation of Tim Winton’s wonderful book of interconnected stories, set across 3 decades. Produced by Robert Connolly; 17 directors from diverse disciplines present each story in the book. Each director has told the story in a different way – including a sand animation; a triptych film and a dance piece. It includes the directorial debuts of David Wenham and Mia Wasikowska and also includes pieces by video artist Shaun Gladwell, Bangarra choreographer Stephen Page and indigenous director Warwick Thornton.

Stars Hugo Weaving, Rose Byrne, Cate Blanchett, Richard Roxburgh. Opens 26 Sept as a 3 hour film with an interval – it may run for just 2 weeks. Seems to be a very special Australian film.

Trailer and chapter synopses:


Some resources about advertising for media, social science, popular culture, business studies classes….

TED: Ads worth spreading

In February you may have seen these 10 winning ads chosen by TED and recognized for their innovation, ingenuity and intelligence. Love “Follow the frog” and “Find your understanding” is just gorgeous.

Winners 2013:

Report – analysis of the winners & what makes good ads:

Winners 2012:

Dumb ways to die

Melbourne folk are no doubt familiar with this catchy, quirky 3 minute animated jingle – part of the safety campaign for Metro Trains. The Gruen Transfer (18 Sept) had a great discussion of the ad, which has won more awards than any other ad in the history of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, the Oscars of the ad world. Over 55 million views on YouTube with heaps of parodies; games app also available. The success of the campaign has caused “Dumb ways to….” to become a phrasal template or snowclone (as in “X is the new Y”).

The world’s best commercials 2012-2013: Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity

See the 21 winning ads from the June festival.

Free article access, Raspberry Pi & ICT news

More free access to online journal articles

Many more research papers are now openly available online. A recent report produced for the European Commission found that you have a 50% chance of finding papers published in 2011 for free, but some experts say it is more like 30%.

The proportion of free online papers is likely to increase in the next few years with moves towards getting government-funded research papers into the public domain. From 2014, the results of all research funded by the European Union must be open access. In February, the White House announced that government-funded research should be made free to read within 12 months of publication. A Science-Metrix study found that an average of 43% of articles published during 2008–11 were available online for free, with the results varying by country and discipline.

In Google we trust  (ABC, Four Corners, 9/9/13)

Who gathers the information, what are they doing with it and what are your legal rights? Examines online privacy, digital footprints, Big Data etc. and tracks the information trail of an ordinary Australian family. Excellent program for high school – social science, media, legal studies classes, general interest.

Raspberry Pi

The credit-card sized cheap programmable computer ($25 – $35) was developed by the Raspberry Pi Foundation in the UK to promote the teaching of basic computer science in schools. It was launched in Feb 2012, sold over 1 million units in a year & earned many awards. It has been used to create a coffee machine, doorbell server, robot, weather information system and many other things:

It plugs into your TV and a keyboard and can be used for word-processing, spreadsheets, playing HD video and games. It runs the Linux OS and the official programming language is Python or any language which will compile for ARMv6. Tutorials are available, including video.

“Developing countries are interested in the Raspberry Pi as productivity devices in areas that simply can’t afford the power and hardware needed to run a traditional desktop PC; hospitals and museums have contacted us to find out about using the Raspberry Pi to drive display devices. Parents of severely disabled kids have talked to us about monitoring and accessibility applications; and there seem to be a million and one people out there with hot soldering irons who want to make a robot.”

Good article about using Raspberry Pi in schools for programming:

Mark Zuckerberg announces

The Facebook CEO believes that all 7 billion people on the planet deserve to be connected to the internet. is a new partnership with some of the world’s top tech companies including Facebook, Samsung, Nokia & Qualcomm, and it aims to make internet access available to the two-thirds of the world who are not yet connected (5 billion people).

Zuckerberg posted a paper to his Facebook page titled “Is connectivity a human right?”. plans to develop cheaper smartphones and tools that would reduce the amount of data required to run mobile apps. Connecting the world is beneficial to companies and they have received some flak. However, Zuckerberg has already been involved in philanthropic projects. In 2010 he donated $100 million to FB stock to New Jersey schools. He also gave $500 million to a Silicon Valley charity that funds health & education projects. Earlier this year he launched, a political group aimed at changing US immigration policy, boosting education and encouraging investment in scientific research.

Google: Project Loon

In June, Google launched Project Loon with the goal of getting everyone on Earth online. In New Zealand, they launched 30 giant helium balloons, 15m wide and 12m tall, with internet-beaming antennas on top. People connect to the balloon network using a special internet antenna attached to their building. The signal bounces from balloon to balloon, then back to earth. It might be possible to build a ring of balloons, flying 20 km high around the globe, providing internet access & mobile phone signals to the earth below.

Google is also involved in other projects that bring internet access to developing countries. Its Free Zone project with Bharti Airtel in India provides free access to Google, Gmail and Google+ for mobile phone users.

Interesting videos & info:

The web is dead and the app thankfully killed it – Jeff Stibel

In 2012 for the first time, time spent on the web started to contract. The web is being replaced by more functional apps. Smartphone users spend nearly double the time using apps rather than the web. “In an era of information overload, search is less valuable than filtering….and filtering is done best through apps….download the app and never search again.”

Jeff Stibel’ s 2013 book: Breakpoint: why the web will implode, search will be obsolete and everything else you need to know about technology is in your brain.

Bing Schools

Bing has launched Bing Schools in the US, an initiative to bring ad-free, filtered search results to students. It’s currently in pilot mode.



R U OK? Day – 12 Sept 2013

The R U OK? Foundation is dedicated to encouraging conversations to prevent suicide and promote mental health.

R U OK? Day is a national day of action and reminds people to regularly check in with family and friends and meaningfully ask ‘are you ok?’ of anyone struggling with life.

How to ask R U OK? Follow the steps or use the 4 min. cartoon video or PPT or PDF:

More resources:

Inspiring video stories:

Crisis support and hotlines: Lifeline, SANE, Beyondblue, ReachOut, Headspace and more.

Mental health organisations

Recent research has shown that young people are becoming less likely to call helplines, preferring online chat instead.


Online fact sheets, tips and forums to help 14-25 year olds manage tough times, including stories and online discussions.


Information and resources about depression and anxiety.

Black Dog Institute

Information about mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder; staying well techniques.


The National Youth Mental Health Foundation. Online chat and telephone support.


Indigenous Literacy Day – 4 Sept 2013

Today is Indigenous Literacy Day which promotes literacy in remote indigenous communities. The Indigenous Literacy Foundation raises funds for books and other literacy projects in these areas, with over 100 000 books supplied to 230 remote communities over the past 4 years. Many local schools have been fundraising.

Here are some useful resources for the ACARA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures Cross-Curriculum Priority:

Online Larrakia calendar: seasons according to the indigenous Larrakia people of the Darwin region

September for us means warmer weather and maybe hayfever – but for the Larrakia people, September brings the Dalirrgang season – the Build Up for the wet season, with mangrove fruit and magpie geese. This new interactive online calendar has colourful pictures, simple information and descriptive words read by Larrakia people. Interesting and informative and a great contrast to our seasons down south!

From CSIRO: “For the first time, detailed Aboriginal seasonal knowledge of the Darwin region has been converted into an interactive online educational resource, aligned to the Australian Curriculum: Science. Researcher Emma Woodward said many Aboriginal people are concerned about the loss of their knowledge, while at the same time there is strong demand from schools for more traditional ecological information. The observations of Aboriginal people have revealed relationships and links between plants, animals, water and climate that other people were not aware of.

The online Larrakia calendar shows seven seasons in an annual cycle of climatic and ecological understanding. The Larrakia calendar could also be used to monitor future environmental change.”

Teacher resources:

ABC indigenous portal

Excellent links to news, TV programs, online videos, arts reviews, community stories.

The Indigenous Quarter (ABC TV)

Part of the ABC’s informative Quarters programs (approx 15 mins each month) – Technology, Culture, Health, Consumer, Arts, Environment, Finance, Food,  Rural, Weather. Videos remain online for several months.

The Indigenous Quarter monthly program reports on the latest indigenous news. This week – the Federal Government hands back 5000 hectares of land to traditional owners in the top end; historian Bill Gammage tells how Australia’s first inhabitants shaped the landscape.

27 Aug edition:

More ABC videos about indigenous news and issues:

NITV: National Indigenous TV

Channel 34 on digital TV; part of SBS. Interesting programs eg. NITV News, the Barefoot Sports Show, the Marngrook Footy Show, Yaarnz, Living Strong, Grounded, Volumz Music Program, Waabiny Time and Go Lingo – popular shows that send out positive messages about indigenous Australia and speak primarily to indigenous Australians.

NITV is highly regarded for its quality documentaries. From 1 July, a series of mini documentaries has been shown weeknights at 6.30pm. Our Stories, Our Way, Everyday are 15 minute films by emerging filmmakers, showing a slice of life from their communities. Available on SBS on Demand.

Creative Spirits

This comprehensive website has excellent links for  indigenous culture and resources. It is curated by a non indigenous person who has received acclaim for the information provided.

Books and reviews about indigenous culture – art, autobiography, children’s, novels, history, sport, teaching resources etc:

Films dealing with indigenous issues – indigenous and non indigenous directors. Includes synopsis of each:

The black list: film and TV projects since 1970 with indigenous Australians in key creative roles

Published in June 2010, Screen Australia’s comprehensive reference book The black list catalogued the work of 257 Indigenous Australians with credits since 1970 as producer, director, writer or director of photography. Includes details of the film and TV projects and availability.

Search the Find a Film database:

PDF of the book:

Updated chronology of indigenous film and TV 1970 – 2012:

New media may help save ancient languages

80% of Australia’s 150 remaining Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander languages are highly endangered. Experts recently met in Melbourne to discuss how to preserve these languages – eg. online indigenous language lessons; films; online stories written & spoken in indigenous languages; apps for indigenous languages…

Treasure trove of indigenous language documents discovered

200 documents in 100 indigenous languages from across Australia were recently unearthed at the NSW State Library, detailing early contact between Aboriginal people and European settlers. Indigenous services librarian Ronald Briggs: “…if you’re learning about language you’re also learning about culture and a lot of the other written documents that we’ve found are telling us about our cultures as they were practiced 100-150 years ago, it’s absolutely fantastic”. He will help indigenous communities access the material.