MOOCs and The World Development Bank’s 2014 Report #wdrrisk

7 Jul

Massively Online Open Courseware (MOOC) is interesting. Many refer to it as the democratizing of education where the internet becomes an equalizer.

There are many self enrichment classes out there, some are accredited as college units, and others result in certificates. Open Courseware is free, but the catch (if you can even call it that) is certificates have a fee (but is much smaller in comparison to university classes). Paying for a certificate verifies your participation and ties your identity to the completion of the class. The courses have to be done while they are being offered by the university or institution, some repeat but others are do not. If you sign up for a class that is no longer running you can still get access to the data and materials, but cant get a certificate anymore. Certificates are nice, but its also fun to just learn anyways.

I just started with the first week of “Risk and Opportunity: Managing Risk For Development” by The World Bank, from Coursera today since the first test is due soon.

Its a Massively Online Open Course that results in a certificate of participation. The class presents the data and findings of the 2014 world development report on Risk and opportunity management for development. The concepts presented can be applied to all levels of society, from the individual to the global. Its four weeks long and has a couple of tests a game or a project at the end of different weeks. You have to finish the first test by midnight of your timezone on the 9th though.

You can take the course and learn more about the 2014 world development report even if you’re not interested in the certificate. They give additional videos and reading related to the topics if you are interested but however far you decide to participate in the course is up to you.

Related Articles:
MOOCs and Pedagogy on Educause (

World Bank and Coursera to Partner on Open Learning (world

Coursera Lands $43M From The World Bank, Yuri Milner & More To Bring Online Education Abroad — And To Phones Near You (


When people talk about “Democracy” I get confused…

30 Mar

Sometimes… People will talk about Democracy, and I will not know if they are coming from the classical notion, or the modern notion. You see…

*This table is from an article on Aristotle and Nation building, from The Royal Military of Canada’s Journal of Conflict Studies.


What is called Democracy today is politeia or a polity. However, the term democracy is used, sometimes even in classical works (coz the greeks would have called it politea right? but what if youre reading an english translation?!? So which is it ??? Arg!).

So its annoying… Please people… Say if you mean Demos-kratien (People-power/mob rule of the masses) or the modern Democracy concept (politea).



Disinterested analysis is:

30 Mar

Trying to get EQ Live to work on a MBP

28 Jun

So… Some great older news is that EverQuest went free to play!
But how do you get it to run if you arent on Windowz?

One option is cross over. The package costs USD 40-60 though. They have a 14 day trial and the program requires you to have a windows intaller. Im not so well versed on how to use it and I would rather not mess with having windows installed. I dont have the space, I dont want to run a partition, and a few friends running boot camp have had to reformat. The same errors may not apply to cross over, but I would rather use wine.

The wine HQ page gave me a clue. The last update they had (april 2012) said that EQ live runs fine using wine as long as you install the dx9 via wine tricks when setting up the preferences for the prefix. Note however that the users had ubuntu, unix, and fedora. No Mac OS listed in test files. Not great since i dont know for sure if it works, but not bad since it hasn’t been rated as garbage.

After installing direct x 9 I still got a “Error: Generic Error Occured” mesage when i would load it up. So i caved in and decided to look at cross over. I looked up if it could run EQ and voila, instructions on how to get the launcher running on unix via wine bottler or wine tricks.

So you need :

  • install it into Programfiles/Sony Online Entertainment/Installed Games/EverQuest
  • DX9 (Direct x 9)
  • ActiveX
  • MSIE 7+ (MicroSoft Internet Explorer)
  • Flash

After loading up a new preference set with this, the DX updater ran and updated dx11. It installed into my wine app support folder in library though.;tips=1

However, i am still having difficulty with getting the launcher to run via flash. RL is getting a bit busy so i will have to set this aside for a while. It has been done, so i know it can be. Unfortunately I have not found a tutorial on it.

I hope this helps anyone trying to get it to run, and if you get farther than i did please let me know!

Coffee craze

21 Jun

I didn’t realize how much coffee became a part of my life when I learned how to do it right. Well maybe that and its quite simple to make it, style it to be pretty, snap a photo and bam! instagram + 30 days of creativity.

I have several posts on it (doppio con pannahazelnut lattevanilla latte/cappuchino and other snippets about coffee prep). At my food, Diy, & Art blog Done it from scratch.

If the topic interests you, like food porn, or you want to see the me try out a less scholastic writing voice hop on over! =)

Happy 30 Days of creativity

2 Jun

30Doc 2012 banner

I have pledged to do thirty days of creativity this year. It started a couple days ago and lasts throughout June. I wanted to try it last year but didnt catch it until the tail end of the month. Made a couple of posts so far. So this, along with work is keeping me busy.

This post here is a bit of a formality since this content is more appropriate for my hobby/diy/food blog. If you want to learn more about the 30 days of Creativity initiative click through the link.

It would be great if you could join me too! Just pledge @createstuff on twitter and tag your posts (it seems like its chiefly organizing through twitter but im sure the group has accounts elsewhere) #30DoC.

The 2012 30 Days of Creativity Inspiration… | 30 Days of Creativity.

How to mod Skyrim Natively on a Mac

30 May
Bethesda developed the Creation Engine for Sky...

Bethesda developed the Creation Engine for Skyrim. It allows for dynamic snowfall, and the integration of dragons in gameplay. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Skyrim was initially made for the XBOX, it was then ported by the game makers into a PC version. This resulted in some issues according to forums on the topic. Imo it kind of explains the UI (user interface), the controls also feel more like a console game than a PC game.

It was ported into a PC. And some fans, who use macs as well ported the PC version for Macs. This process is called wrapping, im not sure about its SOPA and PIPA status, but im not telling you how to do it. As with most digitized information, it can be found somewhere out there in the web.

You CAN mod your skyrim for Mac. The process is simple, if you know how. Funny how alot of things are like that huh?

This post is not going to help if you are running boot camp. That way simplifies things since aside from not having your function keys, and needing to use a mouse you can pretty much treat your box like a windows. This is for the wrapped version running natively on the Mac OS.

Well anyways here is a step by step procedure:

1. Unpack your file.

Some files are 7zip, i use Keka for this but you can use any other file decompressor that you have on hand as long as it will do a 7z format. Many of the mods are also .rar which rarX or Keka can also decode. Some files are patches in a .exe format. This is where wrapping come in. Im not an expert on it so i wont go there but you can look into cider wrap, or wine wrap if you have an intel processor in your apple. If you have boot camp .exe performance patches should not be a problem to you, just run it and follow the readme or instruction of the modder.

2. Copy the files into your data folder.

right click your, select show package contents select: resources/transgaming/c_drive/Program Files/The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim/Data. This is where your .esm and .esp files will go to.

Most of the games information is already in the Skyrim.esm so if a mod you download has extra folders (ie: meshes/actors/characters/, or textures folders) just paste it in. Esm files hold the textures and meshes that the game uses, some mods will have a loose file version which is more of a hassle to do manually, but will make the experience more customizeable.

The game will read the plugins/.esp files first, then the master/.esm files and within that prioritize it by date. The only problem you will have is if you have two files trying to control or texture the same thing. In that case they will have the same names, and you will have to choose which you prefer ehem *compatibility issues*.

An exemption to this is the d3d9.dll files. These files usually work on your FPS (frames per ssecond, that is how pretty it looks without stuttering or lagging) You *theoretically* can modify them to work with eachother. Rename the secondary one with an additional code or name for you to remember after the d3d9[something here with out the bracket].dll and by setting up your main d3d9.dll or EBN.ini to proxy to it. I have tried this, but somehow my textedit does not show me textual language decipherable to me. If you succeed in doing this, great! teach me how! If you can manage it the code is as follows:

ProxyLibrary=”C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\skyrim\D3D9FL.dll”

3. Add it to your plugins control list.

The first time you install a mod you will have to make this list. Create a *plain text* file in text edit, make sure it is a .txt. Rich text format/.rtf will not work! and make sure that after you edit it, before you play it is set to read only -even to yourself. You can always edit it later by unlocking the setting.

Name it Plugins.txt  and place it in resources/transgaming/c_drive/Program Files/The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim/%USERPROFILE%/Local Settings/Application Data/Skyrim. The file should read as follows:

# This file is used by Skyrim to keep track of your downloaded content.
# Please do not modify this file.

the mods you installed.esp


Forums have mentioned to keep the skyrim.esm last. Im not sure why but its what i have done and it works for me. And a note, you will always have to activate your mods manually this way. I have tried to run the nexus mod manager to no avail. I dont know about any mod managers that will work for mac, but there may be one out there.

You can keep the .esp file in your data folder  and remove it from the .txt file to deactivate it. It is tedious to keep track of all the mods you have installed and the files attached to them. Particularly with the retextures and body mods. So esm files help with that but not all of them are in that format.

Now i’ve gone and explained things garnered from forum posts and weeks of figuring out how this thing works, but it’s hard if you cant quite see it.  So here is a youtube video that might help. If video helps you, please let the author know on their page.

To learn more about the .esp and .esm files check out:

I would link to the other forums i read but there are a lot of them and i dont remember every single one. A good bet would be to check out skyrimnexus’s forum, but their search engine is a little reluctant to look for the keyword mac. I’m not a programmer or anything, so I’m sure there are many other helpful discussions there and they can explain better than i can. I just wanted to play skyrim, and I hope you get to as well.

Some skyrim mods

29 May


I’m considering writing about skyrim mods that work well on the mac port. Feedback on if i should actually put effort into doing this would be appreciated =)

Radio Silence: Skyrim

11 Apr

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

After the sleep deprived months of crunching readings, papers, and reports the author has been spotted dragon hunting in the mountains of Tamriel‘s Skyrim province. A simple note was left behind at her desk:

Gone Hiking, Fus Roh Dah

Skyrim official Bethesda trailer

You can probably expect posts during or perhaps after this gamer’s pilgrimage.


If you are on the same journey, you may appreciate the following links:

  • A review type modifications guide by are listed here.
  • A table of marry-able characters and their perks is available here.
  • A top marry-able NPC perks review is available here.
  • Information about homes: their price, furniture, facilites and location is listed here.
  • Skyrim Nexus is a site/forum has a bunch of mods available. From improving textures and visuals in the game, to additional areas, skins, game dynamics, items, and crafting. Its a one stop shop for all your mod needs. A similar nexus is available for other Elder scrolls, Dragon Age, Neverwinter, The Witcher, Fallout, and a few others.

A Pill to Grow Your Brain

3 Mar

The whole theory of this pill is around enlarging the hippocampus, which has shrunk in those who have DepressionSchizophrenia, or Alzheimer’s.The Pill That Could Cure Depression by Growing Your Brain (click through to gizmodo). It might also give you a better memory, since the hippocampus does that sort of thing. It’s reminiscent of the pill in Limitless (2011).

An action-thriller about a writer who takes an experimental drug that allows him to use 100 percent of his mind. As one man evolves into the perfect version of himself, – imdb

If this technology fails it might give birth to a schizophrenic villain, with super memory, and other enhanced brain powers. If it actually cures the schizophrenia thats not very likely. The research is interesting though. Anyone else falling in line ?