What Havok and Smurfs can do for you

Remember my post about Havok7 and things tumbling about in virtual worlds? Well this week, events in my real world have been tumbling about too! First up, I played football in Second Life with Dave Taylor (Our Man at Imperial College ) using an on-the-spot created ball by way of a demonstration of what the current version of Havok can do. We already have bump, jiggle, and dislodge, it seems so next time we can maybe incorporate it into our build. That’s the value of teams – Dave knew what could be done but not that it might be useful, … Continue reading What Havok and Smurfs can do for you

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Electro-wetting: no, not an embarrassing disorder!

Most of us have heard of Amazon’s Kindle e-reader, Sony’s alternative product, and the various other challengers for the electronic library market. If you set aside the disadvantages of being largely monochromatic, generally wedded to particular publishing outlets, and not much cop in the bath, this tech seems to be on the verge of mass indispensability. BBC ‘Click’ highlighted Dutch firm, Liquavista, which is bringing that position closer to reality by not only developing colour and video capability, but also working on incorporating the oil-based system into flexible plastic sheets. Imagine, your whole library+ mag and newspaper subscriptions rolled up … Continue reading Electro-wetting: no, not an embarrassing disorder!

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You Tube for Grownups

YouTubeEDU. Why didn’t I know about this before? It’s what I’ve been looking for – a legitimate video upload site that caters for professional communities and allows dissemination of graphically driven visual information. Many of us struggle with organisations whose IT systems block what they see as primarily social sites but, increasingly, relevant information is being put out in video format. For some, this is absolutely the best medium – think of the psychological phenomena of visual illusion and confidence trickery, for instance (see Richard Wiseman’s site for much more on this) – and for others, it provides compelling support … Continue reading You Tube for Grownups

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Havok7 in Second Life

IndigoMertal, a builder in Second Life, sent me this link to a wonderful video of what seems to be the next generation of Second Life viewers. In this iteration, the underlying physics engine allows for tumbling, bumping, and colliding in ways not possible at the moment. Take a look here, magic! Of course, that isn’t where it stops, this isn’t just a pretty face. The kind of reality introduced by this capability seems likely to increase the sense of presence people experience in the virtual environment and that has huge implications for the kinds of social, psychological, and medical research … Continue reading Havok7 in Second Life

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Space Destiny in Second Life

It’s not often you get a personal tour around a space science research centre, especially one that has a dance floor, free drinks, and a sofa on the ceiling! Yesterday, at Space Destiny SylvianaJ took three of us in a big blue bus to see what’s being developed there. Space Destiny is a research facility used by scientists from many different disciplines – environment design, sustainable agriculture (hydroponics), physics, biology, amongst¬† others. The venue is open to the public – just so long as you are a Second Life resident – and there are open days during which you can … Continue reading Space Destiny in Second Life

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Research presentation

Spent today working on a presentation for the Trust’s R&D conference in June. Professor Louis Appleby is our keynote speaker and there will be a range of research heavy weights delivering quality material. I’m there to talk about my emergence from almost nowhere (one of those 25 year overnight successes!) as an NIHR fund-holder and may quite possibly be the cabaret. Not that presenting to large audiences is that new. I’ve delivered twice to the impressively titled World Conference in Innovations in Psychiatry and was once part of the youthful ‘I’m Nearly Famous’ group of clinicians that seemed to be … Continue reading Research presentation

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Death of David Askew, a man with learning disabilities

This 64-year-old man did nothing wrong. He had learning (intellectual) disabilities and struggled to cope with the day-to-day demands of an ordinary life. All he wanted was the comforts of his home, his trips to the shops, and his cigarettes. What he needed and maybe didn’t know so much about was the support of his family and neighbours, and this he seems to have had in abundance. He also needed the respect and consideration of the wider community, some of whom hounded and harried him to the point of his death. No one should have to tolerate the abuse and … Continue reading Death of David Askew, a man with learning disabilities

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Positive psychology, learning disabilities, and digital imaging

Developing a bid with a colleague centred on transforming behaviour management for people with challenging behaviour into rewarding and affirming strategies. Positive psychology shifts the focus from what’s wrong to what’s good and helps people to get more of that. Digital imaging is a tool for both recording progress and also delivering the positive feedback. Now all we need is the funding! Continue reading Positive psychology, learning disabilities, and digital imaging

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Outing SL researchers

Very interesting meeting at Sussex uni this afternoon with academics and clinicians from Imperial College, Brighton uni, Sussex uni, Brighton & Sussex medical school and Sussex Partnership looking at using SL as a training platform for medical students. So many SL afficionados, so much other research going on, so few spring chickens doing it! Contrary to possible expectations, these SL researchers seemed to be the antithesis of the stereotypical young male gamer and came in at the older, female, rather sensible but highly creative end of the spectrum. Eat your heart out, WoW! Continue reading Outing SL researchers

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