Sun, Mar 30, 2008
Facial Expressions Simulator
Readers of this blog might appreciate a deeper understanding of the facial changes that are associated with different emotional states. One interesting way to explore this is to try out the facial expressions simulator found at Do2Learn (a site providing tools for children with special needs) or it’s more complex parent program developed by Ken Perlin at NYU’s Media Research Lab. Perlin’s version includes the ability to script the face to perform a series of changes over time. Interesting stuff…
Sun, Mar 23, 2008
Political Cartoonists for Peace
The anger and divisiveness engendered by the publication of the caricature of Prophet Mohammed and a controversial exhibit in 2006 on the Holocaust called attention to both the power and of the necessity of responsibility in the art of cartooning.
In October of 2006 United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI) hosted a seminar entitled “Cartooning for Peace: The Responsibility of Political Cartoonists?” The event, which explored the rights, roles and responsibilities of political cartoonists in promoting peace issues, was part of an ongoing Unlearning Intolerance seminar series.
Response to the seminar was very positive and it lead to a permanent website and a series of events and a traveling exhibit. Many of the cartoons are viewable online in a series of three galleries.
Sat, Mar 22, 2008
Facade - Interactive Game that Draws You into the Drama
A company called Interactive Story has created a “interactive drama of one act” called Facade in which you play as a party guest witnessing the unfolding of a marital conflict. You have no single objective: you can heighten the tension by flirting with one spouse or the other; try to reconcile the couple, or just watch as the scene unfolds. You interact with the game by moving around the apartment and picking up items or by typing comments to add to the dialogue. The game uses an Artificial Intelligence (AI) engine to drive the game. Depending on what you say (or in this case type), the narrative goes in a different direction. The game is a free download, available for both Window and Macintosh platforms. The advanced nature of the characters’ AI may signal a coming change the gaming landscape, creating new opportunities for interaction and learning.
Conflict Resolution practitioners may find it challenging to be caught in the middle of a clearly conflicted relationship. How will you handle it? Check out this video trailer from the game to get a better feel for the experience or download a copy and try it for yourself.
Tue, Mar 18, 2008
RePlay: Finding Zoe Free Online Video Game
Replay is an online game developed by Toronto’s Metropolitan Action Committee on Violence Against Women and Children (METRAC). The interactive flash-based game tells the story of two friends searching for their good friend Zoe. They have just heard sexist, stereotyping rumors about Zoe that lead them to conclude that she is caught up in an abusive relationship. On their search, the friends navigate through their neighborhood and are challenged with mini-games that encourage them to work together and be respectful, confident communicators. Success in these mini-games helps strengthen the two characters’ resiliency and better equip them to support Zoe once they find her.
The game is supported by various additional materials including a youth-oriented “zine”, game Tip Cards for Girls and Boys, and a Handbook for Parents and Educators.
Sun, Mar 16, 2008
Choose Respect (and make an online video mix)
The Choose Respect Campaign, a national initiative sponsored by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, aims to prevent dating abuse by promoting good communication and an atmosphere of respect among 11- to 14-year-olds. A standout feature of the Chooserespect.org site is an online video remix game. Only a portion of the video and audio content is initially available for your mix, but if you answer questions you can unlock additional footage to build your project. Also of interest is the community action guide and the posters, bookmarks, and pocket guides available for download.
Fri, Mar 14, 2008
Mediation in Higher Ed - Like an Argument with Boxing Gloves?
The Times Higher Education, at their newly revamped website, recently published a story discussing a visit to the UK from folks at the Georgia State University-based Consortium on Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, leaders in systemic conflict resolution within Higher Education in the United States. The story is entitled “Experts outline a collegial way to resolve conflict”. What struck me as funny was the quote from a professor supporting the notion of mediation in higher education. He notes that mediation, when compared to current grievance systems, “is almost like getting back to the old days where academics used to be able to have a good argument with everyone wearing the same size boxing gloves.” Oh really?
Thu, Mar 13, 2008
A Glossary of Terms and Concepts In Peace and Conflict Studies (v2)
The United Nations affiliated University for Peace has developed a glossary of terms that are commonly used in the peace and conflict studies field. This 80+ page document (available as a pdf) explains the terms in some detail and provides additional reading suggestions and information on key organizations in the field. The 2005 Second Edition was written by Christopher E. Miller and edited by Mary E. King.
Here’s the list of terms covered in the second (and current) version:
Accompaniment; Agency (human); Aggression; Ahimsa; Alliance; Alternative dispute resolution (ADR); Appeasement; Arbitration; Arms control; Asylum; Authority; Bargaining; Capitulation; Cease-fire; Civil disobedience; Civil society; Civilian-based defence; Compromise; Concession; Conciliation; Conflict; Conflict management; Conflict prevention; Conflict resolution; Conflict transformation; Containment; Coup d’état; Decommissioning of arms; De-escalation; Demilitarisation; Demobilisation of combatants; Détente; Deterrence; Diplomacy; Disarmament; Displaced person; Escalation; Failed state; Force; Game theory; Gender; Genocide; Grand strategy; Guerrilla warfare; Human rights; Idealism (philosophical and metaphysical); Ideology; Insurgency; Intervention; Just war, theory of; Kanye ndu bowi; Legitimacy; Liberalism; Liberation theology; Mechanisms of change; Mediation; Military-industrial complex; Negative-sum outcome; Negotiation; Non-cooperation; Non-proliferation; Nonviolence; Non-violent action; Pacifism; Paradigm; Peace; Peace building; Peace enforcement; Peace studies; Peacekeeping; Pillars of support; Political jiu-jitsu; Political power; Positive-sum outcome; Pre-negotiation; Realism; Reconciliation; Refugee; Rwanda International Criminal Tribunal; Sanctions; Satyagraha; Security; Social contract; Sources of power; Strategy; Structural violence; Tactics; Terrorism; Treaty; Truth (and reconciliation) commission; Ubuntu; Values and norms; War; War crimes; Weapons of mass destruction (WMD); Zero-sum game
Readers interested in learning more about the University for Peace might appreciate the short video found here.
Tue, Mar 04, 2008
ARK Qualitative Archive on Northern Ireland Conflict
The ARK Qualitative Archive on Conflict is a searchable database of information on qualitative research projects that have explored the conflicts in Northern Ireland. The project focuses on organizing all the available qualitative material covering the 35 year span of “the Troubles” in NI, collecting information on content, availability, recording format etc., into a single catalogue. The project is based in School of Sociology & Social Policy at Queen’s University in Belfast, also home to the CAIN Web Service which provides a wealth of information on the Northern Ireland Conflict.
Mon, Mar 03, 2008
PeaceVoice Op-Ed Clearinghouse
PeaceVoice, a project of the Oregon Peace Institute, promotes writing and publishing short pieces on nonviolence, conflict resolution and peace in the public media. You write a short (450-500 words) opinion piece, and they work to get it published in the media. As the site describes, “Essentially, we are free literary agents to busy peace professionals. We believe that by presenting academically informed opinions that promote peace and nonviolent conflict resolution, we give the public one of the best, and most seriously absent, inoculants against war.”
When you visit the site you can read through previously published pieces and if you are a newspaper editor, you can review available, as yet unpublished items for consideration at your paper.
To learn more about the role of public peace intellectuals, readers are invited to download Tom Hastings’ Power Point presentation to the Concerned Philosophers for Peace 2007 conference at Manchester College. “Public Peace Intellectuals: Where are they? Who Are they“.
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