Michael Kubler

An innovative geek who wants to change the world of education

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Linkr – Multipath interactive storytelling information session

Posted by Michael Kubler on 30th November 2009

Linkr Logo

Linkr Logo

Do you have an interest in making ‘interactive’ films?
Have you ever wanted to revise or expand upon other peoples’ stories?
Would you like to learn how the internet can be used to create narratives?

If so, then come along to the free Linkr information session at the Mercury Cinema, where you will be introduced to the concept of ‘Multipath film-making‘.

Multipath film-making is a new and exciting way of thinking about interactive production which encourages community-based, collaborative storytelling. Think Choose Your Own Adventure, but with video!

This information session will explain how Multipath film-making works, as well as look at the current state of online video exhibition plus recent trends in distribution, such as viral marketing.

The presentation will be beneficial to actors, directors, producers, scriptwriters – in fact, anyone interested in creating online content and/or making films in the 21st century.

To further encourage the Multipath interactive storytelling concept, a series of Linkr film-making workshops will be run at the MRC in early 2010, details of which will be posted to the mailing list.

For further information, and to register your interest in participating in the workshops, visit the linkr website or email linkr@filmsonthefly.com, or even the Facebook event.

What : Linkr – Multipath interactive storytelling information session
Date : Monday 14th December, 2009.
Time : 5:30-7pm
Venue : Mercury Cinema
Presenter : Films on the Fly
Cost : Free!
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NB : For those that want to keep in contact with the Films on the Fly team, you can join our TwitterFacebook, or Mailing List.

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RegularInf#1 – Intrinsic vs Extrinsic motivators

Posted by Michael Kubler on 21st October 2009

For another mailing list I’m on (the Zeitgeist Movement) I’ve started doing a Regular Info email. Basically every week or so I’ll send out some information about a topic. I’ll then edit it to be a bit more generic for release to the net. Hopefully some people will find it useful.

Topic of the Week : Intrinsic vs Extrinsic motivators


Video (A must watch)- Dan Pink, on Motivation

http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_pink_on_motivation.html

The video, will make you understand why money is no longer a great motivator in a world that is becoming increasingly complex, and requires more creativity and education.

From Wikipedia :

Intrinsic motivation comes from rewards inherent to a task or activity itself – the enjoyment of a puzzle or the love of playing. This form of motivation has been studied by social and educational psychologists since the early 1970s. Research has found that it is usually associated with high educational achievement and enjoyment by students. Intrinsic motivation has been explained by Fritz Heider’s attribution theory, Bandura’s work on self-efficacy , and Ryan and Deci’s cognitive evaluation theory. Students are likely to be intrinsically motivated if they:

  • attribute their educational results to internal factors that they can control (e.g. the amount of effort they put in),
  • believe they can be effective agents in reaching desired goals (i.e. the results are not determined by luck),
  • are interested in mastering a topic, rather than just rote-learning to achieve good grades.


Extrinsic motivation comes from outside of the performer. Money is the most obvious example, but coercion and threat of punishment are also common extrinsic motivations.

In sports, the crowd may cheer on the performer, which may motivate him or her to do well. Trophies are also extrinsic incentives. Competition is in general extrinsic because it encourages the performer to win and beat others, not to enjoy the intrinsic rewards of the activity.

Social psychological research has indicated that extrinsic rewards can lead to overjustification and a subsequent reduction in intrinsic motivation.

Extrinsic incentives sometimes can weaken the motivation as well. In one classic study done by Green & Lepper, children who were lavishly rewarded for drawing with felt-tip pens later showed little interest in playing with the pens again.

Once you understand how people are motivated, and what is the best motivator to use in a given situation, you start to realise that a lot of people are depressed and annoyed at their work. It’s usually because they are being motivated the wrong way or are being pushed into repetitive and demeaning jobs.

As someone starting up a creative web development company I am interesting in following something similar to the way NetFlix are doing it, which is also similar to how Google operates. Although I don’t know if Netflix also have 20% time, like Google and 3M have. That is, an employee can use 20% of their time to work on their own project. Gmail, and the Ventalin Inhaler have both be produced

If you liked the above, you might like Dan Ariely’s talk about not being in control of our decisions. A great presentation that I think anyone who sets prices of products, or has ever purchased anything should look at (i.e everyone).

Some other up coming topics include :

  • Viral marketing
  • Cradle to Grave vs Cradle to Cradle (renewable vs finite resources)
  • The tipping point (as the concept relates to weather)
  • Renewable Energy
  • The triangle problem (and why you can’t always see things that are right in front of you)
  • Visualising some amazing Statistics
  • Basics of Psychology
  • Basic history of the US financial system
  • Moore’s Law and ubiquitous computing
  • Examples of science and technology for automating jobs.

If you have any topics you’d like me to cover, or would like to cover yourself, just let me know :)

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MDKs – To Buy List (Oct 2009)

Posted by Michael Kubler on 20th October 2009

So,  with my Birthday being a week away I’ve had a couple of people ask me what I want for a Birthday present.

It seems that once you reach a certain age people just default to buying you books or chocolate unless they know what you actually want. Or maybe in a world of Amazon wish lists, society is changing?

Anyway here is my current ‘to buy’ list. These are things that I want to buy, once I have the money.

  • 20-30 pairs of identical black socks (medium-large size?). The idea being that I won’t have to worry about matching my socks. Ever.
  • A bottle of Galliano (the yellow one, not the liquorice). Great for making cheesecake drinks.
  • An LED light panel for the video camera (e.g this one, or this one). Has to have it’s own battery (i.e not be powered by the camera) and a fairly decent light output. Although these usually cost like $300-$500, which makes me sad.
  • A SATA DVD Burner (or two). Mine don’t seem to be working, so I’ve been using my Laptop’s, which isn’t the best, and would be really expensive to replace. This is reasonably important as I’ve got to burn 150 odd DVDs in the next month or two.
  • A bottle of Silver Shadow. Cause yes, Men like to smell nice too, and I like to smell like Silver Shadow.

I’m sure there’s more, but I simply don’t have the monies, nor direct need. Although a gift card for Amazon, or Adorama (send to mdkknd@gmail.com) is always welcome. Especially with the current almost 1 to 1, AU->USD exchange rate.


Michael Kubler

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Searching for Evil

Posted by Michael Kubler on 20th August 2009

This post contains a cut down version of what is available here.
Please, if you are at all interested in recognising and stopping Evil, I suggested you view the full information.

Searching for Evil

AN EXAMINATION OF THE NATURE OF EVIL AND ITS PERSISTENCE

Recipe for Evil
1. Overidentify with a cause.
2. Elevate personal goals over concern for human consequences of decisions.
3. Lack empathy.

The Face of Evil : Osama Bin Laden

The Face of Evil : Osama Bin Laden

Children usually see evil in one-dimensional terms. Evil is demonical. Evil comes in the form of warped or sadistic individuals bent on attacking God, motherhood, the flag, or in the case of Lex Luthor and Brainiac, Superman.

For many people today, Osama Bin Laden is the face of evil. He is seen by most Americans as the diabolical leader of a global terrorist conspiracy and the perverter of “true Islam.” He is seen as the evil one behind the killing of thousands of innocent civilians in the World Trade Center. Evil here is personified.

Some people have a notion of evil that is less personalised that media suggests. Evil in the case of a member of the German Eisatzgruppen shooting a civilian is focused on the evil act rather than the evildoer. The case forces us to confront the reality of evil: if killing innocent civilians in the name of a fanatical ideology isn’t evil, what is?

Jewish theologian Martin Buber considered the nature of evil in his classic work, Good and Evil. Buber argued that evil is not, as it is commonly understood, the opposite of good: “It is usual to think of good and evil as two poles, two opposite directions, the antithesis of one another…We must begin by doing away with this convention.” Buber argued that whereas good comes from a dedication to walking the moral path, one falls into evil through an absence of attention. One must work to be good, but one happens to be evil.

Hannah Arendt, in her often-quoted account of the trial of Nazi Adolf Eichmann, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, wrote: “The deeds were monstrous, but the doer was quite ordinary, commonplace, and neither demonic or monstrous.” Arendt concluded that Eichmann, far from having the desire to prove a villain, sent thousands to their deaths merely because of “a lack of imagination.” His only motive was personal advancement: “he never realised what he was doing.” Arendt wondered whether “the activity of thinking as such, the habit of examining and reflecting upon whatever happens to come to pass, regardless of the specific content and quite independent of results…could ‘condition’ men against evildoing.”

Judge Richard A. Posner of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals is recognised as the leading intellectual of the judicial branch. Posner wrote on the subject of evil in an essay (reviewing Ingo Muller’s book, Hitler’s Justice) entitled “Courting Evil” in The New Republic. Posner agreed that the German judiciary did evil because it “was so immersed in a professional culture as to be oblivious to the human consequences of their decisions.” Posner wondered, provocatively, whether American “prosecutors who pursue marijuana growers, sellers of dirty magazines, and violators of arcane campaign financing regulations are inappropriately using their offices in much the same manner as did prosecutors who earlier brought charges against Germans for ‘dishonoring the race.’” Posner urged judges against being “eager enlisters in the popular movements of the day.”
ITEM: THE INCARCERATION RATE IN THE U. S. RANKS HIGHEST AMONG INDUSTRIALISED NATIONS….FORMER DIRECTOR OF THE FEDERAL JUDICIAL CENTER, JUDGE WILLIAM SCHWARZER, SAYS: “NO INDUSTRIALISED COUNTRY IMPOSES SENTENCES OF COMPARABLE SEVERITY.”
Evil exists within our legal system. But evil laws, policies, and decisions are not the same as injustices. Whenever an innocent person is convicted of a crime, there is an injustice. Wrongful convictions are not always the result of evil, however. Wrongful convictions sometimes occur without anyone doing anything wrong (e.g., as a result of a victim’s mistaken identification). Neither is a bad law or policy necessarily evil. Bad laws result from a miscalculation of costs and benefits (given the complexity of the world, such miscalculations are common). Prohibition might have been a bad policy, but it was not an evil one.

Evil is something different.

Evil in our legal system often results from overidentification with popular causes (often an “ism”) of the day–especially ideological causes that treat mankind as specimens or lead to “us versus them” mentalities. When overidentification with a cause is coupled with elevated concern for personal goals–often the career goals of the government actor or actors–over consequences to others, the chances for evil further increase. A third factor that increases the likelihood of evil is a government actor’s low level of empathy for the persons adversely affected by his or her action.

Some Quotes Regarding what Evil is

Evil is an absence.
–Plotinus

Evil is “lack of direction.”
–Martin Buber

There is “a strange interdependence between thoughtlessness and evil.”
–Hannah Arendt

Evil results from “the indifference to the human consequences of decisions.”
–Richard Posner

Some Examples of Evil in the American Justice System

Injustices might not be evil; Bad laws might not be evil laws.

Case 1: Mandatory Minimum Sentences
Richard Anderson was a forty-nine year old longshoreman in Oakland, California. Anderson had no criminal record and a reputation after twenty-four years on the docks as a reliable worker. Anderson’s troubles began when he was waved down on an Oakland Street by an acquaintance. The acquaintance asked Anderson to drive him to a Burger King a few miles away, and Anderson complied. At the Burger King a federal agent posing as a drug customer went to Anderson’s truck and picked up the 100 grams of crack that Anderson’s acquaintance had with him. Anderson was tried before a jury on charges of violating federal drug trafficking laws. The jury concluded that Anderson knew he was driving his acquaintance to a drug deal.

The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 provides for a mandatory penalty of ten years without the possibility of parole for those participating in a transaction involving over fifty grams of crack. The Act focuses on the weight of the drugs; a person’s prior record or degree of participation in the crime is irrelevant.

United States District Judge William Schwarzer imposed the ten-year minimum prison term on Anderson. Schwarzer fought back tears as he said to those assembled in his court-room: “We are required to follow the rule of law . . . [b]ut in this case the law does anything but serve justice. . . . It may profit us very little to win the war on drugs if in the process we lose our soul.”

Case 2: Zero Tolerance & Asset Forfeiture
Kevin Hogan and a crew of three headed for Alaska in a $ 140,000 fishing boat he had just purchased in Washington. The boat developed engine problems along the route and was forced to stop briefly in Canada for repairs. The Canadian stop was reported to customs agents in Ketchikan, who searched the boat. The search revealed that one of Hogan’s three crew members had 1.7 grams of marijuana in his jacket. Customs officials acknowledged that Hogan knew nothing about the marijuana aboard his boat, the Hold Tight.

Under the “Zero Tolerance” program initiated less than two months earlier, even small amounts of drugs could result in arrests and forfeitures of property. Customs agents decided to seize Hogan’s boat. Hogan had planned to use the boat during Alaska’s twenty-four hour halibut season later that month. The halibut catch could have netted Hogan the $ 40,000 he needed to pay the mortgage on the Hold Tight. Hogan said as a result of the seizure, “I stand to lose it all in this deal,” referring to everything for which he had worked during the prior fifteen years. In Hogan’s hometown of Homer, Alaska, more than 1,000 people signed petitions supporting Hogan. The city council passed a resolution urging that Customs officials show “some sense of proportionality” in the Hogan case.

The Customs Service expressed its position in a letter written by John Elkins, acting director of the Service’s regulatory procedures and penalties division in Washington, D.C., to the Customs Service’s Anchorage office. Elkins said that it is not enough to warn crew members of the drug program, as Hogan said he had done. Elkins contended that Hogan was negligent in not detecting the marijuana: “It is our view that Kevin Hogan was, as owner and master, responsible for the actions of crew members.”

Case 3: Project Looking Glass

“Project Looking Glass” the name given to a U.S. Postal Service investigation designed to uncover purchasers of child pornography. Unfortunately the over zealous nature of this operation caused people like Robert Brase, a farmer in Nebraska to order videotape showing minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Brase had been married for ten years and was the father of two children. He had no criminal record, and there was no evidence that he had ever sexually abused children. The only child pornography discovered was the tape received from the U.S. Postal Service which was sent as part of the sting operation.

On October 22, 1987, a grand jury in Omaha indicted Brase for allegedly receiving by mail a videotape showing minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Eleven days later, Robert Brase drove his pickup truck to a seldom-used county road nine miles from Shelby and shot himself. Brase was one of four persons indicted in the government sting operation to commit suicide.

Case 4: The “Significant Injury Test”

Due to the high numbers of court cases from prisonsers regarding indecent treatment the Fifth Circuit (part of the legal system dealing with court cases regarding prisoners) adopted a significant injury” test which stated that as a docket control measure it would only deliberate on cases where there was permanent injury or one requiring hospitalisation.

While the significant injury requirement may assist the Fifth Circuit in controlling its caseload, it also has the effect, as the United States pointed out in its amicus brief, of allowing torture, so long as it leaves no lasting marks. For example, it would permit the use of the “Tucker Telephone,” a hand-cranked device that was used in Arkansas prisons in the 1960s to administer electrical shocks to sensitive parts of the body. So long as the resulting injuries were neither permanent nor required hospitalization, prisoners would be fair game under the Fifth Circuit’s test.

Case 5: The Kelly Michaels Case
Kelly Michaels worked at a day care center in New Jersey. On a visit to a doctor’s office one day, one of the children at the center said, as his temperature was being taken rectally, “that’s what my teacher does.” Soon the boy’s teacher, Kelly Michaels, found herself the subject of a criminal investigation.

Investigators repeatedly interviewed three and four-year-olds, suggesting through their graphic and disturbing questions that the children had been sexually molested. The suggestions finally worked: children who initially denied that they were abused in any way finally said that they had been. Children try hard to find answers that please adults. One child said that Michaels “made us eat boiled babies,” another said that “she put a sword in my rectum,” and a third said that she “played piano naked.”

Kelly Michaels was charged with sexually abusing twenty children. Parents wearing “Believe the Children” buttons packed the courtroom for the trial. Journalists played the new daycare horror story for all it was worth. A jury convicted Michaels. She spent the next seven years of her life in prison.

The trouble was Kelly Michaels was 100% innocent.


Question : Will the War on Evil Produce More Evil?
Answer : Abu Ghraib Prison, Iraq

Third of May, 1808

Third of May, 1808

Reducing the Amount of Evil

Evil won’t go away. We can, however, reduce the frequency and severity of its occurrence.

Empathy: The Enemy of Evil

Empathy is an “act of great sophistication” necessitating the imagination of the beginning, middle, and possible end of another human being. It has variously been described as a “capacity,” a “behaviour,” a “mode of observation,” and as “an information-gathering activity.” Websters International Dictionary defines empathy as “the capacity for participating in or vicariously experiencing another’s feelings.”

Researchers believe that empathy is developed at an early age through the repeated pairing of a child’s feelings with the feelings of caregivers. The capacity can be further developed throughout childhood. In his 1995 book Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman identifies empathy as one of the five “domains” of emotional intelligence. He looks forward to the day that “empathy will hold as valued a place in the curriculum as algebra.”

Empathy jars us out of thoughtlessness and forces us to consider the human consequences of our actions. It causes remorse. It is the great enemy of evil.

Empathy levels vary between individuals and between cultures. Empathy levels are determined in part by genetics and are in part a function of culture. Measured levels of empathy, according to anthropologist Ronald Cohen, are highest in North America and Europe. Lowest empathy levels are reported in regions with loose family structures, large family size, low levels of affluence, and high child mortality rates–factors that reduce opportunities for (or discourage) close parent-child bonding.

In general, people empathise most readily with persons whom they share common characteristics. (Some writers have identified empathy as the “source of racism” because of evidence suggesting that people have higher levels of empathy for others of the same race or ethnicity.) Literature, film, art, and good education are capable of deepening and extending outward–and that’s the key–the reach of our empathy as they help us understand our common humanity.

Increasing levels of empathy is one tool for fighting evil, but there are others as well.

Ways of reducing the amount of Evil


1. Promote tolerance through free speech.
Protecting the speech we hate makes us more tolerant people in general–and tolerant people are less inclined to develop the “us versus them” mentality that is often associated with evil.

2. Pay attention to consequences.
Easier said than done, but a constant focus on the human consequences of decisions–a thoughtfulness–is the most important key to avoiding evil.

3. Reduce career incentives that lead to an underweighing of human consequences.
For example, prosecutors should be rewarded based on how well they serve justice, not on their won-loss records.

4. Facilitate interaction between legal decision makers and the persons affected by their decisions.

The more interaction that occurs, the greater the opportunities for empathy to develop and for the human consequences of decisions to be fully weighed. Expand the discretion to be lenient.

5. Facilitate the development of empathy in homes and in schools.
Promote strong families and encourage new programs in schools to develop the pragmatic art of living well.

6. Choose heroes wisely.
Hold up those who have served justice, not those who have achieved fame or financial success.

7. Maintain a dogmatic belief in objective value.
The central values of western civilisation–mercy, truth telling, respect for parents and elders, duties to children, justice, equality, magnanimity, reverence for life–should be accepted, not questioned.

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TED Talk – Success is a continuous journey

Posted by Michael Kubler on 1st July 2009

TED TALK : Success is a continuous journey

- Summary -

Target Audience : Anyone that wants to succeed.
Length :
4mins
Synopsis:
In his typically candid style, Richard St. John reminds us that success is not a one-way street, but a constant journey. He uses the story of his business’ rise and fall to illustrate a valuable lesson — when we stop trying, we fail.

Richard mentions these as the main points for success

  • Passion
  • Work
  • Focus
  • Push
  • Ideas
  • Improve
  • Serve
  • Persist

http://www.ted.com/talks/richard_st_john_success_is_a_continuous_journey.html

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Google IO announcements – Google Wave!! App engine now supports Java!

Posted by Michael Kubler on 1st June 2009

This years Google IO event has had two particularly interesting announcements. Google Wave, and Java programming support for Google App Engine.

OK, this is going to ROCK THE WORLD!
Ever thought about an app that can combine the best things about email, IM, wiki’s, photos, intelligent spell checking, translation, and so much more, all in one?
Well Google have done it and it’s called Google Wave.

Google Wave

Google Wave

Announced at this years Google IO event Google Wave is going to CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK ABOUT COMMUNICATION. Think Gmail, MSN, Wiki, Facebook, and Flickr all in one.
It uses a hosted conversation model to allow real time collaboration, email, IM, conversations, all sorts.
I can’t explain how awesome this is, you really need to check out the video.

YouTube Preview Image

The video is about 1hour 20mins long, however you should at least check out the first 45mins (starts off slow but once they show it in action you’ll be amazed).

More info :
http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2009/05/google-wave.html
http://wave.google.com/
http://www.waveprotocol.org/

—— Google App Engine : NOW WITH JAVA!! ——–

Google App Engine

Google App Engine

Google App Engine now supports Java!
For those that don’t know Google App Engine allows people to write programs that run on Googles extremely large (cloud computing) hardware. It is like Amazon Web Services, but without the system administration required although you need to program in either Python or Java and they take care of the scaling of the web app.
This is a particularly good time for anyone who uses GWT (Google Web Toolkit) to program their web apps (like like Google Wave is).

Pros :
* You don’t have to worry about server admin, distributed computing algorithms, clustered database hosting, etc..
* They have a decent amount of free monthly usage (enough for nearly a million page impressions depending on the app), which allows for almost non-existent development costs.
* They have cheaper bandwidth costs than Amazon EC2, and the like.

Cons :
* They don’t have a relational database system. The supported database, BigTable is only a single database, requiring a number of back end changes to existing systems and a complete redesign of most database structures.
* It doesn’t support the complete set of Python or Java, some operations just don’t make sense in a distributed computing environment, although the changes required are much less than if you were running your own distributed computing application.

More info :
http://googleappengine.blogspot.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_App_Engine
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BigTable
http://googleappengine.blogspot.com/

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April Fools Day Jokes – 2009

Posted by Michael Kubler on 1st April 2009

April Fools Jokes 2009.

MORE : April Fools’ Day On The Web http://aprilfoolsdayontheweb.com/2009.html

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KINO KABARET – The Cassette

Posted by Michael Kubler on 14th March 2009

- Summary -

Director : Michael Kubler
Cast :
Ashoka, Hera, Luigi
Censorship Rating :
M (Ages 15 and up)
Target Audience : KINO Film makers
Length :
5 minutes
Synopsis:
A short film about someone who picks up a microcassette recorder then gets chased by a mysterious woman.

Review : This Kino Portable seed film was completely created in 48 hours, and it shows in some bits. The movie starts off slow, but there’s an interesting, open ended finish.

Our Rating : 7.5/10. A lot of potential for some great offshoots. Not bad for the creators 1st Kino film, which was created in 48 hours.

Watch the movie

To watch the movie check it out at :

http://www.kublermdk.com/MDK/Movies/The_Cassette.html

Description

This film is about a guy who randomly picks up a Microcassette recorder, seeing as no one is around he puts it in his pocket and walks off, only to be followed by some sort of agent.
She seems to trail off, but later appears directly in front of him, and pulls a gun. He runs off, but and when he thinks he’s finally safe, he finds out why he had so many troubles trying to get away from her.
The short film is onpurposely very ambiguous as it is designed as a ‘seed’ film for Kino Portable. The idea is that other film makers can create their own films based off this.

Production Details

The Cassette was created in less than 48hours, as part of a Kino Kabaret (Adelaide) event. Starting at 11am (I was an hour late) on Monday the 23rd of February 2009, I rocked up with a couple of cameras, and only knew two people.
Within one and a half hours I made some friends, and managed to organise two actors, an assistant, get some props (the microcassette recorder, and the toy gun), write a script from scratch, and then re-write it so I could read it, then head down to the River Torrens to start filming.
It took about 3 hours to film, and we had two cameras (both mine). A Canon XL1, and a small Sony TVR33e. It was the first time I was directing, filming, and scripting all at the same time, and as such there are some small things that I missed, or would have been done better, if I had time. But the whole idea of Kino is that you do good with nothing, do better with little, but most importantly DO IT NOW!

Cast and Crew

Actor : Ashoka
Actress : Hera
Camera A Operator : Michael Kubler
Camera B Operator : Luigi
Director : Michael Kubler
Editor : Michael Kubler

Kino Portable

Kino Portable is an extension of the Kino film making event, that is designed as a non-linear narrative way of making Mobile phone movies.
What does Non-linear Narrative mean you ask? It means that you don’t have to watch the movie in the order of beginning, middle, and end.
Think of a choose your own adventure book, except as short films and on mobile phones.

Suggested off shoots

You could create a number of films based off this one, in a choose your own adventure style. Some suggestions I can think off :

  • What is on the tape?
  • Why was the tape there?
  • Why are there 3 copies of the female agent?
  • Who does the woman work for?
  • Why was she wearing flip-flops (thongs) ?
  • Why is the tape in the guys left pocket at the end?

A tangent film as already been created about the guy who sticks his head out when the 2nd female agent is walking down the alleyway. It was about unexpected film cameo’s, and was created by Fee Plumley (who is also the person who first introduced me into Kino

Watch the movie

You can watch the movie here : http://www.kublermdk.com/MDK/Movies/The_Cassette.html

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Counting Australian Coins for the bank.

Posted by Michael Kubler on 13th March 2009

You empty your wallet’s excess loose change into a container, every day or two. After collecting so much loose change over the last few months or even years the container is full and you want to turn those coins into notes, or worse you need to count it so you can pay a debt.

Due to anti-money laundering laws, in Australia you can no longer go directly into any bank with jars of random coins and expect them to give you the money in notes. You have to go to your local bank (one which you have an actual account with), so they can directly deposit it into your account. Also, if the coins aren’t in properly sorted into nice money bags, then they are likely to charge you a fee for counting/sorting the coins.

Bags of coins

Bags of coins

What you need.

  • Lots of plastic money coin banking bags.
  • Your pile of loose change.
  • (optional) Kitchen scales (or something that shows weights to an accuracy of 1g).
  • A large enough table.
  • Time.

There are a couple of ways of counting and sorting the coins. You can sort them into stacked piles, heaped piles, or directly into the plastic bags. You can also count the number of coins, the value of the coins you have, or simply weigh them.

Weighing the piles of coins

Weighing the piles of coins

I personally like to stack the coins, then weigh and finally bag them and will now explain my process.

What to do

  1. Make sure your table or work area is clear.
  2. Empty the container of money onto the table. If it’s a REALLY big container then you may have to do it in batches.
  3. Sort out the different coins into stacked piles. I personally start by picking up 90% of the 50c pieces. Putting them into my hand to make a stack and putting them into a group. Then as I’m picking out about 90% of the 20c pieces I am likely to come across some more 50c pieces that I previously missed, I’ll usually pick these out, and put them onto a heaped pile, near the stack of other 50c pieces. Repeat the process for the other coins ($2 and $1′s), then you should only be left with the 10 and 5c coins. Instead of picking up each of the coins, I usually find it’s faster to simply slide them into the different heaps, then pull some of the coins off the table and into your other hand, which should now be half full, so you can make them into stacks.
  4. Don’t forget to remove any foreign currency coins into their own pile, out of the way.
  5. You should currently have bunches of sorted and stacked the coins, you will now need to weigh them.
  6. Using the reference table below, put the required weight of coins (looking at the weight/bag column) onto the kitchen scales. It’s usually ok if you are out by a gram or two. Put those coins into a money bag, and if you are pedantic, or dropped some coins, re-weigh the bag (it’s likely to be around a gram heavier).
  7. Repeat step 6 with all the coins of each denomination (type). If you have left over coins which don’t add up to the required weight then you won’t be able to bank them. Put them back into your original container for the next time you count your coins.
  8. You should now have a bunch of plastic coin bags… FILLED WITH COINS! I usually count up how much money I’ve got.
  9. Take the money to the bank. As you are probably carrying multiple kilograms worth of change, you’ll want to make sure that whatever container you try using can actually carry the weight of all the bags. Also, try not to get robbed.
  10. The bank will basically do what you just did, except with a slightly more advanced set of scales, which can actually detect when you haven’t put the correct number of coins, or even if you counted some foreign coin as a local one (in which case it’ll error). I usually carry an extra coin or two of each type at this point so that if I did miss a coin I can add it to the bag and get the full amount, especially as some banks might not accept incomplete bags.
  11. The bank will deposit the money into your account. At this point I usually head to the nearest ATM and pull the money out in notes, unless I actually want it in the account.

—–

Reference Table

This table details the coin denomination, the average weight of each coin, how much each bag should be worth, how many coins per bag, and the approximate total weight of the coins per bag.

- Coin bagging reference -
Type Weight/coin $/bag Coins/bag Weight/bag
5c 2.8g $2 40 112g
10c 5.6g $10 100 560g
20c 11.2g $10 50 560g
50c 15.5g $10 20 310g
$1 8.9g $20 20 178g
$2 6.5g $50 25 162.5g

—–

Glossary

Stacked pile - A pile of coins where the coins are on top of each other.

Heaped pile - A bunch of coins where they are spread out over an area, usually only a couple of layers thick.

Money bag/coin money bag - A plastic bag with small holes in it that utilises a ziplock seal and is designed for holding coins of the correct amount for when you deposit them at the bank. Usually the bank can provide you with these.

Heaps vs Stacks

Heaps vs Stacks

Tips and Tricks.

Don’t have any coin bags? Ask they bank! They’ll almost always be happy to give you the coin money bags because they know they are likely to get them back, but mainly because of how annoying it is as a teller to have to rip your non-standard bags, and put all the coins into a counting machine, or worse, have to sort and count the money themselves because you completely stuffed it all up. This is when they are likely to charge you.

Want to count the coins? A great way of speeding this up is to create a stack of 10 coins, you then make the stack next to it the same height using the same coin denomination, and there you go, you’ve now got 20 coins, and only had to count ten! This also works the other way around. When you want to check your counting, if you have two stacks you think are the same number of coins, if you put them right next to each other and they don’t line up, you’d better recount them.

I determined the average weight of each coin by weighing 20 of them, and dividing the total weight by 20. I could tell when the coins I had were a bit heavy because the outcome wouldn’t be a nice number. I tried another set of 20 coins and it’d usually be only a gram heavier or lighter, but the average weight per coin would make more sense. You could also just use wikipedia.

Holding a stack of coins in my hand

Holding a stack of coins in my hand

My money collection

I had about 6.2kgs worth of loose change. 799 coins in total which were worth $362.35, although I could only bank $320. Nearly 2.2kgs of it was in $39.20 worth of 20c coins. There was also about 177grams worth of foreign currency (I’m not sure why there was so much, I think I’d actually collected some and accidentally put them into the change jar).

My bags of coin collection ($320 worth)

My bags of coin collection ($320 worth)

March 2009. Created by Michael Kubler, mainly for my own personal reference so I don’t have to work all the weights and numbers out again next time.

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PHP script – Months

Posted by Michael Kubler on 14th January 2009

I recently got sick of manually entering in the current date, and month for a personal (private) wordpress post that I use to keep basic details of what I’ve done for the day (computer exploded, Zombies attacked, met an awesome girl, etc..).

I actually hadn’t updated it for months because it was too much of a pain, so I wrote a PHP script that outputs the name of the month, the current date, and then an unordered list with some ‘-’ place holders to stop WordPress from removing the the list.

Please note, that the script is pretty basic, and just shows the next 100 days.

For those that do know what PHP is, you’ll know that you need to actually get a web server (like Apache) to run it. The code is very basic, but shows the power of for loops, and the date, and time functions of PHP.

If you don’t know what PHP is, then don’t worry, just click on the Script button below, then you can copy and paste the contents into WordPress (or whatever blogging program your using), alternatively when you are looking at the script you can right click, and [view page source], or whatever your browse calls it, then copy the raw HTML, and paste that into your blogging program.

Script : http://www.kublermdk.com/web_widgets/Months.php
Code : http://www.kublermdk.com/web_widgets/Months.phps

Example output.

———————
February
———————

Sunday 1st :

  • -
  • -
  • -

Monday 2nd :

  • -
  • -
  • -

Tuesday 3rd :

  • -
  • -
  • -

You can download the PHP code from http://www.kublermdk.com/web_widgets/Months.phps (then rename the extension to just .php)

The actual PHP code :

<?php
/*
This PHP script was created by Michael Kubler on the 14th January, 2009, for www.kublermdk.com

http://www.kublermdk.com/2009/01/14/wordpress-php-script-monthswordpress-php-script-months/

Feel free to edit this as required.
For any enquiries, email contact@kublermdk.com
*/
$current_date = time() - (86400 * 3); //Set the date to a few days ago.
for($i = 0; $i <= 100; $i++)
//This sets how many days to view, at the moment it's 100.
{
$current_date = $current_date + 86400;
if(
date("F", $current_date + 86400) !== $current_month) //Display the next month header bit if it's changed.
{
$current_month = date("F", $current_date + 86400); //I want the month listed before the 1st day, hence the +86400, which is the number of seconds in a day.
echo "\t<p style=\"text-align: center;\">---------------------<br />\n";
echo
"\t<strong>$current_month</strong><br />\n";
echo
"\t---------------------</p>\n";
}

?>
<span style=”text-decoration: underline;”><?php echo date(“l jS”, $current_date + 86400); ?> :</span>
<ul>
<li> &nbsp;-
<li> &nbsp;-
<li> &nbsp;-
</ul>
<?php
}
?>

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