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Flickr visualizations and Riceboy Sleeps: a perfect pair for a night of wistfulness

So, tomorrow is Columbus Day here in the States and that means that I have the day off. The same cannot be said for many places of employment so I consider myself lucky. I have decided to honor the misdirection of that Italian seafarer with one of my favorite pastimes. Scrolling through hundreds of Flickr photos of my favorite places, people and things. But mostly people. I generally proceed systematically in the order of measures of nostalgia and it usually falls down like this:

1. Seoul (always first)
2. Ireland
3. Ghana
4. Tunisia
5. Princeton
6. Other parts of Korea (Hwajeong, Ilsan, Gyeongju)

A key element in harnessing all of this nostalgic energy (and indeed it really is the stuff of art; mind and soul are one with a bevy of memory, not weighed down but simply adrift on the sea of experience) is music. Good music. Ethereal music. Music that soars and brings you along with it. And so I chose to be inspired by music recommended by my favorite blog (and my and many others musical guru). You should read her blog if you can; truly a pleasure.

So, the music is Riceboy Sleeps and it is the combination of Amiina and Sigur Ros. The track is Boy 1904 and you can find it here.

Riceboy Sleeps-Boy 1904

But please buy it if you like it. Music like this deserves the $.99.

The music and the Flickr led me think of visualizing all of this. So, I stumbled across this Flickr data visualization called Tag Galaxy. Visit their site, type in a Flickr tag (anything really) and watch the world of that tag constitute before your eyes. How applicable is this to anything practical? It isn’t. But what is the utility of Flickr. It is a place, my favorite place, for gathering around objects of interest and beauty. It is nice to step out of one self and be mesmerized by something else, something taken in some far off place. It is nice to let the ego rest for a night and just surrender to beautiful things.

So come and join me on Flickr if you would like. I can be found here.

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About Author

My name is Michael Sean Gallagher. I am a Lecturer in Digital Education at the Centre for Research in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh. I am Co-Founder and Director of Panoply Digital, a consultancy dedicated to ICT and mobile for development (M4D); we have worked with USAID, GSMA, UN Habitat, Cambridge University and more on education and development projects. I was a researcher on the Near Futures Teaching project, a project that explores how teaching at The University of Edinburgh unfold over the coming decades, as technology, social trends, patterns of mobility, new methods and new media continue to shift what it means to be at university. Previously, I was the Research Associate on the NERC, ESRC, and AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund sponsored GCRF Research for Emergency Aftershock Forecasting (REAR) project. I was an Assistant Professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (한국외국어대학교) in Seoul, Korea. I have also completed a doctorate at University College London (formerly the independent Institute of Education, University of London) on mobile learning in the humanities in Korea.

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