I have a love/hate relationship with the train I take into our Manhattan offices (usually every other week or so). It is the Northeast Corridor New Jersey line that I pick up at Princeton Junction train station. A pleasant, leafy, semi-busy train station full of commuters to both New York and Philadelphia.

I then proceed to take the train about an hour through Central and parts of Northern New Jersey, then through Newark (egad), which is at times looks like something approaching a Mad Max movie. Either way, it is just a short hop from there to New York Penn Station, one of the worst entry points into any major city in the world. A real case of putting your worst foot forward.

The picture really doesn’t do it justice. If I could attach an olfactory file to this post, I would for Penn Station smells perpetually like wet bread. Wet, wet bread. I will not elaborate nor would I recommend the bathrooms.

I then walk about 10-15 blocks to our office, which is literally the next building over from the famous landmark the Flatiron Building.

We are the one with the bulb thing on the top off to the right. The Flatiron is actually a very interesting building, being the first real skyscraper in New York.

This is all an elaborate way to mention that this song helps me traverse all of this in good humor and state of mind.

Thievery Corporation: Sweet Tides

Go ahead and give it a listen. Great for motion oriented type activities. NJ Transit in particular. Nose plugs for Penn Station not included.

By Michael Gallagher

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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