Poetry Day – Nature’s Law – Robert Burns

Nature’s Law – A Poem

Humbly inscribed to Gavin Hamilton, Esq. 1786

Great Nature spoke: observant man obey’d-Pope.

Let other heroes boast their scars,
The marks of sturt and strife:
And other poets sing of wars,
The plagues of human life:

Shame fa’ the fun, wi’ sword and gun
To slap mankind like lumber!
I sing his name, and nobler fame,
Wha multiplies our number.

Great Nature spoke, with air benign,
“Go on, ye human race;
This lower world I you resign;
Be fruitful and increase.
The liquid fire of strong desire
I’ve pour’d it in each bosom;
Here, on this had, does Mankind stand,
And there is Beauty’s blossom.”

The Hero of these artless strains,
A lowly bard was he,
Who sung his rhymes in Coila’s plains,
With meikle mirth an’glee;
Kind Nature’s care had given his share
Large, of the flaming current;
And, all devout, he never sought
To stem the sacred torrent.

He felt the powerful, high behest
Thrill, vital, thro’ and thro’;
And sought a correspondent breast,
To give obedience due:
Propitious Powers screen’d the young flow’rs,
From mildews of abortion;
And low! the bard – a great reward –
Has got a double portion!

Auld cantie Coil may count the day,
As annual it returns,
The third of Libra’s equal sway,
That gave another Burns,
With future rhymes, an’ other times,
To emulate his sire:
To sing auld Coil in nobler style
With more poetic fire.

Ye Powers of peace, and peaceful song,
Look down with gracious eyes;
And bless auld Coila, large and long,
With multiplying joys;
Lang may she stand to prop the land,
The flow’r of ancient nations;
And Burnses spring, her fame to sing,
To endless generations!


Cell Biology revision – lesson plan

At this week’s SEDA session we each need to spend 8-10 minutes presenting our session plans which will be peer critiqued / reviewed after each presentation
This is for a two hour revision session on cell biology:

Presentation draft preview


LearnTech Journals 1.0

FInally got there but formatting still needs tidying up and it does not include journal rankings. Hyperlinks to the journal home page in first tab, table of contents (journal name, article title, author) in second and for some reason I can’t remember some AI articles in third tab. So if for example you are an academic with less experience of learning technologies you can sort or search the second tab. Of course this has limitations – if an author has done a small study on podcasting but chooses a title which doesn’t mention podcasting then it will not show up. If I had chosen to paste abstracts or full citations, this would not have been done for another year or so. In some cases TOC does not include anyway. The journals are ones I could find for learning technology, education and other areas which are relevant to Roehampton. I have tried not to include editorials, commentaries, introductions but a few may have slipped in.

I will be meeting again with research facilitators  for Life Sciences and Psychology to look at journal rankings and I will be adding a flow / process chart of which this spreadsheet will be a part e.g.

  1. I want to do a podcasting project.
  2. Who has already done one? (spreadsheet can help and with literature review preparation).
  3. Design research & methodology / ies
  4. Carry out learning and teaching activity as part of research project
  5. Write up research project and post to relevant journals (spreadsheet can help).

There are small learning technology projects which are not written up in journals and as originally blogged, this is not a be all and end all. For example in some biomedical areas there are over 21,000 journals but this is an attempt to help bring this into the world of academics in that world and see if there are opportunities to run projects against a more rigorous ‘database’.


Really behind on a chatbot project so that will be other priority in spring, in addition to completing the AFHEA course.

Cui bono is not enough to ask

If you don’t believe a media narrative – especially one which is reproduced over a number of mainstream outlets and social media over a short period of time, it is natural to ask who benefits?

But that is not enough especially when there could be more than one beneficiary.

Ask also – who was best / most easily placed, especially in a specific location to carry out an action. Who for example in a country is local, who has access to local resources, who doesn’t. What is unusual about the narrative. Who may be vulnerable to some form of intimidation or may benefit e.g. financially if a narrative remains that narrative. These are not the questions of cranks / conspiracy theorists.

Before attributing blame, look at many different contexts. What was situation prior to an event etc

This is all important if you want a counter narrative.

Ukranian pancake

Really delicious, they are thinner – like crepes. It was dairy free – the soya milk worked ok.

British Russian Relations – RussiaHouse

It was full house, organised by George Galloway whom I’ve not heard speak in person before and was very impressed.

A very jolly Russian – Alexander Nekrassov who advised Yeltsin, knew Margaret Thatcher had heaps of very interesting anecdotes and also offering controversial views: https://twitter.com/StirringTrouble

And Adam Garrie of Eurasia Futures https://twitter.com/adamgarriereal

It’s a new, welcome initiative – broadcast live, hopefully a recording done, updates currently via: https://twitter.com/RussiaHouseEU

Looking forward to listening to this at some point too:

The ‘Russia image’ problem

My experience which is not based on a Westminster and media avalanche of recent days…

Politicians and the media continue to represent Russia as the Soviet Union run by presidents in the Soviet Union.

Politicians and media expecting more reaction than they have so far received are not paying attention to how BRICs are changing global politics, global trade etc

One of the main reasons that people in the UK do not understand very much about Russia and Russians is that policies of government especially austerity have left people with less money and so travelling, spending time in Russia, going on courses etc is not as feasible as it could be.

The small island mentality which has brought out the very worst in my country is looking for an escape from the problems caused by greed in Westminster.

Russia (and Turkey) are our allies, they may not always choose to fight on the same side with us on everything. Not this government particularly but we did cooperate on many international agreements in spite of different opinions.

It will take some time to repair the damage caused by political vanity, lies and refusal to provide evidence – not just the damage caused to Russian relations but how Britain is perceived internationally as an international partner and the ongoing damage to citizens of my country from domestic policies.

Countries remain allies if they are treated with respect.