Solar powered moose detection system

    Posted on: Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

As seen on the TCH this morning near Salmonier Line. There were maybe a dozen of them on either side of the highway. Presumably they emit warning lights when the detection system, perhaps further away from the road, picks up a moose in the vicinity. But that’s just a guess. Anyone with any knowledge on the matter care to enlighten the rest of us? Loving the whole solar panel thing, by the way.

Update: On the journey home, I noticed there’s actually a large yellow sign with amber traffic lights attached prior to the solar-panelled posts, the sign indicating that if the lights are flashing it means there’s a moose on the highway. So it seems the solar-panelled posts are the detection system after all.

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Let’s keep the best interests of students in mind when doling out our punishments, shall we?

    Posted on: Monday, October 24th, 2011

“I think there has to be consequences… What [our] teachers are upset about, and us as well, is that what we are demonstrating is that we are enabling them to cheat because there is no deterrent.”

Lily Cole, president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers’ Association, speaking to CBC News about the recent change in policy to no longer assign a student caught cheating a zero, but rather have them do the test or assignment again.

Photo via theirhistory's flickr page.

Punishments should not be used as deterrents. Rather, they should function as corrective measures. A zero on a test or assignment can make a significant dent in a student’s final mark. For a student who struggles academically, it could mean the difference between a pass or a fail for the entire course. And in the end, they’ve learned nothing from the experience other than don’t get caught.

They certainly never learned whatever it was they were caught cheating on in first place.

Forcing the student to redo the test or assignment they cheated on reinforces the need to learn the material and demonstrate that learning honestly. And the grade they receive will be a reflection of that, which will reinforce the value of doing the work.

Maybe it isn’t “fair” to students who don’t cheat, but the idea here shouldn’t be for teachers to act as the fair police. The idea should be to try and get the best possible academic performance out of every student. Some students need more help than others. Some are, for one reason or another, inclined to take risks in lieu of doing the work required in order to pass.

The previous policy was, in my opinion, utter bullshit as a means of deterring this. The new policy will actually help turn some students’ lives around.

Lily Cole, it’s time to step out of the 20th century and start thinking a little more progressively. If you can’t do that, maybe it’s time you reconsidered your position as president of the NLTA.

The last day of the festival – pictures from Saturday

    Posted on: Saturday, October 22nd, 2011

Malin Enstrom was out at the screenings today to snap some pictures.

© Malin Enstrom

© Malin Enstrom

© Malin Enstrom

© Malin Enstrom

© Malin Enstrom

© Malin Enstrom

© Enstrom (Skirt by Cara Winsor-Hehir, over at Swervy Garmentry: http://craftymissusworkshop.blogspot.com/)

© Enstrom

© Enstrom

More pictures from Thursday night

    Posted on: Saturday, October 22nd, 2011

More pictures from Malin Enstrom at Happy Fish Photography.

© Enstrom

Filmmaker Ben Smith and Sara Hodder, of SECH Design.

© Enstrom

7pm screening at the Hall, slowly filling up.

© Enstrom

Victoria Wells, Assistant Tech for the SJIWFF

© Enstrom

The Discounts

© Enstrom

© Enstrom

Sister Fa!

© Enstrom

Ingrid Veninger

Mark O’Brien on his short film, Kathy

    Posted on: Friday, October 21st, 2011

Tonight at the LSPU Hall, we’ll be screening Kathy, a short film directed by Mark O’Brien, written by Emily Bridger and produced by Shannon Hawes. I caught up with Mark to ask him about his film.

So, tell me how this film came together.
Emily Bridger had written the script a couple of years ago, and then we heard about NIFCO’s Picture Start program, and we saw how good the films were that were coming out of that. So we asked Shannon Hawes, a good friend of mine, to be our producer and we applied to the program. We worked on the script for a long time.

What was it about this film, a film about teenage girls in junior high, that drew you in?
I really liked the way it was written. It has this space to it – but regardless of who it’s about, it’s really about being your own person and how the actions of other people affect who you are, and how you look at yourself and who you want to be. I think it just sort of happened to be painted in this whole world of young girls in junior high.

I find that world interesting, though, I grew up with three older sisietsr and I grew with that kind of thing.

But ultimately, I think that the relationship that the young girls have with another in the film parallels the relationships we have with each other at any age. People will always try to emulate, and people will always do things that will affect how you act yourself.

I thought it was really neat how the characters switched at the end – the narrator winds up being the bitch at that moment.
Yeah. She tries to be something she’s not and by doing that she ends up confusing herself and then hating Kathy even more. And Kathy rejects her for being that and, in a way, Kathy is trying to point out that that’s not the way Kathy is, that’s not who she actually is.

How long did you guys work on the film?
Holy God – all together it was, like, a year, but it’s different because we went through the Picture Start program which takes you step by step, and you’re relying on the schedules of people who came in to help us out throughout the program. There were also two other Picture Start films being made so we had to accommodate there.

Actually, I think that ended up being a great thing because I like to move really fast and this gave me time to really look at everything, which you need to do.

What do you hope people get from this movie?
All I care is that people think about it after they leave. I’d like it to resonate after they leave. I think the film has a bit of ambiguity to it, and I think that’s a good thing – I don’t want anyone to think one thing, I think it’s more interesting if everyone has their own ideas about it, their own interpretations.