Online Research: Confusion in a World Full of Studies and Experiments

Great article on Niume… Lovelli Ariesti…

The relationship between writers and online research is one that requires maintaining a delicate balance between good time management skills, the will to keep moving forward, and grit. Of the last one, I won’t say much right now. We go the World Wide Web for many apparent and not so apparent reasons. To make friends, to check out a job posting, to respond to a job invite, to read an interesting article, to post comments, to write an email, to browse for seminars and schedule a trip… to conduct online research. Those not so apparent reasons, other than planning our travels, include maintaining our social media presence and building our personal brand. Of course, not only writers do online research. And online research (blog post) is not the only thing that writers do. Nothing comes between a writer and her researchWords could not express the confusion I felt about staying connected prior to taking up online learning. Online research? Is that a new type of research or is that just another fancy word for “Googling”? Wait, Googling is not research? What about all these bugs/features I have found incidentally? Did I not just research them?  [The Wold and the Crane]When people say “do your homework” or “do your research”, and people they do say that, they’re not suggesting that you come up with a publish-ready academic essay, although it would be so awesome if you did. All the Googling, checking out online publications based on keywords related to the topics, and then reading them closely to determine whether they are a) interesting, or b) far from interesting, are merely efforts to study a subject or a situation. The aim of this is usually to prepare for something. For example, a job interview or a movie date. Or a photo shoot and a movie date, Zombie Apocalypse, Food Street upcoming event, the possibilities are endless! [Un po’ Ghezzi (la prima volta al cinema era 3D) by @flaviab is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0]For people in the academic sector—students, librarians, teachers, mentors, provost—searching the World Wide Web for sources is just one part of the research project. Remember, the web is only 27 years old this year, while research comes from a very, very old Middle French word “recherche” that was already in use in 1577. It’s ancient!Instead of questioning what the World Wide Web is (hint: it is not the Internet*) and what it means to us, understanding online research is what we should be doing. I’ve come up with some of the best places to start:Lifewire Student Guidehttps://www.lifewire.comIf you’re looking for a guide to doing online research, this is a good place to start. Lifewire has a section called Internet & Network, in which you can read all about the Internet, including how to use it for research. In “How *Real* Online Research Works” and “What is ‘Hard’ Versus ‘Soft’ Internet Research?” we are introduced to the legitimate practices in researching online, with suggestions on how to set our priorities right. The articles are light and warm, fairly easy for everyone to understand. Even if you’re not a student, the articles are going to provide you with enough details to warm you up. The Internet: Ideas, Activities, and Resources comprehensive but not overwhelming chapter to learn more about doing research on the Internet, broken down into activities. Originally written for students, this online publication is a product of the Florida Department of Education and the Office of Instructional Technology. It has 6 chapters dedicated to the topic, with chapters 4 and 5 dedicat

Source: Online Research: Confusion in a World Full of Studies and Experiments


Authors & Social Media Conduct

True words spoken about social media conduct…taken from a Niume post by J.M. Sullivan.

Call me old fashioned, but with all of the things that get posted on Social Media these days, there are times when all I can do is quirk my head and ask, “Seriously?” Don’t get me wrong. I think Social Media is great. In fact, it has helped me so much in my writing, I honestly don’t know where I would be without it. But sometimes I wonder if maybe we weren’t better off when not everyone had easy access to share every single thought that they have with the rest of the world. Because honestly, there’s a lot of crap out there that the world just doesn’t need.Celebrity Wars, Twitter Wars, Hate Mail, Cyberbullying and so many other things are all over Social Media and it can be really hard to keep away from it.But as an up and coming author, YOU HAVE TO. Unfortunately, we are not in the position where we can say whatever we feel and people will still love us. Your conduct is a direct representation of who you are and what you stand for. And I hate to break it to you, but if you are posting mean things on your Social Media, that’s who they will see you as. And nobody wants to support someone they think talks a bunch of garbage (ESPECIALLY A WRITER).So how can you handle your presence on Social Media? How do you react in a situation where you feel you have been unfairly treated?Well, as hard as it can be, sometimes the best thing that you can do in a tough situation is to keep your mouth shut (and your fingers away from the keyboard.)If you can’t, that’s your decision. There’s not much I can do for you except tell you to grow some thicker skin or find a support system to listen when you are upset. (I have found that my cat is a great option. She quickly reminds me that my world is supposed to revolve around her and I need to get over it).The fact of the matter is this: there are millions of people on the interwebs, and I do not have the time, energy, nor desire to try and control what they deem worthy to share with the rest of the world. True Story.But since you are here, (and still reading) I’m guessing you have at least some interest in my opinion so here it is:If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. Mind blowing, I know. But bear with me.I know that it seems simple. I also know that I might be biased because a a teacher and a mother my days are INFINITELY better when my kids are nice to each other. But from a professional standpoint, IT WORKS TOO.Whether you’re dealing with staff members in a meeting, parent conferences, telephone customer service representatives, husbands who have YET to take out the trash after you’ve asked 3 times… (ok, I’m rambling, but you get the idea.) I can almost GUARANTEE you will have more success being polite, understanding and kind than if you come off as an inconsiderate jerk.The writing world is no different.Now, I will say that sometimes people have bad days. There are days when I am cranky, and tired, and, and, and. I get it.Writing is tough. Trying to get your writing published is even tougher. Querying is absolutely terrifying. Putting your writing out there for others to judge is scary. Especially when it boils down to a single Query Letter and maybe a Synopsis (I’m getting flashbacks to college scholarship applications just thinking about it).But if there is one thing I’ve learned it’s that querying is totally subjective. It depends on what the agent is looking for, what they are currently repping, what industry trends are, your writing style, whether they think your personalities will mesh, etc.9 times out of 10 I have found that the rejection I received wasn’t because the agent thought my writing was garbage, it was because it just wasn’t a good fit. Other times, it was their opinion of my work (which stung a bit) but, sometimes you just have to take it with a grain of salt and figure out your coping mechanisms.I recommend chocolate.But please, for the love of everything good and right in the world, if you absolutely totally, 100% CANNOT LIVE unless you vocalize your hurt feelings, then please,Please.PLEASE.PPPPPLLLLLEEEEEEAAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSEEEEEEEEE. PLEASE.DON’T PUT IT ON THE INTERNET WHERE EVERYONE CAN SEE IT.Why?Here are a few reasons:1. Not everyone wants to hear your ______ (angry, pathetic, mean, vindictive, rude, whiney, jaded, vulgar, inappropriate, ridiculous, unfounded -choose which words apply) opinion.2. Not everyone NEEDS to hear your ______ (again, insert appropriate word choice) opinion.3. Once it’s out there, ANYONE can read it. Anyone. A-NY-ONE. And with technology nowadays, they can screen shot, keep, and SHARE it with hundreds of their closest friends in SECONDS. Literally. Seconds. Then what you’ve just said can NEVER be taken back.4. Riding the tail of my previous point is this: after you calm down, get the emotions out of your system, and become a rational human being again, you might REGRET it. But faced with the internet savvy folks of today, you might not ever be able to FORGET it.What it comes to is this:You are entitled to

Source: Authors & Social Media Conduct

Photography…where did the reality go?


Been wondering for a while about the reality of photography.  To me a photograph is a moment frozen in time to treasure and remind.  Our world is beautiful and cruel and alive with wondrous moments for photographs of all kinds.

I’ve always found two legs in the photography brotherhood (no disrespect ladies):

  1. The reality photographers whose eye and soul see a moment, place, object, animal, person, scene that speak to them and the moment is frozen using whatever equipment is available. Lenses, filters, the eye of the photographer and the skill are  the only added accessories needed.  The only manipulation would be adjustment of light or shadow etc.  The image was a real shot of a reality seen and frozen.  The skill of the photographer is what is important and admired.
  2. The artist photographers whose eyes and soul creates art from frozen moments using their technical skill and programs available to adjust, touch, colour, enhance etc photos.  Here the skill of the technical abilities to create a moment is admired.

The last few years the line between these two legs started blurring.  The need to push photos have brought a dishonesty level into reality photography.  Great photographs are enhanced, coloured, touched up and adjusted to look absolutely amazing but with no reflection to the real colours captured. Hues and shades of sunrises and sunsets, water and flowers have come about that is just unbelievable.  This is all good and well and the photograph is stunning but where is the reality in this photograph?


What does the every day person expect when he looks at a photograph like this?  Many people plan outings based on places advertised with awesome photographs but the true real beauty of the spot is missed in the disappointment of expecting that WOW spot as per the enhanced unreal photograph seen.  It is almost as if real nature is losing its magnificence and has been replaced by enhanced, touched up unreal scenes of nature.

Equipment does not play that big a role in whether a photograph is great or not.  I’ve seen some photographs taken with very expensive cameras that does not compare to some photographs I’ve seen taken with a very basic line good cameras.  The eye, the soul and the skill of the photographer is what makes a photograph.  Being there to see and capture that WOW moment, that is the talent and skill.  Not being able to go home and re-do the moment to get a WOW moment.  That is a different set of skills.


Unfortunately many online photography competitions are pushing the enhanced unreal photographs leaving the real beauty of nature and people in the dimmed light of reality.  It is almost impossible to compete with so much technical assistance used on photographs when you are an honest reality photographer.

All photographs used are my own and they are real.




That mysterious creature – 2017

Beautiful poem by John Duffy posted in Niume…

We have seen each other whispering in the morning air of Yesteryears calendars.

The silent glaze of the New Year.

I’ve seen you there in the Darkness and Light.

The sea’s whisper of your coming name.

The slow crash of Time beats relentlessly against the sandy shores of Life.

Every grain of sand echoes your name.

The scent of an invisible sea hangs in the air reminding me of you.

Caressing me like a gentle breeze caught in Times perpetual grasp.

I see you grow old with the ticks of the ethereal clocks through the eyes of my mind, I feel you age within the sights of my out worldly gaze… You are anniversary sighs of midnight.

The wand, a symphony of a new year of fireworks, played by the many, outside my windows, daylights welcome.

Your many sounds speak in explosive verses, sounds of new beginnings and layed to sleep thoughts.

I berate the heavens for newer adventures – newer happier horizons.

I bow at the thought of your in-coming presence.

It’s enough to shatter me into pieces of beauty, pieces of Hope.

Within these moments, I welcome you, 2017.

Bring me joy, happiness and peace – but still bless me with vitality.

For vitality is all I crave.

The strength to carry on.

The strength to conquer also 2017.

God bless 2017.

Source: That mysterious creature – 2017


To be consumed by…to be taken over by…to be totally transfixed with…you choose. The word OBSESSION leaves different tastes in different mouths. To many people the word connects to not having a strong enough will to overcome the OBSESSION with or being driven to irrational acts and thoughts because of an OBSESSION. With the year drawing to a close the media bombards us with “the best of 2016” or “the worst of 2016” and especially “what will be trending in 2017”. The best of 2016 covers reality stars who spend millions on three golden toilets (really necessary), young pop stars whose contempt for “society” is taken out on the supporters while spending 3 million on a bottle of bubbly (how much contempt do you have for society?). The amount of money involved in the unreality of our entertainment reality is mind blowing but does not seem to bother a lot of people.  Money has become our religion and with money our OBSESSION with what to wear, how to style, how to cut our hair, what nail color to wear, movies to watch, books to read and keeping on top of the do’s and don’ts and moves of our OBSESSIONS to be sure we are in.  In the what? In the money? In the right circle? In the right neighborhood? In the right clothes? In the right school? In the right car?  Some obscure person or persons somewhere decided what is fashionable, what is acceptable and what is right and we are all follow along like sheep to only end up looking and behaving like a flock of sheep.Our OBSESSION with following the trends is only slightly overshadowed by our obsession with ourselves…selfies of our boobs, selfies of our new phone, selfies of our tan, selfies of us going to bed, selfies of us having a drink, selfies of us strutting on the beach….the list of scenarios are as legion as the people taking selfies. Read an interesting article on our obsession with selfies and it makes a lot of sense.  If you end up as one of the sheep in the flock the need to be observed, seen, acknowledged, seen as the individual that you are hiding under all the acceptable right stuff, the only way to do this is to promote yourself, hence selfies which in turn feeds the need to be the acceptable thin, the acceptable golden tanned, the acceptable blond wearing the acceptable clothes and colors as decided by……by whom exactly?I get the feeling that all the “telling us how to live” has left us so empty and afraid that we willingly sway to what is given as acceptable. We have no will of our own anymore and I’m reminded of rock stars like Bob Dylan, Pink Floyd, The Doors etc warning us of the mind numbing control of the media. We are 40 years down the line and we can see the effect of the control, especially in countries like America where the media plays both the “honest” and the “control” parts leaving you with a feeling of having made a choice. Simple truth is that the choices were limited down and given, narrowing your world but leaving a feel good sensation of “I made this choice based on solid information”.Fortunately the number of individuals is growing, although slowly and shyly as if it is a sin to not be in the right or acceptable space, place or clothes. The anti-establishment gangs have always been around but what we have now is a growing number of true individuals who think their own thoughts, question every bit of information given, discussing non-acceptable stuff with gusto and emotion….a growing sense of a wave picking up wind and force, gathering strength and height, riding the tides deep in the ocean, waiting for the pull of the truth to bring the wave crashing in on the shore.We are all created as individuals, to feel our own thoughts, live our own lessons and be our own person. My wish for 2017 is that we will turn down the sound of the voice telling us who to be and what to be and turn up the volume on our soul station….growing into our true selves, respecting not only who we are, but where we are. The loss of connection with our selves has also meant the loss of our connection to nature and the Universe. Maybe with the realization of our individuality that connection will click back into place so that we can still save what we are killing while OBSESSING with what is out there that we should be.Rock on 2017….

Source: Obsessions…

16 Blessons in 2016

A beautiful post in Niume that shares the values of being, truth, love and life…

“I learned BLESSON from a Spiritual Renewal. A blesson is a life experience that shows up as a challenge and then realized as both a lesson and a blessing. Here are my Top 16 Blessons of 2016.16. Communication is about what they hear, not what you say. Most of the time, it is not the words that you say, but more importantly, what people understood. This reminds me when I’m preparing a report or talking to someone, what is the message that I want to convey and how do I deliver it in such a way that I will win over the other person.15. “Everyone falls” – Geoff Britten, American Ninja Warrior. Whether it’s falling in love, or out of love, making a mistake, a major failure. It happens to everyone, even to the best of us. You are not alone. Much of life is about resiliency and getting back on your feet after a failure, heartbreak or tragedy. We just need to learn, shake it off and stand up again. Be like the kangaroo. Always move forward.14. Legacy is about enabling people and systems to be effective and sustainable even when you’re gone. The essence of life is about imprinting our DNA to people and causes that matter.13. “The measure of who we are is how we react to something that doesn’t go our way.” – Greg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs Coach. In ideal and favorable situations, we are normal, sane, happy people. But how do we react under adverse conditions? How then do we bounce back and return to be normal, sane, happy people? Great men are defined when they rise above adversity. When they push themselves beyond their very limits. When they go beyond expectations. When they seek to excel and motivate themselves even when their hearts and spirits are breaking. When they find what’s inside of them when all else falls away.12. “If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near.” Jack Welch. I have learned to revolutionize myself without losing my core values. I have been doing incremental changes and looking at a transformational one. Still, I love the same people, things, and I have been faithful to the same God. I’ve been to many places, made the right decisions, committed mistakes, and made some of my dreams happen.11. The story of the NBA Finals is not about who made the big shots, who wanted it bad enough, nor is it chasing after history. The greater lesson to me is making a promise and ultimately keeping that promise no matter the obstacle, criticism and how long it takes. 10. Integrity refers to “wholeness”. Words can be cheap and lip service is easy. Be someone who mean what they say, say what they mean, and walk the talk.9. “Adventure with all its requisite danger and wildness, is a deeply spiritual longing written into the soul of man.” Because life is not just about work, paychecks, family obligations and ticking off your to-do list. Life is meant to be savored, lived to glorify with God and in communion with our fellowman.8. In my relationships and encounters with people, I hope that even if doesn’t last, people will be better off for having known and spent time with me. Sometimes we meet people who will be in our lives forever and we grow and learn with them. Sometimes we meet people for a moment but they leave a mark that forever changes for the better. Because I knew you, I was changed for the better.7. Live purposefully. Plan and act with purpose. Not at random. Not because it works now but how it impacts to the future. See yourself, not as independent but interdependent with others. We are all part of a bigger whole. How does your decisions affect the lives of others and the world we live in?6. Fall in love with yourself. Learning to love your faults and accepting your not-so-beautiful qualities. Your life is about taking a deep breath by yourself without choking. About jumping without being scared of falling. It is your time to jump, fly, live fearlessly. To climb your own mountain and to go out and live. YOLO!5. If its true love, it can wait. We have to lose the wrong ones to get to the right one. Love is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s not how fast you fall but how long it lasts. Love takes and requires time. Slow and steady wins the race.4. “Sometimes, waiting is the most important time in our life. Even when you think that nothing is happening at this time in your life, God, for sure, is doing something. Those who are in a hurry usually make mistakes. Waiting makes us a better person and prepares us to be the best version of ourselves. It’s always a process. Slow down and enjoy the journey. Take time for what matters most because beautiful things take time.” – C. Depano3. Discovered a new favorite word Kintsugi. The act of fixing something, letting the break symbolize something that was stronger after being repaired. The gold illuminates the cracks and breaks that have been mended rather than hiding them. The gold seams hold the pieces back together, making it whole again.Kintsugi – The art of appreciating imperfection. Findi

Source: 16 Blessons in 2016

Au revoir 2016

Einde 2016.jpg

It is that in between time of the year again…2016 still hanging on with a tenacity that scares and delights at the same time….2017 peeking cheekily from a not so distant future time…

Enjoy the last few days and hours of what turned out to be a year of change, rollercoaster emotional rides, a year that tested the strong and left the weak gasping…

May 2017 bring stability…a steadier rhythm of the pendulum of  balances, age old prophecies, and awakenings….