Thursday, March 1, 2018

Free Tutorials To Empower


I've been writing tutorials for some time now and every time I'm doing that, I'm learning different skills from each one of them.  Recently, I shifted my focus on writing general tutorials to aligning them with online trends locally especially with what people are doing in particular, my followers.  There were several tutorials I made however, I would like to share three of the recent ones in this post.

I will begin with the earliest, the first for this year.  That tutorials was on "Creating Frames for Facebook" which demonstrates how to insert graphics as frames for Facebook profile photos.  I have noticed that people are heavily using Facebook to communicate their views or facts and one way to advocate others, apart from just posting on timelines or walls would be to use customised frames which other people can also try out with their profile pictures or photos.  I therefore created a short tutorial on this and if you want to learn more about that, click the banner below to go to the page containing the tutorial.  If you go there, check tutorial number 26.


There is also another trend of people getting into 3D graphics or computer generated 3 dimensional imagery.  I've seen some of them on various groups in Facebook posting their self-taught works and decided to create a basic tutorial that would help them learn from scratch and guide them along. 
I thought the easiest I could think of for them to start learning is using a polygonal cube object.  I wrote a tutorial on creating a cereal box with hope that they will acquire fundamental knowledge in modelling and texturing from scratch.  Though this tutorial is again a simple one, I tried to capture some basic concepts of modelling and texturing.  Below banner will take you to the tutorial page and the tutorial itself is number 27.


Few years back, one of my student did a 3D model of a lighthouse in Cinema 4D and posted it in a closed group on for PNG graphic designers Facebook.  It wasn't what he learnt from me but something he learnt by himself.  Seeing that, t promised to do a step-by-step tutorial on an easier way to set up the model so I wrote this tutorial using various tools in cinema 4D to execute the workflow.  Due to commitments and tight schedules I have, this tutorial was delayed until few days before writing this blog.  The tutorial demonstrates modelling a lighthouse.  Interestingly, this particular lighthouse is common in Papua New Guinea and is situated in a province called Madang, situated north of the capital Port Moresby.  The banner below will take you to the page and the tutorial itself is tutorial number 28.


Apart from these 3, there are dozens of other tutorials found on the page so please, check it out and if you'd like to watch the video versions, go to the video section on my website.

Feel free to comment if you come across this page.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Contributing to A Young Man's Discovery - The Eternity Age Calculator

Recently, I added to my lists of simple apps collection, this package - more like a calculator.  It was an app I worked on late last year (2017) for a young gentleman and a friend of mine who came up with a formula to calculate one's eternity age.  We had an appointment one afternoon to meet and discus his finding so that we can work on his promotional online video.  We met and he shared his discovery.  While listening to him, I realised there was a need for an app to do that, so I proposed to him that we should work on one to take care of the calculation.  He agreed to the proposal saying it would be a great step.  The idea was to give people a hands on experience so they see for themselves their eternity age against current time.  I couldn't understand him at first when he explained the concept of this formula however I went home that evening, got his presentation slides and integrated the formula in there to an app.  I tested the app, it worked well but I couldn't confirm whether I'm doing the right thing or not until I meet him during the day of his video shooting and he smiled with excitement, seeing his formula come to life with just a click.  

Just recently, I decided to package this app making it deployable to various platforms.  I therefore created the versions for him and sent it to him.  Though simple, it had it's objective and that was to enable others to calculate their own eternity age instead of him telling them and working it out on a piece of paper.  Basically what happens with this app is that, you enter your current age, press the calculate button and all it does at the background, is using the discovered formula to calculate your eternity age then outputs the result onto the screen that shows you your eternity age.    


A brief background of this app; I initially coded it using Action Script 3 (AS3) because of the script's OOP capabilities and also because my prior background was in interactive media design.  I will do a later post specifically on some of the interactive apps I created using AS3.  I planned to work on some contemporary 2D games depicting the culture I represent, however I still couldn't find time to exercise the craft.

This post is just a snapshot of the outcome of providing a cross-platform application for another simple-app on my list.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Developing Technological Device for PWDs


This post is a follow up of the previous Post on topic "Beyond the Arts" where I wrote about my best friend Cornelius (a.k.a. Dati), who was invited mid this year by TOM Melbourne to be part of a global project that brings together technology experts, specialists and need knowers to work on assistive technological devices for people with special needs.

Dati and I were fortunate to be part of the 2017 TOM Melbourne Makerthon that took place from the 1st to the 3rd of December 2017.  This project was a 72 hours Makerthon where the "makers" (engineers, designers, developers, physiotherapists) came together and worked with "need knowers" to develop prototypes based on their requirements.  There were 11 teams with each of their "need knower" for 2017 and our team was Team BA (short for Beyond Art).  Assigned to team BA were 11 members from various specialties comprising 5 women and 6 men including myself.  

Dati's challenge was for the team to develop a device to enhance his graphic design abilities and enable him to be more precise with his design work.  Since he wants to be a 3D CGI artist, his choice of software was Cinema 4D so the team had to download a demo version from Maxon website, installed it and constantly tested it out to see what may work best for him.  Though he was not physically available, the physiotherapist used his videos with the help from other members and myself, to fit together a possible solution that would best fit his need. 

Video instructions for Dati by therapist
Due to Dati's visa not being issued on time for him to be in Australia for the event, he participated online by supplying his video feedbacks to the team for them to analyse his status and design the prototype.  Dati and his mother (in PNG) were given video instructions, by one of the specialist therapist which Dati immitated while watching.  With remote assistance from my end, they where able to get all the videos recorded and uploaded onto the shared Google Drive which the team then used to do further assessment of Dati.

Video shots sent by Dati & his mom to the team to analyse & work with
Quick sketches by Kathryn
Based on these videos, the team worked on brainstorming the concepts of a possible prototype.  The rewarding thing was that the team already had prior discussions and researched possible technological solutions to be used for this project.  Few rough sketches were drawn and various options considered. The team used Google Drive to share and communicate beforehand, sharing ideas and collecting information weeks before the event began.

On the first day, the team mapped out their plan, sketched the design concepts and went shopping for resources to execute the design.  Every team was given a budget of $500, therefore each team had to come up with creative and innovative approaches to find a solution that fitted the budget.  Some of our team members went shopping and the others continued conceptualising the ideas.  

Brainstorming Concepts based on Video assessments

Our team came up with a possible solution after watching Dati's video.  The team observed that Dati struggles to use the standard cursor on the mouse pad since it was not designed for the feet.  The team also observed that the keys on the standard keyboard were small so he had to struggle to reach them with his toe fingers.  With this assessment, the team proposed to design a stable mouse which will reduce Dati's feet movement.  They also observed that he struggles to do mouse clicks so they separated the cursor movements from clicks to enable him to concentrate on clicks and move cursor separately.  
Prototype Design for remote location testing
Before the team could go ahead  creating a first prototype, they need to get Dati's feedback and whether the size would fit his toes and feet so a paper prototype was manually drawn, then I illustrated it to scale within Adobe Illustrator.  We emailed this paper prototype to PNG to be printed and delivered to Dati for him to test.  The paper prototype was printed however not to scale as the instruction got misunderstood or being overlooked so it was rescaled to about 80%-85% when printing.  Despite this, it gave the team an idea of how the prototype would fit Dati.  Dati was again recorded while testing this paper prototype and the video was sent back to the team to assess.


Paper prototype (left) & foam prototype (right)
After receiving Dati's video of him testing the paper prototype, few adjustments were made to amend the placements of the modified keys.  The team captured few of the hot keys and assigned them onto bigger buttons for him to easily access and these buttons were placed next to the keyboard.  The team then created a foam prototype to trial out before building the final prototype.  Since this foam prototype couldn't be sent to Dati for testing, the team used several models to trial it out.  While doing the testing, Dati was constantly consulted to ensure it aligns to his need.

3D impression of the elevation of the keyboard for Dati's convenience
The team also realised that Dati's current keyboard is placed flat on the ground so his mother was again advised to tilt the keyboard at an angle for them to see whether he would prefer a tilted keyboard or the keyboard lying flat.  After trying out, Dati responded saying both elevations fitted him however, he would prefer an elevated keyboard, so the team noted this option into the updated prototype.  I quickly created a 3D visual impression of the design and later, the team borrowed a mechanical engineer from another team to refine it for printing.  

The logo & Brand
The printing was amazing, we did all the printing of the foams and boards using digital technology, made possible by Swinburne University of Technology's state-of-the-art laser-printing facilities.  Our final prototype was laser-cut on board, which came out in 2 versions.  The first one was done however, we realised few technical flaws in the design so we had to tweak it a little to consider weight of the force. Additionally, we forgot to add the brand of the design so I was tasked to come up with a logo for the design to give it a personal feel.  We had to consult Dati again for something he favoured.  The team requested me to ask him of his favourite character however, since he doesn't have any, he chose his left foot as the logo so I incorporated the left foot with a mouse and his nickname as the logo and brand.

The finished prototype design within 72 hours
The final prototype design was assembled, cables connected and tested few minutes before the time stops and everyone applauded when the timer hits zero.  

We did it, our team completed the project just in time, did a quick test, configured the buttons and took few shots before it was exhibited for the audience and judges to assess.  It was a milestone, a moment of achievement for Dati who was not at the scene in person however feels satisfied to achieve something.  The commitments and voluntarism invested during this event have proven that there are people who have the hearts to share their expertise, knowledge and skills to make a better world for someone in need.

Despite numerous challenges pertaining to availability of the "need knower", communication difficulties with internet and the complexity of such projects which need subject to be physically available, the team executed the need knower's challenge appropriately, in time and under limited budget.  With the very qualified specialists who imensely contributed their invaluable expertise, time and support for the cause, the design ended up receiving the "Most Impact" award for the event.  If there weren't any inputs from these amazing talents and expertise, there wouldn't be a smile on the face of people like Dati.  Our next phase is to see the emotions on Dati's face when his new optimised trackpad and keyboard is delivered to him. 

I would like to give credit to the volunteers of team "Beyond Art (Group 9)", 2017 TOM Melbourne namely; Hedi Zvi, Ina Stavrill, Travis Beck, Kath Deighton, Tim Armstrong, Oscar Eduardo Gonzalez Gomez, Tejasvini Bhuvan, Jegadeesh Murugan, Kathe Chaloping, Shruthi Ashwathappa, Deli Winthrope including myself and Cornelius
Team Beyond Art - Dati's Team. 

Monday, November 6, 2017

Beyond the Arts

A Live demonstration at Chesire Disability Services in Port Moresby - (C) 2016
I will begin by citing the famous quote by Pablo Picasso which states, ”Every child is an artist.  The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up”.  Before anybody learns to do math, science, engineering, business, law, medicine or investigate other specialized fields, they all have expressed themselves through many forms of creative art, be it dance, scribbling lines as drawings or responding to the tones of music.  For instance, if you play music to a two year old toddler, you will be amazed at the immediate response from their face, hands and body movements.  Likewise, give a toddler a crayon or pencil and they will unsurprisingly start to scribble, thereby expressing their young personalities and perceptions of the world at such an early stage in their life.  Creative art is naturally embedded in humans and so it should be embraced right throughout their lifespan in order to encourage creative solutions to everyday problems. 

The reason I began with the quoted statement from Picasso is to introduce the core intent of this article which reflects on empowering a child to follow their dreams rather than forcing them to follow our requirements.   Since art has greater likelihood of fostering creative learning, imaginative thinking and creation, art may be regarded as an important ingredient of success.  This is because various aspects of creativity are entailed in all arts-oriented fields.  Today, we may have experiences with common practices in many societies where parents want their children to grow up, guided by their expectations.  Similarly, we may also have come across one or many of the education systems that failed to support students’ creative learning instead promoted attainment of certain grades to be classified into certain knowledge-hierarchy.  What many may have failed to embrace is the importance of empowering every child to follow their passion which should guide them throughout their life.  This brings us to a classic example of a twelve year old boy, living in a very challenging society who presented his abilities beyond the arts that he produced.

Cornelius drawing - 2012
Cornelius Yalamu (a.k.a Dati), is a 12 year old boy living with cerebral palsy and spends most of his time learning at home with support from his mother and father.  If you happen to come across Cornelius, you would easily identify his strong charisma and love to share whatever he has with others.  He has a very intriguing character that portrays motivation and dedication despite circumstances hindering him.  Cornelius is very intelligent and possesses a very good memory.  Because of his intrinsic ability to remember things, the family considers him as their storage drive to keep all their important records.  Many times, when the family tells stories and gives accounts of wrong dates, he immediately interrupts and corrects them.  Initially, the family argues with him but after several attempts, everyone realizes his dates are always accurate.  He is soft-hearted but gets annoyed when there is an argument. 

Cornelius originates from a mixed heritage of Morobe, Madang and Goroka.  He was born and raised in Port Moresby and is the second born among two other brothers.  He spends most of his time at home with his parents learning to read, write and work on his computer.  His mother assisted and taught him to read, write and supports him with most of his daily chores while his father provides the resources and technical equipment, including assistance and facilitates the entire learning and upbringing process.  Both parents support him and ensure he gets what he desires for his learning.


Cornelius had great passion for arts when he was just three years old and later ventured into computer generated graphic design at the age of seven.  His ambitions were possibly shaped around the environment he grew up in however, his capabilities portrayed well over ordinary abilities.  He loves music and visual arts, especially drawing.  When he was a toddler, he enjoyed singing with his mother and joins in family’s devotional chorus every Sunday.  People find Cornelius to be inspiring, motivational and encouraging.

The passion for art surfaced when Cornelius was three years of age.  Seeing his dad draw and paint, he decided to get his pencil and also draw.  His fourteen year old brother would occasionally assist him to color his artwork.  When he got praise from his drawings and realized his potential, he demanded his own brush so he could experiment with painting.  Unlike everyone who uses their hands to do things, he had a special way of expressing his art by using his left foot.  Cornelius preferred to use his feet rather than his hands since he was three years old.  At the age of seven, he was permitted to use a computer to do graphic design.  He shocked his dad with one of his Photoshop pieces of work one evening and that totally changed the way his dad perceived his life.  His father never wanted him to use his feet to do his artwork and implemented a rule that Cornelius could only use a computer if he used his hands.  This rule was imposed in the hope that he would eventually use his hands.  Every evening, he would sit next to his dad, watching him do his after-hour graphic design and multimedia projects but never had a chance to touch a computer because of the restriction.  One evening, at the age of seven, he watched his dad and went past his bed time so his mother came and called him to go to bed.  He insisted on staying up with his dad and watching him work so his mother left him and went to bed.  A few minutes later, his dad asked if he could take him to bed.  
A painting done in 2015
However, Cornelius asserted he didn’t feel sleepy and wanted to watch his father work.  An hour later, the dad felt sorry for him so he asked if he would like to work on the laptop, just to keep him busy until he finished his remaining tasks.  In no time, he nodded in agreement and was allowed to use a laptop.  He headed straight to Adobe Photoshop and started editing his photo and one of his elder brother’s.  The time moved towards midnight and knowing it was no good for Cornelius to stay up that late, his father instructed him to shut down the computer and call it a day. Cornelius called his dad over to show his progressive work.  Upon sighting the work, his dad was astonished because Cornelius had never seriously used a computer or even used Photoshop.  At this moment, Cornelius’ father realized his son’s artistic and creative potential and abilities, once given the freedom to experiment with his curiosity.  From that time onwards, Cornelius was given a computer to focus on his strengths and explore his passion for computer generated art.  Using his feet to work on a computer wasn’t that easy for Cornelius when he first started.  He cried on several occasions when his ideas couldn’t be transferred onto the computer because his left-foot was a little stiff due to his muscle contraction and the standard mouse is not designed for the feet. 


Over the years, Cornelius made friends with many people and in 2014, one of his friends, Robert Banasi who, at that time worked with the National Disability Resource and Advocacy Center (NDRAC), brought their media team to his home for an interview.  During that time,  Cornelius had still been exploring his ability to produce computer generated graphics and was spending most of his time drawing so Rhonda Clement, the journalist, interviewed Cornelius and his mother and later, his first publication was published in one of the daily newspapers and also online

Interactive App Interface - (C) 2016
  
In February of 2016, after dropping Cornelius’s elder brother at school, he said he also wanted to go to school so the family took him straight to Cheshire Disability Services to inquire.  The staff there advised his parents to take him through their normal testing and assessment as required to identify his level of competency both physically and intellectually.  He passed most of his intellectual abilities, however  he needed more work on his physical exercises so he was advised to attend weekly visits for his physio therapy.  Since he passed his intellectual tests, he was referred to the special school and was asked to pay certain fees which he did however, the school facilitators failed to accommodate him due to his level of specialty in computing so he resorted back to home schooling.  In December of that year, Cheshire Disability Services planned a celebration to coincide with the International Day for Persons with Disabilities and various items were prepared for that event along with students’ graduation.  Cornelius agreed to participate in a live demonstration on stage where he created an interactive app which he called, Dati’s Drum Kit.  His presentation caught the attention of many and though his skills were delivered successfully live in front of everyone, it seemed his peers were not ready to embrace the level he tried to demonstrate.  Fortunately, his presentation did encourage parents to look at the hidden abilities of their children other than their visible disabilities.  Post Courier published his presentation the following week and also uploaded it online.

His current settup - (C) 2017
In 2017, Cornelius was challenged to develop his website and start publishing a few of his works online to inspire and motivate his peers.  With help from his mother and father, Cornelius executed his website and submitted it online. 

His website can be seen at http://www.artech.com.pg/site/cornelius/.  In the meantime, Cornelius is working on some of his new artworks to upload.  After completing his website, his dad sent the link to organizers of TOM: Tikkun Olam Makers, a global movement bringing together people with disabilities and industry specialists who develop open source assistive technology to address everyday challenges.  Cornelius has recently been invited to be part of the 2017 TOM: Melbourne which is hosting a 72 hours challenge in which Cornelius, along with other people with special needs in Australia, will be working alongside engineers, designers and developers to find solutions to existing problems.  There are 11 challenges for 2017 in which Cornelius’ challenge is one of them.  His challenge description reads as follows:
  • “Cornelius (a.k.a. Dati) is a 12 year old boy living with cerebral palsy since birth. Cornelius loves art and is determined to be a professional graphic designer. Due to a lack of strength in his arms and hands, he has been inspired by his father to tap into art especially drawing, painting and creating computer generated graphic design using his left foot.  Since the age of 7, Cornelius has used his left foot and a standard computer mouse, becoming a computing pro because of his quick thinking and creative abilities.

    His current setup is far from ideal and Cornelius wishes to have a technological device that helps his brain and left-foot coordinate synchronously so all the great ideas he has can come alive and he can inspire others to never give up.”

A 3D work done in Cinema 4D (c) 2016
Cornelius claimed he wanted to be a digital 3D artist and envisioned that one day, he would help share his knowledge with others to inspire and motivate them.  His long-term ambition is to establish an association that will promote digital learning and he hopes he will be able to contribute in that area when he grows up.  Apart from the support Cornelius gets from his parents, he also has ongoing backing from his relatives and friends including Michael Tom, Esther Jessem and all the kind-hearted staff of Physio Therapy section – Community Base Rehabilitation (CBR) at Cheshire Disability Services PNG in Port Moresby.
A contribution to Kumul Fonts V1.0 - (C) 2015
The story of Cornelius may be one amongst many around us which are yet to be exposed.  There are children and adults with special needs who are judged through their visible disabilities and not empowered to utilize their hidden abilities.  If only able people can look beyond the visible abilities and give people like Cornelius a chance to express themselves, they can be a valuable asset to our societies and even contribute immensely to the economic development of their nation.  One thing for sure is that we able people can learn widely from them and help them use their abilities to release their creative potentials and to live their daily lives, despite the countless challenges which able people do not experience.  From Cornelius’ experience, and a few others whose stories have been shared in the media locally and internationally, we can learn that they have kept the raw attributes as creative species which have been given to us from birth to sustain our lives and live life happily.  We too, can dignify our existence by discovering our inner capabilities through creative living.  As art embodies the essence of creativity, it is necessary to embrace and empower creative learning, imaginative thinking and critical construction in every person’s behavior so they will be able to live independent, constructive and fulfilling lives. 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Cyber Bullying is RIFE on Social Media


There have been various important events in the cultural and technological development of cyberspace and the Internet over the last few years.  In recent times, t
he Internet had tremendously influenced the way people communicate and interact with one another.  This brought about a lot of opportunities including challenges to the way people act and behave.  The endless opportunities for anyone to connect with friends, families, workmates and schoolmates would have never eventuate if there is no Internet today.  While majority of the World Wide Web users may focus on using the Internet for their development, there are others who have gone astray and used it negatively to intimidate others and these sometimes lead to severe consequences and even deaths.  

For this post, I will share some information pertaining to privacy on the web and why I think it is recommended for everyone to consider what they share on the Internet.  The focus will be on Cyber Bullying, outlining some of the practices heavily used today by the minority in cyberspace.  I will also include random other points throughout the post on Internet safety in general.  I hope this post will provide useful information to those who read it so they can protect their loved ones or possibly help to educate those that practice cyber bullying.

In cyberspace, the use of electronic communication to bully a person, typically through texts messages, manipulative images with the intent to intimidate or threaten someone, is likely to pose numerous threats to our society.  One of the pioneers of antivirus protection, Eset (2015) reports that cyber bullying is increasing on the internet through the use of mobile phones and computers.  A study by Eset recorded almost 45,000 children contacted ChildLine, a counseling service in UK for help in 2014.  Cyber bullying may pose greater risks to how one interact online because within cyberspace, anyone can be anonymous unlike physical bullying where victims can identify who their bullies were.   According to a study by Eset (2015), 54 percent of parents in UK were unaware of their child being bullied.  The report highlights that majority of "parents are completely ill-equipped and under-educated in knowing how to recognize and deal with" the increasing threat to children online (Eset, 2015).  With such statistics for parents in a developed nation to be unaware, it is likely that smaller developing countries like Papua New Guinea may possibly have even higher percentage of parents to educate in order to help them be aware of the risks of cyber bullying. 

Risks of Cyber bullying:
Ohio University (n.d), reports that youths especially those that are
psychologically vulnerable, are at higher risks of being affected by cyber bullying.  In some cases, the bullies themselves may also become victims of cyber bullying where they fall under any one or more of the different cyber bullying types. 

V
arious risks associated to cyber bullying include emotional distress such as anger, frustration, embarrassment, sadness, fear and depression.  Moreover, it may include disturbances to one's concentration with school work or job performance.  Cyber bullying victims can also end up quitting their job or if the victim is a student, the effects may force them to drop out or even switch schools.  Sometimes, cyber bullying encourages delinquency and violence, transforming victims to become aggressive.  For other victims, they may resolve to drug abuse or even cause them to bring weapons onto school grounds.  Even far worse, cyber bullying can lead to suicide (
Ohio University, n.d).

Common Types of Cyber Bullying:
In my attempt to understand and identify various forms of cyber bullying practices in Papua New Guinea, I followed various posts and pages on Facebook and have seen various methods employed by regular users.  I will not go into detail of giving specific examples due to sensitivity of the topic, instead I will present the overview of the different cyber bullying types for readers to learn and possibly protect themselves.  I have placed these practices into the common types of cyber bullying known in cyberspace and these are briefly explained below.

- Anonymity
Anonymity may be one of the most common and widely used forms of cyber bullying.  Among most of the listed types of cyber bullying, the internet creates a conducive cyberspace for bullies to be anonymous hence allowing them to hide behind screen names or fake identities to intimidate others.   


- Impersonation
When a person logs into someone else' account or creates a fake account with another person’s information and pictures, then sends out messages pretending to be that user, they are in the act of
impersonation. With this type of cyber bullying, it is considered a form of identity theft and is a federal crime therefore has implications based on prosecution that can last between 2 to 8 years imprisonment in most countries, and may cost fines of up to $10,000 based on inflicted harm.  


- Trickery
This type of cyber bullying involves someone being purposely tricked by a bully into sharing secretive information that may be personal or embarrassing, and then publishes that information online.

- Outing
In this type of cyber bullying, a person shares personal and private information, pictures, or videos collected from someone openly with public
The victim is “outed” when his/her information has been distributed throughout the internet.   

- Flaming
When someone posts critical or disrespectful remarks on other webpage, through emails, instant messaging, chat rooms or social media posts, they are considered flaming.  Usually, these are fights that happen online using bad or obscene languages.  Flaming wars can mount into real-life, physical fights. 

- Denigration

Denigration involves criticizing someone in a derogatory manner, to tell them that they are worth nothing.  Examples may include spreading rumors, blackmailing and threatening someone.  In many cases, texts messages such as "I hate You" or "You are Stupid" may be sent to damage another person's esteem. 

- Harassment
In a harassment type of cyber bulling, a string of hurtful and offensive messages are sent by the bully to an individual or a group repetitively. A common type of cyber bullying that can be categorized as harassment is 
Cyber stalking which as mentioned, involves continual harassing and threatening messages which may also lead to physical confrontations.

- Cyber stalking
With this type of cyber bullying, the bully keeps contacting the victim on social media or other online site and drives fear and upset to the victimUsually messages are deliberately left on someones phone to scare them.  This may include threats or sexual comments which the stalker often uses to intimidate and scare the victim.  By law in many countries, stalking is illegal.

- Exclusion
This type of bullying involves the act of intentionally excluding and leaving a person out from any online engagement such as group chats and sites.  While doing so, the group may then subsequently leave malicious comments and harass the one that is singled out.

Some Ways to abstain from cyber bullying:
While there may not be a 100 percent method to protect yourself from possible cyber bullying, there are few tips that can help anyone prevent themselves from it.  Some of those include;

- Avoid posting personal information including photos/ images
Important: With the use of manipulation programs, people can easily manipulate your images in a way to harass you then post it online. 

- Always check the TO: field (Especially with emails, verify who you are posting the message to before sending). 

- Don't be gullible:  
Try not to be emotional so you be easily persuaded to believe something.  Seek for sources or credibility. 

- Try NOT to respond to harassing messages with anger
Usually, when you are angry, you can't control yourself and this allows the gap for the bully to use you through your frustration which can make things even worse than the initial.

- Never open messages from strangers
This is one of the important warning I warned friends and families to be mindful of. Simple rule is, if you don't know the person, NEVER click on the link sent.  Additionally, if you aren't expecting a link or file from someone, never click on that link.


- Ignore chain mails, hoaxes or long emails If you come across any mail, messages that requests you to forward it to friends, DON'T forward it because it may send your email along with your friends to the source where it came from.

- Proofread messages before posting
Always check what you wrote before posting or sending it out because the Internet in itself, is the World Wide Web and anything you release can go public.

- Beware of certain topics 
There are certain topics that may invite or expose you to cyber bullies.  If you aren't sure of the topic, abstain yourself from it.

- Again, NEVER POST anything that is very private

Final Note: 
Know that the web is a medium for sharing.  Most of what you put up on the web is meant to be shared-Not private.  Be mindful of who you want to share the information with and adjust the privacy and security settings especially on the website you are using to appropriate level of information sharing.  

Remember; If you decide to post your photos and personal information online, you accept to expose your privacy unless you have your own domain that governs itself using its terms of use.  

image source:https://cdn.theconversation.com/files/144157/width926/image-20161102-27212-1lrsqz2.jpg 




Reference:

End Cyberbullying n.d, "A step closer to a safer and more friendly social network", accessed 23 July 2017,<http://www.endcyberbullying.org/5-different-types-of-cyberbullying/> 

ESET 2015, "Majority of parents are clueless when faced with cyber bullying", accessed 24 July 2017,<https://www.eset.com/me/about/press/articles/article/majority-of-parents-are-clueless-when-faced-with-cyber-bullying/>

Lohmann, C.R 2012,"Cyberbullying versus Traditional Bullying",
accessed 23 July 2017,<https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/teen-angst/201205/cyberbullying-versus-traditional-bullying>.

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Monday, July 17, 2017

Pollution - A Prompt to Sustainable Mindset


I have recently come across a friend's post on Facebook about "Plastic bottles Convenience at the biggest cost" and I did share some of my views pertaining to the issue.  Though that post was about plastic bottles, I found it to be as important to elaborate on because the issues relating to pollution are serious and have not been addressed much in many developing countries including Papua New Guinea.  Today's post may not capture everything however, the main issue I hope to express is associated with people's mindset, the trend in which development is taking place and what I think should be done.

There are various forms of pollution that have impacted our environment in recent times ranging from marine, air, water, soil, noise, light, radioactive and thermal pollution.  Papua New Guinea may have been affected by most of these pollution over the years and some of these are obviously evident.  For this post, I will briefly share some thoughts on how people are concerned about the product they consume and not the waste from those products, which ended up affecting the environment and eventually may affect people's life.  In many circumstances, these waste, mostly man-made, are dumped away or removed somewhere in the hope to clear the sight.  What may not have been considered is the place in which these waste are disposed.  Despite various actions taken by people to discard waste, it is utterly important to educate everyone to employ appropriate ways that will protect the environment.

Recently, many concerns associated to environmental pollution have been raised however, it seems not many people, including the government may have taken serious measures to address them.  
If we travel to almost majority of the beaches, near towns and cities throughout Papua New Guinea, we may find man-made waste floating or piling up along the shores.  For those living in Port Moresby, such may sometimes be visible around Ela Beach and if we travel further towards villages like Hanuabada, plastics are a common eyesore along the beach. These plastics are hazardous and pose threat to marine life as well as children who play around the area.  Even more, the community is at high risk of contracting diseases such as cholera, typhoid, diarrhea or even malaria.  What worries me is the future of what used to be playgrounds for children and refreshing sights for adults who can sit back outside their veranda and enjoy the fresh breeze from the ocean.  The once beautiful and clear sandy beaches may soon become piling spots for many of the consumable waste.

Looking at the behavior in which people's actions are performed, I think GREED is eventually going to destroy our societies if people do not step back to see the real happenings around them. It is likely that a lot of people do not have any concern for their future generation. These days it's all about ME and NOW mentality and not US and OUR Future.  I have heard from few people who bluntly responded when asked about their future and all they answered was, "I Don't Care about Tomorrow, tomorrow has its own problems", or similar responses where tomorrow or the future doesn't really matter to them. This is purely SELFISH and reckless attitude without a single concern for what problems the future generation may face.  There are people with such careless mentalities who are contributing to harm the environment.

While we may focus our attention on developments and look abroad for models and influences to shape our nation, survival basics that our ancestors have thought us such as respect and having dignity for and over our natural environment is rapidly diminishing. There seemed to be no concern whatsoever for what may happen later.  I have, in many occasions, shared similar sentiments with those that I've talked to. It seems likely that PNG is indirectly becoming a dumping ground for the things that come into the country, in the name of development. For instance, people are so focused on satisfying themselves with whatever products they consume and do not take any notice of the waste that they produce after their consumption.  Classic examples include canned and bottled foods which people consume almost everyday.  Once the bottled/ canned food have been consumed, the waste are dumped.  All the consumer is concerned about is from the time they need the product to the time they consume the product.  What happens after the consumption is where the problem lies and in many places around the world, people are now looking at sustainable ways to protect the environment.  Back at home, processed foods, imported goods, electronics, automobile and many others entered our shores in the name of development however what people don't see is where do all the waste go to after their primary consumption.  The question we should possibly ask now is, where do all these waste go to?  The answer may lead to further questions.  Were the waste dumped under the soil?  Were they thrown into the ocean?  Were they thrown into the bushes? Were they all burnt to get them out of our sight?  These questions were derived from some of the realities of what is happening today within our societies.  It may solve one side of the problem of removing the waste from our sight but on the other hand, it creates a whole new problem to the environment and the things that depend on it, including us.  In actual fact, we are polluting our soil when dumping waste into the soil and that very soil may be the one that will feed us with fresh organic food.  We pollute our oceans, destroying the marine life which we catch to feed our families.  We pollute our bushes with man-made waste when we throw them into the bush.  We contribute to climate change through the fumes that go into the atmosphere when burning waste and even pollute the air that we breathe.

In my opinion, everyone should now look at fully adopting sustainable practices into their daily lives.  Every educational institution should promote sustainable practices in their courses to help students develop sustainable mindset before joining the industry.  All organizations, whether private or public should embed sustainable practices within their organizations and ensure everyone take ownership of what they do.  The government should also seriously make it a priority to support and openly promote awareness on sustainable living and make those available to everyone through mass media. Apart from these, recycling waste materials may be a way to save the planet since recycling will enable the use of waste to reproduce rather than demanding to extract more from the planet because much of what is created is extracted from the environment.  If most developed nations have profound ways to recycle waste to promote sustainability, I believe developing nation can also learn from them and probably introduce recycling plants or even export recycling materials overseas where they can be re-processed.