Taming Waves: Layne Beachley Applied for Wildcard Entry to the Association of Surfing Professionals World Championship Tour

Layne Beachley, surfing a barrel at Teahupoo, TahitiLayne Beachley is a seven-time world surfing champion and big-wave surfer. She retired in 2008.

Via Twitter, today she revealed she has applied for a wildcard entry with the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Championship Tour (WCT) for next year’s tour. Currently, she does not have a sponsor or company backing.

Her announcement has nothing to do with “taming data”, but, boy, can she “tame waves”. I plan to do a series of posts on the “science of surfing” so I thought this exciting announcement about a champion big wave surfer coming out of retirement to go on the pro tour again would be a fun start to the series.

The video above is of Layne riding at Ours, Maroubra, Sydney, Australia. Surfers consider her ride a very deep tube on a thick day. It was one entry in the “Ride of the Year” category of the 2009/10 Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards.

It’s amazing how the pros make something challenging look so simple and easy-to-do. I look forward to watching her compete during the next ASP WCT season.

Do you surf? If so, what is the heaviest wave you’ve taken on?

The thumbnail image at the top of this post is via the Brisbane Times (2008).

Dumb Ways to Die, Via Melbourne, Australia’s Metro Trains

Dumb Ways to Die by Melbourne, Australia's Metro TrainsSo, you want to make a Public Service Announcement (PSA) that will deter the public from engaging in activities that may cause bodily harm, if not death, around trains.

How do you do this?

If you are the Melbourne, Australia Metro Train organization, you create a catchy animated and real-world video of the various ways to die, augmented by a catchy tune.

This video first went viral in November 2012. Recently, it “won the Grand Prix in the public relations and direct marketing categories at the Cannes Lions festival.” In addition to doing well at Cannes, the video “won gongs at One Show D&AD and the Webby Awards. It also earned mentions in YouTube’s Year in Review, Google’s Zeitgeist and TED’s Ideas Worth Spreading.”

I thought this was a great way to take a serious topic and engage the public with a slew of serious data and information.

Do you have any favorite PSAs?

Explaining Tsunamis to Children (and Adults) via NOAA

Grom CrossingThis past weekend, a 6.5 magnitude earthquake hit off the Pacific Coast of Nicaragua. Various government Web sites about earthquakes and tsunamis had conflicting reports about whether or not officials were going to issue or had issued a tsunami warning.

While I don’t live in Central America, I had a great time at a surf camp in Costa Rica a few months ago, and I wondered about the safety of the many wonderful people I met there, as well as current guests. Everyone was fine.

The earthquake reminded me of this Web site I found last year about tsunami awareness, and the following video designed to educate children about the different types of tsunami, and what to do if and when one occurs. Warning: the song at the end is a bit lame.

I think the authors of this video found an entertaining method for describing complex data and information to groms and adults.

Is there anything in particular that you like and dislike about this video?

What is “Digital Curation”? What Does the Phrase Mean to You?


This comic strip came out almost two years ago, in October 2011. I have wanted to post on this topic, but since I wrote one of my literature reviews for my dissertation on this very subject, I decided against blogging on it. I was a bit weary of the subject for a while, but it has since become fun again. So, here we go….

Dr. Cal Lee and Dr. Helen Tibbo define “digital curation” as:

Digital curation involves selection and appraisal by creators and archivists; evolving provision of intellectual access; redundant storage; data transformations; and, for some materials, a commitment to long-term preservation. Digital curation is stewardship that provides for the reproducibility and re-use of authentic digital data and other digital assets. Development of trustworthy and durable digital repositories; principles of sound metadata creation and capture; use of open standards for file formats and data encoding; and the promotion of information management literacy are all essential to the longevity of digital resources and the success of curation efforts.

Continue reading “What is “Digital Curation”? What Does the Phrase Mean to You?”