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Things we love 12

At FutureLearn, we’re always on the look out for new sources of inspiration and share what we learn with the world every month in our “Things we love” series. Here, in our first instalment of 2016, our team talk about some of their favourite things from around the web and some of the things they’ve been up to.

Our inspiration

On Liberty: a Conversation with Shami Chakrabarti

As Shami steps down as director of Liberty I wanted to share a talk with a woman that inspired me to learn more about our rights in the digital age. The LSE lecture series is also great example of opening up education to everyone and I would recommend listening to the podcast or attending their free events.

– Tessa Cooper, Product Manager

Is the Man Who is Tall Happy?

An animated conversation between the distinguished linguist and philosopher Noam Chomsky and the French film director Michel Gondry. Vibrant and at times surreal, Gondry’s hand-drawn animation brings to life Chomsky’s ideas including an enlightening sequence on how children acquire language.

– Kieran McCann, Visual Designer

‘Bartleby, the Scrivener’, Digitally Annotated

An annotated version of Herman Melville’s elusive short story. Period photographs and interactive notes enrich the text without overwhelming it; you can choose to (or choose not to, pardon the pun) engage with them as much or as little as you like. It’s a nice example of how web design can complement literary studies.

– Katherine Weber, Partnership Manager

The Infinite Monkey Cage

Brian Cox and Robin Ince steer scientists and comedians through all sorts of topics in this funny pop science podcast. The new series has just started with the first episode of 2016 featuring Jo Brand debating AI along with neuroscientist Anil Seth and roboethicist Alan Winfield.

– Jess Weeks, Copywriter

You Can’t Spell Trust Without Rust

Alexis Beingessner has recently submitted his Masters degree thesis that focuses on some of the interesting things about Rust, a new systems programming language from Mozilla. This is interesting to me for two reasons: first, as a beginner Rust programmer, having such a well-thought-out resource explaining some of the difficult parts of the language is a real benefit; and second, Alexis has decided to publish his thesis under the GPL, a free software license, guaranteeing the availability of the work without commercial restrictions to the community. This is a fantastic decision for both the education and the software communities.

– Matthew Valentine-House, Back-end Developer

Us elsewhere

Starting Out: a Hack Day to Support Young People in Their Careers

As part of The Start-Out series, a collection of blog posts offering advice and inspiration for young people starting out in the world of work, Tessa is organising a hack day to bring together digital experts, youth service providers and young people to come up with ideas on how we can support more young people in finding employment and a career they enjoy.

Christmas is a Time for Reflection

In this post for 12 Devs of Christmas, Developer Melinda Seckington looks at why people should take the time to step back and reflect in the right way. Using some of her favourite Christmas movies as examples, she explains how to approach and create your own personal retrospectives.

Diversity CFP workshop

On Saturday 30 January the FutureLearn offices are hosting a workshop organised by ScotlandCSS and ScotlandJS, to encourage people to take that next step in submitting a conference talk proposal. During the workshop, experienced speakers and people who have been part of review committees will share how they’ve experienced call for proposals (CFP) processes and how they write their proposals.

Seen something lately that you think we’ll love? Share it in the comments below. Want to know more about the way we work? Take a look at all of our “Making FutureLearn” posts.

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