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Weekly Web Harvest for 2017-02-19

Theft: A History of Music Competitive Eating Was Even More Disgusting in the 17th Century | Atlas Obscura Among the suggested meals to give the “most exorbitant paunchmonger” were a wheelbarrow full of tripe, as many puddings as would stretch across the Thames, and an entire fat calf or sheep.

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Weekly Web Harvest for 2017-02-12

A Surreal Trip to a Domain-Names Conference – The Atlantic As a person who grew up online during the heyday of weird domain hacks, I mostly thought of domain names as a very niche genre of experimental poetry, one in which radical constraints (availability, brevity, the cadence of an interrupting “dot”) produce small, densely packed pockets of internet magic. Trump ran a campaign based on intelligence security. That’s not how he’s governing. – The Washington Post Phones — especially phones with their flashes turned on for improved visibility — are portable television satellite trucks and, if compromised, can be used to get a great deal of information about what’s happening nearby, unless precautions are taken. January 17, 2017 : The Daily Papert School treats them like children in an impoverishing sense where children are assumed to be people who don’t have good ideas, whose knowledge is limited, who have to be told rather than exploring, discovering, creating, possessing knowledge. I think that’s the shift that we can bring around, about, and we have to … I see setting up that vision as the most important, maybe the most important act in the world because all the other things like saving the environment and the planet will flow from new ways of thinking that depend in turn on children growing up […]

WP JSON to Google Sheets – Reflective Data

Image from page 86 of “Refraction and motility of the eye, with chapters on color blindness and the field of vision” (1920) flickr photo by Internet Archive Book Images shared with no copyright restriction (Flickr Commons) Way back in 2015, I wrote a little plugin1 to count URLs, get the word count and do other stuff so I could reflect on my blog posts. Given some (k)new knowledge2, I figured I could make a version that runs in Google Sheets and indeed I can. The reason I like this as an alternative to the plugin is that it works for anyone who has access to Google Sheets even if they can’t install plugins. Google Sheets also offers a lower barrier to messing with your own data once you get start capturing it. You can count the !s, or a variety of emoticons, or how often you use the word “spaces,” or whatever you want- all without the ability to program in php or javascript. I think it starts to open up different doors for students3 to gather their own kind of data for reflection and amusement. It starts to get at the DIY ethos inherent in the quantified self communities. The sheet is here. I’m going to build it out into something a bit more robust and plug/play in the […]

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Weekly Web Harvest for 2017-02-05

you-draw-it – bl.ocks.org How to do that awesome draw/predict the chart interactive piece from NYT Where To Catch Me For personal reasons, I stopped accepting ordinary speaking engagements in August 2002. Your offer will have to be exceptionally interesting to pass my filters. The Final Flight of Martin McNally | Feature | St. Louis News and Events | Riverfront Times But nothing could have prepared McNally for the interference of a young Florissant businessman, David Hanley, who was among the bystanders ogling the drama from the terminal. Hanley did not remain a bystander for long. As the jet taxied down the runway, its massive engines revving in preparation for takeoff, Hanley’s 1971 Cadillac Eldorado crashed through the runway’s perimeter, battering through a fence at 80 miles per hour on a collision course with Flight 119. The plane, heavy with fuel, was essentially a bomb with wings. Over the intercom, the captain’s voice crackled with panic. “Oh my god, there’s a vehicle on the runway!”

ANTH 101 Rebirth

I had the chance to work more on the ANTH 101 site with Ryan and Mike over winter break. It’s a pretty significant change. It’s almost entirely gutted in terms of the WordPress side of things with a different theme, some new plugins etc. but also some significant changes on how student see and interact with the work they make. Some of the initial conversations resulted in the Minimal WordPress work which . . . we ended up tossing.1 But what we ended up creating is pretty slick and does a number of pretty interesting things. The Bones ANTH101 is a large class- several hundred students large – so a chunk of being able to deal with that is making things simple for students. A large chunk of work went towards simplicity. Another large chunk of effort went towards making it feel and look app-like on a phone. That’s the equivalent of making it look cool/interesting and feel modern – pretty much the opposite of most course site software. It was expected students would be using their phones to submit work and browse. ANTH101 runs on a child-theme of Boss.Not like this boss (#nsfw). There are few different plugins that make it all work. The major ones are as follows – Visual Composer – both Mike and Ryan want to […]

More Than a Bunch of Stuff – Argumentative & Experiential History Sites

In working with students in the Digital History course, we’ve repeatedly bumped up against the idea that it’s harder to make a cohesive argument on the Internet (vs a traditional paper) or that constructing a web-based exhibition abdicates controls you have in physical space. There are frequent examples of archives referenced in the texts (Valley of the Shadow for instance) but for various reasons (age, limited time/space/knowledge) there aren’t many decent examples of constructing a multimedia argument or experiential/immersive examples. So here’s an attempt to show some sites that are far more than a-bunch-of-stuff-on-the-Internet and some elements that help them do that. Kennedy/Oswald It’s a bit heavy on the parallax for my taste but it’s a pretty direct parallel to a museum exhibit. It sets out to parallel the lives of Kennedy and Oswald reinforcing that parallel with visual metaphors (split screen transitions, similar images etc.) to reinforce that concept. There is a main text-based storyline, music to reinforce a certain mood,1 and the ability to see supporting elements by clicking on various items. The movement through the site is very guided. The links are kept within the site and remain contextualized rather than leading to other sites. The ancillary materials are a mixed bag of audio, images, video, and mixed media. Digital primary source materials are used throughout to […]

No Easy Anythings – OER at VCU

Emanuel Shinwell, 1918 flickr photo by LSE Library shared with no copyright restriction (Flickr Commons) Someone sent me the following comment from Professor Golumbia (a professor here at VCU). He’s got me blocked on Twitter for some reason or I’d loop him in directly. I’m taking that as a message not to communicate directly but since this comment was public and I’m quoted in the article, I figured I could at least respond. Maybe it’ll moderate the level of perceived evil intent. cool, my employer is now paying its employees to screw themselves & other laborers out of significant future wages https://t.co/rf1zmelscS — David Golumbia (@dgolumbia) February 7, 2017 I don’t feel like it’s quite as binary as it’s being portrayed but that portrayal may be a result of Twitter’s limits.1 It’s also easy to see an institution as purely evil. It’s usually harder to do that with individuals. It’s also a rough time to care about education, students, faculty, academia as an institution, nature, freedom, humanity, etc. etc. All that to say, I understand an aggressive response to just about anything right now. With that, I’ll give you my two cents on why I opted to engage with VCU OER work. In the OER conversation, the easy victory is to focus on monetary savings for students. It’s a far […]

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Weekly Web Harvest for 2017-01-29

Why School Reform Is Impossible “…before the computer could change School, School changed the computer.” just getting the original quote Tilt.js – A tiny parallax tilt effect for jQuery The high-tech war on science fraud | Science | The Guardian The comparison is apt. The exposure of fraud directly threatens the special claim science has on truth, which relies on the belief that its methods are purely rational and objective. As the congressmen warned scientists during the hearings, “each and every case of fraud serves to undermine the public’s trust in the research enterprise of our nation”. OU Create Thus Far (2016) – Adam Croom This post, a sort of end-of-the-year wrap up, is a step towards trying to pull together a better aggregated story as to what has and is happening with OU Create–though it’s really only a start. Yes, it still leans on metrics, but please don’t get distracted by those too much. They are merely a tool that serves as an anchor. Below the numbers I’ve linked to relevant blog posts, which I’m personally more interested in. I’d rather build towards stories and relationships than numbers. But numbers do make it easy to build an infographic… So one of those is at the bottom too. List: Tips for Staying Calm and Relaxed in 2017 – McSweeney’s Internet Tendency Put a […]

You Can’t Do That on WordPress

I submitted something like this already to NMC but it failed . . . and I did not have a backup copy. They happened to extend the deadline so I’ve resubmitted and I’m sticking a copy here for future reference. It might also be useful just for a handy list of examples. 100 Word Summary 1 Open Source, highly flexible, and running 1 in every 4 sites on the Internet today, yet many still put WordPress in the “cat diary” box.2 In the initiative’s third year, we have 21,000+ sites. See examples of WordPress as a single-use tool and how it can be used to build truly customized courses.  All examples are open to the world (no passwords). We’ll explore design patterns (build fast at scale) and powerful plugins (use the community). Mind expansion is the goal. The code’s on GitHub. Warning: 1980s Canadian TV show references will occur. These are all public examples. They’re in real courses in a large, public university. This is work that is accessible and possible for anyone. Additionally, all the plugins and themes we create are on GitHub (here and here). I’ve also done my best to document how it all works on many posts on my site. I want people to be able to do this on their own or with their institution […]