Category Archives: Ephemera

Costic Acsinte – 30 Minutes of Healing

Costic? Axinte

I found Costic? Acsinte1 which is a new Flickr Commons participant. It also has a Twitter account. I really like these photographs and the backstory is interesting as well. They almost seem to good to be true but I’d almost be more excited if they were. In any case, the images are awesome.

A number of factors coalesced last night- these photographs, returning from taking too many present day photos for the VSTE conference, and some inspiration from Stephen Downes’ ‘Half an Hour’ site. I decided I’d spend 30 minutes each night making something. It’s not Daily Create (although it might be at times) and this isn’t a pledge to you in order to keep myself accountable. I tend to trend much more towards self-directed inspiration and react against most, if not all, outside pressures. With my self-analysis session out of the way, I decided last night to try to “repair” one of the photos from the Costic? Acsinte group. I say “repair” because I really love the artifacts of decay in the images. I don’t know if removing them improves the image at all. It may even make the picture less than what it is but I had never tried to repair a photograph in this way and I thought it’d be an interesting process. I set the boundary at 30 minutes so I wouldn’t get too obsessed.

Naturally, I made an animated gif to help show the process.

I may make a “reverse entropy” #ds106 assignment but I’m considering one as well where you create the age artifacts with more recent photographs.

repair-work

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repair work

Asides

Naturally there are groups on the Internet that do this sort of thing just to make the world a better place.2


1 The name “Acsinte” is also written on the page as “Axinte.” Neither translate to anything on Google Translate but the “axinte” version leads me to a LinkedIn profile with the job description “mechanical at Magic Systems SA.” It hints at interesting things but probably just in my head.

2 Maybe DS106 needs a “community service” element . . . or maybe DS106 is community service.

Law School of Upper Canada

Time is on my side

I subscribe to the feedburner of all the Flickr Commons images. There are many, many posts which clutters my RSS aggregator at times but also renews my faith in the goodness and openness of humanity and provides many of my recent favorites.

Law School of Upper Canada

I was about to go to bed tonight when I hit a string of images from the Law School of Upper Canada. I flipped through them fairly swiftly as this was not my typical area of interest but the flickering images ended up being interesting, interesting enough that I attempted to capture it above in animated gif format.

After downloading 20 portraits, I used Photoshop’s File>Script>Load Files Into Stack and was able to create the gif in about 6 minutes. It is a chunk of my life I’ll never get back but I made a small thing that I found interesting and I learned a bit as well. What’s more I put it out there for the wide world which is big enough that someone else may find it interesting as well.1

I think quite a bit lately of all the time I really wasted with work that did far less than this. These little things will add up. It is important to value that time and that element of inspiration.


1 I’ll let the Law School of Upper Canada know about it for sure. :)

Web Ephemera

Despicable?

despicable?
I looked at rate my teacher and rate my professor. Certainly some stupid stuff but it’s just an element in a larger picture. I don’t know why you wouldn’t look. Even bad reviews might cause me to think positively about someone. I found these responses strangely emotional.

Image vs Text

Inspired by Alan Levine’s foray into random manipulation of images through text, I opened up this round’s #giffight image and replaced all the $ signs with ¢ symbols. I am now an ordained oracle of some sort.

$ vs ¢

Fury vs Furry

FURY
I keep seeing a maniacal gleam in that dog’s eye now. Clearly a minor typo but one that is fun and a good contribution to further “how little does it take to turn a sentence inside out” ideas.

Personal Planes and Devices That Talk Back

strange world

Week No. 2 – Walking at Work

A few photographs from my walk to and from work during week two. Farther down are some shots of Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond- someplace I’ve always meant to go. I managed to forget my charger at work this weekend and it turns out the cemetery is only a few blocks away. We’ll consider it a fortuitous accident.

Walking at Work

The whole set is here.

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Hollywood Cemetery

The whole set is here.

D. J. Saunders

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SA Lacy

A Non-Definition of OER

THe following two photographs of slides are from David Wiley’s presentation on open education (which was awesome). I am playing against his definition for a variety of reasons which may become clear as I progress.

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(1) Any kind of teaching materials- textbooks, syllabi, lesson plans, videos, readings, exams

“Teaching materials” are in the eye of the beholder but leading with this phrase puts people in a certain mindset around content and one that is actually harmful. People make fun of “educational” resources for good reason. A large part of what needs to be opened is our ideas around what content might be educational and how we might use that content.

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(2) Free and unfettered access, and
(3) Free permission to engage in the “4R activities

I won’t argue much with #2, although I do realize I “pay” for access to some of this content when a 3rd party tracks me.

While I recognize the importance and goodness of #3, I hate to exclude all the content that falls outside that definition. I’d rather have a larger “house” of content and a few rooms that help people decide what they can do with it. I think it’s actually good that content might be ephemeral and might eventually go away. I am ok that I can’t remix certain things. I still find the content worth using. My goal is to first get people to open their eyes to the wealth of really engaging content around us and then the idea of remixing and making that content becomes both more likely and more interesting.

See Food!
I tend to see this as representative of most “teaching materials” only less exciting. The content is pre-chewed and equally unappetizing.

I’ll start with fairly normal media sources and drift outward towards stranger places and tools.

[Invitation to attend the execution of Tiburcio Vasquez]
The Flickr Commons has many good things (and a decent search interface), including this invitation to an execution that I found randomly as a result of subscribing to this RSS feed of the Commons’ photos. Since I knew Jim Groom was teaching a course on crime I passed it on and Jim did the rest. It’s also a decent example of the value of working in the open. If people know what you’re doing they may come bearing gifts. My favorites in Flickr are full of items waiting for uses.

This disturbing film records the successful experiments in the resuscitation of life to dead animals (dogs), as conducted by Dr. S.S. Bryukhonenko at the Institute of Experimental Physiology and Therapy, Voronezh, U.S.S.R. Director: D.I. Yashin.

I found this very disturbing video on Archive.org- specifically wandering around the Prelinger archives which are full of all sorts of odd things. All this content is remixable and the potential is limited only by time and imagination.

XKCD's What if?
There is a cartoonist who specializes in romance, sarcasm, math, language and happens to answer hypothetical physics questions on a weekly basis. I find this interesting in a variety of ways- not the least of which is that there is an audience for this. There is even a Twitter account that documents all the interesting numbers found in the pursuit of these answers.

Backstory
There are so many beautiful podcasts out there. This one is amazingly well done and a model for how we might teach history- 18th, 19th, and 20th century lenses on the same topic. They interview experts and provide resources that allow people to delve even deeper. This kind of thing starts to get at the idea of transmedia- different media paths with different depths driven, to some degree, by a narrative. The timely nature of the content is also quite useful- this Columbus episode for instance which would go nicely with this Oatmeal comic.1

There are so many things out there, it helps to have other people tell you about them. Eric Hoefler let me know about this one.

I do think it’s worth noting that I’m ok with degrees of “truth” from these sources. I want all information to be suspect.

There’s an endless additional supply of media but from here I’ll start to branch out into the idea that tools have as much or more value. A few of my favorites are below. I like them because they start with plenty of content and plenty of options but they also offer you the ability to fill them with your own data.

GapMinder
(Not sure why Gapminder doesn’t generate a screenshot via the WordPress Snap feature. . . it is a real place. You can click on the 404 image and go there.)

Google Earth/Google Maps- Short version – It’s full of stars.


Many Eyes

Under the tools category also falls all sorts of javascript libraries – Timeline JS, Simile Widgets, Dojo etc. etc.

And then there are people, so many people focused on finding interesting things in various areas of focus. A few content focused examples include2 -

Shorpy Fresh Photons It's OK to be Smart Literary Tattoos Literally Unbelievable

And what’s better than people? Communities. Legions of people working towards your goals is handy.

Like this reddit focused on colorizing historical photos.
Colorized History


1 and some fava beans

2 I would note that content focused blogs should be rounded out. It’s important to look outside education.