Costic Acsinte – 30 Minutes of Healing

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 […]

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. 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 […]

Web Ephemera

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. Fury vs Furry 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

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. Hollywood Cemetery The whole set is here.

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. (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. (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 […]

Real Life

Jon Wirsing was kind enough to share a couple of baby rat snakes the didn’t want around his house (and his wife Karen was even kinder to deliver them). For some reason we rarely run into snakes despite quite a bit of time in the woods. I think we’re just too loud. The kids were clearly incredibly excited. Two snakes and four kids led to some sharing issues which are always interesting when live animals are concerned. Five or six frogs (escapes required new captures) helped fill in as did a grasshopper and a roly-poly.1 I believe these kinds of experiences are invaluable. Because of my role, many people who don’t know me that well assume that I find technology a seamless substitute for virtually anything. I’m pretty sure they picture me in a basement somewhere avoiding physical contact with things. I can give these experience to my own children. I can take the risk or make the extra effort. There is no doubt in my mind these moments will stay with them creating memories that will be built upon and which will result in more learning and more interest in the world around them. We talked about poisonous and non-poisonous snakes and how the shape of the pupil was a very good way to help tell the difference between […]

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Colonial Research – Ephemera

Beaver Hats Here are examples of hats made of felted beaver fur, because if you ask your students to draw a picture of a beaver hat, you’re likely to get some sort of coonskin monstrosity. (Seriously, you should try that.) Pukestocking, Puke-stocking, Puke Stocking tl;dr – Being called puke-stocking likely has everything to do with fashion instead of seasickness. Despite many sites claiming that Pilgrims were called puke stockings, I can’t find anything substantial to back that up (and now think it means something entirely different anyway). I did find a reference to puke stockings in Shakespeare’s King Henry IV – Wilt thou rob this leathern jerkin, crystal-button, not-pated, agate-ring, puke-stocking, caddis-garter, smooth-tongue, Spanish-pouch,– Which led first to this explanation and then to this one which seems to have some backing. In 1598, when Shakespeare wrote his play, “puke” was a very fine grade of woolen cloth, often used to make stockings as well as other garments. This kind of “puke” first appeared in English in the mid-15th century, derived from the Middle Dutch word “puuc,” meaning “the best grade of cloth.” Interestingly, “puke” cloth was, in Shakespeare’s day, usually dyed deep bluish-black or dark brown, leading to the term “puke color.” This “puke,” however, is unrelated to the brownish-purple color we know today as “puce,” which takes its name […]

Internet Ephemera – Sociology Edition

Statistics Reducing a player’s worth to a single number can be contemptible, says John Thorn, a seminal sabermetric writer and the author of the 1984 book The Hidden Game of Baseball. That book introduced the Linear Weights System, which attaches a value in runs to every offensive event. (For instance, a single when the book was released was worth 0.47 of a run.) Linear Weights System provides the mathematical basis for WAR’s offensive components. Thorn, while supportive of WAR, criticizes the way it is often deployed to end an argument. “The current lowest common denominator of statistical writing is the fixation on comparing Player A with Player B, which seems to me not only worthless but serves to obscure the larger story of baseball,” Thorn says. “Enjoyment of baseball is like enjoyment of art. If you decide it has to have a utilitarian function & you make it seem like work. It’s supposed to be play.” –ESPN Given there aren’t many baseball players, they are already filmed and analyzed from virtually every angle1 in a game that’s relatively simple compared to something like, say, teaching, I don’t have a lot of hope for the assessment of teacher quality working out well. Roger Shank doesn’t make me feel any better. We’re trivializing the idea of evaluating teachers in part because culturally […]

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Internet Detritus – History Continued

Same as it ever was The Massachusetts Body of Liberties 1620 More proof Pilgrams were more interesting than your history book would admit with a hat tip to my own dad for sending the link. No torture . . . unless you’re convicted and we feel like you’re holding something back but we promise not to be “Barbarous” or “inhumane.” 45. No man shall be forced by Torture to confesse any Crime against himselfe nor any other unlesse it be in some Capitall case, where he is first fullie convicted by cleare and suffitient evidence to be guilty, After which if the cause be of that nature, That it is very apparent there be other conspiratours, or confederates with him, Then he may be tortured, yet not with such Tortures as be Barbarous and inhumane. And of course the classics . . . (Deut. 13. 6, 10. Deut. 17. 2, 6. Ex. 22.20) If any man or woeman be a witch, (that is hath or consulteth with a familiar spirit,) They shall be put to death. and (Lev. 24. 15,16.) If any person shall Blaspheme the name of god, the father, Sonne or Holie Ghost, with direct, expresse, presumptuous or high handed blasphemie, or shall curse god in the like manner, he shall be put to death. Notice the Biblical […]

Internet Detritus – History Edition

I have been building out a timeline for US History to 18761 and so have been wandering around the LOC site and other historical places quite a bit. As a result, I have found many things that interest me and may, just may, interest you. Here Be Pirates! cc licensed ( BY SD ) flickr photo shared by bionicteaching via LOC where you can see the whole document. For as much as there coasts have been and still are infected with divers piratical sea rovers and other enemies; whereby sundry depredations, robberies and damages have been done to and committed upon many of the KING and QUEENS majesties liege subjects, and ?, goods and estates to the great impoverishing and hurt of the same. Pirates are always a good thing to work into history and it sure looks like these are essentially taxes to pay for defense from said piratical sea rovers. It makes for a good counterpoint to the Boston Tea Party. Remember that f looking s is not just for decoration- learn about the long s at Wikipedia. Castaway Dental Tips cc licensed ( BY SD ) flickr photo shared by bionicteaching There was just something about the fact that the stranded sailors came back with shining white teeth that amused me. I was also surprised no one […]