Photography – Week 110

You might have heard. We had some snow. We don’t have much for hills around here. My neighborhood was likely a swamp in the recent past. The mound of snow you can see in two of the shots represents quite a lot of shoveling on my part.

WordPress for Syllabus Submission

This post is specifically about addressing a syllabus submission problem but it’s worth thinking about more broadly. It should be pretty applicable to any structured data entry problem you have. These are often administrative chores (like this one) but could also be about cataloging grave markers or indexing resources or Collecting the syllabi for their department is one of those miserable things department chairs often have to do. They then need to store and reference those syllabi for a few years.1 The normal pattern is to ask people to email the syllabus and there is usually some desperate plea for a common naming convention.2 This plea is followed by ~2 people. People are bad at directions (giving and following). Email makes this basic flaw 20 times worse.3 This particular pattern for misery incarnate is repeated over and over at VCU and across universities everywhere. I recently met with a faculty member who’d at least been asked to submit the syllabus to a shared Google Drive folder but he was having issues because of directions and Google’s interface for this kind of thing being not what it might be. The department chair was also stuck with the naming convention falling apart already and they only had about 8 syllabi in there. Please don’t do that. It’s best to avoid directions as […]


Weekly Web Harvest (weekly)

Flickr Commons – Going Strong! | Library of Congress Blog “Most weeks, we post old news photographs that have incomplete and even erroneous titles. The steady addition of informative comments remains much appreciated, and we have folded almost 9,000 updated photo captions back into our own online catalog. The rapid deciphering of “Mystery Photos” that had no title at all is also very impressive!” tags: commons flickr congress weekly collaboration Deal from strength or get crushed every time | MetaFilter “Deal from strength or get crushed every time” the Trump song tags: america trump strange song weekly tweet Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Put The Events Calendar Month View on Your Homepage

Because I’ve been messing with The Events Calendar for the RVArts project, along came another conversation where that plugin seemed like a good answer. It answered all their needs except for one – the wanted to have the month view of events be the homepage for the site. I knew that didn’t happen natively but I figured I could do it. The first step is to create a custom page template. There are a number of tutorials on how to do that. I usually just duplicate the page template for the theme I’m using as a parent and go from there. The one I’m using is below. The Events Calendar has this nice function (tribe_show_month) which’ll pull the month’s data by default. That’ll get you something that looks like below (depending on your theme). It’s the right content but it’s not applying the same CSS/JS that’s on the regular month view. You could go in and rewrite CSS and JS etc. but that would suck for this particular project. It turns out you have to enqueue the right stuff and this post was so very helpful in telling what to enqueue. I updated it to the newer functions and presto everything worked just like the normal month events view. It goes into my child theme’s functions.php. This particular version only […]


Random Rap Songs for @brlamb

A pretty wide departure from the normal stuff on this site1 but after spending some time with the esteemed Bryan Lamb I thought it’d be fun to share some random rap songs. I’m sure all of these songs curse. Most are offensive. Some are just bad but I still like them for various reasons. I have no idea how bad/good the videos are as I didn’t see most of them. You’ve been warned. This will be the cleanest song in the list. “They call me the Hip-Hopapotamus Flows that glow like phosphorous Poppin’ off the top of this esophagus Rockin’ this metropolis I’m not a large water-dwelling mammal Where did you get that preposterous hypothesis?” While I usually think police are coming up behind me, I do know all the words. About 1:29 was when it got really good. I can’t find anything clean enough to quote. Tu Pac. 1:23 ish – “something’s evil in my IV . . . ” I always thought this song was called Cadillac Doors. From 2 Fast 2 Furious the soundtrack but the I was way too happy with the lines “I’m like this corner I gotta stay bent/ I need every quarter I gotta pay rent.” “I take breath, the opposite of primateen mist” Niki Minaj’s lines are classic. “Yeah I’m in that […]

WordPress Reverse List a Particular Category

I often get requests from instructors that ask me to get WordPress to behave in a way that’s just different enough that WordPress fights them. Now that I can mostly program, I could make quick child themes to deal with this but that causes me the hassle of keeping all that stuff straight so I still do some quick and dirty stuff with plugins. This example is based on an instructor who wanted one particular category (lesson plans) to list from oldest to newest rather than the default WP blog layout of newest to oldest. That’s a pretty easy thing to do if you use the List Category Post plugin. Once you’ve got the plugin on and you’ve found the category id (mouse over the category when you’re in Dashboard>Categories and look for id= in the URL at the bottom of the page) all you need to do is put in [catlist id=9 numberposts=-1 order=asc] In this case, it says get the posts in the category with id 9, -1 means get all of them, and order them from lowest to highest/ or oldest/newest. That’s it. I’ve now got a page that shows all 41 lesson plans from oldest to newest and no child theme to keep track of.

RVArts – Dealing with Dates in WordPress

We have an awesome general education course starting this semester called Cultural Passport (aka RVArts). The goal is to get students involved with the community’s cultural events – participating, promoting, reviewing them. The web side of this ends up being pretty interesting. See their video below for more details on the course. When we started this conversation last year, I thought I was going to go the Gravity Form submission route1 and use a js library to make it possible to add the events to various calendars. Like most projects, particulars shifted and we started changing things pretty radically right before winter break. We ended up shooting for full WordPress editor access for students to create events and the desire to write three different types of responses (interviews, reviews, and features) that would be associated with a specific event. Also, like most projects, this was all a bit beyond what I’d ever done before. I started off thinking I’d create a custom post type for events. I was trying to make up my mind between using Advanced Custom Fields and CMB to help do that when I realized I hadn’t really thought about repeat events. The complexities involved there really made me rethink my decision to do this from scratch. After that I started trying various plugins and eventually decided […]


Weekly Web Harvest (weekly)

Between the Words – C82: Works of Nicholas Rougeux data viz posters showing only the punctuation from famous novels tags: punctuation english weekly A primer on the damaging movement to privatize public schools – The Washington Post “If challenged, test fans often quote the late Dr. W. Edward Deming, the world-famous quality guru who showed Japanese companies how to build better stuff than anybody else. In his book, “The New Economics,” Deming wrote, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” Here’s the whole sentence as he wrote it: “It is wrong to suppose that if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it — a costly myth.” “ tags: weekly education quote Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Photography – Week 106, 107, 108?

I have no idea what week I’m on. Winter break was a bit chaotic for me. A quick drive to see my parents in Alabama.1 I was then solo with the kids for about a week. While she was gone I managed to build a fairly decent bunk bed- a first for me. This was complicated by some licensing issues with Lightroom thanks to my ill-fated El Capitan upgrade that took a full uninstall of all my Adobe products to fix. . .  I do not do well when I break these types of routines as my attachment to time and space is only tenuous at the best of times. In any case, many pictures were taken and lots of them were from the car.   1 Can any 12 hr drive be considered quick?