Weekly Web Harvest for 2016-10-02

The mystery of the ‘ghost trees’ may be solved – SFGate Redwoods can also clone themselves, further complicating scientists’ understanding of them. Vast rings of related plants communicate via their roots, and during the hard months of winter and early spring, they’ll distribute nutrients evenly among themselves. Scientists have spilled dye onto trees at one end of a grove and traced it through the root network all the way to the other side. “Most people, when they come to the redwood, they look up at the canopy,” Kuty says. “But down is where the action is.” This collaboration lasts only until summer comes. Then every tree, sprout and branch must fend for itself. Those that can’t photosynthesize enough sugar are cut off from the shared root system and discarded during what’s known as the autumn “needle drop.” Douglas Coupland: ‘I’m actually at my happiest when I’m writing on a plane’ | Books | The Guardian There’s a kind of existential heebie-jeebies that accompanies the abandonment of routine: what if I lose my skills and they never come back? What if I become too fragmented? What if the forces of the future I’m trying to depict crush me like a bug? But then, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Live asynchronously. If your job requires even an ounce of creativity, you’ll do your best […]

Setting Cell Values – Google Forms/Sheets Workflow

flickr photo shared by Internet Archive Book Images with no copyright restriction (Flickr Commons) Often, people really like the workflows enabled by Google Forms but they’d like it to go one step farther . . . like adding up two submitted items, or running a particular function/formula against the submitted data. You can certainly go in there and manually enter formulas or drag down to apply them to additional cells but that sucks and if you’re automatically displaying this data live somewhere it’s an impediment to a solid workflow. Most importantly, it sets a human to do something that a machine ought to be doing- that is the path to Skynet assuming control. We can and must resist! Subjugate the machines whenever possible! The script below is broken into three parts and shows two different ways to set the value for columns based on data entered in a form. Part 1 – This is pretty much default information that lets the script know which spreadsheet and which page it’s working with. The getLastRow() is really handy for applying this to data as it is entered. This example form writes data to columns A – K. In example one, we do the math internally and just spit the result into the cell. That’s handy for lots of stuff and can be […]


Weekly Web Harvest for 2016-09-25

Size Matters – Futility Closet Olives counting 120-135 olives per pound: Standard Olives counting 105-120 olives per pound: Medium Olives counting 90-105 olives per pound: Large Olives counting 75-90 olives per pound: Extra Large Olives counting 65-75 olives per pound: Mammoth Olives counting 55-65 olives per pound: Colossal Olives counting 45-55 olives per pound: Giant Over the years they added Jumbo, Supercolossal, and Special Supercolossal. I Sarah Patterson, arrested for trying to steal money from a… | Flickr the comments are pretty interesting

Importing CSV into Google Sheets via Google Script

flickr photo shared by OSU Special Collections & Archives : Commons with no copyright restriction (Flickr Commons) As part of a future project, I’m looking for easy, automated ways to push/pull CSV files around. Initially I thought I’d just do the =importdata(‘http://theurl.com/data.csv”) function but I realized that had some drawbacks that made it less ideal which lead to the script below. Using Google Script triggers this script could be set to retrieve a CSV file every X amount of time and write it to a Google Sheet. The upper portion is adapted from this answer. In any case, it opens up some decent automatic options and would keep data fresh for easy access charts and graphs in Google.

Playing with Words – Google Sheets to jQuery Drag/Drop

flickr photo shared by Internet Archive Book Images with no copyright restriction (Flickr Commons) This is a modification of the old refrigerator poetry concept based on a request from some of our World Languages professors but it’ll likely have some broader applicability. It essentially allows for three major things. You can create draggable elements (words, phrases, any HTML) from a Google spreadsheet You can create destination areas for those elements (also through the Google ss) You can make it so that elements that don’t match those destinations won’t “stick” there (spreadsheet again) It might be easier to see what’s up through the short video below. This was done mostly in jQuery but there are also a few Google Script elements that make life easier. The page below has everything except the CSS. It’s decently commented I think. The only real trouble I had was figuring out where/when to feed in the draggable/droppable elements. It kicked through after a bit of experimentation but I have a long way to go with javascript. Google Script There’s a directions sheet in the spreadsheet where I wrote a custom function. That allows me to write =getId() in the cell and have it generate the right URL for whatever spreadsheet it is in. You can also automatically copy my spreadsheet by going to the following […]


Weekly Web Harvest for 2016-09-18

Welcome to the Dark Net, a Wilderness Where Invisible World Wars Are F | Vanity Fair , Look, we’re in the Internet business. We know we’re going to get hacked. We have to assume, always, that our network is already owned. It is important to go slowly and stay calm. We will soon know how and when to lock the door. We will have to decide later if we should do more. To me he said, “Also, relax. In the long run, the chance of survival always drops to zero anyway.” He did not say this to his client. It was not an insight the Company would have valued at the time. Even in the short run, as it turned out, the news would be alarming enough. Anxiety Culture: 8000 years of anti-social behaviour I haven’t tracked down all the quotes but there’s some good looking stuff here. This Is What’s Missing From Journalism Right Now | Mother Jones Conservatively, counting just the biggest chunks of staff time that went into it, the prison story cost roughly $350,000. The banner ads that appeared on the article brought in $5,000, give or take. Nothing To Do With Arbroath: Man acquitted of remote-control arson from 250 miles away now faces deportation The investigator’s theory was that Mr Robinson, while in Hamilton, opened […]

Photography – Week 141 and 142

I wasn’t pleased enough to do a weekly post last week. I’m concentrating a bit more now and trying to get past my urge to rush to work that will be there if I take an extra ten or fifteen minutes.


Weekly Web Harvest for 2016-09-11

Teen Sues Parents for Posting Childhood Photos on Facebook | Mental Floss But it led to legal trouble for one Austrian couple when their 18-year-old daughter slapped them with a lawsuit for refusing to remove hundreds of embarrassing baby photos, The Local reports. The teen, whose name has not been released to the public, claims the over 500 childhood pictures posted to the social networking site without her consent violate her privacy. “They knew no shame and no limit—and didn’t care whether it was a picture of me sitting on the toilet or lying naked in my cot—every stage was photographed and then made public” she told The Local. “I’m tired of not being taken seriously by my parents.” dy/dan » Blog Archive » The Desmos Guide to Building Great (Digital) Math Activities Create an intellectual need for new mathematical skills. Ask yourself, “Why did a mathematician invent the skill I’m trying to help students learn? What problem were they trying to solve? How did this skill make their intellectual life easier?” Then ask yourself, “How can I help students experience that need?” We calculate because calculations offer more certainty than estimations. We use variables so we don’t have to run the same calculation over and over again. We prove because we want to settle some doubt. Before we offer […]

Free Speech? Random Scenario Generator

Talking to Dan about his sports law course resulted in this random generator which might be fun for others. It’s still developing but I like the potential for reinforcing some concepts about free speech in a fun way that allows you to repeatedly explore the topic without it getting tedious. I thought this would be a few minutes of work but I believe that Google has shifted the structure of their JSON feeds from the Spreadsheet. It could also be that I am insane. This particular experience did remind, rather unpleasantly, that I don’t fully understand how nested JSON parsing works. I ended up in the right place but only through about 40 minutes of slamming my head into various walls of misunderstanding. I also need to spend a bit of time applying the DRY concept to this bloated mess.