Color Thief WordPress Plugin

Color Thief is a slick javascript that grabs a color palette from images. I found it after talking to an art professor who was looking to help future art teachers reflect on their work in different ways. Color palettes seemed an interesting way to get at that. I was talking to Larry about this earlier and he wanted to look at color usage for ads in different magazines. I didn’t have any handy but thought I’d throw a few other websites in the mix and see what they look like. It opens up some interesting ways to look at all sorts of visual elements. I don’t know if it necessarily means anything but it provides you the opportunity to argue one way or another. It’d be a fun way to look at ads for toys and the whole gender thing. To make it accessible to people, I made a WordPress plugin. The NRA I was interested in the caucasian flesh tone. I hadn’t noticed that all but one1 of the people were white prior to seeing that. Garden & Gun (Larry’s suggestion) CNN How’s it work? It took a bit to get somewhere decent-ish mainly because I spent some time solving a problem that didn’t exist.2 If you’ll look at the comments below, it’s chunked out and described. If you […]

Juxtaposing Woodcuts

I was fortunate to meet Claire Bourne from VCU’s English Department yesterday. In addition to all sorts of fun conversations around her upcoming course on Marlowe (and the WordPress site) and the FileMaker database she built to see more deeply into her research,1 Claire mentioned she was on Twitter (roaringgirle) which opened the door to yet another interesting world of people on Twitter. One of Claire’s tweets comparing two different, but very similar, woodcuts did catch my eye as an interesting target for Juxtapose. woodcut on this 18c TITUS ballad = copy of one on TP of 1 IRON AGE (1632) | Misc 289783, Huntington via @EBBA_Ballads pic.twitter.com/e1EJYqFz1c — claire m. l. bourne (@roaringgirle) August 13, 2015 It took a few minutes to cut/paste into PhotoShop. I then resized them so they were roughly the same size. Despite their aspect ratios being a bit off, I think it turned out well. I also opted to do the vertical scrolling option as I felt it made it easier to see the differences than the horizontal option. Nothing fancy but a solid way we can look at media in a way that helps drive understanding. 1 How awesome is that? I also had fun reminiscing FileMaker was something I spent a lot of time with back in the day.


Inspired by (or copying depending on your perspective) this Modern Met post. Apophenia Find something in your house. Take a picture. Let your imagination churn. Make as many different augmented versions as you can think of. Help others see what’s in your head. Submit it on DS106 using the tags VisualAssignments and VisualAssignments1255. cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Tom Woodward cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Tom Woodward cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Tom Woodward cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Tom Woodward cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Tom Woodward cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Tom Woodward cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Tom Woodward cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Tom Woodward cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Tom Woodward

Museum Remixes

After seeing Alan’s post . . . This is a response to the Tate’s call for their 1840s GIF party — they have made images available from selected pieces of art from their 1840s room and inviting anyone to remix as a GIF. That is such a good idea I made it into a ds106 assignment. It is interesting to see how museums and libraries are using social media in fairly different ways. I’d been impressed with Iowa’s Special Collections Tumblr and this idea by the Tate is certainly something you wouldn’t expect from a museum. In any case, I gave the gif thing a shot (subtle and not so subtle versions). My wife had The Lady of Shalott poster for a number of years so I’d seen it many times but in the gif reshaping I saw all sorts of interesting things in the painting that I’d never noticed. I’d missed the swallows1, the chain in her hand, and the crucifix in the prow. That led to some light research and, as always, some new knowledge. 1 I didn’t know what they were but guessed mockingbirds originally.

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 […]


Markov Chains, Horse e-Books and Margins

In discussing trajectories, elements of engineered serendipity, “thought vectors in concept space” with Gardner and Jon yesterday the following occurred. Gardner shared this video (which is well worth watching and I rarely have the patience for videos). That led to a discussion about creating and using a MOOC/hashtag specific Twitterbot (like horse e-books but real1) using Markov Chains2 to create algorithmically driven conversations/connections that occur in the margins of intention and result.3 So I began messing with the idea last night. Given I have a completely illusionary knowledge of programming I looked for people to tell me how to do this. I found the metaphor a minute tutorial which will help me out with the Twitterbot end of things in the near future. I also found this PHP based Markov generator which does very nearly what I want absent the Twitter-ing part. I did want to automate the connection to a particular Twitter hashtag rather than adding the content manually so I started wandering around looking for ways to do that. Step one was trying to use curl. I eventually semi-melded some curl examples with the Markov generator. I was using the Twitter search for #ds106 as the source initially. With curl you are pulling the html so I got some interesting pieces but a fair amount of code fragments […]

IOGraphica: It had to be done

I blame D’Arcy for this. I kept thinking that it’d be interesting to take the results of IOGraphica and make it into stop motion animation. I looked for ways to download the image every X minutes but failed to find any way to do that in the program. I then thought, I could just remember to do this every hour or so. Then I realized I’d never do that even with a calendar reminder and besides, computers are supposed to do this stuff for me. My next attempt was to search for AppleScripts that might have been written to do this for me. I wandered around quite a bit and found nothing. I then looked to see if IOGraphica had anything in the AppleScript Dictionary (While running Script Editor>File>Open Dictionary> choose the App you want). Nothing there. Now I was stuck. I had invested nearly an hour last night searching for the answer. I saw a few other people interested in a solution. So, I dusted off a few of my old AppleScripting bookmarks in delicious1. The hassle with Applescripting applications without dictionaries is that you are pretty much shooting blind . . . unless you use the amazingly useful UI Browser. If AppleScripting were a class the teacher would ban the UI Browser. It not only helps you find […]

Random Media

Stuff I’d like to use in class. 25 Word stories – slightly longer than some earlier examples of text restriction but good stuff none the less. “Houston, We Have a Problem,” by J. Matthew Zoss. I’m sorry, but there’s not enough air in here for everyone. I’ll tell them you were a hero. from Hint Fiction The NY Times terrorism euphemism generator – English teachers could have a lot of fun with this one as well. Explaining the Internet to a street urchin flowchart – so many things to explain to so many different audiences. Tin man logo

A few things . . .

Currency Redesign This would be a fun way to look at our government (and other countries for that matter). It’s simple but complex. How do you redesign our currency so that it reflects our history and current values? There’s a lot of interesting analysis potential there. Partnering with an art class would give you some added advantage and would allow for more focus on art as problem solving. Monsters Inspired by this Boing Boing post, I thought it’d be fun to have students draw a monster of their choosing (maybe give it some particular talents) and then randomly assign them to other students who then write a story with the monster as a main character. The artist then works with the writer as a peer editor. I’d do this online and then mix in other monsters and story lines. Then the larger group has to look at the stories and figure out how they’ll merge. Drugs This list of the top 25 psychiatric prescriptions and a comparison to their numbers in 2005 would open the door for a number of conversations about our society and medicine in the U.S. I’d love to see overall prescriptions and a comparison of those numbers between countries. Random Thoughts This card trading game concept for medical students is worth thinking about more. I’m in […]

This is a bent paperclip on a green background. It is awesome.

Modernist Posters

When it rains, it pours snows people panic and Richmond shuts down. Also when I find one good thing on the Internet, others often show up. So here are minimalist TV show posters by Albert Exergian. I’d do this for sure. It’s another in the line of restriction = creativity possibilities. The drawing skills are really low. It’s all about figuring out the essence of the novel/era/historical person and figuring out how to represent it as simply as possible. You’d have to stress what makes things modernist and really get students thinking about using color, shape etc. with as much thought as possible. The example would be key, as would your explanation of it1. I ended up with this from one of the few email newsletters I find worth subscribing to – Very Short List. If you like this type of thing, it’s worth checking out. 1