Weekly Web Harvest (weekly)

Add an expiration date to your tweets using a simple hashtag | The Verge Besides keeping your digital detritus to a minimum, there may be practical uses for the app. One meteorologist has already found a neat use for it: preventing storm warnings from being retweeted once they’re no longer in place. Spirit follows Efemr, another app with the same functionality. Add an expiration date to your tweets using a simple hashtag | The Verge Besides keeping your digital detritu… http://t.co/E6jKZiPZdE — Tom Woodward (@twoodwar) April 25, 2014 tags: IFTTT twitter expire expiration tweet weekly Science Compared Every Diet, and the Winner Is Real Food – James Hamblin – The Atlantic “”It’s not just linguistic, I really at times feel like crying, when I think about that we’re paying for ignorance with human lives,” he told me. “At times, I hate the people with alphabet soup after their names who are promising the moon and the stars with certainty. I hate knowing that the next person is already rubbing his or her hands together with the next fad to make it on the bestseller list.” “The evidence that with knowledge already at our disposal, we could eliminate 80 percent of chronic disease is the basis for everything I do,” Katz said. Just as he was finishing his residency in internal […]

oEmbed Additions in WordPress

One of the minor hassles of running WordPress Multisite is dealing with the rules about HTML cleansing- mainly the removal of iframe elements. You could install unfiltered MU but the plugin itself warns you that’s end-of-the-world dangerous and the plugin hasn’t been updated in two years. The combination might make one a bit nervous. In this particular case, I have a group who wants to use videos from dotsub.com. Turns out it’s a good site for captioning and other things that make the video more accessible. This group is working on universal design so dotsub makes doubly good sense. WordPress supports a number of sites using oEmbed. That’s the magic that allows you to paste in a YouTube URL and the embed codes are taken care of without you having to do anything. WordPress essentially run off a white list of sites that it accepts off the bat. It turns out that oEmbed lists a bunch of sites that support the API and dotsub.com ended up being one of them.1 That means I just have to add dotsub.com to the WordPress install’s whitelist. The ever handy WordPress codex lets me know that I do that using wp_oembed_add_provider and further down on that page you’ll see that lives wp-includes/media.php. I could have done it this way but I don’t like editing […]

Walking at Work – Week 20

Several dogs in honor of Alan “The Cog Dog” Levine. I’m cheating a bit as the second two were taken this weekend but they come with good stories and this is my blog so I figure all is fair. I can’t remember the name of this dog but he was full of this kind of energy both times we ran into him. He was trailed by two kids who he ignored completely. He brought me the stick but wouldn’t let me have it. He also attempted to dry off using me as a towel yet he had the personality to pull it off. We ran into this guy at the end of a long dirt road. He and a friend weren’t all that welcoming at first but chilled out when I said “sit” loudly. Funny how those ingrained commands short circuit things. It was a fun way to teach my oldest son that trick. To counteract the flowers and sweetness . . .


Weekly Web Harvest (weekly)

Terasem, Transhumanism and the Singularity: Technology and Religion – TIME “These are satellite dishes, but they aren’t for TV. They’re meant for dispatching “mindfiles,” the memories, thoughts and feelings of people who wish to create digital copies of themselves and fling them into space with the belief that they’ll eventually reach some benevolent alien species.” Flinging mindfiles in to space in pursuit of immortality http://t.co/PHkFcvCzzj h/t @DavidRCroteau #english #philosophy #writingprompt — Tom Woodward (@twoodwar) April 18, 2014 tags: IFTTT Twitter weekly technology self immortality Planning to Share versus Just Sharing (FROM 2008) “(This is a long post, born out of years of frustration with ineffective institutional collaborations. If you only want the highlights, here they are: grow your network by sharing, not planning to share or deciding who to share with; the tech doesn’t determine the sharing – if you want to share, you will; weave your network by sharing what you can, and they will share what they can – people won’t share [without a lot of added incentives] stuff that’s not easy or compelling for them to share. Create virtuous cycles that amplify network effects. Given the right ‘set,’ simple tech is all they need to get started.)” tags: weekly sharing Our Cubicles, Ourselves: How the Modern Office Shapes American Life – Rebecca J. Rosen – The Atlantic […]


What Teachers Make?

I know I head further out on the fringe each hour of each day but I’ve always had a problem with the Taylor Mali’s “What Teachers Make“. I’m sure you’ve seen it on facebook or on some email forward. Essentially, he’s responding to a jackass at a dinner party who’s criticizing teachers and I’m ok with that but the details of the response anger me. It is most of what I dislike about teaching. I can make a C+ feel like a Congressional Medal of Honor and an A-­? feel like a slap in the face. Grades. I hate grades. I make kids sit through 40 minutes of study hall in absolute silence. No, you may not work in groups. No, you may not ask a question. Why won’t I let you go to the bathroom? Because you’re bored. And you don’t really have to go to the bathroom, do you? I make parents tremble in fear when I call home: Such command, such control, such an amazing ability to see another human’s bladder level, all that and instilling fear in parents- how proud we must be of our mastery. I make parents see their children for who they are and what they can be. Perhaps the saddest line for parents. You want to know what I make? I make […]


Butcher’s Human Predator Fact Check

I passed on this Wikipedia list of people who mysteriously disappeared 1 on Twitter last night which led to the following reply from Luke Neff. "List of people who disappeared mysteriously" http://t.co/pKTIGesF53 via @twoodwar reminds me of http://t.co/R4mMhWUsz0 — Luke (@lukeneff) April 17, 2014 “Last year in the U.S. alone more than nine hundred thousand people were reported missing and not found… That’s out of three hundred million, total population. That breaks down to about one person in three hundred and twenty-five vanishing. Every year…. Maybe it’s a coincidence, but it’s almost the same loss ratio experienced by herd animals on the African savannah to large predators.” ? Jim Butcher, Dead Beat I actually read this novel at one point and I meant to see whether this was true (it’s a great writing prompt either way). I did’t know how many people go missing each year in the U.S.A. or what the predation rate is on herd animals on the African savannah. The first part seems pretty straightforward. I did a search for missing person statistics us site:.gov During 2013, 627,911 missing person records were entered into NCIC, a decrease of 5.1% from the 661,593 records entered in 2012. Missing Person records cleared or canceled during the same period totaled 630,990. Reasons for these removals include: a law enforcement agency […]

LMS Metaphors

Blackboard/LMS is like a – giant filing cabinet closet filled with attractive, well organized, clothes lifeblood to us, like a Web course in a box shark learning management system eating smaller sharks so it can survive and thrive large thermonuclear device framework that handles all the learning procedures blank canvas tattoo It seems there are whole papers written on metaphors for Blackboard. I saw Jon’s LMS-as-training-wheels metaphor and Britt’s response– both as a result of Jim’s talk. I’ve been thinking about it a bit and I think it ends up giving the LMS the wrong kind of credit. It implies a temporary guide, a training ground to get you used to using the Internet to teach. I don’t think that’s the goal at all. It seems to me that the LMS is a fast-food franchise kitchen. It does exactly what it is meant to do. It is built for people with minimal skills to make cheap food quickly at scale. It isn’t meant to be a training ground so people can move up to gourmet cooking. These skills don’t transfer. You aren’t even meant to graduate to being a line cook at Friday’s. The LMS reaches the minimum quality people will tolerate in exchange for convenience and low cost.1 The LMS focuses on making the very things I find most […]

Walking at Work – Week 19

I stuck with the 100mm macro lens this week. I think it resulted in a fairly different focus. It may also be a result of it being Spring and my recent trip photographing plants with a biology professor. The fan has a surprising amount of botanical diversity.

Biology Field Journal Continues

I think this is kind of a neat WordPress theme trick. You can download/fork it here if you want or go over here and try it out. I took the mixitup child theme from a little while back and modified it a bit. This new page template uses posts rather than attachments and adds the page text above the images. It is also smarter about removing some of the sorting categories it displays for the posts. Directions create a page name that page the same name as one of your category posts apply the template (Featured image sort by page name/category) now all the posts from that category show up under the body of that post in sortable format The Changes I’m trying out the Syntax Highlighter plugin given how much more often I’m posting code lately. I also really commented up the page. I am still struggling to find a decent way to do this kind of exposition about code and the process it took to figure out the code.