Photography – Week 76

I loved both expressions. It’s interesting to see just how aware kids are of cameras. I don’t know if that’s always been the case. Some of the posing I’ve seen, not these kids, has certainly been a more recent development. I don’t often take pictures of flowers but I liked this one. I’ve remain fascinated by grass seeds like this. The lettering of the sign is really interesting as is what it says. You can see the tiny trail of a bug in the dew and then the wing imprint and claw marks of a bird as it swooped down and plucked it off.


Weekly Web Harvest (weekly)

OK vs. okay – Grammarist “It might be OK for a beefy Wallaby to stare down a bunch of powerfully built Kiwis as they launch into a ferocious, blood-curdling haka. [Sydney Morning Herald] “ tags: words english ok weekly How ‘Deprogramming’ Kids From How to ‘Do School’ Could Improve Learning | MindShift | KQED News “Holman also asked students to read “Sermons For Grumpy Campers,” by Richard Felder, a graduate level professor who never lectured. In it, Felder describes his students grumbling that they hated group work and that it was his job to teach them, not the other way around. Holman’s students said the complaints sounded like they came from kindergarteners or themselves and were amazed to find out the complainers were graduate level engineering students. “ tags: sbg teaching education weekly 5 Instagram Tips for Science Artists – Symbiartic – Scientific American Blog Network “Here are my five tips for science artists on Instagram.” “Go hashtag crazy.” tags: science artists instagram tips weekly Disinformation Visualization: How to lie with datavis | Visualising Information for Advocacy “But all maps lie. In fact, maps have to lie, otherwise they wouldn’t be useful. Some are transparent and obvious lies, such as a tree icon on a map often represents more than one tree. Others are white lies – rounding numbers and […]

Internet Faces

We’re going to be starting up an online class about teaching online classes and we’re doing some small “daily create” type activities. In this case people are asked to sign up for a gravatar and then reflect on why they chose that image. As part of the practice-what-you-preach initiative I figured I’d say why I’ve chosen my various avatars.   This is my current Gravatar image. As you can see it was meant to be a bit light hearted. I changed it (from the one below) when I started doing more commenting/support on It’s a selfie that I altered in Photoshop using the halftone filter. I hoped it would make things a bit less official and it was meant to resemble a comic book illustration to some degree. It’ll fit well with our upcoming VCU common book – The Secret History of Wonder-Woman.     This had been my Gravatar image for a long time. Clearly, I’m not a fan of having my actual (unaltered) picture associated with my accounts. Most people who take a lot of photographs don’t like being photographed. I fall in that group. This image was more serious and probably fairly boring.   I am not represented uniformly across platforms so I’m breaking one reason to use Gravatar but I’ve never been very consistent. I changed to this […]

Hashtags of Inclusion

flickr photo shared by AndrewDallos under a Creative Commons ( BY-NC-ND ) license I’ve been thinking a bit about how hashtags function on Twitter when used in course in particular. These thoughts are shaped mainly by seeing how #vizpoem, #curiouscolab, and #thoughtvectors have played out vs some of the other hashtags we’ve used like #vcualtlab or #vcuglobalhealth. There’s not a right way or wrong way to do this but there are certain things that seem to happen when the structure of the hashtag is less tied to an institution. The VCU prefix pretty much means that only people within the VCU structure will use that hashtag. It is less likely it’ll become part of a larger structure for other people to use when thinking about/organizing the topic. #thoughtvectors is an example of a hashtag that has spread beyond the course in both time and people. While I believe Gardner coined?/hashed? the hashtag based on Doug Engelbart’s quote, its first use on Twitter was by Jon Becker (at least according to this site and this site). Since that time it was used extensively during the course (nearly 4000 times) but it’s still being used today long after the course officially ended. More and more it’s used by people who have no obvious relationship to the course and probably no knowledge of […]


Weekly Web Harvest (weekly)

I Think You’ll Find It’s a Bit More Complicated Than That: Ben Goldacre: 9780007462483: Books tags: toread science journalism complexity truth lies weekly 15 Unusual College Mottos | Mental Floss ” FACIO LIBEROS EX LIBERIS LIBRIS LIBRAQUE” I make free adults out of children by means of books and a balance. tags: weekly latin saying words language Medium is not a publishing tool — The Story — Medium Worth thinking about lots of this in terms of how we’re building the VCU tools/network. “A common phenomenon at the time was that people would start blogging on Blogger?—?because it was free, popular, and easy to set up?—?and then “graduate” to more powerful tools. Movable Type, Greymatter, and, later, WordPress, had a much higher barrier to entry (before WP had turnkey hosting). But once someone had discovered the joys of sharing thoughts on the Internet, they were willing to invest the effort in order to get the added features and flexibility that the install-on-your-server software afforded.” tags: weekly tools simple complex blogging It’s Okay To Be Smart • This week, The New York Times posted an awesome… “Creatures from mice to monkeys have been known to scurry in response to a song, often adding alarm calls of their own.  These alarm calls could be a form of proto-language, capable of cross-species […]

My Twitter Evolution – Episode 1

I joined Twitter in November of 2007 which is roughly seven and half years ago. That’s a fairly long time and both my use and my thoughts about Twitter changed quite a bit over that time. Consider that Twitter only produced about 5,000 tweets a day back 1 then compared to 50 million a day now. I thought it’d be interesting to look back at my blog and see what I thought about Twitter in those early days.2 The first post I can find is from a few months after I joined and the post was titled My Secret Shame (best of twitter 1-30-08). The title alone lets you know I really was kind of embarrassed to be on Twitter. Clearly not too embarrassed to write about it in public but it still felt like it could be a waste of time. Back in those days you couldn’t embed the tweets like you can now so I hand-copied in the text and attributed them but I linked to the author’s blog instead of the tweet itself. That shows pretty clearly that I saw the Twitter element as much less important. Surely you’d want to go to the blog itself. Other than liking three specific tweets I had this to say- *I’m not advocating for twitter, I’m still debating it. Today […]

Photography – Week 74

I needed a bit of redemption after last week’s pitiful showing. As a result, I spent a good bit more time in the morning and wandered back to some areas on Broad Street that I’d been neglecting. A random high school tour group was coming through our building. I got the chance to divert them into the maker space area. It probably ruined their entire schedule but they had a blast. This is one young lady using Jamie Mahoney’s letter press (which was a huge hit). This was a bit of a joke based on an image David found but when you run across a welcome mat in an alley . . . The video game learning area with Enoch Hale was a popular space. I just liked the color and geometry of this one. I thought they were taking a selfie. She saw me taking the picture and it led to an interesting conversation with both of them. Turns out they were showing pictures of their pets. I would have two more stranger portraits but it’s a company policy that they aren’t allowed to be photographed while wearing those shirts.


Weekly Web Harvest (weekly)

Mapping #Ferguson | Mapbox “In particular, we wanted to see if there was any difference between tweets from locals and those from people who traveled to Ferguson to participate in or report on the protests.” tags: mapping ferguson twitter data sociology weekly map dataviz tweet The town that runs on Twitter: Jun’s residents tweet to report crime and chat to their mayor – Features – Gadgets and Tech – The Independent “Jun, home to 3,500 people, is believed to be the first town worldwide to adopt Twitter as the dominant method of communication between local government and residents. For the past four years, it has acted as the town’s community noticeboard: sharing obituaries, news, school-dinner menus. Residents use the social-networking site to report crime, problems with civic services and to book doctors’ appointments.” tags: weekly twitter communication government socialmedia Want to Make Your Course ‘Gameful’? A Michigan Professor’s Tool Could Help – Wired Campus – Blogs – The Chronicle of Higher Education It’s a bit insane to me this was a conversation but it’s one that ought to happen much more. Are we practicing what we preach? “One of my undergrads came up to me and said, ‘You know, Professor, your ideas about games as models for learning environments are really interesting, but I’m curious, why don’t you teach your […]