Real Life Math or Window Ad?

Windows come in many shapes and sizes. Some commonly used shapes for windows are circles, rectangles, squares, triangles, pentagons, and octagons. Source: www.pella.com One of those amazingly horrible attempts at making something “real world” in a textbook. This is a high school math textbook. The source for this staggering information is a website that sells windows. And they double down on their insistence that windows make this content relevant and useful to today’d hip teens by using windows in two examples. Remember aspiring teen window makers, you can use the reflective property of congruence in your future job interview!


User Choice: Hiding Some Sites in My Sites in WordPress Multisite

Long have I struggled with WordPress Multisite and the way it makes things difficult for non-super admin users. While it is very easy to join additional sites, leaving them on your own is easier said than done. I hesitate to write ‘impossible’ even now as it seems insane that there isn’t a good and obvious way for non-site admins to leave a site. Maybe someone will point out something obvious I’ve missed but in case I am right here is a way to allow users to control which sites show up in their My Sites list. After some thought, I went with the least dramatic path here. We are just removing the sites from the main views rather than deleting accounts on individual blogs. I started to go that route (remove_user_from_blog) but a conversation with Matt and the concerns about transferring ownership of the content or deleting the content and being able to un-do that if a mistake was made quickly made me think of some other options. I opted to use add a filter to the get_blogs_of_user function which builds both the drop down menu of sites and the blogs listed on the My Sites page. With the function below I can pass in an array of blog IDs to ignore when building the ‘My Sites’ list. You’ll also […]


Weekly Web Harvest for 2018-09-23

The first “social network” of brains lets three people transmit thoughts to each other’s heads – MIT Technology ReviewTogether, these devices make it possible to send and receive signals directly to and from the brain. But nobody has created a network that allows group communication. Until now.  World War II bombings weakened upper atmosphere at edge of space | Ars Technica“Residents would routinely recall being thrown through the air by the pressure waves of air mines exploding.” List: Myths About Your Thirties — Debunked – McSweeney’s Internet TendencyThe media sources that are reliable sources of news and information and the ones that are evil and designed to manipulate dumbasses will blend together and you will not be able to tell the difference without consulting Snopes, which you’re also not sure if you can trust. Why I’m done with Chrome – A Few Thoughts on Cryptographic EngineeringFor ten years I’ve been asked a single question by the Chrome browser: “Do you want to log in with your Google account?” And for ten years I’ve said no thanks. Chrome still asks me that question — it’s just that now it doesn’t honor my decision.

A lonely tree in front of the ICA museum construction site.

Intro to OER: A Wider Spectrum

I’ve done a number of introduction to OER conversations over the last few years. I did another recently. Here is my revised attempt at getting at a very broad overview and maybe going a bit farther afield than is typically the case. This particular presentation emphasized OER as addition and that you could use all sorts of pieces as augmentation rather than replacement. The intro was focused on a quick overview of broad concepts and getting some terms for future independent google work. I try to emphasize that with the people in attendance. We aren’t diving down every rabbit hole offered here but we are tossing out some key words and concepts that you might wish to pursue later. Despite the fact that creative commons and MOOCs feel old and played out to me they remain new terms to a number of the faculty attending. While it muddies the waters a bit, I do emphasize that VCU has a chunk of free-to-our-students resources that faculty should be aware of. Standard With that intro out of the way, I try to work from the typical conception of OER towards what I feel like are less considered elements. That leads to starting with courses/textbooks. They’re high structure and made with educational intent. I hit a few common places for this content and […]


Weekly Web Harvest for 2018-09-16

Vampire squid – WikipediaVampyroteuthis infernalis In the Eyes of the Animalanother experiential animal eye Animal Vision Simulatorsee the world through the eyes of various animals – android phone app Light Work: The Rise of NBA Skills Trainers – The RingerBazzell is a part of a new generation of skills trainers who have utilized social media to their advantage and in the process turned the profession mainstream. Today you would be hard-pressed to find an NBA player who doesn’t have “their guy,” whether they’re team-affiliated or from the private sector. Players work out with their trainers in the offseason, do film work with them, and keep in contact—sometimes in person—throughout the season. Some have even been hired on their trainees’ teams. In recent years, these trainers have become more than just another face in an NBA player’s entourage. They are highlight-reel curators, entrepreneurs, and newsmakers. To the chagrin of some of their peers, some are even social media celebrities.


Weekly Web Harvest for 2018-09-02

Design Thinking Is Fundamentally Conservative and Preserves the Status QuoAlthough it is often advertised as a method that is as innovative as the solutions it promises to produce, it bears an uncanny resemblance to an earlier model of problem-solving, celebrated in the 1970s and 1980s for the superior solutions it was supposed to produce. Called the “rational-experimental” approach to problem solving, it was a simplified and popularized version of the scientific method, in much the same way that design thinking is a stylized — some say “dumbed down” — version of the methods designers use.  It, too, was enthusiastically embraced by managers and policy makers, and was invoked to reshape practices in firms and government. …. They turn the everyday ability to solve a problem into a rarified practice, limited only to those who self-consciously follow a specialized methodology.


Photography is Magic – Class 3 Notes

As we wander down the road with this digital photography class, I’m taking fairly detailed notes and expanding on things that don’t get fully covered in the class. I’m also including some of the strange asides because I think they’re interesting. I’m not sure how useful or interesting this will be absent being there but I figure it is unlikely to hurt anything. Off Camera Flash If any of you are interested in taking your lighting game to the next level, The Strobist (dated as the site is) is remains a pretty impressive resource. They also have a solid Strobist Flickr group that’s active, are on Twitter, and has some great videos on Lynda.com (free for VCU students). His lighting 101 section is solid and will lead you to stuff like an ideal lighting starter kit or 50 DIY lighting projects. I’m also a fan of their lighting diagrams and the extra descriptions that tend to accompany the submissions to their Flickr group. It’s like extra exif for lighting. Memory Cards There were some questions about memory cards. This page breaks down probably more than you’ll want to know about various flash memory types and how they work mechanically. If you’re really more interested in figuring out the kind of card you need to buy, I found the section “So […]


Weekly Web Harvest for 2018-08-26

Google and Facebook Didn’t End Data Privacy – The Atlantic Location data was particularly voluminous, with Android smartphones conveying a user’s position in space more than 300 times in a 24-hour period—even if the user has turned off location history in the device’s Google settings. The study also shows that the “incognito” mode in Google’s Chrome browser, which promises to hide a user’s information from websites while browsing, still makes it possible for Google to connect those supposedly hidden visits to its own, internal profile of a user. WP Glossary – The Glossary for WordPress UsersA handy reference for those new to WordPress. Coffee delivery drone patented by IBM – BBC NewsA coffee-delivering drone that can detect when people are tired and bring them a drink has been patented by technology company IBM. ?? on Twitter: “I want to tell you about this map I worked on last week: (story here: https://t.co/OqvLcgQm3G)… “This is a pretty amazing little story. dragula – Browser drag-and-drop so simple it hurts

WordPress Comment Setting Advice

We shifted some of our default comment settings in rampages. This is an attempt to give students better insight into what setting options they have and why they might make certain choices. DISCUSSIONS IN WORDPRESS Commenting is one feature of WordPress that you can control so that it behaves in ways that match your personal goals. You have lots of choices between shutting commenting off entirely and opening comments completely. You can find your discussion preferences at Dashboard>Settings>Discussion. A screenshot of what you’ll see there is included below. Default article settings The first portion, default article settings, are of these options all checked by default. Article tends to just mean blog post but might also apply to other things. The first option, attempt to notify any blogs linked to from the article, is about your post notifying another site that you linked to them in your blog post. That’s handy if you’re looking to make connections between your site and others but may be something you want to uncheck if you’re discussing sensitive topics or simply don’t wish to seek out conversation with individuals outside VCU. The second option, allow link notifications from other blogs, allows other blogs to alert you that your post or page was referenced in their post. Once again, this could help build community and it […]


Mother Blog – Troubleshooting Guides

I realize I have many, many things. It’s not clear if those things will be of use to other humans but, at worst, here is something you can ignore. At best, take some hard-won experience and avoid the hassle. These five things solve 98% of our mother blog syndication issues for students. On the professor side . . .