📺 These 3D animations could help you finally understand molecular science | PBS NewsHour

Watched These 3D animations could help you finally understand molecular science from PBS NewsHour
Art and science have in some ways always overlapped, with early scientists using illustrations to depict what they saw under the microscope. Janet Iwasa of the University of Utah is trying to re-establish this link to make thorny scientific data and models approachable to the common eye. Iwasa offers her brief but spectacular take on how 3D animation can make molecular science more accessible.

Visualizations can be tremendously valuable. This story reminds me of an Intersession course that Mary Spiro did at Johns Hopkins to help researchers communicate what their research is about as well as some of the work she did with the Johns Hopkins Institute for NanoBioTechnology.

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📺 PBS NewsHour full episode Sept. 28, 2017

Watched PBS NewsHour full episode Sept. 28, 2017 from PBS
Thursday on the NewsHour, the wreckage of Hurricane Maria poses a logistical nightmare for those in need in Puerto Rico. Also: The technology Russia used in the 2016 election under scrutiny, Yemen's war-induced humanitarian crisis worsens, the influence of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, the woman who sparked debate about discrimination in Silicon Valley and a journalist's experience with miscarriage.

The Ellen Pao interview was quite interesting and germane to much of what has been a huge story over the past 6 or so months. It reminds me a lot of Valerie Alexander’s work, which I’ve highlighted before.

The miscarriage story was just heartbreaking. I really love this series of “brief but spectacular” stories they tag onto the end of episodes though. It really adds some interest and humanity to what can often otherwise be bleak stints of news coverage. Even when they’re not uplifting–like this one–they’re always unique and interesting.

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📺 Face the Nation 8/27/17: Abbott, Bossert, Winnefeld, Donilon

Watched Face the Nation 8/27/17: Abbott, Bossert, Winnefeld, Donilon from cbsnews.com
This week on "Face the Nation," CBS News Chief White House Correspondent Major Garrett guest hosts the broadcast covering the latest on Hurricane Harvey and the week's foreign policy news.

A generally mediocre episode. I would have preferred more political news and less on the hurricane in Texas, which is already oversaturated in all senses of the word. There’s not much to say about the hurricane and the administrative response to it yet, so keep the air time for next week instead.

Pushing the emergency response guy on Trump’s positions with respect to Arpaio was a bit over-the-top. He’s obviously not going to say anything substantive on the topic. Naturally since he’s the only person the administration would put up this week, you’ve got to ask the question, but the administration (and Trump specifically) are taking the weak/loser way out of the topic. The better way to have handled it was to ask for his personal position on the topic and moved on.

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📺 Using IFTTT for WordPress Social Media Automation | Advanced WordPress Meetup, San Diego, CA (YouTube)

Watched Using IFTTT for WordPress Social Media Automation from Advanced WordPress Meetup, San Diego, California
This presentation was given by Jim Walker, The Hack Repair Guy, on "Using IFTTT for WordPress Social Media Automation", at the Advanced WordPress Meetup, San Diego, California, July 2017.

This is a short video about using IFTTT.com to do a PESOS type of workflow for WordPress. While interesting, it reminds me of Louis Gray’s old diagram and my response which puts one’s own website at the center and uses POSSE. In short, there’s now a far better way of doing this type of thing with WordPress.

Below are the slides from the presentation, which includes this gruesome looking diagram:

Who wants to implement this type of convoluted workflow?
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📺 Brexit II | Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

Watched Brexit II from Last Week Tonight (HBO)
In the wake of a divisive election, the UK will begin the process of leaving the European Union. John Oliver and an intergalactic space lord propose a plan.
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📺 Harding | Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

Watched Harding from Last Week Tonight (HBO)
John Oliver unveils Last Week Tonight's collection of presidential wax statues and brings Warren G. Harding's incredible life story to the big screen.

I’m so excited to see this as I’ve just made an offer on a house in a neighborhood known as “President’s Row” on a street named Harding!!

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📺 Sinclair Broadcast Group | Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

Watched Sinclair Broadcast Group from Last Week Tonight (HBO)
Sinclair Broadcast Group is the largest owner of local TV stations in the country. That's alarming considering that they often inject political views into local news.
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📺 Leg Waxing at 28,000fps – The Slow Mo Guys | YouTube

Watched Leg Waxing at 28,000fps from YouTube
While most of the comments on these videos are about the gnarly slow motion footage, many have commented on how hairy Gav and Dan are. Only one thing for it.
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📺 25 Airbag Rainbow Explosion in 4K – The Slow Mo Guys | YouTube

Watched 25 Airbag Rainbow Explosion in 4K from YouTube
Sometimes ideas get too big for our backyard so in this video, Gav, Dan, a camera crew go to a Quarry to make the biggest and most colourful mess yet. Whip out your 4K TVs!

These are exactly the kind of relatively mindless, fun videos that 18 year olds must be watching. Short, sweet, and just enough entertainment to burn through a handful in a half an hour or so.

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📺 Diving into 1000 Mousetraps in 4K Slow Motion – The Slow Mo Guys | YouTube

Watched Diving into 1000 Mousetraps in 4K Slow Motion from YouTube
Gav and Dan spend 4 hours setting up 1000 mouse traps and then 4 seconds setting them all off.
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📺 Crushed by a Giant 6ft Water Balloon – 4K – The Slow Mo Guys | YouTube

Watched Crushed by a Giant 6ft Water Balloon - 4K from YouTube
Gav and Dan love a good old Giant Balloon video. Why don't we do a few? In this one Dan gets flat.
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📺 Domains2017 Conference: Tuesday June 6, 3:00pm with the OU Crew | YouTube

Watched Tuesday June 6, 3:00pm with the OU Crew from YouTube
For more information see the blog post for the event at http://virtuallyconnecting.org/blog/2017/05/31/domains17/

Indieweb for Education: Some thoughts after the Domains 17 Conference

There’s some interesting discussion of Indieweb-related principles in this live-streamed (and recorded) conversation (below) from the Domains 2017 conference for educators and technologists which covers a lot of what I’d consider to be Indieweb for Education applications.

In particular, some asked about alternate projects for basing education projects around which aren’t WordPress. Some suggested using WithKnown which is spectacular for its interaction model and flexibility. I suspect that many in the conversation haven’t heard of or added webmentions (for cross-site/cross-platform conversations or notifications) or micropub to their WordPress (or other) sites to add those pieces of functionality that Known comes with out of the box.

Another section of the conversation mentioned looking for ways to take disparate comments from students on their web presences and aggregating them in a more unified manner for easier consumption by the teacher and other students (as opposed to subscribing to each and every student’s RSS feed, a task which can be onerous in classrooms larger than 20 people). To me this sounded like the general concept of a planet, and there are a few simple ways of accomplishing this already, specifically using RSS.

I was also thrilled to hear the ideas of POSSE and PESOS mentioned in such a setting!

An Invitation to Attendees

I’d invite those in attendance at the Domains 17 conference to visit not only the Indieweb wiki, but to feel free to actively participate in the on-going daily discussions (via IRC/Slack/Matrix/Web). I suspect that if there’s enough need/desire that the community would create a dedicated #education channel to help spur the effort to continue to push the idea of owning one’s own domain and using it for educational purposes out into the mainstream. The wiki pages and the always-on chat could be useful tools to help keep many of the educators and technologists who attended Domains17 not only connected after the event, but allow them to continue to push the envelope and document their progress for the benefit of others.

I’ll admit that one of my favorite parts of the Indieweb wiki is that it aggregates the work of hundreds of others in an intuitive way so that if I’m interested in a particular subject I can usually see the attempts that others have made (or at least links to them), determine what worked and didn’t for them, and potentially find the best solution for my particular use case. (I suspect that this is some of what’s missing in the “Domains” community at the moment based on several conversations I heard over the past several days.)

If you’d like, please add yourself to the growing list of Indieweb related educators and technologists. If you need help connecting to any of the community resources and/or chat/IRC/Slack, etc. I’m more than happy to help. Just call, email, or contact me via your favorite channel.

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