# 366 Things and a Bad Joke

I’ve just started another 366 photos project and I’ve also got a “366 days of origami” calendar. In addition, Alan Levine and Jim Groom are about to launch a “Daily Create” project. I think it’s in testing (there’s a hint about it in Thinking in Photos on the CogDogBlog). In anticipation, here’s a video I made of one of my dad’s oldest and worse jokes:

If I manage to keep all these extra curricula balls in the air it should be a busy year!

Update

• I now have a Tumblr blog to showcase these 366 things at 366 Crispy Things.
• The Daily Create assignments are part of the about-to-be launched Digital Story Telling open course DS106.
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I have a lecture next week which will discuss HTML markup. I have lots of notes and examples for XHTML 1.0 and CSS 2 which I think students should read through for some deeper learning rather than be presented in a lecture. I have instead decided to show this video. On searching,I also found this presentation from Google I/0 2009 (the Google developer’s conference) which talks about what’s coming next!

It’s very early days and HTML 5 seems to be being developed in quite a piecemeal way with browser developers emphasizing some features and not others. It may be several years before all of HTML 5 is supported in all browsers, but that doesn’t mean that my students shouldn’t know that it’s coming.

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# More on Euler

I am grateful to my friend and former Swansea colleague Dr Farzin Deravi of University of Kent at Canterbury who read my blog post on Euler’s identity (“The Most Beautiful Equation in the World”) via Facebook and told me about this video proof of the equation:

It’s well put together, but for me crucially omits the vital step that substitutes cos ? = -1 and sin ? = 0 to reduce ei? = cos ? – i sin ? to ei? = –1 + 0 which of course can be rearranged to give ei? + 1 = 0.

This was not the only “Euler Video” available on YouTube, looking further, I found this nice example, also a proof of Euler’s identity, that shows what you can do with a tablet and screen recording software.

Two very inspirational demonstrations of the power of video in the teaching of mathematical concepts.

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# Simon’s Cat: TV Dinner

This video, from the YouTube series “Simon’s Cat” was featured on last week’s Culture Show on BBC 2 [in the UK]. There are two others, equally great and hopefully more to come. All cat lovers will get a shiver of recognition when watching this!

more about “Simon’s Cat ‘TV Dinner’“, posted with vodpod

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# Open Source is Magic

As reported yesterday, I’ve been catching up with a number of presentations from the Google I/O 2008 conference. However, I just had to draw particular attention to one of the highlights which is this recording of a very entertaining presentation from Chris di Bona who is Open Source Programs Manager at Google. In an engaging, anecdotal style, Chris covers the history and philosophy of Open Source (which includes a name check for Swansea’s very own Alan Cox) and how Google relies on it, promotes it and develops some of its own. The video is on and the original link to the talk includes the slides (which I assume are re-usable).

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# Things to do in Swansea when you’re not dead

Number 1: Put your new Nikon D40X into continuous shooting mode and make cheap animated movies of birds feeding and post the results to YouTube. Well why not!
Selected stills at Picasa.

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# Steve Yegge on JavaScript, Rails on Rhino and other things

Back in June I blogged about Steve Yegge’s port of Ruby on Rails to Rhino (the JavaScript engine for the JVM) and his claim that JavaScript was the Next Big Language (NBL). In related news, Dion Almaer has just posted a new video interview (in the Google Code Blog series) of Steve Yegge himself talking about the Ruby on Rhino project, server-side and client side JavaScript. Its always nice to be able to put faces and voices to the names of people who have interesting ideas, and whose Blogs I am following. It’ll also be interesting to see what comes out of this project which Steve is pursuing at Google.

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# Google docs launches presentation tool

And Common Craft tells you why it matters!

On on Tuesday 18th September, Google announced the arrival of a new collaborative presentation tool which they call simply presentation . Annew member of the Google Docs suite (which already includes a collaborative Word Processor and a Spreadsheet application), presentation provides a web-based tool for creating and developing presentations. It’s not as capable as PowerPoint, but probably passes the 80-20 rule. Plus it’s collaborative (you can share presentation development duties with others) and web publishable. Here’s a quick and dirty presentation I made to test the tool and its sharing capabilities. If you’d like to test it’s collaboration capabilities, leave me a comment with your email and I’ll share it with you. In a carefully timed release, our friends at Common Craft, released another “plain english” video to explain why collaborative tools like Google Docs are important. It’s Google centric (presumably Google commisioned the video), but the central tenets apply to other collaborative systems even sharepoint. Are you listening dear colleagues of mine!

Here’s the video:

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# Inbox Zero

It’s been a while but I’m sort of back in harness after my vacation (even if actually at home in my pyjamas). One of the issues that always occurs after a period away is dealing with the email after a period away. To this end, this video by Merlin Mann of 43folders may help. It provides some useful tips about how to deal with after-vacation email as well as the ongoing problem of dealing with email on a daily basis. It comes down to a simple strategy for processing email: empty the email inbox every time that you visit it. You do this by some variation of a processing procedure that does one of these five things with each message:

• delete (or archive)

• delegate

• respond

• defer

• do

Watch the video for more detail and for the interesting discussion (with Google knowledge workers) and be inspired!

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# Social Networks in Plain English

Just published by Lee LeFever on the CommonCraft site is a new “paper works” video on Web 2.0. This time its social networking: which apparently is all about finding a life partner or finding a job. Since, in my case, I’m happy with both, I fear that social networking has little to offer. Still, enjoy the video.

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