Monthly Archives: March 2011

Grok’in trackback

Okay, a couple of experiments here. First, I am using Blackbird to embed a tweet:

@giuliaforsythe @drgarcia yeah. wordpress should grok a link to a blog and autopost a trackback as a comment on mine, pointing to yours.less than a minute ago via Twitter for Mac

I am also testing the auto-trackback-grok thing D’Arcy mentions.

So, then I should insert an insightful comment about inclusion exclusion, groups, etc and link to D’Arcy’s post: “In acceptance of Freeform”

And it works! My trackback is linked now on D’Arcy’s site.

I really should modify this post to be more relevant. I will. I promise. For now, there is this other amazing thread from D’Arcy’s blog from a year and half ago that really summarizes a lot of the big issues around being Open and Inclusive. I need to read and re-read all the comments, but wow, it really gets to the heart of it. Also, Dr.Garcia writes an incredible response about Bridging and Bonding communities.

Back to grok’in WordPress- I also had subscribed to updates and was enjoying getting emails to follow up comments. Does my trackback get sent as an email? That might be embarrassing. Or cool. Depending on how good the trackback content is, I suppose.

This is my favourite part of DS106. I mean I love the banter, the radio, the art- but I also like to see so many people trying things. This is truly experiential learning. I can feel my neurons making connections. It’s blowing my mind. All. The. Time.

I forget that not everyone knows what “ok, I grok it” means.less than a minute ago via web

P.S. Grok! Love that word. Haven’t heard it in ages. Going to say it four times a day for the next week.

You see? This web, it goes to Eleven!

Otherwise known as “What would Spinal Tap call the Web Today?

Week 9: Web Story Assignment where I go Meta. It’s a web story about the web.


Excerpt from O’Really web page, above:

The concept of “Web 2.0” was a clever take on the fact that the web can be a platform. Just as software gets updates, patches, fixes, enhancements, so does the web. In the early days of the web, things were simple. There was one browser. You could view source, edit it in notepad. Play with hexcodes to change simple colours. Canadians were forced to spell colours as COLOR= (otherwise the HTML wouldn’t work)- but even so, life was good.

Well, of course then came along the so-called democratization of the web. We made tools to make tools to make it easier to share content. We shared content with each other and other tools. We called those mashups. O’Reilly called it Web 2.0. Malcolm Gladwell said that name was sticky and so it stuck. Everything was labelled Web 2.0.

Alas, the only constant is change and new revisions of this platform evolve daily. The web became more open and closed simultaneously with the advent of open source/creative commons initiatives at the same time as sexy, irresistible locked down devices like the iPhone and iPad. What does one NAME this new platform? Narrow minded folk assume that adding +1 is the obvious solution. Call it Web 3.0, they said.

But no, I contend, we must ask ourselves- WWSTD? (What would Spinal Tap do?) I’ll tell you what. They would turn it up to ELEVEN. I do not think it is a coincidence that the year is 2011 and we are grappling with what version number to give to the Web.

So, in this new connected-learning era of the web; beyond a marketing opportunity; beyond the collective hive mind; beyond drive-by anonymity or shallow thinkers; beyond all the criticism- there is an opportunity to turn up the Web to ELEVEN (best said out loud with outlandish Brit accent)

NOTE: I edited this file mostly using Firebug as per Martha’s tutorial but kept a TextEdit plain text file open at all times for the saving and finding/replacing. I uploaded it to my server but can’t get the style to work on my local site, no doubt due to some O’Reilly server-side stuff going on. Further to my point about much more complex this Web 11 stuff is. The host website generates HTML from a *.pl. which I believe is Perl. In some parallel universe I might have the time to make it work.

2nd NOTE: I started hacking at this on Sunday March 20. On Tuesday March 22, O’Reilly ran a special for 50% off e-books with proceeds going to help Japanese Quake Victims. Since I had already hacked all the links to go to my site- I figured the least I could do was buy a book. I purchased “Learning PHP-MySQL-JavaScript”. (Much more interesting than PERL).

First project: Smash Minecraft into Moodle and give it a clever name.

  • My Darling Tuesday

    On Tuesday March 8 it was the centenary anniversary of International Women’s Day. As such, @DrGarcia and I took over the airwaves of #ds106radio. @DrGarcia skyped me and I broadcasted out using NiceCast. After the tech glitches were ironed out, we were able to really get into the conversation. I archived the broadcast and was able to extract my very favourite section.

    @DrGarcia reading her poem “Tuesdays” [right click to DOWNLOAD]
    La Senorita Mondragon
    Just a GNA-Inspired drawing I did on my iPad while listening to Tuesdays.

    Seated across from the closed window the revolutionary sees not herself reflected, but

    La Senorita Mondragon
    The Dragon Lady
    Coal black hair with a flower wilting behind her ear
    Lips red and ready for passion
    Pen poised and ready for seduction
    The Dragon Lady
    For one day.

    My Darling Tuesday,

    I’ve written this letter a thousand times. When I imagine you reading it my pen becomes orgasmic. Black ink squirts. Paper becomes confetti. I celebrate only you.

    How can you know my deepest thoughts? The ones that get mangled on the way up and out? The ones I write in the dark of Monday’s mind? You ignite a desire in me that crawls from my guts into my fingertips and is only abated when I feel you rise around me. You push the life I create to the edge. You capture the overflow and hold it hostage at the horizon. I must confess. I love you.

    You can get the rest of the brilliant text at Refracting on Teaching & Learning
    During the broadcast I told @DrGarcia that whenever she read to us and we all would tweet about snuggling up for story-time, it felt like the #ds106boys were like the Lost Boys and she was like Wendy. Again, the fastest photoshopper the west, @noiseprofessor was able capture that idea in a heartbeat.

    Iconic precipitates

    Otherwise known as the Four Icon Movie Poster Challenge.

    I know I am *so* three weeks ago. All the other 4 icon movie posters were fantastic, fun and done ages ago. Zeitgeist, I am not.

    Anyway, I’m in a zone of non-sleep creativity, so I have to strike while the iron is hot. Not a lot of deep thoughts on these drawings other than I continue to hate the fact that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE drawing on my iPad.  <3 SketchBookPro. [Grrr lack of file structure. Grrr DRM.]

    Movie Poster 1: Can you name this movie? HINT: It’s in theatres March 2011. I tried to not make the icons spoilers, but don’t worry- the movie does that all on its own. Groan. So. Disappointed.

    Four Icon Movie Poster 1

    How about this one? Movie Poster 2. Probably no surprises here, no hints needed.

    Four Icon Movie Poster 2

    Now I will describe this process in scientific terms: take a story, boil it down so that all extra liquid evaporates until only 4 precipitates remain. This was actually more difficult than I imagined because it assumes there is actually some substance in the story. I purposely left a lot of white space in the images because I originally was going to put the movie title, like Kyle does. But after playing the guessing-game along with a few different assignment submissions, I think I prefer no title.

    Actual DS106 Assignment Description: Reduce a movie, story, or event into its basic elements, then take those visuals and reduce them further to simple icons. (Thanks to Kyle Tezak for starting the challenge, and Tim Owens for submitting. Read more here:

    I just read that description again. It does not necessarily have to be a movie plot. Now I want to do the bible or something equally epic: As I lay dying? Moby Dick? DS106Radio? Elegance of a Hedgehog? Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy? The Glass Bead Game?

    At this rate, I’ll never sleep again.

    DS106 Radio Debut

    In the wee hours of March 4, I was listening to #DS106 Radio. @DrGarcia goes to Ron’s Liquor store to pick up a bottle of vino and gets into a fascinating discussion with the sales clerk regarding the nature of online education: perceptions, misconceptions, benefits, drawbacks. [NOTE: must do a comic strip of this- it was amazing, hilarious, serendipitous, fascinating]

    Then @jimgroom starts playing excerpts of Melleville’s Moby Dick. @noiseprofessor, the fastest photoshopper in the west starts making whale art and takes over the stream playing whale-related music. I start pasting cool excerpts of the text into my twitter stream.

    “Ah! how cheerfully we consign ourselves to perdition!”

    @grantpotter @brlamb and @draggin in the midst of a face-to-face meetup, gather at @brlamb’s place and pickup the #DS106 Radio stream. I am still in the whale groove so I request via twitter, some of Raffi’s Baby Beluga. Which, by the way, was my first, one and only vinyl album I’ve ever owned. For those of you who care, that should firmly confirm that I am a child of the 70s and a real taped-glasses-nerd. Randy Bachman’s Vinyl Tap episode Friday night was to play all audience requests of “Your first vinyl”. These consisted of Beatles, Elvis et al. No Raffi. But DS106 isn’t CBC – these djs complied with my nerdy request and played my song (against their initial, “what? noooo..not Raffi!?”

    Then as they signed out, they threw down the gauntlet and counted down for someone to pick up the #ds106radio stream. Having just downloaded Papaya and configured the settings, I figured I’d give it a shot. It was 4am EST- everyone should have been asleep (especially me!). Except there were people from California, BC, Australia, Texas, even Tokyo! DS106Radio does not KNOW timezones. The more I think about it- DS106Radio IS a time zone! What time is it?
    As soon as I started streaming it was just quiet. I had to turn off the listening in order to broadcast, so I had no idea if it was working and if I was just sitting the dark talking to my phone. Until…
    Getting immediate feedback from my twitter stream was truly magical and a really cool experience. I stayed up even later to listen to @brlamb and @draggin @grantpotter do more live music. Later yet, @DrGarcia and I skyped in (after a few technical glitches) and we managed to have a 5 way skype conversation. It got a bit meta at this point since I think we were the only listeners and we were broadcasting basically just back to ourselves.
    So I went into work the next day feeling really charged about the potential of this. My next project is to get Audio Hijack and Nice Cast configured so I can cut in some tunes and other audio and actually do a show. I’m also very interested in described audio as an assignment. I wanted to create a Yahoo Pipes stream that read the M3U file and created a meta stream of images, text, relevant articles, etc. Alas Pipes is stupid (which is the defensive way of saying I’m stupid). That said, I have a ton of work to do for pay, so that project will have to wait a bit.

    I did tweet the related describe audio Assignment idea, which @DrGarcia, bless her soul, managed to put into the wiki and expand upon. I suppose in a sense that’s what I’ve done here but there is room for more, I know. More thinking & creativity in store for me.

    Say it like Peanut Butter & Jam Econo

    The Warriors Can you dig it scene

    The Warriors Can you dig it scene

    The #ds106 radio stream always starts with “Can you dig it!?” which is from (1979) The Warriors. I know this because coincidentally over the Christmas break I watched it on Netflix. @noiseprofessor even made awesome @jimgroom art about it. I really think you guys should all get matching leather vests. For real. Not Photoshopped.

    I really thought this movie was hilarious. As if really tough gang members would all coordinate their costumes that way. “Let’s all wear white make-up and be the toughest MIMES in NYC!”

    I also can’t get over what cell phones have done for organized crime. I just loved the rotary pay phones in this movie. It’s like 2600 porn. Sigh. I really miss pay phones. Where do superheroes go to change now? Yet another casualty of technology.

    In any case, when the big gang leader says his big unifying speech at the beginning, “Can you dig it? Can you dig it?” …all I could think of was that crazy Frog from that 80s Cereal. It was so long ago. And he’s not saying Dig it, but Dig’Em. Because that’s the frog dude’s name. But wow, Dig’Em the Frog was pushing Sugar Smacks! Shocking. Imagine if he had a cell phone…We’d all be running around getting whacked on sugar smacks.

    This is when I decided there is a food meme going on inside my mini brain schemata. Maybe I’m hungry all the time, who knows, but I thought my psyche would appreciate if I explored this a bit.

    Okay so then there is – We Jam Econo– Yup, I had to look that one up too. Although I am sure I should have more reverence for the Minutemen, I must admit, my brain has an impenetrable image of cheap Jam of the PB & J variety. Speaking of PB…

    I saw all those “If we don’t, remember me” animated GIFs a while back and was taken by them but not to the same extent that the #ds106 crowd seems to be. I saw quite a few submissions for the “Say it like Peanut Butter” assignment and to be quite honest, I had no bloody idea why it was called that. But hey, #ds106 is a rich landscape bursting with over-ripe allusions. Maybe it was because the GIFs were like peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth and then suddenly- whoop- there’s movement. Then it sticks again. I dunno, there’s too much to look up, I can’t be Googling every darn thing all day long. So Assignment name aside, I set out to do my own homage to The Warriors, a la Say it Like Peanut Butter assignment. As I am working on the GIF, I’m listening to Stephen Downes and George Seimens in their CCK11 Elluminate session. Stephen tells the group that he thinks that the GIF it should be a hard G, although he’s been told that it is a soft G. The chat session lights up with people debating the Soft or Hard G. Someone says, “JIF” – like the peanut butter. And the chat goes on for quite a bit about peanut butter.

    Ooooh, THAT’s why the assignment is called, ‘say it like peanut butter’. Because it’s an Animated GIF! Facepalm. Am I the last to get that? Oh well, I am making my ignorance transparent for the sake of learning. You’re welcome. I hope I’m helping you feel smart.

    Now, personally I have always used a hard G when saying GIF, because I assumed the G stood for Graphics, not Jraffics. Then again, my name is GIULIA and I fully understand how the *I* can make a *G* soft. Apparently, Oxford lists both. So we are all CORRECT and we’re all INCORRECT, too.

    Perfect, that’s just the perfect state to be in. #ds106 always keeping me thinking.