Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Get Your Tiddly On!

TiddlyWiki is an extremely portable, html/css/javascript wiki-style hypertextual writing and notekeeping environment.

A community has grown around TiddlyWiki. There are many variations. (Personally, however, I like to stick close to home in case a new version comes out; up-to-dateness (often) suffers with each degree of separation from the source.)

TiddlyWiki has grown so popular, it even has its own Wikipedia article. You know you've made it when you're the subject of a Wikipedia article.

My favorite TiddlyWiki example is academic.

I'm not so interested in TiddlyWiki as a composing space, or note taking space, but I am very interested in it as a web-based presentation space. No doubt, next semester, my students will find their course materials TiddlyWiki-ed inside WebCT!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Interview With An English Major III

Yesterday I enjoyed the chance to catch up with one of our recently graduated English majors. Her name is Joanna, and not only has she continued to practice the critical skills and habits of mind she learned in her major, she's even entered a Ph.D. program in Communication and plans to become a professor!

Listen.to Joanna speak about her experiences as an English major and her plans to recreate some of those experiences for others.

Bonus Link: Interview With An English Major Playlist

Monday, November 21, 2005

A Writely Spillsheet

I find that a local HTML document linked to Firefox's bookmarks toolbar folder, and framing a Writely document within an IFRAME, makes an excellent spill sheet for notes and rough drafts.

Writing As Blogthread

No question about it: the theme of writing threads through this blog like a silver lining.

One can subscribe to this search.

DanToday Frapper Map

Bored? Glum? Add yourself to the DanToday Frappr map. Let's see who's out there.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Theme Candidate 5

Theme candidate 5 is an a capella number!

Tiny Background Images

Today I referred my Web Design students to a site replete with tiny background images.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Sugar Glider

I got the chance to do a little illustrating in my morning Web Publishing class today. A student building a web site devoted to sugar gliders needed a drawing for her banner.

I was happy to oblige!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

A Writing Prescription from Dr. Murphy

My colleague, Dr. Maureen Murphy, also stopped by my office today. We got to talking and, being who we are and doing what we do, our talk turned to writing. Here's her advice to college writing students.

Windy Day

It was a windy day (.mov file, 12mb)

Jim Pays Us a Visit

My dear friend Jim stopped by my office today. Jim, now emeritus, taught writing and speech at my school for more years than I've been alive. (He says he was "trapped" into teaching here in 1967.) During his visit we spoke about the teaching of writing ("Even after 35 or 40 years, teaching people to write remains a challenge," said Jim) and about the rewards of teaching ("The best reward is an appreciative letter from a former student," said Jim).

I always love it, though, when Jim agrees to tell one of his stories or jokes. He's famous for them. Today he told me a doosie . (Warning: risque content.)

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Thursday, November 10, 2005

"The Importance of the Irrelevant"

I would personally like to thank Rick Schwier for making the point, in EdTech Posse podcast #8 (32:16), that learning things that may seem irrelevant or impractical is nonetheless worthwhile for the new ideas it gives you.

At least I think it's Rick and not Rob Wall who says this. My apologies if my attribution is wrong.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Monday, November 07, 2005


Dave Winer brings us another idea for organizing a conference. He calls it "hypercamp."

Here's how Dave describes it:

It's not a BloggerCon, not an unconference, but it's not your normal panel-speaker-audience thing either.

It's over quickly, in twelve hours starting at 10AM and ending with a 10PM cocktail party, and maybe dancing.

It's organized, not free-form, there is a schedule, a grid, but instead of people going into the hallway to converse it's all in one big room with the conversation at the center, and lots (I mean lots) of Internet connections.

I'm not sure it's the perfect configuration for a classroom, but who knows? I need to mull it over . . .


Having trouble explaining to people exactly what I intend to do with a text analysis program in the context of a course in college writing, I made this audio, to be heard in conjunction with this video.

Download the audio. Click on the video link. Stop the video. Start the audio. Then restart the video when I tell you to (on the audio).

The link to the text analysis program in question, TextSTAT is here

Update (11/8/05): This demo's for Dr. B!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Instant Text Analysis

Yeah, Right.

The most frustrating phrase in the English language (especially when it's printed on a package of mozzarella cheese):

"Easy Open."

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Finger Index

The arrival of a cold front in South Dakota today was heralded by a corresponding shift in the "finger index." The finger index is an informal index which uses finger color as a gauge of air temperature.

Today's cold front brought with it a distinct shift of the finger index into the "violet" color range. The index is expected to shift in to the "blue" range later this month.