OTR Links 01/19/2018

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.



Those that know me know that I enjoy harness racing.  It was actually Biology class that got me started with this interest.  Harness racing was coming to our town and our teacher used the opportunity to talk about family trees and breeding.  If you ever look at a harness racing program, each horse has his/her immediate lineage listed so that you can tell who a horse’s sire and dam are.  Somehow that captured my interest.

If you’re interested, you can really go deep into the pedegree of any horse.  It’s all done for free unlike the current fad of tracing your DNA!

In our town, harness racing was big (and controversial) and became one of the things to do on a Sunday afternoon.  My parents volunteered with the Kinsmen and Kinettes to help run the afternoon.  At the time, you had to be a lot older than we were to even get into the track area.  But, if you knew the lay of the land, there were places where you could stand to watch the races.  For those of us who were lifeguards and worked on Sunday afternoons, you could watch the races from the pool.

I got hooked.  At the time, the standard for harness racing was the ability for a horse to run a mile in 2 minutes and 10 seconds.  If you saw a horse that did that, you knew it had good breeding and excellent training.  Like many things, the sport got so much better.  Today, you get excited when you see a horse that can run a mile in less than 2 minutes.

We enjoyed travelling the province and seeing races at various venues – Clinton, Goderich, Elmira, Hanover, Dresden, Sarnia, Flamboro, Greenwood, Garden City, Mohawk, Barrie, Ottawa, Windsor, London, Woodstock, Orangeville, and Leamington.  There may be others.  It’s sad that some of these tracks are no longer in operation.

It was being in proximity to Windsor that we got to see some of the best horses of all time – Frugal Gormet, Niatross, Cam Fella, Camluck and probably even more that have been forgotten since Windsor Raceway has been closed for a while.

There was a horse that I never got a chance to see and that was Somebeachsomewhere.  It was sad to read this Somebeachsomewhere, Nova Scotia’s Most Famous Harness Racing Horse, is Dead.  This was a legendary racer from his first race, setting speed records in doing it.

And setting records wherever he went.

Fortunately, we have video to remind us what a magnificent horse he was.  Just watching these videos confirms that he was truly in a class by himself.

He truly deserved the recognition for being the Horse of the Decade.

The list of records is such a reminder of how the sport has improved over the years.  Remember when I say that 2:10 was a standard.  A race that goes in 1:46.4 just is unfathomable to me.

For the sport, Somebeachsomewhere has stood as a stud and so his lineage will continue.  I’ll be keeping an eye out – Dr J Hanover has already hit my radar with a 1:46.4 at Mohawk!  I hope to see more.

OTR Links 01/18/2018

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Exploring innovation

Do you think you’ve nailed something innovative?

Do you think there could be something more than your current educational reality?

Do you get a sense that there’s something more that could be happening?

If you answered yes to any/all of the above, then you’re going to want to check out HundrED.

Screenshot 2018-01-16 at 06.12.00

There is so much here to explore.

Of course, I had to check out the 3 entries from Canada that made it into the collection.

I had certainly known about Roots of Empathy but the other two were new to me.  What’s interesting is the visualization and results that show us that innovation in education can be seen world-wide.

Things like:

And that’s the beginning.  It’s so interesting to explore and read about innovation world-wide.   Explore via the map or a list appears here.

Are there elements of innovation that could be applied to your situation?

I’m absolutely betting there is.

OTR Links 01/17/2018

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Time zones

You know, there was once a time when I would blog and post the it the moment I got  finished.  Life was so much easier then.

A few years ago, I got into the habit of blogging on a daily basis.  I like it; it gives me a chance to share my thoughts on various things, comment on articles that I’ve read from other places, share my thoughts on various pieces of software, and all kinds of other things.

There are some “regular” things that I write about – “This Week in Ontario Edublogs“, “Whatever happened to …“, and a less regular series  of “Interviews“.

To keep myself on track, I’ve started scheduling one blog post a day to appear at 5am.  That gives me the freedom to create it whenever I want during the day and to have it appear reliably the next.  Certainly not making a comparison here, but I kind of imagine this is how newspaper journalists work.

I was pretty excited, last week, when Sarah Lalonde agreed to be interviewed.  The interviews aren’t done live, but rather over a period of time, so that the interviewee can think through and have the best answers to represent themselves.  I got a message over the weekend that she had completed it and so I let her know that I would move it over to my blog and schedule it for 5am on Monday.

Now, the plot thickens.

I was in Omaha at the time, having spent the weekend planning for this summer’s CSTA Conference.  Going slightly off track, the new convention centre is awesome and there appears to be so much to do there as promoted by our contacts in Omaha – the world’s best zoo, the cobblestoned old market area, walk along the river, visit the Casino, walk over the bridge to Iowa, etc.  It was interesting to note that you drive through Iowa as you go from the airport (in Omaha) to downtown Omaha.  The locals blame it on the river moving.  The airport was very friendly and so easy to navigate.

So, back to the topic – I knew I was in a different time zone.  When you look at your flights  and see that it’s only a one hour flight going but three hours returning, you know something’s up.  Based on a suggestion from Sheila Stewart, I wrote my Sunday post in my hotel room on Saturday and scheduled it for 5am.  I slept in on Sunday morning and I did check that the post went out and it did.  Nobody complained so life just goes on.

I had every intention of double checking everything Sunday night but this Minnesota Vikings fan only heard about the “greatest play ever, the Minneapolis Miracle” on the radio and so was surfing the sports channels last night when I got home to actually see it.

Things were different this morning.  I awoke to a message from one of my social media consciences, Aviva, shortly after 5am.

Screenshot 2018-01-15 at 11.25.54

And, there were a few more.

I checked and, yes, it was sitting there ready to appear at 6am or rather, 5am Central Time.  Grrrr.

Lessons learned here –

  • if you’re reliable, people come to expect that reliability
  • the default times come from the time zone that you happened to be in.  I should have known and planned for this

Will it happen again in the future?  I’d like to say no but I know me probably better than anyone else.  It will happen.  I apologize in advance.

I’m also going to look into the WordPress settings.  I wonder if there is a feature to always schedule something according to the home time zone even if I’m not in it.  That would be the best possible solution.

Otherwise, I’ll have to remember to do some mental math before I schedule things.

Related to this, it was disappointing that nobody complained that I didn’t do #FollowFridays on Friday morning…

OTR Links 01/16/2018

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.