My Week Ending June 10, 2018

Here’s a summary of some of the things I learned and published this week.

Readings (You can follow my daily readings as they happen here.  Here are a selected few from the past week.)


  • One thing about modern web browser is that so much of what we want to do can be done right in the browser.  Hence the popularity of the Chromebook.  The verdict is still out on Windows S.  And, if you can’t do it in the browser, just add an extension to get the job done.  Here are 35 extensions for Chromebooks.  Of course, you’re not necessarily limited to the Chromebook – if you’re using the Chrome browser, they’ll fit there.  They should typically work in any Chromium based browser like my favourite – Opera.  Usually, there’s an equivalent for Firefox and often for Edge.
  • If you do any kind of reading about developers or coders, you’ll inevitably run into a discussion about JSON.  What is it?  Here’s an introductory lesson.
  • I don’t know how helpful this would be for most people.  If you believe the statistics, people just install the Chrome browser and forget that there are other options.  This article lists alternative browsers for Ubuntu.  If you don’t use Ubuntu, don’t worry – most of the browsers work on other operating systems.  The message here though is to not settle for the easiest and most convenient.  Alternative browsers have focus on security, functionality and new features.  Often you’ll see them there first and then they get folded into your favourite browser later.
  • This is a feature that I’m looking forward to in the new Mac OS.  A dark mode.  People think of dark mode for work in the evening but I personally find the contrast works nicely in daylight as well.
  • I’d love to see the algorithm behind this initiative from Twitter to identify and get rid of underage accounts.  Can’t we all be childish at times?  I think it’s time to get the thesaurus out and start tweeting big words.
  • When I got my first teaching job, I had the world’s best teacher-librarian.  He knew his stuff and was only too happy to make sure that we had relative and recent resources in the library.  More rationale for why the school librarian is not a frill can be found in this article.
  • In case you need to relive the results from the Provincial election, here’s an interactive map that’s been embedded everywhere it seems.  Some of the more southernly districts like, say, Essex don’t appear in the popup.  Does Ontario really end at London?
  • I found this to be an interesting article.  Can we really trust the view of the world that the various mapping programs provide us?  I know that I do and have always done so.  Like most things online, perhaps we need to ask a few more probing questions.
  • It’s probably best geared for those who have the higher end Chromebooks that comes with styluses.  I do have a stylus around here somewhere but I tend to be able to do any touch things with my fingers.
  • Now that Ontario has a Conservative government, this article itemizes 5 things that it can move quickly on.  Sadly, buck-a-beer didn’t make the list.  So much for appealing to the common man.  I can remember when you could get two draughts for $.25 at the Commercial Hotel in Seaforth.  If we’re destined for the good ol’ days, let’s go for the gusto.

Blog Posts on doug … off the record

voicEd Radio

My on demand page can be found here.  The latest edition features blog posts from:

Technology Trouble Shooting

Two Clicks solved and more! – It never seems to rain but it pours!  Last week, I spent some time training myself how to do a triple finger tap to close a tab in Chrome.  Then, I did some research and blogged about new looks for Chrome.  It offers a solution that takes you back to clicking on the X to close the tab.  If you turn on the touch setting, everything gets just a bit bigger – including the X.  Now, there are even more choices!

Eggs in salad

I had to smile when I read this story Google removes egg from salad emoji to make it inclusive to vegans, the internet reacts.  The moral of the story is that, no matter what you do, you’re going to upset someone.  On the other hand, as I mentioned to Alfred Thompson, this would be a great opportunity to have students do some fancy Photoshop work and make their own salad emoji.

Video of the Week

Blame this one on Stephen Hurley.  He sent out a message for a recommendation for a summer song from years past.  This came to mind and has been in my head ever since.

My Favourite Photo of the Week

Last Sunday, I went to the harness races at Dresden Raceway.  On the way, I don’t think I’ve ever been in a bigger rain storm.  Check out the track.  If you look carefully, the water is actually inside the pylons that mark the edge of the track.  It gave new meaning to “on the rail”.  Surprisingly, the speeds weren’t off by much.


Thanks for reading.


Whatever happened to …

… outdoor drive-in movie theatres?

Thanks to Sheila Stewart for suggesting this.  It sure brought back memories for me.

Where I grew up, there was an indoor movie theatre in town.  You could tell just from the design of the building.  When I was there though, it had closed and was the home of the local newspaper.  In our “If you grew up in Clinton” Facebook group, there allegedly was another indoor theatre in town but that was way, way before my time.

For our family, it was a regular visit to Brownie’s Movie Theatre.

Sadly though …


But I do remember this!


Thanks, Cinema Treasures, CC

A complete list of images including the pay booth that I do recall is available at this page.

When we’d go to movies, it was either on a Friday or Saturday night.  Typically, there would be a double bill – a Disney movie first and then an adult movie following.  My brother and I would be allowed to watch the first movie but then had to lie down and sleep through the second.  In theory, anyway.  I remember peeking a bit; my mother loved Agatha Christie stories turned into movies and I think that’s where I got a love for “Murder on the Orient Express”.

And between movies, who could forget advertising like this!

Parking was always a big task.  We wanted to be near the refreshment building/washrooms – not too far back and not too close, you didn’t want to be on an angle to the big screen, and then there was the back and forth to make sure that we had the perfect viewing angle.

I also remember Dad having to go into the washroom before the first show to get wet paper towels and clean off the bugs from the front windshield before the show started.  And, also the great mono speaker thingy that hung in the window for audio.  I always got a kick from the informative movie clip that reminded you there was no penalty for turning it in should you pull away before hanging it back up and rip the cord from the stand.  Our theatre was family friendly and there was a playground down front where we could go and play before the cartoon shown before the first attraction.

A friend that I had in high school got a job as a projectionist.  It was so impressive to see how movies were played with the big reels and all the skill that it took to put it all together.

There used to be theatres like this everywhere.  If there was nothing playing in Clinton we liked, we could drive to the one in Goderich or if it was something that we really wanted to see, to Grand Bend.  I don’t know that I ever realized that movies could be seen indoors until I went on a high school field trip once to London!  With the move to Essex County, there was an outdoor theatre in Windsor but we never went.  I understand they didn’t use the speakers you hang on the window but rather broadcast through your car’s FM radio.  Hey, stereo movies!  What a concept.

Sadly, Brownie’s is no longer there as are most outdoor theatres throughout the province.  Periodically, around here, you’ll see a community group show an outdoor movie projected on the side of the building or you can rent big blowup screens.

Outdoor theatres are not gone completely – here’s a list from a website devoted to Drive-in Movies Theatres of ones they document as still functioning in the province.  I know that I have readers from throughout the province…are they still active?

For a Sunday, how about sharing some thoughts.

  • Have you ever gone to an outdoor drive-in movie theatre?  Do you have any remembrances of the experience?
  • Do you enjoy the current experience in indoor movie theatres – the surround sound, vibrating chairs, the lounges, …?
  • Do people talking in theatres drive you as crazy as they do me?
  • Can you remember the advertising from outdoor movie theatres when it was about upcoming shows and not the same commercials that you see on television?
  • Could there be anything, anywhere as tasty as movie theatre popcorn?  Of course it’s good for you – get past the salt, the butter, the flavouring and you’ll find fibre.
  • Did you ever sneak into an outdoor drive-in movie theatre by going around the fence or in the trunk of a car?

Please share some of your thoughts via reply below.  I’d love to read about your memories.

This post is part of a regular Sunday series and you can read any of them here.  If you have a topic that would bring back memories, please let me know in a Padlet that I’ve designed just for this purpose.  Thanks, Sheila, for today’s inspiration.

OTR Links 06/10/2018

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