My Week Ending June 17, 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.)

  • I totally agree with the premise of this post.  The Science Department should have a department head and the name “Head of Sciences” gives real credibility to the subject area.  Like “Head of Maths”, it doesn’t necessarily roll off the tongue because we’ve been so ingrained with the previous name.
  • Yes, I spent way too much time playing around with this.  I really appreciate it when someone who truly knows what they’re doing takes the time to create illusions for me to look in to.  Mesmerizingly.
  • This is a post that should make librarians think about what, if anything, they offer over the summer.  What a great way to prove the value of libraries to the community.
  • I suppose this is a good idea if you’re trying to wean someone off Windows and onto a Linux – make Linux look like Windows.  I appreciate that designers have done their best to make this happen; I personally prefer my Linux to look like Linux.  But it’s so flexible, you can make it look like anything you want.
  • This post about bats in libraries and eating bookworms gathered a lot of interaction with people this past week.  Who knew?
  • It’s like learning to write in the English language these days.  It’s not that we didn’t study English properly, but there are so many mistakes and suggestive spelling goofs that there are times when incorrect spelling starts to look correct.  So, it never hurts for a little review.
  • This a post that I hope that people share and re-share until the message gets out there and understood.  There’s nothing more sickening that hearing a story about a child or a pet that dies trapped in a car during the summer.
  • Incognito Mode – do you think you know everything about it?  It’s a powerful name for something that does less than what most people think.
  • If you pay attention to how your browser is working, this shouldn’t come as a surprise.  I’m starting to see it more frequently.  I go to move my mouse to close a tab and get a popup that says something to the effect “Are you leaving already?”  I really find that creepy.  I know that it’s technically possible to track mouse movement on a page but this just bugs me.  I keep thinking I’ll just not go back to the site but whatever damage could happen will already have happened.
  • Yet another reminder about mental health and taking care of yourself.  This is entirely focused on teaching and it’s something that everyone should read.

Blog Posts on doug … off the record

Blog Post on

voicEd Radio

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

Technology Trouble Shooting

A New Icon – We spent the weekend at my son’s place and, the first thing that that happened when I looked at my phone, was that there was a software upgrade.  Great!  I’ll use his WIFI to download it instead of mine.  It took maybe 15 minutes and then I was off.  But, there was one thing that kept bugging me.  There was a new icon in the header.  I tried everything that I could while still trying to be a good guest to figure out what it was.  Finally, I asked him if there was something on the network that was new to my phone.  No.  So, we kept digging and found that either Google or Samsung had changed the data compression icon.  I slept well last night.

Success, I hope

As I sat down to write this post, I do what I normally go.  I open last week’s post so that I could replicate it.  Then, for some reason, I scrolled down the right side of the editing screen and noticed this.  Wow.  This could be a real timesaver.

Screenshot 2018-06-17 at 06.32.50

I selected last week’s “My Week Ending” and am writing in it right now.

Now, one of two things could happen.

  1.  It could do exactly what I’m hoping.  I’m writing this post by just writing over the content from last week.  If that works, I’ve found a new efficiency.
  2. I could end up clobbering last week’s post and have two of the same on the blog.  I hope that doesn’t happen.  I’ll leave last week’s post open in a tab just in case.

This may be no big deal to you but it could be everything to me!  I’ll find out later today when this post goes live.

Video of the Week

Something that today’s youth may never need to know.  But, it was a mid-programming-life crisis for me.

My Favourite Photo of the Week

Our neighbour has a pasture that floods in the spring.  For the last number of years, we’ve had a female and two male ducks join us in May/June.  It’s dry now – really dry.  But that doesn’t stop Mother duck from laying 9 eggs (or so I’m told).  The problem is that her nest is right beside our mailbox which is right beside a road where cars go whizzing by at 80 km/h, the local road care people cut the grass, and the postal worker drops off the mail.  The nest is probably 1 metre from the road.

Can you spot her in this picture?  A female duck is nicely hidden; the male would really stand out.

Screenshot 2018-06-17 at 06.44.33.png

Thanks for reading.


Whatever happened to …

… seatbelts?

Actually, a lot!

Normally, this post focuses on things that have gone by.  This is about things that have got better over the years.  And, it was inspired by a reply to last week post.  So, thanks, Noeline for the inspiration.

The link there to seat belts was a great historical review for me and it brought back so many memories of this thing that I hate and drives me crazy.  Although, I will admit the technology is so much better today.  Plus, I’m too cheap to risk getting caught without wearing it and paying the fine.

My first vehicle was an old pickup truck.  I don’t recall it even having seat belts.  One of my secret pleasures is attending old car and truck shows and looking for this old Chevrolet.  I found one once and looked inside.  The dash looked the same and, because it had been restored to be drive-able on the road, it had very obviously new seat belts in it.

Regardless, we would never have worn them at the time.  I don’t think anyone did.  Ditto for my parents’ car although it did have them.  We just pushed these annoying contraptions behind the seats so they didn’t get in the road.  Of course, we did stupid things like riding in the back of a pickup truck or my wife reminds me of driving in her aunt’s station wagon going up and down steep hills and being elevated from their seats.

There did come a time, in Ontario, when wearing them became compulsory.  I can remember the first attempts to police it and lines of cars would be stopped to make sure that occupants were wearing them.  They were so annoying.  They were the same design for front and back.  I guess technically, they were called lap belts and this big clasp always seemed to uncomfortably sit right in the middle of your stomach.

We always thought – sure the government can make us wear it but we don’t have to wear it tightly.  We were such rebels.


But you wore it because the penalty was $25 or something.  Everyone kept a razor blade in the ash tray to cut the belt if you got in an accident and couldn’t get loose.  There was this story circulating about someone who had gone into a lake and drowned because they couldn’t get free!

Then, to add to the level of annoyance (and your safety), the lap belt became more like the seat belt that we have today.  The clasp was now off to the side but the part that went over your chest would end up choking you.  To solve this, Canadian Tire used to sell these little clips that would go over the belt to stop it from fully retracting.  If one wasn’t available, those big paper clips worked nicely too.

Of course, these days, seat belts are standard features on vehicles and have never been better although there have been a few recalls.  They no longer choke, are adjustable in height, and you’re reminded through sensors when a person is sitting in a seat without a belt in place.  Red lights flash on the panel and a chime is there to let you know.  There are still signs on the 401 to remind you that their use is mandatory but those signs are starting to really show their age.

It’s a costly offence with fines starting at $200 and earning you 2 demerit points.

So, your thoughts for a Sunday…

  • do you remember a time before seat belts were part of a car design?
  • do you remember riding in a vehicle before it was mandatory to wear one?
  • how do you handle the uncomfortableness of a seat belt or do you just deal with it?
  • is it really necessary to warn people about driving unbuckled with the chimes and alarms on cars?
  • do you get a secret sense of experience when a flight attendant explains to young people how lap belts work on airplanes?
  • with advancements in air bag and other technologies, do you see a time when seat belts will no longer be necessary?

Please share your thoughts in the comments.  I want to know if I’m the only person around here who predates seat belts!

This is a regular Sunday post here.  You can read all of them by clicking this link.

And, if you have an idea for a post, just let me know.  These are a great deal of fun to write.


OTR Links 06/17/2018

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