My Week Ending October 7, 2018

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


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

  • My son lived in an apartment building that took advantage of the rooftop for things like a BBQ, patio chairs, a few pots and plants, all overlooking downtown Toronto.  This project from the Vancouver library ups the ante considerably.  It makes you wonder why more buildings don’t do something similar.
  • This could be one of the biggest ecology breakthroughs for us all.  After all, look around you.  How many batteries do YOU own.  Could you imagine if we got them all working together?
  • Now that many Chromebooks are capable of running Android applications, this list was inevitable.  Look for more and regularly posted as bloggers feel like they have to write something.  I wonder how many of these authors actually use them though.
  • I had switched to Google’s Inbox when it came along and took the time and showed the patience to make it work.  I ended up really liking it.  Now that it’s going away, I’ve reunited myself with Gmail.  Some of the features from Inbox have followed me.
  • I’m a Leo.  It was interesting to see this ancient interpretation of all astrology signs.
  • The title was a little misleading.  I was imagining all of the Gardiner Expressway torn down.  Note:  tearing down roads is very expensive.
  • For those that just sit down and code or drag and drop without planning, this is probably a foreign concept.  However, it’s always been a way to help me organize my thoughts when doing some problem solving.  I initially learned from a very good teacher and the technique has always been helpful.
  • I’m one of them.  I’m in Windows right now but I’m sure not using Edge as my browser.  For me, it’s Opera.
  • I think we always thought this but didn’t dare play chicken with the United States over tariffs.  Nobody else makes a minivan that’s even close to the ones that Chrysler does.  Our family has owned three of them over the years.
  • Are you interested in the state of Computer Science education?  Read this.
  • Saunders Secondary School has this new library.  It’s a wow and part of the TVDSB Rethink Secondary Schools project.  How long before this approach is done in all of its secondary schools?  Then elementary schools?  Then as a model for the rest of the province?  We should all weasel an invitation for a tour.
  • Here’s yet another reason to attend the BIT 18 conference.  Rodd Lucier tells us about this exciting event in the evening – Going EPIC with Orcas.  Attendees will get the movie and learning resources for free.  Free is good.  I’ve seen the movie; it’s awesome.
  • I might actually sit down and do this.  Then, maybe blog about it.  It’s an online design tool to design your own subway.

Blog Posts on doug … off the record

Blog Post on

BRING IT, TOGETHER 2018 – The complete schedule is now live.  Have you registered?  It’s also a reminder of the “Bring IT, Together” concept.  Why not bring a group from your school?

Reminder about Early Bird Closing for #BIT18 – For those going to the Bring IT, Together conference, a reminder that early bird pricing ends on October 1.

voicEd Radio

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

Technology Trouble Shooting 

I’ve got a problem that’s troubling me.

My MacBook Pro (yeah, yet another problem) periodically just loses track of the built-in camera.

I got invited to a Google Hangout yesterday and there was no camera found.

Yet, the night before, I was part of a Zoom conference call and it worked like a trouper.

I know a solution – just reboot and it finds it without any problem.  But, the promise always was that turning the computer off wasn’t necessary.  Just put it to sleep and open the lid to continue, they say.

I had hoped that the upgrade to Mojave would have addressed the problem but it didn’t. One can only assume that it’s a hardware problem.

The only consolation is that there all all kinds of people on the internet and the Apple support site who have the same problem.

There are lots of solutions which involve quitting the offending application and rebooting but I never know whether or not it’s going to work until I initiate or answer a call.  Asking the person to wait while I reboot just seems like bad manners.

Video of the Week

I was going to use this video in the post this morning but thought it might be a tad long.  Here’s over an hour of Don Messer.  If you look at the set, we have exactly that same patio table!  It’s never been inside or used as a prop though.

My Favourite Photo of the Week

From last Sunday, I told you that I was going to the Wiener Dog races at Leamington Raceway.  There were three heats.  Here, the owners line up at the starting rope.

Horses start six wide.  Dachshund go eight wide.


Thanks for reading.


Whatever happened to …

… square dancing? The topic came back to mind this past Wednesday when Stephen Hurley and I were talking about Physical Education on our This Week in Ontario Edublogs voicEd Radio show. The discussion was about the difference between “gym” and “Physical Education” and was inspired by a blog post from Andrea Haefele “Behind Gym’s Doors“.  One of my memories was a two week unit in Phys Ed dealing with square dancing.  It was the only time that our classes were co-ed and we were taught the basics.  I thought it might have been a unique Huron County thing but Stephen recalled learning it as well. Small world. Of course, we had been exposed to square dancing on television with Don Messer’s Jubilee which was broadcast on the Wingham CKNX station. Can you picture me dressed like that?  I can’t either; it wasn’t a dress up event for us.  And, we would never, ever have been allowed to use those types of shoes on the gym floor. When we learned that we would be doing square dancing, I recall the rolling eyes and groans.  Were they trying to make us go back in time? It turned out to be one of the more fun times.  We did learn the basics and did things like spinning, bowing, alemande lefting and alemande righting, and promenading the lady home.  So popular was this unit that the teachers left the music and caller playing in the gym during lunchtime and we took advantage of it.  It still is an issue that my wife brings up from time to time because I danced with another girl in my class.  Whatever happened to her? I’m sure that we were marked on our dancing abilities! Once I was out of high school, it became a fond memory.  I’m sure that I never thought about it at university and I don’t recall it being an activity at my high school.  But, a couple of years ago, we were bored and decided to see if it was available anywhere locally for adults.  Naturally, we ended up at a country bar.  They did have a mechanical bull – we never had one at school – that would have been fun.  But, alas, no square dancing. Square dancing is quickly becoming a memory everywhere as this CBC story attests.  There are no local clubs listed here. For a Sunday morning, your thoughts?
  • did you ever square dance – at school or elsewhere?
  • does your school do a unit on square dancing at all these days?
  • if you were inclined to try square dancing, where would you turn in your community?
  • have you ever ridden a mechanical bull?
  • is there an element of our heritage that has done missing by not making square dancing available?
Please share your thoughts in the comments below. This post is part of a regular Sunday series.  You can visit them all here. If you’ve got an idea for a post, I’d like to hear about it.  You can add it to the Padlet designed just for this purpose.

OTR Links 10/07/2018

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