My Week Ending 2019-08-18

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.  Below are a selected few, with commentary, from the past week.

  • I’m glad to see that Denmark and Greenland are loud and clear about Donald Trump’s musings about buying Greenland.
  • Those administrators who would get rid of school libraries would be advised to rethink. This article will help.
  • Short of designing a web browser specifically for education, your best bet is to take a browser, any browser, and add extensions. Here are ten.
  • I find it so bizarre that this is even a story. Money to be the default web browser search default. Do people not realize that changing it is a click away? Or, just type the URL to your favourite in the address bar.
  • The Samsung Galaxy Book compares nicely to the Microsoft Surface Pro. The winner? Us, who buy them.
  • There is a guaranteed way to stay virus free. Just stay offline and use the default software that comes with your computer. But, where’s the fun in that?
  • The best thing I ever did in high school was to buy this book about how to speed read. It’s been a great skill to have and even better now there’s so much information around. Now a font to optimize the process?
  • From the OLG, everything you want to know about slot machines including a simulator to show you how things work. Fascinating.
  • Every library needs to share this article with kids and parents for the upcoming school year.
  • This will be controversial, just like Turnitin was. Google now has a cheating feature in its classroom offering. I still think that the best checker is to sit down and have a 1:1 conversation to see if the student knows the content and can demonstrate they know the content. Isn’t that the goal we really want?
  • This suggests that the functionality in Google Search has shot itself in the foot and people don’t click through to see the results.
  • For some reason, there’s a desire to make Cinnamon look like the Windows interface. I don’t get it; why not just install Windows if the menuing is a big deal.
  • Linux Mint 19.2 is here and here’s how to get it. I just used the utilities to perform the update here and it worked nicely.
  • I wonder if there will be a followup to this – like my secretary used to say “someone needs to be fired”.

Blog Posts on doug … off the record

My daily contributions to this blog.

#FollowFriday – August 16, 2019

voicEd Radio

My on demand radio page can be found here.  

This week’s show – with special guest host Terry Greene.

Intro song:

Blog posts this week came from:

  • @greeneterry
  • @IrenequStewart
  • @Cambrian_Jess
  • @LisaCorbett0261
  • @MrsLyonsLibrary

Technology Troubleshooting

Yesterday morning, I was awakened by a storm that went overhead. It was really loud and things really brightened up with each flash of lightning. I couldn’t get back to sleep so went down to the rec room.

On the way, I stopped and started a cup of coffee in the kitchen with our Keurig coffee maker. By the time I got to my chair, the power had flickered. This caused two problems.

  1. The coffee maker thought it was out
  2. The power protector has cut out the power to the wireless access point

So, I reset them both. A few seconds later, power out again. Reset. Power out. Reset.

This time the coffee was done and the internet stayed on. But, the coffee result was interesting. My cup is a big hand crafted WesternRCAC gift that is way bigger than a standard cup brewed by the coffee maker. However, the failed brewing ended up with a full cup as opposed to the half cup that I usually get.

I needed it at 3:30 in the morning.

Video of the Week

I saw the movie this week. This song was big when I was a kid but not the version by Bruce Springsteen.

It was only later that I knew who really wrote it.

Photo of the Week

This is genius. I could have saved thousands had I thought of this when my kids were younger.

Thanks for reading. Please join me daily for something new and, hopefully, interesting.


This blog post was originally posted at:

If you find it anywhere else, it’s not original.

Whatever happened to …

… summer?

This might be a little personal but it’s real life.

As many of you know, I had a birthday last week. It happens every year around this time.

From my perspective as a student/teacher in school, it had its pluses and minuses.


My birthday never happened during the school year. I’m not the type of guy that likes to have a great deal of attention so I never had to worry about those dreaded classroom birthday parties. You know, the ones where everyone brings a gift and pretends to be your best friend for a day. Thankfully, you grow out of it when you get to secondary school.

The mathematician in me, later in life, was astounded by the number of people that I worked with who also had birthdays on August 14. Do Leos tend towards being teachers?


Unless you have an August birthday, this might be a little strange. As a kid, birthdays are kind of a big deal. I can remember waiting in anticipation all summer for my birthday. Then, it happens, and I realized in the aftermath that there were only two weeks left until school started. The sun had already started to set early and it got cooler at night. The public pool dropped in temperature and we knew that it would close on Labour Day.

In terms of parties, it was a challenge to get all my friends there. After all, it was in the summer and many of them had gone on holidays and to cottages. So, unlike those who had their big birthday parties during the school year with complete attendance, I might have had a handful at best.

The impending two weeks got even shorter as a teacher and then teacher consultant as we always seemed to have professional learning sessions that preceded the school year for a week, sometimes two making return to work something to be done.

AND THE WORST PART? There are no cool gifts available at that time but there was lots of “back to school” stuff.

So, such is the sad story of my life.

How about your birthday or summer thoughts?

  • Think about your own birthday – is it perfectly timed? Can you identify pluses and minues for it?
  • Do we overdo birthdays in school?
  • Do you do something for those students in the class with summer birthdays or is it just a case of “sucks to be you”. (Thanks Lisa Cranston for teaching me that)
  • As a teacher, do you have a sense of walls closing around you as you realize that the end of summer and the beginning of a new school year approaches?
  • Do you get more sensitive to allergic reactions as the plants start to die off in late August, giving up their allergens?
  • Does summer always seem to run out before your planned list of things to do in the summer does?
  • Despite all my woes, birthdays always featured a cake from Bartliff’s. I know it’s a Clinton thing, but it’s a big deal there. Do you have a favourite place to get birthday cakes?
  • What’s your favourite type of cake? For my birthday, it was the only time of the year we had vanilla. The rest of my family liked chocolate.

I’d be interested in reading your summer/birthday thoughts. Please leave them in the comments below.

This year, my wonderful wife gave me an awesome gift. My daughter had taken a great picture of Jaimie and she had it painted by a local artist. It’s now proudly on the wall in the rec room.

This post originally appeared on

If you read it anywhere else, chances are the scraper’s birthday isn’t in August and they didn’t write it anyway.

OTR Links 08/18/2019

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