My Week Ending 2020-01-12

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’ve always been a fan of alternatives to Microsoft’s Powerpoint. One reason is that I’m too cheap to buy it and I’ve seen so many bad presentations from people who can afford it or have someone else buy it for them. Some of the alternatives just seem more interesting and engaging.
  • Ottawa isn’t a place that we visit all that often but do get there every now and again. So, it always seems like it’s changed already.
  • Probably a good read for everyone, not only those who have elected to pay the big bucks for AirPods. Earwax is gross everywhere.
  • When you fly in an airplane, you just assume that all of the maintenance has been done. You don’t walk around and inspect. Actually, you’re not even given that opportunity. It must be sickening to look out the window and see a wheel come off though.
  • Sony is getting into the electric car business. I’m still at a loss to identify places around here to charge one though.
  • Sadly, stories about people actually constructing something with technology in the classroom rather than some of the more passive approaches are few and far between. Portfolios are a good construction activity.
  • The concept sounds kind of sugarish and gross to me but I will try Timbits cereal when they appear in the grocery store.
  • For someone like me who is impressed with sandbars, these are absolutely gorgeous.
  • I’m in the camp of believing that we’re not alone in the universe – just our part of it. Could this be the sign that there are others out there?
  • What if the fix for Y2K was just a patch and pushed solutions off to a future generation and that generation is us?
  • This is a good article for computer science teachers to read about even though it uses the term “coding”. I know that most prefer “programming” but the premise here is that it should be taught differently.
  • If it was Google or Microsoft that was scanning your images, it would be spying but if it’s Apple, it’s OK. Forgetting that, child abuse needs to be stopped everywhere.
  • Much has been written and said about Harry and Meghan moving to Canada. I’m happy to see them doing what works for them and not some centuries old concept.
  • If this truly is our native language, then I’m totally illiterate.
  • I’m in love with any article that indicates that coffee is good for you.
  • There hasn’t been much, if anything, good written about the Boeing 737 Max airliner. This isn’t good.

Blog Posts on doug … off the record

My daily contributions to this blog.

#FollowFriday – January 10, 2020

voicEd Radio

My on demand radio page can be found here.  

This week’s show –

Special appearance from Diana Maliszewski

Intro song

Blog posts this week came from:

  • @MzMollyTL
  • @jcasatodd
  • @DebbieDonsky
  • @MrsLyonsLibrary
  • @DrDWestonPhD
  • @banana29
  • @leftyeva

Technology Troubleshooting

This is troubleshooting advice that’s good for everyone.

Although, who writes cheques anymore these days. But, I’ll bet that you do sign contracts.

The advice is to make sure that you write the year out in full – 2020 lest you just get used to the short January 12, 20. It doesn’t take a professional counterfeiter to change that to January 12, 2010.

Another good piece of advice is to put a bit of flourish or extra to your writing. Even something as simple of ensuring that you finish the date or your signature off with a period that’s really noticeably ensures that it’s your writing.

I draw the line at drawing a heart though.

Video of the Week

We’ve lost another amazing musician.

Photo of the Week

The rising water is going to float the sandbox pretty soon! Until then, the waterslide is an option.

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 …

… digital snowflakes?

Sometimes, geeks do things just because we can.

It was probably 10 years or so ago when I last did this. There was this big deal to have snowflakes come down from the top of the screen on your website. Typically, this happened in December to celebrate winter, Christmas and just outright geekery.

We weren’t using the same web tools that we have today. Web pages were created from scratch using a text editor or later a tool like Dreamweaver or Netscape’s Composer. We weren’t afraid of hard coding everything that appeared when you visited our website. Actually, we had no other option.

Someone, somewhere had written code to make it snow on their screen. So, we were off to “reveal source” and borrow the code for our own webpages. Since we had the actual code, it was easy to tweak for a different purpose or different effects.

I remember a particular challenge that I never solved. While the snow as falling on the screen, if you happened to click on a snowflake while aiming for a link, the link wouldn’t work. It was layered behind the snow. One of the things that we had a bit of fun with was making the web page unusable by coding a “blizzard”. Why? Just because we could.

I never could figure out how to ignore the snowflake layer and make the link work regardless. I didn’t spend huge amounts of time trying to figure it out but, quite honestly, I did devote some time to it.

For a Sunday morning, your wintery thoughts as we recover from a tremendous rainstorm. (at least it isn’t snow …)

  • do you recall the days of visiting snowy websites?
  • did you ever code snowflakes on a webpage?
  • have you run into a website in your recent travels that is snowing?
  • would you consider the concept cool or annoying?
  • what other features have you seen that you would consider annoying and should be stopped?

As always, I’d be interested in your thoughts. Please share them in the comments below.

All of the posts from this regular Sunday series are available here. You’ll also find a link to a padlet where you can add a suggestion or two for a future post.

This post originally appeared at:

If you read it anywhere else, it’s not the original.

OTR Links 01/12/2020

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