My Week Ending 2020-04-05

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.

  • Mitch Albom is a very powerful writer and offers advice to the US President that she’s not “that woman in Michigan“; she’s in fact Governor Gretchen Whitmer. She’s got a huge job in front of her right now and rightfully needs to be respected. Politics should not matter.
  • I had no idea. I thought 911 was a universal number to dial when you need assistance.
  • This was certainly the best news in the Trudeau house for a while. Now, the Prime Minister can make his scheduled events on time instead of being in sole charge of childcare. I’m so happy for Sophie.
  • We now know the new dates for the Tokyo Olympics. I know that Japan and the rest of the world will step up to make this event memorable.
  • Who doesn’t like free stuff? Here’s an article that claims that this is the best. As long as it’s free, who is arguing?
  • I actually saw this news conference live. I saw history being revised before my very eyes.
  • In the midst of all the bad news we hear about hospital workers going home and worrying about infecting family, free hotel rooms are offered in Windsor.
  • For me, it’s the luxury of having a keyboard and a mouse, being able to use it in my easy chair, and true multi-tasking. I’ll never replace my laptop with an iPad of any type.
  • With my notorious lack of internet speed, streaming anything is always a challenge. But, as a lover of old black and white movies, I was delighted to find that I could download the from the Internet Archive. That’s not the only place for free movies though – a bunch are included in the article.
  • This is happening all over the province. I’ve always wondered about the things that I left behind at school during fire drills. Was it possible to get them back in a real emergency?
  • This reminds me of old shows of Hogan’s Heroes. “You have papers?” The bigger, more important message is don’t go outside and put yourself in this position in the first place.
  • News from Australia about changes in university admissions. I’ve heard nothing about Canadian ones up to this point.
  • The irony to the penalties in this new law is that the guilty might take the virus into prison with them.
  • So, here’s a maker project for your kids who are trapped at home. Spruce up that old clunky computer and turn it into a Chromebook. I’ve done it many times. It’s dead simple and I’ve yet to lose a computer.
  • One of the annoying things about Google Meet is that it goes full-screen with whoever’s talking. It’s important in a business meeting perhaps but not the best thing in a noisy classroom. Here’s a solution.
  • In a world filled with all kinds of English applications for learning, it’s refreshing to find a source for French.
  • As strange as it might sound, virtual racing on Formula 1 racetracks is intriguing. I always finish last when playing my version. Doug’s a cautious driver.
  • These pictures, taken by drones, are amazing. It makes me want to run out and buy a drone but then there’s this whole isolation thing.

Blog Posts on
doug … off the record

My daily contributions to this blog. If you’re looking for a week in review for doug–off the record, you came to the right place.

#FollowFriday – April 3, 2020

voicEd Radio

This week on voicEd Radio, Stephen Hurley and I chatted about reading and research, villages, camping, elearning and teaching with special guest Tina Bergman.

This week’s show –

Intro Song:

All of the podcasts are archived here.

Blog posts this week came from:

  • Tina Bergman – @blyschuk
  • Lynn Thomas – @THOMLYNN101
  • Laura Wheeler – @wheeler_laura
  • Shelly Vohra – @raspberryberet3
  • Diana Maliszewski – @MzMollyTL

Technology Troubleshooting

I can’t think of a technology company that has been hit harder in the past week than Zoom. From sharing information with Facebook, to Zoombombing (is that even a word?), to finding Zoom session recordings on the internet, it hasn’t been pleasant.

The CEO of Zoom tried to apologize and regain trust in the product. I’d previously only thought of Zoom being a commercial offering but they’ve opened up access to everyone during these stay at home times.

We even had a family gathering on Zoom to celebrate a birthday.

If you’re considering using Zoom in the upcoming days of teaching online, read all that you can to be most informed.

Mozilla provided some advice for securing meetings here –

And, if you find this really ugly guy on the Internet singing Happy Birthday in a Zoom recording, just move on. Nothing to see here.

Video of the Week

We lost another great one this past week.

Photo of the Week

These came up in my Facebook memories. It was a trip to the Tip at Point Pelee. That’s always an adventure because the Tip is never the same twice. In this case, it was a really long tip. Jaimie and I went to the very end for the second photo. For that moment in time, he was the dog furthest south in mainland Canada.

It was a windy day as you can tell from his ears being flattened. As many times as I’ve seen it, I’m still in awe of waves off the Tip going in opposite directions. Warnings are there about the resulting undertow.

Thanks for reading.

Please join me daily for something new and, hopefully, interesting for you. Time willing, this summary appears every Sunday afternoon.

Be safe.


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


Whatever happened to …

… web cams?

My wife and I were watching an old movie this past week – OK, not that old but the technology we saw seems so old now. There was a scene with a video conferencing bit and one of the people was using a Logitech eyeball web camera.

I remember when I got one of those beauties. It was in the days where my computer was actually a tower with an external monitor. The monitor had no camera so if you wanted to take pictures or do conferencing, you had to purchase an external camera. These were affordable and did the trick.

Of course, you didn’t just plug it in and run with it. It required its own driver which came on accompanying CD-ROM so if you were planning to use the camera on more than one computer, it meant making sure that you had the CD-ROM for installation everywhere!

BestBuy still has a nice collection although many are sold out. No demand to replenish or has there been a rush since everyone wants to do things online these days?

How about your thoughts for a Sunday morning. You’re not going anywhere so share your experiences in the comments below.

  • if you’re using a laptop computer, you’ll have a camera built-in. Does it do a good enough job for you? Angle, sense of depth, focus, etc.
  • do you remember having an external camera for your computer? How did you make sure everything was in focus and you weren’t broadcasting your double chin or shiny head? (asking for a friend)
  • even the cheapest Chromebooks or iPads have camera(s) these days. When was the last time you used yours?
  • of course, a popular use these days is going online into meeting rooms … do you have a preference for meeting room?
  • how do you know your camera is working?
  • there was a real concern about hackers getting into the camera of your computer and turning it on to spy on you. Allegedly, they could do it without you knowing. Do you have a piece of tape or some other way to cover your camera when you’re not using it?

I’m sure that all of us would like to hear your stories. Please share in the comments below.

This post appears on:

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

OTR Links 04/05/2020

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