Friday, April 28, 2006

In another amazing media resource, you can get audio of US Supreme court hearings, including a choice of audio formats of Roe vs. Wade.
There's also a podcast of the current docket. What a time we live in and enjoy!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Leaving Boys Behind: Public High School Graduation Rates Centert for Civic Innovation"
Jay Greene is back with an update to the offensive state of graduation in our public schools. You knew it was bad.

For 2003, only 49% of African-American males and 48% of Hispanic males graduated.

This study only brings the news, not the reasons. It's been noted elsewhere, however, that most don't leave because they can't do the work; nor becuse they simply must support a family.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

SXSW 2006 Interactive Panels Podcasts
If the posts here seem to be getting a little scarcer; it partly because business has been busy; partly because Spring has brought new opportunities for lobbying for local hiking, bike, and drive-it-yourself interpretive trails.

It's also because I promised more technical content, and have since walked into a firehose of info on AJAX, DOM-scripting, Ruby-on-Rails, and all the like. I suspect a lot of developers are like that - as we try to riddle out a seemless interface between Flash applications and plain old text.

This week I've been listening again to some conference sessions. The above link is the podcast of the 2006 South By SouthWest festivals. The session that first caught my interest was How to Bluff Your Way in DOM Scripting (MP3). You'll enjoy more, I'm sure.

Why fill your iPod with music when you can listen to Brits expounding on scripting and markup as you tour about?

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Kingdom of Heaven is out on DVD, and appropritely we watched it Easter eve. Among the DVD features, an overlay comments on the historical accuracy of the film, scene by scene. If your interested, and as ignorant as I, do watch is again with the overlay.

On the web, there's more on Also, CBN offers a site The Kingdom of Heaven:The Truth Behimnd the Crusades. Lots of info and links here, including a thorough Flash timeline.

And in the Steven Spielberg Would Be Proud marketing advances department--or the Future of Story Interaction department, as you please: Kingodom of Heaven Mobile, with games, ringtones, graphics and more.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Pope marks 500th anniversary of founding of St. Peter's Yahoo! News
Design can be a powerful thing.

Indeed, I've just had occaision to contemplate this among some small rural churches. It seems that even prosaic design and architectural components can greatly impact a faith community. A church with a "gathering area" outside the nave seems to be closer and more active than one without. The area teams with activity following the service: funds are raised through a bake sale; ears are bent for volunteers; mothers keep in touch; a discussion of the sermon takes place; youth congregate and chat.

Our national community has lost something as we've become less connected with leaders from our past. History text design is largely responsible.

I hope as you build your history animations and interactives that you take time to consider other's lessons in design and functionality. Look at as many of the examples as you can. See how each works for you as a learner, then test it with your target users. Offer a standards justification if you can.

We're doing something very exciting and challenging here. Take lessons from a 500 year old basillica, a country church built by striking coal miners, or anywhere else you can get them!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Google Calendar Released Official Google Blog: It's about time
Yesterday morn Google released its calendar. A very nice app indeed. And it meets the iCal standard.

Try it out. You should not only think about calendaring, it should stimulate ideas about how learning pages should woork.

PS. How much longer till Blogger works like that? The old one is really straining my patience!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Handel Romain Holland LCCN: 16022104
Traveling a month or so ago, I stopped into a small college library to check email and also in some vain hopes of killing an hour with a book on Web 2.0 etc.

What I stumbled upon instead was a nice little biography of Handel, by Mr. Holland. Of moninal size, easy to read, familiar, books like this were once staples. It would be nice if the book publishing model allowed more of them to be on Borders' shelves.

The good news for you is, the text should be in the public domain. Your's free to use in your interactive. Give it to an acting student friend, along with a mic, and see what you get!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

From DHTML to DOM scripting - an example of how to replace outdated JavaScript techniques.
Those of us who Just Want To Tell Stories may occasionally beg to be excused from the gory processes of programming. Hence we've often punted when techniques were available - but costly to implement for whatever reason. AJAX was once example. But even simple page display tricks that have been around for awhile are often skipped because of the hassles of cross-browser support.

This article takes a look at the move from DHTML to DOM scripting. It's timely for me; I've just been playing with some simple dropdown/popup effects and have been utterly mystified why one borrowed script holds up and another doesn't.
"DOM scripting means trying to separate JavaScript from all the other development streams. When you use document.write() and inline event handlers like onclick, onload or onmouseover you mix HTML and JavaScript and make it harder to debug or maintain the site."

There's a lot here, and some of the organization is a little hairy. You'll want to stay tuned for the edited book: Beginning JavaScript with DOM Scripting and AJAX. Still, a nice free intro for us confused non-programmers.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Pano: Immigration Protesters
The Post offers this nicely done panoramic of yesterdays march on the Mall in Washington. We can imagine the technique working well for many stories.

Monday, April 10, 2006

State of Open Source
Bruce Perens remarks at Linux World Expo on the legal and other issues around Open Source.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

One Bullet Away : The Making of a Marine Officer Nathaniel C. Fick
I finished this remarkable book last night.

You'll want to read Evan Wright's Generation Kill first - to get a feel for the men under Fick's command, and the life and events they lived in Iraq. Wright's work for Rolling Stone makes him an outstanding teller of these men's tale.

But Fick's story of training as a Marine Officer and then keeping his men alive in battle -- runs a level deeper. Our schools have come to be about softening boys and young men. Fick's account of tempering them has force.