Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Apache Classic Thong > Apache Swag! > The Rodent's Cache | CafePress
Hopefully you aren't eating while reading this. Still, we thought you'd want to know that if you are a true geek, you can indeed get thong undies with the Apache Software Foundation logo. Eek.
DefenseLINK News: Loosely Interpreted Arabic Terms Can Promote Enemy Ideology
This is outside the normal scope of this blog, but it's compelling enough to make a quick note. We're firm believers here that America has passed the point where its 80th and 90th percentile grads can blithely know nothing about history and culture beyond our borders. We just plain need to know how western traditions merged and diverged with other major cultures.

This article points out that Islamic tradition has a word for war that is unjust, not in the path of God. And the word is not Jihad (as many of our own leaders apply it to al Quaeda), but hirabah.

If you've found any dynamic media content relating to Arab, Middle Eastern, and Islamic history, send in those links!
RubyConf 2006
You can still make it to RubyConf 2006
RailsConf 2006
One day we'll have enough contributors that events like this will get here before they're over. Meanwhile, plan for next year! Meanwhile, view the FlickR tagged photos. And maybe we'll get podcasts!

Of course, you can also go to London: Europeans RailsConf 2006
Whither Daniel Boone?
Recently on a student history forum, the question was posed "Why is High School History so Boring?" Lots of answers were given. The real reason, of course, is that there are no people left in high school history. We replaced them all with themes and concepts and overarching genre or whatever.

So we made it through parts of the Daniel Boone National Forest this weekend. If you're interested in rock climbing, head there! And don't forget ot visit Miguel's Pizza!

If you're interested in Daniel Boone, though, don't bother. He's been removed there too. Oh, you can hike a mile to view remnants of a Daniel Boone cabin. But, discovered in 1956, the site is still waiting for someone to get round to an archaeological dig. Of the two visitors centers, one mentions that Truman named the Forest after Boone in recognition of his relationship to the Environment.

Since every other thing there, including the Sheltowee Trace Trails are named after Boone, we got to wondering.... And sure enough, you will soon be able to watch the old episodes: Daniel Boone TV Series (1964-1970). Meanwhile, if you find any rich web apps on Boone, send them in!

Friday, June 23, 2006

A House Divided
Other than a DHTML rollover, there's no new media in this. But, it being Friday in June with a weekend in the Daniel Boone National Forest on deck, you're lucky to see anything but white space here. And anyway, the graphics are nice, and they are tied in with our friends at Guilder Lehrman.
Horn in the West Outdoor Drama in Boone, Western North Carolina
Speaking of Daniel Boone, don't forget that Outdoor Drama season is here! We passed this one en route last July, still hope to take it in this year.

And perhaps, weather willing (it's not) we might even catch Tecumseh! this eve.

It is, after all, the original multimedia history!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

NPR : 'Elements of Style' Goes Beyond Words
Speaking of Rhetoric, Maira Kalman has illustrated a version of Stunk & White's Elements of Style. The above link is to the National Public Radio story, with related links. Here's the Amazon.com entry.

There's also, very strangely, an Opera.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Digital History
I'd been hoping to go a little deeper into this than we'll have time for this morning. Digital History is one cool web site.

Cool thing one is the lifespan bar. The width of the timeline slider represents the life expectancy of a typical person living in that year. Note the slider bar get wider as you move it forward in time.

Connected to each item on the timeline is a fairly extensive treatment in text. And there are lots more goodies. Alas the Multimedia page is a little heavy on the Psuedo-intellectualism: Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky.

You'll want to play with the Time Machine. Take a look at the Games, Film Trailers, and Historical Music.

A bit of a strange section is the African American Voices - which seems to have a lot more bland overview than necessary. But skip down the page for some quotes.

And somewhat hidden is this Overview of American History.

All in all an amazing site!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Top 10 Web Developer Libraries - Cameron Olthuis
No doubt there are lots of such lists - we saw a list of 50 awhile back. Still, we'll throw this one in for today.
Two tools bring Ajax to Eclipse's Ajax Toolkit Framework IBM alphaworks
This article is a technical view of the Open Ajax Initiative. There's more at the Eclipse Ajax Toolkit Framework project page. Some big players (or at least early leaders) have joined in: see the many articles referenced in the resources section.

Note, too, that there's a mailing list forum at the ATF site.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Da Vinci Tour : All places of Da Vinci Code
Sweet again! Whilst I fear I have not had time to see the movie yet, this map mashup brings back fond memories from the book (w/ apologies to Fr. Cinson). Map, pictures from Flickr, and routes taken in the story. Very nice.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Map of Press Freedom 2005 freedomhouse.org
Sunday we pointed out a nice little animation of the rise and fall of Communism. Today, an awesome interactive from Freedom House: Map of Press Freedom 2005.

I'd love to see a little bit of an introduction with sound & motion, but overall...this is one we'd love to have open source code for!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Songs of the Civil Rights MovementGuilder Lehrman History Now
June's interactive from HistoryNow has six favorite songs of those struggling for rights for blacks in 20th century America. Music and lyrics, with notes.
The Newspaper Clipping Generator - Create your own fun newspaper.
This little app does what the headline says. We saw something like this in Headline History. This standalone page might be great in a young classroom.

Can we get an open source version of this? To embed in your own projects/lessons?
Quietly Scheming
This blog was Mike Chambers' blog of the week in April: it's dedicated to creating components with Adobe Flex.

I don't have a feel yet for how much you can do in Flex; think, though of our quesions from Sunday. Are there ways to improve display of such info?

And would this help with creating Sparklines? (And more sparklines).

Monday, June 12, 2006

Great Rhetoric
We don't enough talk here of Rhetoric, the soul of any good communication. This morning, Peter Schramm has crafted two clauses worth sharing.

Of one conference speaker he writes,
let me just say that he is a snapper-up of unconsidered trifles.

I saw a lot of such personages this weekend (as always) on the Sunday morning talk shows. Schramm also writes of another speaker,
He showed that history is not a chronicle of wasted time, that manly rhetoric can yet be used by the valiant, and he would never allow the low and the incomplete to roll over the just...

A snapper-up of unconsidered triffles; the low and the incomplete: isn't that great stuff?!

Speaking of Rhetoric, I've been reading E. Charles Vivian's Robin Hood. Great stuff!
Eye Didn't Know That! - Interactive History
Good Monday! Here is a learning app that uses more of your senses!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Animation: Rise and Fall of Communism
Lately the blog here has been heavy on the how (as promised) and why of animated storytelling--and a bit light on the what. By way of mends: this simple animated map effectively demonstrates communism's rise across much of the globe - and it's swift demise.

The map is posted on a discussion forum and alas there is no citation. One wag wrote to say that the map really shows "socialism". Whatever.

What would you do to improve the map? I'd put something - maybe a filling pie chart? -- to show the percentage of the world's population so afflicted.

Of course, many other improvements could add to learning. How about graphics to indicate world events? Think about it!

Friday, June 09, 2006

The State of State World History Standards 2006 Thomas B. Fordham Foundation
This is rather hefty reading for a gorgeous June Friday, but if you do punt, remember to come back!

Frankly, the analysis and conclusions don't really match with our approach here. Example: In Ohio,
Students are first exposed to world history in sixth grade with an introduction to Regions and People of the World, which is followed in seventh grade by "World Studies from 1000 B.C.E. to 1750: Ancient Civilizations Through the First Global Age." By the end of middle school, students are expected to describe the development of the earliest civilizations in Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley, in addition to understanding the “enduring impact of early civilizations in China,Egypt,Greece and Rome
after 1000 BC.” Supporting detail is in short supply, however,and what exists remains vague. Specific references to aspects of Athenian democracy and the Roman republic, as well as the influence both cultures had on late forms of representative government, would be more useful.

Now, c'mon Doctors. Do you really think that the average sixth grader is learning anything this way? For that matter, do you think their teachers get this gibberish? Personally, that class had about as much meaning to me as memorizing Moscow train schedules.

The A in the class represented about 3 facts worth of retained learning. One of them was not "the influence of the culture on late forms of Representative government." Maybe, ...because we had no understanding at all of government.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Flash to jump beyond the browserCNET News.com
We noted last week the goings on at Adobe (/Macromedia). Another interesting project is Apollo - which will take Flash (and Flex) to the desktop. Apollo's not yet ready for primetime - they're not promising anything yet, in fact. But, it's something to keep in mind and watch for at the upcoming developer conferences.

Comparisons are also being made to Windows Foundation...Stay tuned.

Monday, June 05, 2006

A New Wave of Innovation for Teaching and Learning? EDUCAUSE REVIEW | March/April 2006, Volume 41, Number 2
If you don't travel in the academic computing circles, you won't know EDUCAUSE. However, if you want to meet Provosts for I.T. or whatever your university calls them, this group is their home.

Here, Bryan Alexander takes a comprehensive look at what Web 2.0 companies are working PDF 352KB | HTML Format

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Ask.com's Rising Star
We'd noticed the Ask.com tele commercials, but missed their acquisition of Teoma. Interesting.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Education Gadfly Podcast Thomas B. Fordham Foundation
In education news, The Education Gadfly has been podcasting, if you want a little irritation and occaisional inspiration on your commute.

'How Low Can We Go?'' David S. Kahn, Wall Street Journal
Also, for you all who took your SAT's over the past decade: we're smarter than you!!! A long time SAT tutor explains the differences in the new test, and how it affects overall scores.
RubyOnRails (1.1) and Flex (2.0): Pt 1: "RubyOnRails (1.1) and Flex (2.0): Pt 1"
Since we updated you on things Adobe this week, let's bring up this tutorial on integrating RubyOnRails and Flex! I haven't tried it yet, but both are now set up on my machine, so any free moment now I want to give it a go. Should be fun.

You'll also wantRubyOnRails (1.1) and Flex (2.0): Pt 2 and Flex and Rails Part 2: Extra Time.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

YoungHistorians Forum
We were excited to discover yesterday that our old friend YoungHistorians from the Flashkit Professionals board is doing well with his own history-centered board. A good place to meet up and talk history.
June, Glorious June!
OK, we're off-topic. Still, who could not be happy!