Macaw - a web design tool

If you're interested in web design, and are even a little familiar with DreamWeaver and Photoshop, you should watch this video, and then visit the Macaw web page.

Macaw Sneak Peek from Macaw on Vimeo.
The first public demonstration of Macaw! Watch @attasi walk through a sample project – from blank canvas to spiffy code.

 I liked watching Tom Giannattasio create the sample webpage, and listening to his dialogue - design specific vocabulary, concise explanations of process, and reasoning behind decisions. Useful if you actually want to design a page, and useful if you only want to learn the lingo, and understand the mechanics.

There's an interesting interview at .net this week with the co-creators of the tool. Last question is:
".net: When will the app launch and on what platforms?G&C: We don't have a date set in stone, but we'll let everyone know as soon as we do. We'll launch on OS X ,but we already have a game plan for Windows."
You can leave your email to be notified of developments and launch dates.

Cesar Milan on Trust

One of my long time favorite blogs is Presentation Zen.  This morning I read a post by Gar Reynolds, who writes Presentation Zen, that includes the video shared below of Brian Eliot   interviewing Ceasar Milan, of Dog Whisperer fame.

Reynolds writes "...So much of what he says about leading a successful business life and personal life resonates with me. I think it will resonate with you as well. Great stuff."

Although they're talking about business, I hear a lot of ideas that are useful in teaching, education, schools, and just in general dealing with people (and dogs).  Watch this video with the IB Learner Profile in mind.

Published on Jun 19, 2013

In this video, you also see Brian Eliot demonstrating an excellent interview technique.

The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

Sonder [2:39] from The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, written by John Koenig.

sonder - n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own.


"You are the main character—the protagonist—the star at the center of your own unfolding story. 

You're surrounded by your supporting cast: friends and family hanging in your immediate orbit. 

Scattered a little further out, a network of acquaintances who drift in and out of contact over the years. 

But there in the background, faint and out of focus, are the extras. The random passersby. Each living a life as vivid and complex as your own. 

They carry on invisibly around you, bearing the accumulated weight of their own ambitions, friends, routines, mistakes, worries, triumphs and inherited craziness. 

When your life moves on to the next scene, theirs flickers in place, wrapped in a cloud of backstory and inside jokes and characters strung together with countless other stories you'll never be able to see. That you'll never know exists. 

In which you might appear only once. As an extra sipping coffee in the background. As a blur of traffic passing on the highway. As a lighted window at dusk."

The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows is a blog, but the posts are definitions of made-up words. Or, as the author describes it much more poetically,

"A compendium of the aches, demons, vibes, joys and urges that roam the wilderness of the psychological interior. The author’s mission is to harpoon, bag and tag wild sorrows, then release them gently back into the subconscious.

Copyright © 2013 John Koenig. All content is original and is intended to be read at night. "

The author is John Koenig, a freelance graphic designer who lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.

After you have read back through several years worth of posts, read the FAQ page.

Although the  ninth and last Commander of Moonbase Alpha  is also named John Koenig ( a fictional character from the television series Space: 1999),  the artist who writes The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows is a real person. You can see his portfolio here

How the Internet Is Changing ...Education?

Uploaded on Jul 1, 2009
Epipheo Studios presents "How the Internet is Changing Advertising", a short history of communication and how the internet is a new medium that has thrown out the old rules of communication.

The ASIDE (The AMerican Society for Inovation Design in Education) blog shared this video this morning. Click the link and read their post.  It concludes with
"We like the message about have an illuminating discovery to think differently about things. In doing so, be media savvy. Check the source, look to see if it’s an advertisement, and don’t be fooled by the creativity. We’ve moved from being passive viewers of information to wanting to communicate what we encounter with others. That’s okay; just take a minute to evaluate it."

But also, take a minute and imagine how you could use internet media described in the video, in education, in your classes, or your presentations.  

When there is a correct answer...

Shared by Scott McLeod  on his Dangerously Irrelevant blog:

Published on May 9, 2013
A correct answer kills the creativity. See what happens when third grade students think there is a correct answer.I would be thankful if other teachers from other Countries will repeat this exercise and send me the results, I will publish these results in YouTube

A Song of Our Warming Planet

A Song of Our Warming Planet from Ensia on Vimeo.
"When faced with the challenge of sharing the latest climate change discoveries, scientists often rely on data graphics and technical illustrations. University of Minnesota undergrad Daniel Crawford came up with a completely different approach. He’s using his cello to communicate the latest climate science through music.

Thermometer measurements show the average global temperature has risen about 1.4 °F (0.8 °C) since 1880. Typically, this warming is illustrated visually with line plots or maps showing year-by-year changes in annual temperatures. As an alternative, Crawford used an approach called data sonification to convert global temperature records into a series of musical notes.

The final result, “A Song of Our Warming Planet,” came about following a conversation Crawford had with geography professor Scott St. George during an internship. St. George asked Crawford about the possibility of turning a set of data into music.

“Data visualizations are effective for some people, but they aren’t the best way to reach everyone,” says St. George. “Instead of giving people something to look at, Dan’s performance gives them something they can feel.”

Crawford based his composition on surface temperature data from NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies. The temperature data were mapped over a range of three octaves, with the coldest year on record (–0.47 °C in 1909) set to the lowest note on the cello (open C). Each ascending halftone is equal to roughly 0.03°C of planetary warming.

In Crawford’s composition, each note represents a year, ordered from 1880 to 2012. The pitch reflects the average temperature of the planet relative to the 1951–80 base line. Low notes represent relatively cool years, while high notes signify relatively warm ones.

The result is a haunting sequence that traces the warming of our planet year by year since the late 19th century. During a run of cold years between the late 1800s and early 20th century, the cello is pushed towards the lower limit of its range. The piece moves into the mid-register to track the modest warming that occurred during the 1940s. As the sequence approaches the present, the cello reaches higher and higher notes, reflecting the string of warm years in the 1990s and 2000s.

Crawford hopes other researchers and artists will use or adapt his composition to support science outreach, and has released the score and sound files under a Creative Commons license.

“Climate scientists have a standard toolbox to communicate their data,” says Crawford. “We’re trying to add another tool to that toolbox, another way to communicate these ideas to people who might get more out of music than maps, graphs and numbers.”

The video ends with a stark message: Scientists predict the planet will warm by another 1.8 degrees Celsius (3.2 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of this century. This additional warming would produce a series of notes beyond the range of human hearing."


Support for this project was provided by the Institute on the Environment, the College of Liberal Arts, the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program and the School of Music at the University of Minnesota.

Video production by Elizabeth Giorgi.

Sound recording and engineering by Michael Duffy.


I'm changing directions: I seem to be using Scoop.it, Paper.li, and Pinterest more often, and will be writing blog posts for OSC IB Blogs beginning in August.  Use the tabs on this page to explore other ways I share "my" web.

cc licensed ( BY ND ) flickr photo shared by Lalit Shahane  via Compfight cc