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Showing posts from February, 2008

The Quality of "Many"...

Will Richardson blogged about Chris Jordan today, and it's such an amazing visual treat that I have to share out. It's also a fiercely coincidental koinkidink: Our school is hosting bead artist (don't discount that description because of the words used to compose it) David Chatt's incredible work this month. See a Nashville Tennessean article about that and also his own website.

Chris Jordan's "An American Self-portrait: Running the Numbers" visually depicts the statistics we may not otherwise appreciate. 1,000,000 (the number of plastic cups used on U.S. air flights ever 6 hours), 32,000 Barbie dolls (the number of elective breast augmentation surgeries in the U.S. in 2006), the 2,000,000 plastic beverage bottles used in the U.S. every 5 minutes. Wow.

Curiously enough, Chatt and Jordan are both Seattle artists. Hmmmmmm...

Jordan's two million plastic bottles:

David Chatt's "Portable Pink Parts"

Playing around with flauntr!

Free online image editor. Will the free stuff never end??? :)

"Lives" -- Kindle Edition Now Available!

Yippee! Not that anyone loves me enough to have gifted me a new Amazon Kindle book reader, but if you're one of the lucky ones who does have anyone who loves you enough to buy you one, my little "pretty good American novel," Lives, is now available not only on in its print edition, and at in both trade paperback and .pdf download formats, but also as an electronic download for your oh-I'm-so-jealous ebook reader.

Here's what the new sales page looks like, and please note the next-to-nothing price. Instant gratification has never been cheaper! Enjoy!

This Site is "Pornography?"

Part of me is laughing, part of me is steaming mad. I recently posted a call for educators in Second Life to visit ISTE Island there and vote for a blog to be featured at the Blogger's Hut, which I manage for ISTE. A fellow ISTE docent, Sabian Hawks, (Fil Santiago "irl"--"in real life) emailed me from his school in Los Angeles to inform me...well...let's let his email speak:


I received your e-mail regarding the podcast voting and proceeded to click on your Web site. A strange thing happened: our filtration system blocked it and categorized it as ‘pornography’ - strange - thought you might want to check this out, as others may not be able to visit your site from work. (SL--Sabian Hawks)

Fil Santiago

My response to him:

Hey, Fil (SABE!),

I'm not surprised that you couldn't see my site. Sigh. many schools and content blockers disallow blogger and blogspot sites, since there is indeed some objectionable material there. I'm firmly in the camp of Wes Frye…

Academia 2.0 -- Death to the "Lecture?"

Oh, one hopes so, one truly hopes so.

Another video from Kansas State University, via the Best Practices for eLearning Ning, (by way of the Teaching College Math Technology blog)this 10 minute thought-provoker. A gift to you, fellow teacher or learner...

Howard Rheingold's New Collaboration Message

I follow Howard Rheingold nearly every day, each time I get a minute to log into Twitter, the 140-character-per-message personal networking tool that lets us "follow" social and professional "tweets" to collaborate by means of those short messages, learning from one another and sometimes just trading jibes or comments. Howard, a busy man, doesn't follow me, so our relationship is not mutual, at least not yet, but I do get to check his ongoing thoughts whenever he gets his own minute to twitter. At present I have 75 followers--many of them very prominent technology thinkers and innovators--and I follow 46, so there's some of that non-reciprocal tweeting going on with me, too. I'm a busy man in my own small ways.

Occasionally I check my followers and add a few of them to my "following" list and thereby enrich the conversation (perhaps our boy Howard will do the same with my contributions one day). If someone's thoughts don't enrich, I sim…

Two New Videos Up Today AND Classroom 2.0 Live Meetups!

Amidst all kinds of crisis at school, with major network problems and our internet connectivity knocked out completely yesterday and only just spotty today, I did manage to upload one post to the SLeducation video ning and one to a new site for me, SchoolTube.

The former is a brief SLutorial about how to work the voting station at the Blogger's Hut on ISTE's ISTE Island in Second Life. I manage the Blogger's Hut and I'm working to make it as interactive as possible. The latter is some footage I took during our school's first Theatrelink IVC with Teacher Artist Joe White from the Manhattan Theatre Club. Pick your poison:

1) SLeducation SL video at
2) USN and Manhattan Theatre Club Theatrelink Session 1

I also want to call attention to friend Steve Hargadon's new online meetups about Classroom 2.0. Go see the schedule of upcoming meetups (using and, soon, Elluminate) and drop in on one soon!

So much to learn!

The Globalization of Higher Education

I knew I did something right when I nominated the "Teaching College Math Technology Blog" for the March featured RSS feed in the Blogger's Hut in Second Life. Don't worry, you don't really have to understand any of the foregoing. Just know that if you are interested in teaching or learning, be it math or not, Maria H. Anderson's blog is well worth adding to your list of favorites.

This entry will point you not just to another blog, not just to an entertaining post by a thoughtful educator, not just to her description of an insightful (and maybe inciteful) presentation, but finally to the presentation itself. After you read Maria's armchair review, you'll want to visit YouTube to pick up the 5 part video of the complete (30 minute or so) presentation. I know I want to do that, and it's on my list of things to do in the early morning, before I start shaking the kids out of bed for the school day.
The presentation is called "Exiting the Educationa…

"Songs for Alaska" CD Sales Income to Go Toward Tornado Relief Efforts

Hey, all,

Just a quick post to let you know that until further notice all income from digital sales of my cd, "Scott Merrick's Songs for Alaska Featuring the Last Frontier Band" will be donated to the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, earmarked expressly for aid to families struggling to recover from the loss and damage created by the recent tornadoes in their communities. Search for the cd title in iTunes and remember to make your purchases digitally. This way 1) you get the music immediately and 2) I can get the income to the CFMT fast. You can also click on the cd image in the toolbar to the right to get to iTunes quick-like-a-bunny. Don't use iTunes? Try one of the other sites that distributes the cd digitally!

SCOTT MERRICK AND THE LAST FRONTIER BAND: Scott Merrick's Songs for Alaska:GroupieTunes…

Happy 60th Birthday to My Brother Ed!!!

Today is the 60th birthday of my brother Ed, of whom I'm justifiably quite proud. Ed's a successful cutting-edge industrial safety consultant with a Masters degree in Metallurgical Engineering, and founder/CEO of the Augustus Group (website build in progress).

My son Colin and our cat Ruby, along with a (posthumous) guest star who's one of our faves, just concocted a little happy birthday song for me bro'.

Listen hear (sic).

May you have manymanymany more, brother mine!! Blogging Text with a Cell Phone Voice Call!

Weeeeeeeeee! From twitter friend David Jakes "@djakes," came a little post about, a new beta tool that allows one to post to blog, post to twitter, and post to a myriad of other platforms, such as Google Calendar, using your voice on a free 1-866 number call. The excellent voice recognition translates it to text and posts automatically. I'll have to train myself to talk like I want to write (my longstanding argument against the possibility of voice recognition rendering keyboarding skills obsolete) but this looks like a fun and easy way to, for example, create a google calendar event on the fly. MySpace isn't an option...yet. To check the voice-to-text, listen to the audio file (also posted automatically, if that option is set up for your target site) and read along. Jott didn't like "Alrighty then," but I can live with that! There's also an option to Already there, I am blogging to with Jott at at Wonder what'…

NCLB Rant!

No, it's not me: it's our boy Wes Fryer launching off on a grade-A-number-1 rant after the State of the Union address. Wes, an educational advocate I admire and follow, wonders how many of our elected politicians actually send their children to the public schools they've subjected to NCLB...:

"Would those parents and grandparents (our elected officials) want to send their own offspring to schools where recess has been cancelled after second grade, because there is no time for recess amidst the constant environment of test preparation? Do our elected representatives send their own precious children and grandchildren into classrooms where students have been normatively valued predominantly by the test scores which they can or cannot produce for the school’s aggregate statistical rating, rather than for the ideas and unique contributions which they can and want to make to their communities? We are living in an increasingly immoral educational and political culture, and th…