Monday, December 31, 2007

Spring 2008 New Media Class

Journalism 63 Spring 2008

Spring Semester Class Blog
Here is the class blog for my Journalism New Media Class for Spring 2008. More information is here:

  • The class is officially MCOM 63, Section 03 / APSC 63, Section 03
  • Title New Media
  • Dates: Wednesdays, 1/23/2008 - 5/13/2008
  • Time: Evenings, 6:00p - 8:45p
  • Location: Dwight Bentel Hall 226

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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Vacation Break

I have been taking a break from geek posting here. Most of my blogging action has been happening on my family blog.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Special Commencement

Cameraphone Post: Prepping for commencement
Tonight I attended a Journalism & Mass Comm commencement for the first time as a faculty member. That was a real thrill. In this photo you can see Department Chair Bill Briggs adjusting Bill Tillinghast's robe before the convocation.

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Bubble 2.0 er 1.1 Video

Bubble 1.1

This is too funny
I just heard about this video by the Richter Scales. It is great. Apparently it was first called Bubble 2.0, but there was a copyright issue...

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How many friends are too many friends?

Facebook has a limit of 5000 friends. More and more people are running into that wall. We used to say, you cannot have too many friends, now, thanks to Facebook, we know that is not true. Questions:

  • If you have not yet hit the cieling in Facebook does that make you unpopular?
  • Are there two types of friends, those good enough for your Facebook friends list and those not?
  • If you have hit your ceiling and now a really good friend comes and so you have to remove another friend to make room for the new friend, how do you tell your old friend that he/she has been delisted without it seeming like a snub?

Meanwhile: Gaurdian Blogger Bobbie Johnson talks about people who have over 800 friends as being "Facebook Whales." Well, if you are hot, you're hot and if your not...

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Monday, December 17, 2007

I attended the Santa Clara AIPAC dinner

Editorial: Nuclear Iran is No Joke
Last night I attended the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) dinner in Santa Clara with other faculty from SJSU and UC Santa Cruz. I am very concerned about Iran getting nuclear weapons. I do not think most Americans, or most of the rest of the human race, appreciates the potential threat this poses. It is hard to imagine that Israel or the United States could let this happen. In my opinion Ahmadinejad is a lunatic. Are we really stupid enough to believe they have stopped trying to get a nuclear weapon? Did we not learn enough from the days before World War Two? Did we forget the lessons learned after Neville Chamberlain's Peace in Our Time speech given in defense of the Munich Agreement in 1938? The Second World War provided us with many lessons we dare not forget regarding the appeasement of lunatic leaders who hate Jews; especially the holocaust.

Iran's Ahmadinejad is a holocaust denier who hates Israel. He denies the right of Israel to exist and is in favor of a world without the United States. My favorite line last night was, "why would a country sitting on top of some of the world's largest oil and gas reserves even need nuclear power?" In my mind it is not a matter of liberal versus conservative, right versus left, pro or anti-war, it is a matter of our survival. In terms of issues that cannot be ignored, I think this is right up there with global warming!

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Remembering Jack Fields

Jack Fields talking to the photo staff

Jack Fields, former SJSU PJ Prof: a great teacher, photographer, person
While talking to SJSU Alum Kim Komenich yesterday I learned about the recent passing of former SJSU JMC visiting professor Jack Fields. Jack was at SJSU when Kim and I went through the PJ program. He was our photojournalism teacher. Here is what is on the San Francisco Bay Area Press Photographers Association website about Jack:

Retired freelance magazine photographer Jack Fields, former San Jose State University photojournalism instructor, died of heart failure on December 13 at his Placerville home. He was 87.

Fields served for three years as "Visiting Professor" at SJSU in the late 1970's. While at SJSU he pioneered what he called a "no-nonsense" approach to photography, a subject that was often taught as "pure art" at many universities.

Fields was founding chairman of the Bay Area chapter of the American Society of Magazine Photographers in an era when Wayne Miller, Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange and Imogen Cunningham were members of the organization.

As a young boy in Kansas, Fields dreamed of "far-away places with strange sounding names". After a formal education and a wartime stint in the South Pacific, Fields embarked upon a 50-year career, traveling on assignment for Collier's, Saturday Evening Post, National Geographic, Smithsonian, Look, and Life.

Before World War II, Fields earned a Bachelor's degree in Science from Kansas State College. He was planning to teach but was sent to New Guinea with the armed forces where he began taking pictures. He was assigned as a photographer for the Air Force?s Yank Magazine when he contracted tuberculosis and was returned to the U.S. to recuperate. While at Cragmor Sanitorium in Colorado Springs, Fields met Dorothy Gindling, also a patient and fellow TB sufferer, whom he married in 1948.

After five years of recuperation, the Fields moved to Los Angeles where Jack attended the Art Center College of Design while Dorothy enrolled in writing classes at the Maren Elwood School. As an art student, he sold his first photos to Look Magazine. After completing their studies, the Fields traveled to Europe, working on assignment for various publications.

The Fields became known for their ability to find interesting, yet untold stories, especially in the South Pacific. In 1971 they approached a Japanese publisher with an Idea for an all-encompassing book on the region which became their 1973 book "South Pacific".

Fields was the first photojournalist to report on Micronesia after it became a U.S. Trust at the end of WWII. His photograph of a laser pioneer at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center was used as a reference image for a commemorative stamp issued by the U.S. Postal Service in August, 1999.

I remember Jack very well. He was a wonderful guy and a great teacher. In 1994 we gave Jack and Dorothy our dog Reno, a black and white Shetland Sheepdog and he had a loving home with them. Jack lived a good life and he still lives on in the hearts, and the eyes, of many of us who knew him.

[Click here to see larger version of photo]

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Friday, December 14, 2007

Scoble Leaving PodTech

A list blogger, podcaster, author, SJSU JMC Alum and friend Robert Scoble is leaving PodTech. Rather than me say anything about it, here is his related post. This follows, by several months, a change of leadership at PodTech when John Furrier, the company's founding CEO, stepped down as CEO and was followed in the CEO position by James McCormick.

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Sad to see semester end

SJSU New Media Class Students, Fall 2007

Fall 2007 New Media Class
I am really sorry my Fall 2007 new media in journalism class is over. We had a lot of fun. This was a great group and all of them accomplished a lot. Every student graduated with his or her own podcast. We did Photoshop, InDesign (for web delivery), Dreamweaver, audio/video production, RSS, blogging, video blogging (vlogging) and podcasting. They did a great job and I am very proud of them. Here are their stories:

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Work Family

Aditi, Pranav and I

Loosing some great students and friends
The best part of the job is the students. The worst part is when they leave. Really great students become a part of your lives. They become like family. That is the way I feel about some of the students in Journalism and Mass Communications where I teach and about many of the students at the San Jose State Help Desk where I work days. Some of the best students are graduating this winter; wonderful folks like Ross Bytheway, Rohan Saxena, Jimit Raval and especially Pranav Patel and Aditi Sinha. Aditi and Pranav are such great young people. They have been real hard workers and we owe so much to them regarding the success of the Academic Success Center stage area in Clark Hall. They really put their heart into the help desk and have made San Jose State University a better university. So many students, faculty and staff have been more successful in their academic pursuits because of the hard work, passion and dedication of Aditi and Pranav. They have made a real difference in my life. They are great people. I am proud to have worked with them and am lucky to know them. People don't get much better than these two.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Can we trust Web apps for Education?

Google was down today
For about an hour today Google was down. We could not access anything Google, not Blogger, not Gmail, not anything. This is finals week. There is a lot of talk about using Google apps for class work. I have even been interviewed by a local TV station on the subject. I started thinking, what if I had depended on it for my final? There are so many links from the lab where my students take their exams to Google and there are so many possible points of failure. So many things can break at the worst possible time. Backhoe disconnects, firewall problems, and many other network and server issues far from my classroom can cause my students to not be able to accomplish a critical task at a critical time. Today it was an inconvenience. If it had happened in the middle of an exam it would have been a disaster. It made me wonder, can we trust Web apps for Education?

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Help Desk Holiday 2007

Birthday celebrants sharing cake

Help Desk Holiday 2007
On December 8, 2007 we had our big help desk holiday party! It was a great event, organized by the help desk staff themselves. Colin even showed up as did several other former help desk staffers.

I think everybody had a great time.

[Click to See More Photos Here]

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Stacy Bond: Producing for the Ear

Stacy Bonds Podcast

If you are a podcaster, you must listen to this podcast!
This Podcast Academy podcast by Stacy Bond from the Portable Media Expo may be the most important podcast for podcasters to listen to that I have heard in a long time. Podcasting is just a way to deliver content. This podcast talks about creating great and compelling audio, how to produce podcasts for the ear.

It is no longer enough to have a podcast to get an audience. There is some great compelling content that you are competing against. You need to listen to this podcast by Stacy Bond the Executive Director of Audioluxe. You need to at least consider what she is saying, even if you choose to ignore it, even if are doing video. This is a great podcast for podcasters, in my opinion. Set aside an hour and listen to it at least once!

Listen to Audio

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Sunday, December 09, 2007

Bigger Share for Apple?

Will Apple's Macintosh Gain Market Share?
Investor's Business Daily thinks so. In a December 7 posting they said, "Macintosh computers are poised to make sizable market share gains in the coming months, according to a research firm that tracks PC purchase intent."

[More Here]

Celebration for Nonna

Nonna and Madison

Happy birthday Nonna Sue!
Last Thursday Jeff, Nicole, Madison and Jacob came over to celebrate Sue's birthday. It was a great celebration. Madison had fun with the cats and her Nonna and Gramps. Gramps got to hold Jacob and give him a bottle. They brought over cookies and we shared a bottle of wine.

[Click here to see more pictures on Flickr]

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Unsafe Cycling at SJSU

Cyclists riding double past pedestrians

Safer Cycling?
According to the Center for Neuro Skills, "The implementation of effective bicycle helmet programs could have a substantial impact on rates for fatal and nonfatal bicycle-related head injury. For example, from 1984 through 1988, if a presumed helmet-use rate of 10% had been increased to 100% (i.e., universal helmet use), an average of 500 fatal and 151,400 nonfatal bicycle-related head injuries could have been prevented each year."

SJSU has a bicycle policy allowing the use of bicycles on campus without helmets. The few provisions to provide to improve the safety of both cyclists and pedestrians need better enforcement. I am talking more about this issue on another of my blogs.

[Click Here to See More Photos]

Friday, December 07, 2007

VuVox Photostory Collage

Scoble interviewing Hernandez and Howard

Vuvox for photojournalism
SJSU J&MC Alum Robert Scoble recently interviewed Richard Hernandez of the San Jose Mercury News. About this interview Scoble said, "Richard Hernandez, who's worked for the San Jose Mercury News (Silicon Valley's biggest newspaper) for 13 years shows off how he uses a new service from VuVox to build a new kind of photostory based on a collage. He shows how he overlays audio, video, and other pictures and links to tell a new kind of story." Also in this interview is Dane Howard, CEO of VuVox. This is a really cool tool we should look at. It would be great to do something with this at SJSU.

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Justin Beck on Podcasting

SF Chronicle Podcaster Justin Beck on Podcasting
Edupodder Podcast Episode 31, 45:30 min

On December 4, 2007 San Francisco Chronicle Podcaster and Media Producer Justin Beck spoke to San Jose State University journalism students about podcasting and new media. As SJSU SJSU School of Journalism and Mass Communications professor Cynthia McCune reported in the JMC Journal Blog, "Beck talked with students about the process of developing and producing a podcast. He said one of the most important steps of the process is creating a tape log -- a rough or complete transcript of each interview -- with time codes noted so you'll be able to go back and find the clips you want to use." The audio from the class is here:

Listen to audio

Podcasts Beck played at last night's event were:

Justin Beck's Handouts
Posted here with permission from Justin Beck are these two very informative handouts. The first has great information about the tools and methods of doing rich podcasts. The second focuses on how to tell great stories with podcasting. Both of these are in PDF format:

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Monday, December 03, 2007

Justin Beck coming to SJSU

Justin Beck

Justin Beck Coming to visit!
Justin Beck, the chief technologist and podcaster from the San Francisco Chronicle, is scheduled to speak at 4:30pm in our class tomorrow, Tuesday Dec. 4th, in DBH226.

Beck will be speaking about podcasting and how newspapers are using new media. A recent big story the Chronicle podcasters covered was the bay oil spill. Beck has a background in National Public Radio. He has a workflow that produces rich audio and has documented that workflow and shared it with Journalism students.

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USB Wine: wine from your computer!

USB Wine

USB Wine, Il est révolutionnaire!
The French are so smart. This is long overdue technology. I want this for Christmas!

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Sunday, December 02, 2007

Happy Birthday Susie

Sue at birthday dinner

Today is Sue's birthday
My wife Sue celebrated her birthday by going out this afternoon and evening with a bunch of her girl friends. They went to a tea in Campbell (and drinks after.) We celebrated yesterday at home. I made a pot roast and we had some really good wine. Kenneth came over and joined us. Friday night she and I went out. It has been a fun weekend!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

You have a story to tell

I wrote this to my class on our class blog

Six feet under final six minutes

Sit down, I have something important to tell you...
I was in my twenties when my father died. My youngest son was about a year old. My dad died of a rare disease, but this is not about my dad, it is about you. Every day is a gift. This is not just a gift to you. Each day of your life is a gift to all the people who love you and anybody who does now and or will someday want to know you. Believe it or not what happens to you is important. We think we have a long time, but we never know, we likely do, but...

My first wife was thirty-three when she was killed in a car accident. In a blink of an eye she was gone and I was a dad raising three kids on my own. Her story passed to me to tell them. But, this is not about her, or me, it is about you. You may live to be over a 100, but someday you will not be around to tell the story of who you are now. But, now you can tell that story, you have the power to tell that story now, to the whole world.

Gone the Sun
In the book Gone the Sun, Winston Groom writes, “Sometimes I think we should be issued another paper, a Life Certificate if you will – which could contain some brief statement for historical purposes that could explain how a person lived and what they accomplished and where they failed and why.”

You have a story to tell to people who may not be alive yet
Someday somebody will wonder what it is like to be you, now. Maybe your children, grandchildren, great...

Maybe that person will be you
You may someday look back on life and wonder what it was like to be you, now. You may someday be your own audience. You can also share stories as you remember them of folks you care about who are already gone...


"Hey, my name is Rianna,
I am a Junior at Tesoro High School and I am on the varsity song team." This is what Rianna's MySpace blog says. According to the LA Times, "Rianna Woolsey, a 16-year-old cheerleader, last logged onto on Dec. 6, 2005. She died the next day when her car smashed into a tree near her home in southern Orange County." Her page that has not changed since her death. The page is a time capsule of a life cut short. The only part that is different is the section where readers post comments. Since her death over two years year ago, friends have written probably over 1000 messages there. Her friends whom she authorized to post to her page still are posting there, to her, to this day. When I mentioned her on our class blog last year, I received a nice Email from a member of her family thanking me for mentioning her, for remembering Rianna. This person found the post through Google. As I mentioned in that blog post:

Every blog post we make builds our legacy and tells the story of our lives. This is so important, this is what folks will look back on when we are gone. This is our lives with permalinks and cached in Google. Her (Rianna's) words, my first wife Candy’s words, or my sister’s (who died from Cancer a few years ago) words, or my father’s words, all these words and stories I have, and the stories you have, that we hold in our memories can now be written and shared in the world by us and those living with us and preserved for a world without us. Rianna’s continuing story is in the comments of Rianna’s MySpace page. Her memory is shared for those who never knew her there. It is a story started by her before her death certificate and still being written by those who remember her.

As you contemplate your final movies for this class or even your next post to your blog or MySpace or Facebook, or wherever; remember, you don't have to be heavy, or try to do something poignant. Your memory of the best burrito you ever had in your entire life is a good story, an important story. It is a story that may be real important to someone who wants to hear that story either today or someday. Perhaps that person, someday, may be you. I wish I had videos of loved ones lost telling the story of the best burrito they ever had.

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Jeff, Nicole, Madison and Jacob

Jeff, Nicole, Madison and Jacob

Photos of Jeff, Nicole and Family
Today I had the extreme pleasure of being able to take a set of photos of son Jeff, his wife Nicole, their kids Madison and Jacob. It was their family Christmas photo. We went to a park near where we all live in San Jose. What a beautiful, lovely family they are. We are very proud of all of them!

[More photos here on Flickr]

Saturday, November 24, 2007

iPod Classroom

ipod classroom

According to a recent Los Angeles Times article by staff writer Michelle Quinn:

Baxter Wood is one of Hubert Dreyfus' most devoted students. During lectures on existentialism, Wood hangs on every word, savoring the moments when the 78-year-old philosophy professor pauses to consider a student's comment or relay how a meaning-of-life question had him up at 2 a.m.

But Wood is not sitting in a lecture hall on the UC Berkeley campus, nor has he met Dreyfus. He is in the cab of his 18-wheel big rig, hauling dog food from Ohio to the West Coast or flat-screen TVs from Los Angeles to points east.The 61-year-old trucker from El Paso eavesdrops on the lectures by downloading them for free from Apple Inc.'s iTunes store...

Not only is this a huge benefit to the public, this is a benefit to society at large. Emerging technology makes it possible for us to extend learning, knowledge and education far beyond the classroom and that is a cool thing, a very cool thing!

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Friday, November 23, 2007

Kemp in Merc

Article on Kemp

Jeremy Kemp Gets SJMN Recognition
It is great to see when one of San Jose State's really talented faculty gets due recognition. Today, when I was looking at the on-line edition of the San Jose Mercury News I saw just such a thing. SJSU faculty member Jeremy Kemp was highlighted in a story by Kara Andrade. Andrade said, " On any given day, Kemp logs into Second Life from his laptop and finds his students struggling with the building of virtual objects, such as flying carpets, and helps them learn online skills. He often chats with his students using the Second Life voice tool, which helps him tune into his students' frustrations."

Kemp does not just use Second Life. Kemp, along with Daniel Livingstone of the School of Computing University of Paisley, Scotland is one of the two developers of Sloodle. According to Joe Miller, VP Platform, of Linden Lab, which created Second Life, "One of the things that I’m most excited about is a mashup between Second Life and the learning management system, Moodle. Its called Sloodle."

The writer for the Mercury News did a great job covering Kemp's class, but she just touched the surface.

This is going to be huge for higher education. We are extremely lucky to have one of this technology's leading innovators right here at San Jose State University! Kemp deserves a lot of recognition for his great work.

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Leopard Word Adobe PDF Export Problems

Convert to Adobe PDF

Another Leopard Icky Sticky
Yesterday, while working on a Microsoft Word file (in Microsoft's almost ancient version of Office for the Mac, Office 2004), I ran across another icky sticky Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard problem. The problem occured when I went to export the Word file to PDF. In short, I couldn't. It did not work. The computer gave me the error: "please install Adobe PDF Printer." When I tried to do that from the appropriate printer pane (which should be spelled pain, that is now located in Leopard's System Preferences panel) the install failed. Here is how the problem was described by Andrew Miller on an Apple forum:

My 3 physical printers work, but Adobe PDF is not. When adding it asked to select driver and gave me 2 Adobe 8.0 options, both the same. Doesn't matter which I select it simply doesn't work. When printing from Word to Adobe PDF pinter pauses and doesn't want to restart the job.

I was well agitated when I found this. This is the second Leopard Icky Sticky I found in one day (the Treo problem being the first.) Then, on the Apple forum I found a fix. It is more a hack than a fix, but it works, written by a guy named Jerry:

I was able to get back my Adobe PDF. here's how I did it:
  • Launch Acrobat (in my case it is version 8)
  • Select "Repair Acrobat Installation" under the Help menu
  • Deselect everything except for the "Adobe PDF Printer"
  • Click continue and you're done!

I do not think you should have to do these kinds of things to get your software to work! I installed Leopard as a clean install, not an upgrade install, on this computer. All the software on this computer has had all updates applied and all was up to date as of yesterday. I do not mean to sound like I am ragging on Leopard. It is a great OS. But, it just needs to get its bugs worked out. Leopard still has too many icky stickies. IMHO it has a way to go before it is ready for wide spread deployment. I would not recommend Leopard to regular users, not yet anyway!

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Treo issues on Leopard

The bleeding edge: one reason it is better to wait for awhile to upgrade your Mac OS to Leopard
Palm Treo synchronization is apparently broken under Mac OS X 10.5.x Leopard. I went to sync one of my two Treos (my work Treo) to my work MacBook Pro which is running Leopard. The Leopard version of iSync did not even see the Palm device.

I went to Apple's forums to see if I could find a fix. This is what I found there, "There are currently undefined issues regarding Palm synchronization under Mac OS X 10.5 and 10.5.1."

I went to Mark/Space's Web site. This company makes the Missing Sync products for synchronizing devices like Treos to to Mac OS X running computers. Here is what I saw there, "As we confirm issues, we will post summaries for each product. We recommend that The Missing Sync not be used with Leopard..."

I had been considering upgrading my own MacBook that I use for syncing my other (personal) Treo to Leopard. That plan is on hold and my work Treo is now a disconnected device. This is another reason to wait until Mac OS X 10.5 has been through several Rev's before upgrading. If you don't need it, if you don't gotta have Leopard now, if getting your work done is more important than being on the bleeding edge; I say, stick with Tiger!

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MoveOn on Facebook

LA Times Article

MoveOn vs. Facebook
According to Jessica Guynn, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer, " launched a campaign Tuesday on Facebook against Facebook." The article said:

Facebook allows its members to opt out of the ad system, called Beacon. But contends the program violates users' privacy by requiring them to opt out rather than voluntarily opt in. "The sole reason for this new feature is to serve corporate advertisers and make it easier for them to micro-target Facebook users with ads," MoveOn .org spokesman Adam Green said. "Breaching privacy is against the type of community Facebook should be striving for."

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Monday, November 19, 2007

Leopard updated

Click to view Apple Info

One down, two to go (at least!)
The first major up date of Apple's powerful and innovative new version of Mac OS 10.5, Leopard is out. Leopard is 10.5.1 now. Folks who love to be on the cutting edge and are willing to take a few chances and maybe have to deal with a few compatibility issues should upgrade (I did!) Those wanting to wait and not have to worry about the new bugs that are normal in the first few versions of an operating system may want to wait awhile. Maybe until early 2008 for version 10.5.3 or later of Leopard. Note, Apple just quietly updated its veteran OS X 10.4 Tiger to 10.4.11.

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Baby News

New Baby Coming!
Eldest Son Steve's wife Luci posted this to their blog:

For those of you who have not heard. We are having a baby. Lorena and Eric have graciously accepted to be God parents in a ceremony that will be officiated by a family friend. We are very excited. The baby is due May 30th, 2008. We are 12 weeks 3 days today. Over the weekend I will have Steve load pictures of the ultrasound. At the end of December we should be far enough along to determine the gender.

We are very excited and looking forward to our new grandchild. More about this and other family news is, or will be, posted on our family blog.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Guerrilla Photojournalism

Commentary by Daum

Soldiers as citizen photojournalists
Meghan Daum, who is often heard in commentaries and features on National Public Radio's Morning Edition, wrote this insightful commentary that contrasts the role of professional photojournalists and soldiers themselves who are photographing the war in Iraq.

Daum said, "Amateur war photos snapped by participants have a certain immediacy, but they lack the punch and power of work done by pros." Daum contrasts the photos taken by professionals, like the photo of James Blake Miller, the Fallujah Marine, taken by LA Times photographer Luis Sinco with those taken by soldiers themselves. Daum said:

Despite all the professional "shooters" doing their best to cover the war, much of the action we see is brought to us by the people doing the fighting. Soldiers record artillery fire with hand-held digital video recorders and post the clips on YouTube. Snapshots taken with cellphones -- some as innocuous as tourist photos, others downright gruesome -- abound on the Internet. In other words, to look at photographs of the Iraq war is, quite often, to see guerrilla photojournalism.

I found Daum's commentary very insightful. I recommend it to anybody interested in journalism, new media and citizen journalism.

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Friday, November 16, 2007

Podcast Tech Specs

Apple tech spec

Geek RSS Stuff: What are the rules of podcast compliance?
THE TECH SPECS - According to Wikipedia, "As of September 2007, the iPod had sold over 110 million units worldwide (stated in "The Beat Goes On" conference) making it the best-selling digital audio player series in history." If you want an audience for your podcast you have to be able put your content on the iPod platform. There are plenty of tools that make it possible to do that, but to make it easier for folks to find you, and to make your podcast look more attractive in the iTunes interface, you may want to tweak that RSS feed.

If you are ready to take the leap into true XML hacking, Apple has the technical specification right here. In short, this is the podcasters Bible. Thou shalt comply! (Resistance is futile...)

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Android, the Gphone OS

Android, the Gphone OS
Having many makers building, and many programmers building on, this open source platform is going to mean the ability for folks to get phones with many options and to not be locked into one manufacturers design philosophy, as we are now with iPhone. Competition is a good thing, and now Apple has competition, serious competition! Maybe now we will get an iPhone with interchangeable batteries. We can have our portable Internet our way! Imagine what this could do to news delivery...

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Research Interests

Can traditional news reporting values survive?
In this time of disintermediated news reporting, the sources of stories can quickly and easily post content directly to Internet places like YouTube, Facebook, MySpace and blogs. Often, there is no fact checking or context to this content. True or not, these stories can be accessed quickly, spread virally and linked to by citizens using Internet technologies. Professional journalists, scrambling to responsibly cover news stories that spread at Internet speed, can seem to be left in the dust. The pressure to publish fast, too fast, is almost irresistible. How can traditional news reporting values survive and be a value in such a fast paced environment?

I would like to do traditional research on this topic and conduct interviews with practitioners of both new media and traditional media. I think a focused podcast on this topic alone would also be very worthwhile. Such a podcast could stimulate a conversation that needs to take place on this topic on a broader front.

What I envision is a well produced audio podcast, similar in style and professionalism to what Terry Gross does on NPR. This podcast would consist of a series of interviews of new and traditional media professionals as well as journalism educators. This approach would be combined with a literature search, research of what has been published in juried publications and where possible a search of the transcripts of conference presentations. There are many opportunities for partnering and synergy in this research. For example, The Committee of Concerned Journalists (CCJ) work discussing the future of the profession would fit right in with the research I am planning. As CCJ said on their Web site, "Journalism's first obligation is to the truth."

In my opinion the truth is our greatest core value as journalism educators. The news consuming public has more choices than ever before for sources of information. YouTube is competing with responsible information sources for attention.

With many of the information sources on the Internet not so committed to truth, how do journalists compete for an audience and still uphold the values of the fourth estate? That is what I would like to research.

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Family Blogs

Steve and Luci's blog

The family that blogs together
Both of our two older sons have blogs. Steve and Luci have a great blog that covers their growing family as does Jeff and Nicole. It is very cool to me to be able to peak in and see what is going on with them.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Email Unification at SJSU

SJSU Email: Litigation Readiness and Email Unification and Archiving
PODCAST -- There has been a lot of discussions at SJSU about unifying all the different Email systems we have into one system. Litigation and Litigation Readiness issues are often cited as the driving engines behind this push. This is true, but there are other issues to be considered.

What should be considered?
This great Podcast from is an important listen. In this podcast, industry expert Mark Diamond discusses the legal ramifications of email archiving, and how they impact IT strategy. Litigation Readiness is becoming an irresistible force that I think will make this happen. The cost of trying to get information from SJSU's current dispersed dispirit Email systems across our campus enterprise to answer one subpoena could cost us far more than just properly preparing in the first place would.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Leopard Favorites: Apple Mail

A lot to like in Leopard: Apple Mail
All in all my opinion of Mac OS X 10.5 is overwhelmingly positive. My first favorite is the new version of Apple Mail. Yes, I like the new stationary features, but most of all I like Apple Mail Leopard Editon's support of RSS. According to Apple, "Subscribe to an RSS feed in Mail and you’ll know the moment an article or blog post hits the wire. Even better, you can choose to have new articles appear in your inbox alongside your latest email messages. Sorting your news is easy, too. Use Smart Mailboxes to organize incoming news articles according to search terms that pique your interest. Mail shares its unread RSS feed count with Safari, so your reading list always stays in sync." I know Thunderbird can do it too, but I use Apple Mail and I think that is way cool!

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Least favorite Leopard behavior

Folders in doc

My most disliked thing in Leopard
One thing I have read ,and totally agree with, is the statement that an operating system should not get in the way of getting your work done. As much as possible, it should be invisible. One of the best way for an OS to not get in your way, is to leave a path back to previous version interface elements, especially interface elements that a user knows well and that aids productivity. One of the best things about Windows XP is that no matter how much they tweaked the interface they left a path back to "Classic Windows" the interface that harks back to Windows 2000 (Win2K) and before. This Win2K interface , though not glitzy, allows users to get a lot of work done fast. It was a good workflow many of us old farts had established.

One of the best things about that Win2K Windows interface was the start menu. Clicking on start, in that interface, gives you a textual tree of your applications. This lets you arrange and get through and to your applications quickly. In Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger, and before) you could drag your applications folder to the Dock, click on it, and get a similar interface in Mac OS. It was almost like having a start menu right in the dock. Well, that is gone with Leopard. In 10.5 Leopard if you put you Applications folder in the Dock and click on it you get the ugly fan. If you right click on it it becomes very apparent, short of some yet unknown terminal hack, you cannot get back to Classic Mac OS X behavior. When I want to use my very productive, tried and true Classic Mac OS X workflow I cannot anymore. That is just plain wrong! Apple could learn from Microsoft on this one.

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Monday, November 05, 2007

Aditi's Birthday

Happy Birthday Aditi

Happy Birthday Aditi
Aditi Sinha is one of our senior student assistant leads at the help desk. She has been at the help desk for a long time and soon she will be graduating. Aditi is from India. She is smart, dedicated and committed to the help desk and the folks who work there. She almost always has a smile and makes us all feel like family. She is a natural leader and an inspiration. She is one of the nicest students I have known in my over twenty-three years at the university and when she graduates it will be a big loss for us and our university. We are really going to miss her.

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Sunday, November 04, 2007

I Lept into Leopard

My Leopard desktop

The new cat is on my computer!
Well I did it, I made my first Leopard install. Next I will be installing Vista on the same computer! The cat is definitely fast and there are things I really like about it and things I really do not like. For example, I really do not like desktop clutter so the default desktop had to go. More on that later though. We are off to a social engagement!

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Europe trip reunion

Cruise Partners

Cruise reunion
This afternoon we are getting together with the cruise group to share memories, photos and perhaps to plan for our next trip. We have not seen them since our parting in Rome. This should be a lot of fun. I burned DVD's for folks of the trip pictures.

[More Vacation Photos Here on Flickr]

Friday, November 02, 2007

In Design User Group Meeting

In Design User Group Meeting, Wed., Nov. 14
The next meeting of the Bay Area InDesign User Group for Wednesday, November 14th, 2007 at 6:30pm, to be held at Adobe San Francisco, 601 Townsend St, at 7th St. .

Come join us in learning about InDesign's Transparency features!

InDesign CS3 introduces some powerful and innovative transparency features. Now you can apply transparency effects independently for an object's fill, stroke, content, and text and you can apply almost all Photoshop effects inside of InDesign. This presentation will show how to make these effects work and -- even more importantly -- how to get them to print successfully by following some important transparency best practices.

As always, the evening will conclude with the group's customary raffle of valuable software, books, and prizes.

I plan on going and welcome folks who may wish to carpool with me. To register, or for more information, go here.

Conversation with University Leadership

Featuring SJSU President Kassing and Provost Sigler
On Tuesday, November 6, from 1pm to 2:30pm, in the Resident Activity Center Building B, there will be a Conversation with University Leadership featuring President Don Kassing and Provost Carmen Sigler.

Issues With Leopard?

Is Leopard Ready?

Problems with Leopard?
Rob Meads article asks, Is Leopard Still in Beta? implying that it was not ready for general release. Some users are reporting problems with Leopard. This may be shocking to some but this frankly is to be expected. With the first version of a new operating system, no matter how through the beta testing was, it simply cannot reproduce the variety of systems and configurations found in a general release. Users who want to try the cutting edge technology frequently find it to be the bleeding edge.

Leopard vs. Vista Showdown
Engadget has this unusually non-biased comparison of the features of Microsoft's Windows v.6 Vista vs. those of Apple's Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. The blog Seattlest has some great advice for folks looking to upgrade to Leopard. Not everybody is overjoyed with the changes in Leopard, Matt Neuburg writes about the six things he hates about Leopard.

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Thursday, November 01, 2007

Kassing's Halloween ULP?

Is this an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP)?
Last night President Kassing's office released two new presidential directives, an hour before midnight on Halloween. Could one of these directives been a violation of the staff union agreement, an unfair labor practice and a violation of state law?

Updates on this topic will be posted here, on my union blog.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

SJSU Earthquake Update

Library website screenshot

Earthquake Update
According to reports from folks who were there the Academic Success Center in Clark Hall really rocked and rolled last night. According one employee, "the lights swayed a lot and it was very loud. It was pretty frightening."

The quake happened after I left. Reportedly they evacuated immediately and the center remained closed for the night. We opened this morning on time, I was there before 7:30am and I saw no damage except for a few books that had fallen off my desk (totally understandable if you have seen my desk!)

A lot more books fell in the combined city and university King Library. They were closed for most of the morning and that caused us to be swamped in Clark Hall (the old SJSU Library.) Their university library clients who normally go their to use their computer labs ended up coming to us to use the computers in the Academic Success Center in Clark. Of course, we were lucky, it could have been way worse!

So, what can you do about it?
Sign Up For CERT training, be prepared!

Disaster Preparedness Training from Spencer Wong, of University Police. He sent this BE (Before Earthquake):

This is a message for those who have already signed up for the class and people who are still debating on whether to attend.

Once again, the training is on Nov. 2nd, 9th, and 16th from 8:30-4:00p.m on the first two days and 9:00-2:00 on the last day totaling approximately 20 hours of training. The schedule breakdown is as follows:

  • Nov. 2nd
    • Introduction to CERT
    • Emergency Preparedness
    • Team Building
    • CERT Organization
    • Scene Size Up
    • Terrorism
    • Fire Suppression
  • Nov. 9th
    • Disaster Psychology
    • Disaster Medical Operations I & II
    • Lifts and Carries
    • Evacu Trac
  • Nov. 16th
    • Search and Rescue
    • Search Maze
    • Final Exercise

If you are making up a section because of an incomplete, please show up to the training on the designated date. Dress code: whatever you are comfortable wearing.

Meeting Place: UPD 214. Please meet in the lobby! There will be signage to direct you. If you have not signed up yet, we welcome walk-ins, but I much prefer to have a list of approximately how many people so I can prepare the copies/handouts.

There is still time brother!
Find out how to prepare for the big one, Email Spencer Wong and get trained! Oh, by the way, Happy Halloween.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

When the Earthquake Hit

Quake image

I was in the kitchen when the earthquake hit
It sounded like a heavy truck coming down the street, it was very loud. It was a real roller. Nothing fell off the shelves. It was not very far from where we are, so we felt it really well. The whole house rolled. It was a moderate quake, but we felt it very strong because we were only about ten miles from the epicenter. I wonder what they will call this quake? It was relatively mild compared to the Loma Prieta Quake. I was in San Jose (on campus) when that one hit too. Sue is at the gym and has not gotten home yet.

Map of Quake Epicenter

The cat is not (yet) in the house

Mac OS X 10.5

SJSU Bookstore Lacks Leopard
The SJSU Bookstore has not yet received its shipment of Mac OS X 10.5. Reportedly the soonest we will have the new OS is Thursday.

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Ars: Leopard In Detail

Mac OS X 10.5

Great in-depth analysis of Leopard
Ars Technica writer John Siracusa has this great in-depth analysis of the new Apple operating system. It is a must read if you are interested in the deep geek side of things. According to Siracusa:

I'm most excited about Leopard's internals. They're the star of this release, even if they don't get top billing. There's a good reason we've already seen so many prominent Leopard-only software announcements. This is where developers want to be.

This is not an optional upgrade for higher ed customers who intend to keep their software applications current. Enough new applications will be Leopard-only that you WILL have to upgrade. It is our responsibility to do that in a way that honors our responsibilities under our license agreements with Apple. In short, better plan on setting aside money in your budgets no later than next fiscal year.

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Monday, October 29, 2007

Audacity for Podcasting

Audacity for Podcasting

Screencasts on using Audacity for Podcasting
Jason Van Orden has a great resource for folks looking to do cost effective podcasting using low-cost tools like Audacity. He has made these very good screencasts showing us how to use Audacity. This is a useful resource, they are done on a PC and compliment very nicely the PDF document file I have made about using Audacity.

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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Leopard is very good (and could be better)

Mac OS x 10.5 Leopard

Leopard First Impressions
On Saturday I got to play with Leopard at the Apple store in Los Gatos. My first impressions of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard are very positive. For me it is a more compelling upgrade than Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger was from Mac OS X 10.3 Panther. Leopard seemed fast and I like the ability in Leopard to create my own share points, a feature that had been available in the server versions of Mac OS X before. In my opinion Tiger was a mostly cosmetic upgrade from Panther, but Leopard is another breed of cat. That is clear in the fact that the system requirements have changed for this Mac OS X version (they did not with the last upgrade) and that NetInfo Manager is totally missing from the Utilities folder that is nested in the Applications folder. NetInfo, the user authentication engine brought to Apple along with Steve Jobs in the Next acquisition is dead, replaced apparently with a local open LDAP database. I hope Apple has left me a way to activate root if I want, (short of going to the command line and changing the root password using the sudo command, or booting into single user mode and mounting the root user.)

Of all the things I have seen in Leopard the one feature that stood out is Spaces. As I said before, the future of operating systems can be summed up with the word "Virtualization." Spaces is like Virtualization in practice. In fact, virtual desktops have been around a long time. Linux has had them for a long time in KDE. But, this is the first time they have been a feature in Mac OS X (that you did not have to add in with a third party application.) They are great once you get the hang of them! But, they could have been better in Leopard. From what I saw the way they appear to have been applied in Leopard is as separate user spaces for the same user. They seem to me to be like running multiple instances of the Mac OS X Finder. For example, I was not able to have all my palettes in Photoshop on one desktop while the image I was working on was in the other. I guess what I would like to see would be more like virtual monitors than virtual desktops. I would like to be able to scroll to the right or left and suddenly be in the other virtual monitor and be able to have my palettes in one virtual monitor while my image was in the other virtual monitor or to have facing pages in InDesign be in two virtual monitors. Or to be able to work on a very large photo in pieces in multiple virtual monitors and be able to work on sections of an image without having to zoom in and out. Now, that would be very handy indeed.

Still, as I said, my first impressions of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard are very positive and I am going to buy it. For me it is a compelling upgrade, I plan to make as soon as Leopard is in stock at the campus bookstore. Then, I will post more on the the subject when I really get to see what this baby can do on my own systems.

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Friday, October 26, 2007

Beyond Leopard and Windows Vista

Eric Traut talking about Virtualization

Beyond Leopard and Vista: Virtualization and Windows 7!
Today is the rollout day for Apple's new version of Mac OS X, Leopard, so why am I talking about Microsoft? Emil Protalinski on October 19, 2007 posted links to some great videos recorded by Long Zheng that really show where operating systems are going. In short, the future is virtualization. October 13 Microsoft’s distinguished engineer Eric Traut made a presentation at the University of Illinois about Microsoft’s virtualization technology. Virtualization solves some of the problems there have been with operating systems, such as backward compatibility with legacy applications. Virtualization will make user OS environments increasingly hardware agnostic. Parallels software, which allows you to run Windows on a Mac OS X, is an example of virtualization at work today. Protalinski said in his post, "If you don't want to watch the 8 minute video, I'll try to summarize by saying: 'Windows 7 kernel in 25 megs on disk and under 40 megs of memory.'" This is the world of operating systems beyond our current concept of them.

Microsoft has some wonderful, smart and passionate people and Traut is a great example of that.

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

SJSU investigating student for threats Daily says

Spartan Daily Online

"Student accused of V. Tech-like threat"
According to this story by Michael Rizzo in today's Spartan Daily:

Multiple investigations have been launched by campus police and university officials into accusations made on Sept. 29 that a resident of Hoover Hall threatened the use of guns to "go Virginia Tech" on a fellow resident.

Tonight Update News, the university TV news program put on by SJSU broadcast news students, is in production. I am looking forward to seeing their coverage of the story.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

European Vacation Photos

Doug drinking a beer

Europe photos are on line here
I am done. I developed the last three (of 12) rolls of black and white film, scanned them, edited them, mixed them in with the many digital camera photos and have posted them. It has been a long and slow process but I have several hundred photos on line now that chronicle the cruise trip. I hope you like them!

[Photos on Flickr Here]

Jeremy Kemp of SLIS at SJSU

About Jeremy Kemp
I first met Jeremy in his capacity as a manager for the SJSU distance education program. He trained my help desk support staff on a half-dozen occasions. My student workers enjoyed his instruction and commented favorably on his teaching style.

Later, Kemp became involved in the Second Life community and brought his knowledge to campus with expansive passion. He is now teaching in the School of Library and Information Science at SJSU.

I consider Kemp an to be expert without peer in the arena of Virtual Worlds. I think our university is very fortunate to have him in any capacity we can get him. He has spoken to my class on this subject several times. One of the most exciting of those occurred on October 25, 2006. On that date spoke to my journalism class virtually alongside a famous SJSU alumni. Kemp presented to my class along with Aaron Uhrmacher, Senior Account Executive at the PR company Text 100. Kemp was in the class, Uhrmacher was in another part of the country. Despite being thousands of miles apart, they both presented to the class in real time side by side on the screen from within the virtual world called Second Life. The tool Uhrmacher and Kemp used to talk to each other and the class was Skype. It was a wonderful immersive experience. We recorded the session and released it as a podcast a year ago.

He did an excellent lecture on promotional aspects and public relations features of Second Life. I know he is well known in that community because he was able to secure a notable PR executive to co-present for the lecture. The students raved about the experience in a subsequent conversation we had about the class.

Kemp and I have had many great conversations since then on the subject and he has never hesitated to be a rich resource in providing me with ideas and the fruits of his research in this area. Thanks to Kemp I am planning to incorporate Second Life in a very direct way this semester. We hope to convene the class for a class session in Second Life.

Kemp is a gift this university has. I cannot say enough good things about him. We are very lucky to have him.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Al Weber on Photography

Al Weber on Black and White

Al Weber on Traditional Photography and Digital
In March 2006 photographer and conference presenter Al Weber presented at the Silver Conference at Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, California. I really enjoyed seeing this video of his presentation and I invite you to view it. It speaks about traditional silver "analog" photography and the relationship between it and digital photography. I can really relate to his expression of how it feels to be working in a darkroom. I really miss it!

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Feeling Analog

Women on scooters in black and white

Feeling kinda Analog
I did something radical on our vacation to Europe. I took a 35mm film camera. Then, I did something even more radical, I only brought black and white film. Of course, as well as shooting analog film I also took a digital camera. I shot a lot more digital than analog. I am very concerned about the ability of digital images to keep for many decades without a lot of work and careful stewardship of the image files. Conventional black and white photos, I have seen, can be neglected for decades, maybe even centuries and still survive long after disk drives have failed and even color analog photos have faded away.

What I discovered though was something else. Black and white film gives you a very different interpretation to a moment than does a digital photo. How the film reacts to light is much different to how a digital sensor does. Yes, you can do things with a digital photo and Photoshop that you cannot with film. But, and heres a mind blower, you can do things with film and under an enlarger that are hard to do in digital. It is all in how it reacts to light. One is not better or worse than the other. They are just different palettes, like comparing oil paint to water based paint. They are different mediums. Another side benefit was after my battery died in my digital camera, I could still make pictures. I even bought a roll of color film in Rome and shot that as my digital was dead after the battery died. (Note: If you are going to shoot only digital, bring backup batteries!)

Once in the airplane on the way to Europe a flight attendant got angry with me. She had asked me to turn off my film camera when we landed. I said I could not. She thought I was being smartellic. I tried to explain to her the camera neither turned on nor off, that my camera was powered by springs. She just could not comprehend of such a thing. It was totally off her radar.

In Europe I saw only one or two other film cameras that were real cameras. I only saw one empty film box on the ground the entire trip. When we went there eight years ago they were everywhere on the ground. But, for now I can still get film and I will continue shooting it. I do not think I will be sorry. But, I think I could be very sorry if I didn't.

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Anniversary of my mom's passing

My parents

On this day in 1984 my mom died
My father died in 1977 and my mom never quite found herself after that. My mom was a smoker and the records probably show that it was a smoking related illness that killed her, but she was really already slowly dying a long slow death from a broken heart. My parents grew up as next door neighbors. They lived in Pittsburgh, Kansas. They eloped before my mother was old enough to marry. They ran away from home across the state border to Joplin, Missouri where they married. They lied about her age. My grandma (on my mothers side) went after them. She found the sheriff. When they caught up with my parents my father told the sheriff they had already consummated the marriage. The sheriff then told my grandmother there was nothing he could do about their marriage. That was the law then. So, my dad lied. They did plenty of consummating later though, they had five children of which I am the youngest.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

What is for lunch?

Vlog about lunch

What Journalism Students are Having for Lunch
In my class today we did a fun assignment. I wanted the students to be able to tell a story on the Internet using video. So I came up with an assignment where they do a short video talking about that they had for lunch, and post it to the class blog. It ended up being a lot of fun and the answers are pretty interesting I think. They did a great job!

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