Do you ever wonder what your clothes would see, if they could see, from inside the washing machine?
Dario Viola provides a brief answer, courtesy his waterproof GoPro camera, on Vimeo:
Do you ever wonder what your clothes would see, if they could see, from inside the washing machine?
Dario Viola provides a brief answer, courtesy his waterproof GoPro camera, on Vimeo:
H. L. Mencken at one of the 1948 political conventions (Thomas Dewey was the Republican nominee, Harry S. Truman was the Democratic nominee). Obviously the photo is a copy from the National Press Club Library. The Park Library site describes the photo and Mencken:
H. L. Mencken (1880-1956) was a familiar figure at many national political conventions. This photo, taken at the one in 1948, was his last political convention. He is well known for his attacks on American taste and culture, or the lack of same. His magnum opus, The American Language: An Inquiry into the Development of English in the United States, was first published in 1919 and remains a classic. From 1906 to 1941, he worked chiefly as a reporter, editor, and columnist for the Baltimore Sun. (Photo courtesy of the Baltimore Sun Library.)
Assuming Mencken covered both conventions, this photo was taken at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia in mid-July, 1948. We know it was taken in Philadelphia since both parties held their conventions there that year, the Republicans from June 21 to June 26, and the Democrats from July 12 to July 14.
After a contentious convention that saw Minneapolis Mayor Hubert H. Humphrey propose a civil rights plank that got South Carolina Gov. Strom Thurmond to walk out of the convention and found his own States’ Rights (Dixiecrat) Party (with himself as the nominee for president), and former Vice President Henry Wallace walk out because the party platform was too conservative (Wallace ran on the Socialist Progressive Party ticket), Democrats nominated President Harry S Truman and Kentucky Sen. Alben W. Barkley for president and vice president. Truman narrowly defeated Georgia Sen. Richard B. Russell for the nomination. Had Thurmond not walked out, Truman may well have lost the nomination of his own party.
And the rest of the story?
This is an encore post. Some new links have been added — though, as you can see, I don’t yet have a better photo of Mencken at the conventions. More news sources, below.
More, Other Sources:
The first personal computers were more than a decade away. Today’s teleprompters — a computer screen mounted to reflect into a glass in front of a television camera lens — had not been conceived. Teleprompters were cathode-ray tube televisions attached to a massive television camera with a clunky device. The image would be reversed to reflect correctly. Into that television would be a closed-circuit feed of a scrolling piece of paper on which was typed, in very large letters, the script the speaker was to read. In this case, of course, the speaker was the President of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson.
In 1967, a special typewriter was required to type out the oversized-font, easy-to-read script on a roll of paper with sprocket holes along the side to enable an automated scrolling.
Just looking at the equipment for the technology of the time is an education.
Teleprompters allow someone reading a script to look directly into the television camera lens, giving an impression to a viewer that the person is speaking directly to them, instead of glancing down at a script and back at a camera. Research showed viewers tend to grow disinterested in people looking down at a script, and would more likely be engaged by someone appearing to look at them.
Teleprompters existed in the 1950s, but many local television stations did not use them until into the 1960s — news broadcasts of the time often featured the anchors reading from written scripts on a desk in front of the broadcaster. A few intrepid news anchors, throwbacks to a more theatrically-inclined era, would memorize an entire script every night.
The schematic is based on modern, smaller television cameras and modern, thin devices to project the word images. Older versions were larger — sometimes much larger.
One popular version put a simple paper scroller mounted above the lens of the very large, studio television cameras — a broadcaster’s eyes could focus an inch above the lens, and viewers couldn’t tell he or she was not looking directly into the lens.
Teleprompters emerged as a symbolic political whipping device in the early 21st century. Partisans wishing to impugn the intelligence of a politician complain that he or she cannot speak extemporaneously, without a script. Oddly, the charge was rarely leveled at President Ronald Reagan, famous for his use of scripts in almost every situation. Reagan’s White House pushed modernizing of the technical devices employed at the White House, including the latest in teleprompter devices.
The most frequently-seen politician-used teleprompters today are simple stands, “conference” teleprompters, designed as much to allow a speaker to use teleprompters with a live audience as to facilitate television use. The devices are simple stands with a highly-reflective, clear plastic or glass on the top, and computer screen on the floor shining up.
Modern teleprompters cost a fraction of earlier versions. Everybody uses them now — I’ve even heard of first-time candidates who did not have to go to teleprompter school.
Here I am, reading from a teleprompter at the George H. W. Bush Library and Museum in College Station, Texas, in 2011:
And more people using teleprompters, with years in captions, so far as I can get them.
A more modern use:
I’m up for a brilliant little idea not carried on too long.
Stumbled into this film from four years ago. The producer/director/creator explains it:
Noteboek (English title: Notebook) consists of 4 short experimental films where I try to confuse the reality.
In these films, illusions and expectations are challenged.
Noteboek is a short film and part of my graduation project.
[Music: The White Stripes-Seven Nation Army.]
And where is Evelien Lohbeck today?
If you want to see more work please visit:
guy’s woman’s got a wicked sense of the surreal, and a good sense of humor.
Tip of the old scrub brush to Le Web . . . et le reste.
An encore post, history we need to remember.
National Typewriter Day, July 23? Type a letter to your mom, to celebrate.
The typographer is considered the forerunner to the typewriter.
Burt’s chief reputation came from his work as a surveyor in Michigan. He discovered the massive iron ore deposits for which Michigan became famous, the iron that fueled much of American industrialization in the 19th and 20th centuries. He discovered one of the world’s largest deposits of copper, the Calumet and Hecla Mine. He invented the solar compass, to survey areas where iron deposits made magnetic compasses inaccurate.
Burt was born in an era of great technological development and invention. People in all walks of life invented devices to aid their work, or just for the joy of invention. Even future president Abraham Lincoln invented a device to float cargo boats in shallow water, hoping to increase river commerce to his home county, Sangamon County, Illinois.
Burt invented devices to aid his work in surveying, a very important service industry in frontier America. Because surveyors often worked on the frontier, they were famous for discovering natural resources in the course of their work. So it was that Burt, working in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, found his magnetic compasses spinning wildly. Suspecting a natural phenomenon, Burt ordered his crew to look for ferrous rocks, and they quickly determined they were in an area rife with iron deposits.
It was to further surverying in such areas that Burt invented the solar compass.
Even uninteresting frontiersmen could lead lives that fascinate us today. Was it Burt’s inventiveness that led him to such a life as a surveyor, or was it his work that pushed him to invent?
Adkins is in contest to get a fancy printer, based on votes from the internet. Will you do Mr. Adkins, and especially his students, a great favor and go cast a vote for him right now? Voting ends today, and he’s in the running but not in first.
I want to thank Mr. Rhee and Mr. Jones for their efforts encouraging their students to vote for my project. I also thank the rest of you who have voted to help me win a new printer for the art department. It’s still a very close race, I’m currently in 3rd place and voting ends tomorrow. If you haven’t voted yet, I hope you will. Your students are allowed to vote too. Just go the this link: http://www.weareteachers.com/teaching-ideas/grant/teaching-idea?app=24725&grantId=98 and click on vote for me.
Someday schools will provide equipment like this without contests on the internet — but not yet. A vote for Adkins is a vote for educational excellence.
From an earlier post:
Some indications on Twitter that actor Tom Hanks may be turning into a collector of these historic items:
Typewriter of the day. Royal ‘Apollo 10′ model from 1969. Electric that got us to the moon! It’s noisy but types fine. Hanx
Do you think there’s a movie about typewriters coming?
Confess, Dear Reader — are you taken in by the magic, charm and dinging carriage-return bell of these old typewriters? Do you remember the machine you used to use? Do you still use a typewriter? Minds soaking in the Bathtub want to know.
Grateful tip of the old scrub brush to Judy Crook @Jude2004.
You saw and loved Scorsese’s “Hugo.” You rushed home and Googled “Georges Melies,” and you rediscovered a thrilling character from history You wondered: Surely the automaton was wholly fictional, right? No one could really make something like that!
Oh, but they did. The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia has one restored. CBS Sunday Morning reported it:
(And then CBS disabled embedding — you’ll have to go watch at YouTube. Sorry.)
Here, watch this longer piece demonstrating the device:
Steampunkers everywhere are suddenly filled with hope.
But, should we be surprised that mere mechanical devices can do such seemingly wonderous stuff? Remember the “bird pistols” that were auctioned a few months ago? And what about all those mechanized clocks in towns and cities across Europe? See the clock tower in Poznan, Poland, for example:
At Mid day everyday, 2 mechanical goats bang their heads together and a guy plays a trumpet.
Amazing stuff was possible, without electronics. 2D animation on film is fantastic. 3d animation of a real object? It appears just short of miraculous, and then only because we know something about how it was done. Arthur C. Clarke’s famous Third Law screams to be noted here: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” But of course, no one is making such automata today. Maybe they are miracles, no? Bugs Bunny sang, “Carrots are sublime/You get a dozen for dime/It’s magic!”
Magic of and on film, one of the great themes of the movie “Hugo.”
Updated: More sources (courtesy of Zemanta):
I continue to like time-lapse photo compilations, and I continue to wonder about how to use them to expand geography teaching. It’s a great circle route, over the Arctic nearing the North Pole. This movie comes from Nate Bolt, who posts his work at Beepshow.
Obviously I’m not the only one who likes it — between the YouTube and Vimeo sites, the movie has more than 4 million viewers.
Bolt explained at YouTube:
More of these time lapses at http://beepshow.com
I shot a photo roughly every two miles between take-off in San Francisco and landing in Paris CDG to make this airplane time lapse. For some reason the Vimeo version of this is more linked to: http://vimeo.com/21822029
Shot with a 5d2, a time-lapse controller, and a 16mm – 35mm, mixed with some iPhone shots. The flight path from SF to Paris goes well over greenland and the arctic circle, where you can see “northern” lights from all sides of the plane, which explains why I could shoot them facing South.
Big thanks to the folks at http://uxlondon.com for inviting me to europe to speak – if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have made the trip. The music is a modified template of “Gain” used with permission from DETUNE ltd. denkitribe http://soundcloud.com/denkitribe/gain – I created this arrangement on the Korg iMS20 iPad App, and it’s my first custom score. Edits and pans in After Effects CS5 and iMovie.
The photos during take-off and landing are all computer models and totally rendered because I would never use an electronic device during times when the FAA prohibits them. I did get lucky and have a whole row to myself to setup the tripod and gear.
Thanks to my neighbors for not minding an SLR click every 2 to 30 seconds for 11 hours, and thanks to the whole Air France flight crew for being insanely friendly and allowing me to shoot. Thanks to @ztaylor for showing me the Korg iMS20 iPad App. Thanks to @jayzombie and the #nerdbird on the way to SXSW this year for helping me come up with the idea. Thanks to @somnabulent for the idea of live scoring. Thanks to you for actually reading this far. You are a champion.
Every time I pick up an issue of Boys’ Life I think how much better students could perform if they just looked that this magazine once a month; you don’t have to be a Scout to subscribe, but why not live the adventures, too?
Will 30-second montages sell more magazines? What more could/should Boys’ Life do on the web?
Here’s an example of the sorts of skills I wish my students had, again from the Boys’ Life YouTube offerings. In “Cache Me If You Can,” these are young Scouts, I’m guessing ages 11 to about 13 from a Troop 6 somewhere in Colorado, out navigating a path through the woods using GPS and hand-held ham radios. I fear most of my 16-18-year-old students would be challenged to do the stuff these younger kids are doing, if they could do it at all.
Of course, while those skills would make them better students more able to understand and use maps and charts, very little of those skills are listed in the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills. I’m given neither time nor resources to teach them.
He wrote papers, and letters, long-hand. Sometimes they would be typed up by an assistant, perhaps Helen Dukas.
The desk of Albert Einstein features a refreshing, bracing lack of technology. No typewriter. No telephone. No radio. No Dictaphone. No intercom. Pencils. Is there even a ballpoint pen? A chalkboard in back of the desk provided a large sketch pad for new ideas, and new trials of ideas, from the man who gave us nuclear power, gravity as a deformation of space, the speed of light as a firm constant in the universe, and relativity.
Somewhere there may be a typewriter Einstein actually used once or twice. I’d like to know about it.
From the General Accountability Office, an arm of Congress, a report to the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.
Aug 25, 2011
Global Average Energy Budget of the Earth’s Atmosphere
In eight steps, this animation depicts the path of sunlight that enters the planet’s atmosphere, illustrating how that radiation is reflected, absorbed, and emitted as heat energy.
In less than 90 seconds, an animated, graphic description of how and why global warming occurs. You didn’t get it in 90 seconds? Watch it again. This video was made to accompany a GAO report on climate engineering. (Emphasis added, in red.)
Climate Engineering: Technical Status, Future Directions, and Potential Responses
GAO-11-71, Aug 25, 2011
Summary: Reports of rising global temperatures have raised questions about responses to climate change, including efforts to (1) reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, (2) adapt to climate change, and (3) design and develop climate engineering technologies for deliberate, large-scale intervention in Earth’s climate. Reporting earlier that the nation lacks a coordinated climate-change strategy that includes climate engineering, GAO now assesses climate engineering technologies, focusing on their technical status, future directions for research on them, and potential responses. To perform this technology assessment, GAO reviewed the peer-reviewed scientific literature and government reports, consulted experts with a wide variety of backgrounds and viewpoints, and surveyed 1,006 adults across the United States. Experts convened with the assistance of the National Academy of Sciences advised GAO, and several reviewed a draft of this report. GAO incorporated their technical and other comments in the final report as appropriate.
Climate engineering technologies do not now offer a viable response to global climate change. Experts advocating research to develop and evaluate the technologies believe that research on these technologies is urgently needed or would provide an insurance policy against worst case climate scenarios–but caution that the misuse of research could bring new risks. Government reports and the literature suggest that research progress will require not only technology studies but also efforts to improve climate models and data. The technologies being proposed have been categorized as carbon dioxide removal (CDR) and solar radiation management (SRM). CDR would reduce the atmospheric concentration of CO2, allowing more heat to escape and thus cooling the Earth. For example, proposed CDR technologies include enhancing the uptake of CO2 in oceans and forests and capturing CO2 from air chemically for storage underground. SRM technologies would place reflective material in space or in Earth’s atmosphere to scatter or reflect sunlight (for example, by injecting sulfate aerosols into the stratosphere to scatter incoming solar radiation or brightening clouds) or would increase the planet’s reflectivity (for example, by painting roofs and pavements in light colors). GAO found these technologies currently immature, many with potentially negative consequences. Some studies say, for example, that stratospheric aerosols might greatly reduce summer precipitation in places such as India and northern China. Many experts advocated research because of its potential benefits but also recognized its risks. For example, a country might unilaterally deploy a technology with a transboundary effect. Research advocates emphasized the need for risk management, envisioning a federal research effort that would (1) focus internationally on transparency and cooperation, given transboundary effects; (2) enable the public and national leaders to consider issues before they become crises; and (3) anticipate opportunities and risks. A small number of those we consulted opposed research; they anticipated major technology risks or limited future climate change. Based on GAO’s survey, a majority of U.S. adults are not familiar with climate engineering. When given information on the technologies, they tend to be open to research but concerned about safety.
We get press releases in the e-mail:
MIT launches online learning initiative
‘MITx‘ will offer courses online and make online learning tools freely available.
December 19, 2011
MIT today announced the launch of an online learning initiative internally called “MITx.” MITx will offer a portfolio of MIT courses through an online interactive learning platform that will:
- organize and present course material to enable students to learn at their own pace
- feature interactivity, online laboratories and student-to-student communication
- allow for the individual assessment of any student’s work and allow students who demonstrate their mastery of subjects to earn a certificate of completion awarded by MITx
- operate on an open-source, scalable software infrastructure in order to make it continuously improving and readily available to other educational institutions.
MIT expects that this learning platform will enhance the educational experience of its on-campus students, offering them online tools that supplement and enrich their classroom and laboratory experiences. MIT also expects that MITx will eventually host a virtual community of millions of learners around the world.
MIT will couple online learning with research on learning
MIT’s online learning initiative is led by MIT Provost L. Rafael Reif, and its development will be coupled with an MIT-wide research initiative on online teaching and learning under his leadership.
“Students worldwide are increasingly supplementing their classroom education with a variety of online tools,” Reif said. “Many members of the MIT faculty have been experimenting with integrating online tools into the campus education. We will facilitate those efforts, many of which will lead to novel learning technologies that offer the best possible online educational experience to non-residential learners. Both parts of this new initiative are extremely important to the future of high-quality, affordable, accessible education.”
Offering interactive MIT courses online to learners around the world builds upon MIT’s OpenCourseWare, a free online publication of nearly all of MIT’s undergraduate and graduate course materials. Now in its 10th year, OpenCourseWare includes nearly 2,100 MIT courses and has been used by more than 100 million people.
MIT President Susan Hockfield said, “MIT has long believed that anyone in the world with the motivation and ability to engage MIT coursework should have the opportunity to attain the best MIT-based educational experience that Internet technology enables. OpenCourseWare’s great success signals high demand for MIT’s course content and propels us to advance beyond making content available. MIT now aspires to develop new approaches to online teaching.”
OCW will continue to share course materials from across the MIT curriculum, free of charge.
MITx online learning tools to be freely available
MIT will make the MITx open learning software available free of cost, so that others — whether other universities or different educational institutions, such as K-12 school systems — can leverage the same software for their online education offerings.
“Creating an open learning infrastructure will enable other communities of developers to contribute to it, thereby making it self-sustaining,” said Anant Agarwal, an MIT professor of electrical engineering and computer science and director of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). “An open infrastructure will facilitate research on learning technologies and also enable learning content to be easily portable to other educational platforms that will develop. In this way the infrastructure will improve continuously as it is used and adapted.” Agarwal is leading the development of the open platform.
President Hockfield called this “a transformative initiative for MIT and for online learning worldwide. On our residential campus, the heart of MIT, students and faculty are already integrating on-campus and online learning, but the MITx initiative will greatly accelerate that effort. It will also bring new energy to our longstanding effort to educate millions of able learners across the United States and around the world. And in offering an open-source technological platform to other educational institutions everywhere, we hope that teachers and students the world over will together create learning opportunities that break barriers to education everywhere.”
Tip of the old scrub brush to James Darrell.
Mary McGlasson at Chandler-Gilbert Community College in Phoenix, Arizona, has created a series of more than 30 YouTube videos explaining basic economics. Like this one:
Econ teachers, can you use these on your class websites? What do you think?