Category Archives: 3rdspace

Weekly Web Harvest for 2017-08-13

  • Huge Blobs of Fat and Trash Are Filling the World’s Sewers

    In China, fat from sewers and traps is illicitly scooped, cleaned up—though not well—and sold on the black market as “gutter oil.” In cheap restaurants and street stalls, your dinner might even be cooked in gutter oil.

  • 3DHOP – Home

    3DHOP (3D Heritage Online Presenter) is an open-source software package for the creation of interactive Web presentations of high-resolution 3D models, oriented to the Cultural Heritage field. 3DHOP target audience goes from the museum curators with some IT experience to the experienced Web designers who want to embed 3D contents in their creations, from students in the CH field to small companies developing web applications for museum and CH institutions.

    h/t captain.primate (dh slack)

Weekly Web Harvest for 2017-08-06

Weekly Web Harvest for 2017-07-30

Outboard Memory – Query Thumbnails & Crop Images CSS Trick

Two little tricks that came up this week . . .

Random Posts Must Have Featured Image Set

Sometimes you want to query a random set of posts but only return those with featured images . . . you can using ‘meta_key’ => ‘_thumbnail_id’ like so . . .

	          	$args = array( 
	          		'post_type' => 'project', 
	          		'posts_per_page' => 3, 
	          		'orderby' => 'rand', 
	          		'meta_key' => '_thumbnail_id',
	          	$the_query = new WP_Query( $args );

Handy. At least for me.

object-fit: cover;

Now that I’ve got featured images, I usually have a variety of aspect ratios making uniform layouts a pain.

Often I’d have set those images as background images to deal with different aspect ratios and do a cover. Something like this. I was never a big fan of this method as I don’t like creating inline css and that’s the only way I could think to do it with dynamically created content in php or javascript. If just felt awkward.

Enter object-fit and if you already knew of it I don’t know why you didn’t tell me. You can see the difference it makes in the two examples embedded below. Not earth shattering but really handy for stuff I do all the time.

See the Pen GvNdjv by Tom (@twwoodward) on CodePen.

IdeaX Proposal – Tiny Targeted Tools

IdeaX Proposal – Tiny Targeted Tools

Image from page 98 of “Illustrated catalogue and general description of improved machine tools for working metal” (1899) flickr photo by Internet Archive Book Images shared with no copyright restriction (Flickr Commons)

I submitted to one of our regional instructional developer organization (Instructional Development
?Educational Alliance Exchange)1 this AM. We’ll see if it gets accepted but given my recent reflection on things that seem to have worked in Rampages, the chunk I left out that’s built in Google, Jim’s recent post from Australia, and Alan and Brian‘s continued SPLOT work . . . it seemed like a nice chance to spread this particular word to a VA audience. I also find that articulating concepts like this for other audiences helps me better articulate why I think this work is important. I can’t just say “SPLOT” and have my six friends understand what I’m going to talk about. There’s a place for that.2

The Proposal

There is a tendency to make or buy tools that try do everything. As a result we end up with a massive tool that does most things poorly and few things well. Learning goals get obscured by the increasing complexity involved in navigating the compromises inherent in the omni-tool. It’s not focused on a particular discipline or kind of thinking.

While generic tools have their place, that place should not be ubiquitous.3

Today’s technology lets us build tiny, targeted tools that get learners to the learning with as little unwanted friction as possible. These tools can be built quickly and with virtually no cost on a number of platforms by people with all technological skill levels.

Content creation in these targeted tools offers an increasingly sophisticated way to scaffold analysis, entwined instructional resources, and build a unique experience for students- all while creating useful work. This work can then be used for additional educational purposes as the aggregate grows in scale and complexity.

In this session will use some examples of these tools across a number of disciplines built in both Google and WordPress. We’ll then build a functioning tool using Google products and an extension called Awesome Table ( No HTML skills or programming knowledge is needed.

I had 500 words but maybe brevity works in this scenario. I’m also making the choice to go with Awesome Table rather than giving them an HTML template because I’ve got 50 minutes and a totally unknown audience. It’s a fun tool and gets people rolling quickly. There’s value in learning the HTML and/or javascript but that can be driven later by need.

1 A slightly terrifying title that evokes Star Wars and blood oaths. Nevertheless . . .

2 Domains 17 was beautiful for me in that way.

3 I wish I could edit the submission and change this sentence.

Rampages Numbers

In responding to some data requests, I delved into the WP tables to pull some rampages data.

All users ever . . .

I need to set up something more automated but for this I dumped the MySQL tables as CSVs and then just imported them to Google Sheets. With very minimal functions, I got this data.

My favorite function combos are to pull the unique values from a range =unique and then do a =countif off those values. It’s a really quick way to get graphs like these.

Weekly Web Harvest for 2017-07-16

  • Celebrating 30 years in VR: Professor Robert J. Stone on Human Factors and the Future of VR and AR

    In healthcare generally, we have, in the past, developed VR and AR for surgical training and education; today, we’re investigating the delivery of virtual scenes of nature into hospital intensive care wards to help improve patient sleep quality and post-operative rehabilitation.

  • share-this: Medium-like text sharing

    Medium style tool tip sharing

  • Return to Sender – Futility Closet

    Competitive boomerang throwers participate in a number of events: distance, accuracy, trick catches, and so on. One of the most popular of these is maximum time aloft, in which the goal is to keep the boomerang in the air as long as possible with a single throw.

    Unbelievably, the record here is 17 minutes and 6 seconds, set by John Gorski of Avon, Ohio, in 1993. At the time a respectable flight might last 30 to 40 seconds, but Gorski’s boomerang hit a thermal that carried it upward an estimated 200 meters, where it hovered for several minutes over the Olentangy River. It drifted south for 225 meters, then headed north again, descending to find Gorski, who managed to catch it 40 meters from where he’d thrown it.

  • FCJ 28: Creative Robotics

    To make robots apparently social. The most common strategies for “socialising” robots follow a simple recipe: human or human-like appearance, human etiquette, (a hint of) gender, and human stereotypes. Pepper excels in all of these, which explains why it is so popular (so far only sold in Japan, any batch sells out in minutes (Del Prado, 2015)). But let’s not forget that, in addition to their design and programming, robots thrive in a well-established social ecology of human-machine configurations. The current figure of the “social robot”, particularly its commercial manifestations, is deliberately located in a conservative, rose-tinted, Disney-like version of this ecology, where robots are the friends or servants of a privileged few, and gender roles and divisions of labour are not only unquestioned but reaffirmed.

  • abhisheksoni27/codespell: Record time spent programming epiphanies

    Record time spent programming

  • In Unix, what do some obscurely named commands stand for?

    A dog named Biff
    This command, which turns on asynchronous mail notification, was actually named after a dog. Courtesy of Eric Cooper, Carnegie Mellon University:

    “I can confirm the origin of biff, if you’re interested. Biff was Heidi Stettner’s dog, back when Heidi (and I, and Bill Joy) were all grad students at U.C. Berkeley and the early versions of BSD were being developed. Biff was popular among the residents of Evans Hall, and was known for barking at the mailman, hence the name of the command.”

  • Stop writing PHP like it’s 2009… – Florian’s Blog

    XHP makes HTML a first-class citizen of PHP, by making it so you can write HTML outside of a string literal and have it parse and behave properly as XHP.

  • Surgery Is One Hell Of A Placebo | FiveThirtyEight

    A 2014 review of 53 trials that compared elective surgical procedures to placebos found that sham surgeries provided some benefit in 74 percent of the trials and worked as well as the real deal in about half.1 Consider the middle-aged guy going in for surgery to treat his knee pain. Arthroscopic knee surgery has been a common orthopedic procedure in the United States, with about 692,000 of them performed in 2010,2 but the procedure has proven no better than a sham when done to address degenerative wear and tear, particularly on the meniscus.3

    –now can we do some educational trails of a similar nature?

Weekly Web Harvest for 2017-07-09

WP JSON to Timeline JS

As part of some thoughts on building out a series of reflective views for student portfolio blogs, I thought seeing your WordPress posts in the TimelineJS view might be a useful way to look back over your progress.

I intend to wrap this into a custom spreadsheet template and/or a plugin1 but figured I’d sketch out how it works so far in case anyone was interested.

The WP Rest API makes it pretty easy to write the data via Google Script. I just want to cut out chunks of the data and put it in the right fields. The following script does that and writes it to a page named “wp.”

function getPosts() {
  var ss = SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSpreadsheet();
  var sheet = ss.getSheetByName('wp');
//get the data from the feed and get the last 50 items in this case (set via the URL)
  var url = '';
  var response = UrlFetchApp.fetch(url); // get feed
  var json = response.getContentText(); // 
  var data = JSON.parse(json);
  for (i = 0; i < data.length; i++){
    var ssData = [];    
    ssData.push(data[i].date.substring(0,4)); //post year   
    ssData.push(data[i].date.substring(5,7)); //post month   
    ssData.push(data[i].date.substring(8,10)); //post day   
    ssData.push(data[i].date.substring(11,19)); //post time 
    ssData.push(""); //filler for now for end date  info

    ssData.push(theUrl(data[i]) + data[i].title.rendered + '</a>'); //post title w link
    ssData.push(data[i].excerpt.rendered); //post excerpt
    ssData.push(featuredCheck(data[i])); //post feature image

//have a featured image? then get it . . . 
function featuredCheck (data) {
  try {data._embedded['wp:featuredmedia'][0].media_details.sizes.full.source_url;
       return data._embedded['wp:featuredmedia'][0].media_details.sizes.full.source_url;
  catch (err){
    return "";

//make things a bit neater by building the href via function
 function theUrl (data) {
   return '<a href="' + data.guid.rendered + '">'; //build the url 

1 Or maybe just a page where you throw in a blog URL and get a bunch of alternate view/data options.

Weekly Web Harvest for 2017-05-07

  • TaffyDB – The JavaScript Database
  • Dave Brat’s Horrible, Terrible, No Good Problem with the First Amendment

    When a questioner said that health care is a human right, Brat countered the question with, “.”I don’t think y’all want the separation of church and state (…) In the west rights come from God”. In a press interview immediately following the event, Brat was asked how excited he was about the bill, he replied, “I’m a Calvinist,” he said. “I’m the frozen chosen. I’m an economist. So, it’s like—excitement? Whatever.” He also added, “I don’t think people get that excited on policy in general,”

    Chase added that it is the responsibility of the church, not the government to protect the poor, needy and vulnerable. “If a person needs help they should join a church.”

  • Home | Better

    Better is a privacy tool for Safari on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. It protects you from behavioural ads and companies that track you on the web by enforcing the principles of Ethical Design. You can download the Better apps from the App Store and Mac App Store.

  • A New Model | Mastery Transcript

    No Standardization of Content
    The performance areas, credit standards (rubrics, etc.) and credits are specific only to the individual crediting school, and will never be standardized across schools.

    No Grades
    Letter grading (or numerical equivalent) will not be used.

    Consistent Transcript Format
    Transcript has to be readable by college admission officers (once trained) in less than two minutes. Therefore, the transcript format has to be reasonably consistent across MTC schools.

  • 1wheel/awesome-interactive-journalism: A list of awesome interactive journalism projects.

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Last updated: September 26, 2017

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