Thoughts on teaching, technology, learning and life in an era of change.

Archive for July, 2008

Blog post titles are important
July 28th, 2008

Recently, a participant at one of my workshops, Gabriel, shared with me the usefulness of NetNewsWire as a feed reader. I downloaded and installed it and I have been using it for a few days now. Not bad indeed. It is a client side application for the Mac. It is a typical Mac app. When the feeds arrive they are viewed as a simple list according to the title of the blog post. An example is illustrated below. As you look at the list of blog post titles below see if you can interpret the content of each blog post.

This list illustrates the importance of a suitable title for your blog post. This is not always an easy task. The post title should be descriptive and reflective of the blog post’s content. I believe that a descriptive blog post can also assist with a Google search on that topic. Your blog post is more likely to be located and selected if the post title is representative of the post content.

Hail storm across the Illawarra
July 27th, 2008

This afternoon about 1.00PM the skies opened up and we experienced a hail storm. They are not that unusual in our region. The storm passed and there was a lull. Then there were a few claps of thunder and a second hail storm began. This was quite an intense storm.

Sootie went outside to investigate despite his initial fright with the thunder claps. He took cover under the barbecue but when the storm was finishing he decided it was all too much and raced back inside. Shao Ping and I took a few photographs and some movies on the Casio digital camera. I took a screen shot of the weather radar. The storm came up from the south.

How did I create this post and the gallery? The digital photographs in the gallery were taken with a Nikon D70 and a Casio digital camera. The video was taken with the Casio digital camera as well. I resized the digital photographs to a width of 650 pixels using Adobe Photoshop Elements. I auto corrected the colour and levels of each image. Finally each was saved using the Save for web… option in Elements. This option gives the user a great deal of control over the quality and file size of the image. I created the gallery using the Create Web Photo Gallery… command in Photoshop Elements. I converted one of the supplied templates to one that matches my web site. A little clunky but it works.

The combined file size of the two original video files was 67mb. I opened each in Quicktime Pro, added one to the other via a copy/paste and saved the combined file using the Broadband Medium setting. The size of the output file is 2.1mb.

The screen shot of the weather radar was named and saved using Sharpshooter. The image above is a collage of four of the gallery images. I created a blank Photoshop Elements file with dimensions of 400 x 266 pixels. Resized four of the gallery images to 200 x 133 pixels and dragged each onto the blank photoshop file canvas. Then saved it using the Save for web… command. I uploaded the files to my host using Cyberduck. The blog post was created using WordPress. All of this was done on an Apple MacBook Pro 15″.

Mystery statues in Chua Chu Kang
July 26th, 2008

Back in 2001 my wife Shao Ping and I went for a walk from our flat in Chua Chu Kang to the Uttamayanmuni Buddhist Temple. It is located in Chua Chu Kang at the end of Hong San Terrace. I took a number of photographs of the temple.

There is a patch of bare ground near the temple. I sometimes wonder what was located on this ground. It is surrounded by HDB blocks, the temple and a condominium. The yellow spot on the map marks the location.

Go to Google Map

Curoiusly enough the two statues depicted in the photograph above were located on the eastern side of this bare patch of ground. Perhaps they were once situated at the entrance to another structure. Are they still there? This photograph was taken in 2001. It has been seven years. Can anyone shed any light on this at all?

Ten new photograph galleries
July 26th, 2008

Earlier this week I sorted through the photographs I had taken during my recent trip to Singapore. Ten new galleries were set up and I have just uploaded each.

I processed the images using Adobe Photoshop Elements. I resized each to a width of 650 pixels as well as adjusting the light and colour in some instances. Finally I used the Create Web Photo Gallery command in Photoshop Elements to create the web galleries. I had taken one of the gallery templates supplied with Elements and modified it to fit in with my existing web site. All of the links are taken care of and I simply drop the folder that is created on to my server. I also add some text to the index.html file for each gallery.

Click on one of ten thumbnails below or any of the links listed beneath the image to view the gallery.

The galleries created are as follows:

St Joseph’s Institution (Primary) Workshop
Nanyang Technological University Workshops
Mac Meetup
Tiong Bahru
NTU Campus
Tai Pei Eating House
Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
Various points around Singapore 

Before and after
July 26th, 2008