Time machine! For Digital Learning Day

February 6, 2013

Screen shot from HHMI's iPad app, Earth Viewer -- the time machine function.

Screen shot from HHMI’s iPad app, Earth Viewer — the time machine function.

Stealing the entire post from P. Z. Myers at Pharyngula:

I’ve been playing with it for a while. It turns out that when you go back to Cretaceous Morris, you need to be able to swim really well, but Cambrian Morris is high and dry on a fairly small landmass (whoa, but oxygen is way down and carbon dioxide way up). You can have your own time machine, too — it’s the EarthViewer app for iPad, and it’s free from HHMI Here’s what it has:

• Data and continental reconstructions dating back billions of years

• Climate and carbon dioxide data for the last 100 years

• The ability to manipulate the globe and zoom to any location

• Track the location of modern cities back over 500 million years

• In depth features on major geological and biological events in Earth history

• Clickable details on geologic eons, eras, and periods

• Automated play modes

• An extensive reference list

• Suggestions for classroom use

• Tutorial videos

Did I mention that it’s free? This HHMI thing is pretty danged sweet.

There is no creationist/Noah’s Flood version.

No Windows version, yet, either.

Did we mention the Howard Hughes Medical Institute made this and related apps free?

Getting a more complete picture of Herbert Hoover: His dog liked him

February 6, 2013

Not sure how to file this.  Should it go under “Things we didn’t know about Herbert Hoover,” or “Hoover the mensch,” or “Some campaign photo ops never change?”

This is a campaign photo from 1928, Herbert Hoover and his dog, King Tut:

Herbert Hoover and dog, King Tut, in 1928 campaign photo

Campaign photo from 1928, of Republican candidate Herbert Hoover and his dog, King Tut. Image from Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, National Archives.

Tip of the old scrub brush to The Hoover Blackboard, a blog of the Hoover Library.


Hoover Library

Herbert Hoover was Secretary of Commerce in the Harding and Coolidge administrations. What else don’t we remember about Hoover, most of the time? Hoover Library display, photo by akasped.

Boy Scout membership standards decision delayed for more discussion

February 6, 2013

Dallas’s Circle 10 Council, BSA, issued this statement from Council Chief Executive Pat Currie, about the discussion of changes in BSA membership policies. FYI.

BSA - Circle Ten Council logo - 550 px wide

February 6, 2013

Dear Circle Ten Family,

We appreciate your participation and support of Scouting as we help equip children with the life skills to become a good, strong citizen. This year we will celebrate Circle Ten’s 100th anniversary, and our focus has remained the same, working together to deliver the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training. I would also like to take this opportunity to update you on the recent discussions within the Scouting family regarding our membership standards policy.

After careful consideration and extensive dialogue within the Scouting family, along with comments from those outside the organization, the volunteer officers of the Boy Scouts of America’s National Executive Board concluded that due to the complexity of this issue, the organization needs time for a more deliberate review of its membership policy.

To that end, the executive board directed its committees to further engage representatives of Scouting’s membership and listen to their perspectives and concerns. This will assist the officers’ work on a resolution on membership standards. The approximately 1,400 voting members of the national council will take action on the resolution at the national meeting in May 2013.

America needs Scouting, and our policies must be based on what is in the best interest of our kids. We believe good people can disagree and still work together to accomplish great things for youth.

Going forward, we will work to stay focused on that which unites us. Be a part of this discussion by staying engaged and continuing your role in Scouting. The kids in your community need you.



Pat Currie
Scout Executive/CEO
Circle Ten Council, Boy Scouts of America

Trombone time: Dave Finlayson and GoPro on the slide

February 6, 2013

Trombone players are nice guys, usually.  Something about the mellow tone, the difficulty of mastering a non-push-button (valve) instrument, and having to fill in the low parts where the egotistical trumpets can’t go.

My older brother Wes played trombone, and that sucked me in — the junior high band didn’t have any trombones, and some neighborhood fink ratted out that I had one in my closet.  My playing ended in college.  Younger son James played first chair in the Duncanville Wind Ensemble, a group that steps a lot of musicians right into pro slots; older son Kenny switched from trumpet to baritone in the same group (you can hear Kenny in that recording of the Wind Ensemble).  In Kathryn’s family, it’s almost required be a trombonist.  Uncle Darrell plays, still, in a symphony in Utah County, with various other uncles and cousins staffing bands from Ogden south to Provo in Utah.

So, of course, Dave Finlayson’s marriage of a short piece and a GoPro camera appealed to me right off:

You don’t recognize Dave Finlayson?

From GoPro’s site:

David Finlayson set out to make a GoPro video with his trombone and ended up with a surprise – a viral video with hits numbering over one million! Check out the extended cut David and GoPro produced — orchestra night, anyone? David is a trombonist with the New York Philharmonic – check out David’s channel for more videos at http://goo.gl/y1Hrj


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