Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Apple Notebook with integrated iPod mini

After Apple announced that they planned to switch to a new processor, concerns have circulated about how Apple's sales of hardware would be impacted. In this Digg post, a possible solution may be to integrate the popular iPod Mini with a laptop. As I sit here reading my RSS feeds, I see have my iPod flopping around in the chair, and cables all over the place. I would love to have one of these laptops.

read more | digg story

Network Security at William Penn High

In Tim Lauer's flickr photo collection, I had to do a double take on this one. Hum, does anyone see a problem with this image? Two laptops, wide open, jail-house doors are unlocked and anyone could come in. Maybe this is where the teachers lock-up the network technicians when they go crazy? I have had some students that if the court system knew we had a room like this, they would have sentenced the juvenile delinquent to 180 days AT SCHOOL. Talk about a "hash working conditions." Ouch.

Tim, thanks for the photo of a work space that is worse than mine!!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Knoppix 4.0 DVD - Like a Kid in a Candy Store

Knoppix is a tool I have used in my classroom with my students. I am waiting for the new version. It is scheduled to be released in a "few weeks".

"A totally new release of Knoppix was unveiled at LinuxTag 2005, Knoppix 4.0. This is the release that introduces the split between "maxi" DVD and "mini" CD releases. I've tried out the 4.0 DVD and let me tell you, I'm like a kid in a candy store."

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Computing with Bifocals - A (Near)-Complete List of Mac Keyboard Shortcuts || The Mac Observer

Computing with Bifocals - A (Near)-Complete List of Mac Keyboard Shortcuts || The Mac Observer

I prefer to use a keyboard to execute commands rather than a mouse.

Here is the following list of keyboard commands that work with OS X for the benefit of everyone who prefers this option when using their Macs.

This list from a number of Internet sources, Mac OS X's built-in Help screens, my friends, and dumb luck -- not necessarily in that order.

The first table of information demonstrates the symbols (in a size larger than the head of a pin) that are frequently used to represent specific keys on the Mac keyboards.

Saturday, June 25, 2005 of the Day: philomath of the Day: philomath: "Word of the Day for Saturday June 25, 2005
philomath \FIL-uh-math\, noun:
A lover of learning; a scholar.

It is precisely for the philomaths that universities ought to cater.
--Aldous Huxley, Proper Studies

'It's nothing to laugh about,' he says. 'Strange things happen in this country -- things that philosophers and other philomaths had never dreamed of.'
--Tomek Tryzna, Miss Nobody"

"Gee, I hope my students this coming school year are the philomaths that our public schools ought to cater."
--John Blake, Teacher

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Embedding QuickTime

Embedding QuickTime: "Using a poster movie in your web page
A poster movie is when the web page has a
still image chosen from the movie used as a 'button' that when
clicked on by the viewer loads the actual movie. This is a
nice way to create a professional-looking page without annoying
the viewer by waiting for a movie to load every time they look
at your web page.
You may export a frame from your movie within
iMovie by following these simple steps:
Move the play head along the scrubber
bar to the frame you wish to export.

Choose File - Save Frame As from the File

Give the file a one word easy to remember

Save it as a JPEG file with the file extension, .jpg (ie%u2026 posterframe.jpg)

Create a new project in iMovie

Import the jpeg into your movie and drag
it to the timeline

Click on the clip and then in the textbox
at the top of the timeline window and make the clip have
a duration of 00:00:01 (one frame).

Export this movie from the File - Export
menu option, name the movie and click

Add the following HTML code to your page.
The changes are in bold.

This HTML instruction tells the browser to
load the postermovie and if the user clicks on it, get the
actual movie."

Ed-Tech Insider: Rendezvous and Instiki: No Bookmarks To Set, No IP Numbers to Remember...

This sounds like a great trick. Much easier to use than the Moodle, and easier for me to share with other teachers in my school. Check out Instiki today. Read more...
Ed-Tech Insider: Rendezvous and Instiki: No Bookmarks To Set, No IP Numbers to Remember...: "In July I learned from Tom Hoffman of a lite weight wiki called Instiki. It runs under the Ruby scripting language and Ruby happens to come installed on our OS X Macs, so I downloaded Instiki, launched it and had a Wiki on my desktop... That in and of itself is kind of interesting, but the exciting part was enabling access to the wiki page via Rendezvous and Apple's Safari browser. In OS X you can enable web sharing on your local machine. Instiki uses port 2500 on the local machine, so with a simple redirect from your local index.html page, you can point a Rendezvous enabled browser to your local wiki. Now in addition to Ms. Jones using this technology we have two other teachers who have started to have their students use Instiki in this manner."

Monday, June 20, 2005

TWiT Episode 10 is Online

It's Episode 10 and TWiT goes double digits.

Hosts: Leo Laporte, Patrick Norton, Robert Heron, David Prager, and Yoshi DeHererra. As a fan of the now cancelled Screensavers cable tv show, I enjoy listening to the techie topics on this cool podcast. Due to bandwidth issues and trying to distribute the show using Bittorrent. If you need to know more about how to set that up, read the instructions on the The Week In Tech (TWiT) site and download and install needed program. Not the easiest way, but it works.

read more | digg story

Saturday, June 18, 2005

CNN No Longer Using Real Pass? -- Free at last, free at last!

I don't know if this happened just today, but it seems CNN is no longer using Real Pass for their on-line video segments. They've finally gone back to the free model. Doesn't seem to be any mention of this transition on the web page, but you can definitely watch the videos and they are featured in a slightly different way now. Teachers love this four letter word-- FREE. Check it out.

read more | digg story

Friday, June 17, 2005

Apple Pact with Wal-Mart broader than most realize

Apple and the retail giant have expanded their initial test rollout in the last few months. iPodlounge readers have noted in recent weeks that they've seen various iPod models at their local Wal-Mart stores. Select Wal-Mart locations are carrying the 20GB iPod, the iPod mini, and the iPod shuffle, along with HP-branded versions.

On my weekly walk through our local Wally-World, I noticed the iPods, Shuffles, mini iPods in all the many colors, locked up in a Plexiglas cabinet. I have purchased two iPods and a Shuffle, but I have ordered them from Apple. Put them on the pastic.

Summer is a time for mowing grass, babysitting, and making some hard earned cash selling lemonade on the corner. A very few local kids even earn money working on the farm. Most of those jobs have been taken by Latinos. Now, do not get all excited. I read what happened to President of Mexico, Vicente Fox Quezada, when he said that Mexicans were only taking jobs that Americans do not want. That is not my point. My point is that $300 iPods are not impulse purchases in rural economically depressed southeastern North Carolina.

I ran into one of my former science students. He is now in college and works at Wal-mart part-time. He is home for summer vacation. During our electronic section chat, I was surprised when he told me they have sold out of their supply of Apple products every two weeks. That amazes me. But then, it does not. After getting home and reflecting on the fact that iPods are flying off the shelf here in the country, I remembered the comments from leading poverty authority Dr. Ruby Payne. Dr. Payne says, "In generational poverty, the driving forces are survival, entertainment, and relationships. That is why you will have a student whose Halloween costume cost $30 (now-- a $300 MP3 player) but the textbook bill is not paid. Music is part of the entertainment part of Payne's Hidden Rules.

With that in mind, as soon as the word gets out, you will be seeing those little white cables hanging around all the "cool kids" necks.

read more | digg story

Curriculum Institute

Working on curriculum guides requires a lot of effort. Whiteville City Schools conducted a three day institute this week to work on updating and in some cases writing from scratch, documents for teachers to use in the classroom. Math, Science, and Social Studies were the focus of the event. One goal is to post these documents on our school web pages for teachers to share. Printed copies will also be provided for all teachers. For example, teachers teaching 6th grade science, will be provided with 5th grade and 7th grade curriculum guides.
Curriculum Links WCS online to date

How Cool is This?

Fwd: map update
Originally uploaded by The Blake Slate.
This morning, I was looking at the help section on the teacher section over on the Sea Turtle tracking project, and picked up a new trick. I read the section on customizing the map and discovered how to make the ocean colors show ocean surface temperatures. Notice that the water in the rivers is blue, showing how much cooler that water is than the ocean surface.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Tracking Sea Turtles In My Classroom Continues

Originally uploaded by The Blake Slate.
Just an update of the locations of the sea turtles that were released off Topsail Beach, NC in June. I am not sure what happened to the one turtle that seems to have taken a straight line out into the Atlantic, but it looks like that one must have disappeared. No additional data has been posted on the tracking site. What do you think could have happened to that sea turtle?

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Science project involving BB gun too dangerous

Well, what should be expect? If someone does not draw the line, who knows, maybe some highly motivated middle school student will come up with a test of landmines, or explosives in fireworks, or STDs. Come on guys, give it a break. BB guns? You got to read this one...

Two middle school students who spent months working on a science project to prove how dangerous BB guns can be were disqualified from the state middle school science fair - because BB guns are too dangerous.

read more | digg story

Open Movie project

The Blender Foundation and Netherlands Media Art Institute, Montevideo/Time Based Arts, are producing a 3D Animated Movie Short with OS 3D suite Blender and other OS tools. Resulting movie will be published under an open public license. Movie will be rendered on film resolution, becomes available on DVD and theatres.

read more | digg story

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Make Your Own Marshmallows

Starting to climb the walls with all this June rain? Well this might cheer you up. Time for some Kitchen Chemistry. I found this link to how to make marshmallows in your own kitchen. I am sure you have eaten them, but if you are reading this in some foreign country that does not have them in your local Food Lion grocery store, marshmallows are spongy confections made of sugar beaten into a fluffy texture with the aid of gelatin.

Now with this site you can make your own. Think of the possibility's. Now we can throw off the yoke of corporate marshmallow control.. I'm Giddy with the thought.

read more | digg story

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Using the Scientific Method to Fix A Leaking Faucet

Stating the Problem:
My wife noticed a noise in the bathroom which reminded her of the way it sounds when the outside water faucet is running. So, she asked me if I had heard it and I lovingly replied--HUH? WHAT NOISE!!! I had my iPod on listening to Adam Curry's podcast and at the same time watching Steve Job's Keynote at WWDC. I put everything on pause and ran to listen to the noise in the bathroom. I just knew it had to be something major. We just replaced the toilet in that same bathroom. I thought the toilet was making a noise so I instinctively wiggled the handle. The mysterious noise continued. So, my wife walked outside and turned the water on and off. It still made a faint sound. What was causing the sound? How can I stop it?

Researching the Problem:
After unsuccessfully Googling the topic, I decided to travel to Chadbourn's hardware, we do not have a Lowes or Home Depot within a 30 mile radius. That is not a bad thing. The clerks at the hardware usually are knowledgeable on how to fix stuff.
During my hardware store visit, the clerks were very busy helping local contractors and others doing their "research in to how to fix stuff." So, I walked to the isle with outdoor looking faucet in the shelf bins. I looked at the way they are built and noticed that one of them had a washer near a hole I looked into. The value on my fixture had to be similar to that one. However, a clerk walking by said, "ya ain't going to be able to repair them things." Hum, expert advice? I recorded this bit of information in my memory for future reference. I ran into a local guy, Johnny in the hardware. He is a truck driver/Chevy motor mechanic/mobile home installer/jack of all trades kind of guy. Johnny pulled me home one hot evening with his truck when my 1978 Blazer died on me along a busy four lane highway (US 74-76). I have always thought he was a Saint for helping me out. Anyway, back to my experiment...oh yeah, Johnny told me to go out to the over-pass this guy that lives in the second house on the left could sweat another fixture on that copper line in no time. Johnny told me his name was Earl something or other. I then created my first hypothesis.

If the water faucet is standard in its design (like the ones in the hardware store), over 20 years old, and used regularly, then its gasket or bushing must be worn out. So, I went home to experiment.

Testing My Hypothesis
Equipment List:
Phillips head screw driver, digital camera, and an adjustable wrench.
Procedure: I first turned off the water at the road. Used the adjustable wrench as shown in this image, I rotated the fixtures valve counter-clockwise to loosen it. I noticed some water spraying from the valve but it stopped in a second. Lifting the valve from the faucet, and inverting it, I immediately noticed that the gasket was significantly deteriorated. We call that worn out as Hell. The next step was to drive back to the hardware. Chadbourn once had a couple of hardware stores, and I stopped at the one that had just changed from a hardware store to a...I guess you might call it a Propane Gas dealer/gas station. I have no idea what to call it, but the still have some odds and end hardware merchandise. It is closer to my house and on the way to the hardware store. I asked the clerk working at the Propane dealership if they had a faucet gasket like this one...And I handed him the valve that I had removed. Without looking he said: "Naw, we ain't got d'at here". I looked on the old hardware shelf and found a brand new faucet like the one I had and showed it to the clerk. "Oh", he exclaimed without looking any further, "we don't know what is over there." I politely backed out of their store, and headed to the real hardware. With hopes of finding a clerk that could help me solve my problem.
Data note photos
After walking around in the hardware and finding the gaskets, I like looking around at all the fittings and hooks and things I have no idea what they are for. I carried my little gasket to the check out counter. The clerk had to go back to the shelf and get a number to enter into the store's computerized inventory database. Man, the screen flashed, and he flipped through four or five screens and finally he just said that will be $1.67. I did not want to be rude, he just works there. I just smiled and paid him. It does no good to complain. I could not have driven 60 miles round trip to Lowes. If I had, those big chains sell washers in a package with 3 or 4 washers.

It was the valve, it cost me all morning and two trips to the hardware and $1.67 for a pennies worth of neoprene. But, I fixed my leak without having to call in a plumber... Got lucky on this one!
This is going in my book....

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Science Teacher Resource

Today, while participating in an iChat with my fellow science teacher Ashton Griffin, in Mt.Olive, NC. We were conducting our own staff development. He shared with this great software Solscape. What is Solscape?
Solscape is a "Solar Data Browser" application that grabs real time, up to the minute images of the Sun in multiple light wavelengths. Solscape also monitors current Solar flare activity, Earth view satellite images, Solar geomagnetic activity, and Aurora activity. Solscape gets all of its information via the Internet and compiles it in a single, easy to use application. You can save and archive the data that Solscape collects for later use, and you can tell Solscape to automatically grab the data when you want. Solscape

Monday, June 06, 2005

Apple Steve Jobs Keynote Today!

Lots of discussion on the web about how Apple is looking into a third transition. Moving from PowerPC to Intel processors. An Steve's reason for WHY? SPEED and Power Consumpton. Looking to the future products. Nothing is going to happen over night. Beginning next year, Macs will have Intel processors, 2007 end-- all Intel. Will it spell the death of Apple or turn on its after burners.
The WWDC Keynote, by Steve Jobs, is today at 10AM (1PM EST).

read more | digg story

Multimedia Resourse For Teachers? - Home

Copyright Information

The resources used in the resources used in
 The Webucate
have been constructed and developed by teachers and students
at North Chadderton School . Our resources can be used freely for non-profit,
educational purposes. This includes the use by students and educators in
projects and lesson preparation.  Not to be used to develop educational
archives, galleries and databases, in electronic, paper , or other formats.
 Contact the Website Editor
if you need to use any of the resources for publication, other than for
non-profit, educational use.  This website has been developed with a
global focus, and is integrated with
North Chadderton School's
.  North Chadderton School is located in Chadderton, Oldham,
Lancashire, England. You can contact us by

I just found this interesting site. I plan to email them today and find out if my students could possibly participate in this site. It would be so cool to have my students here in North Carolina take photographs of local wildlife (alligators, birds and such) and post their images on Webucates gallery.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Helicopter lands on the Summit of Mt. Everest: 1st time in history

History was made last month on Everest, but it did not involve climbers. For the first time in history, a helicopter landed on the summit of Mount Everest. This video is really interesting. Science students, can you explain why the pilot has to wear the mask?

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Russians to chuck spacesuit out of ISS

I have a couple of friends that that are HAMS and I want to ask them and any of my readers of this Blog to email me if you guys capture any pictures from the space suit camera. This will be interesting to discuss in my science classes.
In the fall of this year, the Russian team is going to be deploying a space suit that they do not need anymore ... we have gotten permission this past week from NASA - to put some Amateur Radio equipment onto it. So there will be some Amateur Radio downlink capability and slow scan pictures will be downlinked.

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Wednesday, June 01, 2005

NASA Blows Up A Comet In Space With A Rocket

This is an interesting summer science event. Enter this date into your iCal, PDA, cellphone, or jot it on a post-it and stick it on the edge of your monitor.
NASA is sending up a rocket on January 12, 2005 to intercept a space comet that it will blow up. This explosion will be the equivalent of 4.5 tons of TNT. This will enable scientists to view how a comet is made up. Us here on earth will get to watch some unusual fireworks right around July 4 when it's scheduled to explode in space.

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