Tuesday, March 31, 2009

In case you didn't get this on Google group - How to R.S.S. and upload to iTunes

Here are the directions again from Kerry about uploading a podcast to iTunes:

"I've included a picture of the code. Also, a user can download an example file using the link below.


Please say something like, right click and save as.
Modify anything with ***descriptive_text*** and Save As ***descriptive_text***.xml
Upload to a server."

Click on the code to enlarge.

Podcast contest

Please consider a quick edit and trim of your podcast (max 7 min) and entering it into this national college media contest, sponsored by Tennessee State U.

They would fit nicely under the "creative" category, and, from listening to last year's winners, I think your work would stand up very well.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Updates to NowComment.com

Dan Doernberg just sent me a note about upgrades to NowComment.com that might be of interest to you:

"times-- each user now can set a time zone as their default, so that all times given will be given in your "local" time. Setting the time zone is done by editing your Personal Profile: http://nowcomment.com/profile
tags--- probably not useful to you, but students can optionally input one or more tags for each comment. Tags aren't searchable (for now), they just display.
mail notifications-- each user can also set their email settings in their Personal Profile to control how many emails they get when other people comment on conversations (threads) they have participated in... hopefully the settings are self-explanatory (but ask me if not clear, so I can improve!). When the emails arrive they will (as of today) contain a hyperlink to let the email recipient go directly to the relevant conversation.
reminder that new comments posted via the "Add Comments" pop-in don't show on the poster's screen (after the pop-in is closed) unless the screen is refreshed---- that part of our interface has been confusing to everyone... until we figure out a longer-term improvement this reminder note should be at least helpful."

- Brett

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

WSUV Research Showcase schedule, April 9

To earn the 50 points extra credit for this, your group must personally present your research from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on this day, April 9 (you can work in shifts; displays must be removed by 6 p.m.) and each person will write a short yet thoughtful summary of that experience on the class Google group (about 500 words). You are expected to dress professionally and be prepared to answer questions and discuss the work. I also highly recommend that you participate in the other related campus activities, including attending the keynote speech by Dr. Bonnie Dunbar, former Astronaut and President and CEO of The Museum of Flight in Seattle, from 7 to 8:15 p.m.

I'll be coming by a some point to check out how everything is going. Best of luck!

- Brett


Thursday, April 9, 2009
Highlighting Faculty and Student Research, Scholarship and Artistic Expression
All Showcase events are free and open to the public

9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Poster and Exhibit Viewing
Firstenburg Student Commons

View Presenters and Abstracts
12 noon - 1:30 p.m.

WSUV Faculty Presentation: Dr. Tom Tripp Multimedia Building (VMMC), room 6
4 p.m.- 5:30 p.m. Awards Ceremony and Reception

The Chancellor's Research Excellence Award, Library Research Excellence Award, and Best Undergraduate and Best Graduate Student Poster/Display Awards will be announced and recognized.

Firstenburg Student Commons
4 p.m. - 7 p.m. Oral Presentations - History Department Students
Multimedia Building (VMMC), room 219
7 p.m.- 8:15 p.m.

Keynote Address

Dr. Bonnie Dunbar, former Astronaut and President and CEO of The Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington

Dr. Dunbar will talk about the common ground connecting her experiences as a NASA MIssion Specialist astronaut aboard 5 space flights, her role in leading and directing the Museum of Flight, and her educational journey in Engineering and Science.

Administration Building (VADM), room 110
8:15 p.m.- 9:00 p.m.

Reception with Dr. Bonnie Dunbar

Administration Building (VADM), 129/130/Gallery


Writing a paper together as a group is problematic in terms of pragmatics, so I've worked with Dan Doernberg at NowComment.com to create a group publishing forum through his handy site.

Using this will be part of your grade for the project, with posting at least five comments on your group's paper as a part of the assignment. That will allow me to see who is contributing what to the paper, and it also will be a fairness check for your group, to make sure everyone is contributing as equally as possible to this part of the process. I think this will be a helpful tool for everyone.

In short, this process will work similarly to the Wittgenstein beta test that many of you did earlier in the term. Only the text you will be working on will be your own. For this research showcase project, you will be asked to create a group paper discussing and explaining your work. Using NowComment.com, you will be able to upload the document to this site, and everyone in your group will get to comment on drafts of it line by line.

The first step is to create a user account.

Browse to: http://nowcomment.com/courses/show/21

Here are the basics from there (form letter provided by Dan):

"Dear Students,

The textual analysis tool we are using for this week's work is on the NowComment.com site. Here's the procedure you should follow to create an account:

a) If you don't already have an account, go to the NowComment site and click the "Sign Up" link, which will take you to a signup page where you should fill in these fields:

Login name (use your firstname+lastname as shown on the school's records)
Your email address (use your school address with the school's domain name; you'll have to reply to an email sent to that address to activate the account. Later you can edit your Profile to switch to a different email addresses if you want.)
First name
Last name
An account password (enter it twice as a safeguard against typos)
Optional-- upload a photo of yourself or an image that will appear with each comment you post

Once you're done (should take a minute or less) click the "Sign up" button; unless there's an error of some kind, you'll be taken back to the homepage where a message will say "Thanks for signing up! We're sending you an email with your activation code."

b) Check your email in a few minutes and, once it arrives, open it to click on the activation link (or copy-and-paste it into your browser's URL window).

c) Once you log in on that page with your login name and password (the ones you specified above) your account is active.

d) Go to and navigate to your School, Course, and Section (small classes may not have a section).

e) Click on the link for the section you're enrolled in, which will take you to a page with a link that says something like:

Our records don't show that you've registered for this course with NowComment.

Click that "Register" link to request that your teacher and/or TA let you in (once they've checked your name against the class roster).

f) Once the teacher or TA accepts you into the class you should receive an email saying you're accepted, and you'll be able to access the document then.

g) Once accepted into the class, log in and start commenting on your document.

h) These comments can range from copy editing to structural and style issues, but they need to be stated clearly and completely in a formal academic style useful to your group in creating this document.

i) Each student in the group will earn a base amount of points for commenting; five meaningful comments at the minimum.


Brett Oppegaard


Basic NowComment help file

2-Pane View (Original Document in the left window, comments separately in the right)

How to View Existing Comments

Comments can be on the whole document, a paragraph, or a sentence.

Click icons or text to see Comment summary lines in the right-hand pane.

The number of comments will also appear in "thought bubbles" in the left hand window (inline with the document text).

How to Add a Comment or Start a New Conversation

Click on highlighted text or icon in left-hand window. In right-hand window click on Add Comment and fill in the Add Comments screen that appears.

How to Reply to a Comment

Click on highlighted text or icon in the left-hand window. In the right-hand window click on Full View to see expanded comments and then click on the reply button on the existing comment.

Alternately-- click on a right hand summary line and a reply button (and the full conversation) will appear.

How to see all the summary lines in a Conversation

Click on Expand/Collapse All. Clicking it again shows just the summary lines of the initial comment of each conversation.


Comments in Context View (Shows both the original document and comments in one window)

How to add a Comment

Click once on highlighted sentence or paragraph and fill in the Add Comment screen that appears.

Alternately--- click on the Reply Button in an existing comment and fill in the comment screen that appears.

To Get a Printout of Comments for Discussion

Go to your web browser’s File menu and then choose Print.


Comments Only View (Shows just comments)
View comments sorted by:
1) Commenter (person)
2) Date (first one submitted, then second, etc.)
3) Document Sequence (comments on paragraph #1 sentence #1, then para#1 sentence#2, then.... paragraph #1 in general... then para#2 Sentence 1....finally whole-document comments about the text/author/era in general.

Dan Doernberg, Publisher
Fairness.com LLC
Email: ddoern@embarqmail.com
Phone: 434-975-0780


The captains of each team (JJ, Ross, Bryce and Ryan) will need to upload the draft paper to the site by sending a copy via email to Dan Doernberg at Dan@fairness.com. Dan also would be the one to troubleshoot any problems with the site.

In terms of workflow, I would suggest that the draft of this paper is complete no later than Saturday, with back and forth commenting going on Sunday through Tuesday, adding all of the polish either by the end of the day Tuesday, or on Wednesday before class.

By the way, I've also put a NowComment.com help file in our Google group's stash of files (right-hand side of the Google group; just click on "files" link, then click on NowComment help file).

These are all great projects. I'm thankful for your hard work so far and looking forward to the final results. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance,

- Brett

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Animation opportunity!

Martin Hash, a Clark County resident who created the internationally popular software Animation Master, is working on another pet film project and looking for help. Here's the story in Sunday's Columbian. Also should check out the company home page.

This would be a great opportunity for students interested in this kind of work to meet others in the field and get valuable experience.

Those interested can post a comment on the Animation: Master online forum here.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Research Showcase

Abstracts posted here

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Visualizing a tweet

Eric Jackson shared these links with his group, and they were so interesting, I want everyone to see them:

SXSW Twitter visualizer


DIGG swarm

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Way more on the remediation of "The Wizard of Oz" into "Wicked"

Providing context for my failure of a point tonight. Oy!

"Wicked," the musical, at Portland's Keller Auditorium through April 5

"Wicked," the novel by Gregory Maguire; Google books excerpt

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Create a poster; win prizes

Another chance to display your skills at WSUV:

The Expressions of Diversity Poster Contest

The Diversity Council invites members of the WSU Vancouver community to enter the Expressions of Diversity Poster Contest. Your original poster design or concept should reflect the importance of diversity to our campus and the larger community we serve. The winning poster will be used to promote diversity on the WSU Vancouver campus, the Diversity Council's website and sponsored events, as well as throughout the Vancouver and SW Washington region.

Unleash your creativity and feel free to express yourself in any media, from pen and ink to watercolors to digital design.

The winning selection will receive a $200 gift certificate to the WSU Vancouver Bookstore.

The contest is open to all WSU Vancouver students, staff, and faculty.

All entries must be submitted by March 27, 2009.

Diversity poster contest

The first computer?

The Antikythera just might have been ... The Antikythera is "a mysterious clockwork object made up of numerous meshed cogs that was discovered more than a century ago among the cargo of a Greek shipwreck.
The mystery of how the Greeks had made a machine that appeared to be 1,800 years ahead of its time and why that knowledge was seemingly lost is fascinating, but Marchant's story is really about the scientists and engineers who have fallen under the spell of the Antikythera mechanism over the last century."

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Stephen Fry podgram about language

Brought to our attention by classmate Eric Jackson (Thanks, Eric!). ... A lot of interesting information in here.

Among his accomplishments, Fry won the Perrier Prize at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Please listen when you get a chance.

Fry on language

Friday, March 6, 2009

Project management help

Besides Google groups, which are a great way to keep in contact and share ideas, some of you might be interested in trying a project management system that will help you keep track of tasks and set deadlines and such.

Microsoft Project is one, and a free open-source program that is similar is:

Open Workbench

This upcoming research project will be more complicated than our previous group efforts, so this might help you and your group get the task done in an efficient manner. Let me know what you think,

- Brett

Reshaping a news broadcast into a tune

Heard this on the radio this week, and Rick Emerson graciously emailed me the file to share. Emerson is one of the most talented radio performers in the region. His show -- which used to be 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays on AM-970 but, as of March 16, will be moved to 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. on KUFO FM 101.1 -- focuses on banter about pop culture, tech trends and weird news. It can be very funny and clever. In turn, he has cultivated a group of listeners who actively produce interesting audio bits, and this one, as an example, shows how a simple section of a news segment about a crazed man with an oscillating fan can become the lyrics for a catchy little tune.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Links from Dr. Grigar's lecture on March 4

Here are those links she promised to share:

The slideshow: http://web.me.com/dgrigar/336/Class_Blog/Class_Blog.html (under March 4)

Kendall's piece, Faith: http://www.studiocleo.com/cauldron/volume4/confluence/kendall/title_page.htm

More examples of electronic literature: http://directory.eliterature.org/

And please keep in mind that anything Dr. Grigar spoke about is fair game for the next quiz.

- Brett

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Audio projects

Here are the audio projects generated by our class this term:

I'm going to put more details (and the files) as I get them.

"Alicia in Wonderland," based on the characters of Lewis Carroll's "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland," only set as a reunion of sorts in a bar many years after the initial tea party. Authors: Levi Bibo, Melissa Vik, Sokphan Pan, Robert Thach, Dana Martin and Sophia Stalliviere.

"Huck Finn" is an excerpt from the classic American story "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn." It focuses on the last two chapters of the Mark Twain novel, with minor editing and omissions, for a more modern feel. The dialogue remains largely unchanged though, to allow for more of a realistic experience in regard to the place and time of the story. Authors: Drew Rickman, JJ VanDyke, Christina Roberts, Ryan Phillips, Eric Bahnmiller and Cody Reid.

"DJ From Detroit" is based on the legend of "The Pied Piper of Hamlin." It has been rewritten and updated to a modern setting. Authors: Spring Atkinson, Eric Jackson, Kerry Mraz, Tina Willhite and Tony Wu.

"Thomas' Saga" follows a viking thane and his men as they set out across the sea to attack a neighboring society. Thomas' Saga is an original script written and adapted for audio play by Niklas Dupuis-Lund and produced by Sarah Chesemore, Randy Holland, Bryce Van Hoosen, Ross Swanson and Ben Hook.

Large files and email

Sometimes email accounts won't take (or send) files of really large sizes, apparently like the ones we are working on right now. One solution that I've found handy is the web site: Mailbigfile.com. It allows you to send large files through its system. If you are stuck, please give that a try. Thanks!

- Brett

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Guest lecturer on Wednesday

Dr. Dene Grigar, co-director of the DTC program, graciously will guest lecture about textuality and materiality during the first segment of class this Wednesday. Please come prepared to ask thoughtful questions about those subjects. A good place to start in your prep is your reading for this week.

- Brett

Monday, March 2, 2009

More help with research question and abstract - Please Read!

By the end of class Wednesday, I hope all of you will have your research question developed as well as an abstract of what you want to accomplish in this research (those submitting for extra credit will then be able to do so).

These initial ideas may very well change to some degree over the next few weeks. But we need to start somewhere. In that regard, let's begin with the basics of what we are pursuing:

Research area. I'd like all of us to focus on an area of emerging technology since that's where most of the fertile questions will be.

Some ideas:

* GPS -- This is the next huge mainstream technological phase, and it's coming fast. GPS can locate and track but it can also be used for social networking and games and data gathering and processing. Anything related to mobile communication and the mobile life right now is ripe.

* RFIDs (radio frequency identification tags) -- These are the next phase for UPC codes, or bar codes, the little rectangular pattern on every package that checkers scan for price and product information. Only with RFIDs, people may soon be able to skip the checker and just fill a cart and pay and walk out the door without ever removing an item from the cart. These RFIDs can be injected in skin or attached in other non-visible ways, which means we soon will be able to track anything anywhere, even without people knowing about it. Very Orwellian.

* Accessibility -- As the Internet changes the world, the people without access are being dramatically left behind. There are many issues related to this phenomenon.

* Text messaging -- Many of you have voiced concerns about how this form of communication is eroding society. Prove it.

* Telepresence -- Teleconferencing, web cams, remote applications of technology, remotely created art (such as the WSUV MOVE Lab) etc. We are able to do so much more interaction with each other now, without actually being present. Are there any intriguing issues for you in that?

Those are just some of the many interesting areas in your field right now, ripe for research. Whatever you decide to pursue, think action. What kind of action will you take to develop answers to your question through experiments and research. We are not looking for projects that simply observe and describe behavior.

This will involve at least two variables: A manipulated variable (the one you control) and the responding variable (the one that reacts to your manipulation). It also likely will include controlled variables, or parts of your experiment that don't change from test to test.

You will need to create a hypothesis, or a statement of what you think will happen, and then test that idea. A standard construction for this is: If _______, then _____, because _________.

As a group, you will need to develop a procedure for all of this to take place and for your research question to be answered. To do that, though, the research question must be finely honed and focused.

An example of an unworkable research question: How is GPS technology changing the world?

A better approach: What aspects of GPS technology can be implemented and used on a commuter campus, such as WSUV, to create stronger social networks among otherwise disconnected students?

From there, you will need to gather data and make observations about that data. Then you will need to process all of that material and make a conclusion about what you learned.

I will go over all of this in more detail in class. But please remember that this project will be a major part of your grade in this course, and everything will go much more smoothly if all of this is thought out in great detail by your group before you start, rather than trying to adjust and catch up as you go.

Please bring your thoughts about this project and questions to class Wednesday night. We will be spending time in the third hour working with our groups and developing our questions and abstract.

Until then,

- Brett