Photo Reflection of the Day #241: Strange Spaces at UMASS Boston

Strange Spaces at UMASS Boston - 20151120_054900

What Is It

A lower-level entrance area at University of Massachusetts, Boston.

Why It's today's Pick

There are many less sketchy entrances at UMASS Boston.  However, few of them are actually open at 5:45AM which is what time I typically get to campus on Fridays for classes (Why do I get there that early?  Because it means no traffic AND I get a parking spot on campus).  But this entrance does exist which will get me into the Science building and into the catwalk which I can then access the other buildings.  It's all a bit convoluted.  But even I find walking down this space a bit strange.  Granted, the area in this photo is behind a mesh fence, I'm still at odds with this scene on both sides of me while I walk down some 30 yards of this space in a quiet and remove part of the campus.  It feels like the perfect set up for a horror movie!

This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the posts.  For access to all photos, which open for reuse under a Creative Commons License, check out the full album on Flickr.

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By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Photo Reflection of the Day #240: Train Light Off

Train Light Off - 20151118_210411(3)

What Is It

A flashing light at a train crossing that is in the off position.

Why It's today's Pick

I promise--not more train track pictures for the rest of the year.  But I do like the juxtaposition of yesterday's shot of this warning light at maximum brightness and this one at minimum.  Though it looks like there's light, that is  more the flash from my camera than the actual light.  And like yesterday's photo, it's interesting to see the bar on the opposite side of the tracks and their lights in contrast.

This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the posts.  For access to all photos, which open for reuse under a Creative Commons License, check out the full album on Flickr.

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By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Photo Reflection of the Day #239: Train Light On

Train Light On - 20151118_210411(1)

What Is It

A red blinking light at a train crossing at full brightness.

Why It's today's Pick

Today and tomorrow's photographs are almost the same except that this is the light at full brightness and tomorrow is the light turned off.  While waiting at the train-crossing, I thought this made for an interesting set up with the ligth at full brightness, the darkness all around and the background of the lights and beams on the other side of the track.
This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the posts.  For access to all photos, which open for reuse under a Creative Commons License, check out the full album on Flickr.

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By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Photo Reflection of the Day #238: Here's The Train!

Here's The Train!

What Is It

A train approaching a street intersection at night.

Why It's today's Pick

Apparently, I like trains or at least train crossings.  I can understand this to some degree as it is an intersection of kinds--cars and trains.  I also enjoy take shots from a bridge, which is an intersection of cars and boats.  Near my house is a train intersection and on nights when I am walking, I sometimes get stuck waiting for the train to pass by.  It takes a few moments and I'm always disappointed that I don't have any change to put on the tracks to flatten, but the passage of the train is still a strangely enjoyable incident for me.  

This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the posts.  For access to all photos, which open for reuse under a Creative Commons License, check out the full album on Flickr.

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By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Photo Reflection of the Day #237: A Little Love Jar

A Little Love Jar - 20151120_093505

What Is It

A small jar filled with Hershey Kisses and the words "A Little Love" on the label.  

Why It's today's Pick

This was a gift given to me and others in my cohort at UMASS Boston by one of our cohort members.  It was a small but kind gesture that we all appreciated and needed at this point in the semester as it's been an intense semester of regular work and personal life and then the doctoral program on top of it all.  We'd all been feeling it in some capacity or other.  Which brings me to today--Thanksgiving and being thankful and grateful.  There's a lot of different people in my life that provide "a little love"--though that little, always feels like a lot.  I little love is like a little bit of sky.  If you cut up the sky and gave out little pieces, your piece might be a 4' by 4' piece of the viewable sky, but within that piece, there's depth for you're not looking at a two-dimension bit of the sky, but you're literally looking at a window into the depths of the universe.  That bit of sky that would be yours go far far far into the universe and I think in some ways, that's how love can work.  On its surface it might be small, but it represents a larger depth of humankind. So I'm thankful for all the small gestures with great depths that the people in my life bestow upon me and hopefully, that I return in kind.

This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the posts.  For access to all photos, which open for reuse under a Creative Commons License, check out the full album on Flickr.

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By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Photo Reflection of the Day #236: Sparking Frost

Sparking Frost - 20151118_045419

What Is It

My windshield covered in frost.


Why It's today's Pick

I came out to my car one cold autumn morning to be greed with the first serious frost of the year.  My car proved most striking in that the windshiled had a thick frosty coating.  But in the darkness of the early morning with a streetlight somewhere off, it made the windshield sparkle.  This photo doesn't capture it as well, though it does if you click through and zoom in.  But what I also found striking is how the wiper-blade path and where the heat comes out were less effective and you can trace their impact upon the windshield as if they have left a permanent grove upon the glass.
This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the posts.  For access to all photos, which open for reuse under a Creative Commons License, check out the full album on Flickr.

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By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Photo Reflection of the Day #235: How Many Cats Does It Take To Open a Window

How Many Cats Does It Take To Open a Window - 20151114_104953

What Is It

Bear the cat is standing up on her hind legs on the windowsill, trying to bat at leaves outside.

Why It's today's Pick

Both of my cats are characters, but Bear gets an awful lot of laughs from her attempts to interact with the outside world.  Whether she's chirping away at birds outside in hopes of seducing them for dinner, growling and getting all puffy to warn away another cat passing by, or, as in this case, bouncing at the window to attack the leaves that are flittering by.  I get that treating pets as people can be seen as insulting, but with two cats with such distinct personalities in terms of what gets them excited, how they express their affection, and how they engage the humans of the household, it's hard not to recognize them as sentient in some capacity and appreciate them all the more.

This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the posts.  For access to all photos, which open for reuse under a Creative Commons License, check out the full album on Flickr.

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By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Photo Reflection of the Day #234: This Sums Up My Life Right Now

This Sums Up My Life Right Now 20151113_154156

What Is It

My laptop with my glasses, the website, Archive.org loaded up and two coffee containers--one on the left, one on the right of the laptop.


Why It's today's Pick

Apparently, this is what a doctoral program looks like.  I snapped this photo during a break in class.  I found it as a nice way to sum up all where my mind is of late: working on my PhD program.  The two coffee containers--one is actually water (the metal one) and the other is clearly my liquid gold.  The Internet Archive is still one of my favorite sites to go to and regularly has distractions from movies to games to audiobooks to books.  I happen to be looking at it at this moment to find some research (didn't happened; I found comics instead...oops!).  But for the next few years, this is what I've signed up for; engaged in classroom dialogue, while grabbing research and taking lots of notes in hopes of cobbling it all together into some interesting research.  I guess we'll see how that goes! 

This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the posts.  For access to all photos, which open for reuse under a Creative Commons License, check out the full album on Flickr.

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By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Photo Reflection of the Day #233: Hobbits on Skis?

Hobbits on Skis? 20151113_152928

What Is It

An advertisement in the Wellesley News from 1967.  

Why It's today's Pick

In my History of Higher Education course, we were given some primary sources to explore and my group ended up with the Wellesley News, the newspaper of Wellesley College from 1967.  There was all sorts of interesting features, but this is the one I found most striking.  Apparently, Lord of the Rings was popular and interesting enough for a ski resort to make part of their skiing paths into something related to the series.  In fact, it never even mentions Lord of the Rings, and never mentions The Hobbit as a book.  It's interesting to think the novel was that popular in the late 1960s that a ski resort would not only hire someone to make the sculptures but advertise epic fantasy to women (who have often been an ignored demographic of the genre). 

This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the posts.  For access to all photos, which open for reuse under a Creative Commons License, check out the full album on Flickr.

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By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Photo Reflection of the Day #232: While Waiting at the Train Tracks

While Waiting at the Train Tracks - 20151112_201412

What Is It

A photo taken from inside of a railroad crossing with its posts down and lights flashing, warning of a train coming.  

Why It's today's Pick

It struck me to take this photo; the calm before the train when the arms come down and you await to see if the train is actually coming.  What I liked about the image here is not so much just the railroad crossing but that it is taken from inside the car, which layers it with rain spots and a glare that adds a filter of its own to the image.  I find the blinking red lights also curious in that the ones on the right are at almost full radiance while the left ones just have an inkling of a light.  They haven't gone out entirely, but are clearly retracting.  

This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the posts.  For access to all photos, which open for reuse under a Creative Commons License, check out the full album on Flickr.

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By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Photo Reflection of the Day #231: There Goes The Train

There Goes The Train - 20151112_201404

What Is It

A MBTA train chugging along a track at a railroad crossing.  

Why It's today's Pick

I actually have two pictures of this--one without the train for tomorrow (oops, spoiler alert!).  This image of the train in motion--a mere blur to the camera while the everything else pauses on this raining evening.  I also like the contrast between the light flashing at me on the right and the light flashing at the train on the left.  There's an interesting balance there.  One can also see the red light from the other side of the train underneath.  The blurriness makes me wonder if there was someone on the train taking a picture of me in my car, would it all be a blur or just those things in the forefront?

This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the posts.  For access to all photos, which open for reuse under a Creative Commons License, check out the full album on Flickr.

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By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Photo Reflection of the Day #230: Soft and Fuzzy

Soft and Fuzzy - 20151110_083509

What Is It

The insides of a bud on a weed (I think).

Why It's today's Pick

The wispy inside of this bud (or flower--I'm never quite sure) looks so soft and cottony.  I think it is coming from a week because the plant is part of a landscape and looks more like an intruder rather than a resident.  But I liked this juxtaposition of the soft with the spikes of leaf in the bottom right corner.  I also like the whiteness in contrast to the brown and green background.  However, even the whiteness is dull and gray, a strong indicator that winter is coming.  Could this be a weed's attempt to provide some kind of interesting substance for birds and critters to use to make a nest and thus potentially a means by spreading its seed? 
This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the posts.  For access to all photos, which open for reuse under a Creative Commons License, check out the full album on Flickr.

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By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Photo Reflection of the Day #229: They Don't Quit Fit

They Don't Quit Fit - 20151107_194245

What Is It

Lance wearing bowling shoes.

Why It's today's Pick

We all do it.  We put on a pair of shoes and look down at them and feel like the feet inside of them are entirely alien.  That was the case with this pair of bowling shoes recently.  It had less to do with the fact that they were bowling shoes.  Not that I go bowling often, but I've worn them enough that I'm ok with the odd-colored and funky shoes.  But these things felt like boats.  They were my size, but the outsides of them felt out of proportion.  In this case the white rime of these shoes were at least 1/4 inch thick, so rather than where a shoe typically ends, these went even further outward which felt strange to walk with.  I wear minimalist shoes, thin soles, and slim frames and these were anything but that.  Maybe that's what I can blame for my abysmal scores (yeah, that's why I was so horrible!).  But even the design of these ones are a bit strange than what I've seen before.  The black and red pattern is fine but the way the outer sides of the shoe don't actually meet in the middle but rather there is the extended tongue.  It makes me wonder who designed them and what was their incentive in presenting them as such.
This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the posts.  For access to all photos, which open for reuse under a Creative Commons License, check out the full album on Flickr.

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By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Photo Reflection of the Day #228: Shimmering Waters at Night

Shimmering Waters at Night - 20151106_191131

What Is It

The river water at night on a windy evening.

Why It's today's Pick

This is one of those photos that can't even come close to what it was that I saw, which is too bad because it was pretty cool.  What you see in this photo is the water with ripples and light.  But when in motion, the wind with the water and lights made it look as if the water was sparkling and alive.  I'm sure some people have seen this ample times or find nothing fascinating about it, but I can't help but think about how much more that makes the water appear filled with life--it gives another sense of being to something that we largely think of as innate.  We use it to keep our lawns clean, keep ourselves hydrated and to clean ourselves, but sometimes, water too can have its own essence.

This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the posts.  For access to all photos, which open for reuse under a Creative Commons License, check out the full album on Flickr.

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By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Compassion and Fatigue in a Social Media World

Of late, I'm feeling a bit wiped.  I know this has a bit to do with the good ole work-life balance, but I'm also struggling with how I continue to engage with the world and the things that I fundamentally know and believe about the world and I would be curious to hear how others grapple meaningfully with these challenges.


Horrific Event Cycle

Breaking News!

Much of this happens as a result of the hyper-narrative of events.  What I mean by this is that for several years I've noticed there is a series of cycles around any major news story--especially those which are controversial or horrific that goes something like this:
  1. Horrible event happens.
  2. Immediately responses to horrific response that mix empathy, anger, and shock.
  3. Quickly followed by responses criticizing those people and how they responded, which often invoke shame, hypocrisy, and ignorance coupled with bigotry (knowing and caring about this group, but being ignorant of other groups--especially marginalized groups).
  4. Shortly followed by responses criticizing the critics and damning their insensitivity to the "real tragedy."
  5. A response by the critics about the insincere responses of the previous responders.  
  6. All of this then gets rolled into critics who provide a meta-commentary, which allows them to comment on larger issues.
  7. The meta-commentary then is reacted to by all the other critics as twisting words, reductive thinking or some other problem.
  8. These continue to spiral until another horrible thing happens at which point said commentaries, meta-commentaries, etc are folded into, evoked, or mocked because of the seriousness of the new thing.
Meanwhile, there is a never-ending round of "gotcha" and "told you so" memes that are generated and circulating are meant to purposely incite or offend various people, all in the name of freedom of expression and minimalizing complex and nuanced issues that require substantial thought and consideration.  All of this unfolds sometimes within hours, though usually days of the original event.

It's hard for me not to engage in various levels of commentary because they are often infused with ideologies or are clearly evoking similar past events.  Whether it's another terrorist attack, a mass-shooting in a public space, or even a manufactured story purposely meant to rile the dominant culture about a supposed threat to their power and prestige, they all come at us in series of articles, news clips, and memes that beg a response; that beg a need to identify inconsistencies, hypocrisies, and misinformation.  


Just Ignore It

IWISH I HAD

This cycle is exhausting to witness and partake in.  The media only enhances it with the outrage cycle to produce stories that aren't stories but still suck us in to discussing it (e.g. the Starbucks cup).    And it is hard to avoid engaging in it to some degree.  To remove one's self from social media doesn't work because it is still likely to be present in news stories, on the television news, and on one's news feeds.  To attempt any level of awareness in the world and to not be blasted by it, seems all but impossible.

I often hear people say, "Just ignore it."  In fact, I've lost several "Facebook friends" due to my failure to ignore the nature of their posts.  But I generally can't ignore it.  If I see something wrong--something that alienates or marginalizes already vulnerable populations, then I am compelled to say something.  I have trouble letting it slide as to me that seems to be a sign of my own bigotry.  That is, if I fundamentally believe in the humanity of all people, regardless of race, color, creed, gender, sex, sexuality, religion, etc, then to chose to only speak up for groups that I more closely identify with seems to reject that idea outright.  I can't pick and choose; I'm either vigilant in supporting all groups to the best that I can, or I'm just playing favorites and that means reinforcing or refusing to confront my own innate bigotry.

There's also something about ignoring that I find disconcerting and impossible for me.  I know some of the nicest people can happily and purposely ignore something.  They will even say, "don't tell me about that" so that they can avoid cognitive dissonance around something in their lives (e.g. the horrific and unsanitary conditions of the animals we eat, the environmental and human degradation of the coffee we drink, the human abuse and exploitation of children and adults for other commodity items like clothes, diamonds, and chocolate).  It's very hard to turn off that switch for me and I don't want to turn of the switch per se.  I don't want to numb myself or allow myself to ignore it because so much harm is done in the world by our ability to ignore those things which we are not directly affected by.  


Ignoring Is a Privilege

Racism: The Elephant in the room

If I'm not African American, then I don't have to think about what it means to be black, the inherent inequalities at every step of the criminal justice system for African Americans, the numerous other social and cultural inequalities, and how that will impact me.  Therefore, when people on Facebook, especially police officers, openly mock, blame, or disregard often with inherent racist posts about #BlackLivesMatter, I get the privilege to ignore it, on the assumption that it is not my problem or it doesn't directly effect me.

If I'm not transgender, then I can ignore the various memes posted by typically hereotsexual men and women that mock Caitlyn Jenner or any transperson of any variety for that matter.  I can enjoy the mockery taking place.  I don't have to think about what it means to be trans in a culture that regularly kills people because they don't fit into a simplistic gender, sex, or sexuality system.  I get to laugh at the post; it doesn't increase my internalized fear for my safety every time I use a public bathroom.

If I'm not Muslim, I don't have to think about what it means to belong to a world religion that like so many other religions, have people who are practicing some bastardized form of it and committing horrific acts in its name.  I don't have to constantly walk a line between faith but also communicating that "I'm not 'them', I swear" because people and news media's reductive thinking can't or chooses not to distinguish between terrorist organization and world religion.   I don't have to tattoo the American flag on my forehead to avoid questions being raised about whether I should be here, what kind of threat I represent, or what am I doing personally to prevent other Muslims from becoming terrorists, like I'm personally responsible and representative of all Muslims.   Instead, I can talk about deporting "them," torturing "them," or even nuking "them" like they are an infestation because I belong to a culture and government that has committed genocide on other peoples, so what's one more. 

Ignoring is a privilege afforded to those whose lives are not directly effected by whatever is being ignored (In truth, it does effect all of us as bigotry, injustice, and violence perpetrated upon one group opens up the opportunity for it to happen to all of us).  I don't sit well with knowing I have privilege based upon factors that society has deemed more valuable despite such privileges being entirely a matter of birth (e.g. race, ethnicity, class, gender, sex, sexuality, etc) and therefore, when there are ways I can address my own innate privilege, I do my best to do so.

But How to Engage?


That is the question I grapple with.  I don't want to dissent into a Bug's Bunny "Rabbit Season/Duck Season" debate but of course, it so often does happen.  I see a post or comment that is troubling, inaccurate, or misrepresents peoples or beliefs and I find it important to respond.  In truth, I'm trying to respond to the person, but often the nature of the post makes it clear, they are being purposefully incendiary; it's their American right, of course (insert commentary about who and when "Americans" get to assert such a right).  

I often respond often knowing the person who posted it will not listen, respond, or hear what I have to say and if they do, it's from a position of snark or just disregard.  I often try to be respectful in my tone (though I do fail at this).  Sometimes, I am met with the same respect or the person can identify with the concerns I raise.  However, even if this never happened, I'm still compelled to do it because others need to see it. 

I provide whatever response I do because I see the need for others who see that post to know that there is a different way; that there are alternatives.  I know it's important to voice a counter-view because, it has helped others seeing the same post better understand their own issues with the post or just to know there is an ally out there.  I regularly hear from people that appreciate me speaking up to something they were afraid to or unable to comment upon.  That this happens by being networked to the person posting the offensive content makes it all the more important because it means that post, regardless of its problematic content has actually helped others become more understanding and aware.  


There's Always Housekeeping


Friend Options on Facebook
The desire to delete "friends" or unfollow people who post such content is strong and I know many will do this or simply unfollow or block posts.  I am often tempted with these options, but I feel it is just another form of ignoring.  I don't have to see the bad stuff--I can block the content and not the person so I don't have to engage with it.  Inevitably, I will know it's still there, but I can continue with my blissful feed of posts filled with health advice, pop culture interests, and cute cat pics.  That just doesn't sit well with me.  It seems to me that if I don't have the tolerance to hear what they have to say at all, then I need to consider why be friends with them at all and why do I expect tolerance but do not give tolerance.

Deleting friends doesn't seem like an option either and it's not because I don't want to offend those people or fear that I will eventually end up with no friends.  Rather it's that I make conscious decisions to be "friends" with people and I recognize that they will definitely not like everything I post, I should not expect any less from them.  More important, these are good people.  Yes, they may post things that are problematic, but on the whole they are good people with family and friends, often doing many good things in the world (caring for loved ones, donating to charity, volunteering, etc).  That is, the issue I have with them is singular but they are multi-faceted.  Deleting them seems to be another form of reductive thinking that I don't want to participate in.  


Butttt....How Do YOU Deal?  

suggestion box

I've shared the above to give people a sense of what I'm doing and why, because I'm hoping there are others out there who have similar views and approaches.  I'm curious to hear about your tactics, ideas, and ways of negotiating being a compassionate human in all its forms while being challenged by the problematic and often vitriolic rhetoric in the form of posts, memes, and articles on your social networks. 

I certainly will continue to engage in the ways I find are best to do so.  I will also find a means of reconciling the need for breaks for mental care with the concern of my privilege to be able to break away from it.  But I am curious to know how others negotiate these challenges.  What tactics do you employ?  How do you often do you engage with content that you find problematic?  How do you engage with it?  How do you avoid burnout?  How do you survive burnout?  



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By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Photo Reflection of the Day #227: Red Before Dead?

Red Before Dead? 20151105_070807

What Is It

Bright red leaves with some green ones beginning to change with the autumn season.

Why It's today's Pick

Walking into North Shore Community College on the Lynn Campus, one is assaulted wtih these bright red leaves in the fall.  They're fascinating because through most of the summer and spring, they maintain a green coloring against the brown-brick backdrop of the building.  But these reds scream for one's attention as if the bush has been covered in blood.  Of course, the contrast is only made stronger because there are rows and sections interspersed where the leaves have not converted at all or are in the slow process of doing so.  
This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the posts.  For access to all photos, which open for reuse under a Creative Commons License, check out the full album on Flickr.

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By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Photo Reflection of the Day #226: That Turkey in the Parking Lot

That Turkey in the Parking Lot - 20151105_065228

What Is It

A large turkey picking at rocks on a light post in a parking lot in the early morning.

Why It's today's Pick

I was coming out of Panera with my breakfast in tow and I see a man standing in the middle of the road taking a picture.  For a second, I thought he was taking a picture of the van in front of him and it had me wondering if this was accident related.  But then I looked to the right of the van and there was this rather large turkey and I instantly got it.  He finished taking photos and I went to my car to put down my food and come back to snap a photo.  Here's the interesting thing thought.  I'm not sure I would have noticed the turkey if it wasn't for this guy.  Because the parking lot is pretty large and I was in Panera for only a few minutes, so in all likelihood, the turkey was there when I initially parked, but I never saw it.  Maybe it was because I hadn't had my morning coffee yet or I was so focused in getting breakfast and getting to work, but I missed the turkey entirely. Clearly, no matter how much I hope this project has helped me to keep my eyes open, I'm still pretty tunnel visioned at times. 
This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the posts.  For access to all photos, which open for reuse under a Creative Commons License, check out the full album on Flickr.

Creative Commons License
By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Photo Reflection of the Day #225: This Car's Ready to Strike Out

This Car's Ready to Strike Out - 20151102_153144

What Is It

A bowling trophy piece replaced as a hood ornament on a car.

Why It's today's Pick

We all see strange and curious things when we are out and about.  Of course, when in a city or suburbia, we see a lot of cars and vehicles.  Many of which we all but ignore--they are so common that they become part of the background noise and visuals of our daily lives.  But you do regularly encounter a car that grabs your attention for one reason or another (and this is coming a self-identified "non-car person"--that is, I just need a car to have an MP3 CD player for audiobooks and know where to put the gas; otherwise, I really don't care what kind of car I drive).  However, this car first caught my eye because it's black and blue design was distinct, not because you don't often see cars with more than one color, but because the paint didn't seem like regular car-paint.  It might have been spray paint, but it stuck out regardless.  So when I looked at it, I also realized that the hood ornament was not your standard ornament.  Whatever it was, it was now the standard bowler for a bowling trophy and I couldn't help but laugh at the distinct way this owner was decorating his or her card. 

This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the posts.  For access to all photos, which open for reuse under a Creative Commons License, check out the full album on Flickr.

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By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Photo Reflection of the Day #224: Slick Spot

Slick Spot - 20151102_152720

What Is It

An oil slick on the top of the water.

Why It's today's Pick

The oil slick stuck out because it was so isolated.  No other spots as far as I could see and it seemed so cohesive, not yet broken up by anything.  Of course, it made me wonder what it was and how it got there and even if it was oil.  However, after looking at it for a few seconds, it triggered a memory.  It brought be back to third or fourth grade around Halloween when at a friend's birthday party (or Halloween) party and sleepover.  We were watching Creepshow 2, an anthology horror film and one of the stories included a group of teenagers swimming out to a raft, where they encounter a strange surface anomaly like an oil slick that of course proves their demise.  I can remember sitting on the floor, staring up at the television with such intensity.    Interestingly, the film can be found on YouTube for watching.  But it's always interesting to see what kinds of things will trigger one's memories.  While inevitably, I have seen many oil slicks over the years, this one is the one to bring me back there. 

This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the posts.  For access to all photos, which open for reuse under a Creative Commons License, check out the full album on Flickr.

Creative Commons License
By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Photo Reflection of the Day #223: How Did That Get There?

How Did That Get There? 20151102_152643

What Is It

A small donkey statue on one of the support structures for the bridge.

Why It's today's Pick

When one takes up walking around to and from places, one finds interesting things.  I think that's been very true of this venture this year.  I'm doing more walking and keeping an eye out for the oddities that are readily available during such walks.  In this case, it's a little donkey statue that's been hanging out on the support structure for who knows how long.  I know it's been there for at least six months, but who knows beyond that.  Such strange artifact beg to tell a story.  Who put it there?  Why?  Was it a spur fo the moment idea or was it something the person plotted?  Did he or she (or they) identify the spot, go to Home Depot to find the right thing to put there?  Did they get a boat out there during high tide or wade the mud during low tide and climb up to put it there?  Did they give it a name?  Do they visit it often?  Is there stolen loot or drugs to be found in the donkey (it could be a "mule", right?)?  All sorts of thoughts come to might, but in the mean time, it sits there guarding its own secrets.  

This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the posts.  For access to all photos, which open for reuse under a Creative Commons License, check out the full album on Flickr.

Creative Commons License
By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Library Journal: iTeach, iLearn, and iConfused

This past year, I was given the opportunity to write a Content Development article for Library Journal, a publication I have written different pieces for over the years.  This article's focus was on library resources focusing on books related to technology and education.  It was a fun process to find these different resources and explore them.  Here is a brief snippet of the article along with a link to the full piece.

A screenshot from the Library Journal website of the article described herein.
"With the ever-increasing pace of computer processing, technology flies at the speed of light, and our devices are quickly underperforming and becoming clunky and outdated. Yet most books take more than a year from concept to publication, leaving titles on education and technology with a short shelf life. As an instructional designer who works with faculty to help them use technology in pedagogically sound ways at North Shore Community College, I am constantly looking for great books on working with technology in education.

Other librarians, too, must find relevant and long-lasting titles in a field that shows no signs of slowing down. Timeless books may be unicorns, but there are several considerations that can help develop a robust collection of technology and education volumes and resources."

Click through for the full article on Library Journal.


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By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Photo Reflection of the Day #222: The Bowl-O-Mat

The Bowl-O-Mat - 20151020_204015

What Is It

The sign at the Beverly Bowl-O-Mat.

Why It's today's Pick

I walk by this sign pretty often.  I appreciate its oldness.  It speaks to a sign of the 1970s or 1980s.  Enough neon to tell you that it's from a certain time and place where this would have been a call for the hip.  Now, it speaks to a sense of past, a sense of artifact.  The entirely black sky behind the sign does seem a bit scary though that is more having to do with being in a city, than it does imply that the stars have all but disappeared.   

This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the posts.  For access to all photos, which open for reuse under a Creative Commons License, check out the full album on Flickr.

Creative Commons License
By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Photo Reflection of the Day #221: Rays Reaching Through The Clouds

Rays Reaching Through The Clouds - 20151017_172005

What Is It

A cloudy sky with the sun breaking through different openings in the sky.

Why It's today's Pick

When out for a walk, Chris and I spotted this pretty view of the sky.  Chris rightly remarked that this is the kind of photo one expects to see on Facebook with some inspirational quote from the Bible or some other profound text.  And it's true.  The sunlight reaching through with its rays and the dark and foreboding clouds begs for some words on staying steady through hard events.  I'm more a fan of the layers of the photo from the black outline of the tree line to the yellows above that where the sun is strongest.  From there, it jumps into the dark gray of a cloud that nearly covers left left to right because the blue sky break and more dark clouds sprinkled with sun rays.  

This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the posts.  For access to all photos, which open for reuse under a Creative Commons License, check out the full album on Flickr.

Creative Commons License
By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.