The Daily StickMan Adventures - August 31, 2016 at 09:46PM



It does #boggle the mind... #DailyStickMan #Games #Underrated

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Review: Locke & Key

Locke & Key Locke & Key by Joe Hill
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This review is for the audio production by AudioComics. This is a fantastic production with a full cast that mixes celebrities and other talented narrators with sound effects and musical score. It's a 13+ hour audio drama that will easily convert new listeners to audio-drama. The story is derived from Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez's comic series of the same name and follows the Locke family as they deal with a set of strange keys that are found in this family home. Each key unlocks a new ability but there are sinister forces about that are trying to collect the keys for themselves. This production finds way of maximizing the horror through interesting sound effects and solid acting.


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The Daily StickMan Adventures - August 30, 2016 at 08:15PM



That's all it takes! #DailyStickMan #Avocados #StrangeNeeds

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The Daily StickMan Adventures - August 29, 2016 at 07:51PM



What did he have for dinner? #DailyStickMan #PeachCobbler #StrangeDreams

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Short Story #400: What The Moon Brings by H. P. Lovecraft

Title: What The Moon Brings

Author:  H. P. Lovecraft

Summary:

Book cover to H. P. Lovecraft: The Complete Collection with Accompanying Facts from Red Skull Publishing
The narrator declares that he hates the moon and what it brings with its weird lighting.  He then describes a beautiful landscape of garden, woods and ocean that he regularly enjoys during the summer but that has been entirely changed when the moon comes out.  What was once magical and alluring turns decrepit and ugly.   In particular, as he watches the ocean take the tide out he sees increasingly uglier things, until the rescinding sea begins to reveal a city of the dead with horrible and evil things that are enough to drive him mad.  He promptly sticks his head into the water and drowns himself, letting the worms feast on his corpse.  



Reflection

Another rather short story of Lovecraft, this one seems to go to bad real quick.  The beginning reminded me of Jack London's "Moon-Face" in some ways--just in the way the character seems to have an indescribable hatred of the moon and goes into describing such a beautiful landscape.  That the moon reveals the city of the dead was a great feature, but then the narrator's prompt suicide feels like a bit of a dodge by Lovecraft.  The end comes in a few short sentences without the typically mad-descent that I've come to enjoy by Lovecraft.

Rating:  2 (out of 5 stars)

For a full listing of all the short stories in this series, check out the category 365 Short Stories a year.


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The Daily StickMan Adventures - August 28, 2016 at 09:11PM



It's all about the #chickpeas #DailyStickMan

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The Daily StickMan Adventures - August 27, 2016 at 06:07PM



Life can be soooo confusing... #DailyStickMan #AintItTheTruth. #TellMeAboutIt #IisConfused

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Image of the Week #35: Math in the 1910s

The Wellesley News (02-21-1918)

What Is It

An article from the Wellesley News, the student newspaper of Wellesley College, from the late 1910s. 


Why I Find It Interesting

Like many other pieces, this short article reminds me of how much things don't change over the generations.  First, the article is  concerned about rates of success in mathematics; something we still struggle with in colleges.  Then, of course, it raises the question about asking and engaging students about why they may or may not succeed in this area.  We still struggle with relying on what we suspect as instructors to be the issue and hearing what students believe to be the problem.  And then we also often look towards one solution as opposed to multiple solutions when trying to solve how to improve success in a singular area of study. 


This submission is part of the Image of the Week series.  For access to all photos, which are 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.

The Daily StickMan Adventures - August 26, 2016 at 05:52PM



Cheese...the reason I cannot be vegan... #DailyStickMan #Cheese

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Tales of Running: The First 5 Years...1000s of Miles Later

I find it curious to be writing this post when I have had trouble running for the last two months--ever since I ran 5K and came in around 24:30.  But this post is necessary to write.  It's been five years since I first start running.  Five years since the flip switched and I went from hating running and unwilling to run even a mile to literally running thousands of miles in the last five years (between 1000 and 1200 a year).  What seemed like something that I just couldn't get has now become something I hate the idea of doing without.  Life is indeed funny like that.

Lance with finisher medal after his first marathon.
First marathon completed.
Who knew I'd be back for more!
I hope that I never lose the amazement that I feel every time I set off on a run because it, in itself, is something that is truly humbling and amazing.  Don't get me wrong, I love the feeling of my body after a good run: the muscles feeling loose but tired, the sweat dripping all over my body, the breathing bringing refreshment to my beating heart, and the sense of accomplishment for sustaining the movement for the duration of the run.  However, I still feel like a kid sometimes when I'm running; doing something forbidden or risky or strange and new.  Each time, I feel like a veil has fallen, and I'm a newborn horse moving from its stumbling initial steps into a gallop.  Silly, absolutely, but no less true.  Maybe this is why running has stuck with me so much because I continued to be awed by something that for decades of my life, I thought was something beyond me.

Coupled with the running has been a good amount of writing (just over 60 posts to date) on running; again, another thing I'd never imagine writing so much about (unless it's was like Bart Simpson on the chalkboard, "I hate running" five bajillion times).  And from that has been many an email, message, and note from people thanking me for helping them, encouraging them, or giving them food for thought as they begin or continue on their running journey.  The Bull and The Cheetah, 10 Ways Running Reminds Me of Learning, The Two Demons I Run With, and "I ran 15 miles, I got assalted, my face hurts, and it's your fault!" are by far my favorite posts that I've written about running as they highlight so much of my inner world while running and thinking about running.

As I said, I'm currently recovering from an injury--my IT band has decided it's not happy and so I'm giving it a bit of rest and seeing if that helps before slowly rebuilding myself back up or needing to see any kind of specialist.  Thus, it's been weird to hit my 5-years of running mark and not be able to talk much about the runs I've been doing of late.  Yet I know that I am not done with running.  This past year has shown me that I can take running farther (pun intended) than I have previously.

While I have seen myself as a long-distance runner, enjoying half-marathons in particular but also the occasional marathon, I also have begun to make significant progress on speed.  My first half-marathon had me come in at 2:25 and yet, the marathon I ran two months ago, had me at 1:51.  Now, that's not necessarily fast for the serious and competitive runners--but for a 36-year-old guy who ranks in the Clydesdale (over 210 weight) and runs in the barefoot shoes, it's pretty damn good.  All of this is to say that I 'm finally understanding and learning to improve and maintain a good steady pace throughout the longer races and I believe that I have the chance to continue to do better.

Book cover - The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances by The Oatmeal
Looking for an entertaining book
to inspire you to run?
Try this one!
It's so hard to explain what changed.   There was a convergence of things that seemed to propel me into running.  I've noted that the shoes (Vibrams) played an important role.  So did the Fitbit (and Basis) too in terms of helping me monitor progress.  I also know that because several people I knew were becoming active runners, that also had a positive impact on me.  Especially as I started to run, their support, encouragement, and recognition of my accomplishments (many of them knowing my loathsome view of running previously) gave me little boosts.  I know that writing about running and even posting the races that I planned to sign up for aided me, creating some level of public accountability.  I also rallied around my accomplishments.  Every time, I made a new distance, a new speed, a new challenge, I celebrated--if not publicly, then with a pat on my own back.  Basically, I harnessed every piece of positive influence to keep me going and kept myself from discouragement by regularly reminding myself that I was in competition with no one--just on a journey to make me better.  

For those flirting with running, trying to start, or standing as far away from it as you can (that is, running away from it), I get it.  I've been in all of those spaces over the years.  But I encourage you to keep at it if you continue to find yourself wondering if you could run any distance.  The switch can flip for many people; it's just a matter of finding the right conditions.  The three most important pieces of advice I can tell you are this:

Time-jump

Ditch the watch, ditch the distance tracker at the start.  Pay no attention to how far or how fast you are going.  This is merely noise.  Until you feel you are at a point at which you enjoy running, don't bother using a watch.  You might want to mark a particular distance that you know is between 3-5 miles (e.g. a bike path, a lake path, etc), but don't track your time until you feel like you can enjoy the running in itself.

Load up the playlist

Make a powerlist of music to keep you going.  Early on, keep it limited to your 20 most energizing songs--the kind of songs that you can't help but move every time you hear.  Rather than using a clock, you can use songs to measure distance initially.  Try to run for at least 3-4 songs and expand from there.  Let the music channel through you and get you moving.

Go slow

I can't say this enough.  One major reason running never worked for me was because I couldn't figure out my pace.  When I got the Vibrams, it meant that I really had to slow down because my feet couldn't take the pain since the soles were so slim.  This slowing down was super-helpful because it meant my breathing wasn't being overly stressed.  It doesn't matter if you could walk faster, they are different movements.   Work on slowing your run and finding your rhythm--once you unlock this harmony, speeding up becomes increasingly easier.  This is likely to be the hardest piece of advice here, especially if you are listening to your favorite music as it's likely to push you to go faster, but resist it.  Go as slow as you need to until your step, lungs, and heart are aligned. 

Celebrate every and all wins

Lance - Half-Marathon June 2016
Ripping up the road on the final
stretch of my recent half-marathon
Any time you get out to run, anytime you got a bit further or a bit faster, complete a race, or just struggle and manage to do a run you weren't going to do otherwise--own it and celebrate it.  It can be so hard to get up and out the door to run.  For some, maybe it is easy, but for others, it can feel like an insurmountable challenge just to get out the door.  If you get out the door, celebrate!  I would recommend to also join a social-network for health like DailyMile or if you have a device, Garmin Connect (then you can add me and we can encourage and celebrate each other's accomplishments!). 

Smile

No really.  Your body affects your mind.  If you work to smile while thinking out running, heading out to run, while running, after running, it will affect your overall mood towards running.  This will boost your enthusiasm and excitement for running and create a fantastic feedback loop.

So that's all I have for now!  It's been a great five years running and I am so grateful for each and everyone one of you who have directly and indirectly cheered me on. 


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The Daily StickMan Adventures - August 25, 2016 at 08:48PM



How do you go indepth with two dimensions? #DailyStickMan #Puns

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Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I saw the film adaptation of over the winter and found it to be a very poignant book. I had also heard a lot about it from different people within and around school about its popularity among youth. Sure enough, I did enjoy and appreciate the nature of the book and the ways it tackles the challenges and sense-making that young adults grapple with as they try to find themselves.

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The Daily StickMan Adventures - August 25, 2016 at 05:27AM


Bartleby says... #DailyStickMan

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Review: Ghost Wife: A Memoir of Love and Defiance

Ghost Wife: A Memoir of Love and Defiance Ghost Wife: A Memoir of Love and Defiance by Michelle Dicinoski
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Dicinoski writes a great memoir that contrasts her family's history with her pursuit to legitimate (at least in the eyes of the public) her relationship with her life-long partner and wife, Heather. The story revolves around Dicinoski and Heather traveling to Canada from Australia to get married in part to celebrate their love and in part to spite the bigotted policies of Australia. However, the narrative is more than just a "let's go to the chapel" story. Instead, Dicinoski explores how the failure for the culture to acknowledge her relationship is part of a story played out many times before with her family members who disappear in one way, shape, or form and it's this story--the story of invisibility--that is as moving as seeing Dicinoski and her partner solidify their love. In many ways, it parallels Dan Savage's memoir, The Commitment but has a very distinct flavor worth partaking.

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The Daily StickMan Adventures - August 23, 2016 at 08:29PM


Is it a full moon? It must be a full moon. #JustSaying #DailyStickMan #rawr

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The Daily StickMan Adventures - August 22, 2016 at 09:44PM


Stickpeeps got no curves...#TheStruggleIsReal #DailyStickMan

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Short Story #399: The History of the Necronomicon by H. P. Lovecraft

Title: The History of the Necronomicon

Author:  H. P. Lovecraft

Summary:

Book cover to H. P. Lovecraft: The Complete Collection with Accompanying Facts from Red Skull Publishing
The title says it all, this piece traces the history of the creation of and reproduction of the Necronomicon (also known as Al Azif) from its original creation by Abdul Alhazred, "a mad poet" to where the modern copies exist.  The narrator explains that the book came about when Alhazred visits certain dark places like the ruins of  Babylon and Memphis as well as spending ten years in the Arabian desert.  He finally settled in Damascus to write the book.  He then moves into explaining how different translations escaped, what some of the differences were and where the most current versions sit.  Interestingly, the narrative part finishes on discussing how R. W. Chambers (a real author) was supposedly influenced by the rumors of the book when he wrote The King in Yellow (which talks about a fictional play in book form).  The story then finished with a straight chronology of century changes for the book.  

Reflection

I'm not sure you can call this a short story, but it is a publication of Lovecraft and it seems to provide a clearer sense of where the Necronomicon came from for readers (and probably Lovecraft himself) to keep in their minds as it appeared in different texts throughout his work.  

Rating:  2 (out of 5 stars)

For a full listing of all the short stories in this series, check out the category 365 Short Stories a year.


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The Daily StickMan Adventures - August 22, 2016

So welcome to another new series of posts I will be embarking upon in this blog.  These will be among the most simple but also the most useful for me.  They are very simple stick-figure images or as I will call them, The Daily StickMan.  Don't expect much from these in terms of heavy content.  Rather, they are an opportunity for me to try my hand at simple daily creativity as just a means to get outside my own head.  I have not clue how long this will last.  I hope it will go on for a while, but I really don't know.

So why am I doing it?  Well, I am horrible at drawing.  Horrible.  And I'm largely ok with that but I still like the idea of using drawing to processing or think or share.  I think if I am given the challenge to spend 2-4 minutes a day trying to draw something and then share it out, it will push me to think about things in different ways or to present them in different ways.  And honestly, it's just fun.  So, welcome to the first edition of The Daily Stickman Adventures.  Don't expect much and I'll definitely not disappoint you.  

You may have already seen this first one but expect new ones every day or as close as I can muster! 

The Daily Stickman - 8-21-2016



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The Daily StickMan Adventures - August 21, 2016 at 06:11PM


Some days, no one can make sense of what you're doing...even you. #RideThatInvisibleHorse #DailyStickMan

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The Daily StickMan Adventures 8/21/2016

Image of the Week #34: More Bonwit Teller & Co

The Wellesley News (02-28-1918)

What Is It

An advertisement from the Wellesley News, the student newspaper of Wellesley College, from the late 1910s. 


Why I Find It Interesting

One of the earliest images in this project looked at a Bonwit, Teller, & Co image and this one is in a similar vein  in terms of its content.  Again, the imagery surrounding the ad is striking in terms of the representation of elite white women being wooed by elite white men with cupid smack-dab in the middle, while the entire scene is held up by either Africans, Middle-Eastern or Southeast Asian workers. It's such a strong message about how the Bonwit Teller & Co as well as the society at large view race. I know this was fairly common for the time, but it is striking to how clear of a message such an image communicates about the nature of race in American society.  


This submission is part of the Image of the Week series.  For access to all photos, which are open for reuse under a Creative Commons License, check out the full album on Flickr.



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July's Gratitude - NSCC Edition

July Thankful Blog Post Word CloudAnother month and so much to be grateful for.  I thought for this post though, I would focus on one thing in particular.  For those that don't know, I left North Shore Community College at the end of July for a new position at Regis College.  It was a hard decision but the right decision.  So I want to spend this reflection thinking about how grateful I am to the many people at NSCC that have made so much difference in my life.

North Shore Community College changed my life in so many ways.  After I attained my bachelor's degree, I ended up getting an associate's degree at NSCC in Criminal Justice.  I did this because I was a year out of college and still trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life.  I knew I wanted to go back to grad school but I didn't know for what.  So in the meantime, I wanted to continue to be intellectually engaged and because the place that I worked at after college paid a certain amount to go to college, so long as you were in a degree program, NSCC was the best place for me to go.

I made friends in the program and learned much from my instructors, all of whom were accessible, friendly, and understanding.  Two of them remains a life-long friend, mentor, and amazing influence on my life.  They have guided, supported, and engaged with me from day one and still continue to do so until this day, even in my decision to leave NSCC.  Those were the first two friends I made there, but certainly not the last.

When I returned after my Masters Degree, I was welcomed by those two people and many others who treated me with respect, kindness and encouragement.  They guided me to improve my teaching skills, while also taking advantages of the many trainings and opportunities that the institution had to offer.  

As a part-time faculty member, there are so many great friends, mentors, and colleagues I encountered that shaped and prepared me to become an instructional designer.  These relationships continued as I became the instructional designer and full-time staff at the institution and new ones flourished.  It's funny, I often heard from faculty and staff about how much they learned from me and all I could say is that street worked in both directions.  I can't really imagine what my life would be without NSCC.  It's had such an amazing and powerful impact on me as a student, an instructor, an instructional designer,  a leader, and most importantly, as a human.  What made working at NSCC so wonderful has been the people I got to work with on a daily basis, the coworkers and our director on our team, colleagues in other departments, the invested faculty, and of course, the students.  

It's so very curious how our lives take turns one never expects and how the connections that one makes can often find ways of having long term repercussions (in this case, beneficial).  I think about those early relationships that I had and how they put me in a place, ten years later (almost to the semester) where my professional trajectory is so very very different from what I could have imagined.  I am so grateful for those who helped shaped my future were the faculty, staff, and administration of NSCC ten years ago and of course, many of them today.  
  
Though it is the right time for me to leave, I leave with a saddened heart of not being able to see so many people that I have been grateful to see on a daily basis and from whom I have learned so much, felt so welcomed, and regularly inspired me to do my job better.  

I could create a list of the many many people that I am thankful for at NSCC.  Of course, I feel like I would be listing two-thirds of the staff and faculty with the remaining third being those whom I never got to work with directly.  Thank you.


Interested in my other reflections on gratitude for the year, check them out:


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Review: The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable

The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I began listening to The Black Swan in my car as I was finishing up Thinking Fast and Slow on my iPod. They are deeply interconnected (and the authors regularly reference one another) so where one ends and the other begins is extremely hard for me to remember. However, they were both powerful tomes on the nature of certainty, knowledge, and decision making. In both cases, the authors do much to reconsider the ways in which we conceive of ourselves in the decision-making process that undermines "common sense." I find this increasingly important and relevant because I often see the call to rely on "common sense" for something that usually requires anything but common sense.

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Review: The History of American Higher Education: Learning and Culture from the Founding to World War II

The History of American Higher Education: Learning and Culture from the Founding to World War II The History of American Higher Education: Learning and Culture from the Founding to World War II by Geiger Roger
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a dense but complete history of higher education from the colonial times to World War II. Sometimes a bit too complete (e.g. spending two pages on the life of George Whitefield). I read it as part of a course on the history of higher education that I am taking and though it feels there were times when there was just so much detail, it also spoke to Geiger's ability to find all these details and use them to craft a very clear and substantial history. He traces the evolution of different components in higher education such as the faculty, the students, extra-curricular activities, curriculum, foundational supports, sports, and the like. Sometimes, he traces these threads chapter by chapter pulling them where necessary and still other times, he focuses an entire chapter on a given chapter. In the end, it's the place to start when you are ready to learn more about higher education.

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Short Story #398: The Silver Key by H. P. Lovecraft

Title: The Silver Key 

Author:  H. P. Lovecraft

Summary:

Book cover to H. P. Lovecraft: The Complete Collection with Accompanying Facts from Red Skull Publishing
This story returns to Randolph Carter, a character who shows up or is mentioend in other stories.  In thsi story, years have passed since Carter "lost the key of the gate of dreams."  He spends years trying to come to terms with this and accepting the commonness of everyday life, but it increasingly is challenging and he looks for ways to touch the world of wonder.  He tries many things like traditional faith, travelling, and even embracing the present world, but nothing seems to stick.  He returns to writing and though successful, he rejects his success as a writer as a sign of being common.  As Carter becomes old, he slips further and further into recollecting on his past rather than deal with the dull present life.  As he descends into his own dreams, he begins to recall family members who have been long dead and he dreams of his grandfather telling him of a silver key that had been passed down through the family but had not been open for centuries.  Carter realizes that he will be able to get back to the world dreams if he can find the key.  His dreams and contemplations continue to show him clues and eventually, he visits his family's ancestral home, believing he will find the key.  When he arrives, he is greeted by Benijah, the servant of his uncle and over 100 years old.  Benijah greets Randall as if he were still a boy.  This disorients Carter, calling him back to his childhood and recalling more memories of things about the home.  Benijah's spell leads Carter to go into the house, have dinner, and go to bed. But the next day, he wanders out into the surrounding land to a cave that he navigates through to find the silver key.  He returns home shortly after this.  The story breaks to explain that Carter's distant relatives speak of how Carter changed in his tenth year and became something of a prophet.  They talk of his ability to say things that later on panned out to be true.  They talk of such things because Carter has disappeared.  His servant reports him last being seen when driving out to his old home after finding a key in the house.  The narrator explains that people are interested in splitting up his estate because they believe Carter dead, but the narrator believes him to still be alive.  He seems to know that Carter is in a different realm, a realm of dream.  He also believes that he will be visiting Carter in a dream-city and hopes to see the silver key.

Reflection

I found the story a little hard to get into, but enjoyable in the reread.  I forgot what had last happened to Carter so it was slow in getting into the story and the first half does wax and wane a bit without much meat.  It feels like several pages of Carter rejecting the real world.  However, the slipping back and forth into his own dreams, making it sometimes hard to determine if he is in dream or in the real world was more exciting and (pun intended) spell-binding.  Seeing that so many characters appear and disappear in Lovecraft tales, I would love to see an infographic connecting all the different characters, gods, species, and places.

Rating:  3 (out of 5 stars)

For a full listing of all the short stories in this series, check out the category 365 Short Stories a year.


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Image of the Week #33: "Just Like Brother Wears!"

The Wellesley News (03-07-1918)

What Is It

An advertisement from the Wellesley News, the student newspaper of Wellesley College, from the late 1910s. 


Why I Find It Interesting

It's fascinating to see what shows up in early ads and in this case, "Lady Sealpax" has "Athletic Underwear for Women--Just like brother wears!".  I'm impressed with the aspirations towards being like men (though not in the sense that it is applauding the male idea, but just in the idea that it is saying women can be more than feminine).  I'm also curious how long this particular campaign--women as equal to men--stayed the norm for Sealpax after World War I ended and in which publications such ads were effective.  I'm dubious that such a campaign was as effective in Ladies Home Journal as it might be in this women's college newspaper, wherein readers might actually participate in sports.



This submission is part of the Image of the Week series.  For access to all photos, which are 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.

My Most Recent Reads - July 2016

July appeared to be a decent month for reading with twenty-one books under my belt.  Not bad considered I've been reading and writing so much to wrap up my course work.  There were a lot of great books to talk about but unfortunately, many of those I am reviewing so I may have to come back to them.  Regardless, there are definitely a few others that are worth talking about this month.


Interactive Open Educational Resources: A Guide to Finding, Choosing, and Using What's Out There to Transform College Teaching by John Shank

Overall, this book is a good introduction into the world of open educational resources and their implementation. it focuses on interactive open educational resources, which are free materials the require a bit more engagement from students.  It's  definitely a book geared towards instructors or instructional designers that have yet to really engage with OER as there are many sections that those familiar with OER will likely skim over.  But where it's most useful is the guidelines, instructions, implementation and evaluation considerations it walks readers through to actually using iOER.  It also has an abundance of resources that the readers will benefit from.  It's definitely for the neophyte but even the seasoned OER person will find some good uses by looking through it.


The Smarter Screen: Surprising Ways to Influence and Improve Online Behavior by Shlomo Benartzi


Benartzi's insights about usage and experience in the online world and what it means for how and why we interact (or don't interact) is quite insightful.  He emphasizes the different decisions that designers make in constructing websites and apps that could enhance our user experience.  Sometimes, they are as simple as where to place action buttons, other times, they emphasize how to reduce confusion and elicit clearer understanding by visitors.  In total, the book calls upon a variety of research of the last two decades to help us shape a virtual landscape that helps us rather than hinders us.  As an educator, I found there's much within this book to explore and make me think differently about online courses or even any kind of online content that I use or develop for students or faculty.  


Blackballed: The Black and White Politics of Race on America's Campuses by Lawrence Ross


As I continued my exploration into the depths of higher education, this book will be an important piece.  Ross delves deep into the racial politics on campus at a time when many different campuses are coming up against a generation of students who are calling out institutional racism with the resources to capture them and generate national conversations.  Ross captures some of the complicated histories that many institutions and college campuses must grapple with and negotiate as more diverse populations arrive on campuses and refuse to be ignored or devalued.  One of his most interesting discussions is around campus fraternities and the ways in which they directly and indirectly instill silence and isolation for African American students.  It's a timely book that can help campus leaders consider how to improve their campuses and become more welcoming to populations that have historically been outright denied or exiled on campus.


Monthly reads for 2016 (and you can always look at all of my books that I've read on GoodReads)


BOOKS

  • Interactive Open Educational Resources: A Guide to Finding, Choosing, and Using What's Out There to Transform College Teaching by John Shank

AUDIOBOOKS

  • Other People's Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom by Lisa Delpit
  • Heroes of the Frontier by Dave Eggers 
  • Space at the Table: Conversations Between an Evangelical Theologian and His Gay Son by Brad & Drew Harper
  • The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction by Neil Gaiman
  • Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley
  • Citizen Kane: A Filmmaker's Journey by Harlan Lebo
  • The Smarter Screen: Surprising Ways to Influence and Improve Online Behavior by Shlomo Benartzi
  • Little Rice: Smartphones, Xiaomi, and The Chinese Dream by Clay Shirky
  • The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yōko Ogawa
  • White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg
  • Blackballed: The Black and White Politics of Race on America's Campuses by Lawrence Ross

GRAPHIC NOVELS

  • Snowden by Ted Rall
  • Nightmare Escape (Dream Jumper, Book 1) by Greg Grunberg
  • Fieldhouse by Scott Novosel
  • Star Wars: Kanan, Vol. 2: First Blood by GReg Weisman
  • Star Wars: Obi-Wan and Anakin by Charles Soule
  • We Stand On Guard by Brian K. Vaughan
  • Outcast, Volume 3: This Little Light by Robert Kirkman
  • Monster Junkies (The Monsterjunkies #1) by Erik Daniel Shein 
  • Malice in Ovenland: Vol. 1 by Micheline Hess


What about you reader?  What book recommendations do you have for me?

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

Review: The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas S. Kuhn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As a colleague said, this is one of those books that becomes an essential text of certain academic fields and often quoted but rarely read. I read it and can understand its value though as the product of an academic culture that has strongly internalized the ideas that he sets forth meant that the book didn't necessarily strike me as impressive as it appears to have been at the time.

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Review: Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America

Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America by Ari Berman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Berman provides a comprehensive history of the Voting Rights Act from the challenges to get it passed to the most recent court cases that negatively impacting this monumental and essential legislature that protects voting rights of millions of Americans. I was impressed with Berman's tracing of different political leaders and organizations that were constantly working (some in support, some in attempts to undermine) and equally impressed to see how this explains the significant shifts in politics between Democrats and Republicans over the course of the 20th century. If you're looking to better understand the nature of race-related politics, the inequity of American politics, and the lingering institutional forces that still create a racial divide--this book provides a great lens to examine these issues.

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Short Story #397: The Outsider by H. P. Lovecraft

Title: The Outsider

Author:  H. P. Lovecraft

Summary:

Book cover to H. P. Lovecraft: The Complete Collection with Accompanying Facts from Red Skull Publishing
The narrator explains that he had lived in a strange castle for as long as he can remember and lived by himself.  The castle is surrounded by a dark forest that never seems to end and sunlight never penetrates the forest to shine upon the castle.  He wonders about the types of people that lived here previously and finds himself lonely.  He regularly thinks about the one dark tower that raises up high enough that he cannot see the top of it.  One day, he decides to climb it and slowly makes his way up inside the toward.  He eventually finds there are no stairs but he must scale the walls inside in order to move up.  He eventually finds a ceiling with a trap-door to climb though.  After briefly resting from utter exhaustion, he explores the room where appears to be some kind of storage room.  He eventually finds his way outside where he is showered in moonlight.  As he explores outside, he realizes that he is on solid ground--not high in the sky, but on regular earth.  Baffled and confused, he continues to explore the surrounding area and eventually wanders to find a place where people live.  He decides to get closer to hear and observe them. He decides to enter and when he does, all chaos breaks loose.  Screaming and yelling break out and the narrator is confused by the cacophony until he thinks he sees something that they are scared of.  He slowly approaches what he describes to be a distorted and horrific monster and in a moment of recognition flees and returns to his underground castle, never to return for the monster he saw was his own reflection.  

Reflection

I may have read this story before, but it is still a fantastic tale and one of Lovecraft's best.  There's a bit of Frankenstein in it.  The description and misdirects were well executed in this tale and that we walk through the story in the mind of the monster is also a great twist--though there are hints all along that this is the case.  The most fascinating part of the story is the description of his underground world and how he spends his days.

Rating:  4 (out of 5 stars)

For a full listing of all the short stories in this series, check out the category 365 Short Stories a year.


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