Saturday, January 24, 2009

741.6 ObamiconMe: A "Sign" of the Times

The Obama Hope campaign poster ...and the more recently created inauguration poster Shepard Fairley have inspired another creative group to develop ObamicomMe, an image generator where you and I can play around with the technique. Here are few of my favorites from the gallery of creations.
From these examples above, I see lots of ways they can be used in libraries and classrooms. Don't you?
Here are some of my efforts.

It does require you to register in order to save your creations, but it is super easy and a whole lot of fun!

image 1 & 3 of my creations: Microsoft Clipart
image 2: personal colection

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

025.8 Adminstrators' Conference: The Value of Libraries

Are you a TEXAS SCHOOL Librarian?
If so, have you nominated your principal, your assistant principal, or other administrator to attend the 5th Annual Strong Libraries, Strong Scores Administrators Conference to be held Wednesday, April 1st during the Texas Library Association Conference in Houston? The nomination process has begun.

Restricted to TEXAS School Administrators & Trustees

The administrators will hear how strong school library programs CAN positively effect TAKS scores. The evidence will be presented by nationally-known experts and teams of successful administrators and their librarians. There will opportunity to share experiences and ask questions on how to make current programs better!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

973.932 A Sign of the Times: What a Difference a Day Makes

I clicked a bookmarked site this evening (that I had just used yesterday) to do some fact checking and presidential trivial surfing and look what I got! The furniture movers who changed out two households in a matter of hours were not the only ones busy making change happen today!

Not to worry...all the stuff you are used to finding at is still there. It's just been virtually moved around a bit. The search box allows you relocate your information!

973.092 Presidential Facts: Trivial Fun for an Important Historical Day

With these simple, few words

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.

a major cornerstone of the process we in this country hold dear took place for the 44th time today as the 43th man to do so took the oath of office and became President of the United States.

Despite all the campaigning, the talking, the debating, the wheeling and dealing, the compromising, the organizing, the planning, it really comes down to those few words that brings about the transition...the the power of our government.

It is amazing in its simplicity.

Now for the traditional first facts portion of my thoughts.

It was reported recently that Barack Obama official photograph is the first to be taken with a digital film to fade or get scratchy, disintegrate, or fall apart!

President John Quincy Adams was the earliest person who served as president to be photographed by the Bishop & Gray Gallery although his picture was not taken until 1843, some 14 years after his 1825-1829 term ended.

There seems to be some controversy over who was the first sitting president to be photographed, but general consensus gives the honor to James K. Polk, the 11th President who served from 1845-1849. The reason for the confusion is that Matthew Brady and his team of photographers and other photographers of the time were busy taking pictures of lots of famous people and dates were not always carefully noted. Some important photos include only ranges of years as the time marker!

The missing piece of my historical puzzle is which president is the first to be photographed in color? The best guess I could determine in the small amount of time I allowed myself to research this trivia is that there exists a piece of colored film of President William Henry Taft made in 1912 that was put through a process to created a colored single frame or "picture" of the 27th president.

Why does this photographic history pf presidents interest me? I take digital the ease of them, but worry like a old person of the 20th century that I have nothing to "hold on to" for 99% of the pictures I have taken for about the last 5-6 years except for a computer file "somewhere" on some computer, old or new, while at least 2 dozen years of personal history taken on film are neatly filed away in become faded, scratchy, disintegrated relics of times gone by!

O, yeah, and a simple little picture that I personally own that was created by the Brady team that contains the likenesses of 6 participants of the Civil War...among them, a gruff-looking, old codger with whom I share a family tie (and unfortunately, a familiar look)...and one of his staff members who later became the 23rd President of the United States, Benjamin Harrison!

Will I share this photograph? You bet...just as soon as I find the digital copy I carefully put away...somewhere!

P.S. This post also contains my favorite piece of presidential trivia no matter who is president. I love to ask "how many people have served as president?" and have them give me the number of presidents we have had. Why do these 2 numbers not match? The same person served as both the 22nd and 24th Presidents. Now it's your turn to figure out who! :-)

"Artwork" of the oath created using Wordle.
Photographs from Library of Congress files.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

363.12 The Hudson Miracle

I have been watching the news on the Hudson River air crash the last few days and have truly been amazed at the stories that have come out of the event.

The Captain and his strength, ability and level-headedness at landing the plane so carefully is of course, a wonderful part of the miracle that occurred. But the individual challenges of all aboard are really something. Everyone helped each other, pitched in where it was needed, gave a hand out or an encouraging word...and turned the praise they received back towards the others.

And the new meaning to the old saying "on a wing and a prayer."

Friday, January 16, 2009

953.63 The Qatar Experience: A Worthy Flat Classroom Adventure

Early last month, I posted about a group of SBISD students who are trying to collect funds to help them attend the Flat Classroom Project Conference in Qatar next week.

The group did not meet their goal of raising enough money for all 9 students to attend, but came together, adjusted their plans, and now have three students and two teachers ready to go. The students still need some dollars for their expenses...meals, visas upon arrival, ground transportation and other incidentals needed for a few days in a foreign country.

The group embraced the goals of the program, worked hard with their fellow world-wide classmates, earned awards for some of their work, and have admirably represented what learning in the 21st century is. They DESERVE to be at the showcase...they NEED to be at the showcase representing all of us back home who are also working hard on transforming our learning, our teaching, our schools, our libraries, our world.

These kids have sacrificed much to reach this goal and so have their families. It has not been easy for anyone. Our area has been hit hard economically over the last several months...our community has been affected by the downturn in the general economy as has the rest of the country and the additonal punch that IKE caused to many of our neighbors and friends did not help! Donations have been hard to come by and many individuals in the area simply could not help when asked.

The group going only needs about $1000 more to cover everything. A thousand dollars for a life-changing experience.

The 4th student in line needs $3000 dollars to be able to jump on the plane with his classmates next Tuesday, January 21st. He has his passport...there's seat on the plane...and a spot in a hotel room. He's ready...except for $3000.

Please, readers of this regular readers and any new readers who may have been prodded by someone to read this post and its accompanying links...please go to the CHIPIN site and donate what you can.

Give up a coffee or two and give a kid a lift! It will give you a better buzz than the caffeine