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Interesting things found in the blog-o-sphere

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Sometimes You Find Cool Stuff Just by Kicking Over Some Rocks

Perhaps your head is exploding with all the new stuff coming out of every electronic orifice. It might be useful to consider how you go about getting your dose? Maybe it’s RSS, it might be clicking every link shared by a Jedi master, or slogging through the plaff of twitter, heck it might even be from a magazine.

I have a technique that never fails to give me a lift (when it works), yet I can hardly claim it is reproducible. It’s equivalent to kicking over a rock when hiking just to see what might be hiding underneath, when you find something cool (or just as not, squishy) in an expected place.

For a while I have been saying I should keep track of all the useful or interesting things I have found online by sheer serendipity. The best part is the surprise factor, and that it is very likely something that is not in everyone else’s news feed.

One source that works occasionally is scanning the links people put in their e-mail footers. Sure mostly it is their blog, or their company, or their math department.. but quite often people put links in their footer to something they are truly passionate about. When the listservs I read are dull, I scan the footers.

The one I can remember is someone on the Second Life Educators List had a link to Free Rice, a fun site that offers a multiple choice quiz to identify the meaning of a word:

For each word you get right, we donate 20 grains of rice to the United Nations World Food Program.

Okay, 20 grains is pretty small, but spell a lot of words right and…. But its a great concept that ties together two unrelated goals (getting “smarter” and feeding the world) in a clever way.

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Finally A Meaningful Use For Excel: GraphJam

OMG, my sides are aching from laughter, just me and my web browser and the GraphJam site which is taglined “Pop cullture for people in cubicles”. People submit Excel generated charts and graphs that illustrate sayings, song topics, or just relationships of things from history or modern life (Found this in the latest issue of WiRed).

So the pithy old saying about “thinking my old man was some dumb until I turned 29 and realized how much he learned by then” becomes GraphJammed:

song chart memes
more graph humor and song chart memes

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Look Out! CDB is Australia Bound

On July 5, while most of America is recovering form whatever it is they do to themselves the day before, I’ll be strapped into a plane 15 hours to fly to Australia. Yes, despite whatever happened, whomever I coughed on, on my visit there last October they are letting me come back. modified from creative […]

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Eerie Parallels

Don’t ask why, but this snapshot I got a few weeks ago while Skyping with Bryan Alexander, or known to some as “Dr Nemo” reminds me of the mashup I did a few years ago after meeting Doug Engelbart with a screen shot of him from the “Mother of All Demos” Doesn’t Dr Nemo like […]

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Tweet and Receive

It’s been frequently noted that the response effect of twitter is not a simple matter of opening an account and yelling for help; as a new tweeter you get the tree-falling silently effect. That said, I feel overwhelmingly fortunate to put out a single request and get a string of responses. With this, and despite […]

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Shouldn’t I Be More Suspicious?

Blog comment spam is one thing, but when you get an email like: Hello Alan, I’ve been reading Cogdogblog and I love the work you are putting out. My name is Xxxxx xxxxxx. I work with Xxxx XXXXX Xxxx in Xxxxxx, Xxxxx. I would love the opportunity to chat with you about potential partnership opportunities. […]