Monday, October 24, 2005


In conversation with a friend last night, I was asked about a collage of images I keep near my desk that showcase various expressions/moods of Oscar Wilde. "Why Wilde?" he asked, and I answered that I liked the attitude. Kenneth Burke writes of symbolic action as "dancing an attitude," and I think Wilde lives into the dance in fascinatingly provocative ways. The friend, a man who has known me for many years now, laughed: "I can see that," he said.

So today? ... serendipity! I open my Google home page to find the "quote of the day":

The only thing that sustains one through life is the consciousness of the immense inferiority of everybody else, and this is a feeling that I have always cultivated. -Oscar Wilde
You've gotta love the dance!

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Friday, October 07, 2005

Mood Art

Junebugg passed along a connection to "TypoGenerator." My first read of the name for this clever digitoy conjured typographic errors - as in "typos," but no. TypoGenerator (re)presents text you supply in mood art. Don't like what you get on a first try? No problem. Try, try again. Here are five of the pieces I kept for myself today:

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Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Quote of the Day

From The Word Spy:

The quotation for Friday, June 11th
I fell in love — that is the only expression I can think of — at once, and am still at the mercy of words, though sometimes now, knowing a little of their behavior very well, I think I can influence them slightly and have even learned to beat them now and then, which they appear to enjoy.
Dylan Thomas, poet, short-story writer, and playwright, "Poetic Manifesto" Texas Quarterly 1961

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Monday, October 03, 2005

Playing With Tilda

Do you remember the first time you were instructed to keystroke a “tilda”?

The voice moved through a web address or some such with the tone of common-everydayness inflected to imply that knowing “Tilda” was simply a given, and you’d certainly never heard the term before. I laughed out loud when it happened to me … “tilda.” …never heard of that before!

“Tilda” is that wavy line (~) found in the neighborhood of the top-left of your keyboard and accessed with the shift-key held down. Yep, there it is! Well, Tilda is doing nifty things in a Google search to get more results out of a word than Google would return without it. Use “tilda” directly before a search word, and Google will return results for the word synonyms of the word as well – in this way searching something closer to concepts rather than specific/exact word. (For example, searcing ~pen returns pencils, graphite, and sketch.)

Give it a try!

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Spinning in Morning Sun

In picking myself up and brushing off from any next difficult moment, I might hear myself say right out loud to no one there, “The Big Ball keeps on turning,” and by that mean there’ll be another day, another shot at whatever passage I believed myself just then to have failed. Life moves in circles and spirals and repeat performances, and the game of getting one piece more of the project “right” on the next round names the my (pre)occupation.

Harry Chapin has been keeping company with me since the beginning of this semester when I learned that he was the grandson of Kenneth Burke – “Burke” as in philosopher, critic, and rhetorician I’m currently reading/studying at Purdue. That little tidbit brought Chapin to mind, and he hasn’t left yet. …no complaints.

So, just a couple of days ago, my friend, Kat, over at Keep the Coffee Coming, made a gift of a Harry Chapin song for me (along with yet another fabulous word – “lagniappe” – go ahead and check that one out!). This song is Harry’s way of talking to the recursive nature of life – “All My Life’s A Circle.” And I don’t know what possessed me this morning, but still in pajamas, when I turned the music on (again), I grabbed a baton from the cobwebs in the corner and found a bit of second-floor deck to spin a bit of my early day into the sunshine and remembering. Good feelings. Thanks, Kat.

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“There’s no straight lines make up my life, and all the roads have bends: There’s no clear cut beginnings, and so far no dead ends.”

Purdue English 106: First-Year Composition

My work at Purdue University this semester includes guiding an amazing group of first-year composition students through an introduction to writing anchored in the online community of the blogosphere - but the fun only begins there! We have already discovered the benefits of aggregating with Bloglines and tagging with Technorati, the convenience of social bookmarking with, and the fun of photo sharing with Flickr. The weeks ahead will provide opportunity for work with Creative Commons, Google, FaceBook, and a host of other clever activities available for creating a presence in the digital network. It's all very exciting.

Want to check out some of the work being done by these students? You'll find featured blogs listed under "Purdue English 106 Class Blogs" as you scroll down the information listed on the righthand column ---> . Scroll down past the Flickr badge to find the blogrolls: first "Academe," then "Rhetoric and Composition," and then you'll find the 106 class blogs. I encourage you to take a look at some of the fine writing being done there. Featured blogs are updated each week, so keep checking back. It's all good!

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Sprout A Couch

This amazing piece of "lawn furniture" is my favorite from among the offerings featured by "World Changing" this week in work posted to highlight "sustainable design. Among other (also fantastic) ideas presented, you'll find a lazer-cut paper table - awesome, "scrapile" furniture, chairs molded in pressed wood, and carved cork. The sprouted couch shown here comes with instructions for making your own. You gotta love it!

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