Friday, October 27, 2006

Post a video!


How did you get those cool videos to show up in the coblog?

One of the things the coblog enables us to do is embed media. In this post, learn how to embed video...

YouTube is a shining example of the democritization of media via web 2.0 principles. Although this is not the only video source online, it is certainly the most used. YouTube is basically the video version of Flickr (where Flickr is for photos). One of the most amazing things about the new web is that it is now being designed to come to the user, rather than making the user find it. Therefore, instead of providing a link to a video you watched in your post, why not embed the actual video, make the video come to us?

YouTube has made this really easy. All you have to do is copy the text (code) in the "Embed" box that is located to the right of the YouTube video you are watching. Then, click over to the "Edit Html" tab in the text editor for you post, find the place you would like for the video to appear, and paste the code you copied from your video. If you hit the "preview" button you can see if you did this successfully before posting.

For Google Video, the process is the same. However, on the Google Video site you are going to click the "Email - Blog - Post to Myspace" button, and then click the "Embed HTML" option to find the code you must copy and paste.

It really is as easy as that. And now you´re a webmaster!

Any questions?


All it takes is participation...

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On Posting...


While this is a collective blog and thus anyone who is a member can post to it, there are some directions and guidlines for posting. Please read this post so that we can keep the coblog organized, efficient, and usable.

1. The coblog now has what is called "peekaboo" posts. This means that on each post, only a summary is shown initially. There is then an option to click "read more..." which will open the full post. Likewise, there then appears "summary only..."which when clicked will return the post to summary view. The reason for including this feature is to make the coblog more readible and usable. Many posts end up being fairly long. This causes the user to have to scroll a great deal. With peekaboo posts, this problem is averted because summaries are all that is shown. Now, what does this mean for you? Well, in order to create a peekaboo post, you must follow these instructions:

Each peekaboo post will consist of two parts, the summary and the main part. The summary can simply be the first couple of sentences of the post, with emphasis on making it flashy to draw people to want to read more. When you open the text editor to create a post, you will see the following:

"Type your summary here.

Type the rest of your post here."

You must highlight the first line and overwrite it with your summary. Then you must highlight and overwrite the second line with the rest of your post. (for any html savvy people, this is just to ensure that the main post is within the span) If your post is short and you do not think it needs a peekaboo post, simply write the entire thing over the "Type your summary here" line and delete the "Type the rest of your post here" line.

2. In order for the coblog to be organized, the Labels must be utilized. Therefore, when you post, ensure that you enter labels (separated by commas) in the label box just below the text editor. These labels can be anything, but it is generally a good idea to use more than one and to try to use labels that have already been created, which you can find in the label cloud on the coblog.

Very important! The coblog now has a tabbed menu at the top of the post entry column. Right now, it consists of "Home" (all posts), "News" (posts labeled "news"), "Discussion" (posts labeled "discussion"), "Audio" (posts with embedded audio), "Video" (posts with embedded video), and "Instructions" (posts labeled "instructions"). In order to increase usability, make sure to label your post with either "news" or "discussion" (the "instructions" label is to be reserved for developers to post information pertaining to the use and functionality of the coblog along with tutorials). This will help us maintain two distinct sections for the coblog. If you would like to have more tabs, and thus more options for labeling, leave comments on this post so that they can be developed.


In review: 1. Make your post a peekaboo post! 2. Label your post appropriately! This means it must have at the very least one of the following labels: "News", "Discussion", "Audio", or "Video".

Any questions?


All it takes is participation...




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MTV Cribs



MTV actually stopped taping at a rapper's house and plans to cut the segment from the show because he has normal cars.


Personally I think the best Cribs I've ever seen was the lower-middle class suburban house that Redman showed off (not that I've seen many, but this is pretty good =).

But maybe Wu-Tang isn't good enough for MTV viewers. Check the quotes from the producer in the last paragraph:




MTV abruptly halted filming of the latest episode of "Cribs" yesterday, and plans to scrap the entire segment that featured a tour of platinum-selling rapper P-Krunk's mansion in suburban Atlanta.

Producers said the show was going well until they were led outside to check out his fleet of presumably tricked-out rides. "We were shocked, and dare I say appalled, when P-Krunk opened up his garage door and exposed two non-customized, frequently driven vehicles showing a bit of wear and tear: a 1998 Ford Aerostar minivan and a 2001 Toyota Corolla."Unfazed by the producers' grimaces and gasps of disappointment and confusion, P-Krunk began a detailed tour and description of his average autos.

"Check it dawg, my minivan is mad sensible. It gets crazy gas mileage and it's hella roomy, yo. I'm big pimpin' when I load up my shorties and my crew and we kick it at the Mickey D's drive-thru," said the married, 28-year-old father of two. "Gotsta have the removable back seat too, so me and my boo can be loading up bags of garden mulch and manure at Home Depot." The rapper carefully wiped down the exterior of his minivan—gently cleaning some dirt off the "My Child is an Honor Student at Peach Tree Prep" bumper sticker—with a chamois and moved on to his "main ride."

The bass was definitely not humping his face as the tinny hip-hop songs barely trickled out of the two, standard three-inch speakers mounted in the grey plastic dashboard.

"You feeling my Corolla?" P-Krunk queried as he relaxed in the cloth-covered driver's seat of the moderately priced, four-door, grey family sedan and played with the small plastic knobs of his factory-installed AM/FM radio with cassette and single CD player. "I like my B.Seigs & Freeway playing at a low, pleasant volume so I can pay attention to the roadeezy fo' sheezy." The bass was definitely not humping his face as the tinny hip-hop songs barely trickled out of the two, standard three-inch speakers mounted in the grey plastic dashboard.

When a cameraman pointed out that the car was missing a hubcap, the rapper laughed and said, "No big thang, nothing a twenty-spot can't fix down at the junk yard."

Asked if he plans on buying more expensive performance cars or a giant Hummer like many of his newly rich contemporaries in the near future, P-Krunk quickly responded, "Ten grand for rims? No my brother, this baller is hanging on to his paper. I don't need to be rollin' on dubs to represent and I sho' as shizzle don't plan on being a broke-ass bitch this time next year. Who do I look like, Hammer?"

"Cribs" segment producer Jonah Rothelsberg explained the reasoning behind shelving the show. "I appreciate P-Krunk's unique taste, but we have a responsibility to our young viewers and advertisers to show the real lifestyles that are true to the artist's genre of music. A rapper who doesn't capriciously spend all his money on cars and 100-inch plasmas is an anomaly that strains credibility. Our viewers would think we made this up or were trying to punk them." Rothelsberg cleared his throat and continued with a grin in a fake urban patois, "Sorry playa, my homies just ain't havin' it."

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Thursday, October 26, 2006

SEA Perspective


So this is the first time I have ever actually written on a blog and I am not entirely sure what I think about it yet. As many of the people reading this know I was and sort of still are a member of SEA for four years or so. I am reading this business strategy book for fun right now and it made me reevaluate some of the different things that I did in college with SEA. Here is a list of all the things that I did with SEA for the four years or so I was in it.

1. Protested Secretary of Interior Gail Norton and had Charles Benjamin give a rebuttal speech.
2. Dorm Carpet Recycling (messy)
3. Craft work (still going strong)
4. 04 political tabling (Boyda lost but not a bad time)
5. KSU Coalition for Peace (yeah that was my bad)
6. Dorm Recycling (i had this my freshman year)
7. Local Buyers Guide
8. The time we gave out hemp ribbons in exchange for people not driving to school.
9. Speakers: Svaty, Benjamin, Buffalo, Wind People, Global Exchange Bloke,
10. Camping & Canoeing
11. Sherow Campaigning (that was really good up until the end)
12. Greek House recycling (not really sure what happened)
13. Aggieville Recycling
14. In-Stadium Recycling
15. TailGate Recycling
16. Candidate Forum in '04 (same night as Dylan, bad turnout)
17. Countless Voter Registration
18. Tuttle Creek Clean Up
19. Sunset Zoo Clean Up (my dad is still mad at me for making him do that)
20. Curbside Recycling
21. Anti-Parking Garage
22. Manhattan/K-state Public Transportation

This is by no means a complete list but just what I came off the top of my head in 5 min. Some of them worked some of them never got off the ground. One thing that bothered me about them is that we kept on coming back to the same issues and it seems like we never learned from our mistakes. Each semester or year someone would mention dorm recycling and we would treat it like no one had ever tried this before. I don't really think that this is anyone persons fault, things just fall through the cracks. I'm not sure the best way to solve this; maybe take notes on the individual committee activities. Each week or month creating a time line with all of the different things that they did and all of the different people that they talked to. Imagine me advocating more structure. I love SEA and all of my friends that I met there but it would nice to see some things get all the way done. Hindsight is 20/20 right? Back to work for me.

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Michael Pollan and the Omnivore´s Dilemma



Michael Pollan rocks! Listen to this netcast from NPR Science Friday, 04/14/06:

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Ali G - Environment


Any Ali G Fans?

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Most Polluted Places



Ever wonder what the most polluted places on Earth are? Here is a list of the top ten. Chernobyl is only No. 5 as Dzerzhinsk, Russia tops the list:


Dzerzhinsk, RUSSIA
Affected Population: 300,000.
Pollutants: Chemicals and by-products of manufacturing of Sarin, VX gas, lewisite, yperite (mustard gas), prussic acid, phosgene, dioxins, lead.

“The World’s Most Chemically Polluted Town,” according to the Guinness Book of World Records, Dzerzhinsk was one of the principal manufacturing sites of the former Soviet Union’s chemical weapons program. Negligent disposal of almost 300,000 tons of chemical waste between 1930 and 1998 has resulted in highly toxic groundwater containing levels of industrial chemicals reportedly 17 million times the safe limit. Though many of the city’s industries are now out of operation, as much as a quarter of Dzerzhinsk’s population still work in factories that produce toxic chemicals.

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Slideshows


Which one of the slideshows down below in this column do you like better? The top or the bottom?

What do you think of the other slideshows? Likes/Dislikes?

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Gabbly Chat


Look to the right on the homepage! See that weird looking box that says Gabbly Chat? Want to know what it is?

Gabbly Chat is our own little chat box for our coblog. Whenever anyone gets onto the coblog, they will automatically logon to the Chat box. Then you can automatically talk to them. You can make your own name easily in the lower left of the box. If you click on the column with the arrow on the right side, you can see all the others who are also on the site. It is probably a good idea to be clear with your name if you want others to know who they are chatting with!

Gabbly Chat is an incredibly versitile tool that goes far beyond just chatting on this site. It has a built in RSS feed which you can use to keep track of the conversations that happened when you were not around. It also can be implemented easily into your own personal web portal (more on this later) so that you can chat with those on the coblog without actually being on the site.

Another thing you can do with Gabbly Chat is search. Use the little box entitled "Topic:" to search google. This will open a new window and in that new window the Gabbly box comes with you. The chat box automatically logs you into the chat for whatever site you go to. This makes it possible for you to chat with others who are on that site, using Gabbly, at the same time as you. This could potentially be incredibly useful, especially if you need help finding something or figuring something out.

An amazing tool to say the least. What do you think? Do you like it? Will you use it?


All it takes is participation...

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Convert Dollars to Barrels of Oil



Ever wanted to see how much things cost in barrels of oil rather than dollars? Now you can with this nifty plugin. Just set it up and all dollar amounts you see online will be converted to barrels of oil!

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Boeing's Zero-Emission Plane Set To Take Off


"Boeing plans to launch a hydrogen fuel cell-powered light-aircraft prototype within a year"

"
The only emissions from such a plane would be water vapor. The plane will be a small craft, and might have a top speed of only 70 miles per hour."

"
The system is mechanically simple. Fuel cells have no moving parts and run silently. They tend, however, to be bulky and expensive, which is why their use has never become widespread."

"

"The secret lies in making a fuel cell powerful enough to get an aircraft off the ground and to keep it climbing,” he said. “That takes a huge amount of energy and it is a big obstacle.”

Boeing has overcome this by backing up the fuel cell with batteries that provide extra power for take-off and then recharge while the aircraft is cruising."

"The Boeing project will be the first manned fuel cell- powered aircraft. Last year AeroVironment, a Californianfirm, flew an unmanned surveillance plane, the Global Observer, which was powered by a fuel cell."

"Another big problem is finding a supply of “green” hydrogen. Most commercially produced hydrogen is synthesised in refineries from fossil fuels such as natural gas. Critics call this “black hydrogen” because carbon dioxide is generated as a by-product, cancelling out many of the potential benefits."

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Steam Powered Bicycles!



Check out these sweet steam powered bicycles, yes, they really exist!

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Monday, October 23, 2006

Wave Energy


There has been some great advancements in the research of using ocean waves to create power. Check out the post on treehugger.com to start learning!

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2006/10/wave_power_ocean.php

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NPR - Solar Energy


This is just a test to figure out how to embed streaming audio and streaming podcasts.

Listen to this Science Friday Netcast:

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watershed/ environmental festival


hi all. i just wanted to float this out there to see what your thoughts on this might be. several years ago, i helped organize a watershed festival out at konza and at the ashland bottoms community center (on the way to konza). we had several speakers (dan wildcat, jim and bonnie lynn sherow, rex buchanon, walter dodds, keith gido, etc.) talk about the river...from various perspectives...historical, cultural, ethical, scientific, etc. we had a prairie, wildflower and watershed hikes, exhibits, etc. we also had a few folk musicians play, and did a tour of the watershed and foodshed by bike. it was all a lot of fun, and a great experience. it was also a great deal of work and planning too. i would say we had a small to moderate turnout.

i really think there is a great opportunity with a group like SEA to put together a local festival that celebrates all of the diverse beauty we believe in or dream about for our world. i don't think there is any better place to start than building some support and understanding for such ideas in your local community...and what better way to celebrate than with a local festival. i think such a festival could take on many forms, but it would require a strong committment too...and i know many of you have very busy schedules...with all of the wonderful things you are trying to do. if a festival was to do something celebrating the watershed where we live, i am sure that i could get two years of grant $$ to get things rolling (probably 3-5 K). this could be combined with local foods, recycling, composting, music, speakers, history, alternative energy...the list goes on and on...

anyway, here is a website of the event that i helped plan several years ago.... www.surfmanhattan.net/larf. this is just a small example of what can be accomplished. with a group full of fanatastic minds like those in SEA, who knows what is possible??

thanks for pondering this possibility. i'll be curious about your thoughts~ jeff

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Flickr


One of the things that makes, so called, web 2.0 so amazing is that each user in effect becomes a webmaster. This idea is evident in this blog because any member can post and anyone who visits the site can leave comments. However, as content goes beyond just text, so too does the contributing capabilities of anyone to this coblog.

In order to create slideshows in the past, the webmaster would have to pain stakingly collect photos from all the members in SEA, put them all in one place, upload them all to the internet, and finally categorize and physically make the slideshow. This is the old model, web 1.0 if you will.

Imagine taking pictures at an SEA event, putting them online yourself, and having them automatically make slideshows on the SEA website and on the coblog, all without knowing anything about making websites, writing code, or being a webmaster. This is no dream, this is exactly what we can and will do.

In order to do this you must utilize a web photo service called Flickr. There is a simple three step process to get you set up.

1. Go to the website and create an account
2. Begin uploading photos
3. Tag your photos with multiple tags


The main tags you should use are "seaksu" and "studentsforenvironmentalaction". You should tag all SEA photos with these two. You should also tag them with whatever event they were from i.e. for photos from this year at Wakarusa, tag them "recycalusa2006", for the canoe trip in fall 2006 tag them "canoeingfall2006". By doing this, specific slideshows can be created. For instance, if you go to the Recycalusa page on the SEA website you will see the constantly updated recycalusa2006 slideshow playing in the upper right corner. Immediately after you upload photos with the "recycalusa2006" tag, they will automatically show up on the website in this slideshow.

For an example of what this all looks like on flickr and for examples of tagging, check out these two accounts already feeding photos to the slideshows: bananahandsome and studentsenvironmentalaction.


Any questions? Leave a comment!


All it takes is participation...

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