Sunday, January 18, 2009

Knitting Bee in Collagr

I saw on Lifehacker mention of a web based application called Collagr which can be used to generate collages from your photostream on Flickr or Photobucket. Since I like to play with photographs and images, I thought I'd see what it could do. The results were not quite polished enough to be completely happy with them, but it was easy to do. I think that some experimentation and tinkering with the settings would allow you to make a pretty nice collage.

The image below was generated with the default settings using my Flickr photostream. You put in the URL for your photostream directory or you can search terms. You can tinker with the settings after the images have been grabbed. Things like background color, spacing between pictures, and filter colors. Once generated, Collagr hosts the image. You can download it, or embed the link generated in your page. I chose the thumbnail embed link just to see if it would work in Blogger and it seems to, at least in Preview mode.

The image above used Large for the size setting. The one below used Small.

And this last one used borders instead of stitched.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Making the Best of Brrr

There's an intrepid group at work that usually walk together on their break to get some exercise and fresh air. Only heavy rain and cold deter them. The recent subzero temperatures have made it impossible to walk outside so they've decided to make the best of a bad situation.

They are using their break time to learn how to knit. Paula and Rita know how to knit and are giving lessons to Pam and Roxanne, the novices who are catching on very quickly. They have begun with a scarf as their project.

Hollaye joins them, working on her penny rug project.

Roxanne and Paula multitask, playing their Scrabble game along with knitting. They usually play Scrabble during their lunch break, so it's an ongoing game.

They've found the perfect way to take their minds off the miserable cold, by doing something together in congenial company.

I call them the Knitting Bee. They may not all be knitting projects, but they are knitting the fabric of friendship, sharing, and collegiality. It may be cold outside, but you can feel the warmth in the break room when they gather there.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

"Every Day is Full of Teachable Moments""

On the CBS Early Show this morning Kenneth C. Davis, author of the Don't Know Much About series, talked with Harry Smith about the importance of staying informed in 2009. How to do it? " Go to the public library. "Librarians should be in charge of things. They're helpful and it's free." Did he also say librarians should run the government? Or was that just my wishful thinking?

Watch CBS Videos Online

Sunday, January 11, 2009

lindawadman | Twitter Grader

The Twitter Grade at Twitter Grader measures the reach and authority of a Twitter user. Simply enter your Twitter username, click the "get grade" button and wait while your grade is generated. Your rank is calculated as a percentile score. A grade of means that @ scores higher than percent of the users that have been graded.

* The number of followers you have
* The power of this network of followers
* The pace of your updates
* The completeness of your profile
* ...a few others

The results give your overall rank, number of followers, number following, and number of updates. You can share this with your friends via a selection of services, social networking sites, posting it to social media sites or your blog, e-mailing or by tweeting it to Twitter.

It also generates a tweet cloud based on terms you used in your tweets. You can check a name to see if they are following you, download a social media kit, and follow Twitter Grader on Twitter.

In addition, you can look at who the Twitter Elite are (one way to find those who you mght want to follow), search by keyword, name, or e-mail address, or generate a badge to show of your Twitter Grade. Also, you can install a bookmarklet for Twitsnip in your browser. TwitSnip is a simple tool for easily posting to Twitter. It lets you "quote" text on any web page. It does nifty things like looking up the @user for the website and linking back to the source. It shortens the URL too. It even tries to shorten the length of the tweet (when needed) using a twitabulary of short words. For FireFox/Safari/Chrome just Drag-drop the TwitSnip link into your bookmarks. For Internet Explorer, right click and add it to your favorites. To use the bookmarklet browse around to some web page. Highlight/select some portion of text (as if you were going to copy it). Invoke the TwitSnip bookmarklet by choosing it. Review your tweet and post it.

My Twitter Grade Badge is below.

lindawadman | Twitter Grader

Posted using ShareThis

Friday, January 9, 2009

Fire and Ice

Since working in Minnesota, I've been absolutely fascinated by how they make the best of the extreme cold weather. One of the most entrancing, beautiful sights in the dark of winter nights is the glow of ice candles. The Embarrass cemetery is a sight of awe when each grave site has an ice candle burning on it one night in December, light as far as the eye can see.

Since I avoid thinking of the long, cold, miserable winters as much as possible the rest of the year, I was never prepared when it came time to make some ice candles of my own to enjoy. While the equipment needed is simple and inexpensive, it takes some time to eat gallons of ice cream so you need to remember this in summer and save those ice cream pails. With a couple of ice cream pails, a couple of soup cans, some water, and of course, freezing cold temperatures, you can make your own beautiful ice candle. This year I had the ice cream pails ready, but the weather which has been very cold decided to warm up just as I got the pails filled and half-frozen, so the making was slightly delayed. But this did allow me to adjust the soup can to the center of the slush so it was even all around. It did freeze again, and the two candles here were the result.

Candles in Process:

Now they are ready to take out of the buckets. Just bring them inside to the kitchen sink,turn them upside down, pour a little hot water on the bottom of the bucket, and they will fall right out. Then pour a little more hot water on the top, wiggle the soup can carefully so you don't cut yourself, and it should also just slide right out.

Take them outside and place them where you want them. Put a tea light inside each candle, wait for dusk, and use a gas grill light stick to light them. (Matches work, but may burn the fingers before you get the tea light lit.)

Try as I might with my point and shoot camera, I could not capture the marvelous light the same way as the human eye. I'll have to read up and try using our new DSLR to see if I can get any better result, but you can get the idea from these pictures.

This last picture was quite interesting when I loaded it. There are dog footprints where Gypsy and Babe milled around as I was placing the ice candles and the effect is kind of surprising. If you look closely, you can see the dog foot prints, but the effect you see first is that of a face. Can you see it?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Flaunt your Twitter with Twitstamp

I've been busily trying to organize all my Twitter bookmarks into some semblance of order so that I can use them to work on a More Things on a Stick wiki entry. I found I had over 340 entries for Twitter in Delicious, so it was a painstaking process to whittle them down and try to order them. Finally decided that there were just too many for one wiki entry so we will be doing two Things related to Twitter.

In the course of checking them out I decided to see what TwitStamp would do.

Here a tiny version of the TwitStamp:

Here's a small single tweet stamp chosen from a selection of eight varied

Here's a medium Twitstamp chosen from eight different

Here's the the general TwitStamp card I generated:

Twitstamp made it really easy to generate the stamps/cards. You simply plug in your Twitter username/ID, select from one the the three categories below the username blank chosing latest from user, single tweet ID, or Twitcard and click the Generate button. Your stamp/card is generated. Click on the size, then style of stamp/card you wish to use,and the code appears in three forms below. You then can copy the code you need for whatever use you need. You can also save the image to use as a graphic file. It couldn't be much easier. You can use it to illustrate your blog or other social media site, breaking up the monotony of too much plain text.

It appears that the tweet changes in each stamp to update to your most recent twitter post.