Boris the Spider

Today’s Daily Create merges perfectly into what will be week 2 of our #CLMOOC #DigiWriMo pop-up animate week. I’ve been fairly nervous of animating things from scratch so far, but I’ve been paying attention to Niall and especially a recent animation by him, so today I thought I’d have a go. I dusted off a spider bought years ago for Halloween, looked out some blutack and switched on my camera. I took a series of photos moving the spider up the kitchen wall (stuck on with blutack) and climbing across the clock. I finished off with a couple of close ups.

Back at my PC I opened Windows Movie Maker and added the series of “moving” images four times to make a decent length “movie”, then added my two close up shots to the end. Next I  selected all the images and edited the duration to 1 sec each for all but the final, which I left for 2 secs. After a bit of searching through my CD piles I found my The Who compilation CD and ripped in in Windows Media Player to convert from CDA to MP3. After that it was easy to add Boris the Spider as the sound track. I should then be able to publish it to YouTube, but Movie Maker refuses to recognise my account, so I published to One Drive instead and shared out that link. Annoyingly, that has no embed code for WordPress, so I still had to upload a copy to YouTube to share here. The result is rough and ready – but it was really not hard to do and I am not unpleased with the result.

Why not give it a try? If you don’t have Movie Maker, then there are free versions of it available online, and many alternatives. Share the results with your favourite hash tags and tag #AnimWk so we can see it 🙂

Posted in #CLMOOC, #DigiWriMo, MOOC, Photos | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

What makes an image digital writing?


This is a question that Karen and I have been mulling over for the past couple of weeks – without coming to any firm conclusions. This week we threw it open to the CLMOOC DigiwriMo Pop-up in the form of a S L O W chat embedded in a Google Doc. Here’s some of the things this got me considering:

  • When is a photo “just” a photo and when does it become digital writing?
  • Is it necessary that it contains alphanumeric text? Is it sufficient that it does?
  • What about the addition of hyperlinks?
  • What can we say about meaning? Can we make sense of a multiplicity of meanings/perspectives?
  • Is it better to talk about digital composition?
  • Are we asking the wrong question, as Tellio suggested?

And so, so much more. Come join us in the text and in the margins and add your voice to our conversation.

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img_1531Last year, as a way of introducing ourselves at the beginning of Digital Writing Month (DigiWriMo), Maha, Kevin and I came up with the idea of an ALT-CV (a Curriculum Vitae, or CV, is the British word for resume):

What if we could write a CV that was based not on degrees and position and peer-reviewed publications, but on what we think is most important about who we are and what we are genuinely most proud to have accomplished? We know it’s not the first time some of you see an activity of introducing yourself differently – so this might be easier for some than others, but we hope all of you will enjoy doing this.

I collected all of the results to a Hack Pad:

We were amazed by the variety of media that folk used to do this, and loved all of the rich content that resulted. So this year, as CLMooc does DigiWriMo, we’re inviting all of you to put together an ALT-CV and share it with us all by posting it to the Facebook Group, the G+Community, sharing with the #CLMooc hashtag on Twitter – or all of them.

Here’s mine from last year.

And here’s a brand new Hack Pad to collate this year’s ones:

Posted in #CLMOOC, #DigiWriMo, MOOC | Tagged , | 2 Comments

The British Library

It’s a long way to travel from Glasgow to London just for a two hour meeting, but that’s what I did yesterday. And although it was a long way to go, the thought of two longish journeys that I could use to catch up with some research was really tempting. So I set my alarm for 5:50 am and settled myself on the 7:37 pendolino to London Euston – armed with papers to read, data to code and socks to knit.

I started out huddled up in a big cardigan, but by the time I got to Euston that and my coat were stashed in my rucksack and I emerged from the station into bright sunshine. I was a little early for my meeting, so I wandered up the road to stretch my legs. St Pancreas Station was looking glorious in the autumn sun:

St Pancreas

The entrance to the British Library, where my meeting was taking place, is also spectacular:

Newton by Paulozzi

This statue, I discovered, is by Scottish sculptor Eduardo Paolozzi (you can see his name on the plinth):

Newton by Paulozzi

It’s a statue of Newton based on a print by William Blake (thanks Google!):

Newton by Paulozzi

At the entrance to the Conference Centre I spotted this plaque:

Plaque of Anne Frank's tree

These words gave me pause – they could be uttered by any of is today. It was hard to get a photo of the tree itself – this was the best I could do:

Anne Frank's tree

After a very productive meeting of the Futurelearn Learner Experience Advisory Group I  headed back to Euston and the train home.


Papers read, data coded, socks knitted and beer enjoyed. I arrived back in Glasgow at 8pm and headed up to our local pub to meet N and sample new vegetarian options on the menu: beetroot burgers and battered halloumi with chips. Yum!

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Dream Team

Yesterday’s Daily Create asked us build our dream team of five. Meh, no inspiration for that – so here’s Deleuze’s five from ATP:

Yet much of positive value came of Deleuze’s flirtation with the greats. He discovered an orphan line of thinkers who were tied by no direct descendance but were united in their opposition to the State philosophy that would nevertheless accord them minor positions in its canon. Between Lucretius, Hume, Spinoza, Nietzsche, and Bergson there exists a “secret link constituted by the critique of negativity, the cultivation of joy, the hatred of interiority, the exteriority of forces and relations, the denunciation of power.” Translator’s introduction to ATP, p.x

pics of Lucretius, Spinoza, Hume, Nietzsche and Bergson

Maybe one day I’ll be clever enough to spell this out more.


Posted in D&G, DailyCreate, DS106, Philosophy, Rhizomes | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Statues in the park

It is such a beautiful day today – we weegies have to celebrate these – so Niall and I pocketed our cameras and headed out to Kelvingrove. The sun was shining on the Uni tower, looking tiny here in comparison to the Highland Light Infantry Memorial:

Highland Light Infantry Memorial

It was busy in the park today, with lots of folk out with the weans, so taking shots of scenery free of humans was hard. I spotted a squirrel, though, darting through the trees:


As we walked up to the highest part of the park, I asked Niall who this statue was of:

Lord Roberts

“Probably somebody who killed lots of people”, he guessed – yup, he was right. The plaque on the statue could be the Brexit Manifesto, he suggested:

Lord Roberts' statue plaque

To many statues glorifying war in this park – here’s a better one:

statue of lioness and cubs

As we wandered around, I clicked through the filters on my camera, experimenting with an extra bright one:

Glasgow Autumn

And taking yet another photo of the Uni Tower:

Autumn Tower

And the fountain – costing £200 in 1870 – that’s actually only just over £20K nowadays:

Kelvingrove Stewert Memorial fountain

This is lovely – with imagery of the Trossachs taken from Scott’s “the lady of the lake”, this was erected to celebrate the establishment of Glasgow’s first permanent supply of fresh water from Loch Katrine (ain’t Google great?).

Posted in Photos, Scotland | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Why I write

Everybody's doing it.

The Daily Create today asks for us to answer the question “Why I write”. So why do I write?

I write because I am angry,

I write because I am sad,

I write to get my thoughts clear in my head,

I write in the hope that others will answer my questions,

I write because I have an itch in my head that I am trying to scratch out,

I write because bombs are illegal, and words aren’t (yet),

I write because I write.

flickr photo by athene.noctua shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-SA) license

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Celebrate the season

It’s a beautiful sunny day here in Glasgow today, so Niall and I were delighted to see that today’s Daily Create urged us to get outside and take photos of our surroundings. At the moment our pathways are carpeted with autumn leaves, and I spent a glorious time one evening last week kicking through them:


I paused to take this shot of our beautiful main building:


and then we headed for Kelvingrove. Niall stopped here to admire the view before getting out his camera:


I turned as we walked, and snapped the Uni tower again through the trees:


The sycamore leaves are glorious at the moment:



The Kelvin is full of leaves, drifting downstream like confetti:


The Botanics is splendid as usual:


I love this monkey puzzle tree


Then back to work, past the local secondary school:




Posted in DailyCreate, DS106, Photos, Scotland | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Visualising scales

I recently sent Wendy a string art card I’d made and she responded by playing it back to me. As I listened to how she heard my strings, I realised that I also wanted to play me making the cards. wendy-card

The first thing I do is use a stencil to prick out the ten points.

Then I take the first colour of thread and join up alternate dots 1-3, 2-4, 3-5, 4-6. 5-7, 6-8, 7-9, 8-10, 9-1, 10-2. I fumbled this a bit, just as I do when I am sewing in a hurry:

Then I take the second colour of thread and join up every third dot:

1-4, 5-2, 3-6, 7-4, 5-8, 9-6, 7-10, 8-1, 2-9, 10-3:

Working out the last few notes in that was a bit hard!

So there we have it – musical instructions for making string art. 🙂


Posted in #CLMOOC, Gifting, Music | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Christmas Korknisse

Autumn is here and my thoughts have turned to Christmas, and what I can make for friends and family this year. Last year I experimented with some Korknisse – cork elves – and this year I wanted to improve on my design and make them into Xmas tree decorations. img_1356

So I bought some red and green yarn, and found tiny bells and googly eyes on the internet. I already had gold thread in my stash to make the hanging loop with – I think this might have been from Granny Sarah’s stash as it is a very old bobbin.

Today, as I was coding data for my PhD, I made my first one – now all I need to do is glue the hat and sweater on and it will be finished.


Posted in #CLMOOC, Gifting, knitting | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments