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January 28, 2005

Bob Crimi Found

A while ago I was Searching for Bob Crimi, and tried a little experiment--testing the power of the blog. I posted to the Galaxygoo Blog that I was trying to find his contact information. A few weeks later, a google search for "Bob Crimi" listed my post as the first result. As I hoped, this got his attention, and we are now in correspondence.

Behold the power of the blog. :-)

January 27, 2005

Alton Brown Blog

It's not a surprise that Alton Brown, star of Good Eats, has a website. But did you know he has a blog, too? And he even posts to it now and then. A good read :-)

On a lark, I started browsing his site to see what the "mystery meat" navigation was all about...Alton Brown was here in San Francisco today! And I missed it. Oh well. Maybe someday he'll volunteer at a fundraiser for GalaxyGoo. That would be even better than "meeting" him at a book signing.

Alton Brown.com Blog

January 26, 2005

beginGradientFill with a-i, instead of box?

If you're not one of the coders who reads this blog, please just ignor this post.

Now, if you're a Flash coder and you're nice and comfy with gradient fills, I have a question for you. What does the a-i stand for in this matrix option for beginGradientFill:

matrix = {a:500, b:0, c:0, d:0, e:200, f:0, g:350, h:200, i:1}

Iv'e seen explanations of how to use the "box" type matrix, but not the a-i type.

January 24, 2005

New GalaxyGoo Blog?

You probably noticed the science theme here on the blog, but do you know what GalaxyGoo's primary mission is? It's to increase science literacy. One way to do that is to create a welcoming environment for exploring math and science.

We're exploring the possibility of adding a new blog; one that you might not expect from us and we'd like your feedback.

There are all kinds of books and kits on learning science through "kitchen experiments". These can be a lot of fun, and we're thinking of exploring this realm on GalaxyGoo. We would combine science experiments with food science and technique. One thought is that we could request recipes from scientists. There are many possibilities, and this could help build a stronger community at GalaxyGoo. After all, what is more basic to a community than food?

January 21, 2005

Standalone Powerpoint to Flash Converter?

Ok, did I miss something? Or has Macromedia already released a stand-alone Powerpoint to flash converter. Breeze has been able to do this for some time, but I didn't know there was a stand-alone version.

I just got done with a survey from Macromedia--yes I was tempted by the possibility of winning an iPod--and at one point was asked to read a bunch of product descriptions. In among the descriptions was something called Producer: a Powerpoint to Flash converter. Wow! That would be amazingly useful to have.

January 19, 2005

Bit-101 Forums Back Online!

Yep, I'm happy, happy, happy. Keith Peters worked some kind of magic and the BIT-101 forums are now back online. Yeah!

BIT-101 :: Index

Climate Monitoring Program Unexpectedly Looses Funding

This article, NOAA Loses Funding to Gather Long-Term Climate Data, includes a nice map of both existing and planned sites for the climate network.

Quoted from the article:
To Kevin Trenberth, head of the climate analysis section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, the message from legislators is even bleaker. "It's almost as if some people don't want to know how the climate is changing," he says. "Maybe they prefer uncertainty, so that they can avoid taking action." ~ Jeffrey Mervis

NSF Challenge Bookmark

The folks at NSF - Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge snail-mailed some pretty book marks promoting the challenge. If you'd like one, send me a note with your mailing address and I'll get it in the mail for you. I've only got five, so first come first serve. They're glossy paper with the brain image from their website at the top.

January 18, 2005

MIT Professor Stands up and Walks out on Harvard President

This article came to me through AAUW. It's quite remarkable how prejudice can persist. What amazes me is that his comments were addressed to a meeting on women and minorities in Science and Technology.

"Here was this economist lecturing pompously (to) this room full of the country's most accomplished scholars on women's issues in science and engineering, and he kept saying things we had refuted in the first half of the day," said Denton, the outgoing dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Washington.

Summers already faced criticism because the number of senior job offers to women has dropped each year of his three-year presidency.
~Harvard President Article

When Summers used personal anectodal "evidence" for his suggestion, a professor at MIT had apparently had enough and walked out.

Update: It's always a good idea to double-check sources, and I should have double checked about who the president of MIT is.

The buzz on technorati is mixed. Much of it seems to flippantly defend Summers and his statements. Very sad. I can't immagine what the response would be if he'd chosen and ethnic group instead of a gender.

January 14, 2005

Bookmarks Blog

For a while now, I've been keeping some posts in draft format--the ones that are basically bookmarks. It's been a convenient place to keep links. Especially time sensitive links.

I've also been working on a database application for storing links on the GalaxyGoo servers, integrated with the GalaxyGoo Member Tools. The system is still in development.

So, in the mean time, I've set up a new GalaxyGoo blog just for these bookmarks. They're mainly for my own use, but you're now free to browse them. I'll be adding new posts and categories over time.


January 13, 2005

Location Based Services using Flash

Over at the ArcIMS and ColdFusion Users blog, Kirk posts a request for anyone working with Location Based Services and Flash for Mobile Devices to contact him, but there's no way to comment.

Kirk, I'm researching similar topics for an upcoming project and I'd very much like to see what you dig up. You can contact me at khenry at galaxygoo dot org.

January 12, 2005

Educational Flash Nominations?

After posting about the Flash Film Festival Nomination Extension, I started wondering about what kind of projects folks are nominating this year.

I'm really curious about the Education category. Have you worked on an educational piece this year? Any science projects open to the public?

Flash Film Festival Nominations Extended

The folks at FlashForward have extended the deadline for awards nominations to January 24th. If you've built something you're proud of or seen something that impressed you, go ahead and nominate it.

[Flashforward >> Flash Film Festival Nominations]

January 11, 2005

Building a Clay Model of a Cell

Here are some pix of the clay cell activity. If you want to try this out, you might want to check out the Cell learning tool for an overview of the organelles in a generic animal cell.

First make the organelles, each with it's own colored clay. This image shows the nucleus and endoplasmic reticulum.

A real cell is much like a fluid sack with smaller objects floating within the liquid. That's tricky to model with clay, in 3D. So, we work from the inside out, adding a layer of white clay to simulate cytoplasm (the liquid within a cell) between each layer of organelles.
assembling the model

Once we have the cell assembled, we can take a cross-section. In this image several organelles are visible.
cross section of the model cell

January 10, 2005

Non-profit leadership reading list

This year, I made one big resolution, to become a better non-profit leader. I'm not wasting any time, and am already working on it. I just picked up some books I had special ordered through my local bookstore. Here's my current reading list:

The Nonprofit Membership Toolkit, by Ellis M.M. Robinson

Improving Leadership In Nonprofit Organizations, eds R.E. Riggio & S.S. Orr

Selling Social Change (Without Selling Out): Earned Income Strategies for Nonprofits, by Andy Robinson

The Collaboration Challenge: How Nonprofits and Businesses Succeed Through Strategic Alliances, by James E. Austin

Boards That Love Fundraising: A How-to Guide For Your Board, by R.M. Zimmerman & A.W. Lehman

If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, and are interested in getting involved with GalaxyGoo at the Board level, have experience volunteering for non-profits and participating on their Boards, please contact me.

Cell Workshop

What a great weekend! Usually, I try not to work on weekends, but I couldn't resist this time. I was asked to put together a hands-on workshop for a Math/Science Network event. The purpose of their events is to increase "increase the participation, retention, and advancement of girls and women in mathematics, science, and technology." My workshop would be for a group of 20-25 twelve year old girls interested in Science and Math.

Since we've been working with it so much lately, I decided to focus on the Cell, and had the girls build models of a cell out of clay. Each organelle was made from a different colored clay. Once the cells were completed, they were to slice the models in half, examine the cross sections, and try to identify the organelles they had just modeled.

The girls were just amazing! They asked great questions, and dived right into the activity.

I was completely energized.

January 07, 2005

Self-Dividing Line is beautiful

I've been a fan of Jared Tarbell's work for a long time...as have many. Going through my bookmarks today, I came across this page from his catalog of fine prints. I think it's an image from one of his flash experiments that inspired me to first contact him. When someone does work this wonderful, I'm inspired to send them thanks.

It amazed me how similar it looked to the cover of Science that was sitting on my desk at the time--of some kind of vegitation with frilly edges.
Complexification | Gallery of Computation

Mathematics and the Cosmos

Mathematics and the Cosmos is this years theme for Math Awareness Month. Stay tuned for announcements about a GalaxyGoo Flash challenge as we get closer to April.

If you've got an idea, or would like to sponsor the challenge, please contact me at khenry at galaxygoo dot org, or post a comment to this post.

January 06, 2005

New Year's Resolutions

Christian Cantrell asks What Kinds of New Year's Resolutions Do Developers Make?

When I started GalaxyGoo, I was just a geek trying to give something back, and I had no idea how to run a non-profit organization. I've learned a lot since then, but my main resolution for this year is to become a much better non-profit leader and still have time to code. So I guess my second resolution is to manage my time better.

I still need to write up a schedule of goals for this year, but one of the priorities is to finish the project collaboration space tools. We will also expand The Cell project, and develop a program for teachers to participate in. I'd also like to get the Flash/MathML project moving again....ah, so much to do and so little time.

January 03, 2005

Pooling the Blogosphere Resources for Aide

This is great! I've been trying to think of a way that I can encourage others to send aide to the tsunami disaster area. Fortunately, I came across this via jdb cyberspace.

Webloggers: Give to tsunami victims and I'll give too! (Anders Jacobsen's blog)

Mr Jacobsen even compiled a great list of aide organizations and formatted them in html, to make it easier on us bloggers to post them.

International aid organizations:
UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund)
United Nations' World Food Programme
Medecins Sans Frontieres / Doctors without Borders (donate!)
CARE International
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

Disasters Emergency Comittee (DEC) - comprises a raft of aid agencies, including the below and others
British Red Cross
Save the Children UK

North America:
American Red Cross
Canadian Red Cross
Save The Children

Anders Jacobsen: Webloggers: Give to tsunami victims and I'll give too!

January 01, 2005

Red Cross

Off topic--personal:

My husband and I have donated $100 to the Red Cross International Response Fund, to aide the survivors of the Tsunami disaster. This is a dangerous time for the survivors, especially from contaminated water and disease carried by mosquitos (which thrive in stagnant water).

American Red Cross - Preparing Communities for Emergencies and Keeping People Safe - Preparedness