July 23, 2007

Suppport the GalaxyGoo Cause on Facebook

Recently, I discovered the Causes app on FaceBook. This application puts the power of online social networking into grass-roots efforts and fund raising. As the head of a non-profit, naturally I was curious. Getting set up was fairly easy and their staff was very helpful.

If you're on FaceBook, you can add GalaxyGoo to your causes with a simple click. You can recruit new supporters, make a donation, or just show your support by "being there". Note that the "invite" feature is stalling, currently. I've been reminding them every few days, on the app developers "wall". Trying not to be annoying about it, but it is a fairly important feature. :-)

One of the things I really like about the app is that as an individual, you can support several causes all in one place. Very cool! It really takes the supporters perspective into account. If you're a publicly minded person, it can be challenging to keep track of the causes you support.

It's also been more successful for GalaxyGoo, as a fund raiser. In the first few days, we had $75 in donations from three different supporters. In contrast, our six degrees badge has yet to see any action.

September 27, 2006

FLY Pentop Computer

I'd love to get my hands on one of these things: Fly Pen Educational Toy | FLY™ Pentop Computer

The computer is in the pen, which writes on special paper as if it was a regular pen. The user interface is much like hand-writing notes with a normal pen on paper. If it really works, then it could be revolutionary. Especially in math education. I'm curious to know how sensitive the recognition is for text, and if it's any better than using a stylus on a screen.

It's unclear how much the special paper really costs. I had a hard time finding an actual number of pages included in any of their "paper" products. And then there's the whole environmental impact issue. How long does the paper last? Is it archivable? Is it recyclable or reusable? Can you erase it?

The website is cool but a bit overproduced, in my opinion. It relies too much on large flash files and voice (without text). It's like to see more straightforward information. There's a lot of waiting for content to load.

July 28, 2006

Links to Bookmarks Blog

I haven't had time to add a link to my bookmarks blog to the template here, yet. Also, I'm just getting back in the habbit of blogging my bookmarks, after our blog downtime.

In any case, if you'd like to see what I'm taking note of, you can check it out.

July 20, 2006

GalaxyGoo Gazette Links

There's nothing like publishing in print to make you appreciate the hyper-link. To make it easier on our Gazette readers, we're including all of the links from the newsletter here, in the order in which they first appear.

June 17, 2005

Bit-101 on Dental Tools and Interface Design

Keith Peters posted a great ariticle today, on the user interface of a dental tool. Fantastic observations on how they've made use of limited space to quickly communicate scale.

May 25, 2005

Unhappy flight booking

Well, I was hoping to use travel miles to pay for the flight to London, but things just haven't worked out that way. I tried booking my flight by phone, but was informed that there were no seats available for the dates I need to fly. I could call again and see if a seat opens up. I didn't want to take a chance of not getting a flight at all if I kept up the daily gamble. So I asked if I could use travel miles to upgrade a ticket after purchasing it. Sure! If there's a seat available.

Searching travel sites, like expedia, orbitz, and travelocity, I was surprised to find better prices on the airline's website. I went ahead and booked a ticket online, and planned to call every day or so until a better seat opened up . But when I called today to see if any seats had opened up, I was told that my tickets could not be upgraded at all. What?! At no point during my online booking session was it apparent to me that the tickets could not be upgraded. Not only that, but they didn't credit my frequent flyer account with the so-called online booking bonus. I am not a happy camper.

OK, I'm done ranting.

April 27, 2005

Bye-bye blackboard...from Einstein and others

At Oxford, they have a blackboard that Einstein used while giving a lecture.

In early 2005, blackboards were given to British celebrities to "chalk". The results are shown in this exhibit, Bye bye blackboard ..... A very cool concept, in my opinion.

April 22, 2004

DonorsChoose, funding education needs

I just came across this url, for the DonorsChoose website. It's an online service for hooking up donors with school teachers. Teachers make proposals for materials they need for their classes, and anybody can contribute money to meet those needs. There are a lot of science proposals listed!

I haven't tried it myself, so I can't offer an opinion on how well the service works. If you've had any experience with it, please post about your it in the comments.

March 25, 2004

Jonathan Kaye offers free presentation with Breeze

If you're interested in building simulators with Flash, I encourage you to contact Jonathan about his Introduction to Programming Equipment Simulators in Flash (a Breeze Live presentation).

And if you don't already have a copy, check out his book: Flash MX for Interactive Simulation. It's one of the best Flash books in print, in my opinion.

Continue reading "Jonathan Kaye offers free presentation with Breeze" »

February 03, 2004

Google Logo Goes Fractal

This has got to be the best logo variation I've seen on Google.

Thanks to Edwin, for posting about it in our forums!

January 21, 2004

Piracy, it's not just for breakfast: Part 3

While there are many problems like piracy and decompilers and such, maybe these issues are more proof that Open Source software can be a good way of distributing software & code. There are many different forms of licenses that one can put on Open Source software, ensuring that for instance with some licenses the code that was distributed with the software cannot be used to create Closed Source software or can be used to create commercial software, etc... While these licenses only hold value to those that care about them and not to those that want to rip software regardless, they do hold legal value. And let's be honest, who wouldn't feel proud when someone creates something new building on your code and is acknowledging that its using your code?

The recent purchase of SUSE by Novell for $210million shows that there *is* money to be made in the Open Source world. Also the announcement that China has granted Sun a contract to distribute 1 million copies of its SUSE-based Java Desktop System in China, with a potential order for 200 million copies, shows that more and more people see the enormous potential that Open Source software can offer.

I don't think I'm going out on a limb when I say that GalaxyGoo supports the Open Source community wholeheartedly (while not closing our eyes to the aforementioned problems).

Piracy, it's not just for breakfast: Part 2

To follow-up the Piracy-issue, another hot issue in regards to 'stealing' software, is decompiling and reverse engineering software & code. Using a decompiling tool one can potentially take someone else's piece of work and extract all kinds of info from it such as code, graphical items, sounds, etc... But ofcourse these tools can also be used on one's own files when for instance the source-files were on a crashed HD.

Recently there have been some interesting discussions on the FlashCoders mailing-list on these topics and a page on the FlashCoders Wiki has been created for this topic.

January 15, 2004

Piracy, it's not just for breakfast.

Several days ago, I came across Nick Bradbury: On Piracy. While I knew that there was a problem with piracy of shareware, I hadn't realized how bad it is. What I don't understand is why folks refuse to pay such a reasonable fee for services provided. Have ethics simply evaporated?

Nothing is free. So, what is the price of piracy? When does the cost, trickle back to the pirate? Does it ever?

December 12, 2003

Reinventing the Chalkboard

These notes got burried in the obscurity. Since some folks may benefit from them, I'm posting them here.

Reinventing The Chalkboard

Presentation Notes for May 22, 2003

By Kristin Henry


Effectively communicating science and math online presents a unique array of challenges. When considering design, it is important for content, concepts,
and interfaces to be approachable and usable. But there is also a technical dimension: for example, how to render scientific and mathematical concepts within
a browser environment. Kristin Henry, President of GalaxyGoo, Inc. (an interdisciplinary think-tank dedicated to exploring expressions of science and math using online
technologies), will discuss these challenges and demonstrate effective solutions drawing on her own work, and other examples drawn from the Internet.

Continue reading "Reinventing the Chalkboard" »

December 08, 2003

Invisible Women

John Dowdell extends Doug Bowman's question of "Who/Where are the Women" in web standards. Why are women almost invisible in the flash community?

Sites like FlashGoddess show that there are indeed women Flash developers and designers. So, why do the boys ignore us?

A number of comments to Doug's post mention that women may not wish to "out" themselves, but let their work stand for itself. Rings true to me.

December 01, 2003

Overcoming Stigma and Descrimination on World AIDS Day

It's hard to believe that today, decades after the world first became aware of AIDS, the disease is still shrouded with stigma. The challenge to educate seems as daunting as finding the cure itself.

The theme for this year's World AIDS day is Stigma and Discrimination. Take the World AIDS day quiz, on AVERT's website, and see how much you know about HIV and AIDS.

November 16, 2003

Open Source Convention 2004

OSCON 2004, will be in Portland, Oregon--July 26-30. Expect a call for submissions in mid-December.

November 15, 2003

Spam Conference 2004

That's right. There will be another Spam Conference, in Cambridge. January 16, 2004, 9am to 6pm.

Let's hope for some great ideas for dealing with the problem. Hmm....don't wait for others to come up with ideas, start thinking of ideas and talking about them. If you've got a blog, post your ideas. Have you seen or heard a good idea? Give it some publicity, get some conversation going.

November 11, 2003

Tarbell's Bubble Chamber

One of my personal Flash heros, has been busy with Processing. The results are quite remarkable: Bubble Chamber | Processing exhibition, November 2003

One of the gallery images reminds me of a lunar landscape, in sepia tones.

October 20, 2003

Powers of 10

Has anyone seen this? Powers of 10 is from Optical Microscopy at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at Florida State University. I just thought it was a pretty cool way to tie it all together.

September 18, 2003

Lifelong Kindergarten at MIT

If I could go to MIT, I'd want to be in this research group: Lifelong Kindergarten Group. Looks like a dream come true!

July 15, 2003

MIT opencourseware: Common Sense Reasoning for Interactive Applications

MIT OpenCourseWare | Media Arts and Sciences | MAS.964 Common Sense Reasoning for Interactive Applications, Fall 2002

I'll be reading this on my own. If there is enough interest, I'd be happy to set up a "study group" on GalaxyGoo.

July 14, 2003

book publishing model for IT?

Will open source lead the way to more traditional knowledge publishing?

Dangerous thinking: IT User and the Prisoner of Licencing

July 02, 2003

more than the sum of parts

Here's an interesting thought: according to Clay Shirky, the "user of social software is the group, not the individual." The group is an entity itself and not merely a collection of individuals.

-- via enterFrame --

June 25, 2003

Gibson: meaning depends on context

I try to avoid quoting out of context, but this one is just too beautiful to pass by:

Regardless of the number and power of the tools used to extract patterns from information, any sense of meaning depends on context, with interpretation coming along in support of one agenda or another. ~William Gibson, The Road to Oceania

May 21, 2003

Schemasoft's MathML to SVG

Normally, I don't pay attention to the sponsored links on google. But this one caught my eye:

MathML to SVG Converter

May 18, 2003

Fluency in math?

MIT web project aims to increase student fluency in mathematics

... "We're always getting questions from faculty like: 'Do you really teach complex numbers in your courses?' because students claim they've never seen them. Whether the students have forgotten or just don't recognize them in another context, we don't know. It's complicated because things often appear in slightly different language further downstream...."

Could this be a sign of change in how math is taught? Will emphasis be on understanding concepts instead of memorizing mechanical steps? Will students apply concepts? I'm eager to see the learning tools this produces.

[via Online Learning Update]

May 16, 2003

Global Health Organization Calls for Ideas

Grand Challenges in Global Health issued a Call for Ideas to the global scientific community.

The goal: "The primary intention of the initiative is to stimulate research that will produce solutions to the identified Grand Challenges in Global Health. The initiative is expected to draw widespread attention to interesting problems with major consequences for public health; in addition, it will provide funding for attempts to solve those problems. These features of the initiative should serve as a stimulus to increase participation in science relevant to disease in the developing world by scientists everywhere and to encourage collaborations among them."

I wonder if education will be suggested. Well supported, high quality, context specific educational programs could go a long way to improve health around the world, both in developing and industrialized countries.

April 26, 2003

Avatars at the Awards

This year's Webby awards will be a little different. The festivities will be held on-line, so that nominees won't have to travel.

Maya Draisin, executive director of The Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences, said in a press release "...presenting the awards in San Francisco without all of the nominees present is not true to the spirit of the Webbys, so we decided to bring the Webby Awards to them instead."

Update: Front page of today's SF Chronicle features an article on the cancellation of the Webbys Awards show.

April 25, 2003

We're Here's almost Here

The good folks at We're Here have announced an open beta (May 5th) and launch on May 12th.

Update (May 6, 2003): Apparently, the "open beta" is for previous moderators on the forums. Hopefully, the rest of us will get to play on the 12th.

April 22, 2003

Spammed at the Webbys

For a couple weeks, GalaxyGoo was the leading write-in for the Science Category of the Webby Awards: People's Voice. Getting a little exposure with new audiences was the real goal.

Sadly, we've been spammed off the ballot by a website that doesn't have anything to do with Science and they've held the leading write-in position for over a day now.

What's so great about the leading write-in position? Well, it gets listed on the results page along with the official nominees.

April 15, 2003

Sleeping Students?

The folks at flashinthecan were kind enough to broadcast sessions online. So I logged in and happily listened to Josh Davis' presentation.

Toward the end, he made interesting comments about how different it is teaching undergrad versus continuing ed classes. In general, his continuing ed students are serious and dedicated. Not so with the undergrads. One even fell asleep in one of his classes.

Very odd.

February 25, 2003

Women in Science in the UK

Dr. Amy Muhlberg was kind enough to send me some great resource sites on women in science in the UK:

The Athena Project
Women's Engineering Society
Association for Women in Science and Engineering
The Greenfield Report on women in science in the UK

update: Fixed the links. Thanks for the heads-up, Edwin and Richard.

February 18, 2003

Visualize Science Challenge

The National Science Foundation and Science challenge you to apply your artistic side to the visualization of science and engineering.

Deadline: May 31, 2003

NSF - OLPA What's Cool - Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge

February 10, 2003

blog ecosystem

Did you know there's a blog ecosystem? Here's GalaxyGoo's little niche:

ecosystem stats for GalaxyGoo Blog

February 06, 2003

National Budget and Science

National funding of research shifts to defence. Take a look at the AAAS Preliminary Analysis of R&D in the FY 2004 Budget: AAAS R&D Budget and Policy Program

February 01, 2003


In times of crisis, it may be wise to get your information from the source:NASA - Space Suttle Columbia News

December 17, 2002

Robert Penner's Book

Book reviews aren't something I normally do, but Penner's book, (Programming Macromedia Flash MX), is the best book on FlashMX I've seen so far. UltraShock set up a forum for it: interesting discussions, and Penner himself is participating.

Along with Moock's book, due to be released on Dec 19th, Penner's book may guide actionscripting to a new level of maturity.

December 06, 2002

Pretty Pix: Earth as Art

An art show of photos taken by the Landsat-7 satellite: Earth As Art

December 02, 2002

AIDS Historical Science Essays

With the Thanksgiving holiday, I'm a few days late with this. But...better late than never.

Science, 29 November 2002: Historical Essays on HIV/AIDS

November 24, 2002


Lest anyone think that I'm overly flash-centric, here's a gem of an experimental site: bodytag - web programming explorations. Mostly Java and DHTML. Thanks to Edwin for the lead on this site.

These are some gorgeous experiments, but at least one warns "No guarantees on speed here (mac users should just give up now.)"

November 23, 2002

Juniverse on Wolfram

A view of Wolfram's science
from within academia.

November 18, 2002

Designing Pythagorgrams?

If you read the GalaxyGoo blog, you probably already know about the Juniverse blogs. She's come up with a nifty little "widget", as she calls it, on Math Design in the Juniverse

November 12, 2002

European Mathematica Symposium

Hey! There's a Mathematica symposium planned for London!

International Mathematica Symposium 2003

November 04, 2002

Archimedes Article

An interesting article about Archimedes: Science -- Netz 298 (5595): 967

October 25, 2002

Unity --> multi user drawing

What happens when you give Collin Moock's Unity to Jared Tarbell? Simple Draw | a Unity driven multi-user environment

mesmerizingly cool!

October 22, 2002


Edwin, thanks for pointing this out to me: Proce55ing 1.0 _ALPHA_ They describe it as a "a sketchbook for developing ideas and a context for learning fundamentals of computer programming within the context of the electronic arts".

October 02, 2002

Math Design

Over at the Juniverse, June Lester has a new blog: Math Design in the Juniverse.

September 23, 2002


I recently discovered this fascinating blog: Afterhours in the Juniverse

September 01, 2002

Great article on Flash development

New to Flash development? This is a great article, from the perspective of a traditional developer interested in Flash.

Coding for a Time-based Medium: Preparing traditional developers to develop in Flash requires some new terminology and careful separation of code and interface elements.

(via "Mesh on MX" blog)

August 30, 2002

plotting link

I hope Kim doesn't mind me shining a spotlight, but this is very my opinion. Great potential. Creative! I wish I could have played with this when I had to take statistics!
distributed plotting

She's sharing the source code too!

August 27, 2002

MathML central

A new MathML resource! MathML Central: A Wolfram Web Resource

August 26, 2002

Ego Elevation

Today, my profile was added to the flashgodess website.