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This is an experimental, informal blog for learning about blogging, blog development, and blog-related professional development activities.

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Sunday, March 20, 2011

PABeaufaitBookmarks (weekly)

  • tags: Evernote TOSs terms services

    • By submitting to Evernote any ideas, suggestions, documents and/or proposals through the “Contact Us” interface or otherwise (collectively, “Contributions”), you acknowledge and agree that: (a) your Contributions do not contain confidential or proprietary information; (b) Evernote is not under any obligation of confidentiality, express or implied, with respect to the Contributions; (c) Evernote shall be entitled to use or disclose (or choose not to use or disclose) such Contributions for any purpose, in any way, in any media worldwide; (d) Evernote may have something similar to the Contributions already under consideration or in development; (e) your Contributions automatically become the property of Evernote without any obligation of Evernote to you; and (f) you are not entitled to any accounting, compensation or reimbursement of any kind from Evernote under any circumstances.
    • Evernote shall be entitled to use or disclose (or choose not to use or disclose) such Contributions for any purpose, in any way, in any media worldwide
    • you retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Service. Other than the limited license and other rights you grant in these Terms of Service, Evernote acknowledges and agrees that it obtains no right, title or interest from you (or your licensors) under these Terms of Service in or to any Content that you submit, post, store, transmit or display on, or through, the Service, including any intellectual property rights which subsist in that Content (whether those rights happen to be registered or not, and wherever in the world those rights may exist)
    • If you believe that your work has been used or published in the Service in a way that constitutes copyright infringement, or your intellectual property rights have been otherwise violated, please provide us with a formal notice in accordance with the procedure herein
    • You acknowledge that a variety of Evernote actions may impair or prevent you from accessing your Content or using the Service at certain times and/or in the same way, for limited periods or permanently, and agree that Evernote has no responsibility or liability as a result of any such actions or results, including, without limitation, for the deletion of, or failure to make available to you, any Content.
  • Times Topics: Japan

    tags: English Japan news NYTimes world

  • A blog focusing on Business Writing Tips since Dec. 2010

    tags: business writing wink_students

  • Ten rules for writing effective mail messages that the Writing Center, Inc., will explore in coming weeks.

    tags: business mail rules tips wording writing wink_students

  • "Though Crusan (2010), Ericsson and Haswell (2006), and Shermis and Burstein (2003) offered a more thorough treatment of machine scoring in general, in this article, I concentrate on one program―MY Access! (Vantage Learning, 2007)―briefly describing it and discussing a small study conducted in a graduate writing assessment seminar at a midsize Midwestern university in which graduate students examined second language writers’ attitudes about using the program as a feedback and assessment tool for their writing in a sheltered ESL writing class" (¶2).

    tags: assessment automation ESL essays evaluation machine scoring writing

    • several problems are inherent in machinescoring.

      First, though Ferris (2003) claimed that students will improveover time if they are given appropriate error correction and thatstudents use teacher-generated feedback to revise things other thansurface errors, students rarely use programs like MY Access! to reviseanything other than surface errors (Warschauer & Grimes, 2008);paragraph elements, information structure, and register-specificstylistics are largely ignored. Second, although teachers can createtheir own prompts for use with the program (more than 900 prompts arebuilt into MY Access! to which students can write and receiveinstantaneous feedback.), MY Access! will score only those promptsincluded in the program. Third, regarding essay length, in many cases,MY Access! seems to reward longer essays with higher scores;consequently, it appears that MY Access! assumes that length is a proxyfor fluency.

    • Overall, students’ opinions regarding MY Access! were mixed; students founduseful aspects as well as aspects they termed less helpful.
    • Some students found workingwith the program very helpful in discipline, encouraging multiplerevision. Others liked working with the many tools provided, findingthem very helpful in the revision process.

      On the other hand, some students, lacking basic computerskills, found the program stressful and unusable. Others werediscouraged by the seeming overabundance of feedback; in some cases,writers found it overwhelming, so they tended to disregard it. Our mostdisheartening finding: When some of the students were unhappy with their scores, they found ways to raise them by simply inserting unrelatedtext to their essays.

    • They appreciated the help MY Access! offered in finding grammar errors, but they were not always sure how to fix them. Further, theprogram offered no positive comments about what students were doingwell, which could negatively impact student motivation. In addition,after working on a prompt once or twice, many became bored and wanted to switch to another prompt. Many of the student writers used MY Access!for surface editing only and rarely used it for revision. In general,students in this study did not use features in MY Access! (e.g. MyPortfolio, My Editor), possibly because their teachers did notexplicitly assign them.
    • Locallycontrolled assessment is important; when assessments are created fromwithin, they are specific to one context―they are developed with a veryspecific group of students in mind, considering what those students have learned in their classes and what they are expected to be able to do as a result of what they have learned in that context. Standardized toolssuch as the many machine-grading programs available today cannot address this specificity.
  • "Official BBC feed reflecting top news stories and programmes broadcast across BBC World News television, BBC World Service radio and online at bbc.com/news" (Bio, 2011.03.15).

    tags: BBC news radio television world

  • The "Tokyo Broadcasting System, News Portal Site" covers various categories of news in tabs across the top of the home page, including: society, politics, economics, international, sports, 列島 (inactive), and weather. There are also a configurable, animated listings tab (連続動画, 3snewsi) and a listings tab for various editorial columns (報道コラム一覧, column).

    tags: audio Japan Japanese news TBS Tokyo video ニュース

  • Site offering activities and stories in various thematic groups: Animals and Nature, Everyday Life, Seasonal, Fairy Tales, Poems and Rhymes, World Stories, and Colour in Stories (2011.03.15)

    tags: activities books early education English literacy reading resources viewing wink_students storytelling learning

  • "Free Downloadable Audio Books ... [:] fairy tales, classics[,] and poems for children" (headline and tagline, 2011.03.15)

    tags: English reading literacy books resources early education wink_students

  • "No need to reload, updates automatically."

    tags: audio BBC earthquakes English Japan news

  • Menu of online reading collections: Three Little Plays, Fiction and Non-Fiction, Comics, Folk Tales, Greek Myths, and Chinese Fables (2011.03.15)

    tags: English reading literacy books resources early education wink_students

  • "Not-the-usual tips, advice and resources for expats living in Japan" (Bio, ¶1, 2011.03.15).

    tags: English Japan reading Twitter

  • "Tokyo restaurants, bars, fashion, music, film, art and relaxation. Time Out Tokyo: Know more, do more" (Bio, ¶1, 2011.03.15).

    tags: English Japan reading Twitter

  • "News from The Daily Yomiuri, the English-language sister publication of Japan's largest daily newspaper, The Yomiuri Shimbun" (Bio, ¶1, 2011.03.15).

    tags: Daily Yomiuri English Japan news newspapers reading Twitter

  • NHK World English radio news program

    tags: audio English Japan listening mp3 news wink_students

  • analysis of danger from power plant damage and related failures

    tags: earthquakes Japan leaks melt-down nuclear power radiation

  • Hood (2011.03.14) prefaces expert comments regarding changed risk of large tremors in Tokyo with "it is too soon to know" (¶1).

    tags: earthquakes experts geology Japan tectonics Tokyo

  • Bowdon pointed out "how poorly ... traditional news media cover issues pertaining to children" (¶1), and illustrated the problem with what was then a news-breaking case in point, 48 hours after sending his findings to "Google's press office" and getting no response (¶14). Not long after posting on his blog, perhaps less than 12 hours later, Bowdon got a response from Google; and less than a day after that, he received a follow-up clarification from Google, both of which he subsequently reflected on in updates at the foot of this post.

    tags: children contests Google identities media personal information schools social security numbers

  • Michael Pidwirny (Lead Author);John Shroder, Galal Hassan Galal Hussein (Topic Editor) "Plate tectonics". In: Encyclopedia of Earth. Eds. Cutler J. Cleveland (Washington, D.C.: Environmental Information Coalition, National Council for Science and the Environment). [First published in the Encyclopedia of Earth July 19, 2010; Last revised Date March 7, 2011; Retrieved March 14, 2011

    tags: earthquakes geology plate tectonics plates spreading convergence continents Pangea resources tectonics

  • "The model with an Okhotsk plate fits the data better than one in which this region is treated as part of the North American plate. Because the improved fit exceeds that expected purely from the additional plate, the data indicate that the Okhotsk plate can be resolved from the North American plate. The motions on the Okhotsk plate's boundaries predicted by the best fitting Euler vectors are generally consistent with the recent tectonics" (Seno, Sakurai, & Stein, 1996; online abstract, retrieved 2011.03.14).

    Reference
    Seno, T., T. Sakurai, and S. Stein (1996), Can the Okhotsk plate be discriminated from the North American plate?, J. Geophys. Res., 101(B5), 11305-11315.

    tags: earthquakes geology plate tectonics plates

  • "Japan lies on the cusp of the Pacific-Philippine-Eurasian triple plate junction, where the complex interactions of three tectonic plates is unpredictable and loaded with potential activity" (¶1, 2011.03.14).

    tags: earthquakes maps world geology geography plate tectonics plates Ring of Fire resources

  • tags: earthquakes maps world geology USGS geography

  • Worldwide earthquakes with M4.5+ located by USGS and Contributing Agencies. / (Earthquakes with M2.5+ within the United States and adjacent areas.)

    tags: earthquakes maps world geology USGS geography

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Maps (not) showing radiation in Japan

The map found with the first URL below displays "...[r]ealtime radiation data collected via the System for Prediction of Environment Emergency Dose Information (SPEEDI)[,]" according to a March 19, 2011 01:00 (JST) update in the sidebar, which equates "Under Survey" (調整中) to "censored."

Japan map of Japan Radiation Maximum by Prefecture by Do,Ken,To,Fu - TargetMap 


Less detail appears on top-level maps prepared by the apparent data source (SPEEDI):

Disaster Prevention and Nuclear Safety Network for Nuclear Environment/ English Top Page
環境防災Nネットホームページ


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Facebook To Share Users' Home Addresses, Phone Numbers With External Sites

Is Facebook's bark (see update at foot of Bosker's post about Facebook) less worse than its bite?

Facebook To Share Users' Home Addresses, Phone Numbers With External Sites 
Bianca Bosker, HuffPost Reporting;
First Posted: 02/28/11 09:04 PM; 
Updated: 03/ 2/11 08:43 PM

(published with Chrome's BlogThis! extension; labeled and revised after posting)

Monday, March 14, 2011

In case you're wondering about us in Japan ....

In case you're wondering about recent events in Japan, some of cataclysmic proportion, this post may help put them in perspective.

Northern Japan is still popping, and is likely to continue to do so frequently for months if not much, much longer. The following U.S. Geological Survey sites show where, and get updated routinely:

Southern Japan is popping different ways, through active volcanoes. For instance, see: Shinmoe Dake volcano (Google Search). A brute force translation of that volcano's name is New Burning Peak. However, it's "new" relative only in human reckoning. The Pacific Ring of Fire has probably been around for 10's if not 100's of millions of years (see: USGS, This Dynamic Earth, Historical Perspective; and Age of Oceanic Lithosphere graphic, below). "About 90% of the world's earthquakes and 80% of the world's largest earthquakes occur along the Ring of Fire" (Wikipedia, Pacific Ring of Fire). Japan Meteorological Agency cameras in the Kirishima range occasionally monitor Shinmoe Dake. To see what's up, click on: 霧島山 猪子石(新燃岳),  霧島山 猪子石(御鉢), or 桜島(東郡元), near the bottom of the list at the right of the page. 

GeoDharmaYT's plate tectonics snippet from a BBC documentary (Earth: The Power of the Planet, c. Jan. 2008) illustrates the underlying mechanisms.
  • plate tectonics (YouTube, GeoDharmaYT)
    • http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/tvradio/programmes/earthpoweroftheplanet/index.shtml
    • http://www.plymouth.ac.uk/pages/view.asp?page=33688
    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryrXAGY1dmE
If you're still wondering why shtuff like earthquakes and volcanoes happen around here, take a look at the Deep Ocean Trenches in the area around Japan, also visible on the right side of the Age of Oceanic Lithosphere graphic (by Elliot Lim, CIRES & NOAA/NGDC, based on Muller et al., 2008) below:
  • "Computerized digital images and associated databases are available from the National Geophysical Data Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/" (NOAA/NESDIS/NGDC/MGG-Frequently Asked Questions in Marine Geology and Geophysics).
Japan is at, near, or over convergence zones of four tectonic plates:
  1. Eurasian,
  2. Okhotsk (arguably separate from the N. Am. plate),
  3. Pacific, and
  4. Philippine.

Source: U.S. Geological Survey, Moving slabs (USGS, This Dynamic Earth, c. 2008-09)

Shtuff happens where plates converge. Large earthquakes and aftershocks can cause tsunami capable of traversing and rebounding across oceans. In short, this puts people riding the plates, especially the edges of them, at risk. I hope this makes understanding the ride, if not immediate and consequential human losses, easier.

Reference

Muller, R.D., M. Sdrolias, C. Gaina, and W.R. Roest 2008. Age, spreading rates and spreading symmetry of the world's ocean crust, Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 9, Q04006, doi:10.1029/2007GC001743.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Another century post slips past

I figured it was time again for a human post when I noticed 300 for potpourri on the dashboard, and the month of February gone by without one. The 3ooth was an automated Diigo bookmarks compilation. Does extending the dashboard metaphor mean I was asleep at the wheel?

No, the three such automated posts last month represent about thirty Diigo bookmarks (February 2011). What with categories, highlights, notations, quotations, and tags as options, not to forget [group sharing,] Diigo-to-blog and -to-Delicious output options and other extensions, I'm beginning to think of Diigo as my micro-blogging engine of choice!

As the chart in the graphic and figures below indicate, total numbers of visitors and countries from which they hail continue on modest upward trends.

2010-10-15 79 2338
2010-11-00 n.d. n.d.
2010-12-15 80 2397
2011-01-00 n.d. n.d.
2011-02-15 81 2444

Local time is:

(JST)