4/20/2007

An Excellent Blackboard Tool

Filed under: — Joe @ 9:50 pm

bFreeIt’s not often that “excellent” and “Blackboard” can go in the same sentence, but the University of North Carolina has released a (free, Creative Commons Licensed) tool that helps to add some excellence to Blackboard–or at least take away some of the anti-excellence. bFree quickly and neatly grabs the content from an exported Blackboard course–one of those zip archives that are hard to deal with in any way except importing them back into Blackboard or tediously going through all the weirdly named files to find your content. It doesn’t (yet) export discussion forums–but for most of the main sections it works perfectly. It preserves the file and folder structures, and lets you export to either a collection of files neatly arranged in their folders, or even to a website.

4/16/2007

Something about a Storm

Filed under: — Joe @ 12:30 pm

The big Nor’easter really had very little effect on us–it was a lot of rain, a little wind, not much more than that.

But what I like about it is the effect it had on at least one New York Times writer–bringing out his best poetic efforts!

Coming on a weekend, the storm had a relatively light impact on most residents. Many shops and restaurants that normally would have been open yesterday were shuttered, but without jobs or schools to attend, many people spent the day indoors with the Sunday papers, relaxing with music to go with the silken lash of rain hissing at the windows, dripping on a lazy afternoon.

The day was, in a way, like great theater: the drama of the approaching storm, the searching wind at the panes and rain dancing on the pavement, the smudged sky, the iron-gray day like a movie in black and white. The overcast was solid, great plates of corrugated iron fused from horizon to horizon, and the streets glistened in the rain: a metallic futureworld.

Thanks, Robert McFadden! “The silken lash of rain hissing at the windows.” I love it! 🙂

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