Let’s talk about online teaching!
So U of C shut down in-person classes (and campus in general) in mid-March last semester because of COVID. I won’t be teaching again until summer, but I am doubting that classes will be in person by then. Hell, classes might not be in person in the fall, either.
I ended up using my laptop in its “tablet mode” to finish out the remainder of last semester, meaning that I used it like a tablet to write out all my notes while I dictated and recorded the notes/dictation, then uploaded all the recorded lectures to YouTube. This worked okay, except doing 50-minute recordings made my laptop super hot and I don’t want to demolish it during summer, where I’ll be teaching back-to-back two-hour classes M/W/F.
So I decided to get all fancy and bought a Wacom One tablet!
I’m scared to open it ‘cause it was super expensive and I don’t want to break it, but I’ll have to test it out before summer to make sure it actually does what I need it to do. Namely, I’ll need to be able to write in OneNote on my little note packet PDFs and record the tablet screen while doing so.
Edit from a few weeks later: okay, yeah, this is going to work really nicely I think. The tablet reads as another monitor to my computer, so when I’m lecturing through Zoom, I can “share screen” my tablet and whatever window(s) I have open on the tablet screen show up to my students and get recorded.
Edit from summer semester: this works amazingly! I love this little tablet. Definitely a worthwhile investment, since fall will also be online.
OH MY GOD I KEEP FORGETTING TO BLOG ABOUT THIS
So we were away from the Superstore for a little while and when we came back they had THESE.
LOOK AT THEM.
They’re little electronic price labels and they are fascinating.
Edit: I just spent fifteen minutes reading a brochure about them.
Can…can regular people get a hold of these? I just want, like…five of them.
(Sorry, these are for some reason obscenely cute to me and must be treasured and protected. I don’t know what my problem is.)
Edit again: we’ve seen a few injured ones (punctured/broken screens) lying to the side of aisles in the Superstore and it’s so hard not to take them, hahaha. I’d get in so much trouble, I’m sure.
A Child from the Future: “Grandpa, what did you do for fun when you were younger?”
Look at these Millennials ruin everything.
Those vacuums in that pile of cereal, though, that was hysterical.
Didn’t think I’d spend 12 minutes watching a video about twinkling Christmas lights, but this was actually super interesting.
Yo, nerds, remember when I posted this blog containing a video of visualizations for 15 sorting algorithms?
(Probably not. But I did!)
If that video gave you seizures and you still want to visualize some sorting algorithms, check this video out!
Do you have a favorite pair of headphones and want to test how well they perform? Or are you looking to buy a pair of headphones but can’t decide between a few different models? Try this website! It lists a bunch of tests you can run by just listening to different sound files on your headphones.
Give it a try!
(Confession: I’m mostly posting this for my own reference later, haha)
So thanks to Euro Truck Simulator and American Truck Simulator, I’m kinda into medium/heavy trucks now. And the creepy, privacy-invading algorithm that is Google must be aware of this, because these two videos showed up in my “recommended for you” on YouTube.
That’s…that’s really impressive. This could be a really useful feature, especially if it’s automatic and will apply in cases where, say, the driver falls asleep.
(I am now subscribed to the “Volvo Trucks” YouTube channel).
Edit: a Scania!
I want one of those sad little fabric cars, too.
That is all.
I’ve been trying to resist.
I’ve been trying to convince myself that there is no practical need for this.
But then we went to Best Buy last week and I got it anyway.
It lights up and has colors, yo. How could I resist?
It’s also super clicky-clicky, which badass.
Edit: DUDE I MADE IT A RAVE PARTY MACHINE AND NOW I CAN NEVER GO BACK TO A REGULAR KEYBOARD
(The intense color of the light is not captured on this video; the colors are SUPER BRIGHT.)
Do I need one? No. Not right now. But I know I’ll need one at some point, once my current one’s battery bites it due to too many walks in freezing cold weather. I was worried that Apple would discontinue their iPods due to the fact that their phones do everything that the iPods do and more. But as this article points out, iPods are good for the demographic that can’t afford the phones and/or don’t want to deal with smart phones but still want a music player that can connect to wifi.
So yay! I’m glad there’s at least one more iteration.
Me: I am so obscenely busy right now that I barely have time to sleep
Also me: Ooh, let’s learn LaTeX!
Yeah, I know, I should already know LaTeX, I know. I’m a bad person. But this is the same problem I ran into with learning how to write dynamic WebWork questions: it’s something tedious and coding-like and I absolutely love doing it, but it takes a long time to do it when you’re first learning it.
I shall try to put off the real learning/adventuring until I have a bit more free time, instead of, you know, trying to re-write all my math and stats notes in LaTeX prior to the start of the next semester.
So my mom brought this to me a while ago (she bought it for some sort of work-related recordings she needed to do, but never needed it?):
This is really stupid, but I’ve been tempted to try to do an a capella singing of Coldplay’s Fix You. I really love that song, it’s got a lot of meaning for me, and I like to sing.
That doesn’t mean I can sing, of course, but it would be fun to try now that I finally have a microphone that costs more than $5.
Does anyone else feel like parents putting Snapchat filters on their babies is really…creepy? Especially those ones that make your skin super smooth and your eyes big and weird.
Like…aren’t they your pwecious wittle perfect angels already? Why put a filter on them?
Sorry, I’m just in love with these headphones and how much they’ve reignited my love for certain songs.
- Viva La Vida – Coldplay (you can really hear the bass line with these headphones and it’s so good)
- Big Country – Bela Fleck and the Flecktones (this song is an experience with any headphones, but again…BASS)
- Doin’ It Right – Daft Punk (you can feel this song in your freaking bone marrow, yo)
- Silhouette – Owl City (it hurts my soul, but it sounds so good doing it)
There’s more, but these are the big ones right now.
Freaking love these headphones. Thanks, husband!
I don’t know why it took me so long to listen to Sleepyhead with these Sennheisers, but oh my god.
Sleepyhead was added to my music collection before my Decade of Music project (February 23, 2009 more specifically). It’s been surpassed by quite a few songs on my overall ranking of best songs, but I still maintain that its chorus is one of the best things I have ever heard.
(Chorus at 1:20)
I mean, I judge the quality of a Sleepyhead remix based on what they do with that chorus, which is why the Jazzsteppa Remix (makes the chorus a little slower and a lot more prominent with some serious bass) and the Cillo Remix (makes the chorus a bit more techno-ish and, again, more prominent with a chill vibe) are my two favorite remixes of this song.
Sorry, it’s been a while since I’ve praised Sleepyhead. I’ve had a lot of other songs to rave about, but this one definitely has not fallen off my radar.
- Sit at computer desk with Sennheisers affixed to ears.
- Listen to music. Any music.
- Cry a lot due to the fact that every song sounds so much better with these headphones and it makes me goddamn emotional.
- Cry a lot due to other general reasons.
- OOPS, IT’S 4 AM.
(I think I posted a similar blog like a week ago, but I don’t care!)
Guys. My freaking husband got me headphones. The headphones. The Sennheiser HD 600s. These are the ones.
I have wanted these headphones for quite some time, as everything I’d read about them basically said they’re the best “under $1000” headphones you could really get.
(He also got me an amp because these headphones have a high enough impedance that the amp is necessary for power.)
And dudes. They’re so good.
You can hear every sound so separately from everything else. Everything is clear and crisp. It’s going to take a long time for me to explore all my music with these headphones, but I’ll keep a list of favorites (songs that sound RIDICULOUSLY good with these) here:
- Algorithm (Alternate Reality Version) – Muse
- O Magnum Mysterium – Lauridsen
- Hide and Seek (A Cappella Cover) – Dan Wright
- Sunshine (Adagio in D Minor) – John Murphy
Edit: DUDES THAT FREAKING PLANET EARTH II SUITE SOUNDS OBSCENE. What is that word for when a song gives you tinglies? Frisson? This is frisson up the butt, yo.
Today, I decided to see if my iPhone would accept one of my toe prints as an additional “fingerprint” that could be used to unlock my phone.
Y’know, for science.
Results (there’s music about half way through, so keep the volume kinda low):
(Would the U of C still let me teach if they found out that this is how I spend my free time?)
(Or is this how profs get tenure?)
Also, I love that my husband can come in the living room, see me pressing my iPhone to my big toe, and not be phased by it.
Note: it does not accept a tongue print.
So today is my first day wearing my new Garmin Forerunner 35 as opposed to my Fitbit, which is slowly falling apart.
The Garmin has GPS (which my Fitbit does not), so I can finally get an accurate assessment of my walking distance.
Let’s give ‘er a roll and see how she does.
Edit: OH MY GOD THIS GIVES YOU SO MUCH COOL INFORMATION.
In GPS mode, it gives you a map of your activity.
It also gives you a plot of your pace. I always wondered how consistent my pace was on a 15-mile walk. Turns out it’s pretty damn consistent.
Heart rate! It was all over the place here. To be fair, though, my route was relatively up and down and had a decent number of stops at lights.
This is freaking awesome. I love it.
Ugh. So that new laptop I just bought?
Died the same way as the first one.
Why is this happening in the busiest part of my freaking year.
Edit: Okay, fuck it, switching brands. Got an Acer. The keyboard feels like Jesus. It’s got an SSD so it starts up in like a nanosecond.
I’m digging it.
What normal people use the “panorama” setting for:
What I use the “panorama” setting for:
I’m goddamn Ansel Adams.
Hey, so I’m in like the busiest part of the semester and what happens? My freaking laptop craps out on me.
Luckily, my wonderful husband was able to help bail me out today by going to Best Buy (while I panicked in my office and tried to use my office mate’s computer to get some work done) to pick up a new laptop for me. He then stayed and set it up while I tried to finish my work.
I love him so much.
2018 is trying to end me, I swear.
GUYS GUYS GUYS
I GOT AN iPHONE! I finally got one after all these years!
Super stoked. Especially since good ol’ Galaxy can’t hold a charge at all anymore.
(I seriously don’t know what my obsession is with iPhones; I’ve just always wanted one.)
Who’s heard of a Paternoster Lift?
I certainly hadn’t. But this YouTube vid was in my recommended list, so I gave it a watch:
It’s basically a continuous loop of “boxes” that act as an elevator as the loop lifts the boxes up and then spins them back around to the bottom.
From watching the video, I can see why these aren’t installed anymore for safety reasons. Still, though…it would be fun to ride in one and see what it’s like.
This review is hysterical.
I need these headphones.
(Mom, do not buy these for me!)