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Fight the Fear of Procrastination with Small Tasks

inward spiral
I learned this weekend that, in the northern hemisphere, July 22 is typically the date where temperatures start trending down for the year. In addition to the obvious Game of Thrones joke, it means that there’s more or less no getting around the fact that summer is passing quickly, along with the more grandiose ambitions found in one’s summer project list.

With that in mind, I wanted to link to Jenni Berrett’s post on perfectionism, “You Aren’t Lazy–You’re Just Terrified: On Paralysis and Perfe…

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Turning Your iPhone’s Camera into an Assistive Device: Seeing AI

safety goggles with judgey eyes drawn on
Earlier this week, Microsoft released a fascinating app for iOS devices, called Seeing AI. Seeing AI is an app that lets users take pictures of the world around them, and then it uses the iPhone’s on-phone intelligence to describe what’s in the picture. It’s designed as an app for people with low vision, but even if that description doesn’t apply to you at the minute, using it makes for a provocative way of thinking about the way these devices will be mediating the world around us, especially i…

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Turn Twitter Threads into Shareable Posts with Spooler

Photo of spool with several thread colors

One of the most delightful occurrences on the internet is when someone writes a little script or web app or bot to solve one of your pet peeves. Not only does it scratch your not-very-important-but-still-irritating itch, but it makes it seem like you’re not alone. “See?!? Someone else found this irritating!”

Darius Kazemi‘s Spooler is just such a service, which solves a simple, recently emergent problem: sharing sequences of interconnected tweets. How do you share Twitter threads (or, god help …

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Learn About Digital Accessibility This Summer

Looking to add to your digital skill set this summer? Interested in digital accessibility? Via Anne Janhunen comes word that Microsoft is offering a "Web Accessibility Fundamentals" course on edX. The course is free to audit and $99 if you’d like a "Verified Certificate."

From the landing page for the course:

In this course, we will teach you the guidelines and best practices required to create a new web application from scratch. You’ll also learn how to repair inaccessible sites as they exi…

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Weekend Reading: Fading Summer Edition


Sundial, Perranporth flickr photo by Tim Green aka atoach shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

Summer is moving quickly, especially for those of us with semester start times looming just around the corner in August. This is the time of year when deadlines on the calendar are definitely closer than they appear. I for one have found myself increasingly focused on the calendar, but it’s important to take a break and find time in summer for recovery and reflection. With that in mind, this …

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Open Thread Wednesday: What’s at the Bottom of your To-Do List?

Every few days of summer, I recopy my to-do list to a new page of my notebook (currently, a Moleskine Professional Notebook because I like the page layouts.) Jason wrote about addressing the challenges of unstructured summer time through careful to-do list management previously: he advised making use of regular reminders to keep important tasks in front of you. I’ve written in the past about my preference for physical to-do lists, but I find the very act of recopying is enough reinforcement for…

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Changes to Photo Site Unsplash

Unsplash, a popular website for free-to-use high-quality “stock” photographs, has recently changed their licensing for using their photos, going from CC0 to something more bespoke.

Much confusion ensued, and is continuing to ensue.

Full disclosure, I love(d) using their photographs for the other blog I run and write for.

But…

I had been, earlier in that same week, Tweeting about browsing the Unplash website, using certain search terms to see what kinds of results I got.

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Confronting Your Book Collection

While spring cleaning may be traditional, summer cleaning fits better with the academic cycle particularly as it tends to be a time of transitions: whether you are moving to a new institution, a new position, or just switching gears on a writing project, summer is an opportunity for addressing both physical and digital clutter. I’m in the midst of my summer cleaning now, but I’m at the point where things always fall apart: trying to reconcile my fixed set of shelf space with the number of books…

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Firefox Focus Now Available for Android

Back in February I wrote about the iOS browser called Firefox Focus, created by the Mozilla Foundation. If you’re concerned about privacy, this is “a dedicated privacy browser with tracking protection and content blocking.” As I wrote when the iOS version was released,

if you don’t want your Amazon shopping history (to cite one potential scenario) being communicated to the other websites you visit after you finish shopping, then this is the browser for you. Or if you don’t want to have the …

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On Writing: Paul J. Silvia

pen and notebook

As summer is heavy-duty writing time for many academics, it also seems like a good time to revisit some favorite advice about writing. Thus the beginning of an occasional series of posts this summer on writing about writing.

It’s crucial to be able to measure your progress on a writing project in some way. Tracking your progress on any desired behavior or habit has been shown to improve your adoption of the new habit, simply from focusing your awareness of your behavior through your tracking me…