Recently in Useful skills Category

One of my previous posts was a video from YouTube of an iPad-savvy infant puzzled by a magazine. Posting a video from YouTube on your entry is the easiest thing in the world.

SHARE.png1. On the video page, look for the SHARE button and click on that.

Copy-EMBED.png2. Then you'll need to click on the EMBED button. Copy the code.

PASTE.png3. Paste that code in your blog entry. You'll see the code, but your readers will see the video.

In a previous semester, I noticed a student in Psy 1001 went from exam scores around 30 on the first two exams to some of the highest scores in the class on the 3rd exam and Final. I asked her what she did differently. Here's her response:

"I was not happy with my first exam performance so I studied more for it, only to be disappointed by exam 2 as well. For this exam, I went by a completely different plan of attack. I read the chapter once, highlighting the information I found useful and important, and of course took the online chapter quiz. I also went through the end of the chapter review in the book itself, which was very helpful. Then, to prepare for the exam itself, I read over the highlighted information and retook each chapter quiz until I could get a 5 on the quiz without using the book for reference. I also went through the study guide you posted, writing out each answer instead of simply looking over it. Finally, I took the practice exam twice, once looking up questions I didn't know and once trying to reason the questions without looking for the answer because thats what we have to do for the exam. I think it worked! I just hope it will pay off for the final as well. I guess my advice would be to study more than you would think, because I felt like I overstudied but then once I got to the exam I was much more confident."

I've just put up a post with several url links. Here's how to do that:

Screen shot 2011-10-11 at 10.31.32 AM.png

First, you copy the url of the article you want to cite as indicated in the first image. Here I was on a blog called, The Frontal Cortex, and I wanted to comment on the "Why do some people learn faster" post.
Screen shot 2011-10-11 at 10.38.21 AM.png
Note, what you want to copy is called the permalink. The permalink includes the date and name of the post, and it will always take you back to the original post. Look for that option at the end of a post, though sometimes you can just click on the title of the post itself. If you copy just the blog url, over time, the post you want to highlight will be buried by more recent posts.

Then, as shown in the second screen, you click on the icon for inserting a link in the Create Entry screen. This produces the darkened screen with the active box for pasting your url. So you do that and click OK.

Screen shot 2011-10-11 at 10.31.59 AM.png

Back on the Create Entry screen, there is one thing that you have to get right for this to work. This is illustrated in the third image. You need to add a few words between what are called the "carrots"--the >< --in the code in order to create the link that readers will click to access the original source. Just look for the carrots in the code and add words, any words, between the ><.

Screen shot 2011-10-11 at 10.44.45 AM.png

The fourth screen shows what the previous screen looks like in Preview. In the Create Entry screen, I had two url links, one with and one without linking text. You can see in the Preview screen that the link without text is no longer visible. The text that I added is now highlighted in live link blue. When you save your post, this is what it will look like to your readers. If a reader clicks on the blue text, he or she will go to the article on which I was commenting.

So that's it. Very simple, really!

A student in section 24 has produced a fantastically useful post, the sort of thing that made me go, "D'Oh! I should have thought of that!!" If ever there was a demonstration that "One picture is worth 1000 words", this is it.

In the first round of posts, a frequent question had to do with where to post. By this time, I hope everyone has figured out that you need to start by googling "UThink." Then you click on "Start Blogging."


After clicking on "start blogging", you will see something like the first image. This screen is the System overview Dashboard. To reach the blog view, you need to click on blog link in the body.

The second image shows the blog view (I've used the one for section 12 & 13, by the way). Note that now you see the name of the blog instead of Dashboard, and you have the option of a "Write Entry" tab (or you can use the Create scroll down option.)


The third image shows the Create Entry screen of this post. Note that I have used the image icon to upload these images, and I have gotten the formidable html code that has alarmed some of you in the first posts. In order to see what my readers will see, I have to Preview, because the Create Entry screen is NOT WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get.).

1001-create entry screen.png

Tip #1: Preview is your friend. Use it often. While composing this post, I have used Preview at least 15 times.

The last image shows the Preview screen. This should look a lot like the actual entry you are reading right now! Note that you need to click on Re-Edit to return to the Create Entry screen.

Tip #2: When you have your blog finished to your satisfaction, return to the Create Entry screen before saving. Don't save from the Preview screen.

For reasons that are obscure to me, saving from the Preview screen requires you to enter a comment. Huh????


There are some additional subtleties involved if you want to add a link. I'll do a separate post on that.

How do I put up posts:

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Screen shot 2011-10-02 at 11.00.26 PM.png1) First I google UThink and click on the first hit (which is the right one.) Then I "start blogging."
2) That puts me in the system overview, the Dashboard, where I see links to the blogs on which I am listed as author.
3) I click on the blog link, which takes me to the blog.
3) To write a post, I just click on the WRITE ENTRY tab.
4) If I want to add photos, I click on the little photo icon (second from the right.) and upload new images. (What is pasted is this ominous code with a little place to add information: >< remember to add text between those symbols.)
5) I PREVIEW to check how what I have written will look.
6) Then I RE-EDIT (which is a tab at the top.) I don't save from the preview screen because it seems to be a little weird, I have to add a comment.
7) When I am satisfied, I SAVE.

Trying to post from Safari

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Screen shot 2011-10-02 at 11.01.14 PM.pngMinnesota Arboreum, Prairie Walk, 2 Oct 2011

A number of students have emailed that they could not upload their blog posts. That they have tried several times without success and sometimes even had to rewrite their posts (how very frustrating).

I think it may be a browser thing, so I'm troubleshooting by trying different browsers to put up some sample posts. This one is in Safari 5.1, on a mac. If it goes up, sweet, no problem. If not...(to be updated)

Update: ...and it uploaded without problem.

French cats model image size

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This image of a cat basking in the warmth of a sunny place in Toulouse, France, has a width of 300 pixels and is aligned to float to the left.

Screen shot 2011-08-26 at 9.40.41 AM.png

The image of the second cat--supervising her domain--has a width of 400 pixels. and also is aligned to the left.

calico-cat-TLS.pngThe last image, of the calico snoozing next to marvelous 19th century ironwork in Toulouse, France, has a width of 500 pixels, and is also aligned to the left.

I wish I could find a more timely tie-in to Psy 1001...but these are worth posting, just because they are stylish, rude, funny, and clever. But are they good ads? At the end, do you know who the advertiser is?

When we get to behavioral psychology in a few weeks, we'll be talking about advertising, and later in the semester we'll be talking about In-group versus Out-group loyalty, but until then, if you have time, enjoy this series of six ads in which Yankee fan, Alec Baldwin and Red Sox fan, John Krasinski trade insults, taunts and blows in defense of Their Teams.

Here's the first salvo. You can click on the link above and scroll down to see the rest (or follow the YouTube trail.)

(The way to embed a YouTube video, by the way, is to click on "share" then embed. You just paste that code into this entry page, and when you save (or preview) you will see the video.)

In today's class, Dr. Gewirtz described the neural impulse (or action potential) and neural communication from the pre-synaptic cell to the post-synaptic receptor. You can find terrific animations of this process on YouTube. I have one that I'd like to share with you, but I can't embed it (because embedding was disabled.) So, I'll use a screenshot and import some visual interest and post THIS LINK to the video on YouTube. Click on the link and bingo!
Screen shot 2011-09-21 at 5.12.14 PM.png

This video shows the stages of neural communication:
1) the dendrites receiving an electrical impulse,
2) (about 10 second in) the electrical impulse racing down the axon, negative ions leaving the cell
3) (around 18 secs) positive ions entering the axon;
4) (around 31 seconds) the message reaching the terminal field and the release of neurotransmitters from the synaptic vesicles into the synapse;
5) the neurotransmitters reaching the post-synaptic receptors.

It does not illustrate the final step in neural transmission, that of the clearance of the neurotransmitter from the synapse either through recycling/reabsorption or through degradation via enzymes. Does this video help you visualize the process?

By the way, has it occurred to you that you are learning the British pronunciations for these processes (and sometimes the British term?) thanks to our British professor?


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Screen shot 2011-09-21 at 1.36.22 AM.png

This post from Section 23 on eyewitness identification reminded me of work at the University on prosopagnosia, the inability to recognize faces. On Wednesday, we'll see a video of a woman with this condition. I was shocked to learn that it may be more common than previously thought.

"Imagine you're a school-aged child and this is your reality: You go to school and nobody looks familiar; your classmates are essentially a sea of faces, none of which is recognizable from the day before. A girl walks over to chat and she seems to know a lot about you, but you can't place the face--and she seems equally perplexed, if not a bit agitated. "

"Then, at a family gathering, you find out that the strange faces in your house are actually cousins, although you wouldn't know them from your classmates, whom you wouldn't know from anyone else on the street. "

"The condition is known as prosopagnosia, or "face blindness," and according to U professor Al Yonas, it may affect 1 to 2 percent of the population. The problem is, very few people are aware of it, which makes proper diagnosis problematic. Yonas is hoping to change that reality."

So think about it. Imagine a police line-up, where they want you, the eye witness, to identify a criminal. What if you were one of those 1-2% of people who don't realize they have prosopagnosia? Would justice be served? Would you be able to identify the culprit?

The image above is from the original article. According to the caption, there is one recurring face in each row...can you see it? Are you ready to be an eyewitness?

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