Link Dump Sunday: No piano pressure

Adam Stevens argues for more science in citizen science. Worth a look, although as I’ve written, I see value in the non-research elements of citizen science as well.

Curiosity, for example, is awesome, and citizen science can help pique it. Also, helping kids develop the skills they will need to ultimately enter a scientific career.

Cornell Lab of Ornithology highlights some of its citizen science projects, with particular focus on their use in education.

Citizen science results: The effect of climate change on butterfly flight; finding “lost” plant species.

New (to me) citizen science projects: Uncover Your Creeks (water quality monitoring in Vancouver, British Columbia); Secchi App (a worldwide phytoplankton study).

Miscellaneous birding tidbits.

Steven Brust sends an open letter to his editor. It’s funny.

Also funny: Weird Al Yankovic’s set-up for teaching his daughter the piano. If I ever teach music, I’m going to replicate this.

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What I Made This Week

Finally, productivity. Thanks to the Thanksgiving break—two days of which I had no other demands on by time—I actually managed to finish a couple projects:

* Volunteer Vid. I made a video to promote volunteering at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum (where I am a volunteer as well). I filmed it a couple weeks ago, but finally (thanks to the time and some figuring out of stuff in Final Cut) edited it on Thanksgiving. I’ll share it as soon as the museum posts it.

* North Pond Nature. This isn’t affiliated with the museum, although it was filmed around the North Pond in Chicago’s Lincoln Park, where the museum is also situated. This is a video about the wildlife that can be found in and around the pond, set to a soundtrack composed from the calls of local birds. It’s also the launch of Sciencey Vids, a new endeavor about which I’ll be talking more soon…

These both turned out to be really big projects. Neither is long – 2 minutes for the volunteer video and 1 for North Pond Nature. But both were complicated: 20-30 cuts for each, plus the soundtrack for NPN, which is something I’ve never done before.

* “Bob.” I’d hoped to record this this week, but it looks like that won’t be happening, since most of the rest of my afternoon will be occupied. (I’ll be working the PBS pledge drive with some other museum volunteers.) But I have been rehearsing it and I’m close to being able to record it, so that should be happening soon.

* And finally, the very beginnings of writing a comedy video for Three Legged Race. It’s a bit hard to describe, save to say that it’s about a fellow trying to do a crossword puzzle.