posted at: 10:00 | path: | permanent link to this entry
Wed, 08 Jun 2005
June 8 2005: A short web lesson:
This morning I saw that Google-directed hits to our banana spider pages are increasing and almost equal to the Google-directed hits to our new Cooper River Bridge web pages.
What is the software base that enables me to manage these web pages? I use the open source distribution of GNU-Linux from RedHat for my web server environment which includes Apache as the web serving software. For development, I use the GNU-Linux distribution from the RedHat sponsored Fedora project which also includes Apache. Finally, I use Google to answer technical questions that arise when I am building these web pages.
Apache writes an entry into either an access log or an error log each time a web page is accessed. Monitoring the logs helps track web site access patterns and identify errors that creep into these web pages. To analyze the logs, I use AWstats. This tracks where web page requests originate and more important, summarizes the search expressions used to access web pages. From these data, I can directly see what is interesting and what is never touched. This provides guidance for experimenting with different ideas and determining how to better meet the needs of readers.
Here is the table from the summary of web activity since Sunday June 5.
Note: I never know when I'll learn something new - and making this
blog entry provided
an unexpected surprise. When I first wrote the above, I had forgotten the
HTML tags for a table header - so I used
Google and the search words: how to make html table . The first
sorttable: Make all your tables sortable did not answer my question but
revealed a way to enable browser-based sorting of columns within a table.
Since this looked like a fun idea, I followed their recipe and suddenly
the colums in the above table became sortable.
The total time required for this experiment - 10 minutes.
Curious about other tricks available from this site, I
backed up a level
and found a collection of interesting
scripts for enabling other browser-based presentation features.
This is a typical example of the positive impact associated with
chasing curiosity within our Internet connected world.
Thu, 02 Jun 2005
June 2, 2005: The simple elegance of symmetry - without words
The real thing
A digital sketch
posted at: 10:00 | path: | permanent link to this entry
Sun, 29 May 2005
May 29, 2005: Learning from the bridge and the Internet
Our new Cooper River Bridge is a great motivator for learning. That said, Google + the Internet are great resources for both learning and for remembering. (If you see a disconnect, visit the forgetting curve.) Earlier this week I faced the challenge of learning how to stitch photos together in order to make a panoramic presentation. The results (see below) were ok, but the junction of the images was apparent, particularly the junction of the left image and its neighbor. Since this is Charleston, 2nd class results are simply not acceptable, so I faced another challenge - how to improve the blend between the images.
Last week, I found an open source program hugin - a Panorama Tools GUI available from Sourceforge. Last night, I started my search with Google and found a link to another Sourceforge offering, Enblend, as well as a tutorial about blending exposures using Gimp. I visited the enblend web site and sure enough, there was both an example, based on Hugin, which I used last week to build the panoramic image as well as the code for computing the blended image. So I downloaded the code, and another surprise, it compiled without an error. I then followed the instructions and created the above result. Needless to say, I was grinning from ear to ear.
A word about open source software. I have been associated with open source resources since I obtained our Unix license at Duke in 1974. Although open source software is often called free software, it requires some effort to build, integrate and use. Richard Stallman, a champion of the open source movement, prefers that the term, free, refer to the personal liberty that is associated with the use of open source software and not its cost.
These bridge web pages reflect the freedom and liberty associated with
being able to access and integrate open source software in producing
a result. For example, my web server software is
Apache and my
desktop system runs
At the application level,
Gimp is my image processing tool, now joined
Wed, 25 May 2005
May 25, 2005: A view from the top - Exploring photo stitching
Sunday found me on the bridge again to check out what had happened the night before. What had happened was a lot of paving on the outside south lane. Also Murray and Wade were deep in discussion and suddenly there was an opportunity to visit the top of the west pylon. This time, I was determined to take a series of photos of the horizon and later to try to piece them together to make a panorama.
I was in luck - the temperature was cool, the humidity was low and the view was perfectly clear. At home, I found an open source program hugin - a Panorama Tools GUI available on sourceforge, a really great resource where many many people manage open source development projects (including my IT Lab at MUSC). So I downloaded the software, installed it, followed their how to tutorial and tried to piece two images together. It worked the first time - so I tried 4 photos stiched together. It worked as you can see above.
Whether it is the bridge project or open source software or research, Google,
as the card catalog and the Internet, as our library, level the playing field
such that everyone has access to the same resources. Only our energy
level and curiosity make a difference.
Mon, 16 May 2005
May 16, 2005: Pylon airflow
Nafees and Nathan are two of my graduates that now work for Digital Domain - doing systems and animation infrastructure - and they continue to contribute back to our IT Lab. Today Nafees wrote and confessed of being confused by the design of the tops of the east and west pylons. Being a well trained graduate of my IT Lab, he did a simulation to explore two different alternatives. In his words
Hi Frank. I've been looking at your cooper river bridge pictures. And I wondered why the tops of the towers were indented, and not flat. I guessed it had to be for aerodynamic reasons, but I couldn't find anything on the web about the exact reasons. So I ran a simulation. I couldn't find the exact dimensions for the tops, so I eyeballed it from your pictures. For comparison I modelled a tower with a flat top. I suppose I should have done one with a pointed top also. I'm attaching movies of the top view and the side view of the simulations. The wind is blowing in at about 22 mph. The massless tracer smoke is generated by 2 sources; 1 on top, and 1 on the leeward side. The sims didn't really show anything numerically conclusive. My simulation resolution is much too low for that. The vortex shedding frequency seems a little bit higher in the "flat-top" configuration, and downstream the flow is more turbulent. Also, there is a very substantial pressure drop in the indented region. So I suspect that you will have some really good photo-ops of condensation trails on a cold and windy day.Here are the two videos (avi and mpg format). As with any collaborative effort, there are issues. In this case, the avi or mpg files may require some care when displaying. We are exploring alternative formats.
posted at: 14:23 | path: | permanent link to this entry
Sun, 08 May 2005
May 8, 2005: Our extended bridge family
It is all about people chemistry. New chemical compounds are impossible as long as the reagents live in their individual bottles. Mix them together, add a bit of heat (sometimes) and something interesting might happen. The same with people. When I sit in my office or home, bottled as a chemical reagent in the supply room, nothing interesting happens. When I get up and poke around, I collide with others, and the possibility of something interesting is amplified. So it is with our bridge project.
Earlier this week, Sandrine phoned me about a surprise birthday party for her husband, Oliver (who directs the local Freyssinet work). This was a complete surprise for me because Sandrine did not have my phone number. But being the resourceful woman that she is - she managed to locate it. Yesterday, we all gathered at Oliver's place - for wonderful afternoon of celebrations. We celebrated the birth of their daughter, Lucille, we celebrated the appearance of Oliver's mother-in-law, Jackie, who quickly became the energy of the party, and finally, we celebrated Oliver's birthday. There is a photo essay of course.
Fri, 06 May 2005
May 6, 2005: Exploring digital sketches
When I look at a sketch, I see the outlines of objects the artist projects.
So I started with processing an image with an edge detection algorithm. These
algorithms compute the difference in intensity of adjacent picture elements
(pixels). When the intensity difference is small, then the point appears
black. When the intensity is large, then the point appears white.
Consequently edges (where there is a large intensity difference) will appear
as while lines. But an artist sketches with a black pencil, so I inverted
the image - white became black and black became white. Because these
are color images, edges are computed for each of the three colors - red,
green and blue. I then alter the black-white range of intensities
so that I get a more balanced image. The results, as seen here, are
interesting. Bibi, an art history student at UC Berkeley and friend of our
family finds that these transformations bring something new to the art
table - an improvement beyond simply copying an artistic style.
Sun, 01 May 2005
May 1, 2005: Adventures with elevators and the traveler
Yesterday I met Murray Feldman and indirectly Bill Nesteruk and his company, Specialized Engineered Products Ltd. Bill creates these modern marvels that transport stuff horizontally (as with the bridge traveler) as well as vertically (or almost vertically) - i.e. the bridge elevators. Murray makes them work in the field. Again, design and engineering of the traveler and elevators generated for me, a quiet smile.
The traveler, used for cleaning and inspecting the underside of the bridge,
is a necessity. Similarly, the four elevators that travel up and down
the inclined surfaces of the east and west pylons, provide access to the
pylon base, the crossbeam and the top. I experienced these elevators
when I was learning from Freyssinet about building stay cables - but
somehow the issue of traveling up and down an incline where the angle
of the incline changes at the pylon crossbeam never caught my curiosity.
Thu, 28 Apr 2005
April 28, 2005: Getting a presentation together
Looking at the photos from the past 21 months reminds me of how much change has occurred - in both the bridge construction as well as weather and light conditions. Typically I experienced early morning conditions from October to April and then switched to afternoon photos from November until May. This was primarily in response to the sun's position (in the morning) relative to the line connecting my photo spot with the new Cooper River Bridge. I experienced clear weather, cloudy weather, fog, rain and nearly hurricane conditions. By and large most of the details of the photo conditions are long lost memories - a result of the biologial forgetting process.
Looking at these photos reminds me of the rich variety of viewing conditions
I experienced as well as the development of the bridge.
Organizing them as a time
lapse photo stream seems like an interesting way to view almost 2 years of
fun. I have started with 3 compositions: growing the west span,
growing the east span and reaching for the clouds while closing the gap.
Sun, 24 Apr 2005
April 24, 2005: Closing the loop
Way back in January, when there was a gap separating the east and west main spans, I took a photo of the crane used to lift edge and floor girders from barges to the deck and then hold them in place while the iron workers attached the splice plates.
Here is the "Last Dinosaur Standing" as seen from the old Pearman bridge. (Click to see the story about Philip and the Last Dinosaur Standing.) Yesterday I was taking some photos of the main span paving and two guys walked up and started talking - they were Philip and Lewis. Philip, I sort of knew because of email from his mom and wife. I had never met Lewis but had watched Lewis (and Jack) attach the splice plates that linked the north side of the east and west edge girders - thus bridging the gap.
But yesterday was special. I was able to meet both of them, talk a bit and for me, close the loop from distant observer to acquaintance. This closes another gap, the people gap, and enables my understanding of the bridge project at both the technical level as well as at the people level.
The bridge project has impressed me from the people perspective. I have come to know many people associated, either locally or remotely, with the building of the new Cooper River Bridge. First Bill Mankin from High Steel Structures, then David Wertz (SCDOT) then Wade Watson (PBC) then Peo Halvarsson (Skanska and PBC), Marvin Tallent (Flatiron and PBC) and Oliver Forget and his Freyssinet team, Wilbur Poole (PBC) and on and on the list goes. Everyone has helped me understand some aspect of our bridge project and has given generously of their time.
Helping me understand different components of bridge building has enabled
me to convey what was happening on the main span and approaches with
both the local Charleston community as well as our Internet community. What
pleases me, from my MUSC perspective,
is the opportunity to share the work product of my
hyperactive curiosity with other members of the MUSC community as well as
young learners outside MUSC (particularly with Jonnell at E. L.
Frierson school (Wadmalaw)) - and illustrate the opportunities Google
provides for building episodes of "just-in-time" learning. All these lessons
help me better understand the
IT infrastructure needs at MUSC that facilitate
the paradigm shift from "just-in-case" learning (that is compromised by
the the biology of the forgetting process)
and "just-in-time" learning (which is much more immune to the forgetting
process). The real winner is MUSC which now, thanks
to my bridge friends, has a rather
unconventional source of new insights into learning in general and
Internet-centric learning in particular.
Fri, 22 Apr 2005
April 22, 2005: Springtime in Charleston
Yesterday while walking home from MUSC, the sun touched some spring flowers in a remarkable way. Similarly, last night we had an almost full moon. So here is springtime in Charleston. (And I do not yet have a firm date for when the new Cooper River Bridge will formally open. I shall post it here in our blog when I have a pretty firm date.)
Thu, 21 Apr 2005
April 21, 2005: Another kind of cable strand
Yesterday was simply chaos cubed. My primary web server (monitor) died while I was deleting some old files in order to free up some space. Obviously I deleted something that should not have been deleted - so from about 1pm until 4pm - my site was dead and I was frantic. Clearly, I needed a distraction.
Last night, Ellen and I had a quiet dinner and talked a bit about our projects. Now is when baby spiders start to appear in Charleston, so I went out about 7:30 pm looking for our evening spiders ( Neoscona hentzi or barn spider). These little wonders build their webs in the early evening and destroy them in the early morning - at least usually. I found a few babies (about 0.5 cm in diameter) in our garden and tried to take some photos, but the conditions were not good, a gentle breeze was blowing the spider and web in and out of the focal plane and I had no tripod. Knowing that they would still be there in the morning, I returned about 5:30am, with camera, tripod and chair. To my surprise one was rebuilding her web instead of unbuilding it. I set up the camera, found a good focus and with a flashlight to illuminate her, started taking photos. I got lucky and one photo showed her with a silk strand extending from her spinneret. Just like Freyssinet unwinding strands from a big spool of cable, these little wonders synthesize and extrude silk from a spinneret and build strands in an as yet unknown manner. So above is a photo of her, extruding a silk strand and her weaving. I am accumulating these images and a story which are available here. Earlier photos of a (large) adult Neoscona hentzi are here. And all of my spider (and underwater) photos can be found here.
I have sent email to the Boston company that was awarded the contract to
remove the old bridges - but so far, no reply but I am cautiously optimistic.
No matter what, I plan to take a routine data set each week starting whenever.
Tue, 19 Apr 2005
April 19, 2005: What to do next?
And another request. I am thinking about building a photo exhibit selected from the 6000+ photos I have taken over the past 18 months. The idea is to provide something interesting from an art perspective as well as an opportunity to see some of the temporal changes in major bridge features. The question again is what is interesting for all of you? I have thought about the following topics:
posted at: 05:58 | path: | permanent link to this entry
Wed, 13 Apr 2005
April 13, 2005: A bit of history
As a relatively newcomer to Charleston (we moved from Chapel Hill in 1998), I am not aware of much of the history and stories surrounding the older members of the Cooper River Bridge family. Many of you have told me stories of family experiences with the bridge that bring a personal touch to my understanding. However, thinking about the earlier lives of the Cooper River Bridges never clicked until John sent me this photo of a collision in 1946. Clearly, historical information is as important to our web project as today's images. Another nice contribution to our project. Thanks, John. And a P.S. Tim Linder frequently contributes to our project and dramatically improved the quality of the original image. Thanks to you also, Tim. Another P.S. - Jim Bogle from Columbia remembers the story of the collision of the Nicaragua Victory and the Grace Bridge as told by his parents. According to him, the Army rigged a Bailey Bridge until repairs could be done. The opportunities for walking across the Grace Bridge as I build the story of the Unbuilding of the Grace and Pearman Bridges are rapidly disappearing. With input from Jim and John - I shall be much more attentive to the Grace structure and see if there are any residual signs of the collision.
Fri, 01 Apr 2005
April 1, 2005: A new project
Terraserver (email@example.com) readily gave me permission to use their 2 meter
(Oct 13, 2003)
resolution image of the construction site. In addition, I found imagery at
NASA's Gateway to Astronaut Photogrphay of
I have sent email to
Spot Image in France, another source of satellite imagery.
My experience is that "front" doors
sometimes don't work as well as some "back" doors. So if any of you have some back door
contacts with satellite imagery groups -
email with your information. I shall build a new page
satellite imagery with what we are able to locate. Thanks
Mon, 28 Mar 2005
March 28, 2005: This past weekend was full of surprises.
In addition, I received more than my usual weekend share of email about the bridge web pages. As many of you know, I love learning and enabling others to learn. Among the weekend emails, Lewis Hudgins of Athens Georgia related a delightful story about the early days of the project.
"I lived in Charleston for several years. I was Joe Riley's Executive Assistant. I didn't think the nuances of the construction could possibly interest me as much as the prolonged political intrigue which, happily, resulted in an agreement to get the new Cooper River Bridge built. I was wrong. Your pictures and narratives have been wonderful. It made all of us feel we were up there with the crews. Also, it makes us want to know more about them and what happens to them now. And, the awesome, technical aspect of the work was made easier to understand because of you. (Who knew about the wax?)"
What we have all created with this web site, I believe, is a new sense of
community and being part of something that is remote from many of us.
As many of you know, many engineers and lay people have provided me with
particular insights and questions. PBC, SCDOT, Freyssinet, High Steel
Structures and the FHWA Bridge Division, have opened many
doors that gave me an insider look at things I never imagined (like injecting
wax into the cable anchors). Together we have built a learning site where
we are all able to contribute in many different ways. This is my time to
thank all of you!!!
Sun, 20 Mar 2005
March 20, 2005 Another attempt in improving the usability of these web pages
Each week I receive email from a number of you requesting some new insights (for example, tracking the progress of the approaches or tracking the unbuilding of the west tower crane). As I put these stories together and increase the weekly set of routine photos, I wonder how anyone but me can find anything among these pages.
Over the past year and a half, the organization has progressed from 1 long linear web page to a group of pages to groupings of pages. I have created an archive page with links to everything. But again, unless you know what is in the archived pages, it might take several attempts to locate what you are looking for. Last week, Jason Osborne of Clemson, made a wonderful suggestion - why not put a last updated time stamp on the menu bar and in the archive. I am feeling a bit guilty that I did not think of this a long time ago. So now we have time stamps indicating the last time I updated a story.
But today I thought about Google. Why not include a Google search box in the header of each story and limit the Google search to my web site. Google has a simple way to constrain search results by including the clause site:ravenelbridge.net in the search expression. So I set up a Google search box with this embedded in the search expression. Let me know if this helps locating things.
Fri, 11 Mar 2005
March 11, 2005 Closing the Gap and Our Website Community
As many of you know, these bridge photo essays started as a simple way for my grandchildren to watch the growing of the new Cooper River Bridge. Sometime in the early spring of 2004, Bill Mankin of High Steel Structures, sent me email with some comments about the web site. High Steel fabricated all the edge and floor girders for the main span. Bill's email and our subsequent exchanges changed the web site from a Read Only web page to an interactive Read Write web site that reflected information from our web page community. Bill helped me understand some of the issues associated with erecting the steel girders and later invited me to visit their facility in Lancaster Pa.
Many engineers and many more armchair engineers have joined our conversation. When I encountered puzzles, many were quick to respond with answers. For example Joe Krolak, an hydraulic engineer with the Federal Highway Administration, Bridge Divistion, helped me understand how one stabilizes barges that support cranes while erecting girders while Boyd Gregg, a civil engineer with Black & Veatch in Alpharetta, Ga helped me understand the concept of tensioning - specifically when I encountered PBC tensioning the lateral tendons that stabilized the central segment of the east and west pylons. So I copied and pasted Boyd's explanation into the details web page. When I really got into engineering trouble, David Wertz with SCDOT and Marvin Tallent with PBC helped me understand what was happening.
More recently, Peo Halvarsson provided opportunities to explore different aspects of building the main deck and Oliver Forget with Freyssinet helped me understand erecting cable stay pipes and pulling strands of cable. I had a chance to see many things that simply increased my curiosity. During these times, I met Wilbur Poole, an iron worker who also manages the hydraulic systems used to position the deck. All these folks were my teachers and I transferred what I learned to these pages.
But many many people simply sent email to encourage me to continue. These are the people that energized me to continue my weekly visits to the SC Aquarium to take my "core data". Then Tina Cotter got into the picture. Her husband, Philip, an iron worker, named one of the deck erection cranes "Last Dinosaur Standing", the kind of humor that really turns me on. When Tina told me the crane story, I could not resist adding some humor to the placement of the last concrete floor panel - was Philip signaling the crane operator, or was Philip secretly waving to Tina? Look at the photo above and you be the judge.
What I am trying to say is that this web site is a community project - not just Frank Starmer taking photos for his grandkids. The stories and photos reflect significant influences from two of my kids - Michael told me a long time ago that my photos were chaos. "Never take a photo unless you are prepared to tell a story". Not only good advice, but great advice. Josh then introduced me to the humor side of photo essays with his dialog associated with photos of my work in south India (2001).
Gene Stead, chairman of Medicine at Duke, was my first boss and taught me the joy of learning. Gene asked lots of questions - not because he was testing people, but because he was curious. Gene helped me to understand that being curious was OK - not something that should be suppressed as one becomes a teenager. My dad was also very curious and shared with me that he never met someone from whom he could not learn something. The Internet and Google level the playing field for all of us curiosity chasers. And these web pages are really an experiment in what I call Internet-centric learning. The days of teachers and students are nearing an end and a new Internet-centric learning paradigm is evolving. As with Gene - we are all learners in this world - traditional teachers are more like senior learners while traditional students are simply junior learners.
So these web pages are all about learning, my curiosity and your encouragement. What started as a simple set of photos has evolved to what we have now - a sort-of read write web site where many of you contribute to my understanding aspects of building the new Cooper River Bridge.
I am grateful for your help, for your curiosity and for your encouragement.
Thu, 10 Mar 2005
March 10, 2005 Unseen tal
Anyway, I was considering three segments of an exhibit: time sequence of the bridge growth, people and processes. As many of you know, I enjoy learning from anyone and the bridge has provided many opportunities to learn something of bridge technology. So Debra suggests the title "Unseen tal". I am thinking, Deb has surely flipped out. Then Debra goes on to remind me that tal is the rhythmic basis of classical (Carnatic (south) and Hindustani (north) ) Indian music. I remembered going to my first classical music performance at IIT (in the OAT). It was my first encounter with classical Indian music and not at all what I expected. After the first few numbers, I was ready to leave since it was completely not understandable. There was a singer, drummer (tabla), violinist and veena and just as I was about to give up, I suddenly realized that there was a rhythm (from the tabla and veena) and a violin echo of what the singer was singing. And the singing was not what I thought of as western singing but rather the singer was playing his voice. All was suddenly understandable and enjoyable when I escaped from my western paradigm of singing words and harmony and saw that the singer was playing his instrument just as the violinist was echoing the improvised composition with his instrument.
Tal (see the references below) is all about rhythm and Debra saw in my photos a rhythm that is unseen by those viewing the bridge from afar. So she composed the word, Unseen tal. I thought this was brilliant and felt that Deb had caught the driving force of my bridge curiosity and my passion for capturing the rhythm of the building of the bridge. So I am thinking and playing with some ideas for a presentation.
posted at: 08:01 | path: | permanent link to this entry
Wed, 09 Mar 2005
March 9, 2005: Making ends meet (my wife wishes she could use hydraulic jacks and fork lifts to deal with family budget issues).
Closing the last gap (maybe last gasp?). Yesterday PBC and their iron workers closed the final gap linking the west and east decks. Peo and his team coaxed the two platforms into perfect alignment so that the splice plate could be pinned and bolted. Shown here is driving the first drift pin into the vertical splice plate linking the center edge girder with the south 216 edge girder.
It was windy - really very windy. I discovered that the virtue of an 8 lane wide roadway is that when the wind blows your glasses - it takes a long time to cover the width of the road and disappear. Fortunately I quickly retrieved them. But in spite of the wind, the work continued.
I soon discovered some of the tricks these guys use to encourage the two decks to behave and align themselves. Two major tools:
posted at: 10:00 | path: | permanent link to this entry
Sat, 05 Mar 2005
March 5, 2005: A visit from my dad
My dad transferred many gifts to me. But perhaps the greatest gift was that of endless curiosity. When I was a kid - we used to travel to different construction sites where he was installing elevators. Sometimes on the weekends, we would visit a sick elevator and repair it. Sometimes we simply walked from our home in Greensboro to the railroad switch house. We would sit for hours watching the trains pass. We would count the cars. Sometimes, we would enter the switch house and if we were good and very very lucky we got to throw swiches which changed the communication between parallel tracks. All the time, he displayed not only curiosity but an enquiring mind.
Yesterday my brother, Jack, phoned from Burlington, N.C. He had just driven to
my dad's place from Pennsylvania and announced, "can we visit"? Of course,
and so about 7pm last night they appeared. My dad is 88 and still just
as curious as ever. I knew of his love of construction and thought of the
possibility to drive to various places and view the new Cooper River Bridge.
The perfect opportunity for an unplan-plan.
Every time I said "Cooper River Bridge" he told a story about elevators
he installed at Santee Cooper - probably 50 years ago (I don't really know).
Anyway, this morning, we started our tour. We saw the bridge from many
perspectives. All the time he was telling
stories and looking and asking questions: a 16 year old curiosity hard
Tue, 01 Mar 2005
March 1, 2005: A Dinosaur story
Many of you have discovered this page - an exploration of using a blog (webLog) to express some of the content of these pages. I discovered blogs from my IT Lab brain trust - a group of the greatest and friendliest guys at MUSC. I was reluctant to engage this new tool - but as the bridge web site spun out of control, some sort of organization was necessary. This blog is a test of whether I can maintain some sort of links with photos that are posted to different sections of the site and maintain a 1-way dialog with all of you.
If you have not encountered blogs - it is the tool that is transforming web resources from read-only to read-write. Blog tools permit individuals to post thoughts and observations to the web without the geek-skills necessary to manage a web site. This morning I ran across an article that addesses Blogs in education. The thoughts parallel my thoughts about Internet-centric learning (see also Restoring the joy of learning ) and the evolution of the bridge web site - as a learning tool. I suggest you check it out and share your impressions with me and your friends.
Mon, 28 Feb 2005
February 28, 2005: Overview of the bridge and approaches
Fri, 25 Feb 2005
February 25, 2005: Time for another reorganization
Thu, 17 Feb 2005
February 17, 2005: A request for help.
My explorations with Internet-centric learning and using the communicative
power of the Internet to engage anyone has demonstrated to me the utility
of open development - whether software or these bridge pages.
My brain trust (the MUSC IT Lab)
is pushing me to rebuild the pages using a
Blog or something similar
to a wikipedia
to facilitate organization
and navigation between story segments. Jim Abrahamson, friend of mine in
Chapel Hill, suggested that I build
a photo essay around the people that I have encountered during this
adventure - and title it: The Living Bridge. After all, this
comissioned composition for steel,
concrete, bolts, surface treatment, cables, etc did not just happen, but
required real people to do the work. PBC,
SCDOT, High Steel Structures and Freyssinet have provided me with unique
opportunities to watch (and photograph) their folks as they created the
new Cooper River Bridge. I would like to know your thoughts. What would
be interesting to you?
What would be a useful way to package what we have jointly built over
the past 18 months. How can I (we) use this opportunity to ignite
the curiosity of younger learners? Send me your thoughts and ideas by
email and tell me
what would bring you and your friends and family back to this site?
Can these web pages continue to evolve beyond the date of bridge completion,
developing new life that continues to bring weekly or monthly something new?
As you know, this has been an experiment with
what I call Internet-centric learning and I have
already learned more from you than I would have imagined (and the
"you" is an international "you"). I am hooked on finding a way
to continue the experiment and then transfering what I learn to the MUSC
Sun, 13 Feb 2005
Feb 13, 2005: Feeling the construction process.
Sun, 23 Jan 2005
Jan 23, 2005: More than photos.
Sun, 01 Aug 2004
August 1, 2004: A community project
About 7am this morning I was riding my bicycle across the Pearman bridge and
was about half finished with my photo data collection. There was a voice from
somewhere but I paid no attention. Then there was a louder voice and I turned
and it was a Mt Pleasant Police officer who wanted to know what I was doing. I
explained about my weekly photos/web pages and he offered to run interference
for me - which I immediately accepted. It was very reassuring to have an
officer tailing me and making it obvious that there was a slow poke on
Wed, 20 Aug 2003
August, 2003: How this began.
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- Frank's Internet home - Overview of Building the Ravenel Bridge Bridge Links