Author Archives: Chris Heard

About Chris Heard

I’m an Associate Professor of Religion (specifically, biblical studies) at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California.

ThingLink Teacher Challenge, Week 3

I’ve previously mentioned my recent experimentation with ThingLink and my participation in this summer’s ThingLink Teacher Challenge. I also happen to be vacationing at the same time, so I pretty much skipped the assignment for week 2. However, I did complete the assignment for week 3 just before dinner tonight.

Apple Music vs. Spotify, a month in

I’ve been using Spotify for quite some time now, but I couldn’t resist trying out Apple Music during its free trial period. Almost a month in, I’m pretty sure I’ll be sticking with Spotify, at least until Apple Music matures a lot. Right now, Spotify offers a more seamless experience across devices, and I have a much easier time discovering new music in Spotify. Plus, Spotify has a lyrics engine/service built in; Apple doesn’t. Sorry, Apple; I love your hardware and most of your software, but Apple Music doesn’t do it for me (yet).

Did Peter or Paul get spam e-mail?

I wonder if this is where Ethan the Ezrahite got his ideas.

Screen shot of an e-mail advertising help writing biblical literature

ThingLink Teacher Challenge, Week 1

I recently stumbled across a tool called ThingLink. It basically allows you to tag images with interactive pushpins. ThingLink’s use of the word “tag” is a little nonstandard here, as “tag” usually implies “keyword.” Here the tags are text and links that appear in pop-ups, like oversized tooltips.

Just at about the same time I learned of ThingLink’s existence, ThingLink launched its Teacher Summer Challenge for 2015, so I decided to give it a spin as a way to learn ThingLink. The specific task for Week 1 has been “design your digital self.” Follow the Summer Challenge link to read the full description. The result of Week 1 is supposed to be an annotated ThingLink image by which you introduce yourself to other Challenge participants (and the whole world, I guess). Here’s the result of my work.

By way of brief review, I’ll just say that ThingLink is fun, but funky (and mean that in the sense of “funky smell,” not “Funky Kong” or “Funky Town”). The biggest headache is aligning the tag boxes on the image. I would really appreciate some alignment/grid/snap tools in future updates.

Moom: a window-sizing utility for Mac

I recently gave Moom (by Many Tricks), a window-sizing app for Mac, a try and was hooked well before my free trial expired. Moom is a simple utility for resizing windows. It ships with several preset window configurations, and in the paid version you can draw your own with a grid. If you find yourself resizing your Mac windows a lot, check out Moom. (I paid for my version of Moom and have had no other contact with its producers. This is neither a paid review nor a review of a complimentary product.)