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John Scaldini

The lost art of Handwriting

1 min read

Where did Writing Go?


As computers (including cell phones & tablets) have become the most common way for communcation the beautiful skill of handwriting has gone the way of the Dodo. I am old enough to have sat in elementary/middle school constantly practicing the correct way to write lower case & upper case standard and cursive leters at nausium until my wrist felt like it was going to break. Now the only thing I use Cursive for is my barely deciferable Signature when I am forced to write a actual Check. What was once considered a sign of education and intelligence has now become a footnote on the American educational system and we are left knowing we didnt really need to know who to write the always tricky "Capital Cursive S." This post may be a bit nostailgic in its own way but it is interesting to see how a technological improvement like the compter/internet which has revolutionized the world has also so quickly destroyed what was once a staple form of education.


John Scaldini

Creation & Optimization

2 min read

O'Bryne writes that "An easy way to understand this is the work associated with listening to, sharing, and revising audio files. Consider the use of records and LPs, and then cassette tapes, and finally now MP3 files and streaming online information. With records, it was very difficult to create, and remix music given these tools. Cassette tapes made it a little easier to create and share audio information, as long as the little plastic tab was not broken off. With MP3 and other audio file formats, it is very easy to create, remix, or mash-up and finally share audio content. This increasing ease in the creation, remixing, and sharing of audio information I believe extends to involve all forms of online."
I think that this same type of progress(if not considered evolution i dont know what is) is going to be turning point for our current world. I think that as the last century has seen the creation of vast technological improvements the next century is going to bring incredible development of these creations. I think that the last 100 years have been about invention while the next century will be about how we improve upon our recent inventions to create better health care, education, and quality of life. Although I would imagine that there are cycles of time when creation and invention are more prevalent as society needs improvement. I think that the next generation is poised to take the inventions of the past and optimize them for the greater good of the future. I think that optimization and creation are different things and that the collaborative environment created by the internet can allow future generations to make strides that we haven't even imagined yet.



John Scaldini

Following a Live Twitter chat about SuperBloodMoon

4 min read

So I thought I had a cool idea for the live twitter chat however it totally failed.

I intended to follow @askNasa where people were able to submit questions to Nasa about the SuperBloodMoon Eclipse last night. Nasa was going to stream images on their website of the eclipse while answering questions submitted on Twitter. Although I would not have the actual answer displayed through Twitter I thought this would be a cool idea because it involved multiple medias (webcast tv & twitter) where interested individuals could submit questions, receive answers, and follow up with comments or secondary questions. This plan went askew when the Nasa TV website essentially crashed. The site kept displaying configuration error messages rather then the live feed and although at some points I could hear the audio answering questions it was cutting in and out and was often in Spanish. At one point another follower pointed out that the feed wasn't working and added a hyperlink to another livestream however the two gentlemen running the feed were not answering the posted questions but instead were discussing what they were seeing where they lived in the UK.


Although I was not able to follow the back and forth of questions to answers I was able to use the experience to understand how twitter works. I’d say this was my first impression of the media because although I have had a twitter account since it started I have barely ever used it. Other then the occasional movie quote or song lyric I post on twitter and I do not actively follow any accounts. I actually had to re-download the app for this project since I had recently taken it off my phone. 


I am going to assume that most professional and even amateur astronomers had other chats to dwell on while observing the Superbloodmoon. The chat seemed primarily populated by interested individuals (not experts) who wanted to get an idea for when they could see the event and perhaps ask a question about it. Most of the questions were jokes. Some were genuine asking what effects the color of the moon? Are there other colors we can see at different times? How does the eclipse effect the temperature on the Moon and does the event have any environmental effects on Earth? Unfortunately for every good question there were at least two knucklhead questions.


Leading up to the eclipse starting around 9:15PM It seems that most parts of the USA were establishing cloud cover. This prompted  funny joke questions like @Chris_is_cool3 WHY DID YOUR SORCERY NOT PREDICT THE CLOUDS?! AND HOW DID YOU NOT BUILD A GIANT FAN TO AVOID THEM?! WHY NASA?!and others asking if a telescope can see through clouds. My favorite joke questionwas @TheAustinSeven How much blood is in a ?


I did not notice any sort of hierarchy within in the chat however it may have presented itself if there was someone actively handling questions and supplying answers. Most followers didn't interact with one another and Nasa was not commenting on tech issues however other followers pointed out the same problems. Warm Body @allegedlywarm @NASA_Marshall ¿why is this program now in español and I still no see no moon? There were some interesting photo posted however without a really high powered lens you could not get a good view on most of them. I posted about the skies being clear in Norwalk CT right when the full eclipse was starting. I tried to take pictures but all were blurry and didn’t go the event justice.


At midnight Eastern Time chatter about the bloodmoon stopped. I assume this is because American East Coasters who were fortunate enough to have the eclipse happen in a good time range 9:15 – 11:15PM went to bed immediately after. Once the eclipse was over the majority of comments ended until early this morning when the attention shifted towards the pending Nasa Announcement about Mars.


After following this chat I find that Twitter is not my personal favorite medium for tracking events. The constant interruption by people trying to crack jokes or being disruptive is frustrating and it seems that most people are on twitter to be a nuisance. Perhaps my experience would have been different is Nasa TV had been working and I would have been able to get the answers to the quality questions submitted but other then an occasional chuckle I did not find the live chat to be especially insightful or helpful.


John Scaldini

Reusable Coffee Cups in the Student Lounge

2 min read

So I know this blog is supposed to be about our class content however I think that I can tie this issue into the idea of collaborative learning. I encourage all the other students to comment on and share this issue with the entire SCSU community and beyond. Feel free to post is to twitter or facebook to expand the radius of opinion.

Yesterday I went to the Student Lounge in Engleman B. I took a reusable plastic starbucks cup and refilled my coffee. When I approached the register the cashier told me that in the future I cannot refill my cup and need to use one of the paper cups they supply. I explained to the cashier that I like to use my plastic cup in order to use less paper cups and plastic lids (I drink an absurd amount of coffee and try to be aware of my ecological footprint). The cashier then explained that I am not allowed to refill a cup because it presents a "potential for the spread of disease since if I was sick and my cup lid touched the coffee dispenser I could transfer my sickness." I asked who I should complain to (obviously this isn't her personal policy but must be something she is supposed to enforce) to which I was told "the FDA"(Food and Drug administration). I then took my coffee and left before I making a scene.

Obviously health and student safety should be the highest priority of our school and local/federal government but in reaction to this I would like to ask everyone three questions.

First, Has anyone else has been told this?

Second, Does anyone know if this is true and is the FDA stating that reusable cups/mugs are not allowed for refilling liquids at schools?.

& Third, Does anyone else agree with this or should we actually be encouraging people to reuse more and waste less?

Thanks for your time & thoughts!

John Scaldini

The desire to be valued

2 min read

From all the videos and writings that we have looked at I get the sense that everything is effected by a desire to be valued. What is popular on the internet is not necessarily about right or wrong but about personal values. It seems that kids, teenagers, and adults look to the internet as a place where they can measure their value and determine if what they feel is understood and acceptable in the Real World. 

We construct online profiles that are edited and addapted to the current standard of value and most likely reconstruct our subconscience to the standards determined by Likes and Hearts as opposed to what we feel inside. I know I spend more time on social media then I do on presonal reflection and perhaps this is a sign of looking to others for value rather then determining it myself. Does this take away my identity? Does this direct more more to the social norm then to the personal oppinion. I have always prided myself on not being a "sheep" but perhaps we cant help but wanting to be part of a flock.

I tend to be pretty private on social media but no matter what I post I always ask myself about how it will be perceived. Sometimes I decide not to post something simply because I am not sure of what others will think and do not want to start a controversy or issue. Once it is on the web it is permanently there so I try to not be too rash or impulsive. Are we constantly editing our personalities or hiding ourselves based on the perception of others?


John Scaldini

How New Digital Media and the Internet are Fueling an Innovative Surge in Communication, Creativity and Collaboration.

3 min read

After watching the vimeo on Digital Media and its ability to connect people initializing more collaborative work I was struck by two things. The first is about the content and how our increasingly connected world is going to be a much more conducive environment for global improvement. Up until the invention of the internet most "progress" was limited (for at least a great deal of time) to the region where innovation occurred meanwhile now we can share quickly developing ideas in real time. When an innovation is made in Japan or South Africa the advancement can be recognized, scrutinized, but most importantly understood by a vastly larger audience then a decade ago. 

If we are to solve a crisis like climate change, deforestation, medical epidemics, or genocide the determining factor is always how much knowledge of the subject matter is open to public understanding. People are amazingly inventive when they have the ability to wrap their head around a situation. We are constantly in search of how to improve but are often limited to what we can see. The internet and new digital media allow us to greatly expand and diversify our spectrum of "possible".

Another thing that struck me about the video was the setting. I found it interesting that it was set in a library or bookstore. Elyse Eidman-Aadahi states in the video that we developed writing as a way to communicate and although I agree with this statement I think we also developed writing for Preservation. We developed writing to make sure that our thoughts and history were not only communicated but saved for the future. We found a way to give future generations that knowledge that we had already accumulated.  As more media becomes digital will we have bookstores in the future?

The one draw back that I find in the popularity of the digital world is that we are sparingly writing how our thoughts on hardcopy. Even for this all of our work is digital. The knowledge we have accumulated in this class could be wiped out in an instant unlike a cave drawing that has existed for thousands of years. As we develop new medias I think it will always be important to save knowledge in a physical form so that is can be retained for future generations that may not have electricity or the internet. 

John Scaldini

Scoliosis free future

2 min read

I know that a lot of schools are starting to use chrome books rather then text books for early education. Gone are the days of lugging around gigantic LL Bean Backpacks with 5 different encyclopedia sized texts, binders, notebooks, and calculators. Now everything can be compacted in to what would have been a single courses materials in "my day". Chrome books sound cool but I would image they are not getting to all communities as easily as some in southern CT(fairfield county & the general area). The fear of theft along with the potential to break these technological advancements might be seem unnecessary or impractical.

I wonder how long it will be until schools just use USB drives having kids update their work at school and then bring it home where they can upload it onto a home computer. Schools could keep chrome books or any sort of web based tool at school for students to use and they wouldn't need to carry anything significant back and forth. If the system could be web based perhaps the USB would only be a backup where students can upload their homework/assignments to their school server from home. They could then use the USB to bring home the work they did at school. This would eliminate the "dog ate my homework excuse" and students could essentially be scoliosis free by the end of the Y Generation.

As a quick aside although my spine would have probably loved not carrying around so many books there was always some great about getting a new backpack or going back to school shopping and get the necessary materials.

John Scaldini

Personal Update

2 min read

Back to School

The first two weeks of school have been great. It is interesting to see how college has changed since I first started my education in 2001. Facebook wasn popular yet and I dont remember ever seeing a laptop in class before. I have two teachers that I was dub "old school" and two that seem to be "new school." Their approaches to learning and the class room setting are very different and it has been interesting to learn in a different environment. Studying text books online is weird but I like it.

New Car...sort of

Car Search is officially a success. My wife and I bought a car this weekend and it is a huge relief off my back. Sharing a car is always intereting especially for us since we have crazy schedules and are usually on the go. We decided to go the pre owned route and are hoping it wont come back to bite us in the end. We got a 2012 Chevy Sonic. It is pretty much exactly what we were looking for. Relatively new, Fuel efficient, and although not "cool" not a total POS. Next up my wife and I have 45 days to find a new apartment. Fun Fun.

Swim Team

My Swim team starts today. The last two weeks have been consumed with tryouts and regsitration. We have the largest Roster we have had over the last three years while I have been with the team and it is going to be both exciting and interesting. We have an awesome mix of new and returning swimmers and some big goals in our crosshairs. The first day of any season is aways exciting as it is a sign of hope. What can we do? How limitless is our potential?


John Scaldini

The History of Writing

2 min read

I found the History of Writing for  article to be very interesting. The chonology of written communication has always facinated me because along with being able to keep tract of what is happening in the present the development of writing allowed us to start a historical record. I say a historical record because obviously there were oral traditions before writing however most were probably fishtales as opposed to fact. As a history major I am always interested in how Saga's and Lore became recorded history and it seems to revolve around when different civilizations began seriously recording events through writing. When rulers grasped the power of having their thoughts/actions recorded for future generations civiliation became intellectual.

What I found most interesting is how written language appears to be cyclical. As writing started with pictoral images Emojis are now a common form of communication. Half of my swimmers and even their parents communicate in texts through emojis as opposed to formal language. According to the article Aramaic & Hebrew were based off of Consonants often leaving out vowels and although they often use both abbreviations like Lol and LMFAO are just as common as writing out a full word. It appears that writing has gone from basic images, to elaborate caligraphy with an emphasis on efficiency in the middle ages, and then becoming more abstract during the romantic period. If not a complete cycle written language almost seems like a vortex that is expanding upwards to include more variety while also reimagining itself in more simple and compact ways. 

As we have entered a digital age and the constraints of limited paper or ink resources have vanished. We have millions if not billions of digital forums allowing anyone and everyone to voice their opinion which only 500 years ago wasnt an option for 99% of the people on the planet. Perhaps this expansion of the ability to write/type and the ability to "publish" thought will again change how we write.


John Scaldini

Its complicated, Sad, and Exciting

2 min read

 After reading this I thought about how grateful I am that I didnt have to deal with Social Media as a kid. I was never socially shy and as at outgoing kid I usually felt pretty confident in who I was and my ability to make friends in different situations. But based on the readings it seems that most kids have to spend lots of time constructing their personae. That the image they put out through social media has to be designed to meet the needs of other people. If figuring our who you are and making friends isnt hard enough we have developed a system where kids can be socially persecuted and ridiculed if they post something "duimb or weird." I would imagine that most kids are too embarrassed to post what they are really interested in but instead do whatever is socially acceptable in order to gain a sense of community and social acceptance. 

What I find the most interesting is that social media seems to be the largest growing "thing" that "all" people do in america and most importantly all young people do. It is a market driven by 9 - 22 yr olds or all races, genders, and backgroungs unlike ever other facet of the country which is pretty much controlled by old white guys. It will be interesting to see how corporations, political parties, and social groups use the information they get from social media and how the younger demographic in society will shape it.