All posts by Jon Udell

Comment on Rod Serling Seminar by Jon Udell

So strange to hear That Voice in conversation.

I was a bit put off when he dismissed the notion that a plumber is creative, heartened by the student’s pushback and his acknowledgement of it.

That only scratches the surface, though. I don’t think inventing a new way to fit a pipe — or do any other of myriad tasks in “the trades” — is rare. I think creative problem solving is routine, and perhaps for that reason, usually not noticed or celebrated.

Comment on O Tempora! O Moira! by Jon Udell

I love the bones subdomain!

The gems subdirectory was inherited from Radio UserLand which was my original blog. It was the equivalent of the WordPress uploads folder.

It would be nice for Mo[iy]ra to see your benediction. If she’s still around, and this being the web, it’s not inconceivable that she will.

Comment on Horton Barker by Jon Udell

That was beautiful.

Here is my distant connection to the 1965 Newport Folk Festival:

According to, the New England Contra Dancers and Horton Barker shared the same stage on the same day.

Saturday, July 24th 1965:

Horton Barker

Margaret Barry & Michael Gorman

Theodore Bikel

Oscar Brand

Lightnin’ Hopkins

Ian & Sylvia

Norman Kennedy

Kweskin Jug Band

A.L Lloyd

Bill Monroe & Blue Grass Boys

New England Contra Dancers

Comment on Fiction into film: a study of adaptations of “Little Women” by Jon Udell

Recently I listened to the This American Life podcast reviewed here.

“At one point, her father determined that women shouldn’t write and burned her stories in front of her. Books that she smuggled into the house were invariably confiscated.

Through a friend, however, she obtained a copy of Little Women, which she remembered reading while still in America. To hide it, she broke it into eight sections so that it wouldn’t show under the mattress. Whenever the family left the house, she would grab whichever section of the book came to hand and read it. “It was the book of my life, the only book I had to escape,” she says. She had parts of it memorized.”

Transcript here:

An extraordinary tale, one can only imagine how Louisa May Alcott would feel if she could hear it.

Comment on Investigation and intervention by Jon Udell

We were both in first grade that day!

My mom, a lapsed Catholic, took us with her to church where, for the one and only time we ever saw, she prayed. I think there was still some hope, in that moment, that he had survived.

(I remember thinking: Not sure it works like that.)

There have been few such world-uniting moments. Will 1/6/2021 join them? Only future first-graders will be able to say.

Comment on Lent by Jon Udell

I’m not aiming for, never mind going to achieve, a daily essay that goes beyond what can be said on Twitter. But I am trying for at least weekly. And I’m looking for ways to feel better, nice things we can still have.

Recent connections to a high-school science teacher, and to astrobiologist/author David Grinspoon, remind me that I can feel better, and that we can still have nice things.

Comment on cri de cœur by Jon Udell

My first thought was: Acquire the data, by hook (export) or crook (scraping), then reformulate in a useful way. But that’s so Web 2.0 :-)

Second thought: Annotate it in situ! Clearly I am carrying a hammer that makes many things appear to be nails, but let’s think about it. Teachers annotate the course catalog to enrich it with texts and links and rich media. Students annotate it to signal, to their peers, what they’re signing up for and why.

The annotation layer, in a private group that it’s cool to discover and join, goes viral on campus.

Crazy I know.