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A day of research

Today went well enough.

I spent some time completeing the online training for human subjects protection research which was time consuming and bland. But in the midst of modules and quizzes, something caught my eye. I found it to be very interesting that there are organizations that act like the “police” of financial conflicts of interest in research, i.e., corporate influence on research conducted by academics and their institutions. The Integrity in Science Project works to combat the conflicts of interest that arise from the commercialization of science. They investigate committees for undisclosed conflicts of interest, watch the media and scientific literature for failure to disclose conflicts of interest, and support others to embrace strong disclosure policies. Pretty interesting stuff.

So of course, I want the Adobe Creative Suite Design Premium or Web Premium. but really…I’m not going to stumble across a couple thousand any time soon. So today I started looking around for a freeware graphics editor. A good resource for free graphics editor is at Iron Spider, a web design and resource center. Another great resource for free graphics editors is the General Disarray blog. It links to free graphics editors, but it also links to other applications for Mac OS X. The free graphics editor I finally went with is Gimp. A really helpful resource for Gimp is Wilbur-loves-Apple.

By the way, to use Gimp on a Mac OS X, you must have X11 installed. For OS X 10.3 to 10.3.9, Apple provides a X11 download on their website. But for OS X 10.4, Apple tells you to use the original Tiger install DVD. If you have the original Tiger DVD, Overstimulate, a weblog, has really helpful step-by-step install instructions with images of each step. Unfortunately this advice does not help the Mac user that lost their Tiger install DVD. After searching most of the day, I finally found someone else that doesn’t have the original Tiger DVD on hand and he has been kind enough to put the X11 User and X11 SDK packages for Mac OS X 10.4 online. What wonderous pleasures the small joys bring :o)

In the midst of free graphics editors and installing X11, I found some other really cool websites. Bittbox is a great blog with neat freebies and Lost and Taken is an awesome source for free stock textures.


After what seemed like an endless day searching online, it’s about the right time to get outside and take the dog for a nice, long walk.

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The only two times I’ve ever posted on a blog were under desperate measures. I needed information fast and the for one reason or anything I couldn’t talk get answers from anyone around. This is the extent to my experience with blogs. Of course I have sat around and read other people’s blogs, but I would never post. So beginning a blog is a new experience for me and I’m not really sure where to start…

My research interest is indigenous environmental justice groups and their websites. A great start to get information on and examples of indigenous environmental justice is the Indigenous Environmental Network, an indigenous environmental justice group advocating for native and indigenous peoples across North America. Recently, I performed a qualitative content analysis of the Akwesasne Task Force on the Environment websiteas a pilot study before I begin my Master’s thesis research. From an initial analysis, it appears that the Akwesasne Task Force on the Environment’s website empowers Mohawk culture and identity, as well as promotes counter-accounts of reality.

In addition to researching, I maintain a genuine attempt to stay current on web design and development topics. I think one of the best resources that helps me stay informed is Smashing Magazine. This site has most everything, or at least links to most everything. Today there was an awesome post with amazing nature backgrounds.

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