Bad Behavior Online

PBS webseries Off Book does it again, providing an important look at negative online behavior. While this impacts us all, our children often get the most exposure and need the most help figuring out how to navigate the social aspect of being online, particularly when it turns bad.

I also love when they point out that freedom of speech does not equal freedom from criticism! Yes!

Off Book publishes some of the best online video I’ve come across, and I hope they keep going for a long time to come.

Google+: View post on Google+

Book Review: Start Here

start-here-read-your-way-into-25-amazing-authors

Now that their Kickstarter campaign has delivered my e-book reward, I can finally review Start Here

Rating: 5/5

My tendency is to read the same types of books, again and again. It’s not that I’m unaware of the existence of other genres. I know that there are a host of wonderful authors just waiting to be discovered, and a zillion “best book” lists out there. I want to be in the know, and to broaden my literary horizons. It’s just that I don’t want to slog through mountains of information to find the good stuff – I need guidance.

This book fulfilled my need perfectly. It sticks to twenty-five stellar authors, many of whom I’ve heard of but never read, and some of whom I’d never heard of (clearly, I’m unhip). Each chapter helped to get me interested in something new, and told me what to expect along the journey. For authors I already know well, I think that the advice was spot on.

Often the suggestions ease you into the author’s work to prepare you for more challenging and rewarding things to come. Other times, the order helps you get maximum enjoyment from a best-loved work by introducing you to the author’s style and themes first; priming the pump, as it were. What a nice way to go. I can’t wait to dive in.

Can I Stream It

Can I Stream It searches to find out whether movies and TV shows are available for streaming, and if so, where. As a cable “cord cutter”, it’s invaluable – you can even set up email alerts to let you know when things appear. While the majority of content is available across multiple services, quite a bit of good stuff is exclusive to Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu Plus.

CanIStream.It: Search Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, Google Play, Amazon, iTunes and more for movies and TV shows to stream instantly, rent, and buy.
CanIStream.it allows you to search Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, Google Play, Amazon, Crackle, Redbox, XFINITY Streampix, HBO GO, Showtime, Blockbuster, Youtube Movies, EPIX, and iTunes to see if a movie or t…

Google+: View post on Google+

Iconic Black and White, In Color

These photos are surreal in their real-ness, now that they’ve been cleaned and colorized. Stunning work.

Modernized President: Portraits of Abraham Lincoln, In Color | LightBox | TIME.com
For this week’s issue of TIME, Sanna Dullaway digitally colorized archival images of America’s 16th president in hopes of bringing history to life. Here’s a look back on the iconic images she’s revisi…

Google+: View post on Google+

Lazy Truth

If you use Gmail, add this extension to Chrome, and it will help you debunk claims made in  forwarded emails. This is a great tool for students (and adults) to determine the truth or falsehood of the dreaded email chain letter.

LazyTruth
Fiction, Meet Fact. LazyTruth is a free Gmail gadget that automatically triggers fact-checked content when you receive a misleading email forward. Get LazyTruth.

Google+: View post on Google+

Frontline’s Climate of Doubt

This Frontline episode about how effective the climate change denial lobby has become scares me to the core. Smart tactics are being used by organizations that are funded by rich, anonymous donors on a public that is often justifiably skeptical and sick of the media and political circus. This creates a perfect storm that could utterly change life as we know it on this planet for the worse.

Worth watching, but if you’re like me, it may be hard to let go. The stakes are just too big.

Climate of Doubt – FRONTLINE
FRONTLINE explores the massive shift in public opinion on climate change.

Google+: View post on Google+

Sfxr

sfxr is a fantastic, free, and easy-to-use tool for creating 8-bit video game sound effects. Perfect for the game-writing students I teach, but I’m having a blast (ahem) with it, too.

Just pick your sound type (jump, shoot, power up, etc.) and listen to random permutations until you get something you like, or tweak the settings directly to get the exact sound you’re looking for.

Note that there’s a Mac port of it as well (cfxr), look for the link under the description.

sfxr

Google+: View post on Google+

The Nerd’s Guide to Reading

My never-ending hunt for new books to read continues, and the latest find is a goldmine: The Nerd’s Guide to Reading. How do I know it’s fantastic? Many of the books that I’ve already read are among my all-time favorites, so I’m thinking that the rest are worthy of consideration.

Genres include popular science, history, classics, fantasy, and science fiction. It seems like I’ll never have enough time to read everything I’ve added to my list lately, but I think that’s actually pretty wonderful.

Science Fiction – A Nerd’s Guide to Reading

Google+: View post on Google+

A Web Whiteboard

Here’s another tool for your digital toolbox: a quick, web-based whiteboard that works on everything I throw at it, whether it’s a tablet, desktop computer, or mobile phone. If your device or computer can handle HTML5, you should be set.

I love the simplicity, utility, and the way that it just plain works.

Whiteboard
Touch. Draw. Share. A Web Whiteboard is touch-friendly online whiteboard app that lets you use your computer, tablet or smartphone to easily draw sketches, collaborate with others and share them with …

Google+: View post on Google+