Monday, October 13, 2008

tech misc

At the travel expo this spring, I signed up for a free subscription of Plenty Magazine, dedicated to the environment and green living. It includes tips, gifts, and technology updates. In the most recent issue, I read about some free online video games where you learn about endangered species and natural life, by becoming a threatened fish or a wolf in Yellowstone. Also, from one of their 'infographics,' I learned that under the first Bush presidency, 234 animals were added to the Endangered Species list; Clinton's added 512; our 'esteemed' current administration has added a mere 59. In another issue, I was happily surprised to read about CO2 'vacuums' being used by a handful of solid waste facilities.


The current Olde Tyme edition of the Onion cracks me the hell up. Some example headlines:
  • "M. Webster's New "Dictionary" Shall Burden Us With A TYRANNY of Words.
  • "...If is, of Corse, Plain to all Rationnel Foulk that need'd we an Ary for our Diction, the LORD GODD HIM SELF would have design'd us One."
  • "Opera Lyrics Blamed In Recent Spate of Regicides."
  • a last-page 'announcement' referencing Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure
  • "The Good-Ship Tea Ship has returned from Great-Britain with MORE TEA, thus completing her 47th voyage across the Atlantic Ocean, each time departing with No Tea and porting with Tea Aplenty, tho' We needn't more Tea and are all ready burdened with an Amount of GOD-forsaken Tea so great it is nigh Undrinkable."
  • [Please don't sue me, Onion. I love you, but you don't have links to these funny bits on your site.]


Speaking of "nigh undrinkable," some of the candidates are so ridiculous that I am seriously questioning the sanity of the American public. Somebody smarter than I linked to this New Yorker article that outlines many important facts about the Presidency, although in parts is definitely partial to one candidate. Still a must-read. (Even though, er, I haven't finished it yet. Google is indeed making us Stoopid.)


I'm using Google Reader, because who am I to avoid us all further becoming Google's bitch? It was easy to set up. You just click on Reader at the menu across the top of the page (from gmail). On the lower left, you see "Add Subscription." Simply cut and paste a blog link and voila, you are subscribed! Ms. M clued me in to folders, so you can categorize your chosen reading material (I have blogs, teacher blogs, NYC teacher blogs, funny, newsy). The list shows all the blog names and highlights a name with new posts. If you're me, those new posts will pile up faster than cars on any New York freeway at any time of day, and you will be quickly overwhelmed. I naively subscribed to mammoth-posters like gothamist, seattlest and jezebel, which pushed the new posts up to nearly 1,000. So with a moment of guilt, I unsubscribed from each of those, to make my life easier, not because I don't care about the news, cultural happenings, or strange pictures of celebrities.


I bought a Photoshop book today. Oh, the overwhelming choices! Oh, the over-inflated cost! I find it just a leeetle ironic that so many books are published about a computer processing program--but it does make sense. Some things really do need more than a soundbite or a five-minute video on youtube. (Don't think I haven't looked at those either, though.) And most of us will always have real books around--turning pages, flipping between chapters, the unique smell, being able to hold the entire thing in your hands--ebooks hold zero appeal for the many (even those as-yet unidentified) bibliophiles out there.


I am so, so sad to report that not only did I NOT find any Fiesta Nacho Cheese (spicy cheese in a can!) at Safeway during my blink-and-you'll-miss-it trip home last weekend, there were no Frosted Joe's O's to be found at the Brooklyn Trader Joe's this morning! I will freely admit to being just a little devastated. (Don't tell.)


And in other, strange, TMI news, my BF finally 'gave birth' to an Alien Forehead Baby. Aw.


Ms. M said...

Er, was that last bit of info just to check if we were still reading??

ms. v. said...

Yeah, not sure what to do with the last part...

but I was really going to comment that you can use the "mark all as read" feature to help when your reader gets too crowded... that way you don't have to unsub from things you like and read occasionally.

Ms. George said...

I couldn't comment on today's post (10/16)so here it goes.
I've had this year. Yes, I know my tough year in Moderately-Affluent-Middle-School is not the same as NYC. YOU are not a joke. The other teachers don't hate you because you're having a tough time. The students don't hate you. You are just having a bad start to your year. OK, a really bad start. But you can turn this around. I know you can. You are worthy of it. Some of the tough kids just make us better teachers by getting us to try things we wouldn't have otherwise to get them to learn...