Archive for July, 2009

Did You Know? Video

July 30th, 2009

If you haven’t seen this video about globalization and a changing market, you should:

It’s an update from a presentation by Karl Fisch that he gave to his staff at Arapahoe High School. His informal citations for the stats are here. The update was done by Scott Mcleod, a professor at the University of Minnesota. I really relate to how quickly tech information changes during the course of a college study. My first two years we were doing C/C++ (and I used to read binary) but then the required languages switched because web development was really taking off.

Ice Cream Tonight – Fitz is Buying

July 28th, 2009

Larry Fitzgerald, star of the Arizona Cardinals, is treating everyone to ice cream tonight. Here’s his message:

Come out & enjoy free icecream on me tonight!im buying!9311 east via de ventura, scottsdale,AZ.7-9pm.told u I love my fans!hope 2c ya 2night

Yet another fun event advertised on Twitter. I think that he’s going to be releasing his own ice cream brand. (That and he seems like a nice enough guy.)

Interview with Mike Collins, Apollo 11 Astronaut

July 22nd, 2009

Mike Collins was the guy orbiting the moon while the other two operated the landing module. There’s an interesting interview that was posted at to avoid lots of people sticking microphones in his face for the anniversary. Here’s a quote from him about his role:

This venture has been structured for three men, and I consider my third to be as necessary as either of the other two. I don’t mean to deny a feeling of solitude. It is there, reinforced by the fact that radio contact with the Earth abruptly cuts off at the instant I disappear behind the moon, I am alone now, truly alone, and absolutely isolated from any known life. I am it. If a count were taken, the score would be three billion plus two over on the other side of the moon, and one plus God knows what on this side.

We Choose the Moon

July 17th, 2009

It’s what Apollo 11 might have looked like if we had all of the tech to do status updates to give instant updates.

As of my writing Apollo 11 is at Stage 6, half-way between Earth and the moon. If everything stays according to plan, we should see a landing around, oh, I don’t know, July 20-ish.

At the site it not only has the countdown and the visualization, but it’s also streaming all of the dialogue between Capcom (Mission Control, not Street Fighter) and the astronauts. (Click on those links to follow them on Twitter. I set it up for text updates – so that I feel like I’m someone so important the astronauts feel the need to text me.)

In the bottom right of the site is what puts it all into context. Scrolling are fun facts about 1969, like how gas was 35 cents a gallon or how Slaughterhouse 5 was on the New York Times bestsellers list.

You definitely have to check out the video and photo galleries. After 40 years there is still media that I haven’t seen before. It’s all sponsored by the JFK presidential library. I think it’s really cool and for that I give you JFK’s moonshot speech:

March Toward the Thunder by Joseph Bruchac

July 16th, 2009

I like history.

I’m not a history buff in the sense that I can name every Battle of That Guy Bridge or the Raid On This Guy’s Stuff. That emphasis on memorizing battles out of context has no appeal for me.

What I enjoy is learning about how real-life people lived through crazy experiences.

Civil War stories usually don’t grab my attention, to be honest. Normally it’s random battles and dysentery.

Killer Angels by Michael Shaara brought the war to life for me. Joseph Bruchac’s March Toward the Thunder does this, as well.

Basing it on the true story of one of Bruchac’s relatives, Louis Nolette is a young boy who volunteers for the Union army even though he does not meet the age requirement. He’s big enough to pass, and they’ve lost enough soldiers, that he is able to enlist.

Throughout the story Louis interacts with real soldiers expressing real concerns – things like questioning orders of distant generals, not wanting to make friends that will die soon enough, and what it’s like to leave family behind. One great scene is an interaction between Ely Parker, a Seneca chief/Union officer, and Louis, an Abenaki youth.

The battles play out from Louis’ perspective. My only complaint was that they usually occurred in flashback, so we knew Louis made it out okay before we read the battle. Not as much danger as losing a character we’ve related to.

The issue of race is dealt with in an interesting manner: Louis joins up with the Irish Brigade. Frequently they were thrown into the front lines of combat, resulting in more casualties. The book points out the segregation between the units, despite the fact that they’re fighting on the same side. Even the infantry hates the cavalry because of a class difference.

These issues are handled in a way that adds to the narrative and contributes to a well-paced story.

Lightning Thief Movie Trailer

July 14th, 2009

Check it out on the MovieFone site.

Hunger Games Movie

July 14th, 2009

Scholastic is all over Facebook announcing that there will be a Hunger Games movie scheduled for 2011. It will be interesting to see how it plays out. I would like to see it scheduled for summer, like a blockbuster, instead of the normal winter release dates for YA books-turned movies.

You can find more info at the IMDb and the Scholastic page. It’s interesting seeing the illustrations of the characters.

You can also check out the game here.


July 13th, 2009

Tropes are like motifs – ideas that are repeated throughout various forms of media.

They’re not cliche yet. These are the variations on the elements of literature. It’s great for starting discussions for story analysis. is an interesting wiki collection of these tropes. It started out discussing just TV, thus the name, but has expanded its scope. Since it’s a wiki, anyone can edit it. Keep that in mind – you never know what someone’s going to type in.

Inside Access: Ghost in the Machine by Patrick Carman

July 9th, 2009

If you liked Skeleton Creek, the creepy immersive technology ghost story book, then I’m guessing you’ll like Ghost in the Machine. (‘Ghost in the Machine’ is a programming term for when code goes wrong and it looks like everything you’ve done is right. Future Professionals will remember what my previous major was in college.)

What’s great is that Patrick Carman is giving a lot of behind-the-scenes access to the work in progress.

Check out the Back Lot to be able to follow the actors, director, and the rest of the crew on Twitter and the main blog to follow the big updates about the project.

Release Date: Ally Carter’s Heist Book

July 9th, 2009

Ally Carter’s Heist book, a new series that she’s working on, will be released in February of next year. Very exciting!