Archive for February, 2012

Speech Resources

February 28th, 2012

Another librarian asked for a collection of speeches to use as examples for students. A co-worker of mine recommended these sites that are free to the public.

American Rhetoric – Michael E. Eidenmuller from the University of Texas has gathered a collection of speech audio and video from U.S. history.

Presidential Speech Archive – The University of Virginia organized these by sections of U.S. history.

Recorded Sound Reference Center – This is the Library of Congress’s collection of audio.

Send Your Parachute

February 24th, 2012

So, seeing the art direction for the Hunger Games movie got me intrigued, but I still wasn’t sold on the movie being awesome.

If you read my review when I got the ARC of Catching Fire, you’ll remember that I really liked the social commentary that was in book two of the series – specifically, a commentary on consumerism without concern for those that are going hungry.

The Hunger Games team did the best possible promotion, in my opinion. They are using their media hype force to educate about world hunger and hopefully alleviate starvation at home and abroad.

Check out their Send Your Parachute (fans of the book will get the cool reference) campaign trailer. You can text to donate to World Food Programme and Feeding America.

Outdated idioms

February 22nd, 2012


A Language Arts class was learning about idioms, figures of speech, today. When the phrase “like a broken record” came up, they honestly had no clue what a record was – and why should they?

Some could picture a DJ turntable and we went with that and explained how scratching actually was that – scratching over the grooves of the record. I then dusted off a record player and brought it to the classroom. It had the red and white audio cords, so I hooked it up to the TV and blasted it. The students were amazed at the needle arm.

My friends will appreciate that the record played was the Broadway version of “1776”.

Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick

February 21st, 2012

This is one that I should have read but never did because I taught 8th grade and this was a 7th grade class novel. This year I read through it looking specifically for nonfiction connections (there are a ton and expect a future post about that later) and I was glad I did. The voice is amazing and the story so well-paced. It’s short, only 160 pages, but every single word counts. This was his first book for youth. He had written mysteries and suspense novels for adults for 15 years previous to writing Freak the Mighty and yet, when I think Philbrick, this is the book that I think of.

The Hunger Games videogame

February 16th, 2012

Adam Saltsman, maker of Canabalt, has been asked by Lionsgate Studios to make a Hunger Games videogame. My guess is that it’s going to have a lot of running and jumping with some bow and arrow action thrown in.

It is yet to be determined if there will be Team Peeta/Team Gale angst.

My guest post is up on the Penumbra blog.

February 14th, 2012

In January, I had a short story published in Penumbra emagazine. They asked me to write about writing, which may seem redundant at first, but it helped me put into words why I write and hopefully will help others. Here’s a link to the post.

A teacher today pointed out that I haven’t really talked much about what I have out there, so here’s another link to the story published by Cast of Wonders. (You can also get it for free on iTunes by clicking here.)

Happy Birthday, Arizona!

February 14th, 2012

Want some ideas on how to celebrate 100 years of Arizona? Check out the events happening today or subscribe to the Google calendar to get updates throughout the year.

If you want to see the actual documents that led to our statehood, from the Northwest Ordinance in 1787 all the way to the proclamation by President Taft in 1912, click here.

Impossible Photography – TED Talk: Erik Johansson

February 13th, 2012

If you’ve been with this site for a while, you’ll know that I’m a big fan of the TED Talks. Normally, it’s world-changing presentations on amazing solar cells or cures for diseases.

Check out this one from Erik Johansson using Photoshop, planning, and the human imagination to create some M.C. Escher-esque photos.

Build a Body

February 10th, 2012

Build a Body is an interactive anatomy lesson where you put the organs in and read about what they do. It’s organized really well by system, but the part that I found most intriguing was the case studies section. In it, you read about a person and figure out what’s wrong with their body parts.

The Lord of the Rings Family Tree

February 9th, 2012

The Lord of the Rings is one of the only books that I had to keep flipping back to the index while reading. Everyone’s an “-orn” this or an “-endil” that. It’s hard to keep track of.

Until now.

Check out this extremely large family tree. I do find some irony in ents being included in the tree.