The Grizzly Den

Knowledge is Power

Save Horace the Hungry Hippo!

Posted by grizzlymedia on March 4, 2009

hippopotamus-by-jakalito
Photo courtesy of Jakalito

Have you seen Horace the Hungry Hippo? The media center HAD–as in past tense, as in once upon a time, as in no longer, as in formerly was in possession of–three lovely tiny circus critters. We ONCE owned a hippopotamus, a camel, and a wolf. OK, maybe wolves aren’t circus animals. At any rate, we once owned a lovely Horace the Hungry Hippo, or if you prefer different terminology, Horace owned us, and he guarded our printer night and day, without causing any harm to anyone, and without charging us one red cent for his services. In short, he was a saint. Then, Friday the Thirteenth arrived, and Horace went missing. Horace, by the way, looks nothing like the frightened little hippo you see in the picture above. Of course this hippo looks frightened–he is about to be eaten–or worse–by some alien creature. We thought it best not to show an actual photo of Horace for fear that it could cause his tiny plastic life to become even more endangered. Our Horace looks much braver than this poor hippo, even though he is perhaps in even graver danger. Should you see Horace, PLEASE return him to the library at once. Our printer desperately needs him. Our students desperately need him. A reward, approximately commensurate with Horace’s annual salary, is being offered for his safe return. If you have any information leading to his recovery, please contact Detectives Brooke or Ashley or comment to this blog post immediately.

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Are You Ready for Poetry?

Posted by grizzlymedia on March 3, 2009

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Next month is National Poetry Month, sponsored by the Academy of American Poets. Since April 1996, the Academy has been uniting publishers, booksellers, literary organizations, schools, libraries, and poets across the country to celebrate the value of poetry in American culture. You can visit the Academy’s website each day at www.poets.org to enjoy their poem a day throughout the month of April. April 30, 2009 will be designated as Poem in Your Pocket Day, in which you are asked to carry your favorite poem around in your pocket all day to share with your friends. Visit the website for more ways in which you can celebrate National Poetry Month.

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The 2009 National Poetry Month annual poster is created by renowned illustrator and graphic designer Paul Sahre. If you happen to be a school, bookstore, or library, you can order one for free. Sponsors of the poster include The New York Times, National Endowment for the Arts, Random House, Inc., Merriam-Webster, and The Poetry Foundation. The 2009 poster features the lines “Do I dare / Disturb the universe?” from T. S. Eliot’s poem “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.” You can also order copies of previous years’ posters for $5.00 each from this page.

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Drowning in Books

Posted by grizzlymedia on February 26, 2009

bookswim

OK, so what if I just posted this on my other blog. I liked it, so I’m posting it again. And those readers are not these readers.

Can books swim? Have they had lessons? Do they wear those little water wings? Should they? Well, what I do know about books is that they are fun, and you can take them with you to the beach or the pool, and make that experience even more fun. But did you know that you can borrow books from BookSwim just like you borrow videos from NetFlix, for a low, low monthly fee? And unlike those evil librarians who charge you late fees, (what? who would say such a thing about lovely librarians?) you can keep them for as long as you want without late charges. They have a fabuloso selection of contemporary books that you will actually want to read. You don’t even have to get out  of  your pjs to go to the library and check them out, or pay big bucks to buy them for yourself at the book store. You just pick out the books you want, add them to your “pool,” and then BookSwim mails them to you with no delivery charge, which is just about the nicest thing that can happen to a person these days. You read the books, and then BookSwim mails then back to you, again with no delivery charge.

And now you can even rent textbooks. College textbooks. Graduate school textbooks. For cheap, people. So, I’m working on my doctorate. The school I’m attending offers to sell me two books I need for something in the neighborhood of $150 each. I manage to find one at Barnes & Noble for $50. I just found it on BookSwim. I could have rented it from them for $28.60 for 90 days, the length of my class. I’m guessing they would have frowned upon my highlighting the pages, but to save that much money, I could have restrained myself. Another book for the same class was about the same price from a B&N used bookseller as it was to rent for ninety days from BookSwim (around $62 from each place) so it pays to shop around. At any rate, you can swim on over to BookSwim and see if you have been swimming in the right book pool.

Posted in Books, Reading | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Be Your Own Journalist with Fodey Newspaper Generator

Posted by grizzlymedia on February 21, 2009

newspaper

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Musicovery is a Blast

Posted by grizzlymedia on February 20, 2009

musicovery

Musicovery. It looks pretty. And it sounds pretty. Or however you want it to sound. Like the 50s, or the 80s, or today. Or maybe you want to narrow your music to rock, disco, or latin. Whatever you like, Musicovery likes. You can stream the music on your computer, or download their widget for your Nokia phone. You can even listen to your Musicovery library on your .mp3 player via iTunes, but only if you use a Mac. There’s even an app for the Wii, apparently, but I don’t have a Wii, so I couldn’t figure out how it worked, and the site didn’t explain it. You can have a basic account for free, or pay four dollars a month for a premium account, which gets you better quality music, better service, and no ads. The site isn’t perfect, but if you want access to a big variety of music and you want to be able to select music according to mood or genre, then maybe you should give Musicovery a try.

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Be Funky!

Posted by grizzlymedia on February 9, 2009

charcoal-ruth

As you know,  if you’ve ever read this blog more than once or twice, I love a good Web 2.0 app. And now I have found a new one, BeFunky, which has stolen my heart. Although we did have a little lover’s quarrel at first when BeFunky refused to embed. But like any good lover of worthwhile Web 2.0 tools, I refused to be defeated, and I shall share my secrets with you. Here is what BeFunky can do for you, and how you can force it into submission. Here is the step-by-step scoop:

  • Click on “Get Started Now!”
  • Select an application: Cartoonizer, Warholizer, Charcola, Patriotic, Inkify, LineArtopia, Stenciler, Sunburst, or Scribbler (Variety is the spice of life, my friend!)
  • Browse files to select your picture from your computer, a webcam, a regular website, or a photo sharing site such as flickr
  • After you snag your pic, it’s easy to rotate left, rotate right, crop, or just skip editing altogether if your picture’s already perfect
  • Voila! Your picture is Warholized! Or in the case of my photo above, Charcolaed.
  • Now, you’ve got to do something with it. You can right click and print it, or
  • You can upload it to all the places I mentioned before, or
  • You can share via email or to your social networking sites, or
  • You can save to “My Gallery” or “My Desktop.”
  • If you want to post to your blog, select the option of saving to “My Gallery” or “My Desktop.”
  • Click OK and then save the file to somewhere on your computer.
  • You can then upload or insert the file into your blog.
  • Here’s a Warholized picture of Kayli (OK, she’s Chinese, but Chinese people aren’t really yellow, that’s a myth; it’s the Warholizing)
  • warhol_kayli

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Visit Newseum–An Online (And Actual) News Museum

Posted by grizzlymedia on February 9, 2009

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So what if you could just look at a map of the entire universe–OK, just the Earth, but that’s still pretty good coverage, you have to admit–and then click on a city and immediately see the front page of today’s newspaper? Pretty cool, huh? Well, that’s what the wonderful folk at Newseum have done for you. You can also see archived pages for special events, say, the recent inauguration. You can sort the papers by continent if you wish; for example you may only be interested in inaugural coverage in the United States, or maybe you want to see how the event was covered in Europe or the Middle East. Yeah, I had a problem with reading the Arabic papers myself. But I could figure out the pictures pretty well. I’m gifted like that. After perusing the site, I discovered that Newseum is more than newspapers. They have access to exhibits and theaters, news-related events and education, and even “fun and games.” You can even shop and dine. How exactly do you dine online? Actually, there’s an actual Newseum museum, billed as the “World’s Most Interactive Museum” located in Washington, DC, where you have go to do the actual dining. (Did you enjoy how I used the word “actual” or its derivatives three times in that one sentence? I should write a novel or something!) You can even buy tickets on the Newseum site. But you can’t actually dine on the site. The Newseum’s restaurant, however, is D. C.’s first fine-dining restaurant headlined by Wolfgang Puck. So go! Visit the site! Visit the actual museum! Learn something! And if you learn how to read Arabic, email me and tell me how to do it. Or at least fill me in on how to write a sentence without using the word “actual” three times.

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Have You Seen Your Shadow Today?

Posted by grizzlymedia on February 2, 2009

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It’s Groundhog Day! And whether or not there are going to be six more weeks of winter depends on where your groundhog lives. I, thankfully, live in the South, home of General Beauregard Lee, who emerged this morning to cloudy skies and did not see his shadow. This means that his hometown of Atlanta and the surrounding area will not see six more weeks of winter. Praise the Lord and pass the biscuits and gravy! We’ve had enough winter here already, thank you very much. And, in case you didn’t know it, General Lee has gone high tech. He tweeted his weather report to the world via Twitter! Way to go General Lee! Five hundred sixty miles to the north, the somewhat more famous (but less technically inclined) Punxsutawney Phil  in Pennsylvania was unfortunate enough to awake to a sunny day in which he saw his shadow. That means the poor ol’ Yankees will have winter weather for six more weeks. Probably longer. Bless their hearts. And Happy Birthday to the World’s Cutest Groundhog, my granddaughter Margaret, born on 02/02/02, who turns seven today!

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Need Some Cash for College?

Posted by grizzlymedia on February 1, 2009

scholarship

Do you have a parent with a disability? Are you looking for a college scholarship? If the answer to both of these questions is “yes,” then you need to check out Through the Looking Glass and its National Center for Parents with Disabilities and their Families. This organization is making five scholarships of $1000 available to high school seniors and five more scholarships of $1000 to current college students for the 2009-2010 school year. Winners will be selected on the basis of academic performance, community service, letters of recommendation, and an essay describing the experience of growing up with a parent with a disability. The scholarships are part of a research study on young adult children of parents with disabilities, so you would be asked to participate in an optional survey. The deadline for submitting your application is March 16, 2009. For more information, visit Through the Looking Glass.

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Feelin’ the Love

Posted by grizzlymedia on January 30, 2009

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You know, we have the best job in the entire world, and here’s proof. For the past couple of weeks, we’ve been working primarily with Ms. Shearer, her student teacher Ms. Yount, and their wonderful tenth grade English students. They’ve been researching controversial topics, using Noodletools to cite their sources and create electronic notecards, and writing their research papers. Today, they presented us not only with a great gift basket full of some of our favorite treats (including Cheez-its!!!!), but even, better, they made a beautimous and thoughtful card to go with it. Are we lucky or what? Thanks, guys!

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