Right, wrong, different, weird...or....

Watch Derek Sivers talk about "Weird, or just different?" in this TED Talks video

Can you think of more examples like this, which show that there are many ways of being "right"?

Thanks to Maggie H-M for the tip

Create an avatar, redux

I've posted before about creating an avatar for your online personality. Here are some new sites to investigate:

At BeFunky, you upload a picture of yourself, choose a photo effect to "enhance" the picture, and then choose other additions for your picture.  Easy to use, no registration required. When you are done, click save, and your picture will be saved to your computer.

At WeeWorld, you can create a WeeMee.  In order to save your person with a background, you must register on the site, but you can use a screen shot to save without registering.

Part of the marketing campaign for the movie Avatar is an Avatar avatar generator.

 Here's a small version of my angry Avatar poster. you can use it to create your own Avatar avatar. Move your mouse over the poster, and click on "Create my avatar".

Thanks to Graham Stanley for these tips!

Find a free audio book at AudioOwl

Do you have an iPod, iPhone, or another mp3 player?  a computer? Do you like to listen to stories? Then click on this link to a site called Audio Owl.

This is a screen shot of AudioOwl's main page

AudioOwl's mission is to make "the world's public domain audio books available for browsing in a visual and entertaining way...AudioOwl puts the fun back into browsing for audio books. For those who listen to audio books because reading does not come easily to them, the last thing these people would want to do is read through pages of text to find something to listen to. AudioOwl provides a primarily visual browsing experience so you don't have to read tedious amounts to find listening material."

This is a screen shot of the page for Children's books

All these audio files can be found in other places on the web - Librivox.org, or the Internet Archive, among others. "The majority of public domain books, however, are digitized by Gutenberg.org and recorded by Librivox.org. AudioOwl draws on these public domain sources to deliver free audio books to you in an engaging and fun way."

All these books are in the public domain - that means their copyright has expired, and that means (usually) that they are "old" and "classics", but it doesn't mean they're not worth listening to! You'll find some of the language old fashioned, and probably you'll like some of the readers better than others.  You can look for books  by genre, and by language. This is definitely a resource worth exploring.

This is a screen shot of  the page for Johanna Spyri's Heidi kann brauchen, was es gelernt hat

Wild Music

Curious about sounds? animals? Use your computer to find things out - Visit the web page, Wild Music, and investigate how animals make sounds,

create your own soundscapes,

play with vibrations and frequencies,

and learn how the natural world influences musicians.  (You can listen to soundscapes created by Philip Blackburn here.)


Be wise and safe

There are 4 new videos aimed at younger internet users at Being Smart Online, Here's 2 of them:

Playing and Staying Safe online

This video is addressed partly to young viewers, and partly to their parents or the adults in their home:
Steering Clear of Cyber Tricks

The message in this video is very easy to understand!
Safer Internet Day 2010: Think B4 U post

Can you see energy?

The Open Culture Blog highlighted an interesting video with a post titled "Is anything real?" which led me to the producers' own Vimeo site, Stargate Studios where I found this fantastic video:

This video is made with a Weisscam HS-2 High Speed Camera which allows our slow human eyes to see things in a new way. What's going on in these pictures? Why have I listed this under "energy"?

Energy for the Seniors

ISOCS Seniors Class is heading into a new Unit of Inquiry.  Here are a few videos to get you thinking.  This is a playlist of videos about energy:

I want to spotlight on one of my favorites:

There are a lot of other resources linked at Energy (1) and Energy (2) on our Netvibes page.

If you are really curious about Einstein's E=mc2, click on the links in the box below to listen to QuickTIme audio files from NOVA's podcast.


I played with FlickrPoet this morning - it's a website which creates a visual representation of text you submit.

I typed "Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still." into the text box, clicked "Show Story", waited a few seconds for the pictures to load, and saw this:

flickr poet

By clicking on "Show Story" again, you can make the pictures change.  Here's a slide show of some of the versions I liked best:

FlickrPoet describes itself this way:

(click on the image to see it enlarged)

If you mouse over one of the photos in your story, you will see its URL, and if you click on it you will be taken to its Flickr page. That way you can learn more about the photographer, and see other pictures taken by the same person.

I thought it was interesting to see what the algorithm chooses for me to illustrate my sentence.  I didn't always understand it, or even like it!  But it's a very interesting page, and worth trying to understand. Why did the photographers describe and tag their photos as they did?

Why did this photo turn up under the word "time"?

photo by Thomas Shahan

Because the word "time" is used in the photo description.