Saturday, May 30, 2009

Ultimate Paper Mache = Amazing!

Here is a site that will inspire you to try your hand at sculpting with this artistic (and low budget) medium.

Ultimate Paper Mache is the creation of Jonni Good and has wonderful instructions on how to make several animals (including the dragon above), a mask, and Christmas ornaments. Currently she is working on a horse.

Be sure to look at the recommended books on the "About Paper Mache" page.

On the "About Tab" she says: "I created this blog about paper mache sculpture so I'd have an excuse to make some wonderful messes with paper and paste. I'm enjoying the projects that are shown here, and I hope you do as well. Enjoy!"

I have to say that I enjoyed this site very much!

This is another example of the generosity and creativity of folks on the Internet.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Cow Abductions...A Serious Problem! TGIFF!!!!

Who knew about this new Alien Threat?

With all the cows in Pennsylvania we should be vigilant and take a look at some of the solutions on this website ( to make sure this doesn't happen here!

And what about the Pennsylvania State Farm Show? That just has Orange Threat Level written all over it!

Be sure to watch the video and check out all the info. This just puts a whole new slant on the term "Emergency Preparedness", doesn't it?

Now, where did I put that roll of tin foil??? Enjoy!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Embrace Your Inner Batman!

Did you know that the first Batman comic was published in May of 1939? To celebrate I direct you to this Wikipedia entry on the famous superhero: Batman

Here you will find info on publication history; character history; skills, abilities, & resources; cultural impact; external links and lots more.

What are you waiting for? To the Batcave, Robin!


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Maps . . . Information In Another Format Altogether!

MAPS ETC is the place where you can search over 5,000 maps representing many different time periods.

Their friendly license allows teachers and students to use up to 25 maps in non-commercial school projects without further permission.

All maps are available in JPEG or GIF files for screen display as well as PDFs for printing.

You can browse the galleries or search the database to find what you are looking for.

(The map on the right shows the Encampment at Valley Forge, 1777-1778.)

So, Peeps, get out your compasses and start mapping!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Meet Robert Sabuda ...

If you have never seen one of Robert Sabuda's pop-up books you are in for a treat! They are nothing short of amazing and delightful. (Miss Bun and I love paper art so we are especially enamored of these!)

Visit his website: Robert Sabuda to find out more about the man and his work. Be sure to look at his "Simple Pop-Ups You Can Make" section to try your hand at paper engineering!

I have found many children's book authors to have a very generous spirit and I think that is evident here. Mr. Sabuda obviously doesn't mind promoting the work of other artists on his site. (Don't you just love people who love to share?)

Under the "Pop-Ups" tab you will find an international gallery of pop-ups, info on The Moveable Book Society, and a whole lot more! (There is a newsletter you can sign up for too.)

Don't forget to have a peek at the video below. You'll be glad you did.


Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart - Take a Look!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Science Fiction .....It's Alive!!!

As this site claims: SCI-FI LISTS "is dedicated to bringing you quality lists and concise reviews of science fiction's all-time top books, films, TV shows and short stories".

Here you will find book reviews, lists and polls, film & TV lists as well as recommended links.

The truly amazing fact about this site is that it is not a commercial venture but a hobby site created by one Peter Sykes who hails from Australia. A site that is the recipient of over thirty respected website awards and currently averages over 5000 hits a day.

Kind of makes you long for that little bit of alien in all of us, doesn't it?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Get The Big Picture!

If you are visually oriented or just like great photography check out this blog: The Big Picture from the Boston Globe run by web developer Alan Taylor.

This from the About Page:
"Inspired by publications like Life Magazine (of old), National Geographic, and online experiences like's Picture Stories galleries and Brian Storm's MediaStorm, The Big Picture is intended to highlight high-quality, amazing imagery - with a focus on current events, lesser-known stories and, well, just about anything that comes across the wire that looks really interesting."

The latest entry is on the Hubble Telescope's final servicing mission (some stunning photos there!) and you can take a look at the archives back to June 2008.


Monday, May 18, 2009

Physics Rocks! Check Out This Online Exhibit!

If you have any interest at all in science and physics in particular you need to take a look at this wonderfully informative and often entertaining (and that's saying a lot coming from someone with a degree in English Lit.!) offering by the Center for History of Physics Online Exhibits of the American Institute of Physics website.

Here you will be able to explore some of the most fascinating and important scientific discoveries to date as well as the scientists who made them. Learn about: Marie Curie, Albert Einstein, The History of the Transistor, The “uncertainty principle” that Werner Heisenberg used to explain quantum theory, The Discovery of Global Warming, and lots more!

Science really comes alive in the Moments of Discovery exhibit which tells the story of three scientific discoveries (Fission, Pulsar, & Superconductivity) in the scientists' own words. You can read the text and hear their actual voices.

You will also find teacher guides, links, and further resources. Kudos to the American Institute of Physics!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Book Chat ...

An Inconvenient Wife by Megan Chance

"Young Mrs. Lucy Carleton is the daughter of one of the oldest and wealthiest families in 1880s New York City. William Carleton is Lucy's un-pedigreed, nouveau riche husband. Problems arise when Lucy becomes increasingly uncomfortable with the prudish manners and paternalistic dependencies that define the wives of New York society. Lucy longs to break away and give free reign to her more bohemian soul, but her ambitious husband and domineering father are determined that she learn to conform to the mores of her social circle. Enter Dr. Victor Seth, the controversial neurologist whom William hires to try to cure Lucy of her perceived nervous disorder. Seth's groundbreaking methods of hypnosis lead Lucy to unforeseen and shocking experiences and set readers on a path through one of the most riveting works of historical fiction in recent memory."

Book Bytes: I just finished this and loved it. If you are fond of historical fiction, engaging characters, and exploring human nature this one is for you! This would be a great book group read. Highly recommended.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Puzzling Over What To Read Next?

Then is for you!

According to their about page "Whichbook enables, for the first time, the choice of book to start from the individual reader and what they are looking for".

This is a pretty amazing concept which lets the reader choose elements of what he or she is in the mood to read. From things like happy/sad (or somewhere in between) to sex/no sex (or somewhere in between) to short/long ( get the idea).

That's just the beginning. From there you can choose elements of plot, character and setting.

Whichbook will find titles which match your preferences. If you don't like any of the books offered, change your choices and try again - there are 20 million different individual combinations possible!

Readers can also choose to search for audio or large print only.

The books in the database are all fiction and poetry in paperback written in or translated into English and published since 1995. Books are read by one of a team of 150 people who are drawn from libraries and literature organisations and are specially trained to create the entries.

Whichbook is managed by Opening the Book Ltd, who founded the reader development movement in the UK and create reader-centred approaches to promoting literature.

If you are on our side of The Pond (or living in Britain) you will not be able to take advantage of Whichbook's book borrowing capabilities but don't let that stop you from trying out this unique way to choose your next read.

Friday, May 15, 2009

MOBA: The Museum of Bad Art ......TGIFF!

MOBA: Art Too Bad To Be their motto.

They are "the world's only museum dedicated to the collection, preservation, exhibition and celebration of bad art in all its forms" and "bringing the worst of art to the widest of audiences"is their mission

Lucy In the Field With Flowers
Oil on canvas by Unknown
24" x 30"
Acquired from trash in Boston

This single painting planted the seed that grew into MOBA.

Your task? Enjoy yourself on this Fun Friday!

Browse through the online collection, join the Friends of MOBA, sign up for the newsletter, buy the other words.....go crazy with bad art!!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Online Drawing Lessons! is an awesome site that offers over 200 diverse downloadable and printable drawing lessons for students of all abilitities from the age of 8 through adult featuring Brenda Hoddinott's unique and highly acclaimed style of teaching.

(Some of you may know Brenda Hoddinott as the author of Drawing for Dummies (2003) and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Drawing People (2004).)

"My philosophy on teaching art is to focus primarily on the enjoyment aspects while gently introducing the technical and academic. Hence, in creating a passion for the subject matter, the quest for knowledge becomes enjoyable." -- B.H.

The lessons are free but you do have to create an account. There are also interesting online courses that have a course fee associated with them.

This would be excellent for homeschoolers, art students, and anyone who is a life-long learner.

Now would be the time to go forth and get your art on!!! Go Peeps!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

What To Do With Your Used Books....

We get lots of questions about used books and what to do with them. Here is one way to recycle your books and get something you want in return.

OR: you could donate them to your local library (that would be us!) for their booksale or to be added to their collection.

OR: you could bring in your paperbacks and recycle them through Annville Free Library's recycling paperback collection (this is where you can take a book(s) and keep it or return it with no charge, no check out (please just let us know how many....libraries can't function without statistics!)

Ok, back to BookMooch ......"Give books away, Get books you want" is their mantra.

It is free to join and the only cost is in mailing your books to others.

You get points for using this service: "you receive a tenth-of-a-point for every book you type into our system, and one point each time you give a book away. In order to keep receiving books, you need to give away at least one book for every three you receive."

You can mooch books worldwide and in other languages, have a wishlist, and get feedback scores.

You can browse books by topic, location, language, top books, members, & the moochbar (which is a web browser toolbar icon for mooching books from Amazon)

Sounds like a win/win to me! Check it out!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Atomic Shrimp: A Man and his Blog......

This is a blog by Mike "in the south of England - almost exactly halfway between Southampton and Portsmouth."

Mike's blog is "really just about the things I do in my spare time. My interests include wild food, experimental cooking, assorted crafts, multimedia work and the deliberate, but benign and mild-mannered pursuit of the absurd."

Here is a link to just one of the absurd things you will find there: The Mouse Organ

You may wonder why I am pointing you in the direction of Atomic Shrimp. (I have heard from several people that they think blogging is just a waste of time).

The point I would like to make is that this absurd, funny, quirky blog is a stellar example of someone putting themselves out there on the Net for no other reason than they can, or they want to share or they just get some satisfaction out of creating something that others can see.

(And given the fact that the whole online world has the potential to access this blog you can bet that someone will see it!)

Never before have so many had the means to self publish so easily on any subject and in so many formats. And what's more is that they can get immediate feedback (if desired).

So, Peeps, don't automatically turn up your nose at the "B" Word. Just jump into that great sea of humanity that is the Internet and reach out and connect with someone!

(Do I now owe a certain telecommunications company some revenue???)

Here is another Atomic Shrimp blog entry to entice you to have a look: Making A Mountain Out of a Molehill


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Like Music? This is Way Cool!

The Internet never ceases to amaze me re: the sheer depth and breadth of what is out there, who put it there, and how anyone who has decent computer access can be a part of it.

Here is a great example: Pandora Radio which, according to the website, was "created to put the Music Genome Project directly in your hands."

So? What's that mean?

Well, Peeps, it means that you can create your own radio station based on artists or songs that you like. Or you can listen to a "station" based on a musical genre.

For example, I currently have a Crosby, Stills, & Nash station, a Feist Station, a Bonnie Raitt station and a Laurie Lewis station.Thanks to the Music Genome Project when I make a new station it takes the music/artist I've selected and pulls other music that is similar to play on it. You can also fine tune your station to your liking with the "options" drop down. You can also bookmark your favorites.

If something gets played that I don't like I just let Pandora know and I won't hear that selection again. Can you say that about your AM/FM stations?

You can share your station with friends or put it on your mobile device and lots more!

Pandora Internet Radio requires that you have an account but it is free. The free account will stop the music in an hour and ask if you are still listening. You also have to put up with some advertising but it's not that bad.

For $36 a year you can have a paid subscription that is advert free and plays for at least 5 hours before asking if you are still listening.

What are you waiting for? Get your Pandora Radio on!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Book Chat ...

City Dog by Alison Pace
This is the story of Amy Dodge who finds herself divorced, living in New York City, and wondering how that all happened. Instead of writing the next Great American Novel she’s written a bestselling children’s book series, Run, Carlie, Run! starring her adorable and spirited West Highland White terrier and a dashing (but fictional) Scottish explorer.

When Carlie is offered a starring role in her own television show, and the explorer begins to take on a life of his own, Amy’s world becomes a bit more interesting.....and complicated.

Will she be able to make sense of it all and find what she's been looking for?

Hint: You have to read it to find out!

Book Bytes: Loved her style (the book has three of them is the dog), loved the characters, funny, witty, and fast paced. File this under "Romantic Comedy". Recommended.

Friday, May 8, 2009

How Fast Are You? TGIFF!!!

Here's a fun little game for a Fun Friday.

Brought to us by our friends across The Pond (that would be an affectionate term for the Atlantic Ocean for those who don't know) here is a way to check those reflexes .... using sheep.

The object of the game is to stop escaping sheep as fast as you can. Sounds easy, doesn't it???

Play The Game

(No sheep are harmed in the playing of this game.)

Hey, Peeps, this is post 100!!! Go Team!!!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Calling All 19th Century Male Wanabes.....

I give you (straight from the Lively Arts History Association in Southern California):

which is "a resource for those who wish to look and act like; or perhaps better understand, the 19th Century American man. It is intended to help costumers, theatrical performers, museum docents, reenactors and anyone with an interest in the life of 19th Century America."

There are three broad categories to explore: attire, behavior, & resources which all give a fascinating look at this period in history. Lots of great stuff here!

The site is designed and maintained by Walter Nelson.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

History Geeks Unite!

If you like history this is a great resource!

Navigate on over to explore the Best of History Websites which is "an award-winning portal that contains annotated links to over 1000 history web sites as well as links to hundreds of quality K-12 history lesson plans, history teacher guides, history activities, history games, history quizzes, and more."

Be sure to check out the "Jump To" jump down box on the top right to get to more specific eras and subjects fast. Miss Bun especially likes the games!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

On The Green Side: Ecological Footprint Calculator

Check out the Footprint Calculator from the Global Footprint Network if you want to see what impact you personally have on the planet.

So who are they? (You may well ask.) The answer would be that the "Global Footprint Network is an international think tank working to advance sustainability through use of the Ecological Footprint, a resource accounting tool that measures how much nature we have, how much we use and who uses what."

(Currently this is available to calculate for the United States and Australia but they say other countries will be coming soon.)

Also take a look at the tabs at the top of the page: About Us, Footprint Basics, Footprint Science, Partnerships, & Resources for lots more information.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Jazz Up Your Monday!

Check out if you like jazz or just want information about jazz standards.

This from their "About" page:

" is the first and only centralized information source for the songs and instrumentals jazz musicians play the most.

Here you'll find fascinating origins, musical analyses, jazz histories, anecdotes, biographies, and much more. Currently the Top 1000 jazz standards are ranked and the Top 300 are fully documented."

Try having a listen to the Diana Krall number below....

Diana Krall - Fly me to the moon

One of Miss Bun's favorite jazz standards....enjoy!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Happy May Day!

Take a look at this webcast from the Library of Congress where Jennifer Cutting, a folklife specialist in the American Folklife Center, describes and displays some of the folk traditions surrounding May Day (May 1) in Britain and the United States.

Bringing in the May

Lost Your Marbles??? TGIFF!!!

Here's a game for a rainy Fun Friday:

Lost Your Marbles Game

I know I'm missing a few of mine......Enjoy!

P.S. It's tricksy.