Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Search the Net to Match Your Mood with...

WILD MOOD SWINGS , according to its maker Sean McManus, is a simple game where you choose a mood from the drop down box, click on the "take me away" button and voila!.......there you are!

(It's Good To Be Queen!!!....Sorry, I had a brief Mary Englebreit moment there......whew!)

Anyway, this is a very interesting concept. And the many mood choices are intriguing as well.

Are you feeling: zen?, verbose? bossy?, musical? green-fingered?, Japanese?, like trespassing on government property?.......you get the idea.

You may be wondering about the suitability of this site for the very young or those with a more refined nature.

To put your mind at ease (sort of) here is their disclaimer:

"Sean McManus and the team at Wild Mood Swings are not responsible for any content you find on other websites. Wild Mood Swings works by taking you to other websites, outside our control. We review the page we link to (obviously), but don't have time to follow all the links from that page. Occasionally, pages change after we review them so do notify us if you're worried about anything you see: roughly speaking, links should be suitable for ages 15+. We reserve the right to add, remove and amend all links at any time. By using this site, you accept that you use it at your own risk and that we're not responsible for any bad feelings."

Ok, Peeps, go have an adventure!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Check Out This Great Learning Resource!

The Study Guides and Strategies website made its first appearance in 1996 and "has been researched, authored, maintained and supported by Joe Landsberger as an international, learner-centric, educational public service" since then.

Here you will find an amazing amount of information contained in 17 broad categories such as Preparing, Learning, Studying, Learning With Others, Online Learning/Communicating,
Classroom Participation, Project Management, Research, Preparing For Tests, Taking Tests, and more!

The Guides have been translated into, and are currently available, in 31 different languages and Mr. Landsberger invites readers to help translate a Guide if they are so inclined.

(The site is also continuously revised and updated.)

Some sections are interactive and the ones I've looked at are concise and to the point. While the Guides seem to be targeted at college students I think anyone (high school students, home-schoolers, life-long learners) seeking to improve study skills would find this site extremely helpful.

(Miss Bun is exceedingly upset that nothing like this was available to her when she went to college! On the other hand, she is quite happy knowing that today's students have so many useful resources at their disposal!)

Be sure to click on the "Visitor Center" button on the top right of the home page where you can sign up for the newsletter, check out visitor stats, find a list of updates, additions, & revisions, as well as a history of the site.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

An Interactive, Online Museum of Science, Humanities, & Culture...

WebExhibits is just that and more. Their hope is that the exhibits’ information, virtual experiments, and hands-on activities prompt us to think, to formulate questions, and to explore topics from a variety of angles.

Current topics include: Calendars Through the Ages; Daylight Savings Time (which made an appearance previously on this blog ); Color Vision & Art; Poetry Through the Ages; Van Gogh's Letters; Butter; Causes of Color; Bellini's Feast of the Gods; and Pigments through the Ages.

Previous topics can be found on the "Older Exhibits" page.

Be sure to check out the "About" page where you can learn how to create your own exhibit, take advantage of teacher resources, sign up for the newsletter, give feedback and more!

What a cool concept! Go forth and partake!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Amazing Short Story Site!

Short Stories at East of the Web is one of the largest online collections of short stories organized into nine categories: fiction, romance, crime, sci-fi & fantasy, humor, horror, hyperfiction, children's and non-fiction.

The site has
handy features such as new titles, a story of the day, top picks from readers and editors, and even a random story generator.

All stories have an age rating and specific elements that may not be suitable for some readers are highlighted in red in the story description.

You will find materials and features for teachers (& homeschoolers) and convenient devices such as doubleclicking on a word will bring up the dictionary definition as well as the audio pronunciation. And there are also story guides.

Stories can be read online, printed or downloaded for reading offline or on hand held devices.

If you are so inclined you can also submit your own stories for publication.

This is the place to get your short story on!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A View of Father's Day via the Shorpy Photo Archive

Happy Father's Day!

This image is of President Woodrow Wilson and his newborn grandson, Francis Sayre, Jr., taken in 1915 and can be found on a wonderful vintage photography blog.

The Shorpy Photo Archive is an online archive of thousands of high-resolution vintage photos from the 1850s to 1950s. Its namesake, Shorpy Higginbotham, was a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years

You can search Shorpy for something of interest or you can peruse several galleries by subject as well as by photographer.

And there is an opportunity to participate in the site. By creating your own free account on Shorpy you can share your own vintage photographs. Visitors to the site are particularly interested in images from the dawn of photography to the 1940s.

This is a great site that offers an intriguing window into our past. Enjoy!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Have mad skills? Try GUESStheGOOGLE! TGIFF!!!


Ok, Peeps, this is an ingenious little game by one Grant Robinson which is based on everyone's favorite image retriever Google Images.

"Please note: Although Guess-the-google uses images retrieved using Google's image search it is in no way associated with or endorsed by Google Inc."

All you have to do is be the fastest and most efficient at making the connection between search terms and their results when presented with a grid of 20 images from a Google Image search.

In other words, you have to answer the question: What Google search term would have returned these images?

You have 20 seconds to find the right answer and you can guess as many times as you'd like. There are 10 image grids per round.

The game will post your incorrect answers as you play a round so you can see them plus you get bonus points for how fast you answer.

Hint: Be sure to click in the answer box first before you start a round.

Sounds easy, doesn't it? Well.....it is....sort of. And also addicting!

Enjoy yourself while honing those searching skills!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The National Book Festival Lives On! Wahoo!!!

We just got word that the National Book Festival which was initiated by former First Lady Laura Bush will continue with President Barack & First Lady Michelle Obama as Honorary Chairs!

If you love books and authors be sure to mark your calendars for September 26th, 2009 and find a way to get to D.C. (If you are not too far away many organizations run bus trips.)

If getting there just isn't possible you can still catch webcasts of your favorite authors of the day on the website: National Book Festival.

As a matter of fact you can check out all the podcasts & webcasts of speakers all the way back to the first Book Festival in 2001. There is always an impressive array of authors across categories including Children; Home & Family; Poetry; Fiction & Mystery; Teens & Children; History & Biography; & Special Guests.

Scope it out!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Book Chat . . .

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman -
Hey, Peeps! I just finished this book and, as far as I'm concerned, Neil Gaiman is the MAN! What an imagination and what an intriguing story that goes something like this:

Nobody Owens, known as Bod, is a normal living child who has been adopted by the inhabitants of a graveyard along with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. Dangers, adventures, and inventive characters abound. This book is not just for the Young Adult audience. (Actually, really good YA books never are according to Miss Bun.) Let it charm you, too!

Check out the trailer for the book:

Be sure to check out Neil Gaiman's website for young readers: Mr. Bobo's Remarkable Mouse Circus.

Here you can watch Mr. Gaiman read The Graveyard Book on his nine city video tour. At each stop he read one chapter of the book and then posted it on the website so everyone can listen to the author reading his own work in its entirety. (Another generous, talented soul!)

And here is his HarperCollins Publishing website: Neil Gaiman where you can look at his journal and essays, images, bio, newsletter, and FAQs.

And last, but not least, is the following talk he gave at the 2008 National Book Festival in Washington, D.C.:

For some reason I now have a desperate yearning to go out and get a T-shirt that says:
It Takes A Graveyard To Raise A Child!

Book Bytes: LOVED this! This book is very highly recommended! And so is Coraline (also by Neil Gaiman).

Friday, June 12, 2009

Make Your Own Abstract Art Online! TGIFF!

Bomomo is a drawing application that lets you do some really nifty things with your mouse. (One of the most interesting things about it is that everything is dynamic and moving.)

What you will see when you click on the link above is a blank canvas with moving circles. These circles will act in different ways depending on which drawing tool you have chosen at the bottom of the screen.

All you have to do is hold down your left mouse button and move your mouse to start the fun. Colors are randomly generated.

You can save what you create to use as wallpaper or wrapping paper, etc. (Those buttons are on the bottom right.)

On the About Page it states that this way cool app was " created by Philipp Lenssen 2008. Internet Explorer version by Nikolai Kordulla. Feel free to share any image you create in any way you like... it's yours! We may also save and republish a copy of images you save."

Ok, Peeps, go forth and create a masterpiece for yourself today!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Mind-Boggling Nature/Science Site!

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Seeing the title you might think that this is a site only about birds but you would be mistaken! (Although there is a ton of info on our feathered friends!)

This from their "What We Do" page:

"The Cornell Lab of Ornithology uses the best science and technology--and inspires the widest range of people and organizations--to solve critical problems facing wildlife.

Our mission: To interpret and conserve the earth's biological diversity through research, education, and citizen science focused on birds."

Don't you just love the term "Citizen Science"?

"Citizen science is a way for you to learn about birds, science, and conservation by participating in real scientific studies. As a partnership between the public and professional scientists, we make up one of the world's largest research teams!"

There are several projects that are available to get involved in so be sure to check out the Citizen Science page for more info. (What an opportunity for classroom students and homeschoolers!)

There is just so much great information on this site that I couldn't possibly direct you to all of it so here are some of my favorite highlights:

Be sure to look at the video about the Blue Whale discovered singing in New York coastal waters!

  • The Macaulay Library contains an online archive which is the worlds largest archive of animal sounds and video.

You can search for audio or video or browse the archive by animal group.

Be sure to register for an account (it's free), sign up for several eNewsletters, check out their blog (Round Robin), follow them on Twitter, look at the NestCams and so much more!

Be prepared to spend some truly quality time here! You'll be glad you did! Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009



This is another fun & interesting site from the UK that could be a blessing in disguise for those who are grocery shopping & cooking challenged. (Miss Bun would rather read than cook!)

There is a list of 50 things from a fridge and cupboard that you check off if you have them. Click on the "Find Recipes" button and you will be given recipes to make based on what you have on hand. (Intriguing, isn't it?)

You can browse their shop, send an e-card, look at cooking skills videos, give feedback, and play a fun little online game called Tomato Attack.

(The "Vodka" page is promoting a new book called "The Art of Vodka Jelly". FYI.....Evidently the word "jelly" on our side of the Pond translates to "shooters" , i.e. cocktails.)


Monday, June 8, 2009

A Site to Help You Use It Up....

How Can I Recycle This? is a website authored by Louisa Parry and John Leach and hails from the United Kingdom.

Hate to throw anything out? Convinced that there has to be something you can do with [whatever] but you haven't got a clue? Then this is the place to turn to!

According to the About Page "This site started from a bowl of pistachio nut shells". (You never know where inspiration will come from, do you?)

The authors aim to add a new item every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. You can suggest an item and add your own comments.

At the bottom of each page you will find Recent Posts, Categories, Recycle This Guides, Tags, and more.

I was especially intrigued with the "How can I reuse or recycle disposable diapers/nappies" post. And then there was the "How can I recycle a dead pet" post.

Caution: some responses are a bit more serious than others.

(I have a feeling that this site subscribes to the "one person's trash is another person's treasure" mantra.)

Check it out!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Just In Time For Those Summer Roadtrips...


Like to travel? Into kitsch? The fun never ends at this site highlighting the little known weird & wacky attractions lurking along our country's highways and byways.

This from their About page: "RoadsideAmerica.com is a caramel-coated-nutbag-full of odd and hilarious travel destinations -- over 8,000 places -- ready for exploration." The books (there are two of them so far) and the site are authored by Doug Kirby, Ken Smith, and Mike Wilkins.

Here you will find interactive maps, tips, a blog, nifty videos and a free tool called My Sights that will help you select and save places you've read about on RoadsideAmerica.com to visit on your own trips. You can plan out a whole trip, then print a route or export POI data for your GPS device. (These guys are obviously serious about sharing their passion for things wonderfully tacky!)

There is also the Sight of the Week, New Field Reports, Popular Themes and a newsletter you can sign up for. There is a search bar on the top right of each page where you can search by attraction, town and state.

(I think Miss Bun has found a new hobby!)

A Wee Warning from the Website: "Trip Planning Caution: RoadsideAmerica.com offers maps, directions and tourist attraction details as a convenience to our users, providing all information as is. Attraction status, hours and prices can change without notice, so call ahead before driving 100 miles and ruining your day."

(BTW, that's Lucy the Elephant on the right. She can be found in Margate City, NJ and is one of Miss Bun's favorites!)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Annual Book Sale & Old Annville Day Events @ The Library!

Annville Free Library's
Annual Book Sale

Begins Saturday, June 13 @ 9:00 AM
& continues through
Friday, June 19 @ 5:00 PM
(during regular library hours)
Friday is Buck-A-Bag Day.
Don't miss it

Historic Old Annville Day (click for schedule of events) is the focal point of the Friends of Old Annville's mission to emphasize historic preservation and awareness.

Please join us, if you are in the neighborhood, for this
annual day-long celebration of the history of Annville.

Historic Old Annville Day Events
@ The Library!

Saturday June 13
9:00 AM to 2:00 PM

9:30 AM - Jay Smar, Musician
Music on the Library Lawn (30 min)

Music/Clog Dancing interactive program with kids singing,
learning to play the mandolin and fiddle,
as well as some very simple clog-dancing steps
(ages 4-12) Parents invited too!

10:30 AM - Storytime on the Library Lawn

Stories for younger kids

9 AM to 2 PM - Train Bouncy

Kids can bounce in an
inflated train engine bouncy (Just like T - I - Double GER - ER!)

Friday, June 5, 2009

Make Your Own Music on a Simple Sinewave Synthesizer - TGIFF!

aM Laboratory
created by Andre Michelle (who is, as far as I can tell, a flash audio guru in Cologne, Germany)

This is entirely too much fun to play with!!!

All you have to do is to click points on the 16x16 matrix which trigger sound waves. After clicking multiple boxes, the sound waves interact with each other to create a sound sequence. Click points square by square and build a tone sequence. To clear the grid just hit the space bar.

If you are the adventurous sort try clicking on the "Audio Tool" button on the bottom right. What you'll get is the Hobnox Audiotool site where you can produce your own electronic music with this amazing tool. All in your browser.

(Miss Bun and I both agree that this broader application seems a bit beyond us at the moment but that will not stop us from jumping right in and playing around with it!)

Sign up for a free account and you can save your files, collaborate with other members and more!

What are you waiting for? Go forth and make some music!


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Improv Everywhere's MP3 Experiment Six via Pogue's Posts Blog

Where Online Meets Offline...

Ok, so I came across this blog entry (The MP3 Experiment by David Pogue) as I was rambling around the Net, and since I am also very interested in how technology and culture intersect (and I love collaborative, fun projects) this immediately caught my eye.

The existence of Improv Everywhere was also under my personal radar (please, no eye rolling...) so discovering them was another treat for me.

All I can say is: Another amazing example of how technology can be used to impact our lives in unexpected and incredibly creative ways.

Please read David Pogue's post where he describes participating in The MP3 Experiment Six on Roosevelt Island, NYC with his young son. (Wish I had been there!) And check out Improv Everywhere's website to see what they've been up to lately. Be sure to read the FAQ's to learn how you can participate and how Improv Everywhere got started.

Then go out and make some fun of your own today!

Have a look at The MP3 Experiment Five to experience the magic:

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

TED - Ideas Worth Spreading...


Their catch line: Riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world.

Needless to say that caught my attention because: 1) I like to hear interesting people talk and 2) I like to share ... so a site like this is a little bit of Nirvana come my way. (I hope you will think so too.)

Here's the concept: TED stands for "Technology, Entertainment, Design" and is actually an annual conference that was started in 1984 to bring together folks in these three disciplines.

Since that time, the scope of the conference has broadened and the annual conference now brings together the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes).

TED's mission: Spreading ideas.

They do this by making the best talks and performances from TED and partners available to the world, for free. More than 400 TEDTalks are now available, with more added each week. All of the talks feature closed captions in English, and many feature subtitles in various languages. These videos are released under a Creative Commons license, so they can be freely shared and reposted.

There is a TED blog, you can subscribe to TEDtalks with an RSS feed, you can join (for free) the TED community and save your favorite talks, discuss your ideas, get the newsletter and more.

You can search TED by themes, speakers, talks, and translations. Each of those categories has several ways to limit results including things like: "rated jaw-dropping" and "most discussed".

Here is a talk I listened to that has forever changed the way I will look at the art of crochet, coral reefs, and geometry. Check it out:

Monday, June 1, 2009

Check Out ARKive & Get Your Conservation Media On!

ARKive is "a unique collection of thousands of videos, images and fact-files illustrating the world's species."

Their mission: " is to gather together the very best films and photographs of the world's species into one centralized digital library, to create a unique audio-visual record of life on Earth.

Preserved and maintained for future generations, ARKive is making this key resource accessible to all, from scientists and conservationists to the general public and school children, via its award-winning website."

You can search ARKive's continually expanding collection by using the search bar at the top of every page. You will also find educational resources, a Google Earth plug-in and more!

Sign up for MyARKive (it's free) and you can personalize your ARKive experience by making you own scrapbooks and video downloads.

Be sure to look at the video promo below.


ARKive Promo 2008

Learn about ARKive here.