Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Blog for Self-Learners . . .

Self Made Scholar is a great blog posted by Jamie Littlefield who is a "self-education enthusiast and former teacher".

"This blog is all about self-education - people learning what they want to know without formal schools or classrooms."

Her take on self-learning is interesting so be sure to read the "Introduction to Self-Education" tab where you will also discover notable people who were/are self-learners.

A glance at the "Bio & Contact" link under About Me explains how she arrived at a passion for learning.

"The goal of SelfMadeScholar.com is to connect people to the resources they need to learn."

The "Free Classes" & "Self-Ed Resources" tabs contain a wealth of links and resources listed under headings such as Free Books Online,  University Open Courseware, Language Learning, Organizing Your Library, Educational Podcasts (and more!) for anyone who yearns to further their knowledge in any number of subjects or topics.

What a great site! Check it out!

Monday, September 28, 2009

A Nifty Resource for Local (Central PA) Folks . . .

Spotobe is the place to go to find out what is happening in our region.

This nifty site aggregates all the events—concerts, exhibitions, sporting events, festivals, parties and much more—so you can view all your options in one convenient place.

It is useful to register (it's free) so you will be able to save events for future reference. Items you save can be found under the "My Spots" tab.

All of the information on Spotobe is organized into three major categories: events, locations and performers. If an event features a local performer or band, it will also have a link to that band's performer page where you can find all of their upcoming gigs.

There is also a Spotoblog that is "updated four times a week with event recommendations, restaurant talk and local news & commentary. The Spotoblog is also a place where Spotobe users can make their voice heard. Feel free to tack on your thoughts on the topic du jour in the comments section of the latest post."

Be sure to click on the "Ongoing Events" tab as well as the "Upcoming Events" tab when checking out Events so you don't miss anything.

Frequently Asked Questions can be found under the "About" tab at the top of the page. This is also the place to go to find out how to list your events on the site.

What a useful site! Enjoy!

Friday, September 25, 2009

It's TGIFF......Go Make a Flapping Crane!

Even if you think you can't quite grasp origami instructions this 3D animated tutorial will make you a professional crane folder in no time! Really!

How To Make A Flapping Bird


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Technology and the New Literacy?

Check out this interesting article from Wired magazine:

Clive Thompson on the New Literacy

that sheds some much needed light (imho) on how technology just might be responsible for a new revolution in literacy and communication.

Evidently Andrea Lunsford, a professor of writing and rhetoric at Stanford University, has come to some enlightening conclusions in her Stanford Study of Writing project. Who knew?

Be sure to check out the comments and leave some of your own if you get the urge.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Happy Autumn Equinox!

The Autumnal (or Fall) Equinox begins today and marks the first day of this season for those of us in the northern hemisphere.

Go to The September Equinox Explained on the TimeandDate.com website for some good information on what does and dosen't happen in the sky today. Be sure to check out the links at the bottom of the page.

For some insight to holidays and more connected to this equinox please see September Equinox Customs and Holidays which is authored by the same folks as above.

To celebrate the season:

Autumn Fire
In the other gardens
And all up the vale,
From the autumn bonfires
See the smoke trail!
Pleasant summer over
And all the summer flowers,
The red fire blazes,
The grey smoke towers.
Sing a song of seasons!
Something bright in all!
Flowers in the summer,
Fires in the fall!
-- Robert Louis Stevenson

Check Out This Tres Cool Museum . . .

"Housed within the walls of San Francisco's landmark Palace of Fine Arts, the Exploratorium is a collage of hundreds of interactive exhibits in the areas of science, art, and human perception"  and was founded in 1969 by physicist and educator, Dr. Frank Oppenheimer.

Their mission is to "create a culture of learning through innovative environments, programs, and tools that help people nurture their curiosity about the world around them".


The museum has been online since 1993 with over 18,000 web pages as well as sound and video files that explore hundreds of different topics. it attracts 20 million (yes, million!) visitors a year. 

Kind of mind boggling, isn't it?

 While you explore the website be sure to press the "Do Not Push This Button" button on the home page, sign up for their E-newsletter, check out the more than 500 science experiments that you can print out and have a great time!

Miss Bun is most impressed with the museum's creative, thoughtful use of technology to "focus on investigating the science behind the ordinary subjects and experiences of people's lives. The topics themselves provide "hooks" that get people excited about science. Then, when we investigate these topics, we can also look at the historical and social issues surrounding them, thus providing a context for scientific exploration".

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Avast, Ye Peeps!!!

Today is Talk Like A Pirate Day in case you didn't know.

This "international holiday" was conceived by Mark "Cap'n Slappy" Summers, John "Ol' Chumbucket" Bauer and Tori "Mad Sally" Bauer some seven years ago.

Just reading about how this auspicious day got started is entertaining and I recommend having a look: How It All Started.

Obviously the whole thing has blossomed in seven years and you can follow it on Facebook and other social networking sites.

There are trinkets and such to plunder as well.

And there are also off-shoots such as " Pirates for Parkinsons, planning "Walk Like A Pirate" charity walks all over the world to raise money for a good cause while havin' a rip-roarin' good time."

The site is full of good fun. There's Pirate Advice, Fun & Games, Links, How-to's and more.

There are also some pages for Junior Pirates that includes a Pirate Curriculum and Pirate Themed Books.

(Check out the Pirate Name Generators or the Pirate Personality Test under the Fun & Games tab!)

Miss Bun is ready to put on her eye patch and party like only a Pirate Librarian can!

So, Peeps, go get your swagger on and party hearty!!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

A Little TGIFF Word Game . . .

RobinWords Game:

It's fun. It's simple. It's Friday. What more could you ask for?

Here is how you play:

Change one letter in the four-letter word the computer gives you. The computer will then change one letter in the word you used and so on. You may not reuse words. The first person to use up all possible words wins!

It's always fun to win, but it's so much better to PLAY! (So says Miss Bun!)

Ok, Peeps! Go get your game on!

(This game was created by Jared Rhizor.)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Digital Rare Book Room . . .

The Rare Book Room is a fascinating site that gives viewers access to high quality resolution images of some of the world's greatest books from some of the world's greatest libraries.

Who or what is behind this endeavor, you may ask?

Why, that would be Octavo, a company from California, whose " purpose is to use the best in advanced technology to uncover and enhance the seminal ideas of the past in ways that will provide inspiration for the present and future. Through our published editions, Octavo facilitates preservation and enables discovery for a wide range of audiences."

There are about 400 books (all that have been digitized to date) that may be searched by category, author, or library.

These include works by Shakespeare, Ben Franklin (Poor Richard's Almanac & Experiments and Observations on Electricity), Galileo, Lewis Carroll, Charles Darwin and more!

This is truly a feast for the eyes! Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Little Online Story . . .

The Saddest Bear of All
by David Guy & Minkee

Miss Bun is dedicating this post to ALL her fellow library workers in Lebanon County, PA, Infinity, and Beyond!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Place To Find & Save Popular Quotes . .

Refspace is:

" a community-based project where you can:

read. popular quotes from famous people, books, or movies
save. those that you would like to refer to in the future
share. interesting quotes with others

All quotations remain the intellectual property of their respective originators. We do not assert any claim of copyright for individual quotations. All use of quotations is done under the fair use copyright principal. "

You need to register to be able to save and send but that's pretty standard.

It's also not a huge compendium of quotes but what is there is quite pithy (so says Miss Bun).

You can search via People (there are also brief bios for those quoted) or Source or Tags.

There are tabs for New Quotes, Saved, Post, About, and Login/Register.

Here is a quote listed on Refspace by Steve Jobs (Apple, Inc. CEO):

Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

Participate and Enjoy!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Ready For Some Impossible Fun?

Then you'll want to give The Impossible Quiz (1 & 2) a try.

This is NOT your average quiz. Get ready for lots (100+ questions) of twisted logic, humor, luck and total randomness when you play.

The rules are simple: you have 3 lives in a game; wrong answer = life lost; run out of lives & the game ends.

Be prepared to "die" . . . a lot . . . and when you do you will have to (annoyingly) start over at the beginning.

You can accumulate "skips" which let you skip a question and breathe a little easier . . . for a second or two. (Whoa! Very thoughtful on Splapp-me-do's part! BTW (by the way), he's the game's creator, is evidently 23 & hails from England. )

The charm (if you can call it that) of this quiz is that you never know what's coming at you. Most questions have multiple choice answers but what you have to do to arrive at the correct one is the challenge.

Beating this game is quite an accomplishment but Miss Bun wonders what exactly that accomplishment might be? (But then, again . . . who cares?)

Ok, Peeps, go forth and get your Impossible Quiz on!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

All About Apples . . .

Here in Pennsylvania it's nearly apple harvest time so in keeping with the season here are some fun links to all things apple!

May we direct your attention to:

All About Apples which is the premier site of the Apple Industry where you will find apple facts, orchard listings, festival listings, and much more! (Be sure to check out their "Other Resources" tab)

Apples and More is a site authored by the University of Illinois Extension where you can find out even more info such as: apple history and legends; varieties; selection and uses; apple facts; preserving apples; apple fun & more! (Their tab listings are at the bottom of the page.)

The National Apple Museum which is owned and operated by the Biglerville Historical & Preservation Society in Biglerville, PA (near Gettysburg). Be sure to check out the Fruit Crate Labels on this site. They are gorgeous!

And coming up is the 45th Annual National Apple Harvest Festival which is held the first two weekends in October.

Gotta love those apple dumplings!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

R U a Sci-Fi Fan?

Then you will be thrilled with io9 the blog of choice for all things Science Fiction.

This site was launched in 2008 by Gawker Media. (Check out Wikipedia info on Gawker here.)

On the blog you will find a monthly calender of science fiction, including new episodes of television, movies, books, and author appearances.

Miss Bun was infinitely interested in the post on taking a peek inside author Neil Gaiman's library.

What a great blog!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Happy Birthday to.....

Star Trek! It was 43 years ago that the show first aired on NBC.

(Was it that long ago?Seems like yesterday!)

The folks over at TrekMovie.com have a nifty walk down memory lane to check out: Star Trek Turns 43.

And the folks at Wikipedia have a great Star Trek entry with many links covering the six television series and eleven feature films. Oh, and the books, fan base, computer and video games and cultural references (and more!) are covered too.

So dust off your tribbles, practice your Vulcan death grip, crank up the holodeck and enjoy!

Cubescape = Isometric Pixel Picture

Cubescape is an intriguing site for those of you who like creating through graphing.

Miss Bun thinks the concept is great but it is a little tricky (and time consuming) to arrange the cubes to one's liking.

Still, the possibilities are endless.

Just click on the "Start Dropping Cubes" button and you'll be on your way to creating something of your very own!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Full Moon . . .

Hey, Peeps, I don't know about where you are but where I am last night was a full moon AND it was a gorgeous night to watch it! (Gotta love this time of year!)

In honor of our venerable Celestial Companion may I direct your attention to Keith's Moon Page: Facts, Phases, Photos, & Folklore ?

Here you will find tons of info & great links (be sure to check out the links) on this site created by one Keith Cooley. (It looks like a labor of love to Miss Bun.)

Mr. Cooley evidently loves astronomy and the web. There is no "About Page" on this site and it's not clear if the site is being updated but we suspect not. Still, it's definitely worth a look see.

The Moon in Art & Literature (Wikipedia) is also interesting and touches on topics ranging from theater to music to animation and a few things in between.

So get on out there and look at the moon tonight if you can and ENJOY!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Another TGIFF?

Hmmmmm.......where does the week go? Things have been really pretty busy here what with school starting, state budgets stalling ad nauseum, patron use going up and library budgets flatlining. (Who knew there was this much drama in Library Land?)

Not to worry, though! Today we can forget our troubles and play with Create Your Own Flowers which is a cool little app by Ze Frank.

In case you would like to know more about the man and his creative genius click here:
Ze Frank.

Ok, Peeps, go be creative and don't forget to stop and smell the roses! Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Know About FreeCycle???

Here is a pretty cool site that my sources in Maryland turned me on to that is pretty much like virtual dumpster diving or cyber bulk pick-up day. (Wahoo!)

Actually, all kidding aside, FreeCycle Network ("changing the world one gift at a time") is a grassroots, entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns.

Their Mission Statement: "Our mission is to build a worldwide gifting movement that reduces waste, saves precious resources & eases the burden on our landfills while enabling our members to benefit from the strength of a larger community."

For local folks there is a Lebanon FreeCycle Group you can join. If you are elsewhere don't dismay. FreeCycle is made up of 4,801 groups with 7,207,000 members across the globe so there is likely one near you. (You could also start a group if you so desired.)

To get in on the Freecycle action you need to join a group. (Membership is free.) Each group has a moderator and there are a few (not many) rules to be followed. (For example, when they say "free" they mean "free".)

And just in case you think this is some fly-by-night outfit take a look at their organization chart. This seems a well thought-out, well organized enterprise.

So? What are you waiting for? Go forth and check it out!

Free is GOOD!