Archive for February, 2007

Yankee Magazine and Literary References

I just got the March/April issue of Yankee Magazine. There are a few things I want to mention about this issue that have to do with books. First, there is an ad for This is a company that sells rare, antiquarian and out-of-print books. They have a full-page ad. Second, there is an article about children’s author Jan Brett.  The third item is that I first heard of author Louise Dickinson Rich in Yankee Magazine several years ago. I was reading an article about Rich and how she lived in the Maine woods for several years and wrote autobiographical books published in the 1940s. The article made me want to find out more about Rich and, of course, read her books. At the end of the article the Yankee writer was going to interview Rich and found out that she had just died. I collect her books and I think I have most of them in my collection. Her biggest seller and one of the best is We Took to the Woods. I pick up copies of this book when I see them at book sales and I’ve given several away. I also recommend My Neck of the Woods. Whenever I get a new issue of Yankee the ad for Maine always make me think of Louise’s life in the Maine woods.


My Academy Awards Experience

I watch the Academy Awards show every year. I have not seen all of the films nominated for top categories but I still like to watch. I did see The Queen and it was excellent. I also saw Little Miss Sunshine and loved it. Every time they show clips of shorts and animated shorts I wish that I had seen them all. Alan Arkin just won for best supporting actor and he was great in Little Miss Sunshine. I’m hoping that Helen Mirren wins. She is always great in her movies and Prime Suspect episodes.

My fifteen minute claim to fame is that I won the Oscar Contest from the local newspaper in 1995 (the year of Forrest Gump and Four Weddings and a Funeral) and I won a trip to Hollywood. I got to take a friend and we stayed at a hotel on the Sunset Strip. It was a week-long trip and we did all of the fun touristy things. We also went to see Richard Pryor at the Comedy Store and Whoopi Goldberg was in the audience. Ever since then I refer to Whoopi as “my close personal friend” since she sat five feet away from me. While leaving Trader Vic’s we saw Ernie Borgnine and Suzanne Pleshette (not together but they briefly chatted with one another). We also took the Hollywood homes tour and we saw Peter Falk in his driveway. He would not turn around because he, rightly so, does not like the tourist-filled vans parking across the street from his house. I felt like a stalker.


If you haven’t gone to Woot! you should try it out. Woot! is a website where you will find all kinds of items for sale most of which are technology-related. The very cool thing about this site is that only one item is sold each day. Whether that item is sold out or time runs out you wait until the next day to see a new item. Now, there is one caveat to that procedure… you may hit upon the elusive Woot-Off. This is where one item is sold after another during a day. It is fun to watch and behold. Once the current item is sold out another item is immediately posted. Flashing lights make it even more fun. The Woot-Off even has its own theme song.


iTunes AUP?

I just read an interesting question on a listserv for school media specialists. Someone is asking if anyone has an Acceptable Use Policy for the use of iTunes in schools (K-12). I am interested to see if anyone has such a document for their school. If you have one will you please leave a comment with the access information, the policy or your contact information? Thank you!

New Additions to iTunes

iTunes has added some new features to the Music Store. You can now access “iTunes Collections” which includes everything from New Orleans Music to 43 Songs for Snowboarding. They also have a “Starbucks Entertainment” page with music that I assume is played in Starbucks. One feature that is interesting on the page is the list of “Artist’s Choice” with selections by Joni Mitchell, the Rolling Stones and others. You can also select “My Alerts” which takes you to a page with selections based on artists whose songs you have downloaded. You can also ask for email notification of new additions by your favorite artists.

Top computer award breaks gender barrier after 40 years

Today I saw an interesting article in the L.A. Times: “Top computer award breaks gender barrier after 40 years.” The article is about Frances E. Allen, retired IBM Corp.  computer scientist.  Allen won the A. M. Turing Award for Technical Merit from the Association for Computing Machinery. The award was first given out in 1966 and Allen is the first woman to win. Allen was part of a team that built a computer to break cold war era code.  The article includes some funny anecdotes concerning Allen and her years at IBM Corp.

Wikipedia and Students


I’m one of those people who sees the good side of Wikipedia. I think it is a perfect example of the collaboration, sharing and self-publishing aspects of wikis. When I train educators on the use of wikis I always suggest that they have their students contribute to Wikipedia through a class project. Have your students be part of the solution and not part of the problem. I’m wondering… have any of you had your students contribute to Wikipedia? If so, I would love to hear about it.

My book is now available!

February 2007
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