Saturday, July 25, 2009

028.162 Pura Belpré Awards

Author award:
The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba's Struggle for Freedom by Margarita Engle

Illustrator award:
Just In Case, illustrated and written by Yuyi Morales

Here is a video provided by Yuyi Morales about her award. It features Señor Calavera, a character often found in her books.

Invited from Yuyi Morales on Vimeo.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

629.45 Moon Landing Plus One

My hometown's hip, hip hooray!

Check out the headlines from newspapers around the world.
Newseum has other things celebrating the 40-yr old event.
One online exhibit is about the video camera and the problem-solving
that went into the design and creation of the device.

Monday, July 20, 2009

629.45 Apollo 11: 40 Years and Counting

I know exactly where I was, who I was with , and what I was doing on this date at about this time 40 years ago today. I was watching a scientific miracle, the culminating activity of years of hard work, and the dreams of countless others come to fruition.

Man...two men in fact, walked on the moon...and I, for one, was spellbound! I was 17 years old and on the brink of my own adventure---senior year in high school, but I had planned for this event as if I were in the module on top of the rocket.

You see, not only was I child of the 60s, a product of the Cold War and post-Sputnik jitters, I lived around the space program. My summer neighbors were teachers of the astronauts and friends with people who knew the chimps who had been taught the rudimentary tasks to be performed in space. We got visit some retired chimps in their New Mexico compound. School field trips were routinely made to rocket launches in the desert outside my hometown. My family wandered around the deserts and mountains of the same general area encountering signs indicating Government Property-Keep Out Signs because all kinds of things were going on and being tested.

It was an exciting time. My mom and I decided we needed a color TV so we rented one for the special night. We could not imagine this special occasion occurring in our house in mere black and white. Of course, neither of us knew that the actual event itself would be broadcast IN black and white, and grainy at best! And we watched every minute...and held our breathe along with all the guys in Mission Control until we too heard: "Houston, the Eagle has landed!"

If you ever doubted the reasons for it beyond the sheer need of man to explore where he has never been then take a look at these lists of the benefits from the needs of the space program.
It goes WAY beyond Tang, Corningware, and velcro.

It was a team effort, a team success. If you want to see how a team works, watch the mission control room. Watch the teams that suit the astronauts up and lock them in the capsule. Everyone had a job to do and everyone had to rely on everyone to do his job. It was something!

Do I hope we go back? Do I hope we go to Mars? You bet....I just hope I'm around to see some of it. My daughter has selected Coringware for her newlywed home. Do I hope SOME day to get to tell some cute little munchkins all about when it was first made and bet! Do I want to hear them laugh about renting the color TV? Absolutely! And will I hold my breath until the adventure ends...count on it!

P.S. My father finally stopped pacing that night and went down to Sears the next day and bought a little 20 in. COLOR TV on a rickty aluminum was to be our rocketship to the future. We had to be up with the times! Who knew a microwave oven was just around the corner!

Friday, July 17, 2009

92 Walter Cronkite: The Voice of My History

The voice of history as I remember it was stilled today. Walter Cronkite was a part of significant events in my personal timeline of history.

That day in Dallas...

(I was home for lunch and was watching when the announcement came.)

That summer night in July...

(My family stayed up way into the night, waiting, waiting, father pacing like I had never seen him do)

At school for almost any history lesson I had...

(His TV programs were adapted for school viewing and were major classroom resources during my 1960s public education.)

In his own words:

"And that the way it [was]."

306.093 Happy Birthday Happy Meals!

Another pop culture icon, the McDonald's Happy Meal is 30 years old today. Probably one of the best market gimmicks to come down the pike. And we swallowed it hook, lime and sinker, didn't we!

My older daughter is just young enough to say she has never know the world without Happy Meals...and believe me, my two girls had their share of them and all the cute little prizes. I think I finally got rid of (or passed on) the last of them during my last move.

The report I saw this morning said over 200 billion Happy Meals have been served. The most popular toys were the Beany Babies (100 million of those) and in their honor, the company is issuing a new set to commemorate the anniversary. I do have to say that was also one of the saddest things I have ever seen. When a new Beany Baby was coming out, people would line up in the drive-thru, order multiple meals to receive the toys, and as they drove out, dump bags and bags and bags of uneaten food! I HOPE that scene is not repeated.

The company also launched a Happy Meals website last year. If you don't have munchkins in your house and don't know about it, it probably is worth looking at, if, for no other reason than a nostalgic look back. Come on, if you are less than 40, you know you had your fair share, and if you are not, you have had kids who did!

McDonald's Happy Meal 30th Birthday - ABC News

Shared via AddThis

070.5 Working Out The Kinks with Bookr

In one of the online summer professional development programs we have going this year, one of the activities to make and post a bookr. We were having trouble at one of our f2f recesses trying to get this particular book to load. So I promised I would play with it this weekend. I needed a place to post it ...and so you reap the benefits of technology trial and error.

What did I do to get it to post? Absolutely nothing! Apparently all the stars were aligned and I held my mouth just right and boom, up it went ...with no hassle. And it fits the edge overhang...another issue that has popped up with these this summer. So I will make a note that I do it with my Mac. (Will try my PC later.)

Patience is one of the tools you have to have in the 2.0 world. When at first you don't succeed, [be willing to] try, try , try again!

Anyway, enjoy the lovely insect collection put together by Honey Bear. And if you've not put a little visual treat together for yourself, go grab some Flickr pix and play. There is a huge archival collection (7000+ so far) for your viewing pleasure as well.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

629.45 The Adventure Begins: we Choose the Moon
We had lift off this time 40 years ago!
The first manned mission to the moon is being celebrated this week.

The entire audio record from launch to splash down of the event is also available.

Quote this morning from one of the astronauts: "You hold more technology ability in the palm of your hand than we had on the mission"

Image fron NASA

Sunday, July 12, 2009

363.34 Natural Disaster Preparededness: You Better Practice A Lot!

A friend sent me this link (might be re-thinking that relationship after this experience.) It's a game, but not like checkers is a game; more like chess is a game...for masters!

Stop Disasters! A simulation game for all kinds of natural disasters...wildfire, flood, tsunami, earthquake, hurricane. You are given an amount of money and time to strategically buy resources that will protect lives and lessen the economic impact.

I failed miserably when I played with the tsunami...yes, that is what they said "failed miserably." I did better with the flood...only a few lives lost, but it would not have been a pretty community because I put up every safety measure possible. This time I was awarded a medal. I took a picture of it, but lost the screen shot in all the will just have to believe me!

Great for the classroom. Background information and teacher plans included. FAQs include the suggested age of 9-16. Timing would work with class periods (provided procedures and practice were done ahead of time.)

Would be a great collaboration project... and then pit one team against an other.

658.8 Double Meaning: A Lesson (and Laugh) in 2.0 Vocabulary

When I saw this on TV this week, it made me laugh out loud. I loved the company's take on the 2.0 term "social networking."

Coleman - Airtight® Inflatable System
Shared via AddThis

They have a companion video that I featured here.

And not to ignore the print part of the world, the Coleman Co. included one for magazines, etc.

Hummm...2 posts about ads back-to-back? Nothing but coincidence!

Visual & video available here.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

659.102 100 Best Ads: Little Bits of Cultural History

Comments from bloggers can take you to the most interesting blog posts/sites.

The latest one lead me to the The Top 100 Advertising Campaigns, not necessarily a new site, but new to me. I had fun going down the list and remembering all those little mini-movies and stories that entertained us between breaks in the stories we were watching on TV. Most of these
became household icons because A. we had no remotes and B. we had only 3 TV stations to watch for a really long time.

Granted there are a handful from as far back as the 1920s included, but the vast majority made the list because of the time they spent on the airwaves, particularly in the 1950s and 1960s...up to and including the infamous 1984 Macintosh computer commercial!

As is my usual plan, I went thru the list thinking about a visual to of the campaigns that was a personal favorite of mine. Most of the symbols, etc. were found on sites that had rights reserved so I decided on Smokey, the fun icon of my childhood who taught me a lot about how to be careful in the forests of my summertime home.

Once I started reading, I found out the campaign is the longest PSA (public service announcement), Smokey has a very comprehensive interactive website with all kinds of safety info and history of the real Smokey and the ad campaign itself!

By the way, Smokey doesn't remind you that only you can prevent forest fires. Starting in 2001, it was changed to wildfires...doesn't have quite the same ring...messes with the cadence of my brain, but nevertheless, is still an important thing to remember. AND even an icon as important as Smokey does have to undergo a makeover every once and awhile so "GetYour Smokey on!"

Ok, ok, I digress...back to the list of ads. There are so many on it that were fun: Where's the Beef...inspirational: Keep America Beautiful's Crying Indian...and even some that go straight to the heart: Hallmark anything! Come on, you know you tear up sometimes!

Now it's your turn. What's a favorite for you? What memory didn't make the list and should have?

P.S. Not sure what criteria was used in making selections and the information attached to the list doesn't always talk in the "lovely memories" tone of this post. Each to his/her own. That's what great about the 2.0 world!

Visuals from

Saturday, July 4, 2009

770.79 A Burst of Photographic Fireworks

Happy 4th to all!

I played with this particular image generator Tag Galaxy awhile back (months, years?) but just came across it again. It uses photos from our friend Flickr...who doesn't?

If you are in a playful, messin' around mood just go and throw out a keyword or two and see what happens. You will have to pull yourself away!

No, I don't have any ideas how to use it in an educationally settings...not sure how you would pull pictures off (except thru screen print) and even less how you would credit them.  Sometimes, things are just fun ...and should be enjoyed just for the fun! 

It is as simple as this: