Snag Films

One of the magazines that we subscribe to here at the Haverhill High School LMC is PC World (sorry Mac users). It really is one of my favorite reads since most of the articles are about how to make my computer do things to make my life easier, as opposed to what it usually does which is frustrate me to no end. Like other magazines, they publish their top lists issues occasionally featuring the top 10, 50 or 100 tips, tricks or sites. (Note to health, fitness and body magazines: we all know about the power of blueberries, whole garlic, pomegranates, broccoli, dark chocolate, almonds and apples – enough already about them).

I just got through perusing the November 2008 issue of PC World which includes its list of “100 Incredibly Useful Web Sites”. In the mix of this list you will find some sites you’ve already heard of (maybe even from this blog) such as HowStuffWorks, Yahoo Answers,, Craigslist, Facebook, New York TimesPandora, Slate, NPR and the BBC News. All pretty cool and useful sites, depending on what your goal is.

For teachers and students, I recommend that you check out Snag Films. According to the PC World article, this video site “hosts about 250 domestic and international documentaries right now, and is growing fast”. This site has consumed my free weekend hours as I poked around and watched about a half dozen films. There are commercial interruptions included (some of which happened in the strangest places for the most inappropriate products while watching documentaries – see for yourself) and I also was unable to view the films in “full screen” mode, as the player froze every time I tried. Still, the titles I watched were intriguing and had good production value for the most part, and best of all they are free to watch and they encourage viewers to “snag” them and take them elsewhere (embedding them in sites, for example).

Obviously, I haven’t gotten through their catalog yet, but among the titles I recommend you check out are:

  • The End of America – author Naomi Wolfe outlines her thesis of how the current environment of fear parallels steps taken in fascist regimes of the past.
  • Haze – report on binge drinking on college campuses with a focus on how pop culture has made this an acceptable form of youthful entertainment and rebellion.
  • In Debt we Trust – discusses the shift from a nation of savers to a nation of overextended consumers.
  • Gray to Green – Paul Pedini, a civil engineer on the Big Dig project in Boston decided to use the waste from the project to build his own home. This is recycling on a grand and visionary scale.
  • America for Dummies – Eight minute short by Niaz Mosharraf, who immigrated to the US with his family from Bangladesh in 1997. This is a student film about one young man’s quest to understand why his peers know more about pop culture than current events.

Hope you made the most of your extra hour today. Have a great Sunday, and thank you for stopping by.

© 2008 henry toromoreno

About htwilson

born in brooklyn, raised in queens, massachusetts, that's where I be.
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