As has happened way too often this school year, I missed my Sunday deadline again. This time I blame the Celtics and the Bruins for making such great playoff runs – and the nice weather, my wife and children, the lawn, my other hobbies, etc. The truth is that since I don’t get much feedback on this blog, it’s hard to know what the students and teachers like or dislike reading (I know you’re all very busy, so I’m not complaining, just explaining.) Thus, I’m left to express my own interests and share with you many of the things that I just happen to come across in my life as a consumer of media and information.
Sometimes, I end up with a list of related sites or other resources that are connected, like “new books added to our collection” or “interactive online science activities”. Other times it’s just a potpourri of information. This post, is one of those other times:
- Adventures Among Ants: a global safari with a cast of trillions by Mark Moffett. I learned of this book while watching the Colbert Report (Yes, I know it’s entertainment and not news, but I think it’s funny and they actually feature authors every once in a while.). I’ve always been fascinated by ants and other small creatures with complex “societies”. I figure since I just read a good book about rats, a book about ants might be a good follow up.
- The Patron Saint (and Scourge) of Lost Schools by Jeff Coplan. I read this article in New York Magazine (the LMC has a subscription). The story is about Eva Moskowitz, who is leading a small cadre of charter schools in New York City that some see as a great success and others view as a danger to the status quo.
- Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People. I used to joke every year when this issue came in that I hadn’t made the list … again. And I’m not getting any closer, either. I’m used to getting beat by Steve Jobs and Bill Clinton. But now I’m losing to people named Gaga and Kutcher? (We also subscribe to this magazine).
- Live Science Twisted Physics: Live Science is one of those sites I think about every three or four months, but whenever I visit, I always find one or two good posts. Two that I stumbled across recently were, “Seven recent finds that blow our minds” and the Urban Legends section of the site, which reminds me of Snopes.com.
- Archaeology Magazine’s Hoaxes, Fakes, and Strange Sites: One of the best things about being a librarian is that students come to me all the time looking for information about their particular interests. Unforutnately, too many kids are still interested in things that should have been dismissed long ago such as ghosts, ancient aliens, esp, and monsters. There are too many outlets that promote this superstitious kind of thinking and not enough that promote skeptical examination in combination with critical thinking. This site, however, is one of those places.
- Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool: Awesome tool created by the software giant. Free to download and use, and highly recommended for anyone running Windows or Vista.
One of the things I’ve been doing this year in the library is weeding and rearranging (and cleaning) our book collection. While this is tedious, I have to admit that I enjoy working through our stacks and have found myself wishing that I had more time to read the many great books that we have in our library. Here’s a handful of titles that have caught my eye as I feather dusted or windexed our shelves:
- The Radioactive BoyScout: the frightening true story of a whiz kid and his home made nuclear reactor by Ken Silverstein. Seriously, with a title that long, do you need me to elaborate?
- The Code Book: the science of secrecy from ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography by Simon Singh. Seems that as long as humans have used writing to communicate, they have also used it to obfuscate. Code breaking was cool long before Dan Brown thought up Robert Langdon.
- The Beak of the Finch: a story of evolution in our time by Jonathan Weiner: This book won the Pulitzer Prize. It recounts the story of a wife-husband team of scientists who record the minute changes that occur over two decades on the very islands that stirred Darwin’s theory of natural selection.
Thank you for stopping by and I hope you all have a great Friday …. I doubt I’ll post again on Sunday (so soon), but I’ll try. GO BRUINS! GO CELTICS!
Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2010. All rights reserved.