Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Catholic Insider

This is a great podcast to listen to for sound-seeing tour ideas. Roman Catholic priest Fr. Roderick Vonhögen takes you on a journey of discovery through the fascinating world of the Catholic church. A Catholic show, but not just for catholics! Explore the history of the Catholic church during sound-seeing tours all over Europe.

You can subscribe to the podcast by pasting this URL into iTunes or some other podcasting software.

Shownotes can be found at the following URL:

Friday, May 26, 2006

College 2.0

There are many stories lately about professors recording their lectures and posting them online for download, but one professor in the UK is going even further. He's getting rid of in-person lectures completely. Instead, he's only recording the lessons for students to download as podcasts or video. Students can then ask questions via email or text message, and the professor will respond on his blog. It's all very "2.0" of him.

While some will say that this is a less personal approach to teaching, that might not really be true. What the professor noticed is that there's less benefit in large lectures for the students to actually be present. Instead, this way, he can focus on spending time with students in smaller groups, where he's actually focused on teaching, rather than just lecturing. Not surprisingly, in order to facilitate that, he also has a web-based schedule for students to see when he's free to meet.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Pimp my Flash and Bling my Ring

One of the lastest trends in "Geek Chic" is the $3,500 14k gold-plated USB Flash drive inlaid with diamonds. If this isn't quite enough bling for you, an 18k model is also available from White Lake.

"This product will open new markets for us," said White Lake owner Rob van Berkom, in a statement. "We have sold huge amounts of personalized USB stick with logos over the past year. Our customers used them as a give-away. Some of them asked us for a more exclusive product line. This stick meets their demand, so we expect to sell quite a few of them."

In a related trend, Swarovski crystal encrusted cell phones are also the "in" thing. It costs between $100 and $300 to "bling your ring" with crystals. You can purchase a kit and do it yourself, or they will do it for you at MyBlingRing. Their customers include Britney Spears, Hillary Duff, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Amanda Bynes, etc.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Akeelah and the Bee

Who would have thought that they could dramatize the world of competitive spelling bees. Sounds almost as dry as high school debate. ;o)

This movie, however, has done a terrific job of doing exactly that, and most of the credit goes to the young, and very talented, Keke Palmer. Her interaction with each of the other characters brings believability to all of them.

Laurence Fishburne turns in an excellent performance as Professor Larabee. In fact, I can't think of anything I've enjoyed him in more. There are so many layers to his personality, and we never do learn the whole story... but we are able to clearly see him emerge as a very complex human being, and we see Akeelah helping him as much as he helps her.

This is also a great family film. 5 stars!