The Curious Autodidact

December 22, 2009

Tech Talk for Non-Geeks: What is RSS?

Filed under: cool internet stuff,helpful hints,media related — Honilima @ 1:45 am

Window display in Belgium

If there are sites you visit daily on the internet setting up a Really Simple Syndication will help you manage and organized your incoming information and to make your browsing easier. For instance if you have a friend with a blog that you like to keep up with, you can subscribe to get the feeds delivered to you in an orderly fashion. You can do the same with your local newspaper, a national newspaper, or an international publication. You can even choose perhaps to keep up with the news from a place you used to live or that you visit often.

As someone who came late to the game, I whole heartedly recommend that you take a moment to get in step with RSS feeds— it is an amazing tool. There are many RSS readers, the one I am most familiar with is Google Reader. It is simple to set up and you can set it up to see your information in a various pleasing formats.

Essentially it’s like subscribing to various magazines, the provider sets up feeds and they just arrive in your reader. You can quickly browse the various postings and efficiently click on the ones that you want to digest and pass over the ones that are of no interest. Voila!

Symbol for RSS feed

Symbol for RSS feed

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December 14, 2009

Artist Maya Lin

Filed under: environmental ideas,media related,social justice — Honilima @ 9:13 am

Maya Lin is most known for her early artistic accomplishment at age twenty-one winning the design competition for the Vietnam Memorial in Washington DC. She is a brilliant artist to know and to watch and her accomplishments are many since her black granite work. If you are interesting in knowing more about her watch the 1995 documentary: Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision or to listen to her talking about her latest work with On Point Radio‘s Tom Ashbrook.

A decade ago she announced she was out of the memorial business entirely that she wanted to pursue other things. But then she has created “What is Missing” a multimedia memorial to all the species vanished or vanishing from the Earth, where you can hear some of the sounds of a number of species you may have taken for granted that are now endangered.

December 8, 2009

Internet Spots for Word Lovers

Filed under: cool internet stuff,media related,Word Related — Honilima @ 12:41 am

She’s been playing since the game was new, a real champ!

There are many places you can visit on the internet to learn new words, my favorite is WordsmithAnu Garg‘s creation that provides a new word each day. The thing I love about his selections is that not only does he introduce new words, he often groups them weekly by a theme, and additionally includes a thoughtful quotation daily. He also offers RSS feeds and daily delivery to your e-mail box. He has been featured in many publications including this Smithsonian Magazine article “The Wondiferous Wizard of Words.

If you are a Scrabble fan you won’t want to miss the daily National Scrabble Association’s Word of the Day. If you haven’t read Stefan Fatsis‘s best selling book WORD FREAK: Heartbreak, Triumph, Genius, and Obsession in the World of Competitive Scrabble Players, or at least seen the movie Word Wars check it out, I was amazed my relatives in the UK who play often had never heard of either. They have a treat in store to learn about the inner workings of Scrabble’s competitive world and people who are more than a little obsessed with the game. I was amazed when traveling in France this fall to see well used games in several pubs it is an amazing game with an incredible following internationally.

December 2, 2009

A Podcast Worth a Listen: Roots of Family Trees

Filed under: media related,social justice — Honilima @ 8:53 am

Michelle Obama with her brother and parents, courtesy of the Obama Campaign

On Point Radio features an interesting story about Megan Smolenyak, a genealogist who worked with The New York Times investigating Michelle Obama’s heritage. The result was the recent article, “In First Lady’s Roots, a Complex Path From Slavery” a headline story tracing first lady Michelle Obama’s family tree and the twisty turning branches of many Americans. Also featured on this show are Edna Greene Medford, professor of history at Howard University and Sam Sanders, an NPR Kroc Fellow, a program for aspiring public radio journalists.

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