Categories
Life

Try Not To Be Creeped Out By This Incredible Abraham Lincoln Sculpture

amazing-abraham-lincoln-sculpture

So Kazuhiro Tsuji recently finished the most amazing sculpture of a bearded antebellum American president you’ve ever seen.

It’s not a photoshop or digital model, but a real thing you can touch.

Mind. Blown.

Try Not To Be Creeped Out By This Incredible Abraham Lincoln Sculpture; H/T Kotaku.com

Categories
Life

How I Stopped Worrying And Learned To Love Facebook

facebook-likeHow I Stopped Worrying And Learned To Love Facebook

by Terry Heick

I was hesitant to get on the facebook train.

Everyone I knew “had a facebook” before I did. I am generally skeptical of early adoption of anything—technology, movies, fitness, anything. Trends and frenzy dangerous, as they tend to freeze thought in pursuit of me too. 

My first year or so after finally giving the blue-hued social media giant a chance was underwhelming. I had no “strategy” really. I accepted almost any friend request, sent plenty myself, and watched my list of friends grow into the hundreds. I was never that popular in high school.

But after a while things started to smell bad. I started to see a side of some folks I had never seen. I watched with amusement at the kinds of posts that collected “likes,” while the kinds of things I was interested in garnered zero response (and while this sounds like whining, if what you “share” isn’t wanted or interesting to others, what’s the point? You can change what you share, with whom you share it, or stop sharing all together.

I thought about deleting my account, but I still needed facebook for business purposes. Plus, I had the nagging feeling that if I made a few adjustments, this facebook thing still might work, so I made a few changes.

Facebook-Mark-Zuckerberg

How I Stopped Worrying And Learned To Love Facebook

1. I defriended most of my closest friends.

This one was simple. As the saying goes, facebook made me dislike people I’d known my whole life, while twitter made me adore people I’d never met. The one thing that bothered me about facebook was the way it created the illusion of “staying in touch” with people I wanted to be close with. Made me feel like I saw them each day. While this seems like a good thing, it became a substitute for picking up the phone, lunch, or more in-depth get-togethers. So, out of love, out they went.

Others that I’d never see or hear from or otherwise connect with but I still was “interested” in? I looked more for “friends” like that. Facebook friends.

2. I defriended my family.

See #1.

3. I created a different set of “friends”

They read what I read, like what I like, and think similarly to me. They “got me.” This made facebook a different world.

4. I adjusted my privacy settings.

Information visible only to friends.

5. I started networking.

As in professional networking. And it was awesome.

I got to see a side of colleagues I did not expect. Wildly successful and globally connected educators suffering through the same day-to-day struggles and malaise I encountered—and somehow this was inspiring. Whereas before I had worried about mixing business and recreation, I realized I wasn’t wild enough for it to matter. It is difficult to expose your underbelly to colleagues when said underbelly amounts to staying up too late, drinking too much tea, or liking sports cars.

6. I began treating it more like an RSS-lite feed.

By “liking” all kinds of pages and organizations, facebook allows me to “sort of” follow organizations whose RSS feed I don’t follow. And for those organizations that I love and adored and did, in fact, have on Google Reader? I got to participate in their communities on facebook.

7. I check it less.

I’m “on” facebook maybe 15-20 minutes a day total.

8. I took it less seriously.

Instead of raging against the machine, I simply stopped caring either way. One day I will retreat to a small village on the southern coast of France, and likely unplug from the Matrix. But until then, I use it less and use it differently, and its made a pretty big difference.

From a big data/privacy/Orwellian perspective, I hate it. I’ll think about that part later.

Categories
Life

104 Organizations That Offer Student Discounts

apple-logo-silver

It’s tough out there for students.

Tuition rates are high, student loans are looming, and chances are, you barely have two pennies to rub together. Retailers can sympathize with that, and many of them offer discounts of 10% or more for students, if only you ask or know to take advantage of the offer. We’ve found stores that offer discounts on school supplies, clothes, food, travel, and much more. Print papers, get art supplies, pick up notebooks, and more with these locations that offer school supplies at a discount for students!

Edit: You can find another excellent discount list, but for teachers, here.

  1. FEDEX OFFICE:

    Using your student ID, you can save 30% on documents and 20% on shipping services with FedEx Office.

  2. AMAZON:

    On Amazon, students can get free two-day shipping for six months, plus discounted Prime and other deals.

  3. BEN FRANKLIN CRAFTS:

    Shop with Ben Franklin Crafts on Tuesdays, and you can take 10% off all purchases with your school ID.

  4. JO-ANN FABRIC AND CRAFT STORES:

    Students aged 14 and older who register with the Jo-Ann Student Discount Program will receive 10% off on all purchases, plus two special coupons to use both online and in store.

  5. HANCOCK FABRICS:

    Students using fabric for class projects can enjoy a discount at Hancock. The store offers 10% off for class project supplies purchased in store.

  6. DISCOUNT DANCE SUPPLY:

    Students, get 10% off your first purchase with Discount Dance Supply.

  7. REDHOT SUNGLASSES

Red Hot Sunglasses is an online designer sunglasses retailer new to the Australian market, and offers a 15% student discount on all orders.

BOOKSTORES

Read the paper, download journals, and more, all at a discount, with these stores.

  1. GUILFORD PRESS:

    Full time students enjoy a 40% discount on books, videos, newsletters, and journals with no minimum order and free shipping with Guilford Press.

  2. THE ECONOMIST:

    Students with an International Student Identity Card can get up to 69% off in savings, plus free gifts from The Economist.

  3. THE NEW YORK TIMES:

    Students can enjoy a special college rate from The New York Times, at just 99 cents for the first four weeks and 50% off the regular rate after that.

  4. THE WALL STREET JOURNAL:

    Students can get a discounted subscription from The Wall Street Journal, too. You’ll get more than 75% off regular rates for print, online, and mobile delivery.

CLOTHING & GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Plenty of retailers offer discounts on purchases for students. Typically, discounts are 15% or more. Just be prepared to flash your ID.

  1. EDDIE BAUER:

    Visit your local Eddie Bauer to take advantage of their education discount. Just show your ID to find out what the location offers for students.

  2. NECESSARY CLOTHING:

    Students can get a 20% discount on all online purchases of $100 more at Necessary Clothing.

  3. SAM’S CLUB:

    Sign up for a Sam’s Club Collegiate Membership to get a discount on membership and savings on college essentials.

  4. J.CREW:

    Show your college student ID at any J.Crew store, and you’ll get 15% off all full priced items.

  5. TOPSHOP:

    Get 10% off online and in store with Topshop.

  6. OASIS:

    Get fashion from Oasis, Coast London, and Warehouse at a 20% discount as a StudentRate.com member.

  7. TOMS:

    Students can get free shipping on all orders with Toms Shoes, and they’ll even donate a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair you buy.

  8. BANANA REPUBLIC:

    Take 15% off your full-priced purchase at Banana Republic stores with your valid student ID.

  9. ASOS:

    Shop ASOS through StudentRate.com to get free shipping on your clothing order.

  10. EASTERN MOUNTAIN SPORTS:

    Students shopping for sports gear can get up to 20% off full-priced in store items at Eastern Mountain Sports.

  11. RALPH LAUREN RUGBY:

    Visit Ralph Lauren Rugby online or in store to get 15% off your items.

  12. COLLEGEBUDGET:

    Check in with this daily deals site to get major discounts on things like clothing, paintballing, and electronics.

  13. CHARLOTTE RUSSE:

    At participating Charlotte Russe locations, students can get 10% off all merchandise.

  14. SALLY BEAUTY SUPPLY:

    Save on products with your Beauty Student Card from Sally Beauty Supply. You’ll get monthly specials and special email offers to take advantage of.

  15. JUICY COUTURE:

    Many students report that with your ID, you can get 15% off at Juicy Couture stores.

  16. THE LIMITED:

    Just flash your student ID, and you’ll get 15% off every in store purchase at The Limited.

  17. CLUB MONACO:

    Show your student ID to save 15% to 20% at Club Monaco store locations.

  18. MADEWELL:

    Students can get 15% off at Madewell just for sharing their ID.

  19. MEDELITA:

    Lab coats, scrubs, clogs, and more are available at a discount of 25% off or more for students on Medelita.

  20. KATE SPADE:

    According to student reports, designer Kate Spade shares a 15% discount when you show your student ID.

ELECTRONICS & DIGITAL SERVICES

Student software editions, special student pricing, and discounted rates are all available for students here.

  1. APPLE STORE:

    Apple offers education pricing for students, with up to $200 off a new Mac. Even students who have been accepted to college are eligible.

  2. SURVEYMONKEY:

    Need a survey for a school project? Students can get 50% off Gold and Platinum plans with SurveyMonkey.

  3. SPRINT:

    The Sprint Discount Program is available through many colleges and universities. Just enter your school email address on Sprint’s website to find out if you’re eligible.

  4. PAUL C. BUFF:

    Whether you’re a photography student or just love taking photos, you can get 10% off at Paul C. Buff with their student discount.

  5. ADOBE:

    Pick up awesome Adobe software for cheap by purchasing student edition software, including Acrobat and Creative Suite.

  6. NORTON:

    With your student discount, save up to 50% on Norton protection software for your PC, Mac, and more.

  7. HP:

    Through HP Academy, students can take advantage of exclusive education discount savings for custom PCs.

  8. JOURNEYED:

    Find academic software discounts and hardware for students on JourneyEd.

  9. AT&T:

    Students can get discounts on AT&T wireless phones and services just by validating your email address on AT&T’s website.

  10. DAS KEYBOARD:

    Get the Das Keyboard at a discount using the manufacturer’s education discount program.

  11. LOGITECH:

    Use your International Student Identity Card for 30% off all purchases on Logitech.com.

  12. WORDSRU:

    WordsRU offers professional academic and proofreading online, and students can get 10% off their editing jobs with their International Student Identity Card.

  13. ABLETON:

    Enjoy Ableton’s editing software at 40% off with your verified student status.

  14. LENOVO:

    Select your school on Lenovo’s website, and you’ll get access to offers and discounts on Lenovo’s laptops and more.

  15. KINLEAVES:

    Protect your gadgets at a discounted rate with 20% off gadget skins with free worldwide shipping using your International Student Identity Card.

  16. B&H PHOTO VIDEO:

    Through the B&H EDU Advantage discount program for students, you can get discounted prices on thousands of products in imaging and audio.

  17. DELL:

    Through Dell University, students can enjoy savings and special packages designed for education.

  18. TRUSTIVE:

    Get wireless internet access for half off with Trustive by using your International Student Identity Card.

  19. FUJITSU:

    Save 5% on select Lifebook notebook and Tablet PCs in the Fujitsu web store. You’ll need to call in order to receive the discount.

  20. AI SQUARED:

    Enjoy assistive technology at a discount from ai squared, where students can get 50% off single-user copies of ZoomText.

  21. SONY:

    Check out the Sony Education Store for up to 10% off special pricing for college students.

FOOD & DINING

Get your grub on, on the cheap using these food and dining discounts. Many will vary by location, so call ahead or ask before you order to verify.

  1. HARD ROCK CAFE:

    Get access to an exclusive discounted menu for International Student Identity Card holders at Hard Rock Cafe locations worldwide.

  2. SUBWAY:

    Visit participating Subway locations to get 10% off your total purchase with a valid student ID.

  3. TACO CABANA:

    At many Taco Cabana locations, college students can get a 20% discount.

  4. BUCA DI BEPPO:

    Buca Di Beppo restaurants often partner up with local schools to offer discounted meals to students, typically 10% less than full price.

  5. BURGER KING:

    Use your valid student ID to get 10% off your Burger King purchase.

  6. QDOBA:

    Stop in with a fiver and you get get a great meal at Qdoba, where they offer $5 student burrito meals.

  7. CHICK-FIL-A:

    At many Chick-fil-A locations, you can get a free drink with your valid student ID.

  8. KROGER:

    At select Kroger grocery stores, students can get a 5% discount on food.

  9. FIREHOUSE SUBS:

    Does your school have a partnership with Firehouse Subs? Check in with your local sub shop to find out. You may get 10% off.

  10. WAFFLE HOUSE:

    Enjoy your coffee and waffles at a discount, thanks to Waffle House’s 10% off discount.

  11. DAIRY QUEEN:

    Visit your local Dairy Queen location to find out about special Student Meal Deals.

  12. SWEET TOMATOES:

    Fill your plate with healthy salad buffet fare at Sweet Tomatoes for 10% off, available at many locations.

  13. CHIPOTLE:

    Most Chipotle locations will offer a free drink with purchase when you show your student ID.

SERVICES

Just for being a student, you can get discounts on your auto insurance, cell phone plan, and more.

  1. STATE FARM INSURANCE:

    State Farm’s Good Student Discount offers up to 25% off it you get good grades. You can continue to save even after you graduate, up to the age of 25.

  2. T-MOBILE:

    StudentRate.com members can get 10% off T-Mobile monthly rates, waived activation fees, and exclusive discounts on devices.

  3. ZIPCAR:

    Zipcar has partnered with many schools to offer discounted membership rates to students. Search for your school on Zipcar’s website and register with your school email address.

  4. ESURANCE:

    Full time students under 25 with a B average or better can get a discount from Esurance. Plus, current students and alumni of Pac-12 schools can save even more.

  5. COREPOWER YOGA:

    Students get specialty pricing on yoga classes with CorePower Yoga. Just show your ID to get the discount.

  6. JIFFY LUBE:

    Present your valid student ID to get $10 or 10% off at Jiffy Lube.

  7. NATIONWIDE INSURANCE:

    Nationwide Insurance has a Good Student discount for drivers 16 to 24 with a minimum B average.

  8. 24 HOUR FITNESS:

    Students get special pricing at 24 Hour Fitness clubs. Just share your student ID when you visit to sign up.

  9. TRAVELERS INSURANCE:

    Full time students with a B average or better can save with Travelers Insurance’s Good Student Discount.

  10. ALLSTATE INSURANCE:

    Save up to 25% on Allstate insurance with your good grades until you’re 26.

  11. MOO.COM:

    With your university email address, you can get 20% off an entire order on Moo.com.

  12. GEICO:

    Full-time students with a B average or better can save up to 15% on select coverages.

TRAVEL, ENTERTAINMENT & TRANSPORTATION

Planning to travel soon or head out for a night on the town? Check out these student discounts to make sure you get the best rate.

  1. RAIL EUROPE:

    If you’re 26 years old or younger, you can take advantage of a Youth Pass on Rail Europe.

  2. LONELY PLANET:

    Use your International Student Identity Card to get 30% off Lonely Planet guides and PDF eBooks.

  3. MADAME TUSSAUDS:

    Show your student ID at Madame Tussauds to get 15% off your admission.

  4. AMC THEATERS:

    Visit AMC Theaters on Thursdays with your school ID to get a cheaper admission rate.

  5. GREYHOUND:

    Get a Student Advantage Discount Card from Greyhound to save 20% on Greyhound fares and more.

  6. TRAVELSIM:

    Students with the International Student Identity Card can get 60% off SIM cards made just for traveling abroad.

  7. RAVE CINEMAS:

    Show your valid ID at the box office at select Rave Cinemas to get a reduced rate for 3D shows and more.

  8. STA TRAVEL:

    Created just for students, STA shares special pricing for student travel.

  9. HOLIDAYCARS.COM:

    Take advantage of cheap car rental around the world with 10% off using your International Student Identity Card.

  10. STUDENTUNIVERSE:

    Get student special deals on travel and experiences from this site.

  11. SKI COLORADO:

    Get set up with special college passes for skiing in Colorado on SkiColorado.com.

  12. NEW ENGLAND PASS:

    Prefer to ski in New England? No worries, you can get a discounted College New England Pass as well.

  13. THE MET:

    Want to check out the opera in New York City? Students can get discounted student tickets to select performances.

  14. EURAIL:

    Save 35% off the adult price on Eurail with your student discount pass.

  15. PENSKE TRUCK RENTAL:

    Get a break on your college move with a 10% discount at Penske Truck Rental when you show your college ID.

  16. SPORTING EVENTS:

    Many sports franchises offer student nights. For example, the Washington Wizards offer special student rush night pricing, including a sandwich meal from Chick-fil-A.

  17. GENERAL MOTORS:

    GM dealers offer a variety of discounts to students, plus special deals and features that are popular with the college set. Recent grads can get in on these deals, too.

  18. MEMPHIS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA:

    Get $5 student tickets for select concerts at the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. Just give them a call to get your discount.

  19. AMTRAK:

    Get a Student Advantage Card from Amtrak to save 15% on fares, plus up to 50% on other items like clothes, food, and entertainment.

  20. PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION:

    Often, public transportation authorities will offer reduced student rider rates. MBTA in Boston sells student passes Monday through Friday for 50% off standard fares.

  21. CINEMARK:

    Show your student ID at the box office to get a special student rate at Cinemark theaters.

  22. CARNEGIE HALL:

    Get awesome deals on Carnegie Hall performances with Student Subscription or Student Rush tickets for only $10.

  23. LINCOLN CENTER:

    Visit Lincoln Center with your student ID to get discounted tickets for world-class performing arts.

  24. NEW ENGLAND AQUARIUM:

    College students can purchase discounted aquarium admission tickets, and even enjoy special student events.

  25. HOUSTON BALLET:

    College student rush tickets are available for $10 on select performances at the Houston Ballet.

  26. CHOICE HOTELS:

    At participating hotels, students with the Student Advantage discount card can get 15% off.

  27. COACH USA:

    Coach USA offers discounts for students on scheduled routes. Just visit their site to view the details. You can also join their free V.I.P. Student Travel Club for further discounts, specials, and offers.

This is a cross-post from bestcollegesonline.com

Categories
Life

Watch This Incredible Video Of Daily Life In New York City

This is an incredible video of daily life in New York City–and an excellent idea for a project in a classroom.

What effect is being used? What’s the simplest way to achieve it? How does the speed and music add “meaning” to what would otherwise be considered mundane daily life? And how could students apply a similar technique for a project in your classroom?

It’s stunning to think of how simply changing how reality is captured and displayed can make it exponentially more interesting.

Categories
Life

Writer-Fight: The 10 Best Put-Downs in Literary History

There is a kind of unwritten rule among writers that you don’t criticize colleagues’ work too harshly, because they understand just how hard it is to produce great pieces. And yet, over the years handfuls of famous writers have taken huge exceptions to this rule, often with harsh but hilarious results.

Some of them expressed their opinions in letters that have been included in their biographies, and who knows if they intended for the world to know of them. Either way, of the ones that are out there for all of us to enjoy, here are 10 of the best literary smack-downs ever recorded.

  1. “Have you ever heard of anyone who drank while he worked?”

    Ernest Hemingway and William Faulkner are two titans of American fiction, but apparently they weren’t each other’s biggest fans. When an interviewer asked Hemingway if it was true he brought along a pitcher of martinis to his writing area, he replied, “You’re thinking of Faulkner. He does sometimes — and I can tell right in the middle of a page when he’s had his first one.” For his part, Faulkner said of Hemingway, “He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.” 

  2. “A formless and dull mass of phony folklore, a cold pudding of a book, a persistent snore in the next room, most aggravating to the insomniac!”

    Vladimir Nabokov is no hack writer. Two of his works are listed on the Modern Library’s 100 Best Novels list. So when, in a 1967 interview, he decided to give his two cents on writing legend James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, it was no surprise that he did it quite expressively. “Finnegans Wake‘s façade disguises a very conventional and drab tenement house, and only the infrequent snatches of heavenly intonations redeem it from utter insipidity.”

  3. “Every word she writes is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the’.”

    You know it’s a good put-down when it prompts the recipient to sue you. That’s exactly what Lillian Hellman did when author and critic Mary McCarthy dropped that line on her on national television. Hellman sued for libel to the tune of $2.5 million, quite a sum in 1979. Unfortunately for her, by filing the suit McCarthy then had to prove Hellman had lied in her memoirs. When Hellman died before the case ended, McCarthy said, “I didn’t want her to die. I wanted her to lose in court.”

  4. “It seems a great pity that they allowed her to die a natural death.”

    Mark Twain’s insults could make a list in themselves, but he was particularly unfond of author Jane Austen. Twain claimed in a letter to a friend that he could read James Fennimore Cooper (another writer he famously loathed) “on salary,” but not Austen. In another letter he said reading Pride and Prejudicemade him wish he could “dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin-bone.” 

  5. “A sack of the sheerest trash”

    Thomas Carlyle was a popular writer in the Victorian era, noted for his retained Calvinism despite his abandoned faith. The combination made for a man Samuel Butler quipped had fortunately married the perfect woman so that there would be two miserable people instead of four. But fellow Victorian writer Anthony Trollope had a much harsher take on Carlyle’s work, saying the eight shillings he had spent on Carlyle’s book were “very much thrown away.” Carlyle’s “trash” was proof to Trollope that the man “who was always in danger of going mad in literature … has now done so.”

  6. “A more sententious, holding-forth old bore, who expected every hero-worshipping adenoidal little twerp of a student-poet to hang on his every word I never saw.”

    Extra points to James Dickey for using the word “twerp” in his put-down. In an interview in 1972, the Deliverance author was asked if the poetry of Robert Frost, one of the most revered and well-known poets in American history, had impacted him. Dickey’s colorful response was that if anyone ever saw Frost’s influence on one of his poems, he would “take that particular work … shred it, and flush it down the toilet, hoping not to clog the pipes.”

  7. “Is it all a practical joke?”

    Samuel Butler was an established author and translator in his own right, but in criticizing Johann Wolfgang von Goethe he took on one of the most well-respected writers in history. Forty years after Goethe’s death, Butler wrote that he had been reading one of Goethe’s works and that he thought it was “the very worst book” he had ever read.” “I cannot remember a single good page or idea,” he said. “Is it all a practical joke?”

  8. “That’s not writing, that’s typing.”

    Jack Kerouac spoke to a generation of Americans with his writing in books like On the Road. His style of prose was free flowing and unfettered and appealed to young people at a time when they were tired of feeling restricted by society. But Kerouac’s prose was apparently a little too loose to suit Truman Capote, the rock-star author of In Cold Blood. Capote’s clever zinger implied he thought what he did and what Kerouac did were two different professions. 

  9. “My answer hath been, would he had blotted a thousand.”

    Shakespeare is a sacred cow in literature today, but he had his detractors in his own time. One of those was the poet and playwright Ben Jonson, who wrote several popular satires and had a wide influence on the genre. It seems Jonson was considered to be on the slow side when it came to writing plays, and he may have slightly resented Shakespeare’s ability to churn them out. “I remember, the players have often mentioned it as an honour to Shakespeare that in his writing (whatsoever he penned) he never blotted out line,” Jonson said in his book Timber, or Discoveries. “My answer hath been, would he had blotted a thousand.”

  10. “One must have a heart of stone to read the death of little Nell without laughing.”

    Hopefully you’ve already read Dickens’ The Old Curiosity Shop, because this quote contains a spoiler. “Little Nell” is the heroine of the story, a young girl whose parents have died and whose only family in the world is her grandfather who raises her. Sadly, little Nell dies after a long journey to a village to live with her grandfather as beggars. Sad, of course, unless you’re Oscar Wilde, the notorious wit and author of The Picture of Dorian Gray. Apparently he wasn’t “buying” the tragedy of the story.

Categories
Life

A Half Century Of Space Exploration In A Single Image

In fifty years, as a planet we’ve landed on the moon–in fact we’ve gone there 73 times, visited Venus 43 ties, flung probes to the edges of our solar system, and recently put a probe on Mars.

We even landed on an asteroid (which seems like asking for trouble).

The following infographic reflects our space exploration since the early 1960s.

Poor Voyager.

Categories
Life

5 Tips For Learning A Foreign Language Abroad

The following is a guest post from Listen & Learn, a platform that supports foreign language learning for academics, among other contexts, by using native language speakers worldwide.

From apps on mobile learning devices, popular software like Rosetta Stone, traditional courses in public schools and higher-ed institutions there are many ways to learn to speak a second language.

But perhaps the most effective is full immersion, allowing you to tie together language and culture, and making going abroad to do so an idea worth considering. If you have never thought about this before then below are a few of the most important points to bear in mind.

Keep in mind that this isn’t a decision to rush into or a trip to spend a few days on. If you want to learn a foreign tongue as well as possible then you should take your time over it. Ideally you will have time to take in some classes while you are abroad and also do some travelling and sightseeing while you are there.

  1. Think Big Picture

It isn’t easy to learn a second language. This means that you should head abroad with your motivation levels as high as possible. Try and think of your reasons for doing this and how speaking a foreign tongue could improve your life in the future. As the world becomes increasingly global, so too should your communication skills.

  1. Make It Interesting

Studying can be tough but with language classes you can make it as interesting as your imagination allows. For example, while you are in a foreign country you complement your language classes by going on day trips, going to the cinema or even just buying fruit and vegetables in the local market. All of these things will let you pick up new words and gain in confidence.

  1. Be Talkative

If there is one golden rule for studying a foreign language abroad it is that you need to talk to as many people as you can. It is only by doing this that you can practice the words you have learned in the class and pick up new ones. You will find that people all over the world tend to be really friendly and patient with a foreigner who is trying to speak to them in the local tongue.

  1. Use TwitterSocial media might not seem like the most natural way to learn to speak another language, but it can allow you to actively learn language the way it is spoken “on the street”–from vocab to syntax patterns. And you can use Google Translate if you get stuck. Not the path to pure fluency, but a tool to supplement full immersion.
  2. Go Prepared

Your time abroad is precious and it will probably fly by quickly. This is why it is best to learn the basics before you go. You don’t want to waste hours learning the alphabet or numbers so try and learn these at home before you head off. You will be grateful for any headway you have made in the language before you get there.


For great lessons here or abroad you can rely on Listen & Learn. Take Italian classes in New York and teachers will get you up to speed before you head off to Italy.

Image attribution from flickr users melenama and flackjack and Leaf Languages 

Categories
Life

The Terrifying Physics Of Landing On Mars

Approaching Mars at over 13,000 mph, the descent only slows to around 1000 mph after entering Mars’ atmosphere, at which point a 100 lb parachute will deploy, slowing the rover to around 370 mph, a little over half the speed of sound. At these speeds, the parachute must be able to withstand over 65,000 lbs of force.

At which point the real work of the landing happens, where rockets fire in a variety of directions to both divert the rover away from the parachute while also keeping it from smashing itself against the rocky Martian soil. Eventually, the rover will land at 0 mph, completing its incredible journey from earth, and resting on the surface of another planet. (Incidentally, the distance between Earth and Mars varies between 36 and 250 million miles.)

The entire “EDL” (Entry, Descent, Landing) from entry into the thin Martian Atmosphere to landing on the now-familiar red soil–takes 7 minutes, and for that entire 7 minute period, everything must go off without a hitch.

Incredible.

See our slowly growing pinterest page for an infographic that breaks it all down further.

Categories
Life

Einstein Optical Illusion Haunts My Mediocre Mind

I love astronomy, and one of my favorite RSS skims is Bad Astronomy. Actually that’s a bad lead-in, because this video has nothing at all to do with Astronomy, but now you know what you’re getting if you click that link.

Today Phil Plait (the blogger-in-charge there) offered up this optical illusion that was maddening to look at. Logically, you understand the visual pitfall, but optically you can’t force your brain to make the adjustments, so Einstein spins and spins, and like in real life, haunts the mediocrity of our minds.

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Life

Want To See Someone Jump From OuterSpace?

After leaping from the stratosphere on March 15, Felix Baumgartner decided that 71,580 feet wasn’t high enough.

So he jumped from 96,640 feet–18 miles above the surface of the earth, which is for all intents and purposes outer space.

After leaping from his balloon-ferried capsule (see image), the 42 year old Baumgartner was in free fall for 3 minutes and 48 seconds, reaching speeds of 536 mph.

His mentor and coach is Joseph Kittinger, who has held the record for the highest skydive since 1960 when he leaped out as part of U.S. Air Force research. That jump–which was four years before The Beatles were introduced to America and JFK was still President–was from 102,800 feet, a record Baumgartner plans to break next month.

Another goal? To break the speed of sound during free fall–which is between 660 and 760 mph, depending on a variety of factors.

The project is sponsored by Red Bull, who also sponsors a Formula 1 racing team, among other highly kinetic projects.

The video appears below.

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Life

What A Chernobyl Classroom Looks Like 25 Years Later

Creepy/Haunting/whatdoesthishavetodowithinnovativeeducation post time.

In April of 1986, the worst nuclear accident in the world’s history occurred in the Ukraine when reactor 4 melted down.

While what happened that day–and in that area since–aren’t really our domain, we did find these images of abandoned Chernobyl classroom interesting.

And haunting.


Image credits: flickr user Timm Suess