Thursday, December 12, 2013

Three Cool Things 12/12/13

Oh my it's cold here in rural Utah. It's below freezing for the second week in a row. Thank heaven for modern conveniences like furnaces and electric blankets!! If you're looking for things to keep you busy while you stay indoors, maybe these will help.

This week's three cool things are a day late, but worth waiting for!

First is a really cool website made to help you memorize all sorts of things, such as who composed certain classical pieces, Pokemon Gen. 1, what's on the SAT, or learn a new language, even Klingon or Morse Code! It's called Memrise and it's super cool. It allows you to create "mems" or visual aids to help you in your memorization, and you do a repeating quiz with various types of questions (it does repeat, but doesn't feel repetitive) to help you along. It's free and fun!

Second is another Youtube channel. I love things that make fun of other things, even things I like, and Honest Trailers from Screen Junkies are high on the list right now. We recently rented Pacific Rim and were floored by just how much money is spent making terrible movies these days. Then, a week or so later, I came across the Pacific Rim Honest Trailer, and I was hooked. I spent more time than I should have watching their videos. As with all things Youtube, some of their comments are naughty and perhaps not for everyone, but some of their trailers are totally clean. Go figure.

Third today is something I just happened across two days ago when I was doing some library-related online research. I did nothing productive the rest of the afternoon. One job of librarians is to "weed" their collections, pulling old, outdated and uncirculated books from the collection to make room for new stuff. If you kept everything, you would run out of room very quickly. As they weed, often librarians, especially school librarians find things that are either ridiculously outdated, pre-civil rights racist, or just shockingly inappropriate for young audiences. I give you Awful Library Books.

The three I found the most amusing and/or shocking are linked here for your perusal. Enjoy?
2. Satan for Kids and their follow up post: Part 2
You have to read to the very end of the third one to really get it. 

Not only am I amazed that these got published in the first place, but I'm surprised they were found in libraries in the last few years! It's interesting to consider the audience for these books, their lack of actual helpfulness and the question of how in the world would they get into the hands of the child who might need them? If your child's daycare is secretly a satanic cult, how likely is it that you or your child will stumble upon that book in your local library, check it out, and find it helpful? Strange.

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