Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year Podcast Transcript

Over there on the right, there is a little window with all my podcasts (a whopping total of 2 atm) using GCast's phone service (free!!!). I submitted the cast to Casting Words, and for the low price of $1.50 USD per minute, they transcribed it (below). I used the 6 day plan, but they had it back to me in less than 12 hours (it was a one minute cast). I simply sent them the mp3 and woo hoo! they got it back to me!

December 31, 2007 Happy New Year Podcast

Beth Ritter‑Guth: Hello everybody!

This is Beth Ritter‑Guth reporting live from the great state of Pennsylvania. I
want to wish everybody a wonderful and happy New Year.

I hope that your New Year is full of good fortune and many blessings, and I hope
that I see all of you in Second Life and a few of you in real life.

I look forward to working on more virtual life projects and working with all of
you on making Second Life a great place for educators and for students.

Have a very happy New Year!

Open Source Living

Three lovely words all in a row!

Many thanks to Paul Hamilton for linking me up to Open Source Living! It is a mega good site with all sorts of goodies (like Yatzee! Wee!) The beauty is that there are goodies for all y'all (PC/Mac/Linux), and the whole site is completely compliant with all the rules about open source stuff. Oh, there isn't a space designated specifically for education, but different programs are tagged as educational. So, have fun digging!!!

Check it out!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Hot Diggity! Soundboard and a Red Ryder BB Gun

Many thanks to Larry Ferlazzo for a link over to a cool sharing site called Soundboard!

There are wicked wee clips of lots of stuff, and - my favorite - itty bit clips from movies.

Here is a clip from one of Moustache Man's favorite movies!

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Saturday, December 29, 2007

We Won a Millsie!

So, Typewriter posted on Twitter that the glorious Intellagirl won a Millsie, and I had no idea what that meant. So, then I checked the good old GReader, and, wala!, Literature Alive! won one, too (with a very nice special shout out to Daliah Carter, Student-Turned-Assistant). Eloise won in two categories; she tied for best educational tool with that wicked sweet Spidergram thinger, and she won in the Literature Alive! category as the chief goddess of design and scripting. MANY thanks to Peter Miller for the award and that very nice pic of the Progressive Era classroom!!!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Educational Technology and Web 2.0 in Colleges and High Schools

Okay, it is a long title. But, that is what I just searched on Google because I want to make a few predictions and resolutions.

Here is what I found as the top five hits on Google for Educational Technology and Web 2.0 in Colleges and High Schools

Now, if I were a new teacher trying to lasso educational technology or a veteran teacher looking to hook into technology, searching for these words would mean nothing. There are over 2 million hits!

So, imagine their distress when we add in "virtual worlds" to the mix; they aren't grasping the (old) new stuff let alone the (new) new stuff.

So....predictions for 2008. I have only made three, and we will see how it all unfolds.

1. The Nay Sayers will get louder, and there will be battles over tenure, promotion, and academic freedom. The Nay Sayers tend to be a bunch of loud out-of-touch people with nothing better to do than scrutinize their peers. They exist everywhere. While it would be touching to say they are harmless, often they are not; they are often the ones voting for tenure and promotion. Sadly, there is a younger group that seems to be following this path (probably to get tenured..suck ups), and they claim to "be doing research" about how blogs/wikis/virtual worlds/mashed potatoes are NOT effective in the classroom. When you ask them to show the research, they stomp off declaring that it is absurd to question their professional ethics (um, really, just gimme the link to that research...I can give you 10 more links in support of it). Academic Freedom is usually defined only by the one challenged; the other side always calls it "standards" even if those standards only exist in the air. So, the Nay Sayers saunter back to Grendel's Lair and hang out with a bitter Monster and its Mom until the warriors arrive. Who wins the battle? Well, that all depends on what cloth Beowulf is cut from and how powerful the Nay Sayers are in the overall political scheme of things. But, I definitely know who loses the battle: the students. Whilst the faculty toss arrows at one another, the students are left powerless to change their fate, and they will be ill prepared for the future.

2. Teaching faculty will become frustrated by the overwhelming number of tools available to them (assuming they want to use technology). Forget the Nay Sayers for the moment (actually, I don't pay much attention to them at all), let's focus on all the teachers and professors that WANT to use technology. We sit them down (those of us in the early adopter band camp), and we start showing them Wikis, Blogs, Twitter, Tumblr, Fleck,, Digg, MySpace, Facebook, Xanga, Second Life, There, Jing, Flickr, YouTube, TeacherTube, SlideShare, etc. etc. etc.). As we clap and salivate at ALL the coolio things we are planning for the Spring, the poor colleague is reaching for her inhaler and Xanax. I've done enough trainings and workshops to know that it is best to take baby steps. It is OK to show off all the coolio tools out there, but it is better to highlight a few of the most effective ones and to save the rest of the tool kit for a later date. We have to help our colleagues maintain a decent blood pressure through it all, and we need them to know that we didn't build our mega blogs in one day. Most importantly, we need to say it is A-OK not to use every blessed tool under the SunMicrosystem.

3. Students will love learning again. I am a product of the 80s. I wore spandex (praise be, the body worked for them at the time), I wore bangle bracelets, and I wanted to be either Cyndi Lauper or Madonna on a day when she wasn't wearing cones. When it came to High School, I enjoyed playing Bagpipes in our marching band and being in Model UN. I don't remember a single class aside from English. Quite frankly, learning sucked. It was boring. Those of you who know me, know I need to multiply engaged at all times to pay attention. Maybe it is ADD or ADHD or something, but I need to be doing a few things at once. The lectures were sooooooooooooo boring, I would compose pipe tunes in my head during class or practice grace notes between movie clips. If the lectures could have been musical or visual or interactive....SOMETHING...ANYTHING....I might have been more likely to pay attention. Learning wasn't fun. Sorry, it just wasn't.

Fast forward to 2008. Students can work together to create podcasts; they can build wikis; they can use Google Maps, create slidecasts, screencasts, and movies. We can blow up Diet Coke and Mentos and link it to the writing process; we can go on virtual pilgrimages. Learning is fun again. It doesn't work for all students; this is something that is hard for me to grasp, but, truly, we all learn differently. Some students need structure, but most of the students love the classes, love the freedom, respect the challenges, and appreciate the end results.

So, given these predictions, here are my resolutions for 2008:

1. I shall continue to ignore the Nay Sayers.

2. Eloise and I (and anyone else interested) shall work on a wiki that hosts as many free tools as we can find with little easy-to-grasp descriptors.

3. I shall focus energy on helping students fall in love with learning; in the process, I will continue my love affair with teaching.

Quoting using Kwout

A nifty new tool exists out there in the Free haven of the blogosphere!

Kwout is a cool capture program that allows you to quote a web page. Check it out!! It is fun, free, and there are no downloads. Sweet!

Wonderful Videos for Education

Over at Langwitches, they posted a wicked nifty list of ten videos to use in education. I had seen some of them (the Monk/book, for example), but had not seen some of the others (Dove Foundation).

Thursday, December 27, 2007


Right, so I liked this one, too. It is like COllege Day for me on YouTube.

Engima's Return to Innocence:

Even More Goodies: The Indigo Girls Amy Ray and Emily Saliers

So, since I can't be in SL, I told ya - expect me to be posting a thousand clips off of YouTube.

I just watched an interview with the Indigo Girls (Amy Ray and Emily Saliers). Now, I have been an Indigo Girls fan since Closer to Fine came out a thousand years ago, and then I became a fan again when I worked two summers as a Girl Scout camp counselor in college. And, even though I don't agree with all of their political views, I do celebrate their voices and the things they have given up to have those voices heard.

In this interview, they talk about how their sexuality has influenced their radio play, but, moreso, the fact that they are women has been a hurdle in getting on the rock charts. Amy Ray was Emo before Emo was a code word, and no one can deny the passion in her version of "Romeo and Juliet" (one of my all time fave songs, by the way).

So, for your viewing and listening pleasure, I give you both the interview with Amy and Emily and then a rendition of "Romeo and Juliet."


Another Peter Gabriel Video

Ok, so I hated the movie "Last Temptation of Christ." The only thing worth even discussing is the soundatrack, and, really, only this one song:

Image Source

Web Goodies

The problem with having off is that I have too much free time. So, I am combing through lists and lists of things I have wanted to read, watch, or listen to since last Christmas.

My son did something odd to our TV. In the 3 seconds it took me to pick up something on the floor, Moustache Man managed to set both the parental lock AND the timer on the TV. Now, you say, just use the remote control and fix it. Yeah. Well, I have not seen the remote control since we bought the TV, because, well, for one, I don't watch much TV and two, I use the VCR remote on those rare occasions when a remote is needed.

All this to say that I haven't had a chance to be inworld much because the only laptop that plays DVDs decently happens to be the SAME laptop that runs SL. Since Santa brought a boat load of videos, guess who is winning this challenge??? Thus, I am on a non-SL laptop using the time to pour over videos, posts, and other goodies.

So, here is a video by Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush called "Don't Give Up." It is an excellent song. Peter is a humanitarian and I am a fan of his work and the work of Bono :-) So, I shout out whenever I can.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Christmas from Queen Elizabeth

As if you needed MORE cool stuff to do today, but, in case you have a lack of edifying personal content, head on over to the YouTube Royal Channel and watch Queen Elizabeth's archive of Christmas message.

She will make history tomorrow with the first ever YouTube message from a Monarch.

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas Movies and Cartoons and Songs and STUFF!

OMG! Thanks to Wynn, I got tapped into a BOAT LOAD of Christmas movies, commercials, and other cool fun stuff. Included in this festive package are Charlie Brown's Christmas and It's a Wonderful Life...but also Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the Justice League Christmas special. Ya know, ALL the classics!

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Drooling over Web 2.0 and Educational Technology

Over at the Stingy Scholar, I just posted up a shout out for my newest favorite blog written by Larry Ferlazzo. Larry's blog has an insanely long title, BUT BUT BUT, the content is AMAZING. I will be lost for weeks in there. Praise be for Google Reader! If you are subscribed to my Reader feeds, you can see the posts that I have ear marked for reading.

Of the many posts I love, the top web 2.0 tools for educators post is the best! I will be combing through that list and trying to see which tools can be mashed up with SL.

Larry was nominated for an EduBlog award, but he didn't win. Honestly, the guy should have won. His blog RAWKS!!!!! Don't take my word for it...go, go, go!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Reservations at Sardi's

I must admit...the kid has uber talent...all gussied up in his elaborate costume of pink cow ears and a little cow print smock, he was certainly the best pre-school cow I have ever seen. His portrayal was amazing; his moos were meaningful and deep. Clearly, agents will be calling left and right...he would sign autographs, but he forgets the order of the letters of his name. He was a shining star; a little disappointed that the role of Joseph went to some other kid, but in his words "don't worry Mommy, I don't need terapee." The cow role, I explained, was a much coveted role. All the other boys and girls were either angels or shepherds, but, lo!, there was only one cow.

After the first song, one bright little girl, perhaps one of the 612 angels, proclaimed "Ok, we sang the song, can we go home now?" She will likely graduate first in the class. During the song with the little bells, Moustache man's bells got caught up with Justin-almost-annoying-as-Timberlake and they spent the rest of the song trying to untangle them. They were, shall we say, enjoying that part a great deal. In good Guth fashion, my boy has just as much rhythm as his father, and so I don't really anticipate calls from the Royal Ballet.

But, that is ok. Sardi's is waiting.

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Coolest Cool Cat Chicky Wiki

Ok, this vote for a cool cat is out of SL and into RL for a minute. The queen of Cool Catness is Vicki Davis. Her post about best-o-the-web-tools is fantastic.

Vicki has always been an inspiration to me. She ranks up there with Jean-Claude Bradley at Drexel (Open Notebook Science) and Eloise Pasteur in SL (scripto-goddess).

Vickie's blog, the Cool Cat Teacher Blog, is a MUST read. If you are not subscribing to her RSS, you are left out in the cold.

In addition to her vast knowledge of all cool ed techy stuff, Vicki is full of heart and soul. She is ethical and is an excellent role model to the community.

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

My cool kids of Christmas

Moustache Man (6) and Sharpie Boy (5). Can you guess which is which???

I Believe Podcasts - Student Edition

If you are a fan of NPR, you know about the I Believe series.

Mrs. Moritz and her honors students have done the same thing. After listening to these high school students, I, too, believe that this generation is full of hope and imagination.

Golds stars go to Mrs. Moritz and to the students!

Double Post - The Cool Cats named Leslie Jarmon, Joe Sanchez, Paul Roberts, and Pipsqueak Fiddlesticks

So, yesterday I forgot to post my daily cool cat pick. Ugh. Well, what can be was the day to get little boy haircuts, go to the Nazareth Train Display, and go see Santa. We saw him twice. One time cost us nothing; the one with pictures and the long line cost us a mortgage payment.

Anywho. It was a fun filled day much from the reels of "Christmas Vacation." Everyone survived; no sewers blew up. All in all, it was jolly good fun.

My pick for yesterday was a triple take: Leslie Jarmon (SL: Bluewave Ogee), Joe Sanchez (SL North Lamar), and Paul Roberts (SL: Doc Lindman). They are the creators, organizers, and cheerleaders for the Second Life Educator's Coop. They are charged with organizing events and such for a bunch of over worked educators, and they do an astounding job. They keep up an acitve and interesting blog, host weekly edu-events, and are great resources for both new and veteran SL faculty.

My pick for today is Pipsqueak Fiddlesticks (RL: Denise Cote). Pip is relatively new to the SL scene, but in her short residence, she has created a flurry of activity with the community college educators. She also is helping facilitate the build of Tintern Abbey next to the British Gothic Classroom on EduIsland III. Pip is another silent soldier in the virtual army, and her contribution and diligence are amazing.

Music of the Day: Carol of the Bells

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Friday, December 14, 2007

Lori Bell/Lorelei Junot - Cool Cat O' Christmas

There are a whole host of librarians marching through cyberspace...virtual worlds are forunate to have a whole gaggle of them. Whether its Carolina Keats at Health Info Island, Abbey Zenith at Alliance Library, or JJ Drinkwater at Caledon, there are just awesome librarians everywhere.

Lori Bell, also known as Lorelei Junot
, is a quiet trooper with creativity and passion all mixed into her quest to provide edifying content on the uber grid. As director of the Alliance Second Life Library, we all benefit from her good works. Her newest project, the Land of Lincoln, is as awesome as the EduIslands. Lori's generosity of spirit has been evidenced many times through her donations of land to SLCC and Literature Alive! She helped save Renaissance Island from extinction. She is, truly, and example of a mover and shaper with heart and soul.

Please IM Lori and congratulate her for being a cool cat. She sets an example for all of us to follow :-)

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Minnie the Moocher

We have a new cat around here...Minnie Mae...she is a kitten and she is naughty. She was rescued from a basement after having lived an abusive little life.

I love Cab Calloway, and here is our song to Minnie the Moocher (who prefers pizza to cat food).

and for the Blues Brothers fans out there...

The Cool Cat of the Day: Carol Perryman/Carolina Keats

It is soooooo hard to pick out cool cats. EVERYONE is a cool cat!!!

Carolina Keats (SL), known as Carol Perryman in real life
, is the energy behind the Health Info Island goodness. In addition to having a cool last name in SL, she is an amazing visionary and Health Info Island is an AWESOME resource because of her leadership. In her profile, it says
"The Consumer Health and Medical Libraries at Health Info Island are here to help SL residents with health information needs. We are happy to host support groups, and to help you with questions. We are not physicians, but librarians, and believe that good quality information can help to empower you as a full partner in your health maintenance. There is never a charge for our services."

There are always engaging and informational displays at Health Info Island. Carolina is another of our silent troopers - she leads the way without a parade - and the information she helps coordinate is free and accessible to all residents. Her work, and the work of her team, might change a life. She is one cool cat :-)

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Machine is Us/ing Us and Farewell to Chadrick Linden

Good grief...give me a few days off and I post like mad.

Good video alert...(and these were done by students...woot woot!)

The Video is Us/ing Us...a brilliant concept in the world of communication.

Here is another one called R/evolution:

And another one...A Vision of Students Today

On another note, Prokofy Neva alerted me to the news that my favorite Linden, Chadrick, is no longer with Linden Lab. Many thanks to Prok for letting me know; in one post, he says that the problem with virtual worlds is that "people don't sufficiently value virtual worlds," and I completely agree. Educators bang their heads up against peers, tenure, publication, and funding because no one gets the point.

I met Chadrick at SL Views 5, and he was really awesome. Well, truly, everyone was awesome. But, Chadrick has a lot of spunk and he and his friend, Taco, made me feel like I knew them for years.

I guess my question is: who else left or is leaving?

The Cool Cats of Christmas - The Science Peeps

Well, ok - this whole Cool Cats of Christmas thing isn't working out quite the way I had planned. See, today's nominee is Peter Miller (RL) also known as Graham Mills in Second Life. Graham is an amazing scientist going about his work with little pomp and circumstance. His blog is here, and it is quite interesting. Sadly, I know very little about chemistry; Shakespeare didn't toss about many molecular references, but I can appreciate his hard work on various tools for sharing. He is an absolute COOL CAT.

Now, here is the thing about the science peeps. ALL of them rawk, and all of them are quiet in their rawking. For example, Troy McLuhan over at the International Spaceflight Museum is just a really awesome guy; they do incredible work there, and, yes indeedy, they are a humble crew. Then we have the NOAA folks (who just released a new NOAA island with an oil spill an everything); they are wicked awesome, too. The we have Hiro Sheridan doing amazing things with molecules and Max Chatnoir doing rawking things with DNA (and, I must admit, I am a TRUE fan of her wicked awesome pooping has made its way into both Dante's Inferno AND the American Literature classroom...go figure). Then there is Jean-Claude Bradley at Drexel doing amazing stuff with Sci Foo and Open Notebook Science and molecular thingers and what not. And, if you know the story, JC is the reason I am into any of this at all - he introduced me to gaming in English and that snow ball turned into this boulder, and, thus, he is one of my all time coolest cats in Christendom. And, of course, Eloise Pasteur is a scientist, too. Her analytical mind balances my Keatsian spirit, and this is truly why we work so well together at Literature Alive!

Ok, so ALL the science people RAWK, and maybe this post should be for like the 8th day or something. But, Peter Miller, et al, keep up the awesome work!!!

Image Source for Santa Kitty

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Cory Linden Voted Off the Island

Ok, so I really don't know how Linden Lab runs itself, but I have had the good fortune to meet a few of the Lindens including both Phillip and Cory. They are both tremendous guys; they are brilliant visionaries.

We have all heard the news: Cory is leaving Linden Lab at the end of the year. He may have been fired; he may have quit. Who knows? All mothers know this truth: it doesn't matter who pushes first when someone hits his head on the fish tank. OK, maybe only I know that.

Why do we care that Cory is leaving? Well, for one, we never hear about anything ever happening over there at Linden Lab. They are soooo quiet. Seven years and no scandals. We have been itching for SOME life form. The Lindens are generally inaccessible; they don't party much with the natives, or at least this native. There are some exceptions, of course. Claudia Linden has always been super responsive, Blue Linden is a true super hero on the teen grid, Iridium Linden is a trooper community goddess, and Glenn Linden is just awesome with his business development stuff. I also like Chadrick Linden a lot; he is cute as a button, and he almost got me a ride in a San Franciscan ambulance. That's what happens when you karaoke with Desi.

But, enough about that. Cory's leaving is quite big news; he is, after all, the guy who designed the Linden Scripting Language. He is one smart cookie.

But, Robert Frost said it best...sometimes there are two roads to travel. If one person wants to go one way and the other wants to go the other, they either have to flip a coin or decide to go their own ways. I am not sure which road is better or who is taking which path, but I have faith. Cory is off to big and better things, and Phillip wants to change and save the world. Having met Phillip, I truly believe his heart is in the right place. He is sincere. Cory is professional Navy; this isn't a bad thing or anything, but I think he might be slightly more practical. But, again, I don't know these two guys, and I am just guessing.

I was a HUGE survivor fan the first season (after that it totally became road kill). But, here is the thing...Phillip gets the final vote. It is his island, after all. Now, Cory gets the chance to go to the tiki bar and drink up and shower and imagine his amazing talents in a place with a company like Wii or something (ye gads, I have no clue what these brilliant peeps go off to do).

I wish them all happiness in whatever it is they are trying to do for good in this world, and I hope that people like Prokofy don't capitalize on assumed misery (to his credit, he did predict this would happen). We have no idea what the circumstances are, and as I see it (based on the posts to and fro from the hands of both Phillip and Cory), everyone is being super duper professional about it.

Teachers Helping Teachers

My good friends, Vicki and Thom Hicks, have been working with the children in Sierra Leone for years. They receive no pay; they raise money, and every penny goes to helping the people of Kabala, Sierra Leone. Their mission, Nazareth House, helps people of all faiths: Muslim, Christian, Jewish...They do not require membership in their denomination (or religion) to receive medicine, food, water, or education.

Earlier today, I got an email from Vicki about the teachers in the school (which meets, by the way, in a rice patty field). Right now, they have 4 teachers; each teacher is volunteering and no one gets paid. They keep losing good teachers because they need to make a living, too, and tend to move to villages that can pay teachers.

There are many things on Vicki's Christmas list this year; they want to finish paying for the school they are building in Kabala, and they want to make sure every person has medicine, food, and clean water.

But, one thing she really wishes for this Christmas is to be able to pay the 4 teachers 100 dollars a month. Can you imagine??? Can you imagine doing what we do for a measly 100 bucks a month?

I would love to be able to organize a team of people committed to donating a little bit each month to pay the teachers (thus, teachers helping teachers). If everyone gave just 1 buck, and we had 400 people, that would make all the difference in the world. But, 400 people don't read this blog, so if we all could just commit to 10 bucks a month, we only need 40 people...if we commit 20 bucks a month....only 20 can do the math. I committed to paying for one teacher a month, so now we only need to raise 300 dollars. Can you spare a buck or two?

In an effort to help these teachers, I put together a wiki called Teachers Helping Teachers. The information for PayPal is there, and even if you only have a dollar to spare, I know that these folks will work magic with it. All donations are tax deductible, and Nazareth House is an official US charity.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Cool Cats of Christmas

So, I am busy playing the holidays in RL and in SL. I love this time of year in SL. Maybe it is because this was the time of year when I came back to SL and was able to see what I couldn't see before. Maybe it because I made friends in SL; Adrian, my very first friend, wandered into my little cabin from the snow. In our newbieness, we went to the Winter Festival, and we visited Graceland. Of all the places I lived, that little cabin was the most magical. Don't get me wrong, living in Knightsbridge was lovely, and living where I do now (and yes, it is a secret) is wonderful. But, there was magic in that cabin where I could fit a harp, sofa, and a painting.

So, I am fond of this time of year.

On the 20th, this blog will be one year old. Over time, I have had the good fortune of faithful subscribers. They even stay with me when I get overwhelmed or under motivated to write.

In the year that has gone by, I have met some of the most BRILLIANT people I know. Among them are educators, business people, Linden Lab employees, movers and shakers, students, and other folks.

Over the next few days, I want to highlight some folks that really make a difference in SL in quiet ways. There are people that make a huge difference all the time: Larry Pixel, CDB Barkley, Intellagirl Tully, Noel Finney, AJ Kelton, Lyr Lobo, KJ Hax, KittyGloom Cassidy, Daniel Livingstone, Audio Zenith, Wainbrave Bernal, Jeremy Kemp, Birdie Newborn, Chris Eggplant, Leslie Jarmon, Corwin Carillon, Tim Allen, Frank Taney, Xellesanova Zenith, Kathy Schrock, Ed Lamoureaux, Garret Bakalava, Angela Thomas, Gavin Dudeny, Graham Stanley, North Lamar, Lorelei Junot, Barry Joseph, Angela Thomas, Bryan Carter, Fred from Firesabre, Max Chatnoir, and Eloise Pasteur. They are amazing, and their work reflects their dedication to SL. We write about them often; we love them dearly. But, in addition to them, there are other people out there that quietly work and get little notice.

There is no way I can know them all, and there is really no way to rank them. But, for what it is worth, I am offering up Desi's list of the 12 Cool Cats of Christmas; these are 12 people that never see the spotlight.

The first person on my list is George Kurtz; inworld he is known as Butch Dae. He publishes a list each week called the VIT World Update. The list includes all the known updates to information about technology. This article by CIO on Web 2.0 is an example.

Butch and VIT also created this wicked cool mind map thingy. I don't know how it works, but I use it all the time. If you stop by Collaboration Station, you can see my copy of it. Or, you can get a copy of your own at the VIT World Center.

So, please IM Butch Dae and congratulate him for being my first Cool Cat of Christmas!!!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

The Stingy Scholar is Back!

My uber buddy, Wynn Williamson, is back on deck over at the Stingy Scholar. He did a brief stint as a paid writer on Wide Open Education

Sadly, that gig ended because some new peeps bought out the OEDB, and, sucky them, they don't want to continue the blog.


The blog is home to such wicked content like:

Classic Podcasts
This is a post about the uber nifty site at Haverford College called Classic Podcasts. You can also go the ever more ubery coolio hot spot, TextKit, to learn Greek and Latin.

The Met Timeline
This post is about the Met's new web resource. I am sooooo drooooooooling....

I am, however, really happy Wynn is back at Stingy, but sorry that the WOE is a thing of the past. SHAME on the new owners.

On another note...I just founf the 2007 Web 2.0 awards. Some good stuff over there. Go now.

The Avatarum

I love love love love finding games and quests and things to do in SL. They inspire me to adapt game strategies to the builds for Literature Alive!

By accident, and using a simple SL search, I stumpled upon an awesome place called the Avatarum. Stop reading and go. The owner/creator, Gal Canning, was on hand to guide us through, and OMG we had some excellent fun!!!!

These toys and games are not for sale, but Gal will work with professors/teachers if you want to take your students over to play some games.

Many thanks to Gal for coming up with good stuff to do in SL!!!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Journey from the Fall

The DMP 121 Students (Media Scriptwriting and Story Boarding) had their last class last night. As is custom, we watched a movie and had a pizza party.

This semester, Dewey Tran recommended the movie "Journey from the Fall." OMG. You must turn off this computer and go to Blockbuster and rent it.

The story is about the Vietnamese boat people - the ones that tried to leave communist Vietnam. The story is amazing, touching, and incredibly sad. The story is powerful and, from what Dewey tells me, very true to life.

Inhumanity did not stop with Holocaust or Hitler. It surrounds us still today.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Feed the REAL World

The holidays are fast approaching; the Boss and I have had our annual debate over colored or white lights (he won colored for the outside, and I won white lights on the tree). Moustache Man and Sharpie Boy have been helping me bake cookies (we have to bake more of them because, um, well, the reindeer must be reallllllly hungry and keep eating them all). Ebay is all nestled all snug in my pocket book. My virtual home is decorated; my real home is getting there.

Then I think of my friends, Vicki and Thom, who are working with the poorest in the world. In Sierra Leone, there will be no lights for Christmas because electricity is a whim and not a constant. At the Kabala Community School, the children will not be thinking of Batman toys or Barbie Dream Homes. They will wonder, again, if rice is for dinner, and whether the water used to boil it is filled with disease. The picture above shows their reality...their first lives...

I know money is tight. I pay the same high gas prices, and we have the same nasty bills. But, we are blessed by those things when these little children a world away have so little.

In your holiday giving, if you can even spare a buck, the kids at the Kabala Community School can use it to buy rice, to purchase a generator for their school, and to buy a water purifying system.

I know it is a lot to ask. You have to trust that Thom and Vicki Hicks are not scam artists. But, I can truly tell you - these are two of the kindest and most generous people on this earth. They give ALL of themselves to the service of others.

So, for a few linden converted to real money, you can help a child this holiday season. Please open your hearts (and your paypal accounts) and consider making a donation. And, yes, all donations are tax deductible.

Let's join together and spread some holiday cheer to those that have only one reality. You can learn about their work on their website (the PayPal button is on the bottom left). If you prefer to donate linden dollars, I will convert it and send it (IM Desideria Stockton). Please send an IM with your real name and email address so you can receive a receipt. Include the amount of Linden and the date you sent it, so I can accurately convert it to USD.

Sadly, the hungry and poor have been around a long time; this video (back when rock stars worked together for good) is a reminder of all that is needed:

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Spoon River

I am totally EXCITED! The Spoon River Anthology is online! You should totally skip this post and go is awesome. After we are done with Rime of the Ancient Mariner, I think the next project will be a virtual Spoon River.

If you want to gather some good stuff, head over to the other place where I write...the Stingy Scholar. There are some wicked awesome resources there. It hasn't been updated lately, but I am on the ball. If you have any free free free tools that you want me to review...send me an email at and I will gladly take a look and do a review for the Stingy Scholar.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A New Spin on Awesome

In the throes of research paper grading, it is hard to imagine using that word to describe anything. As I bang my head against the 456th comma splice, I am challenged to remember what it even means...and how it can possibly apply to my life.

Then a light clicks on in a student brain....light beaming from the ears...a passion forms...a fire starts....

The students in English 104 are there...they are where they need to be....finally....and they got their on their own; they got there by being curious, by being frustrated, by, um, learning to think independently.

The easiest way to teach is to spoon feed. I could just tell them the answers...but what fun would that be? How will they use that skill (being spoon fed) in their lives? They have already mastered it, truly. I give them the answers...they spit them out on an exam or in an essay. This is the way they were trained.

It is awesome to see them come to grips with what they don't know; it is awesome to see them struggle through their beliefs...wading through mush...drifting through clouds of the ideas they have never considered...teaching becomes an awesome vocation.

The word awesome has been tainted by the valley girls, and, in this sense, I don't mean it in the OMG...that is, like, omg soooo awesome! In this case, I mean it in its literal sense. The lights turning on, slowly but surely, are awesome...and I am in awe of their abilities and the struggles that helped them get there.

I had the excellent fortune to travel to a New England boarding school this week and meet a group of dedicated people working toward the same goal of student self reliance. Evidence surrounded me at every turn that these kids were not part of the "feed me" generation...they are independent thinkers...they are creative...they are passionate...they serve others. The experience was awesome in that non-valley girl way.

We are blessed to be part of that process.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Sooo..Thanksgiving is here once again. Today kicks off our traditions for the holiday season...

We ate dinner at my Dad's house and then went to the Thanksgiving Eve Mass at Moustache Man's school.

Tomorrow, we will wake up and watch the Macy's Parade from inside our warm house (remembering the days when my high school band played in it - remembering how I wore three layers of panty hose under my kilt to stay warm [um ,yes, I played the bagpipes in the HS band]).

The Boss will make bacon (lots and lots of bacon) and cheesy omelets and listen to crazy Christmas tunes like "Father Christmas" by that rock band from the 80s (whose name escapes me).

At noon, we will turn on all the radios in the house and listen to Alice's Restaurant and attempt to sing along in sixteen part harmony.

Then we will hunt for treats left by the magical turkey fairy (well, if the fairy can bring cash for bloody teeth, one can bring yummy snacks at Thanksgiving, too).

I will spend the next two hours planning out my Hunting for Women Extravaganza (black Friday shopping).

At 3ish, we will all pack into the Mamamobile and head over to pick up Ruthie the Grandma and then unleash ourselves upon my brother, Uggie, and his family. We will stuff ourselves silly and then pause and stuff again. Then we will choose among the 789 desserts made by my chef-to-be niece, and then we will pick at more turkey.

Sometime after dark, we will make an insane amount of buttered popcorn and watch National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and laugh as if it were the first time.

We will then drive around and look at houses that are lit up for the first time before returning home. I will check the ads one last time and set my alarm for 3AM. And, thus begins my Holiday :-)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Capella a Day - Reprise

Today's a Capella clip from the Nassoons at Princeton...a total riot!

Spirit of Thankfulness

(Picture Source)

Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that I both love and wonder about. While I am not so thankful that we displaced the culture of a great people to acquire this land, it is a time to be reminded of the grace we receive daily.

Whilst I don't want to sound preachy, I do want to take a second to be thankful for the many gifts I receive. There are so many things to be thankful for, and I am not sure any list can be complete, but it is important to reflect on those things which we are truly thankful for in our lives.

I try to be thankful on a daily basis for the many blessings that come my way. These blessings include my family, friends, coworkers, collaborators, etc. These blessings include shelter, food, gas money, and other worldly goods. These blessings include music, art, poetry, literature, and drama.

Of the many blessings, I consider the blessings of the spirit the most compelling. As a Christian, I believe these blessings come from God through the life and death of Christ. So, I am eternally thankful for that grace which, I believe, saves us and the mercy that allows everyone to come to his or her own convictions and conclusions.

Humility is another gift that is truly amazing. There are people who are truly humble, and I hope - each and every day - to be like them. So, I strive, daily, to work toward humility. It's funny that not all people value humility - in general or their own (or, in a few cases, my attempts). We are supposed to run around championing our successes, right? I would argue that our successes champion themselves, and there is no need to run about calling from roof tops. In any event, no success is singular; they are always crafted by many hands. So, if pride should exist, it should be shared.

The spirit of giving is another incredible gift...the ability to give and not to take. The homeless of Washington could give nothing back for the meals they received; some could not even speak to offer a shy thank you. But, to give the food with a spirit of love and not expecting a thing in return was more valuable than any object. Serving others allows us to remember that we are only a short space away from being in the line, and we have every obligation to be thankful for the distance.

As we move toward Thanksgiving and the holidays, may we all be blessed with the gifts of humility and sharing.

Here is wonderful video from one of my favorite bands - the Trans Siberian Orchestra

Monday, November 19, 2007

A Capella a Day

Ok, so if you know me well, you know that I am a HUGE fan of a capella groups. My favorites are the Nassoons and the Tiger Tones at Princeton. But, I found this great video today of these folks.


Sunday, November 18, 2007

Web 2.0, Sliver Ivory & Wood, and Chris Ruch: New Memories from a Distant Past

The power of Web 2.0 amazes me daily. Not to be all cheese doodle and all, but, REALLY, it has connected me with lots of super duper awesome peeps (you all know who you are) and reconnected me with super duper awesome peeps from my past.

For example, way back in the dark days of teenagerdom, I knew a kid named Chris Ruch. Well, I think we knew each other in grade school, too. Chris was kinda quiet, and I was unduly obnoxious in a variety of ways. We didn't talk much to each other, but we were in a lot of classes together. He grew up to marry a great girl and have a beautiful family, and I grew up, too, and was less obnoxious (oh stop), got married to the boss, and had my little band of super heroes. Our high school class, a true representative of the X generation, is not big on reunions...we have really only had 1 in the course of at least 3 cycles (you have to do the math, sorry ;p). But, Chris found me on Facebook or MySpace or somewhere and we actually (omg) became friends after all those years of teenage angst. He sends reports about his amazingly cool family, and it is just great to connect with him after all these years.

What I didn't know about Chris during the years of spandex, arm bangles, and Madonna hair is that he is this incredible photographer and artist. He sent an email this morning with some of his art work (one is pictured above) and a shout out for some work he is doing. I love the music, and I love the art work, so I am going to shout it out here, too, for those of you looking for a wicked cool holiday gift:

I just did some photography for the Silver Wood & Ivory holiday concert at Hershey theatre over the past two days.... and I must say I was floored by the quality and creativity in this group of musicians, producers, cast & crew. I wish I could have been a casual observer for part or all of it to really soak it all in. Thankfully, they have a cd and dvd of most of the music from the concert (both of which I designed the covers for)... and they are hoping to do a tour of this show in the near future. The dvd is from the first performance of this show that they did last year... and the cd is all done in-studio with the production help of the multi-talented Jeff King. They have a number of other cd's (and tracks on itunes if you prefer), and a variety of nice packages (lotion candles with cd's) that would make really nice Christmas presents. I've included a few photos from the rehearsal and performance, and some images showing the interior of (the very lovely) Hershey theater. Happy holidays to everyone! Talk to you all soon!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Second Life and NCTE

What happens when 14,000 English teachers and professors gather in New York City for a conference?

I can't think of a good punch line. I am taking punch line donations down there in the comments tab ;p

In any case, I just returned from that National Council of Teachers of English conference, and of those 14,000 participants and over 300+ presentations, there was only ONE presentation on Second Life. Many thanks to Rob Rozema for organizing a panel with Laura Nicosia and I on teaching literature/English in SL. Rob talked about the history of gaming in English, I talked about Literature Alive!, and Laura talked about student responses. It was a great mix.

By far, Amy Tan was my favorite speaker. She is just REALLY funny but touching, as well.

And, of course, I LOVED THE EXHIBITORS!!!! I can only say that it is like Trick or Treat for English teachers. There are so many cool resources. I only got through two aisles, and then I had to stop. I was loaded up with all sorts of goodies, and simply had no more hands left.

My favorite workshop/presentation was on graphic novels. I think they are so wicked cool in general, but am now thinking of ways to get them mashed up with SL.

Conferences always energize me, but more than that, my students energize me. Before leaving Thursday, my students wanted a lounge discussion on Truth. For extra credit, 7 students met for two hours and talked about truth and justice and what it means to be an American. Their thoughts drifted with me as I met teachers from all over the world who were concerned that this generation has nothing important to say. I suspect they have a lot of stuff to say, but they need a place to say it and they need people to listen.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Crazy Little Thing Called Land

Building projects for Literature Alive! is just an absolute blast. Our current build, Samuel Taylor Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner is, truly, a wonderful experience.

First, Marcius Downing from Finger Lakes Community College in New York is SUCH a generous supporter of Literature Alive! He has provided land for the Progressive Era Amusement Park, for the World University Exchange, for Contemporary Fiction, and, now, for Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Without people like him, Literature Alive! could not exist.

Second, Eloise Pasteur is, once again, volunteering her time to help script and build the environment. Eloise has become such an integral part of Literature Alive! that it is impossible to imagine a build without her, but, truthfully, he real life work is in Second Life, so - at any time - I could lose her generosity to employment. I am so thankful to have her help on these projects because she and I just share an incredible vision for what SL can do in the classroom.

Third, Daliah and Neveah and just super duper staffers. Daliah earns her weight in gold by stuffing things like pumpkins or gold nuggets. When she isn't shopping for a build, she is helping students get dressed or giving tours. But her newest job...sorting my probably the most daunting! So, if I am logged in and she is because she is me and I am her. I am not sure which of us will have an identity crisis first!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

James Blunt and You're Beautiful

I love this song, and wanted to get it posted somewhere.

I am working on a new plot for Literature Alive! on teaching Rime of the Ancient Mariner. This is a new challenge and one that I am truly excited to start!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

DD Boy Says a Wee Prayer

In his second star moment, 5 year old Giddy Up Man recites some prayers he learned at Notre Dame Preschool.


DD Boy Hits the Waves

Today, Moustache Man makes his Podcasting Debut with some hits he learned at school...first up...The Pledge of Allegiance!


These are African roses that I bought for myself (trust me - no one else round there here parts has a clue that the Giant sells roses!).

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Creating Culture

There are some days when teaching is a frustrating mess, and I leave the classroom thinking about how I would look in a black suits working the world of all things corporate. Today was not one of those days.

The students in English 104 at DeSales have been struggling. They have no idea why an English class is doing this whole SL thing. They didn't get it.

Today was the day we all hope was the AH HA moment day...

In addition to the World University Exchange program, my students are charged with using SL to create a culture. But, as we all know, culture is not created in a vacuum. Culture is a culmination of events and experiences, good and bad, that make up a fabric. Second Life provides a safe place to challenge students.

Back at the beginning of the semester, students tossed one shoe into the center of the room. Two team captains were picked, and they took turns picking a shoe. At the end, one sneaker was left. The owner of the sneaker became the "king" and the two groups were formed. Various challenges have happened; several assignments have taken place. But, over the weekend, Eloise and I worked magic to change the whole fabric. We took land away from the smaller group; they could either join the other group as servants or they could try to make it on their own.

Today's discussion was AMAZING! They discussed whether a community is made up of land and people or if it is made up of ideals and philosophy. It was a good chat, and one I wish you could have heard.

Monday, October 29, 2007

35 Things

My friend, Tess, told me that in order to earn my birthday present, I had to come up with 35 things I am thankful for...I am not allowed to list any "standards" (house, home, kids, hub, God, Twinkies, her).

So, Tess...this BETTER be some kickin present...

1. I am thankful that I wore my Wonder Woman bathing suit when I had a body to make it look cute;

2. I am thankful for them-there chicken pot pies that can be made in the microwave and that they have crust on the top AND on the bottom;

3. I am thankful that tattoos and piercings were not popular when I was a kid;

4. I am thankful for the makers of the Cracker Barrel;

5. I am thankful for all that tea that landed in the ocean and wish there were some more to toss in for a good reminder;

6. I am thankful for Cocoa Pebbles;

7. I am thankful for Mary Shelley;

8. I am thankful for the new tab tops of cat food; it is less time that my cats scratch me to get food, seeing as they weigh in at at least 100 pounds each;

9. I am thankful for tote bags made of sturdy canvas;

10. I am thankful for Lard;

11. I am thankful that I didn't turn 50 because I am running out of witty things to say;

12. I am thankful for Satellite radio;

13. I am thankful for GPS;

14. I am thankful for Second Life and all the people in it, especially Eloise, Daliah, and Neveah;

15. I am thankful for funnel cake;

16. I am thankful for popcorn and butter;

17. I am thankful that spandex and leg warmers are no longer popular;

18. I am thankful that my career as a rock star lasted exactly 13 seconds;

19. I am thankful for math tutors;

20. I am thankful for cheese wiz and other cheese food products;

21. I am thankful for Aloe plants and neosporin;

22. I am thankful for Pogo;

23. I am thankful for all living creatures, great and small;

24. I am thankful for stick shift cars;

25. I am thankful that they releases retro Atari;

26. I am thankful for those little cardboard coffee holder thingies at WaWa;

27. I am thankful for fudge;

28. I am thankful that the neighbor's dog is scared of pooping in my lawn and that the fear factor is a 16 year old declawed cat named Bertie;

29. I am thankful for the change counter at Giant;

30. I am thankful for being a libertarian, so I can be thankful for my family and friends (the Boss, Moustache Man, and Sharpie Boy especially) and God.

31. I am thankful for bacon;

32. I am thankful for smart people;

33. I am thankful for each breath I take;

34. I am thankful for technology, and

35. I am thankful that you read this whole list.


Sunday, October 28, 2007

A Good Look Back

Right. So, I turned 35 on the 26th. WHEN DID I GET OLD??? Omg...omg...omg...I think I slept through the past 10 years because I still FEEL 25.

As it happened, my birthday also fell on trick or treat night. Despite the down pour and the Mayor's inability to make a wise choice, we went out anyhow...jumping in puddles...doing the hardcore Halloween experience. Moustache Man was Super Man AND Spider man AND Bat Man. Don't ask; it defied physics. Sharpie Boy was not in the mood for dressing up and simply wore is Spidey poncho.

To celebrate the Great State of Halloween, Desi and the Pussycats are hosting a special Halloween Buzz for NMC tomorrow night at 6 SLT. Not into the whole Halloween thing? Never fear...there is a Harvest Festival over at the Literature Alive! HQ. Don't have a costume? No worries - we even have those. We are giving out tons of freebies...and there are cash prizes for best costume!

Many many many thanks to my gorgeous and talented staff..Eloise, Daliah, and Neveah. They have really helped create a kickin' exhibit! And, of course, many thanks to our sponsors:

Alliance Library System
Eloise Pasteur Educational Designs
The V3 Group
The Foundation for Rich Content

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Muffin Slam

Today was our day to bring snack. Each day, a different child is selected to be the bearer of the snack...the child marches in and announces with the voice of King Richard the III (or Elizabeth the I), "I, Moustache Man (or Princess Carpathia), bear the gifts of Food and Drink; ye all shall be impressed with my Mother's Good Sense and Godly choice of Snack. May you marvel in her Betty Crockerdom and wish you, too, had the Greatest Mother on Earth!"

...and they give you like a month's notice and all....and then I worried for an entire month...what snack should we take? Bottle of juice or juice boxes? Juice baggies? Donuts for the week of the letter D? Healthy? Junk food? My son wouldn't eat it unless it came in the form of a nugget or hot dog, so it didn't much matter to him. If I picked the WRONG snack, will he become a drug addict? Need therapy? Write a book called "My Mommy Messed up Snack Day and Other Twice Told Tales"?

What happens when he finds out that I actually forgot snack day was today after worrying about it non-stop for the past moon...only remembering at the very last possible second and grabbing a new pack of Double Stuffed Oreos and Welch's grape juice...and yesterday I forgot Sharpie Boy's picture day (and he was wearing a HORRIBLE shirt...ugh)....and I took him to school today wearing two different colored socks?

And, then, while driving the Mama van, I realized that World Peace is a problem and not snack day, but, still and all, I am a perfectionist. I can only hope they write something like this on my grave stone:

Here lies our Mama
She loved cats and llamas
She sometimes forgot snack day
but then let us build with clay
our lives so they would be full of wonda

Well, they are 5 and can't spell yet, and it was better than using the word DRAMA!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Def Poetry

I often spend my free time looking for material for my students. I came across this live poem by Suheir Hammad, and was so incredibly moved by it, I had to post it.

Warning: Adult Languag

Friday, October 19, 2007

Bring on the Jeans

So, I have been paying attention to the Web 2.0 Summit this week over there on the other side of the country. There was a GREAT interview with Mark Zuckerberg (you know, the kid that created Facebook) and I was so insanely impressed. Why? Other than liking his shoes, I am just totally impressed with this generation of "Ivy League dropouts" (as the announcer called him).

I get the same good feeling about Mark that I get from listing to Sergey Brin or Phillip Linden or even Howard Stern. No, they don't hold PhDs in whatever-it-is-you-major-in-to-be-important. They each took a concept, made it happen, and, holy pete, they are brilliant!

Let's take a look at each of these guys. They wear what they want. They are doing what they love. They have nothing to prove.

Whatever you may think about the content of the Howard Stern show, you have to admit the guy is totally brilliant. He has over the past 20 years, with his team of loyal employees and fans, revolutionized the radio industry. He didn't sit back and say, "Oh, sorry, I shouldn't have said THAT...I will be more careful next time. " He said, "Look, this is AMERICA...if I can't say THAT here, where on earth can I say it??? And, then he went to Sirius...and I, along with millions of other people, bought the radios, the subscriptions, and tuned in to hear what he would say in a world with no boundaries. Do I like all the stuff I hear there? Nope. But, I don't like a lot of what I hear anywhere. I DO like that he has the freedom to talk about what he wants in the way he wants to talk about it. I like the idea that he has, through all of the fines and bad press, championed free speech and, truly, has done more for the amendment than ANY other media personality. I don't have to like the strippers to appreciate the trailblazing he has done. And, the beauty of freedom is that I can as easily tune out as in, and make my own choices about what is edifying.

In many ways, Howard Stern was the pre-cursor to the freedom we see on the web. Facebook, started by Mark-the-Kid-from-Harvard (who is, in my opinion, way more "seasoned" than CEOs of big-ole stuffy corporations) celebrates that same kind of freedom. You have the FREEDOM to post stupid pics of yourself doing stupid and illegal things. Having the platform doesn't mean you have to do bad things with it. It can ALSO be used for other cool things like getting your band's name out there or meeting new folks at your school. Can it be used for ill? Sure it can. All things can be used for ill, but we don't need big brother telling us what we should and shouldn't use.

Linden Lab is based on that same principle. We are bound only by the physics of SL. Sure, bad things happen in SL. But, hey, bad things happen everywhere and GOOD things happen everywhere. Eliminating an environment like Second Life doesn't lessen the number of crazy people out there. When I met Philip Linden, I was just impressed with how kind and down to earth he was. Like Mark and Sergey, he is a guy doing what he loves and a lot of people love it along with him.

The Google Boys, Sergey being just one of those Stanford crew, have that same energy and light. Let's see what happens when people can be creative. You don't need a degree to do that. You don't need a stamp that says you have jumped through hoops. You prove your worth by the effectiveness of your product. And, by golly, Google has done that. They allow people to be creative.

So, what happens to all the scrambling academics? Nothing changes. We have all known, or should know, that the most brilliant kids didn't and don't need degrees. Just because Stern doesn't have a PhD in Communications doesn't mean he is any less qualified to speak about it. If anything, he is MORE qualified to speak about it because he has been out there on the front lines championing free speech for decades. Facebook is working, and Mark doesn't need to speak the lingo of a CEO to make it work. He doesn't need an MBA from Harvard to do what he is already doing. Second Life isn't perfect...but nothing is...and Philip doesn't need a star from Stanford anymore than Sergey does. They are revolutionizing the world and our job is to watch and participate.

I love the new freedom of satellite radio, the freedom of the social web, and the freedom of virtual worlds.