Friday, February 22, 2008

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Please Watch!

Please watch this video about feral cats. My students are working with Dr. Nancy Trun at Duquesne on a feral cat science and communication project, and Alley Cat Allies has been REALLY helpful!!! Please let them meet their goal of education people on the benefits of spaying and neutering.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Science Rocks in SL

Wow. I am sooooo humbled by the science community in SL. Every time I turn around, they are doing something so entirely amazing, it makes me proud to know them.

These people are awe inspiring. If you think NOAA rocks...if you think ISM is the Bee's Knees...if the you think the Genome Project is the Cat's MUST go see DrDoug Pernnell's (RL Doug Danforth, Ohio State) "The Tour of the Testis." often do you get say, "I toured a Testis...TWICE!"

Dr.Doug did an INCREDIBLE job on this tour. While you sit in the little car thingy, you go through the exhibit and actually learn about the whole sperm production process. Now, before this tour, I could write what I know about all things sperm related on the head of a pin. At the end of the tour, I took the quiz, and OMG I learned something!!!! In fact, I learned all sorts of new facts about chromosomes and such.

You must, must, must got see this tour; it is up there with ISM, NOAA, Genome, and the rest.

But, if you get bored, pop over the amazingly new American Chemical Society Island being created by Hiro Sheridan (the amazing man behind the open source molecule rezzer) and Horace Moody (the amazing cat behind Open Notebook Science).

And, if you get bored with THAT, go on over to the SL Healthy wiki created by the lovely Perplexity Peccable, Prijian Toland and Skaidrite Norse. Once you are there, you can pop inworld to find real information about RL health! Health Info Island is simply an amazing resource.

If there were a competition between science and the humanities, science would win - hands down. While there are lots of people doing great stuff in literature and history, it isn't as much as we would like to see. For example, the folks at Seton Hall have done an amazing rendition of Hawthorne's House of the Seven Gables. Bryan Carter has created a Harlem Renaissance Sim. There are a few places to study creative writing, journalism, and poetry. Literature Alive! creates about 89% of the literature content available on the grid.

As far as history goes, the only sims that are truly educational (and not commercial in scope and nature) are Caledon (which is not owned by an educator) and the new Land of Lincoln (created and run by the amazing Lorelei Junot). While places like the Renaissance Sim are lovely living history places, the focus isn't really on education; they are more focused on reeneacting. The Ren Sim is nice though, as they do try, more than other social sims, to be period correct and educational in various events. So, they are a true mix, where places like Paris and New York are completely commercial. You will find the buildings, but you will learn nothing about the culture or content.

Image Source

Special Thanks to Eloise Pasteur for helping me collect the SLurls for this post!!!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Sing a Song for Change

The glorious Vicki Davis wrote (yet another) inspiring post about Cute Cupcakes and Choruses for Change.

In her post, she includes this song from Les Mis. So, here is my challenge to you. If you think the world is ripe for change, post the song on your blog, too. Obviously, posting a song won't change the world, but if enough of us sing it (in the words of the infamous Arlo Guthrie), they will think there is a movement.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Makeover Madness

I had a blast today! Bryan Carter needed some avatars modeled for his awesome Harlem Renaissance build...and he immed and asked if I had time to decorate three avatars!!!


So here, are some shots...they all looked like the normal newbie here, and transformed into these three ladies...Georgia, Vivian, and Jessie.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Newest Love of My Life: Windlight

Larry Pixel (RL: Larry Johnson) introduced me to Windlight - a new viewer for SL that provides the most incredible (INCREDIBLE) lighting and environment views. The only thing that was super annoying was that it said that I didnt have the right graphics card when I installed it, but, lo, it was wrong. It works just fine in my machine. Here are various pics of Windlight....

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Techno Lust or Techno Lazy?

What is technolust? According to an article in the Washington Post, it is the reason why all that wicked bright technology goes unused in our schools.

Teachers interviewed for the article claim that teachers that use technology are lazy and THAT laziness is the motivation for the techno lust sweeping the educational floor boards.

I donno. I have met a lot of these technolustful teachers (Vicki Davis, Kevin Jarrett, Kathy Schrock). Not one of them is lazy, and not one of them uses technology to make life easier for is to make learning RICH for students.

Frankly, the ones not using the technology are the lazy ones. They refuse to be taught anything new, and want everyone to applaud their stoicism. Horse Hockey.

The problem ISN'T buying the stuff (as the article suggests), it is that the Gen X and Boomer teachers refuse to LEARN it...

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Wicked Sentence Maze!

Need something to do that is FUN and challenging???

Try out this sentence creation maze at

The creator, Tooter Claxton, did an amazing job!!!!

Many thanks to Thinkerer Melville for the tour. Check out his awesome machinima on YouTube.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Collaboration in Second Life: A World of Possibilities

I apologize for slacking off here, but I have been busy presenting, teaching, and doing all sorts of RL things. My hectic schedule is a wonderful tribute to the wonderfully chaotic nature of working in SL.

I belong to many groups in SL, and I would belong to about 65 more if they would allow such a thing. Obviously, Literature Alive! is my most active group (245 participants so far!). But here are some other groups that I love:

1. Real Life Educators - this is the official SL group for educators started by Pathfinder Linden. It is the most comprehensive list of educators inworld.

2. The Educators Coop - this is a group that I belong to by virtue of my membership in the Coop. It is quite active, and members like Grandma Bates (pictured) make it interesting and worthwhile.

3. ISTE - They offer a lot of great workshops and speakers.

4. Elven - They offer a lot of great resources geared to K-12 educators.

5. NMC Guests - NMC offers a lot of great programming (arts and education related).

6. SLDev - this is a group for developers in SL and is the one place where you can go with a technical question.

Now, I wish we could have more groups because I would totally add to my list of favorite shopping places. Lots of people ask about my favorites, so here they are:

For Hair - ETD, Calla, Panache

For Clothes - DE Designs, Crave, and Pixel Dolls

This is a pic of my super secret home :-)

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Lane's List - Literature Alive!

Literature Alive! is proud to make Lane's List! Check out the article!

Also, coming soon.....we are EXPANDING the School Store! There will be MORE freebies and educational vendors.

If you want to sell your stuff, and it is suitable for educators and students, you may use space at the School Store. Literature Alive! does not require a percentage of the sales (though donations are appreciated).

Check it out!!!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Fast Food Nation and Family Farming

So...I watched the movie Fast Food Nation last week. Even though the book came out in 2001 and the movie a few years is sooooooo worth it to KNOW where your food is coming from!!!!


As much as I used to love sliding through the drive thru for my Whopper with Cheese no onion, I made the decision not to ever ever ever eat at Fast Food Places again. In fact, I gave up eating meat entirely.

I have made it a whole week, and, jeebus louibus, I have not missed the fast food OR the meat.

I completely recommend the movie and the book by the same name. And, please - please - please - support your local farms!!!!!

Friday, February 01, 2008

A View from the Student Lounge

One of my students recommended this video to our study of American culture and values:

I had to listen a few times (and then find a translation of the lyrics), but it is interesting that students identify with this song.