Sunday Sundries

A few assorted links & tidbits to start off the week:

iTunes nixes network rentals

Sadly, there are some things you just can’t get via Netflix (either streaming or disc) so Dede is relieved that we squeaked in Glee: Season 2 just before the hammer fell. According to the ZDNet article Apple Finally Drops TV Rentals From iTunes, Apple quietly pulled the option to rent television episodes from its iTunes online store in the the past few days.

Kick it up a notch with Kickstarter

Kickstarter is an innovative new website that lets would-be entrepreneurs submit a pitch about a project they need help getting off the ground. Via crowd-sourced fundraising, projects have a set amount needed and defined funding levels—most start at very affordable $5, $15, $25 levels—and in addition to helping get the project going, all “investors” (that’s you and me) get a little something extra as a reward for having some faith in the product and/or its creator. And a project must reach its funding goal before time runs out or no money changes hands, which protects both project creators and investors.

So with Kickstarter you can help breathe life into cool ideas like:

World Gone 2 the Dogs

My brother Rich has jumped into the fray with his own World Gone 2 the Dogs blog. Head over there and join the conversations!

Khan Academy – Free online tutorials!

Speaking of Rich, he sent me a link to Khan Academy several weeks ago and I never took the time to check it out. But then just this weekend I read an article in Wired Magazine by longtime fave writer Clive Thompson called How Khan Academy Is Changing the Rules of Education and it really grabbed me. Khan Academy features a library of over 2400 free videos by Sal Khan covering K-12 math, science, finance, history, and many other topics. Each instructional video presents material in easy-to-handle chunks lasting 7-15 minutes. Students can watch videos at their own pace and can even practice math problems online. Be sure to read Clive’s article for more info! Сlassroom rental sounds a good idea for discussions and teamwork.

One of the really interesting by-products of Khan Academy and other online video tutorials is that they are enabling teachers to flip the classroom. That is, some teachers are experimenting with the idea of inverting traditional school model, delivering instruction online outside of class and using interactive classroom time for homework.


Have you heard about this? We were completely unaware of the concept of planking until our friend Ryan explained it to us last night. You can read all about it here but basically, planking is to lay down (like a plank) in some unusual setting and take a picture to post on the Planking Facebook page. I looked at a few of the pictures and found them amusing. It seems like harmless fun but some do take it to extremes and put themselves in danger to take the photo. Ryan is into a variant called owling instead of planking because as this poster sums it up, planking is just so two months old!

Update:   According to Rich, we’re still behind the curve—planking & owling are out, Batmanning, is in!

7 Things That May or May Not Be of Interest

Several days ago, Lin Burress tagged me to join in the "7 Things About Me" meme.   I’ve said before that I usually shy away from memes but Lin is a blogger I really like & respect so I just couldn’t refuse…   especially considering that none of the others Lin tagged have risen to the challenge.

First, the rules:

  1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
  2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog.
  3. At the end of the post, you tag up to 7 other bloggers.
  4. Leave a comment on their blog or send an email so they know they’ve been tagged.

So, off we go!   Here are my 7 Things:

  1. I bought my first computer, an Atari 800, in 1983.   It had 8KB RAM, a blazing 300 baud modem, and ran & saved programs on audio cassettes.
  2. I’ve kissed the Blarney Stone at the top of Blarney Castle in County Cork, Ireland.
  3. My favorite numbers are 3 and 7.
  4. I worked (remotely) for America Online for nearly 4 years back in their heyday.
  5. I kissed a dolphin in Cancun!
  6. I have 2 tattoos and one of them is the 2Dolphins logo.
  7. Although I once owned a hand-me-down Atari 2600 that I got from my brother Rich, I’ve never bought a video game console.

Now, to keep this meme moving along, I hereby tag Ricë, James, Joy, Brian, Bobbie Leigh, Anita, and last, but certainly not least, Dinia — who should be able to easily come up with 7 very interesting things about herself.   Have fun!

8 Random Dede Things

Rob’s been nagging me about getting my "8 Random Things" list done ever since he tagged me a week ago, so here it is:

  1. I’ve kissed a dolphin.
  2. One of my dreams is to receive a hug from Elton John.
  3. My wedding anniversary is the same date (Aug. 3rd) as my parents and my grandparents.
  4. I was hit by a car when I was young.   I lived to tell the tale but my bike did not!
  5. I have an irrational love of Chuck’s, bags, & nature CDs – can’t get enough of any of them!
  6. National Lampoon’s Vacation is my favorite movie.
  7. I can touch the tip of my nose with my tongue.
  8. I once drove a borrowed stolen van to the Texas State Capital building at 3 a.m. to use the bathroom.   (Does it even need to be stated that there was drinking involved?)

Sorry, but the rules say I’ve gotta tag some peeps to keep this going.   So I tag the following:   Gretchen, Amy, SteveG, and Debbie.

8 Random Things

Earlier this week, Rowan tagged me to join in the "8 Random Things" meme.   Like Bob, I usually shy away from memes because so many seem designed to do little more than artificially garner linkbacks & boost Google PageRank.   But, not unlike David Airey’s The Face Behind The Blog Collection, this meme aims to reveal some interesting & fun facts that give a little more insight on fellow bloggers, so it seemed worth a shot.

First, the rules:

  1. Each player posts a blog entry listing 8 random facts about themselves.
  2. People who’re tagged need to write a blog post with these rules & their own list of 8 random things.
  3. At the end of the post, you tag up to 8 other bloggers you’d like to see participate.

So, off we go!   Here are my 8 random things:

  1. I got my first pair of glasses on October 31st, 1970.   Yup, Halloween.   No kidding.
  2. I’ve loved Snoopy ever since my cousin Kathy taught me how to draw him when I was about 5 years old.
  3. I once climbed to the top of a water tower in Amarillo with an American Indian named Ivan.
  4. I’m about 10 years older than most people would ever guess.
  5. I haven’t had a carbonated beverage (alcoholic or otherwise) in 3 years.
  6. The first car I ever drove with a manual transmission (a.k.a. stick-shift) was an electric blue VW Karmann Ghia coupe.
  7. Almost nothing aggravates me more than wet socks.
  8. I’d secretly love to be a rock ’n roll drummer.   Okay, maybe that’s not a very well-kept secret since I drive lots of people crazy with my incessant tapping.

Now, to help keep this meme going, I hereby tag Dede, Bob Jones, David Airey, and TDavid.   Have fun!

Face Behind the Blog

David Airey has launched a meme called The Face Behind The Blog Collection that aims to acquaint readers with the authors of blogs and add a more personal feel to conversations.   In other words, David wants to put faces with the names behind blogs – and that seemed like a great idea!   This isn’t the most recent picture of Dede & me, but it is one of my faves:

Rob & Dede busted at the ballpark!

As part of David’s project, he suggested to also link to others who have included an interesting personal photo on their blog recently, so here’s a recent post from Gretchen that features an awesome photo of her & her daughter at the new Grand Canyon Skybridge.