Friday, October 27, 2006

Fantasy Congress

Fantasy Congress works just like fantasty baseball, football, etc....only the success of your "team" is measured by their ability to push legislation through congress. Also see coverage in the NY Times.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Free Education Materials Search Engine

Using the new Google Co-op, I made a search engine of some of the top free educational material sites (open coursewares, ebook archives, etc.) Try a couple searches, such as "existentialism" or "string theory". Pretty good results, huh? I'll probably tweak it a bit...add or remove some sites to the 22 currently listed.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Physics of Superheroes

In The Physics of Superheroes, Dr. Jim Kakalios asks if the comic book characters "could really do that?" to illustrate basic physics concepts. Here are some of Jim's public appearances discussing fragments of the book:

1) Death of Gwen Stacy (did Spiderman kill his girlfriend?)-

2) Electro & Magneto -

3) Superman's Blooper -

4) The Atom's Blooper -

Jim was an NPR Talk of the Nation guest last year and answered some questions from callers such as how fast the Flash needs to run to walk on water. A Slashdot post is also full of discussion and some additional links.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


PDF Pad makes it easy to generate PDF templates such as calendars, musical staff paper, storyboards, graph paper and smith charts. The various templates are customizable to paper sizes and various specializations (i.e. show treble/bass clef on the staff paper). The site also contains printable country flags and sudoku.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

8 New Orchids

Scientist discovered 8 new species or orchid in Papua New Guinea. See the photo gallery from the BBC, such as this Dendrobium spectabile. Lots of good orchid information can be found at The American Orchid Society. Lots of pictures are here.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Academic Blogs Wiki

This wiki serves as a portal of the "Invisible College" - the academic blogosphere full of serious scholarship and quirky, erudite commentary. Blogs are organized by discipline and university. Lots of sites are listed and - since this is a wiki - it's quite likely that this site could become the definitive list.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Massive Lecture Archive

WGBH Boston put together this forum of 1200 public lectures on topics ranging from Philanthropy to Sports. The lectures are organized by subject matter and can be subscribed to via podcasts.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Fun Drawing Tools

My dad found this little collection of fun drawing tools. Wasted about half-an-hour with the Jackson Pollock Simulator. The sculpture gallery and REMIX collage maker are pretty fun as well.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Google for Educators

Along with the YouTube announcement, Google introduced a new site for educators. The site groups the many free Google tools alongside teacher testimonials and demonstrations of how to use them in the classroom. Some of the sketch-up examples are pretty cool. The site also includes lesson plans from Discovery Education and a series of podcasts at the Infinite Thinking Machine. See the full announcement from the Google Blog.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Tragic Bliss Paintings

"White & Nerdy" - Weird Al is funny again. Even funnier after seeing the original.

Tragicbliss blogs some of the freshest art around, such as the works of Gary Baseman, Daniel Chang, or Tim Bishkup (pictured). Also see this interesting link on the romance comics that inspired Lichtenstein's paintings.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Physics of Extra-terrestrial Civilizations

Dr. Michao Kaku talks about the science of science fiction in this collection of articles on topics such as time travel, interstellar travel, and extra-terrestrial civilizations. Also see this video on the psychology behind the abduction phenomenum.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Class of Web 2.0

Solution Watch created a list of the many web apps valuable for students going back to school. Many familiar names but also some good new sites to visit - such as Gradefix for organizing assignments or the College Ruled organizer/social-network. Not on the list is Notecentric, another new web-based notetaking site with a very pleasant interface. Thanks to Jon for the link.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

SAT Prep

Here's an excellent SAT study site with 3507 questions organized under 24 topics. Test yourself from a wide variety of practice tests - choosing the number of question and response time - or browse the database. Very nice design as well.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Wikipedia Pathfinder

Pathway is a cool little application to help extensive wikipedia users follow chains of links and organize related articles. As Wikipedia continues to become a more important academic tool, this is a handy way to organize your research. For Mac users only.