Friday, April 28, 2006

YouTube HowTo's Vol. 1



Jamie Cullum "These Are the Days"

While it might not seem like an educational resource, there are many great "How To" tutorials in the YouTube vaults. From Japanese cooking tips to juggling to bikini calculus, there's definitely some quality stuff.

Of course, while looking for these, I've also seen fifty ways to roll a joint, perform strip teases, and "bE keWl". I guess it's what they say about a million monkeys with a million typewriters...no matter what, it's going to be entertaining.

Here are the first 10 videos. There will be more installments soon.

(1) How to Make a British Cup of Tea (5:17)




(2) How to Make a Truffled Egg Benedict (8:16)




(3) Bikini Calculus (5:42)




(4) How to Make a Taser from a Disposable Camera (4:52)




(5) How to Juggle Three Balls (7:41)



(6) How to Change a Flat Tyre (5:35)



(7) How to Boing-E-Boing a Yo-Yo (1:02)



(8)Convert DRM Protected WMA Music File (6:36)



(9) How to Make a Cigarette Lighter from two D Batteries (3:06)



(10) How to Remove Fish Scales without the Mess (0:49)

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Only Rocket Science















MIT OpenCourseWares just released materials for last semester's Aircraft System Engineering course. This is a dream class for air and space junkies that combines history, engineering, and economics to offer a "holistic view of the aircraft as a system". The course was administrated by Jeff Hoffman, shuttle astronaut and MIT Professor, and by Professor Aaron Cohen, the Space Shuttle Orbiter Project Manager. Practically every lesson contains at lease one all-star guest lecturer (check it out). The site contains audio and video for each lecture as well as pdfs of course notes, guest bios, readings, class projects, and additional resources.

While MIT has tons of great courses in the OCW program, this one is truly exceptional. They've pulled out all stops to make just about class resource available to the general public from this fantastic course. (Thanks to Chris Johnson for the tip).

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Advice for Undergrads Considering a PhD

Practical advice from a UCLA professor for undergraduates contemplating PhD programs. Refreshingly, the summary includes some constructive advice other than "grad school is torture, don't do it". A few tips:

Graduate school is training in research. It is for people who love research, scholarship, and teaching for their own sake and for the difference they can sometimes make in the world. It is not for people who simply want more undergraduate courses. It is not for people who are in a hurry to get a real job.

Your undergraduate education will not enable you to decide whether to go to graduate school. You will need to ask for advice. You should figure that the decision will take about a year to make, so ask for a lot of advice over a long period. Start toward the middle of your junior year, if not before. You should get advice from everyone you consider either knowledgeable or wise, but particularly from professors.

Graduate school, as I said, is training in research. When a graduate school looks at your application, their principal question is, "Is this person going to be good at research?" Indeed, that should be one of your own principal questions as well. How can you tell if you're going to be good at research? Getting good grades in your undergraduate classes is important, but it's not really the main thing. The main thing is this: if you want to go to graduate school, you should start getting involved in research as an undergraduate. This fact is usually kept secret, but it's true.

The article has details on how to get involved in research, how to build relationships with faculty, and how to apply. See this prior post for more grad school advice. And here is a recent AskMeFi post on grad school blogs. (Thanks to Ryan for the top photo).

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

A Big Wet Kiss for Mother Earth














Some sites that popped-up around Earth Day:

Google Earth releases two .kmz files with lessons on climate change and the environment.

The SeXI-FS simulator examines relationship between trees in a mixed-species forest. Cooler than it sounds. Via Download Squad.

Over 400 nature and wildlife sounds from the British Library.

From Boing Boing - video from a bear's point of view.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Friday, April 21, 2006

History of Video Games Documentary



From Atari to Nintendo, an excellent documentary made by the Discovery Channel (46 minutes).

Buffy, Bottles, and Berries



Dezil's "San Ou", from the beautiful Seychelles islands.

iBerry: Another ambitious effort to round-up free university courses. The courses are organized by discipline, and the listings include many good, new links.







50 Ways to Take Notes: Who knew there were so many computer-based notetaking programs? Here's a chance to explore the options and find one that works for you.



Vintage Toons: Enjoy these legal, public domain vintage toons before Sonny Bono gets his claws on them. More here.







Bottle Biology: Put things in a bottle and watch them grow! Lots of fun biology experiments for kids.













Buffy Studies: Buffy studies links from NPR!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

A Modest Proposal - Hip Hop Rendition



Pretty well done!

Frank Rijkaard's Management Style

Inspired by some of the Zaadz business book summaries, I've been thinking about the management style of Frank Rijkaard, one of football's best trainers. I have to imagine that these skills would be just as effective in the office as they are on the pitch.

1. Don't force a system.
Although fitting the mold of other offensive-minded Dutch trainers, Frank Rijkaard does not enforce a specific playing system. Rijkaard is liberal with his players, allowing them to move around the pitch and find their natural style of play. Compare Ronaldhino's freedom under Rijkaard to Van Gaal's problems trying to fit Rivaldo into a scheme. With players more free to play in a way that feels natural, the team ultimately functions more cohesively. Although these schemes have been effective for teams like Chelsea and Juventus, Rijkaard's style has helped veterans feel comfortable and young stars emerge. Additionally, there is no risk of the "system breaking down" and no grumbling from players who feel they don't "fit in with it".

Managers - Are you pushing business philosophies? Are you trying to impose rigid rules and procedures onto your team that inhibit their performance? Are you changing processes that work, even though these processes may seem unorganized?

2. Don't sweat when things aren't going well.
When things aren't going well, Rijkaard usually plays down problems and rarely makes unnecessary changes. During recent goal draughts and after the Copa de Rey eliminations, Rijkaard did not speak badly of the team or attempt to change too many things. After the first 0-0 match against Benfica, Rijkaard said: "I don't get angry at my players - an angy trainer is really angy at himself. I view myself as an advisor, helping my players out." Rijkaard is famous for appearing calm and stoic on the sidelines, rarely getting wrapped up in games or media controversy. While it's tempting claim that's his demeanor, bear in mind that this is the same guy that stormed off the field, vowing never to play again under Johan Cruijff, and the same guy that spat repeatedly on Rudi Voller during the 1990 World Cup. Clearly, Rijkaard recognizes the benefits of this demeanor as a manager. On the other side the coin, Rijkaard rarely messes with games that are going well. He generally makes less substitutions even in intense, tiring games such as the recent matches against Chelsea.

Managers - How do you respond when your team isn't meeting objectives? If you are criticized from above, do you pass that on?

3. Different relation with diffent employees.
Compare the paternal hug of Messi, to the strategic discussions with Deco, to the happy face seeing veteran Xavi back at training. Rijkaard has said: "If you are working with players of a higher quality, the more passionate you get as a coach, the less credibility you get. Sometimes you have to find other things to motivate your players, and often these are small things. With the talents we have, always speaking passionately wont work. Many times I pay more attention to players who aren't playing because they are important in the dressing room. The key to success is to keep on working, and to have the right team spirit by treating everyone as an individual."

Managers - Do you have different relationships with your team or do you treat them all the same way? Can you think of employees that need different kinds of affirmation and encouragement?

4. A positive attitude is infectious.
Ronaldinho says that at Camp Nou, he feels like he's "playing in his backyard". Eto'o, unphased by larger offers from other teams, has said, "wow, think of how many books that could buy for children in Africa." Why is everyone so happy at Barca? While, obviously, every enjoys winning, stars rarely complain like they do in other successful teams. This attitude certainly comes in no small part from Rijkaard's low key style, equal focus on all players, and acknowledgement of positive contributions. Players who didn't completely fit in other places - Ronaldinho at PSG, Deco in Portugal - seem at ease in Barcelona. This positive attitude even spills over to players who might feel "shafted". Despite the fact that Maxi Lopez, the excellent Argentine forward, has hardly played this season, he still says that he would still rather stay and prove himself than leave. Larson, who will be leaving at the end of the season to go back to Sweden, is widely assumed to be happy coming off the bench. However, rumor has it, he's not content with this supplemental role, but doesn't make negative comments.

Managers - How do you think your demeanor affects your team? Think of some bosses you've had with positive attitudes. And some with negative attitudes.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Beautiful Cell Biology Animations

John Kyrk has created interactive cell biology animation on topics such as DNA, Cell Anatomy, Meiosis and Mitosis.
Be sure to check out the Evolution animation.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Online Research Toolkit














Rebecca Hedreen, Distance Education Librarian at Southern Connecticut State University, has created a great overview of web 2.0 research tools. Her presentation uses You Tube, Odeo and Blogger, making "the medium the message" as she explores the many free resouces available. She has also created a blog with updates on new resources.

Lifehacker also points to some IT Redux posts on how to run your office completely with free Web applications.

Maps of Religion in the USA















Regions of Mind has a detailed blog post containing a series of maps of religions in the United States. The maps depict religious adherrents, leading church bodies, jews, muslims, and various christian faiths.

Also, SVSD Classroom Tech just posted two interesting map sites: the Hive Group's World Tree Map and a gallery of many alternative map projections.

On the topic of maps, thank you Google Map Mania for posting my Wayfaring map on University Podcasts, Webcasts & OCWs. The post appeared today in del.icio.us' popular.

Monday, April 17, 2006

The Monk and The Fish



Michael Dudok de Wit's Oscar nominated cartoon short. Via Cartoon Brew.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Links for the Long Weekend



The Avalanches "Since I Left You".

On vacation until Monday - thought I'd post a few good links before I go.

Expert Village is a new learning site filled with "Clear answers to common questions from credentialed experts." Currently, the site contains over 1200 videos and 12000 articles from nearly 1000 experts. Topics range from business taxes to putting on eye shadow.

Not to neglect the stingy, the AbsurdlyCool Freebie Finder is an automated free stuff aggravator, containing links to offers for things like dogfood, stickers, chocolate and bubble bath. The author claims to filter out scams and pyramid referral schemes.

Chalksite is a new course management site for teachers. It is a nice alternative to Blackboard and the basic package is free. Potential users might also want to see Engrade, a similar product particularly focused on the free package.

Finally, Microsoft released their Windows Live Academic Beta designed to complete with Google Scholar. It will be interesting to see how the product develops, but with the few sample searches I tried, I found significantly better results with Google Scholar.

For more time-sucking links, see I-Am-Bored, milkandcookies, VideoSift, and Friday Night Club at Stu's. Have a nice weekend!

Knuckles In China Land















Knuckles in China Land
is the coolest language learning tool that I have ever seen. This is a full, free downloadable RPG games starring Knuckles (borrowed from Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog franchise). The "battle" sequences consist of flashcard memorization tests.
















KiCL is set-up with Japanese, Indonesian, and German language packs. However, you can create flashcards for any language using the vocabulary editor. When starting a new game, choose the island picture in the bottom-left (pictured) to load a custom-made vocabulary set. You can also edit the vocabulary lists using a text-editting program like Notepad.















This is a perfect example of how gaming can turn something as banal as flashcard memorization into a fun and addictive learning experience. Here are some more screenshots.




























Tuesday, April 11, 2006

How to Follow Football (Soccer) In Europe



Here's a good introductory article on football (soccer) in Europe. The article is directed towards Americans, and contrasts the European systems against those of US professional sports. Although knowledgable fans might not agree with every generality, this is a fairly good overview.

If you are looking to get into European football, you may wish to download the upcoming Champions League semi-finals next week - Barcelona/AC Milan and Villareal/Arsenal. Barca and Villareal are coincidentally playing each other in La Liga this Friday. Well-seeded torrents for these games can usually be found on Mininova. Also, you can watch these games through P2P streaming - see here for a good introduction and here for links. (Here is another forum with streaming links. Many of these sites don't last long, although they are not technically illegal. Search on del.icio.us for streaming and football to find more)

Also, here is another blog where I regularly post with some friends of mine. Many good football videos and links can be found there (careful - not everything safe for work).

Monday, April 10, 2006

Historical Diagrams

Some historical and academic diagrams on topics such as the War of the Roses, the Decendents of Adam, and Wall Street Scandals. There are also some interesting geographical diagrams such as how the countries of the world are connected. (Doesn't look like the page has been updated in a couple of years).

Saturday, April 08, 2006

70s Cult of Pi



I don't usually update on the weekends, but I had to post this bizarre 70's-tastic Zoom from PBS.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Very Superstitious

Stevie Wonder playing live on Soul Train.

Look at This has an incredible list of language-related sites ranging from fun to useful.




chord house shows chords, scales, and audio for guitar and piano. Go here for tabs.









Mother Jones' list of intellectual property gone amuck.






MIT's inventor's handbook. Absurd patents.















Map of Web 2.0 start-ups. (Thanks to Anna María for the photo).

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Novice Surfer

The surf blog Novice Surfer has some practical advice for beginning surfers on paddling out, pearling, riding a wave, and knowing your limits. Novice Surfer is an enjoyable site for all surfers and full of links to other surf blogs.

Also, here is a large index of surf links and some great free videos. And here is the surfing challenge from NES' California Games with music from Jack Johnson.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Portals to the World

SVSD Class-Tech Resources found this index of quality links on nations of the world. The links were selected by Library of Congress subject experts.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

fitTv

fitTv has posted a large number of video segments. All-Star workouts contain show clips from the exercise classes. Virtual video training helps with your weight-training technique. Marilu Henner has diet tips. And the most watched section has many popular clips, including advice on how to get six-pack abs. Also see this previous post for more sites and iPod video-trainer downloads.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Huge Lectures Archive

Lectures Archives is one of the most ambitious attempts I've seen to catalog the ever-increasing supply of free academic audio and video. Darrell Arnold organizes several hundred lectures by discipline, theoretician, and topic. I'm really impressed by the volume and breadth of materials that Darrell has found.