Monthly Archives: December 2011

Don’t forget last year – 2010 – top YouTube videos

As we ring in the new year don’t forget about the best videos of last year, 2010.

YouTube’s Top 10 of 2010

  1. BED INTRUDER SONG!!!
  2. TIK TOK KESHA Parody: Glitter Puke – Key of Awe$ome #13
  3. Greyson Chance Singing Paparazzi
  4. Annoying Orange Wazzup
  5. Old Spice | The Man Your Man Could Smell Like
  6. Yosemitebear Mountain Giant Double Rainbow 1-8-10
  7. OK Go – This Too Shall Pass – Rube Goldberg Machine version
  8. THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE – Trailer
  9. Jimmy Surprises Bieber Fan
  10. Ken Block’s Gymkhana THREE, Part 2; Ultimate Playground; l’Autodrome

Don't forget last year – 2010 – top YouTube videos

As we ring in the new year don’t forget about the best videos of last year, 2010.

YouTube’s Top 10 of 2010

  1. BED INTRUDER SONG!!!
  2. TIK TOK KESHA Parody: Glitter Puke – Key of Awe$ome #13
  3. Greyson Chance Singing Paparazzi
  4. Annoying Orange Wazzup
  5. Old Spice | The Man Your Man Could Smell Like
  6. Yosemitebear Mountain Giant Double Rainbow 1-8-10
  7. OK Go – This Too Shall Pass – Rube Goldberg Machine version
  8. THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE – Trailer
  9. Jimmy Surprises Bieber Fan
  10. Ken Block’s Gymkhana THREE, Part 2; Ultimate Playground; l’Autodrome

Most popular video of 2011 for the Czech Republic – their president steals a pen

This video is hilarious. Watch him as he looks at the pen, puts it in one hand, transfer it to other, put it in his pocket, smile, then button up his jacket and give the peace sign to someone in the crowd.

From a report:

A video clip showing the Czech Republic’s president pocketing a ceremonial pen encrusted with semi-precious stones while his Chilean counterpart praises him during a Latin American visit.

“All I have to say is, it is not a pen but just a stylus,” Klaus himself said on Tuesday, adding that he takes things all the time.

He said he had a pen from a Nato summit in October and a notepad from the Latvian parliament. “It is what people do regularly. They keep notepads and pens from such events,” he said.

via The Guardian

Klaus the Klepto?

How to Fire a Bad Teacher

To fire a teacher you need documentation. This is a teaching phrase that refers to a specific process that explains why a teacher is bad.

To create your own documentation you need a notebook of paper or something similar (3-ring binder). Give it a title and all that, then record the first incident of bad teaching.

Include the date and a description of the incident, include all those involved. It doesn’t have to be more than a few sentences.

Continue recording these incidents over a few months, maybe even ask others to help you.

If this seems like a lot of work you can ask a principal or school administrator to do it for you. They should already have a file on every teacher and be able to follow the district policy for documentation.

You may run into some difficulty here if you sound more like a bad parent than a good one. Remember that principal and administrators time is overwhelmingly spent on problem students. These are often nasty situations involving divorce, social services, and, of course, bad grades, bad behavior, and detention.

You have to stand apart from that and saying something like “last year we never had a problem” doesn’t work. New skills are required in each grade level and, all too often, students struggle in a higher grade and parents blame teachers. As if fractions weren’t hard enough, students have parents who don’t help them with fractions and instead blame teachers.

Continue reading

New iPhone app: Stitcher Radio (finally a podcast subscription app!)

There is an awesome iPhone app I want to recommend to you called Stitcher Radio.

The key feature of this app is the ability to subscribe to podcasts. Avid listeners know that iTunes offers subscriptions and automatic downloads, but the iPhone doesn’t. For years we have had to individually look up our favorite shows, every day or week, and wondered when Apple would implement this feature.

Well, they haven’t and Stitcher is filling that gap.

The app works by having you create stations of your favorite shows. Search for the show you like, hit the star button to favorite, and then add it to your station. I started with one massive station but recently broke that down into specialized sections (sports, finance, culture).

Any new episode will be pulled in automatically, or you can manually do it by hitting the refresh button. A huge time saver for me because I really hate searching iTunes for the same shows over and over again.

There are only a few misses with this app. One is the auto-play feature which only plays in one direction. You cannot set repeat or keep playing this artist (great for listening to older episodes) because it only goes forward to the next artist. The other miss is the lack of an ability to listen in order of release date. If you want to find and listen to the newest shows in your station you will have to do that manually.

Regardless, this app is a great recommendation, I love it, and have listened to over 16 hours of podcasts on it!

Also, check out iTunes best of 2011 Podcasts.

The NPR Genome Project – customized public radio with the Infinite Player

In a way, radio is the perfect user interface. Turn it on, and It Just Works.

This week, NPR unveiled Infinite Player, a web app that mimics the simplicity of radio, but with a personalized twist. Press play to hear the latest NPR newscast, followed by a never-ending playlist of random feature stories. It doesn’t stop till you turn it off, just like the radio.

Optionally, click “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” while listening and a secret algorithm adapts to your preferences. If you like a science story, you’re likely to hear more science stories. (The developers won’t divulge the recipe.)

Yep, it’s like Pandora for public radio.

via Nieman Journalism Lab

Check out the Infinite Player and remember it only works in Safari and Chrome.

The Steve Jobs washing machine from Miele – innovator approved!

In the biography of Steve Jobs from Walter Isaacson, a few pages are dedicated to Steve’s habits at home. One of them was the desire to discuss and research every decision to make sure it was perfect.

This happened on everything ranging from baby names to the type of washing machine they use. When they did settle on a name or product, they loved it, and that is exactly what happened with their laundry appliances.

It turns out that the Americans make washers and dryers all wrong. The Europeans make them much better – but they take twice as long to do clothes!

It turns out that they wash them with about a quarter as much water and your clothes end up with a lot less detergent on them. Most important, they don’t trash your clothes. They use a lot less soap, a lot less water, but they come out much cleaner, much softer, and they last a lot longer.

The company that Steve found was called Miele, and is similar to Apple in many ways. They care more about quality and user experience than they do about price or convention. So it’s no wonder Steve said the following about his new washer and dryers, “I got more thrill out of them than I have out of any piece of high tech in years.”

I did some research and it appears that a Honeycomb design is the key component of these washers.

This intricate design on the inside of the washing machine allows for an “80% reduction in the number of water exit holes and the skillful development of a water channel network that provides a thin water layer that actually cushions your clothes while the drum rotates.”

An independent study found that clothes washed using this method can last up to four times longer.

The washing machines start at $1,300.

Comparison of a traditional washing machine drum (left) and the honeycomb drum (right) while a towel is being washed.