Category Archives: Lifestyle

What do you enjoy in your everyday life?

The Corporation

Not necessarily a tech related post, but for all of you who haven’t seen The Corporation yet – I assure you that it is a must. Please do yourself a favor and rent or netflix it! Just a little warning, you may not be able to drink standard store-bought milk afterwards, but see for yourself.

Talking about eye-openers, I was also surprised to see “Project Engergy” -a new series- on WCCO 4 news at 10PM. I believe the video feeds are available online as well. My collaborators from IPS will be featured on Thursday from what I hear.

WCCO 4 News is airing a groundbreaking broadcast series starting today, Monday, April 10 at 10:00 p.m.
WCCO anchor Don Shelby will explore how America’s limitless thirst for energy threatens our national security, our environment, and our children’s future in a five-part series called Project Energy. Shelby and his colleagues tackle the problems and the consequences of the country’s current energy crisis—and also present solutions.

Backpack Gets My Money


I’m an educator. I’m a pretty damn good potter, an avid doityerselfer, and a wannabe geek. But at the end of the day, I’m an educator. But, lately I’ve been struggling with my own levels of productivity.
I know I can get more done during my day at school and at home, but so many things get in the way.

So, when I came to the first GGM over at Patrick’s house and started perusing his journal, his efforts at coming to terms with his org-fu, as he calls it, struck a cord with me. The theme of de-cluttering rings true with me, as does the mantra of less, less, less.

I signed up for a free Backpack account and started using it as my website at school for parents and students to visit for assignment information, extra credit offers, additional information for curious students, etc. I thought I’d give it a try before ponying up the $5 per month that they ask for for a real account. And, happily, that’s lasted me for quite some time.
Here’s one of the uses I came up with: Spanish Immersion Backpack page

But, the ghosts of scattered brains still haunt me.

I emailed the nice people at in response to their offer of a free Basecamp account for educators. They hooked me up and I dived right in, trying to see if this were the tool for me. It’s more than I need. And it’s really geared toward project management and collaboration, which isn’t really waht I need. It’s myself I need to collaborate with most of all!

So now I know what BP can do for me and am familiar enough with it to say that I think it could help in other aspects of my life- Today I made the decision to really give Backpack a try and I upgraded my account. I think there’s money to be made in creating a webapp like Backpack for teachers…

I’ve created pages for different home projects, areas of my professional life including the two thinking-skills initatives I’m leading at school, a text formatting tips page for easy access, and a page dedicated to creating a business for my pottery.

I’m more curious now then ever to see how Patrick is organizing his pages, and I’m wondering if any of you geeks out there are also using Backpack. (If not, just mention my referral number when you sign up ;) )
I suggest we have a GGM centered around organizational tools we all use- tools that really help, rather than bog you down.

What is a Geek?

So I have this new tool called the Visual Thesaurus. I encourage you all to check it out. It reminds me of the Flickr Related Tag Browser we discussed at a previous Geek Gather. I think it has tons more potential than its current version.

But, I thought I’d look up just what exactly is a Geek according to them.


The result wasn’t altogether disheartening, though it lacks a certain something… I don’t think we’ll use it’s definition in our bylaws.

A cool function is the ability to save these definitions or email them directly. A good tool for teachers in particular.


Hey G’s (geeks) just wanted to mention a few things that have popped up lately:
First, Scottie’s Podcast [sorry I used the P word (media cast) whatever] is cool. Really well done with on-site tech and inspired me to pick up Isight and Ilife 06 (waiting for shipping). I’ll comment at Itunes later. I enjoyed the humor, I bet you could be more geeky for the other geeks but, it gave me confidence to try some stuff, so I really liked it. I really enjoyed the link window, I like to link and listen/watch/learn. But, if I am on another page and listening to the podcast I won’t know if you are showing a new link so perhaps you could add a standard (not bothersome) sound effect when you are showing a new link. [Hey G’s, what’s the legal rule with av clips?].
Second, I now have removed my stereo receiver/cd player and listen to all music through airport express, of course I am sacrificing CD quality for MP3 convenience, but, that’s not the problem. I have been watching increasingly more media casts in Itunes which means my music stops playing while I watch/listen. I like background music while I am messing around. Is there an easy solution to this? I love Itunes but, I think I’ve put all my eggs in the same basket. I don’t think ROKU soundbridge will solve this (will it?). I’ll probably need to use the kitchen emac for music but that’s kinda a pain. Any other ideas?

Bodyworlds (Körperwelten) to come to the Science Museum

jumping_man.jpg The most controversial exhibit of the year will definitely be the Bodyworlds exhibit. Bound to be in the St. Paul Science Museum for the summer, it will surely raise some eyebrows and stimulate conversation. I was fortunate enough to catch this amazing display of human anatomy in Mannheim, Germany. I would consider it to be a life changing experience. Tickets supposedly go on sale early February and if it is anything like Germany, get ready for some serious waiting in line. But who knows, maybe the Midwest thinks very differently about this. IMHO, you don’t have to be a geek to appreciate this one. See you at the Science Museum – anybody know a good babysitter? ;)