A Blast From the Past: The Rocket Book

Drop by the Library of Congress and explore its Center for the Book site. Why? The site hosts quite a bit of exciting and free books that are sure to please readers of all ages. Need proof? If so, flip through The Rocket Book (1912) by Peter Sheaf Hersey Newell. Delightful verse and humorous images propel eager readers through a madcap story that as fresh now as it was when it first appeared 102 years ago.

Image from The Rocket Book by American artist and author, Peter Newell (1862-1924). A naughty boy playing in a basement finds and ignites a rocket that blasts upward in an apartment building. In this image, a family meal is explosively upset as the rocket races ever upward.

The Steiners on the floor above
Of breakfast were partaking;
Crash! came the rocket, unannounced,
And set them all a-quaking!
It smote a catsup bottle, fair,
And bang! the thing exploded!
And now these people all declare
That catsup flask was loaded.

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Same Old Same Old

Okay, campers, rise and shine, and don’t forget your booties ’cause it’s cooooold out there today!

Happy Groundhog Day!

It’s time to consult that super Sciuridae prognosticator, the world’s most famous groundhog, Mr. Punxsutawney Phil.


Don't drive angry!
Don’t drive angry!

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Not Dead Yet…

IE6 won’t die off. In fact, it’s pretty hard to kill. Like some retro-revenant it plods onward, mercilessly fouling the experiences of those who want to enjoy what the internet has to offer. Apparently, IE6 is going to be around for a while longer. According to Yahoo’s Christopher Null, even Microsoft can’t destroy it. That’s not surprising as Maggie Shiels over at BBC News reports that Microsoft will support IE6 until 2014. Oh, the horror!


If Your School Is Still Using IE6…

Please stop.


Why? For starters, it’s 2009. IE6 was released back in 2001. You’ve had 8 years. C’mon! Move forward. Besides, there are better browsers available–Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Konqueror, and even IE8. Take your pick and start using one. Secondly, using Internet Explorer 6 slows down everyone’s online experience because the outdated browser is not standards compliant. Yep. IE6 does not follow CSS and HTML specifications. Even Microsoft recommends that you leave it behind. Finally, your students, those young people you’re preparing for the life in the world beyond school, need 21st century tools for learning. IE6 is hopelessly outdated and will keep pupils from experiencing the best the internet has to offer.


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Milk It For All It’s Worth


As Mark Twain once remarked, Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” Even though it may seem as if I’ve passed away, I’ve just been consumed with a some personal, offline endeavors for a few days. As much as I’d to stay connected to the internet, even I occasionally drop off the web.

I’m back now.

By the way, the face on a milk carton is an example of a popular trope. A trope is a common pattern, theme, or motif used in storytelling. Television Tropes & Idioms is a site replete with many, many examples of such content.

All the News That’s Unfit to Print

Just in time for April 1st: There are no hoaxes here, just a funny little site that can provide teachers with an engaging way to present content. It’s called the Newspaper Clipping Generator. I like to think that there are teachers out there reading this blog who’ll use the Newspaper Clipping Generator to create some humorous and patently fake clippings about the content they’re going to be exploring/teaching in their classroom. Think of this as an educational spin on hoaxing that highlights the need for learners and educators to employ higher order thinking. If nothing else, it should spice up normally dull PowerPoint presentations. Here’s a fake newspaper clipping I made while playing around with it.