Monthly Archives: June 2015

“Music was better back then”: When do we stop keeping up with popular music?

Skynet & Ebert

After sixty years of research, it’s conventional wisdom: as people get older, they stop keeping up with popular music. Whether the demands of parenthood and careers mean devoting less time to pop culture, or just because they’ve succumbed to good old-fashioned taste freeze, music fans beyond a certain age seem to reach a point where their tastes have “matured”.

That’s why the organizers of the Super Bowl — with a median viewer age of 44 —  were smart to balance their Katy Perry-headlined halftime show with a showing by Missy Elliott.

Missy don't brag, she mostly boast Missy don’t brag, she mostly boast

Spotify listener data offers a sliced & diced view of each user’s streams. This lets us measure when this effect begins, how quickly the effect develops, and how it’s impacted by demographic factors.

For this study, I started with individual listening data from U.S. Spotify users and combined that…

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Komodo National Park – Here Be Dragons…

incidental naturalist

In 2007, a Komodo dragon killed an eight-year-old boy.  This was the first fatal attack on a human by one of the giant lizards in 33 years. “The Komodo bit him on his waist and tossed him viciously from side to side,” a national park spokesman, Heru Rudiharto, said.  “The boy died from massive bleeding half an hour later.”

This is the stuff of legends; huge reptiles capable of killing human beings, living on a remote Indonesian island. This may have been the first fatal attack for a while but it is just one of many attacks on people that have resulted in serious injury.

My childhood fascination with nature grew out of watching the behaviour of amphibians. Like many children, I learned about cycles of life by watching frog spawn become tadpoles and finally crawl out of the water on frogs’ legs. This interest naturally extended to the…

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An open response to Taylor Swift’s rant against Apple

Junction10 Photography

Dear Taylor Swift,

I have read your open letter to Apple where you give your reasons for refusing to allow your album ‘1989′ to be included on their forthcoming Apple Music streaming service.

(For reference:

I applaud it. It’s great to have someone with a huge following standing up for the rights of creative people and making a stand against the corporate behemoths who have so much power they can make or break someone’s career.

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Using Goodreads as a classroom checkout system

The Paperless Trail by EduAppsandMore

I was having a Twitter conversation with Eric Démoré (@EricDemore) about books for classroom libraries. Check out his blog as well, it has some quality stuff. ( After going back and forth for several minutes, the conversation turned to our blogs, and eventually, to the use of 

We discussed the strengths of Goodreads, such as being able to have a list of “to read” texts, a way to keep up with books you have read, and a place to find suggestions for one’s next great book. It is made even better by the fact that one can download the app to a mobile device, and add those books straight from the bookstore, using the UPC barcode scanner.

Eric then mentioned that he would like to find a way to make it work as a means of keeping up with student checkouts; a way to keep up with what…

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Wattpad, a way for everyone to get out there

The Paperless Trail by EduAppsandMore

For years, teachers have been telling students to get out there, write something. The problem for many was having an audience. When an author has an audience, they are much more inclined to write, and write well.

Teens, as many of us know, tend to be a different breed altogether. They are discovering who they are, or, more accurately, molding themselves into who they want to be. They write for school, and maybe even for friends. The problem is, when they write for teachers at school, they feel limited.

Yes, I know, many of us tell students they should feel free to write what they think, what they feel, etc. At the same time, many teens want to write things they are not so willing to just hand over to their teacher, more for fear of school imposed consequences. This is not to say that what they are writing is…

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Making Life Easier with Google Chrome Extensions

The Paperless Trail by EduAppsandMore

The internet is a virtual wonderland of resources. Today, it seems that there are websites and tools for just about anything, you just need to know where to find them.

Youtube is a great resource for the classroom. Everyone loves to use a clip to spur discussion, right? However, sometimes, the ads that come up before the clip can make for an uncomfortable situation in the classroom.  Certainly, there is a way to skip that thing and not have to wait 15 seconds for the students to see who knows what, right?

Let’s here it for Google Chrome extensions. If you don’t know what an extension is, it is a sort of add on to your Chrome web browser that helps it do certain tasks.

First, let’s begin with how to install extensions. Follow along as I quickly step you through the process.

STEP ONE: Click at the top right…

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under chronicles covers

All About Zombies-Read them All! At your request!

all about zombies

By popular demand, here are a few of the zombie books and series I’ve read and loved. Read on!

Keeping with my zombie phase

forest of hands and teeth

Reread this scary (like The Village) romance of zombies.  Loved it.