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100+ Video Sites Every Educator Should Bookmark

By: Alvina Lopez

Bringing multimedia into the classroom is a great way to engage students in learning. Supplementing lessons, opening up new interests, and offering inspiration, online videos make for an incredible teaching tool.

Educational Video Collections

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Specifically designed for education, these collections make it easy to find video learning resources.

  1. TeacherTube: This YouTube for teachers is an amazing resource for finding educationally-focused videos to share with your classroom. You can find videos uploaded by other teachers or share your own.
  2. Edutopia: An awesome place to find learning ideas and resources, Edutopia has videos, blogs, and more, all sorted into grade levels.
  3. YouTube EDU: A YouTube channel just for education, you can find primary and secondary education, university-level videos, and even lifelong learning.
  4. Classroom Clips: Classroom Clips offers media for educators and students alike, including video and audio in a browseable format.
  5. neoK12: Find science videos and more for school kids in K-12 on neoK12.
  6. OV Guide: Find education videos on this site, featuring author readings and instructional videos.
  7. CosmoLearning: This free educational website has videos in 36 different academic subjects.
  8. Google Educational Videos: Cool Cat Teacher offers this excellent tutorial for finding the best of Google’s educational videos.
  9. Brightstorm: On Brightstorm, students can find homework help in math and science, even test prep, too.
  10. Explore.org: Explore.org shares live animal cams, films, educational channels, and more for your classroom to explore.
  11. UWTV: Offered by the University of Washington in Seattle, UWTV has videos in the arts, K-12, social sciences, health, and more.
  12. Videolectures.net: With Videolectures.net, you’ll get access to browseable lectures designed for the exchange of ideas and knowledge, offering videos in architecture, business, technology, and many more categories.
  13. TED-Ed: From a site that’s long been known for big ideas, you’ll find TED-Ed, videos specifically designed to act as highly engaging and fun lessons.
  14. Zane Education: Zane Education offers resources for visual learning, including the very popular on demand subtitled videos.
  15. Backpack TV: In this educational video library, you’ll find a special interest in math, science, and other academic subjects.
  16. MentorMob: Featuring learning playlists, MentorMob is a great place to find lessons you want to teach.
  17. Disney Educational Productions: This resource from Disney is a great place to find videos for students at the K-12 level.

General Video Collections

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Network TV, inspiring talks, and more are all available in these collections. Check out special categories and searches to find videos that will work in your classroom.

  1. Hulu: A great place to find the latest TV shows, Hulu is also a source of educational videos. Documentaries, PBS, even Discovery videos are all available on the site.
  2. Internet Archive: Find so much more than videos in the Internet Archive. Images, live music, audio, texts, and yes, historical and educational videos are all available on Archive.org.
  3. TED: Share seemingly endless inspiration with your students through TED, a fountain of talks based on compelling ideas.
  4. MIT Video: Online education giant MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts has an incredible video collection, offering more than 10,000 videos for science, technology, and more.
  5. TVO: TVO is a really fun and useful online TV station, with great ways for kids, parents, and educators to learn about the world.
  6. Big Think: Much like TED, Big Think offers videos (and more) from some of the world’s top thinkers and learners.
  7. @Google Talks: On this YouTube channel, you’ll find talks from creators: authors, musicians, innovators, and speakers, all discussing their latest creations.
  8. Metacafe: Find free video clips from just about anywhere, offering educational videos, documentaries, and more.
  9. Link TV: On Link TV, you’ll find videos and broadcasts meant to connect you and your students to the greater world through documentaries and cultural programs.

Teacher Education

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Featuring higher-level learning, these video sites are great resources for finding education that’s fit for teachers.

  1. Academic Earth: Learn about science, justice, economics, and more from some of the world’s great universities. You can even earn a degree from this site!
  2. Teacher Training Videos: Specifically created to teach educators, Teacher Training Videos is a great place to find online tutorials for technology in education.
  3. Classroom 2.0: Check out Classroom 2.0′s videos to learn about Web 2.0, social media, and more.
  4. Atomic Learning: Visit Atomic Learning to find resources for K-12 professional development.
  5. iTunesU: Find university-level learning and more from iTunesU.
  6. Videos for Professional Development: An excellent collection of professional development videos, Wesley Fryer’s post shares some of the best teacher videos available.
  7. Learner.org: Annenberg Learner offers excellent teacher professional development and classroom resources for just about every curriculum available.
  8. MIT Open CourseWare: The leader in Open CourseWare, MIT has free lectures and videos in 2,100 courses.

Lesson Planning

lesson planning

Put together your lesson plans with the help of these useful video sites.

  1. Teachers’ Domain: Join the Teachers’ Domain, and you’ll get access to educational media from public broadcasting and its partners, featuring media from the arts, math, science, and more.
  2. Meet Me at the Corner: A great place for younger kids to visit, Meet Me At the Corner has educational videos, and kid-friendly episodes, including virtual field trips and video book reviews by kids, for kids.
  3. WatchKnowLearn: WatchKnowLearn is an incredible resource for finding educational videos in an organized repository. Sorted by age and category, it’s always easy to find what you’re looking for.
  4. BrainPOP: On this education site for kids, you’ll find animated educational videos, graphics, and more, plus a special section for BrainPOP educators.
  5. The KidsKnowIt Network: Education is fun and free on this children’s learning network full of free educational movies and video podcasts.
  6. Khan Academy: With more than 3,200 videos, Khan Academy is the place to learn almost anything. Whether you’re seeking physics, finance, or history, you’ll find a lesson on it through Khan Academy.
  7. Awesome Stories: Students can learn the stories of the world on this site, with videos explaining what it was like to break ranks within the Women’s Movement, the life of emperor penguins, and even Martin Luther King, Jr’s “We Shall Overcome” speech.
  8. Nobelprize: Cap off lessons about Nobel Prize winners with videos explaining their work and life, direct from the source on Nobelprize.org.
  9. JohnLocker: JohnLocker is full of educational videos and free documentaries, including Yogis of Tibet and Understanding the Universe.

Science, Math, and Technology

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You’ll find special attention for STEM subjects on these video sites.

  1. Green Energy TV: On Green Energy TV, you’ll find learning resources and videos for the green movement, including a video version of the children’s book Living Green: A Turtle’s Quest for a Cleaner Planet.
  2. BioInteractive: Find free videos and other resources for teaching “ahead of the textbook” from BioInteractive, part of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Maryland.
  3. ARKive: Share images and videos of the world’s most endangered species with your students, thanks to ARKive. These wildlife films and photos are from some of the world’s best filmmakers and photographers, sharing stunning images that everyone can appreciate.
  4. MathTV: Students who need extra help with math can find support on MathTV. This site offers videos explaining everything from basic mathematics all the way to trigonometry and calculus.
  5. The Vega Science Trust: A project of Florida State University, FL, The Vega Science Trust shares lectures, documentaries, interviews, and more for students to enjoy and learn from.
  6. The Science Network: Check out The Science Network, where you’ll find the world’s leading scientists explaining concepts including viruses and the birth of neurons.
  7. PopTech: Bringing together a global community of innovators, PopTech has videos explaining economics, water, and plant-based fuels.
  8. PsychCentral: Students can learn about what makes people tick through PsychCentral’s brain and behavior videos.
  9. How Stuff Works: The video channel from How Stuff Works offers an in-depth look at adventure, animals, food, science, and much more.
  10. Science Stage: Find science videos, tutorials, courses, and more streaming knowledge on Science Stage.
  11. Exploratorium TV: Allow students to explore science and beyond with Exploratorium TV’s videos, webcasts, podcasts, and slideshows.
  12. SciVee: SciVee makes science visible, allowing searchable video content on health, biology, and more.
  13. The Futures Channel: Visit the Futures Channel to find educational videos and activities for hands-on, real world math and science in the classroom.
  14. All Things Science: For just about any science video you can imagine, All Things Science has it, whether it’s about life after death or space elevators.
  15. ATETV: Check out Advanced Technological Education Television (ATETV) to find videos exploring careers in the field of technology.

History, Arts, and Social Sciences

typewriter

Explore history and more in these interesting video collections.

  1. The Kennedy Center: Find beautiful performances from The Kennedy Center’s Performance Archive.
  2. The Archaeology Channel: Students can explore human cultural heritage through streaming media on The Archaeology Channel.
  3. Web of Stories: On Web of Stories, people share their life stories, including Stan Lee, writer, Mike Bayon, WWII veteran, and Donald Knuth, computer scientist.
  4. Stephen Spielberg Film and Video Archive: In this archive, you’ll find films and videos relating to the Holocaust, including the Nuremberg Trials and Hitler speeches.
  5. Culture Catch: Students can tune into culture with Dusty Wright’s Culture Catch.
  6. Folkstreams: On Folkstream.net, a national preserve of documentary films about American roots cultures, you’ll find the best of American folklore films.
  7. Digital History: A project of the University of Houston, Digital History uses new technology, including video, to enhance teaching and research in history.
  8. History Matters: Another university project, this one is from George Mason University. Sharing primary documents, images, audio, and more, there’s plenty of historic multimedia to go around on this site.
  9. Social Studies Video Dictionary: Make definitions visual with this video dictionary for social studies.
  10. The Living Room Candidate: From the Museum of the Moving Image, The Living Room Candidate features presidential campaign commercials from 1952 to 2008.
  11. Video Active: Find Europe’s TV heritage through Video Active, a collection of TV programs and stills from European audiovisual archives.
  12. Media Education Foundation: The Media Education Foundation offers documentary films and other challenging media for teaching media literacy and media studies.

Video Tools

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Make it easy to find, share, and view videos with these tools.

  1. DropShots: On DropShots, you’ll find free, private, and secure storage and sharing for video and photos.
  2. Muvee: Using Muvee, you can create your own photo and video “muvees” to share privately with your class.
  3. Tonido: Tonido makes it possible to run your own personal cloud, accessing video files on your computer from anywhere, even your phone.
  4. Vidique: On Vidique, you’ll find a video syndication system where you can create your own channel of curated content for the classroom.
  5. SchoolTube: On SchoolTube, you’ll find video sharing for both students and teachers, highlighting the best videos from schools everywhere.

Network and Program Videos

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Check out these sites to find public broadcasting and other educational programs.

  1. PBS Video: Watch and share PBS videos online with this site.
  2. National Geographic: Find some of the world’s most amazing videos of natural life on National Geographic’s online video home.
  3. NOVA Teachers: NOVA shares highly organized videos for teachers, with 1-3 hour programs divided into chapters, plus short 5-15 minute segments from NOVA scienceNOW.
  4. Discovery Education: Use Discovery Education’s videos to inspire curiosity, bringing the Discovery channel into your classroom.
  5. C-SPAN Video Library: Find Congressional and other political programs and clips in this digital archive from C-SPAN.
  6. NBC Learn: Check out NBC Learn to find excellent resources for learning from NBC, including the science behind just about everything from the summer Olympics to hockey.
  7. History.com: Watch full episodes, clips, and videos from the History channel.
  8. Biography: Get the true story behind peoples’ lives from these videos from the Biography channel.
  9. BBC Learning: BBC offers an excellent learning site, including learning resources for schools, parents, and teachers. One of BBC’s most impressive resources is a live volcano conversation discussing the world’s most active volcano in Hawaii.

Free Movies and Clips

free movies

Documentaries and other educational movies and clips are available on these sites.

  1. Free Documentaries: On Free Documentaries, “the truth is free,” with a variety of documentary films available for streaming.
  2. SnagFilms: On SnagFilms, you can watch free movies and documentaries online, with more than 3,000 available right now.
  3. Top Documentary Films: Watch free documentaries online in this great collection of documentary movies.
  4. TV Documentaries: This Australian site has excellent documentaries about child growth, historic events, and even animations about classical Greek mythology.

How-Tos

how to

Satisfy students’ desire for knowledge and hands-on learning by sharing how-to videos from these sites.

  1. 5min: If you’ve got five minutes, you can learn how to do something on this site. Check it out to find instructional videos and DIY projects.
  2. Wonder How To: Learn everything about anything from Wonder How To’s show and tell videos.
  3. Instructables: This community of doers shares instructions (often, video) for doing just about anything, from making secret doors to tiny origami.
  4. Howcast: Find some of the best how-to videos online with Howcast.
  5. MindBites: Check out MindBites to find thousands of video lessons, how-tos, and tutorials.
  6. W3Schools: Through W3Schools’ web tutorials (video and otherwise), you can learn how to create your own websites.
  7. Videojug: Videojug encourages users to “get good at life” by watching more than 60,000 available how-to videos and guides.

Government and Organizations

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Offered as a service from government organizations and other groups, these are great places to find top-notch educational videos and often, historical treasures.

  1. US National Archives: Explore US history in this YouTube channel from the US National Archives.
  2. National Science Foundation: From the National Science Foundation, you’ll find a wealth of multimedia, including instructional and educational videos.
  3. NASA eClips: NASA offers a great way for students and educators to learn about space exploration, with clips divided by grade level.
  4. NASA TV: Tune in to NASA TV to watch launches, talks, even space station viewing.
  5. Library of Congress: Through the Library of Congress, you can find videos and other classroom materials for learning about American history.
  6. American Memory Collections: Search America’s collective memory to find videos and other multimedia from the American past, including film and sound recordings from the Edison Companies and 50 years of Coca-Cola TV ads.
  7. Canadian National Film Bureau: Check out the Canadian National Film bureau to find hundreds of documentaries and animated films available online.

SOURCE
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How to Ask a Stranger for a Favor

Written by Lynn Gaertner-Johnston, Syntax Training
business-English learn correspondence, how to write email
I regularly receive email from strangers who would like answers to their writing questions or help with their writing. Some of the messages, like this one, annoy me: 

Send me the tips for taking effective minutes at meetings. Thanks.
As you can see, that message includes no greeting, no introduction, no close, no name, and no identifying information. 

The following message is just the opposite: 

Read More…

9 Novel English neologisms

[nurd]

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The slang term nerd means an intelligent but single-minded person, obsessed with a certain hobby or pursuit, e.g. a computer nerd. But the word that has been the bane of so many elementary schoolers’ existence was actually invented by their king: none other than Dr. Seuss himself! The word first appeared in print in Seuss’ 1950 picture book, If I Ran the Zoo, though Seuss’ “nerd” is a small animal from the land of Ka-Troo, not a pale kid with glasses taped together.

Yahoo

[yah-hoo, yey-, yah-hoo]

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The origin of this word may add some unexpected irony to the well-known internet browser. Originally coined by Jonathan Swift in his 1726 novel Gulliver’s Travels, Yahoo refers to the brutish race of homo sapiens ruled by the Houyhnhnm, a noble race of speaking horses. Swift’s Yahoos display all of the vices of humanity with none of the virtues, thus it makes sense that the word has come to mean “a coarse or brutish person.” If you say “yahoo” loud enough you might be moved to experience our next neologism.

Chortle

[chawr-tl]

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Lewis Carroll coined this funny term for a gleeful chuckle in his 1872 novel, Through the Looking Glass, the sequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. In the novel, the word appears in a verse poem titled “The Jabberwocky,” in which Alice finds a book that can only be read using a mirror. The old man in the poem “chortles in his joy” when his son beheads the terrible monster. Today the word is widely thought to be a combination of “chuckle” and “snort.”

Quark

[kwawrk, kwahrk]

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A quark can be any group of elementary particles that combine to become a subatomic particle such a neutron or proton. In other words, quarks are some of the smallest building blocks of an atom. In 1964 the U.S. physicist Murray Gell-Mann named the particle after a word he found in James Joyce’s novel, Finnegan’s Wake. Joyce’s quotation reads, “Three quarks for Muster Mark,” with “quark” referring to the cry of the seagull.

Utopia

[yoo-toh-pee-uh]

utopia

Utopia is the title of Sir Thomas More’s whimsical and satirical book written in 1516. More envisions a perfect society situated on an island that he names Utopia. Developing the word from the Greek topos for “place,” More chose the prefix ou- or u- meaning “not” or “no.” Thus the name Utopia quite literally means no place at all. Even though More might have his reservations about the achievability of a perfect world, our next neologism might be the closest thing to a perfect sound.

Tintinnabulation

[tin-ti-nab-yuhley-shuhn]

learn English

The American poet and author Edgar Allen Poe coined this onomatopoetic word in his 1849 poem “The Bells.” The poem was published shortly after Poe’s death, and though the four sections of the piece become progressively darker as Poe describes four different types of bells, tintinnabulation characterizes the joyous sound of silver sleigh bells, foretelling “a world of merriment.” The word is derived from the Latin tinnire meaning “to ring” combined with the instrumental suffix “bulum.”

Grok

[grok]

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Do you feel like nobody groks you? Don’t worry, Robert A. Heinlein does. In his 1961 best-selling science fiction novel, Stranger in a Strange Land, Heinlein coined the term to mean an understanding so thorough that “the observer becomes a part of the observed–to merge, blend, intermarry, lose identity in group experience.” But in common usage the term means to communicate sympathetically or to “drink in” understanding. If you’re reading this slideshow off a screen, you’ll definitely grok our next neologism.

Cyberspace

[sahy-ber-speys]

syberspace

Though you might not want to build a house there, anyone with a computer has a stake in cyberspace. Coined by the science fiction writer William Gibson, cyberspace first appeared in a 1982 short story. The word combines the terms “cybernetics” (the use of mechanical and electronic systems to replace human function) and “space” (an area or realm). Together they form “cyberspace,” the realm of electronic communication or virtual reality. If you’ve ever thought “virtual reality” was a bit of an oxymoron, you might be familiar with our final neologism.

Catch-22

[kach-twen-tee-too]

catch 22

The deal sounds great, but what’s the catch?” Have you heard something like this? Then you’d better hope the catch isn’t a Catch-22. The phrase represents a frustrating situation in which one is trapped by contradictory regulations or conditions. Catch-22 is the title and central problem of Joseph Heller’s 1961 novel, and in Heller’s context the catch represents a simultaneously dangerous and idiotic military regulation that maddens the poor characters tangled in his Catch-22.
SOURCE

10 Ways to Improve Your SCRABBLE Game

#1: QI

Definition:

: the vital force that in Chinese thought is inherent in all things (plural: QIS)

About the Word:

Devoted SCRABBLE players use the dictionary as their arsenal. Every variation of a word – plural forms, alternate spellings – can be used to gain the edge in competition.

Although it’s most commonly spelled CHI in standard usage, the variant form QI is the single most-played word in SCRABBLE tournaments, according to game records of the North American SCRABBLE Players Association (NASPA).

#2: ZA

Definition:

: pizza (plural: ZAS)

About the Word:

ZA (often styled in print as ‘za) is a slang shortening of the word pizza. You may be surprised at the slang found on the tournament SCRABBLE board: BRO, HOMEY, and YO are all accepted words.

ZA is the most played word containing the letter Z (and the only playable two-letter word with the letter Z) in tournament SCRABBLE play.

Incidentally, .za is the country code for South Africa (Zuid-Afrika is Dutch for “South Africa”), but abbreviations and codes are not acceptable on the SCRABBLE board

#3: Phoney

About the Word:

You probably associate bluffing with poker, but it is just as much a part of serious SCRABBLE play. Tournament players will often make up words that look legitimate to the untrained eye – fake compounds like OUTMANAGE, or plausible misspellings like EJECTER.

The choice to play a phoney is a strategic one. (And note: the spelling of the SCRABBLE-specific noun is not the usual phony.) If your opponent doesn’t challenge you, your bluff can earn you points and strengthen your position. If you lose a challenge, you lose your turn.

“People win games by taking advantage of their opponents’ mistakes. Knowing the idiosyncrasies of our language is a huge advantage over those who do not,” says SCRABBLE champ Chris Cree.

#4: RETINAS

Definition:

: plural of RETINA, a membrane of the eye

About the Word:

Getting a rack with these seven letters can be viewed as a SCRABBLE bulls-eye. RETINAS has eight accepted anagramsANESTRI, ANTSIER, NASTIER, RATINES, RETAINS, RETSINA, STAINER, and STEARIN – which means nine different words can be played using those same seven letters.

The strategic player will evaluate which anagram scores the most, which might most likely be challenged, and which might best accomplish the player’s desired board strategy.

#5: XU

Definition:

: a monetary unit of Vietnam (plural: XU)

About the Word:

X is a very powerful tile: all five vowels work with the eight-point X to make two-letter words (AX, EX, XI, OX are the four other words). When the X tile is used in an overlapped two-letter play with the X on a triple letter score, the player will almost always score at least 52 points.

#6: ZLOTY

Definition:

: a monetary unit of Poland (plural: ZLOTYS)

About the Word:

Most foreign currencies, like the previously mentioned XU, plus COLON (plural: COLONES), FRANC, KORUN (plural: KORUNAS, KORUNY, or KORUN), PESETA, NAKFA) are acceptable words. ZLOTY is powerful both because it has the valuable ten-point Z and because it has the unusual -YS plural.

#7: Hook

About the Word:

The SCRABBLE sense of hook isn’t found in standard dictionaries, but it’s defined on the North American SCRABBLE Players Association as:

a letter that can be played at the front or the back of another word to form a new word; also : the word formed by such an action

SCRABBLE players don’t limit themselves to adding S to the end of a word. A single letter can make for surprising changes in the meaning or sound of a word. G can be hooked to the back of ASPIRIN to form ASPIRING and P can be hooked to the front of IRATE to form PIRATE.

Members of the NASPA Facebook community shared some of their favorite hooks:

  • F-UTILITY
  • FLAMING-O
  • I-SLANDER
  • S-WORDPLAY
  • DEADLINES-S

#8: GYOZA

Definition:

: a stuffed and fried pocket of dough (plural: GYOZAS)

About the Word:

Many culinary words from around the world are acceptable in SCRABBLE play. The Japanese GYOZA, with the ten-point Z, is particularly valuable.

Other useful terms include: SUSHI, PONZU, YAKITORI, SOJU, MOJITO, BURRITO, KNAIDEL, CAPRESE, and POUTINE.

#9: Bingo

About the Word:

A SCRABBLE play that uses all seven tiles is also known as a bingo. Tournament SCRABBLE players count on bingos in every game, because laying down a seven-tile word earns a “bingo” bonus of 50 points.

Players building up their SCRABBLE skills might memorize the six-letter bingo stems that can create the most bingos. For instance, the letters AEINST can be used to create 70 different bingos with 23 different seventh letters.

And count yourself extremely lucky if you start a game with MUZJIKS. This word (definition: Russian peasants) is the highest scoring opening word possible—128 points, when played without any blanks.

#10: AMIGO

Definition:

: a friend (plural: AMIGOS)

About the Word:

While it’s true that the category of “foreign words” is not acceptable in SCRABBLE tournament play, words of foreign origin that are widely used in English are.

In addition to AMIGO, the OSPD includes: AMIGA, AMI, AMIE, ADIOS, ADIEU (plurals: ADIEUS, ADIEUX), and SAYONARA.

Special thanks to Chris Cree and John Chew of North American SCRABBLE Players Association for their guidance and suggestions for this list.

SOURCE

7 Band Names Defined: Go Gaga for Nirvana

Gaga

[gah-gah]

Few of us have avoided getting one of Lady Gaga’s catchy pop songs stuck in our heads, but the origin of her name is harder to find. The artist gleaned the name from a Queen song, but the word gaga entered the English lexicon in the early 1900s as a term for “crazy” or “silly.” Though its origin is unknown, it may come from the French imitative gaga meaning “senile” or “foolish.” Today the word is most commonly used in the sense of deep infatuation, where going gaga for something is the same thing at “mooning over” it.

Nirvana

 [nir-vah-nuh, –vanuh, ner-]

This 1990s grunge rock band happens to be named for the least grungy of all Buddhist states of being. In Buddhism, nirvana is the ethereal plane of enlightenment, reached when a soul has gained enough wisdom to free itself from the cycle of reincarnation. The word comes from the Sanskrit nir meaning “out” and vati meaning “it blows.” Thus nirvana literally translates to “a blowing out,” as in a candle.


Styx

 [stiks]
This American prog-rock band sailed through the ’70s and ’80s with hits like “Mr. Roboto” and “Come Sail Away,” but if they were sailing on the mythical river Styx, they would have to be dead. In classical Greek mythology Styx is a river in the underworld over which the souls of the dead are ferried. The word is a cognate of the Greek stygos meaning “hatred” and stygnos meaning “gloomy.”

Eurythmics

 [yoorith-miks, yuh-]
The Eurythmics are a British pop/rock duo best known for their 1983 album Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This). But even the mellifluous voice of Annie Lennox isn’t as lulling as the art for which the band is named. Eurhythmics is the art of interpreting musical rhythms through one’s body. It was invented by Swiss composer Emile Jaques-Dalcroze to express the “symmetry and spirit” of music. Similarly, if something is eurhythmic, it is harmonious, or pleasing to the ear.

wikimedia.org

Muse

 [myooz]
In classical mythology the muses were goddesses with the power to inspire poets, artists, and apparently a loud English rock band of the early aughts. Most Greek and Roman epics begin with an “invocation to the muse,” e.g. “Sing oh muse of the rage of Achilles…” the first lines of Homer’s Iliad. From the Greek mousa, the word entered Middle English in the 1300s. Today to muse on a subject is “to meditate” or think on it deeply.

REM

 [rem]

REM stands for rapid eye movement, or “the rapidly shifting, continuous movements of the eyes beneath closed lids during the stage of sleep characterized by dreaming.” There are many theories about the function of REM sleep: Some scientists think memories are consolidated during the cycle; others say REM sleep is important to brain development, but surely both hypotheses can be applied to the rock band from Athens, Georgia.

Wilco

 [wil-koh]

This military slang term is a portmanteau abbreviation of will co(mply). The word emerged during World War II as a sign that a radio message just received (roger) will be complied with (wilco). It’s a nicely ironic name for the Chicago alternative rock band fronted by singer Jeff Tweedy who has done anything but comply.

15 Famous Books Inspired by Dreams

One does not have to persistently study the literary canon in order to discover compelling narratives and characters. Turning inward and paying close attention to dreams and nightmares makes for an excellent way for aspirant writers to pull themselves out of creative ruts or get started on a new literary piece. Even before Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung wrote their seminal works on dream and archetype interpretation, some of the most famous and influential people (not just authors, playwrights and poets!) sought inspiration in the dreaming world. The following famous books contain elements inspired either by specific subconscious visuals or the bizarre, convoluted way in which they meander through the mind and senses.

Image courtesy: http://img2.wikia.nocookie.net

The Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer

From Stephenie Meyer’s dreams of a sparkly vampire talking to a puny human woman came the media juggernaut about sparkly vampires and the puny human women who love them. She has yet to mention whether or not the series’ glorification of emotional abuse also came from her nocturnal adventures.

Image source: http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/

Much of H.P. Lovecraft’s Works

It probably comes as little shock to anyone even tangentially familiar with the work of horror master H.P. Lovecraft that the man pulled his inspiration from the vivid nightmares he suffered most nights. Any novel or short story featuring the Great Old Ones especially drew from the more twisted corners of his subconscious.

Image source: http://www.kelmscottbookshop.com

Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan

Though no definitive answers exist regarding whether or not John Bunyan launched the classic Pilgrim’s Progress because of his dreams, he certainly pulled plenty of inspiration from their structure. So while nobody knows for certain, the fact that he so diligently paid attention to how they operated in order to pen his unearthly prose still earns him a place on this list.

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The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

As with most of H.P. Lovecraft’s terrifying tales, this horror classic also sprang into existence because of its writer’s graphic nightmares. In this case, a “fine bogey tale” tormenting him as he slept grew into one of the most famous and genuinely scary English-language novels ever penned — most especially considering its all-too-human antagonist and protagonist.

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Misery by Stephen King

Another visceral, memorable novel revolving around humanity’s ugliest tendencies unsurprisingly popped straight from respected author Stephen King’s sleeping life. While dozing off on a flight to London, he found inspiration in a chilling nightmare about a crazed woman killing and mutilating a favorite writer and binding a book in his skin. The final product, of course, came out just a little bit different.

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Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Following the death of her and Percy Bysshe Shelley’s daughter at only 12 days old, the heartbroken Mary Wollstonecroft Godwin dreamt of the child coming back to life after massaging her near a fire. She wrote of it in the collaborative journal she kept with her poet lover (later husband), and most literary critics believe it later grew into one of the most iconic, influential horror novels of all time.

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Stuart Little by E.B. White

One of the most memorable and beloved characters from children’s literature sauntered into E.B. White’s subconscious in the 1920s, though he didn’t transition from notes to novel until over two decades later. From there, the tiny boy with the face and fur of a mouse became a classic that continues to delight both adults and kids even today.

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Much of Edgar Allan Poe’s Works

Though separating fact from fiction when it comes to Edgar Allan Poe’s internal life remains a difficult task, most literary critics believe his legendary, hallucinatory poems and short stories stemmed from troubled nightmares. Considering how frequently dreams and dreamlike imagery and structure crop up in his oeuvre, it’s a more than safe assumption.

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Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Part of the eponymous character’s personal arc stems from her highly detailed dreams, both asleep and diurnal slips in and out of consciousness. Though she may not have necessarily pulled inspiration from her own personal dreams, Charlotte Bronte wielded the common literary device of prophetic, subconscious visions, carefully aping their real-life hallucinatory, stream-of-consciousness structure.

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Fantasia of the Unconscious by D.H. Lawrence

Really, most of D.H. Lawrence’s more lilting, dreamlike works such as Women in Love could qualify for inclusion here. However, Fantasia of the Unconscious so perfectly maps out such experiences and explains their importance and inspiration in such great detail it edges out any other competing works.

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Book of Dreams by Jack Kerouac

Everything readers need to know about this novel comes straight from the title. Beat poster boy Jack Kerouac kept and published a book comprised entirely of his dreams, spanning from 1952 to 1960 and starring characters from many of his other works.

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Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach

Considering the heavy spiritual and philosophical core of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, it probably comes as little surprise that it initially sprung from Richard Bach’s daydreams of a drifting seabird. Interestingly enough, he could only finish the original draft following another series of subconscious visions!

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The Apprenticeship of Big Toe P by Reiko Matsuura

Though available in English and enjoying cult rather than mainstream attention, the novel of a woman who wakes up with a penis for a toe became a bestseller in its native Japan. Her incredibly original premise, meant to explore gender identity and relations, came to her through a most unusual dream she eventually adapted into a favored work of fiction.

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Twelve Stories and a Dream by H.G. Wells

“A Dream of Armageddon,” specifically, though some claim that many of H.G. Wells’ other classic science-fiction works likely sprouted partially from his dream life. As the title describes, this harrowing work speculates on the dangerous directions in which mankind’s technology could ultimately lead it.

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“Kubla Khan” from Christabel by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

One of the most famous examples of dream-inspired literature, the famous poem — printed in the book Christabel – wafted into Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s brain from a combination of sleep and opium. One of his most beloved works, he described it as a “fragment” rather than a whole, though most critics these days analyze it as the latter.

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113 words for different things one could eat

These words generally end in “phagous“, from the Greek phagein, or “vorous“, from Latin vorare, both verbs meaning “to eat“. Which suffix you want to use depends on whether you feel like having souvlaki or spaghetti.

Word

Definition

allotriophagy craving for strange foods
androphagy cannibalism
anthropophaginian cannibal
anthropophagous (again) eating humans
aphagia inability to eat or swallow
apivorous eating bees
arachnivorous feeding on spiders
autocoprophagy eating one’s own feces
autophagy feeding on body’s own tissues
baccivorous eating berries
batrachivorous frog-eating
bibliophagist one who devours books, literally or figuratively
calcivorous feeding on or living in limestone
cardophagus donkey; something that eats thistles
carnivorous eating flesh
carpophagous fruit-eating
cepivorous onion-eating
chthonophagia eating dirt
comburivorous consuming by fire
coprophagous eating feces
creatophagous carnivorous; flesh-eating
creophagous flesh-eating; carnivorous
detritivore animal that eats decomposing organic matter
dysphagia pathological difficulty in swallowing
endophagy cannibalism within a tribe; eating away from within
entomophagous eating insects
equivorous consuming horseflesh
exophagy cannibalism outside one’s own group
foliophagous eating leaves; eating folios of books
formivorous eating ants
fructivorous feeding on fruit
frugivorous eating fruit
fucivorous eating seaweed
galactophagist milk drinker
gamophagia destruction of one gamete by another
geophagy practice of feeding on soil; dirt-eating
glossophagine eating using the tongue
graminivorous feeding on grass or cereals
granivorous feeding on seeds
gumnivorous feeding on tree saps
herbivorous eating only plant matter
hippophagy feeding on horses
homnivorous eating humans
hylophagous eating wood
hyperphagia eating too much
ichthyophagous fish-eating
insectivorous eating insects
kreatophagia eating of raw meat
larvivorous feeding on larvae
lignivorous feeding on wood
limivorous eating mud
lithophagous stone-swallowing; rock-boring; eating rock
lotophagous feeding on lotuses; indolent; lazy; dreamy
mallophagous eating wool or fleece
meconophagist consumer of opium or heroin
meliphagous feeding upon honey
mellivorous honey-eating
merdivorous dung-eating
microphagous feeding on small creatures or plants
monophagous feeding on only one type of food
mucivorous feeding on plant juices
mycophagous eating fungus
myristicivorous feeding upon nutmegs
myrmecophagous feeding on ants
necrophagous feeding on the dead
nectarivorous feeding on nectar
nucivorous nut-eating
omnivorous eating anything; eating both plant and animal matter
omophagy eating of raw flesh as a ritual observance
onychophagist nail-biter
ophiophagous eating snakes
oryzivorous rice-eating
ossivorous feeding on bones
ostreophagous oyster-eating
ovivorous eating eggs
ovivorous eating sheep
paedophage eater of children
pagophagia eating trays of ice to help offset iron deficiency
panivorous bread-eating
pantophagy omnivorousness
phthirophagous lice-eating
phyllophagous leaf-eating
phytivorous feeding on plants
phytophagous feeding on vegetable matter
piscivorous fish-eating
placentophagy eating of the placenta
plantivorous plant-eating
plasmophagous consuming plasma
poephagous eating grass or herbs; herbivorous
poltophagy prolonged chewing of food
polyphagous eating many types of food
psomophagy swallowing food without thorough chewing
radicivorous eating roots
ranivorous eating frogs
rhizophagous root-eating
rhypophagy eating filth
sanguivorous blood-drinking
saprophagous feeding on decaying material
sarcophagous feeding on flesh; carnivorous
saurophagous eating lizards
scatophagous dung-eating
seminivorous seed-eating
stercovorous feeding on dung or excrement
thalerophagous feeding on fresh vegetable matter
theophagy sacramental consumption of a god
toxicophagous eating poison
toxiphagous poison-eating
univorous living on only one host or source of food
vegetivorous eating vegetables
vermivorous eating worms
xerophagy eating of dry food; fast of dry food in the week preceding Easter
xylophagous wood-eating
zoophagy eating animals
SOURCE
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C’mon, Get Happy: 7 Happy Expressions Defined


Happy as a clam

happy-as-a-clamCute as they are, clams are not the most emotive creatures in the animal kingdom, so why do we say happy as a clam? Some have speculated it’s because a partially opened clam shell resembles a smile. But the expression is a shortening of the longer happy as a clam in mud at high tide or happy as a clam at high water, both of which were in usage by the mid-1800s and serve to mean “happy as a critter that’s safe from being dug up and eaten.” The longer expressions evoke a sense of relief more than the shorter happy as a clam, which is widely used to mean “extremely happy.”

Happy hour

happy-hourPeople were using the word happy to mean “intoxicated” as early as the mid-1600s, alluding to the merrymaking effect of alcohol. But the phrase happy hour didn’t catch on until the early 1900s. This expression originally referred to a time on board a ship allotted for recreation and entertainment for a ship’s crew. Nowadays the expression refers to cocktail hour at a bar, when drinks are served at reduced prices. This definition caught on around the era depicted in the well-lubricated offices of TV’s Mad Men.

Slaphappy

 

slaphappyAround the time of World War II, the word happy began appearing in words to convey temporary overexcitement. Slaphappy is one of these constructions, suggesting a dazed or “happy” state from repeated blows or slaps, literal or figurative. Slaphappy can mean “severely befuddled” or “agreeably giddy or foolish” or “cheerfully irresponsible.”

Trigger-happy

 

trigger-happyMuch like slaphappy, the happy in trigger-happy indicates a kind of temporary mental overstimulation. But in this construction, happy means “behaving in an irresponsible or obsessive manner.” The term trigger-happy entered English in the 1940s with the definition “ready to fire a gun at the least provocation.” Over time, it has taken on figurative senses including “eager to point out the mistakes or shortcomings of others” and “heedless and foolhardy in matters of great importance.”

Happy-go-lucky

 

happy-go-luckyThe word happy comes from the Old Norse happ meaning “chance” or “luck.” The wildcard nature of chance is reflected in the wide range of words that share this root. While the adjective happy-go-lucky, meaning “trusting cheerfully to luck” or “happily unconcerned or worried,” is widely used in positive contexts, its etymological cousin haphazard, carries a more negative connotation. The expression happy-be-lucky entered English slightly earlier than happy-go-lucky, but fell out of use in the mid-1800s.

Happy medium

happy-mediumThe phrase happy medium refers to a satisfactory compromise between two opposed things, or a course of action that is between two extremes. The notion of the happy medium is descended from an ancient mathematical concept called the golden section, or golden mean, in which the ratios of the different parts of a divided line are the same. This term dates from the 1600s, though is still widely used today.

Happy camper

happy-camperA happy camper is a person who is cheerful and satisfied, although the expression is frequently used in negative constructions, as in “I’m not a happy camper.” The word camper was widely used to refer to a soldier or military man when it entered English in the 1600s. It took on a more generic sense of one who camps recreationally in the mid-1800s, paving the way for the expression happy camper to emerge in the 1930s. Interestingly, use of the phrase happy camper skyrocketed in the 1980s.

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Why is Y Sometimes a Vowel?

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Written by Arika Okrent

A, E, I, O, U, and sometimes Y.

  • You might have learned it as a chant, a song, or a simple declaration, but this is how you learned the vowels of English.
  • You may have wondered, why is Y so unsure of itself?
  • Can’t we just decide what it is?
  • Why is Y a “sometimes” vowel?

Because writing is not the same thing as speech. While we casually refer to letters, which are written symbols, as vowels or consonants, the concepts of vowel and consonant properly belong to the domain of speech. In general terms, a consonant is a speech sound formed by some kind of constriction or impeding of air flow through the vocal tract, and a vowel lets the air flow freely through. The letter Y can stand for either of these types of sounds.

In “yes,” Y is representing a consonant, and in “gym” it is representing a vowel.

In fact, due to the imperfect match between writing and speech, there are other “sometimes” vowels:

  • W is a consonant in “we” and part of a diphthong vowel in “now.
  • H is a consonant in “hat” but what is it in “ah“? It’s part of the representation of a different vowel sound; compare it with “a.” If we look hard enough, we can even find examples of “sometimes” consonants.
  • What sound does the O represent in “one“?
  • What sound does the U represent in “united“? They are consonant+vowel combinations ‘wuh’ and ‘yu.’

A, E, I, O, U and sometimes Y is not a bad rule of thumb.

Most of the time a spoken vowel will be represented by one of those written forms. And Y swings between vowel and consonant more than other swing letters. But it’s worth remembering that letters are not speech sounds. They are lines on a page, pixels on a screen that nudge us, quite imperfectly, toward the sounds of the things we say.

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Sincerely yours: Origins and Uses of 8 Common Sign-Offs

Regards,

regardsThe word regard comes to us from the Old French regarder meaning “to look at.” This definition is still evident in its senses today, which range from “to look upon or think of with a particular feeling” to “respect, esteem, or deference.” When used as a valediction, regards is intended to indicate sentiments of esteem or affection, and often follows kind, warm, or best. Some consider variations such as warm regards ideal for conveying a balanced tone of friendly professionalism.

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