It’s Here! World Book Night 2014!

photo-40Today’s the Day! It’s World Book Night, 2014!

If you’ve been reading my blog for more than a year, you know that I’ve been excited about this, before. World Book Night happens every year on April 23, and I am delighted to be participating for the third year in a row. Love this!! It’s a day dedicated to celebrating the love of reading and spreading this love with books books and more books.

World Book Night is an awesome initiative of a magnitude that I personally find hard to grasp. I can’t imagine the coordination and effort it takes to distribute a half million books for the greatest give-away ever. (Not to mention all the ground work of the publishers, authors, truck drivers and facilities needed to work out all the logistics.)

As a Book Giver, the process couldn’t be easier. You apply online, and wait to be notified. The application process is quite brief and it is at this point that you get to choose the book (from their list) you would like to give. IF you are selected, you get an email with the good news. Then shortly thereafter you select the place where you would like to pick up your box of books (this might be a local bookstore or library).

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Then, within a specific window of about a week, you pick up your box. As you wait for World Book Night you can go to their website for links to print out posters, badges and bookmarks.

This is the third year that I have participated, and I couldn’t be more pleased and proud to be part of such a fantastic project. Just imagine… on this same day, books are being handed out all across the US and the UK, with more countries planning to join in the future. It’s a coordinated effort of humanity to share the love of reading. In this country alone, there are over 25,000 volunteers going out into 6,000 towns and cities.

Several blog readers signed up this year and were selected (yay!). I will certainly post an alert on this blog when it is time to sign up for World Book Night 2015. I hope that even more of you will choose to participate next year. It’s easy, it’s free, it’s simply an extraordinary project to be part of. What a super way to share your love of reading. :)

Trivia: Why April 23?

It’s Shakespeare’s birthday :) and will be the date for World Book Night every year.

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Earth Day at the Apple Store and How they Recycle your Old Computer and/or mobile phone

Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 6.44.40 AMIf you walk into an Apple Store today (EARTH DAY!!), you will see employees wearing green shirts for the day, and I have heard (although I haven’t seen it in person) that the leaf on the Apple logo on the front of the store will also be tinted green.

This visual-ness is part of their effort to increase awareness of their re-cycling program for old computers (Macs AND PCs) and mobile phones.

Their program pays you to recycle if your device still has value, or helps you get rid of it responsibly even if it doesn’t. You can learn all about this by clicking: Apple Recycling Program
(fyi… they take PCs as well as Macs)

More information about mobile phone recycling through Apple (all manufacturers) can be found, here.

And when looking to rid yourself of your unwanted devices (or ANYTHING else) …. please consider Freecycle. Your trash is often a treasure to someone else!

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Speaking of Chemistry: A New Science Podcast

Screen Shot 2014-04-20 at 12.06.23 PMI am a podcast listener. I subscribe to many (too many!!) but I enjoy them all. So far on this blog I have suggested a few, such as my all-time favorite, A Way with Words, the Moth, and a few others.

Today I am linking you to a new podcast that just launched last week.

Actually, the very first episode was posted on YouTube last month, but a production decision was made to try out episode number 2 as a podcast, instead.

Now this brings up an interesting question:

Video or Podcast?

Obviously there are pros and cons, and personal habits enter in as well…. Many folks prefer podcasts because they can listen as they work out, do chores, or commute to work. The YouTube version, however, provides the consumer with marvelous videos to complement the stories.

Would you prefer to receive such content as a video or a podcast?

Personally, I am more likely to listen to podcasts for the very reason that you can be doing other things at the same time. I am less likely to sit in front of the computer screen to watch something and dedicate my time to that, and that, alone. (However, full disclosure here, since my daughter-in-law (Carmen Drahl) is one of the co-hosts, I really do enjoy watching her host this episode! :) )

If you like science, I’m sure you will enjoy these programs. Speaking of Chemistry (the podcast) is now available through iTunes, free to subscribe. Learn about spider silk, e-cigarettes, and more.

And please ……… spread the word!!

Episode 1: Speaking of Chemistry

and now….

The NEW PODCAST:

Episode 2: Speaking of Chemistry: Latest podcast covers spider silk, e-cigarettes, and much more.
FREE in the iTunes store

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Amazon Settlement is ….. settled. Did you get $?

Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 7.46.54 AM“In December 2013, a federal court approved legal settlements by publishers Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and Penguin in antitrust lawsuits filed by State Attorneys General and Class Plaintiffs about the price of eBooks. Those settlements resulted in credits for qualifying Kindle books purchased between April 1, 2010 and May 21, 2012.”

All this legal maneuvering has been simmering for a while, and I was wondering how it was going to come out in the wash.

This morning I received an e-mail from Amazon informing me that I would be receiving a credit on my account for the e-books that I purchased in the latter half of 2010, 2011 and part of 2012.

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If you bought Kindle books during that time frame, and you received this email today … have no fear. It is legit. You didn’t have to do anything to be part of this settlement. It just happened for you. Enjoy!! :)

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I am one of the 4%

Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 7.50.56 PMEarlier this year Pew research released the results of several studies regarding the habits of the reading public.

As someone who reads “e-books only” I was curious to see how common (or not) this has become. According to the research, this puts me in a small group of just 4%. Most people who read e-books also read print books.

But me? I stand firmly in that 4%. My eyes prefer the adjustable fonts, the adjustable light, the ease of getting, saving and carrying books. I’ve always been a big reader, but the e-reader (Kindle) simply makes reading even better.

However, when it comes to e-reading in general, once you take away the “exclusive”, the numbers climb. 28% of adults have read an e-book in the past year, and this number continues to rise.

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Half of all the adults in America own either a tablet or an e-reader, and coupled with the stats below, this makes me wonder:
…. if 32% of people own an e-reader, but only 28% have read an e-book, can we assume that about 4% own e-readers that are just collecting dust? (not to be confused with the 4% of us who are e-readers-only!)

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The full article: E-Reading Rises as Device Ownership Jumps
Three in ten adults read an e-book last year; half own a tablet or e-reader

Where do you fit? E-reader only? E-reader + print books? or do you (gasp) have an e-reader just languishing at the bottom of a drawer?

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Dr. Seuss’s Birthday = App Sales All Week

Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 7.21.49 PMDr.Seuss inspires children to read every single day. I remember reading Dr. Seuss books to my own children and even though that was many (many many) years ago, I can still recite lots of Seuss-lines by heart. (One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish... Big A little A, what begins with A?   I could keep going. Once you start reciting the lyrical lines, it’s hard to stop!).

In honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday this coming week, the entire Dr. Seuss digital book app library (more than 60 apps) will be going on sale for up to 80% OFF. The sale will run from Friday, February 28th through Thursday, March 6th.

This is also the first year that each of the 44 classic Dr. Seuss books are available on the App Store as a digital book app. This means that your favorite book is now an app.

5 of the best selling titles will be 99 cents (regular prices $3.99-$4.99) -The Cat in the Hat Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 6.46.02 PM, Green Eggs and Ham , One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish , Dr. Seuss’s ABC ,  Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

(All other titles are $1 OFF, including classic Dr. Seuss & The Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library Collections- -Beginner Book Collection #1- $8.99 (regular price $14.99) -Beginner Book Collection #2- $8.99 (regular price $14.99) -Dr. Seuss Short Story Collection- $5.99 (regular price $9.99))

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In addition, Oceanhouse Media will launch a contest on both their Facebook page and Instagram on February 28th to give fans the chance to win a 10-pack of apps. They will also be dropping promo codes every hour on the hour (12pm-5pm PST) on Monday, February 3rd to celebrate Read Across America Day.

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Boy uses a 3-D printer to make a HAND for his friend

Screen Shot 2014-02-20 at 8.31.26 AMDid you read the title of this post? A boy uses a 3-D printer to make a HAND for his friend. Crazy, right?

I have to admit here that I’m feeling my age. I try to “keep up” as best as I can with new tech advances, but the 3D printer is something that I simply can’t seem to get my brain wrapped around. I’ve read of so many marvelous things that 3D printers can do, but I keep thinking of them in the future, but .. no no … 3D things are happening now.

Not only are they happening, but they are becoming common. And not as a novelty. To my constant surprise, 3D printers are already being used in schools and are even available in many libraries for public use.

And it appears as though the uses of the 3D printer are only limited by imagination.

Now get out your tissues to read this story:

9 year old Matthew was born without fingers. His Mom had looked into buying him a prosthetic hand, but prices ran as high as $18,000 and this was more than she could afford.

Enter family friend, Mason Wilde, a 16 year old boy with a passion for “figuring out how things work.”

Mason went to his local library, and used their 3D printer to make a working hand for Matthew!

Yes, really.

Read the whole story, here.

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New YouTube Series Starts Tuesday: YouTube Nation

Here’s something to think about:

Every MINUTE, approximately 100 hours of Videos are uploaded to YouTube.

gasp.

That’s a lot.

With so many videos, it’s quite a job to sort through and find those that would interest you. Now you won’t have to.

Dreamworks Animation and YouTube have teamed up to do the searching for you, and starting Tuesday, they will be producing a regular series with samples of the most interesting, most popular and must-see videos.

Called YouTube Nation, a new episode of this program/sampler will be posted each day at 9 PM Eastern Time.

Plans are to eventually make these samplers even more specific, resulting in several YouTube Nation programs such as YouTube Nation Sports and/or YouTube Nation News. The goal is to produce more than a dozen specialized guides.

You’ll find this new program at this address (remember, content changes each night at 9 pm Eastern time): http://www.youtube.com/youtubenation

With all this talk about YouTube, I can’t resist inserting a random interesting YouTube video.
Has anyone ever tried this?

What’s on YouTube? ‘YouTube Nation’ Lets You Know

Jeffrey Katzenberg talks up YouTube Nation

‘YouTube Nation’ To Give Users Daily Highlight Reel Of Curated Content

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Want a Kindle Fire? Now’s the time!

If you have been considering getting a Kindle Fire, you just might want to get serious right now.

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Today and tomorrow only (that’s January 10 and January 11), Amazon is offering $30 off of any of their Kindle Fire tablets. There are four models, so consider carefully. I personally own the cheapest one (the one that you can get today for $109) and I will say it is a fine product. It’s not an iPad (my favorite tablet), BUT … how can you beat the price? If you are looking to try a tablet, this is a great opportunity to jump in.

I’d love to experience that MAYDAY button that lives on the more expensive Fires.
(Note to self: Time to consider an upgrade????)

To purchase a Kindle Fire today or tomorrow with the $30 discount, you will need to add a promo code at checkout, so follow the instructions carefully. Just head on over to Amazon to learn more.

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Technology meets Books in a Unique Display: Book Hive

England’s Bristol Central Library is celebrating 400 years of service.
(wow … 400 years! That’s 1613-2013 :shock: Congratulations!)

And so, for the next few months, visitors to the library will be greeted with an amazing animatronic display of books.

It’s called “Book Hive” and it is interactive. There are motion sensors so that a person standing (and moving) in front of the display will cause the books to open and close …. beckoning to be read. (quite clever, I think)

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if you have trouble viewing the video here in this blog, you can click this link to see it directly from the artist’s website: Book Hive

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