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Behold Octavia Butler’s Motivational Notes to Self

Handwritten notes on the inside cover of one of Octavia E. Butler’s commonplace books, 1988 I was attracted to science fiction because it was so wide open. I was able to do anything and there were no walls to hem you in and there was no human condition that you were stopped from examining. —Octavia E. Butler Like many authors, the late Octavia E. Butler took up writing at a young age. At 11, she was churning out tales about horses and romance. At 12, she saw Devil Girl from Mars, and figured (c...
Tags: Google, Books, Writing, College, K-12, New York Times, Literature, Mars, Pluto, Harlan Ellison, Facebook Twitter, Butler, MacArthur, Octavia Butler, Austin Kleon Related Content, Clarion Science Fiction Writing Workshop


Explore 1,100 Works of Art by Georgia O’Keeffe: They’re Now Digitized and Free to View Online

Lake George Reflection (circa 1921) via Wikimedia Commons What comes to mind when you think of Georgia O’Keeffe? Bleached skulls in the desert? Aerial views of clouds, almost cartoonish in their puffiness? Voluptuous flowers (freighted with an erotic charge the artist may not have intended)? Probably not Polaroid prints of a dark haired pet chow sprawled on flagstones… Or watercolor sketches of demurely pretty ladies... Or a massive cast iron abstraction… If your knowledge of America’s most cel...
Tags: Google, Art, College, America, Georgia, K-12, Polaroid, Gene Hackman, Facebook Twitter, Dole, Alfred Stieglitz, O'Keeffe, Georgia O'Keeffe, Juan Hamilton, Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, Hawaiian Pineapple Company


Construct Your Own Bayeux Tapestry with This Free Online App

A wise woman once quoth that one man’s adult coloring book is another’s Medieval Tapestry Edit. If taking crayons to empty outlines of mandalas, floral patterns, and forest and ocean scenes has failed to calm your mind, the Historic Tale Construction Kit may cure what ails you. Programmers Leonard Allain-Launay and Mathieu Thoretton and software engineer Maria Cosmina Etegan created the online kit as a tribute to a late, great, early 21st-century application designed by Academy of Media Arts Co...
Tags: Google, Art, Design, College, History, K-12, David Bowie, Hastings, Facebook Twitter, Bayeux Tapestry, Bayeux, Hildegard von Blingin, Leonard Allain Launay, Mathieu Thoretton, Maria Cosmina Etegan, Academy of Media Arts Cologne


Studio Ghibli Producer Toshio Suzuki Teaches You How to Draw Totoro in Two Minutes

This is something you can do at home. Everyone, please draw pictures —Toshio Suzuki There’s no shortage of online tutorials for fans who want to draw Totoro, the  enigmatic title character of Studio Ghibli’s 1988 animated feature, My Neighbor Totoro: There’s a two-minute, non-narrated, God's-Eye-view with shading... A detailed geometry-based step-by-step… A ten-minute version for kids that utilizes a drinking glass and a bottle cap to get the proportions right prior to penciling, inking,...
Tags: Google, Art, Film, College, Animation, K-12, Hayao Miyazaki, Facebook Twitter, Totoro, Toshio Suzuki, Totoro Kiki, Ayun Halliday, Studio Ghibli Museum Build Your Own Miniature Sets


A Virtual Tour Inside the Hayao Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli Museum

Let us pray that organization expert Marie Kondo never comes within spitting distance of A Boy’s Room, part of the Studio Ghibli museum’s Where a Film is Born installation. It’s not likely that every single item in the massive (and no doubt well dusted) collection of books, postcards, hand tools, pictures, figurines, and other assorted tchotchkes pictured above sparks joy, but the suggestion is that any one of them might prove the gateway to a fantastical tale, such as those spun by the ...
Tags: Google, Japan, Film, Youtube, College, Animation, Museums, K-12, Tokyo, Miyazaki, Hayao Miyazaki, Facebook Twitter, Kiki, Marie Kondo, Totoro, Mitaka


Watch Free Plays from Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre: Romeo & Juliet, Macbeth & More

As depressing articles about the upcoming Summer of COVID-19 begin to proliferate, our hopes for beach days, concert series, and summer camp begin to dim. Here in New York City, the Public Theater’s announcement that it is cancelling the upcoming season of its famed Shakespeare in the Park was met with understandable sadness. You don’t have to like Shakespeare to enjoy the ritual of entering Central Park shortly after dawn, prepared to sit online for several hours awaiting noon’s free ti...
Tags: Google, UK, London, College, Life, New York City, Theatre, Park, K-12, Literature, Shakespeare, Globe, Romeo, Central Park, Public Theater, Facebook Twitter


Dyson Creates 44 Free Engineering & Science Challenges for Kids Quarantined During COVID-19

A heads up: Dyson has "created 44 engineering and science activities for children to try out while at home during the coronavirus pandemic, from making a balloon-powered car to building a bridge from spaghetti," writes the Dezeen website. They go on to add: "Comprised of 22 science tasks and 22 engineering activities, the Challenge Cards can be completed by children using common household items such as eggs, string and balloons." You can also find a related playlist of videos on YouTube,...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Science, College, K-12, Finland, Dyson, Facebook Twitter, Languages Online, Stanford Online High School


Free Online Drawing Lessons for Kids, Led by Favorite Artists & Illustrators

When I became the Kennedy Center Education Artist-in-Residence, I didn’t realize the most impactful word in that title would be "Residence." —illustrator Mo Willems Even as schools regroup and online instruction gathers steam, the scramble continues to keep cooped-up kids engaged and happy. These COVID-19-prompted online drawing lessons and activities might not hold much appeal for the single-minded sports nut or the junior Feynman who scoffs at the transformative properties of art, but ...
Tags: Google, Art, Facebook, Books, Youtube, College, Life, Berlin, Creativity, K-12, Kennedy Center, Feynman, Facebook Twitter, Lynda Barry, New York City 's Central Park, Jarrett J Krosoczka


Audible Providing Free Audio Books to Kids & Teens: Introducing the New Service, Audible Stories

A heads up to all parents, Audible has announced that they're providing free stories for kids during this period of social distancing, which inevitably means widespread school closures. They write: For as long as schools are closed, we're open. Starting today, kids everywhere can instantly stream an incredible collection of stories, including titles across six different languages, that will help them continue dreaming, learning, and just being kids. All stories are free to stream on your deskto...
Tags: Google, Facebook, College, K-12, Winnie, Facebook Twitter, Beatrix Potter, Audio Books


6 Minute Reprieve From the World’s Troubles, Courtesy of Tilda Swinton, Countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo, and Five Springer Spaniels

This video of Tilda Swinton’s Springer Spaniels cavorting in pastoral Scotland to a Handel aria performed by countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo won’t cure what ails you, but it is definitely good medicine. Swinton and her partner, artist Sandro Kopp, filmed the beautiful beasts in such a way as to highlight their doggy exuberance, whether moving as a pack or taking a solo turn. The title of the aria, "Rompo i Lacci," from the second act of Flavio, translates to “I break the laces,” and t...
Tags: Google, Music, College, Scotland, Life, Nature, K-12, Philadelphia, Opera, Tilda Swinton, Rumi, Facebook Twitter, Costanzo, Swinton, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Sandro Kopp


The Summerhill School, the Radical Educational Experiment That Let Students Learn What, When, and How They Want (1966)

Among the political and social revolutions of the 1960s, the movement to democratize education is of central historical importance. Parents and politicians were entrenched in battles over integrating local schools years after 1954’s Brown v. Board of Education. Sit-ins and protests on college campuses made similar student unrest today seem mild by comparison. Meanwhile, quieter, though no less radical, educational movements proliferated in communes, homeschools, and communities that coul...
Tags: Google, England, Education, College, Canada, K-12, Noam Chomsky, Soviet Union, Brown, Neill, Facebook Twitter, Josh Jones, Erich Fromm, Rudolf Steiner, John Locke, Maria Montessori


Cooking with Wool: Watch Mouthwatering Tiny Woolen Food Animations

Our fascination with tiny food can be traced to the mouthwatering illustrations in Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Two Bad Mice. Just like the dollhouse-sized comestibles that so confounded the titular rodents, Tom Thumb and Huncamunca, animator Andrea Love’s miniature pasta with red sauce is as inedible as it is appetizing. The self-taught stop motion specialist’s medium of choice is wool. In an interview with Dragon Frame stop motion software’s company blog, when they feat...
Tags: Google, New York, NYC, College, Food & Drink, Animation, K-12, Picasso, Facebook Twitter, Beatrix Potter, Andrea Love, Hampshire College, Tom Thumb, Port Townsend Washington, Crochet Artists Stitch, Watch Mouthwatering Tiny Woolen Food Animations


The New York Public Library Announces the Top 10 Checked-Out Books of All Time

Public libraries are unsung heroes of their communities. Many a busy working adult can take their importance for granted. But parents of young children know—the library is a quiet haven, place of wonder and discovery, and free resource for all sorts of educational experiences. Given the importance of libraries in kids’ lives, it’s no wonder that six of the top ten most-checked-out books—according to the New York Public Library—are children’s books. The NYPL calculated the most checked out books...
Tags: Google, Books, College, Ray Bradbury, George Orwell, K-12, Nypl, Libraries, Harry Potter, Harper Lee, Npr, Library Of Congress, New York Public Library, Kafka, Alice, Charlotte


The First & Last Time Mister Rogers Sang “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” (1968-2001)

Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, the iconic television series that ran from 1968 to 2001, is a major childhood touchstone for so many. Raise your hand if you have a Pavlovian response to the familiar opening segment, in which Fred Rogers opens the front door to his humble living room set, heads to the closet, singing, to exchange his jacket for a comfy cardigan sweater, and then sits on a wooden deacon’s bench to swap out his street shoes for a pair of canvas sneakers. As per the show's website...
Tags: Google, Television, College, Life, David, K-12, New York Times, Rogers, Public Domain, Facebook Twitter, Fred Rogers, Newell, McFeely, Francois Clemmons, Joanne Rogers, Rogers Sang


“Mr. Tambourine Man” & Other Bob Dylan Classics, Sung Beautifully by Kids

New Zealander David Antony Clark grew up with the music of Bob Dylan, and, like many his age, felt sad that the youngun’s had no idea who that was. Instead of moaning, he decided to produce Kids Sing Bob Dylan, an 11-track CD of covers sung by the Starbugs, Clark’s children’s group. Before you flinch, check the YouTube clip above. These kids can actually sing, right? The harmonies are there...I mean possibly cleaned up a bit with technology, I can’t say for sure. Here’s “Fore...
Tags: Google, Music, College, China, Bob Dylan, K-12, New Zealand, Melbourne, Facebook Twitter, Puccini, Dylan, Jessie, KCRW, Ben Anderson, Wellington NZ, Ted Mills


The Magic of Chess: Kids Share Their Uninhibited, Philosophical Insights about the Benefits of Chess

From the US Chess Federation and director Jenny Schweitzer comes the short documentary, The Magic of Chess. "Filmed at the 2019 Elementary Chess Championships at the Nashville Opryland resort, a group of children share their uninhibited, philosophical insights about the benefits of chess." Jenny Schweitzer added: “For me, as a mother of a child who simply loves the game, it was my intention to focus not on the competitive aspects of the chess world, but rather what a deep commitment to ches...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Games, College, New York City, K-12, Vladimir Nabokov, Facebook Twitter, Leningrad, Garry Kasparov, Marcel Duchamp, John Cage Marcel Duchamp, US Chess Federation, Jenny Schweitzer, Nashville Opryland


Itzhak Perlman Appears on Sesame Street and Poignantly Shows Kids How to Play the Violin and Push Through Life’s Limits (1981)

I always champion anything that will improve the lives of people with disabilities and put it on the front burner. - Itzhak Perlman At its best, the Internet expands our horizons, introducing us to new interests and perspectives, forging connections and creating empathy. The educational children's series Sesame Street was doing all that decades earlier. Witness this brief clip from 1981, starring violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman and a six-year-old student from the Manhattan School of Music...
Tags: Health, Google, Music, Television, Education, Obama, College, Life, White House, K-12, Beethoven, Wall Street Journal, Facebook Twitter, Bach, Perlman, Itzhak Perlman


Download Beautiful Free Posters Celebrating the Achievements of Living Female STEM Leaders

Remember the posters that decorated your childhood or teenaged bedroom? Of course you do. Whether aspirational or inspirational, these images are amazingly potent. I’m a bit embarrassed to admit what hung over my bed, especially in light of a certain CGI adaptation… No such worries with a set of eight free downloadable posters honoring eight female trailblazers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math. These should prove evergreen. Commissioned by Nevertheless, a podcast tha...
Tags: Google, Gender, Science, Technology, Podcasts, Education, College, Physics, K-12, Marie Curie, Maria, Facebook Twitter, Rosalind Franklin, Ayun Halliday, Juliana Rotich, Cynthia Breazeal


Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Novel Adaptation

The human imagination can be an extraordinary coping device in times of trouble, a tiny window providing mental escape from whatever cell fate has consigned us to. Diarist and aspiring professional writer Anne Frank, who died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp at the age of 15, chafed at her now-universally-known confinement in the Secret Annex. She chafed at her mother’s authority and the seemingly effortless saintliness of her older sister. Documenting her daily physical and emoti...
Tags: Google, Books, College, Post Office, History, K-12, Literature, Hitler, Peter Pan, Young, Edvard Munch, Sarajevo, Public Domain, Anne Frank, Anne, Facebook Twitter


The Best of the Edward Gorey Envelope Art Contest

What a delight it must have been to have been one of Edward Gorey’s correspondents, or even a postal worker charged with handling his outgoing mail. The late author and illustrator had a penchant for embellishing envelopes with the hairy beasts, poker-faced children, and cats who are the mainstays of his darkly humorous aesthetic. (A number of these envelopes and some 60 postcards and sketches are included in Floating Worlds: The Letters of Edward Gorey and Peter F. Neumeyer, which documents th...
Tags: College, Creativity, K-12, Comics/Cartoons


Treasures in the Trash: A Secret Museum Inside a Working New York City Department of Sanitation Garage

Like many New Yorkers, retired sanitation worker Nelson Molina has a keen interest in his fellow citizens' discards. But whereas others risk bedbugs for the occasional curbside score or dumpster dive as an enviro-political act, Molina’s interest is couched in the curatorial. The bulk of his collection was amassed between 1981 and 2015, while he was on active duty in Carnegie Hill and East Harlem, collecting garbage in an area bordered by 96th Street, Fifth Avenue, 106th Street, and First Av...
Tags: Travel, Google, New York, College, Life, Environment, History, Creativity, Museums, K-12, Public Domain, Facebook Twitter, Molina, East Harlem, Hunter College, Aubrey Beardsley


Mr. Rogers’ Nine Rules for Speaking to Children (1977)

The maxim “children need rules” does not necessarily describe either a right-wing position or a leftist one; either a political or a religious idea. Ideally, it points to observable facts about the biology of developing brains and psychology of developing personalities. It means creating structures that respect kids’ intellectual capacities and support their physical and emotional growth. Substituting "structure" for rules suggests even more strongly that the “rules” are mainly requirements for...
Tags: Psychology, Google, Television, Education, College, Life, David, Atlantic, K-12, Rogers, Facebook Twitter, Fred Rogers, Josh Jones, Susan Sontag, Sontag, Greenwald


Classic Children’s Books Now Digitized and Put Online: Revisit Vintage Works from the 19th & 20th Centuries

Children’s books are big business. And the market has never been more competitive. Bestselling, character-driven series spawn their own TV shows. Candy-colored readers feature kids’ favorite comic and cartoon characters. But kids’ books can also be fine art—a venue for well-written, finely-illustrated literature. And they are a serious subject of scholarship, offering insights into the histories of book publishing, education, and the social roles children were taught to play throughout modern h...
Tags: Google, Books, Congress, College, Washington, Edgar Allan Poe, K-12, Libraries, Santa Claus, Jack, Library Of Congress, Howard Pyle, Facebook Twitter, Jimmy, Josh Jones, Gustave Doré


An Animated History of Dogs, Inspired by Keith Haring

That quivering teacup Chihuahua… The long-suffering Labrador whose child-friendly reputation has led to a lifetime of ear tugging and tail pulling… The wheezing French bulldog, whose owner has outfitted with a full wardrobe of hoodies, tutus, rain slickers, and pajamas… All descended from wolves. As anthropologist and science educator David Ian Howe explains in the animated TED-Ed lesson, A Brief History of Dogs, above, at first glance, canis lupus seemed an unlikely choice for man’s bes...
Tags: Google, Science, Education, Biology, College, New York City, Nature, Animation, K-12, David Lynch, Alpine, Keith Haring, Eurasia, Facebook Twitter, Labrador, TED Ed


The First American Picture Book, Wanda Gág’s Millions of Cats (1928)

For better (I’d say), or worse, the internet has turned cat people into what may be the world’s most powerful animal lobby. It has brought us fascinating animated histories of cats and animated stories about the cats of gothic genius and cat-loving author and illustrator Edward Gorey; cats blithely leaving inky pawprints on medieval manuscripts and politely but firmly refusing to be denied entry into a Japanese art museum. It has given us no shortage of delightful photos of artists with their c...
Tags: Google, Art, Books, College, History, K-12, Literature, Charles Dickens, Hayao Miyazaki, Ucla, Edward Gorey, Facebook Twitter, Pete, Greenwich Village, Josh Jones, Durham NC Follow


18 Classic Myths Explained with Animation: Pandora’s Box, Sisyphus & More

Greek myths have an incredible shelf life. We may not retain all the players’ names or the intricacies of the various plot lines, but the creative punishments the gods—Zeus, in particular—visited upon those who displeased them have provided modern mortals with an enduring shorthand for describing our own woes. Tempted to sneak a peek inside a lover’s diary? Take a teeny swig from the liquor cabinet whilst housesitting? Go snooping in your teenager’s Internet history? DON’T DO IT, PANDORA...
Tags: Google, College, Life, New York City, History, Pandora, Animation, K-12, Literature, Facebook Twitter, TED Ed, Sisyphean


“Odyssey of the Ear”: A Beautiful Animation Shows How Sounds Travel Into Our Ears and Become Thoughts in Our Brain

As all schoolchildren know, we hear with our ears. And as all schoolchildren also probably know, we hear with our brains — or if they don't know it, at least they must suspect it, given the way sounds around us seem to turn without effort into thoughts in our heads. But how? It's the interface between ear and brain where things get more complicated, but "Odyssey of the Ear," the six-minute video above, makes it much clearer just how sound gets through our ears and into our brains. Suitable ...
Tags: Google, Facebook, College, Neuroscience, Harvard, K-12, David Bowie, Seoul, Odyssey, Facebook Twitter, Colin Marshall, Lotte Reiniger, Evelyn Glennie, 21st Century Los Angeles, Vincent Van Gogh Action Figure Complete


How Zora Neale Hurston & Eleanor Roosevelt Helped Create the First Realistic African American Baby Doll (1951)

In the 1930s and 40s, child psychologists Kenneth and Mamie Clark found that very young black children in the U.S. usually chose dolls with lighter skin colors when given a choice. The findings suggested that the children had internalized dominant prejudices against them “by the time they reached nursery school,” notes the National Museum of Play. “These studies played an important role in the NAACP’s battle in the 1950s to end segregation in public schools.” What often goes unremarked in accou...
Tags: Google, College, History, Atlantic, K-12, Barbie, Toni Morrison, Naacp, Patterson, Temple, Eleanor Roosevelt, Kenneth, Christie, Facebook Twitter, Jackie Robinson, Newsweek


Librarian Honors a Dying Tree by Turning It Into a Little Free Library

And then she said to Annika, "Why don't you feel in that old tree stump? One practically always finds things in old tree stumps."  - Pippi Longstocking, Astrid Lindgren  Remember that other classic of children's literature, wherein a boy runs from the city to a secluded mountain, taking up residence in an old tree he hollows into a cozy shelter? Public librarian and artist Sharalee Armitage Howard’s Little Free Library is a bit like that, except there was no running involved. When the ve...
Tags: Google, Books, Design, College, New York City, Creativity, Idaho, K-12, Libraries, Reddit, Howard, Facebook Twitter, Beatrix Potter, Little Free Library, Pippi Longstocking, Pippi Longstocking Astrid Lindgren


Vintage Geological Maps Get Turned Into 3D Topographical Wonders

What good is an old-fashioned map in the age of apps? One need not be a mountaineer, geoscientist, or civil engineer to get the topographical lay of the land with a speed and accuracy that would have blown Lewis and Clark’s minds’ right through the top of the lynx and otter toppers they took to wearing after their standard issue army lids wore out. There’s still something to be said for the old ways, though. Graphic designer Scott Reinhard has all the latest technological advances at his di...
Tags: Google, Maps, Design, Technology, College, New York City, History, United States, K-12, Jason Kottke, Lewis, Facebook Twitter, Clark, U S Geological Survey USGS, U S Geological Survey, Hoosier State