A few random items of interest today:
I’m totally loving author Barry Eisler right now. He’s gotten a lot of flack and been the object of much speculation since he turned down a two-book half million dollar deal with St. Martin’s Press. His move, along with the success of certain indie authors, has shone a bright hot spotlight on self publishing. He’s responded across the web with integrity, intelligence, and politeness. Yesterday he responded to a piece on self publishing at Salon. He’s number 11 in comments.
Have you heard about Salman Khan and the Khan Academy? Yeah, me neither. Until last week, that is. I rediscovered a site I hadn’t visited in a long time called Freely Educate (which, by the way, has the best tag line I’ve seen: “proving that a high quality education can indeed be 100% free”). Khan Academy was listed there, so I clicked. It’s a free site where kids can learn K-12 math, as well as some humanities subjects, finance, and some sciences. Take a look at Sal’s TED talk, and if that doesn’t get you excited about education I don’t know what will. It’s twenty minutes of time well-spent. (Though his talk is about 15 minutes in reality, then he answers some questions posed by Bill Gates.)
Riley (almost 9) and Torin (7) both signed up for it. While Torin’s not terribly interested in it yet, Riley is steamrolling his way through the lessons and LOVING it. I expect he’ll have mastered everything through calculus in a couple of months. (I’m kidding. But you know what? He might.) Regardless of whether you go to school or home school, if you want to learn, relearn, or need some extra explanation, this is the place to go. Kids can do it all on their own. Watch videos that explain the mathematical concept, do practice exercises, and get small rewards for their efforts. And it’s free. Sal Khan is my new hero.
Lastly, this is just the coolest time-lapsed video of Earth, some views from space, some from Earth. What an amazing planet we live on.