Great Resource from NY Public Library

In my early days as a designer in NYC — long before I thought about becoming a teacher — I was a photo researcher for Doubleday publishing. I happily haunted the NY Public Library picture archives, searching for just the right image tucked away in the miles of shelves in their midtown location.

I’m thrilled to be able to access the digitized version of those musty shelves. This is a treasure trove of unique images, free to use with no restrictions, high-res downloads available. Check out the collection here, recently updated, now with over 180,000 public domain images.


Digital Images of Yale’s Cultural Collections Now Available for Free

New Haven, Conn. — Scholars, artists and other individuals around the world will enjoy free access to online images of millions of objects housed in Yale’s museums, archives, and libraries thanks to a new “Open Access” policy that the University announced today. Yale is the first Ivy League university to make its collections accessible in this fashion, and already more than 250,000 images are available through a newly developed collective catalog.

Annual National Day of Listening

On the day after Thanksgiving, set aside one hour to record a conversation with someone important to you. You can interview anyone you choose: an older relative, a friend, a teacher, or someone from the neighborhood.

You can preserve the interview using recording equipment readily available in most homes, such as cell phones, tape recorders, computers, or even pen and paper. Our free Do-It-Yourself Instruction Guide is easy to use and will prepare you and your interview partner to record a memorable conversation, no matter which recording method you choose.

Make a yearly tradition of listening to and preserving a loved one’s story. The stories you collect will become treasured keepsakes that grow more valuable with each passing generation.

StoryCorps site.

Flash Flood

I’ve been rather negligent about writing this post … perhaps I’m in denial. But a week ago, I was trapped in a building (with 8 students) during a flash flood. Not the usual experience … and while trapped, I watched my as the water level rose across the street (or river, as it were) where my car was parked. I actually considered risking an attempt to cross the waters, but decided not to try it (my shoes were already swept away).

As luck would have it, my daughter filmed most of the experience and posted it on youtube. If you stick with it (she didn’t have such a steady hand), you can see us eventually rescued by boat from the flooded building. My car did not survive the experience and was declared a total loss. Nobody got hurt, however, and we managed to save quite a bit of uninsured equipment at the school where we were trapped. Gotta hand it to the kids … they were positive, never freaked out (despite what it may seem in the video footage) and did whatever they were asked.

If you watch the video, you’ll see that the kids thought this was all great fun. Their friends were extremely jealous that they hadn’t been involved. Of course, I lost my car – so my perspective is a little different. Ah well, that’s what insurance is for …


“MIT grad student David Merrill demos Siftables — cookie-sized, computerized tiles you can stack and shuffle in your hands. These future-toys can do math, play music, and talk to their friends, too. Is this the next thing in hands-on learning?”

Amazing new user interface … stick with the video until the 2:30 mark, then say, “wow.”