Exploratorium


With apologies to the real 
Exploratorium in San Francisco (a fabulous museum, and not just for kids; I've spent hours there.  Great website, too.). I've titled this page to entice you to, well, explore. As I run across stuff (or, just as likely, have stuff pointed out to me by students, colleagues, friends, and strangers) that I think is interesting, provocative, beautiful, weird, or just plain cool, I'll share it with you here. I'll be filling this in bits at a time on an ongoing basis. So check back.  Subject headers are necessarily random ("Photography" can also be "Art" or "Ideas" but I had to pick one) so wander around.

And yes, that's one of my kids. Exploring bubble blowing.


By the way, not everything that follows will be G-rated, and I have no control over other sites' content. I'll give you a heads-up where I can, but since new things are posted daily on many of the sites I highlight, I'll never be able to know. Use your judgement, don't offend easily, and preview everything if you're sharing with kids.

Art

Found Art:
I love Found Art. I've already mentioned the Faces In Places blog elsewhere on the site, but here's a site dedicated to "found" things and it's appropriately titled, "Found Magazine." Occasionally there is profanity or a sexual or scatological reference, but usually it's just good clean fun.


Humanity

Invisible Connections
Democrat, Libertarian, Republican, Conservative, Liberal, Moderate, Left-Winger, Right-Winger, Atheist, Catholic, Jew, Muslim, Protestant, Gay, Straight, Middle-class, Poor, Rich: we gravitate to labels, groups, and for some odd reason, differences. Post Secret reminds us of our own humanity, of how we're all connected, of how we're all the same. If you can read the secrets that senders share and not be touched, you're probably not human. You should make that your secret and send it in. Check the video from Time.com too.


Ideas

Thoughtful People, Thoughtful Talks
You are probably aware of TED Talks, but if you aren't, or if you haven't watched one lately, you should make a habit of going to the website to watch one at random, or on purpose. Thoughtful, 15-20 minute videos of people -- some famous, some not -- and their "Ideas worth spreading" as the themeline states, TED Talks are always original, and almost always interesting, entertaining, and provocative.  For more about the organization and the other things that it does, check out this page on the TED website or their Wikipedia page. I make a habit of watching one every week or so at random, and use some specific ones in my classes.
Photography

I was out in LA visiting my buddy Mark and we just happened upon this extraordinary exhibition of photographs.  Photographer Gregory Colbert tells us two things. First, that there is no photoshopping or photographic trickery: these are real people (children, mostly) with real animals. Second, that this traveling exhibition has received over 10 million viewers, which makes it the most attended exhibition by any artist in history. But more than that, while the photographs (and film) are extraordinary, the exhibition is no less noteworthy for its innovative staging. Check out the site, thoroughly, but if you can arrange it, see it in person.


Music

Set the mood, baby
One of my favorite music sites (aside from Pandora, of course) is Musicovery, a site where you target the mood of the music you'd like to hear, and the site generates a nice playlist for you.  And now you can even download it as an (Mac Beta) app for iTunes.  It's a nice way to, well, explore (Exploratorium, remember?) different musical styles as well as artists.
Shopping

WOOT!
OK, almost everybody knows Woot, but in case you don't, it is seriously not to be missed, if only for the fun writing. The idea is this: one item, monster low price, for one day. Some days it's the $5 "Bag-o-Crap" (who knows what's inside?); the day I wrote this is was a refurbished Phillips 19" LCD HDTV for $149. Oh, and as I'm writing this, I'm looking at my 32" HDTV that I use as a computer monitor because I got it cheap on Woot. There are also wine.woot, shirt.woot, and kids.woot, all of which you can connect to from the main site.
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