When something is irksome it is SO ANNOYING. It irks me.irksome

Zzzapped Out

Before augmented reality. Before virtual reality. Back in the day when software came on CD-ROMs in binders, the Edmark company released several science titles. Unlike their software marketed to younger children (e.g., with cartoons and talking animals), these titles were sophisticated simulations. I discovered a classroom set of “virtual labs: electricity” (note the ‘laid-back’ lower case title on the cover of the binder).

The program needed 16 MB of RAM to run and Netscape 3.0. ~ sigh ~ The salad days of the Internet.

Say What?

I spied these three signs outside the door of a class of hearing-impaired/deaf students. Brilliant graphic design.

Animation Studio with Unlikely Name

I joined a class on a field trip to 100 Chickens animation studio in Brooklyn, NY. We met with several different members of the studio, including founder Jennifer Oxley, a music engineer, a writer, an animator, and a managing supervisor. Several students had the opportunity to record inside their slick sound booth, reading a script for characters of an upcoming TV show. An animator showed us how to draw Emily Elizabeth from Clifford the Big Red Dog, which the studio is creating as a new animated show for Scholastic. The studio won Emmy awards for their PBS television show Peg and Cat.


All in all? It was so cool! Best field trip ever!

Makerbot Views

I attended a 3D Printing workshop at the Makerbot HQ at the Metrotech center in downtown Brooklyn. Here are some views from the 21st floor.

The last view is of cereal boxes in the staff room. Cocoa Pebbles!

Phonetics – a favorite thing

I love language systems, particularly letters that are weird, like the shwa or thorn. I also like when speech therapists discuss fricatives and sybilants. So how happy am I to see this wikipedia chart of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), which includes all the discrete sound bits for every language in the world? So happy.

Here are some samples:

Voiceless retroflex approximant




Biliabial trill



Voiced alveolar lateral fricative



Here is the whole chart



I like words, really like them, especially the unusual ones that seldom find their way into conversation, but may be found on better writers’ pages everywhere. To me, nothing is more enjoyable than reading a novel and copying down the words I do not know, so I can look them up later. That is how I discovered raillery, soi-disant, and badinage.

Anywho, here is a little website, the author of which defines interesting words. I am not sure why this dictionary is damned.


Healthy Growth in School

I discovered a colony of mold (?) growing on the faucet in the men’s room. This could be a marvelous science project for budding mycologists. You can see the reflection of my phone in the top photo.

Here is a close-up of the spores. So juicy.

YouTube, in the Seconds Before Reality Caught Up

In an apparent space-time mishap, I landed on a Youtube page several seconds before the web gremlins were able to add content. I took a screen capture.

Hopefully the Langoliers will not read this blog post and come looking for me.

Password Generator Generates Delight

I had never seen this before…the Mac’s built-in random password assistant!

There are all sorts of options for both short and long words, and some of the results are hilarious. Notice that both “fizz” and “quiff” have the number 23 after them. Hmmmm….

You can find the password assistant by going to

System Preferences…


Security & Privacy

Change Password…

Password Assistant (the Key icon)

Once there, choose your password type.

Memorable ones are easier to remember, obvs. Unless you choose a Length of 31-characters. Obvs.

I appreciate a password that includes references to taxidermy.

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July 2018