Thursday, December 31, 2009

New York Tmes Multimedia Resources

For the next couple of days, I will share some of my favorite pod/vidcasts which are helpful (directly or indirectly) for SAT prep.

NYTimes Podcasts...

  • NYT Science Times: David Corcoran, a science editor, explores the topics addressed in this week's Science Times.
  • NYTimes Tech Talk: A look at the latest technology news and Internet trends with J.D. Biersdorfer, Bettina Edelstein and Pedro Rafael Rosado. The Tech Talk Homepage
  • More NYTimes Podcasts...
NYTimes Videos

NYTimes Slide Shows

NYTimes Blogs (MUST READ)
  • The Choice A blog for high school students, parents and counselors about applying to — and paying for — college.
Some of my favorite NYTimes Blogs
  • And the Pursuit of Happiness Maira Kalman's illustrated column about American democracy. (GORGEOUS!)
  • Dot Earth Andrew C. Revkin on climate change, the environment and sustainability.
  • Economix A blog that considers economics as the study of everyday life.
  • Idea of the Day From the Week in Review, daily posts highlighting the most interesting writing from across the Web.
  • The Learning Network Teaching and learning, with The New York Times as a resource.
  • The Lede follows the day's news stories as they spiral off into unexpected directions.
  • Paper Cuts The editors of the Book Review, on books and other forms of printed matter.
  • Pogue's Posts Quick hits from the technology columnist David Pogue.
  • Schott's Vocab A miscellany of words and phrases that encapsulate our times.
  • TierneyLab Science columnist John Tierney checks out new research and rethinks conventional wisdom.
  • Wordplay Jim Horne writes about The Times's crossword puzzle, its themes and clues.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

National Constitution Center: We The People Stories

For the next couple of days, I will share some of my favorite pod/vidcasts which are helpful (directly or indirectly) for SAT prep.

National Constitution Center: We The People Stories Podcast

The National Constitution Center invites you to participate in a national conversation about the Constitution, its history and its contemporary relevance. Our programming features nationally recognized leaders debating and discussing the Constitution, our rights and responsibilities as citizens, and everyday politics.

We The People Stories Podcast does not have its own blog. However, you must check out the NCC Constitution widgets and online exhibits--invaluable for APUSH & US Gov't students!

Obama Speech on Race at the National Constitution Center (podcast replaced by video and online exhibit)

Anthony Lewis on the First Amendment shares his latest work, Freedom for the Thought That We Hate.

Legacy of 1808: a Year Long Series Marking 200th Anniversary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade (podcast date)
  • 3/11/2008 A Historical Perspective
  • 5/28/2008 Traces of the Trade
  • 6/18/2008 “Iron Ladies of Liberia”
  • 6/26/2008 The Emancipation Proclamation Defined
  • 7/15/2008 The Lincoln and Douglas Debates
  • 8/20/2008 Modern-Day Slavery
  • 8/27/2008 Slavery and the Literary Imagination
  • 11/19/2008 Delta Blues
  • 1/13/2009 Deconstructing Reconstruction
NCC Interactive Constitution widget

NCC Constitution Timeline widget

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The WordSmart WordCast Podcast

For the next couple of days, I will share some of my favorite pod/vidcasts which are helpful (directly or indirectly) for SAT prep.

The WordSmart WordCast Podcast

The WordSmart WordCast is a weekly podcast comprised of a carefully selected set of vocabulary words based on the theme of the week. Each week's theme is designed to offer a selection of words that will be useful in everyday life and test preparation. The five weekly words make this the perfect word of the day podcast for your work week. Recent episodes include: erudite, moraine, plenary, haruspex, and denizen.

Warning: there is no supporting blog for the podcast. However, if you look at the episode's Show Description in iTunes (right click the episode-->Show Description), you have a detailed description of the episode's key points. If you like the show, you can go to the product's website, where you can read WordSmartMom's comments on SAT prep and college admissions.

Monday, December 28, 2009


For the next couple of days, I will share some of my favorite pod/vidcasts which are helpful (directly or indirectly) for SAT prep.

Podictionary - An daily podcast for logophiles (lovers of words), podictionary covers a new word for a minute or two in each episode.
In preparation for the Olympic Games in Vancouver, Dr Hodgson (a proud Canadian) is researching words associated with winter sports. He is also rerunning some older episodes:

Sunday, December 27, 2009

5 percent in Congress lack college degree

5 percent in Congress lack college degree By JUSTIN ANTHONY MONAREZ, Scripps New Service

WASHINGTON - Rep. Solomon Ortiz, D-Texas, never completed a college degree, but he holds the same rank as other formally educated members of Congress. The only credential that mattered was winning the election...(Read more)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Teachers Defying Gravity to Gain Students’ Interest

Teachers Defying Gravity to Gain Students’ Interest By KENNETH CHANG, NYTimes

Educators took flight, and starred on video, all in the name of science and math.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Selected Shorts

For the next couple of days, I will share some of my favorite pod/vidcasts which are helpful (directly or indirectly) for SAT prep.

SELECTED SHORTS can be heard on Saturdays 8pm on KQED 88.5FM.

SELECTED SHORTS: Spellbinding short stories by established and emerging writers take on a new life when they are performed by stars of the stage and screen. Whether we present stories around a lively theme, the favorite works of a guest author or a special collaboration with a museum or publication, each Selected Shorts event is a unique night of literature in performance. Hosted by Isaiah Sheffer.

The SELECTED SHORTS holiday season special begins with a tale of domestic bliss, Ron Carlson's "The H Street Sledding Record," a happy, un-sappy story about a family celebrating the Christmas season with fresh, intimate rituals. Keith Szarabajka reads. Next, John Cheever's "Christmas is a Sad Season for the Poor," is an hysterically funny tale of holiday charity gone wrong, read by Malachy McCourt. The program closes with a literary stocking-stuffer: the great American humorist James Thurber got it into his head to re-write Clement Clarke Moore's beloved poem, "A Visit From St. Nicholas" in the style of Ernest Hemingway. SHORTS host Isaiah Sheffer delivers a suitably manly reading.

Voice of America

For the next couple of days, I will share some of my favorite pod/vidcasts which are helpful (directly or indirectly) for SAT prep.

VOANews is sponsored by the US State Dept. VOANews' original mission was to "teach the world" about Democracy, American Culture, and the English Language. Since then, VOANews has expanded its coverage to international news in multiple languages. An amazing resource!

VOAVideo: In London, A Multi-Cultural Christmas

At Christmas, Christians around the world celebrate the birth of Jesus. Although it's a religious festival, non-Christians also celebrate the season with lights and decorations. In a multicultural country like Britain, many join -- in their own way. Selah Hennessy brings us this report from London.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Grammar Girl

For the next couple of days, I will share some of my favorite podcasts which are helpful (directly or indirectly) for SAT prep.

Grammar Girl :: Quick and Dirty Tips ™

Grammar Girl has tips and grammar exercises to help you learn and remember all the grammar rules on punctuation, word choice, and more. Some of the most recent episodes:

A personal favorite:

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

this i believe

For the next couple of days, I will share some of my favorite podcasts which are helpful (directly or indirectly) for SAT prep.

The "this i believe" essays are approximately the same length as a standard SAT essay (300-500 words) . Note the examples and concrete details each person uses in response to the prompt: "What do you believe?"

Two of my favorite essays:

Be Cool To The Pizza Delivery Dude « Sarah Adams This I Believe
We know them. We depend on them. We call them out on cold, rainy nights. Now, NPR listener Sarah Adams tells us why her life philosophy is built around being cool to the pizza delivery dude.

Finding Prosperity by Feeding Monkeys « Harold Taw This I Believe
Forget the cake and presents. Listener Harold Taw has his own unique birthday tradition – one prescribed by a Burmese monk. By faithfully following it, Taw believes he’s helped his family to prosper.

Special Feature: Reflections On Giving

We can give with our money, we can give of our time, we can give with a smile and an open heart. In this season of giving, our essayists offer their beliefs on the importance of connecting and sharing with each other. Happy holidays from This I Believe.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Dr. Oliver Sacks!

Oliver Sacks - Musicophilia - Amnesia and Music

Oliver Sacks, author of The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and An Anthropologist on Mars, discusses the story of Clive Wearing, an eminent English musician and musicologist. After contracting a form of encephalitis, Clive was stricken with an acute case of amnesia. His musical ability, however, remained undiminished. The story related in the video comes from Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain, Dr. Sacks's latest book. For more information, visit or

READ: A Neurologist's Notebook: The Abyss : The New Yorker by Oliver Sacks 09/24/07

In addition to this inability to preserve new memories, Clive had a retrograde amnesia, a deletion of virtually his memory.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Best American Series 2009

...hmmm, what should I read during Christmas vacation?

Best selling authors handpick the year's finest writing in short stories, comics, mysteries, essays, travel, science and nature, sports, and nonrequired reading.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Family Portraits of all 56 ethnic groups in China

China are inhabited by an indigenous population
of ethnic Vietnamese people (or Kinh).
They are referred to in Chinese as the Jīng (京族)

Family Portraits of all 56 ethnic groups in China (reposted from ChinaHush and ChinaGate])

[ChinaGate] This is a “Family Portrait” of China’s 56 ethnic groups. Chen Haiwen, a photographer, recently lead a team of 14 photographers to create a book entitled, “Harmonious China: A Sketch of China’s 56 Ethnicities.” The team spent one year travelling all over China to complete the project. They ended up taking over 5.7 million photographs.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Early Admission: Decision Week

Early Admission: Decision Week, NYTimes blog: The Choice

High school seniors who applied early to colleges this fall begin to receive decisions this week.

Running Tally on Some Colleges’ Early Admission Figures, NYTimes blog: The Choice

During the week of Dec. 14, The Choice is keeping a running tally of some colleges’ figures on early applications, and acceptances, under binding early decision programs and non-binding early action. (updated frequently)

Answers to Your Questions as Application Deadlines Near By EVELYN B. WHITE, NYTimes blog: The Choice

Ms. White answers questions about the number of colleges to which an applicant should apply; how a college sizes up an applicant’s high school and the mechanics of transferring.

The Envelope, Please: Six Applicants Speak, NYTimes blog: The Choice

In a series of posts, seniors from high schools around the country are blogging about their college selection process. Meet the Students: Corey Rockower Faithlynn Morris Nicholas Geiser Tyler K. Calder Beth Zak-Cohen Jordan Mackey

Read all of the Early Decision articles from , NYTimes blog: The Choice ...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

New Rules for Colleges on Defaults

New Rules for Colleges on Defaults By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, NYTimes

Starting in 2012, colleges seeking federal student-aid programs will be judged on how many students default within three years of starting repayment, instead of two.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Illegal Immigrant Students

Illegal Immigrant Students Publicly Take Up a Cause By JULIA PRESTON, NYTimes

With many illegal immigrants lying low to avoid a continuing crackdown, immigrant students have become the most visible supporters of a legislative overhaul.

American Dreamer: The Story of Sam

Last June, thousands of undocumented students held mock graduations in several states and Washington, D.C. Most of them were brought to the U.S. as small children by their immigrant parents. Despite being raised in American culture, these students cannot legally work because of their immigration status. And most cannot go to college, prompting cries for congressional passage of the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors or DREAM Act. Latino USA in conjunction with Long Haul Productions, brings us the story of one of those recent graduates.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Seeking Your Questions as the Jan. 1 Application Deadline Looms

Seeking Your Questions as the Jan. 1 Application Deadline Looms By JACQUES STEINBERG, NYTimes blog: The Choice

As the clock ticks toward the Jan. 1, 2010, deadline for applying to many colleges, Evelyn B. White of Thomas Dale High School in Chester, Va., is seeking your questions on this year’s application process. Ms. White’s first answers are scheduled to appear in the Guidance Office feature on The Choice beginning Monday Dec. 14, and will continue through Dec. 18.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Taking the Magic Out of College (Harry Potter and the Ivory Tower)

Taking the Magic Out of College By LAUREN EDELSON, NYTime OpEd

Dreamily, I imagine my future self: a year older, strolling to class past this very same scene. I’m about to ask about science research opportunities when he points to a nearby field and mentions the sport students play there: a flightless version of J. K. Rowling’s Quidditch game — broomsticks and all... (read more and the response A Sequel: Harry Potter and the Ivory Tower )

Friday, December 11, 2009

Obama Accepts Nobel Peace Prize

VOAVideo: Obama Accepts Nobel Peace Prize

U.S. President Barack Obama has formally accepted the Nobel Peace Prize at a ceremony in Oslo, Norway. VOA White House correspondent Paula Wolfson reports the president spoke at length about the circumstances that push nations to war, and prompt them to seek peace.

VOA Special Report: The 2009 Nobel Peace Prize

Many VOA stories about the awarding of Nobel Peace Prize to President Barack Obama.

Kudos to VOANews for gathering and disseminating differing responses from domestic and international sources! Remarks by the President at the Acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize (text)

News English Lessons: World Split Over Obama Nobel Prize

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

COP15 on YouTube

COP15 on YouTube

This December in Copenhagen, Denmark, the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009 (also known as COP15) will take place. Delegates to the conference are set to negotiate the successor to the Kyoto Protocol.

The Danish government's ambition for COP15 is to enter into a binding global climate agreement to reduce the amount of man-made greenhouse gases which have a negative effect on the earth's climate system.

To mitigate the effects of climate change, it is the Danish government's view that we all must act and do our part. Here on YouTube, we invite you to "Raise your voice", and we will make it heard inside the conference meeting rooms where leaders of the world are gathered at COP15.

The "Raise your voice" channel is part of a collaboration between the Government of Denmark and Google/YouTube to focus on increasing awareness of climate change.

Monday, December 7, 2009

How One College Evaluates a Transcript 1 & 2

How One College Evaluates a Transcript by Ann McDermott, Holy Cross, NYTimes: The Choice Blog

“How do you decide who gets in?” It’s a question we’re asked all the time at the College of the Holy Cross, a Jesuit liberal arts college.

Shedding Further Light on How One College Decides by Ann McDermott, Holy Cross, NYTimes: The Choice Blog

It’s worth repeating that, while vital, the transcript is just one component of the application. In addition to a student’s academic qualifications, we do everything we can to understand the person behind the application and how they’ll thrive at Holy Cross.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Harvard Law School Suspends Program Giving Students Free Tuition

Harvard Law School Suspends Program Giving Students Free Tuition By TAMAR LEWIN, NYTimes

One Harvard official said the suspension was “really a function of the endowment going down drastically.”

Saturday, December 5, 2009

SAT v. ACT, as Chronicled by Fortune magazine

SAT v. ACT, as Chronicled by Fortune magazine By JACQUES STEINBERG, NYTimes: The Choice Blog

In a short article posted on its Web site, Fortune writes of the “undeclared war for market share and mind share” between the College Board (which owns the SAT) and American College Testing (maker of the ACT).

Friday, December 4, 2009

Average Debt for Graduating College Seniors Rises to $23,200

Average Debt for Graduating College Seniors Rises to $23,200 By JACQUES STEINBERG, NYTimes: The Choice Blog

Yet another study has been released that will provide scant comfort to those college applicants, and their parents, who intend to take out loans to pay for their education. Students who graduated from college in 2008 with loans carried an average debt of $23,200 — an increase of nearly 25 percent, or $4,550, when compared with those who graduated just four years earlier. These figures appear in the latest study by the Project on Student Debt, an initiative of the Institute for College Access and Success, a nonprofit organization.

Putting That $23,200 Average Student Debt Figure in Context By JACQUES STEINBERG, NYTimes: The Choice Blog

The averages are lower for public colleges ($20,200), higher for private nonprofits ($27,650), and much higher for for-profit schools ($33,050).