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Top 10 fascinating and little-known links

Hi again!

Oh, to pick only ten, and to make sure they are top-notch top-ten!  I confess, I may have to have runners-up, but here are my general qualifications: Visually appealing or amazing, useful to share in class, useful jumping-off points for lessons, an “end point”- not a maze of great links to something else, and lesser-known but worthy choices.

Hope I am able to share something new with you!

10.——Ties for Rube Goldberg videos:

Chicago’s Own OK GO! “This Too Shall Pass” video- one continuous take

Honda’s Rube Goldberg commercial- one continuous take

9. ——–Best thing to print out and make!

Combining papercraft and optical illusions: Dragon from    The whole site is really neat, but this easy printable (I’ve done it) has a HUGE “wow” factor. If you choose to click “watch the video” it does actually download a video to you. I’ve never had problems, but just FYI, so you’re not alarmed! 🙂

Custom graph paper the variety is great, and I have used these for a lot of different projects at various ages

8. ——-Best amazing zoom:

I couldn’t not include this painting at the Art Institute of Chicago: Zoomify Georges Seurat’s Sunday Afternoon. See each dot….

From Italy: Halta Definizione... zoom even into the cracks in the painting.

7.——– Colors and meaning-

One for younger audiences- Color in Motion

An interesting experiment for older audiences- great for design. Make sure you scroll down to see past votes on meaning. Cymbolism

6. ——–A fun animation of Principles of Art! When do you see this stuff?! Kids have a great time using this as an informal quiz.

5. ———A tie for the best art and humanities video gallery. Everything from interviews with Andy Goldsworthy to explanations of how mummies were made.

Find Andy Here: at Artisan Cam Gotta love the Brits: “Watch artists at work, have a go yourself!”

And Mummies and more here: At the Getty Video Gallery

4. ——-Best Paper Mache-er ever Dan Reeder. I have both his books, and have made monsters with many students. It is a long process though, be forewarned- best as a group project, as it does take a LOT of classes.

3.——- Best children’s illustrator video: Eric Carle... (AWwWWW!)

2.——- Best origami site; Oriland. I also recommend watching “Between the Folds” currently available on Netflix streaming.

1.-—— Best video to just be quiet and watch: A 3D exploration of Picasso’s Guernica.

Oh, I hope you like these!! What favorite treasures have YOU found?


Free Spirit Media… Ten Years!

So, my friend Kate invited me to come out to Free Spirit Media‘s ten year anniversary-fundraiser-birthday party on Thursday. It’s the last week of school, and I had a great time the last time I went, plus: what a cool organization! How could I say no? (and tiny burgers and teeny rice crispie treats on a bamboo skewer?)

It was a really beautiful, if slightly chilly night. The speakers were really great and inspirational, and so is the whole organization. I grew up with a radio-tv-film production professor for a mom, and taught a tiny bit of production in my Art and Technology class during student teaching, so I appreciate both the opportunity and accomplishment of the students.  Click here and press play to see what this organization does. It’s really an amazing group.

I wish I could upload the film I took on my phone of Kim Foxx, Cook County State’s Attorney and Vice President on the board of directors. Her speech really was moving. She made a statement that while she was a volunteer, she had to be there because of her job, a statement I didn’t understand until she clarified that she is a juvenile prosecutor in Cook County, and some of the kids she prosecutes are anywhere from 10- 17 years of age. I imagine that seeing the contrasts in paths of young people must be heartwrenching for her. She made a point that especially these last couple of weeks in Chicago, emotions have been high, and to not paint an image of black Chicago teens with a broad brush. What a powerful, powerful tool the media is, she pointed out, and if you do not have access and use of that tool, you don’t have the ability to tell your story. There are kids who commit crimes (she knows!) but the lion’s share are good kids, who want the best for their lives. Free Spirit Media gives them the opportunity to tell their stories. ( If you haven’t heard about the “wildings” and “flash mobs” in Chicago, you should know that they have been widely covered in the media, and have been an issue fraught with controversy and racial tension.) She lauded the kids in the program for their accomplishments, and FSM for the opportunities it offers. It was really a touching speech. I love that she pointed out that media can really create critical thinkers, both in the production and reception. So simple to point someone out and categorize them. To really understand the problems in the community takes a lot more critical thought. Wow, is that up my alley.

Dig around the site. You’ll be impressed, and inspired, and if you like, donate! I think the donations are doubled for June, but I am not sure.

Pecha Kucha!!!

Pecha Kucha! (pih-CHAA  ka-chaa, my attempt at phoeneticizing it. Sort of like a Kung Fu sneeze.)

A slide at a very oblique angle.

Too close to the screen! We moved back to the bar when presenters began.

So, in the midst of the closing week of school, I went out to Martyr’s pub for Pecha Kucha… As if life wasn’t hectic enough! But, I Pecha Kucha-ed in moderation; we only stayed for the first half. I’ve been to one other episode of PK, at the Hyde Park Art center a few years back. Neither one disappointed. The tagline is ‘an antidote to lectures’, and it really is. To my understanding, the term Pecha-Kucha is pretty much the Japanese equivalent to “chit-chat” and the premise is this: there are maybe 10 or so lecturers. Each gets to present 20 Power Point slides, at 20 seconds each. Sound dull? No way. Luckily the presenters (And M.C.’s) are pretty radical people:


We saw Deb Clapp, who presented an awesome Seussesque poem lauding the amazing established and upcoming Chicago theater scene. Made my Chicagoland heart thump with pride- Yay! Awesome Chicago!


Zack Ostrowski  made an impression (Don’t click if vulgar language offends): I think he’s a music producer in Chicago- definitely a performance artist! One of his exhibition openings involved attempts at breaking, breaking, and or setting several Guiness records (With a real-deal offical present): The world’s tallest stack of rap cassette tapes compiled in under two minutes, the most Whoppers caught in mouth in under one minute, and the most eggs broken on head in under one minute. He got the crowd going with raucous applause at the end…


Charlie O’Geen,  an architect who documented in photographs the radical deconstruction of a house he bought deep in Detroit for $1100.00 “Yes, folks, that is one-one-zero-zero dollars..” It was amazing to see what a house of quality construction will withstand: he suspended the first floor completely from the beams of the second… after removing huge triangular sections out of the main house walls. I love that that somebody called this anarchitecture!



Obi Nwazota had some trouble with the slides- but that was kind of nice too, to see that we all understood the difficulties of presenting, and it made it all the more approachable. He owns , a Chicago resource for modern international design. He discussed the parallels of contemporary design with traditional African designs for furniture and textiles. Man! There is this woven couch that I want now!


Patty Huber works at Groupon as uh… a radical do-gooder, I guess! 😀 Basically she is coordinating the business world and philanthropy, but she discussed her vision board and all of the goals, including bike commuting (Yay, Chicago!) and some of the volunteer and community building things that she does.


And quirky humor with Michael Savona an art director and designer- very funny night light designs, and other interesting off-beat products. I liked his presentation style too.


Then, there was the beer-break, and it was time for us to go. I still had school the next morning, and a fundraiser on Thursday night to go to too!

If you have a chance to get to a Pecha Kucha, it is a lot of fun, and I hope to be back at one soon. There also is some kind of Guerrila Truck Rally coming up that involves Pecha-Kucha…. you never know what exactly to expect, but it is probably pretty cool and inspiring.




Here goes nothing…


I spilled a dog on my couch.

Well, this is the first post of this blog. I’m still a little frustrated, so now is probably not the best time to write. I’m going to a Pecha-Kucha night in Chicago, and hopefully that will give me a little more to write about later.

Some of the instructional web pages were out of date or for a different version of wordpress. Or maybe I just didn’t understand them very well. In any case I decided to just jump in and write something short, and I’ll come back to it later when I am in a better state of mind for writing. Technical frustrations do not lend themselves to creativity for me.