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I found this link via Beattie’s Book Blog (yet again!) about the Knowledge Without Borders project in the UAE emirate of Sharjah. The project aims to get the population back into reading. Very cool! They have given ten reasons why you should read – here are the first three, then go to the site and read the rest. No big surprises at all, but reminding me of even more reasons to use on my students!

1: Reading is an active mental process. Unlike sitting in front of the TV, reading makes you use your brain. While reading, you will be forced to reason out many things which are unfamiliar to you. Through this process, the brain is exercised.

2: Improve your vocabulary. Remember in primary school when you learned how to infer the meaning of one word by reading the context of the other words in the sentence? You get the same benefit from reading. While reading books—especially challenging ones—you will find yourself exposed to many new words that you wouldn’t be otherwise in daily life.

3: Get a glimpse into other cultures and countries. How would you know about the lives of people in remote parts of Mexico if you don’t read about them? Reading gives you a unique insight into the diversity of different people, cultures, religions and societies around the globe—without actually having to step foot outside of your house.


One of many interesting recommendations found on the fabulous Neil Gaiman’s blog: The short story Eric by Shaun Tan.

I finally read Shaun Tan’s Arrival earlier this year and was moved by the strange and beautiful illustrations and how it communicated without words. Turns out he’s just as good using words too in his stories.

The other day on my way to work I saw a Google Maps car (for the second time in NZ I might add), and it reminded me of this post I’ve been meaning to write for a while now.

I have mentioned my love for Google toys before and now there’s another one! Old news for some I’m sure, but in general such good news/olds that it cannot be repeated too much. Google Wave is here, and apparently it will revolutionise the way we email. My friend sent me an invite s0 I’ve been playing around with it a little over the last week or so. It’s pretty cool, but I’m not sure – it will take a bit to get used to it. As it’s still being developed it’s not perfect, but as soon as more people start using it I’m sure I get a better picture. I’m still really impressed with its potential and love the way your conversations can be played back for you.

You can have a look at Google’s  (very long) presentation here:


November 2009
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