Archive for the ‘Fun’ Category

I admit it. I have a problem. I am seriously addicted to zombie and post apocalyptic fiction. Books, video, graphic novel, you name it. At times I have found myself daydreaming several times during the day about the ways I would survive if (when…!) the zombies rise or the world as we know it comes to an end. That’s when I know I have to cut myself off and move onto something less mind freaking. (Such as  ‘Game of Thrones’, ‘True blood’ or the ‘Vampire diaries’)…..However, I have recently read two Zombie fiction and thought I might deviate from what my ‘What’s it all about’ blog description says this blog is all about and do some reviews. Mainly because, being on school holidays, I actually have the energy and brain space to read something other than work stuff and I want to share it.

The first one I want to talk about was ‘Warm Bodies’. I was inspired to buy the e-book after coming across the trailer for the film version that comes out sometime this year. (In the US at least – heaven knows when we might see it)

Looks like fun huh? The book isn’t quite so ‘fun’ but it had its moments. It was one of ‘those’ books that had the potential to be totally awesome but never quite got there…the idea behind it was interesting – the un-dead teenager falls for the ex girlfriend of the guy whose brain he just consumed (except for the little spare bits he keeps in his pocket for when he gets the munchies). Some zombie stories are all about the gore and action; some are about the whole world gone bad and what happens to humanity. Then there are ones like this that raise the question of what makes us who we are, where is our soul, what happens to it blah blah blah. Whilst all that side of the story was actually a bit too vague and distracted from what could have been much much better I still give it 3 paws out of 5 for originality. It will be interesting to see what Hollywood does to it!

The second one is another one Hollywood has got its hands on and even in the trailer I can see they have made major changes to the zombies themselves – they were never that ‘souped up’ in the novel!

Now I think the film version looks pretty darn good but the e-book itself was seriously compelling. It is presented as a series of interviews with survivors of World War Z, told after the main event is (mostly) over. Even though there are no characters as such (certainly no Brad Pitt hero type) to get involved with the stories each person have to tell build and build until we have a clear picture of how the world responded to the crisis, both before during and after. A few ‘famous’ names are also hinted at throughout the novel, but never directly mentioned, which was fun. What I found very enthralling was the knowledge the author showed of the political and cultural nature of each nation and how he worked this into that nations tale of survival. I would give this one 5 paws out of 5 – WOOF!

‘Warm Bodies’ by Isaac Marion and ‘World War Z’ by Max Brooks (interesting fact – he is the son of Anne Bancroft and Mel Brooks –  some creative DNA there) are both available on Kindle and no doubt in other formats as well.

Whilst writing this post I have contemplated whether my garden fence would be high enough to keep out a determined zombie (0ne of the slow ones obviously); whether I could bring myself to eat my dogs if I was starving (never, rather eat my neighbour – he’d also be easier to catch ..) and which of the houses/buildings in town I would move into if I was the last one standing (like in The Omega Man) so it probably IS time for ‘rehab’ and a break from apocalyptic thinking…..right after I watch the next episode of ‘The Walking Dead’ series 3. And if you are a zombie fan and you have never watched this TV show MAN you better get right on that because it is good enough to hooooowwwwwlllll about. Incredibly gory (have to watch some scenes through my fingers), great action, characters you just love to love or love to hate or a bit of both!

 

Horrible Histories

Posted: July 13, 2012 in Fun, History

During the holidays, on one particularly foul and freezing day, I happened across Horrible Histories that is currently showing on ABC3. I think this would be a terrific resource for History teachers to use in those ‘oh dear finished today’s tasks and there are 10 minutes to go until the bell’ or the ‘darn half the class are at swimming sports, what to do now?’ These are engaging snippets about history of all eras – the funniest, weirdest, most interesting bits from the past. Luckily, many of these snippets, like the one here, are avaliable on You Tube. Just search Horrible Histories. This snippet is from the segment called ‘Stupid Deaths’……

http://www.howcast.com/

A bit like ‘youtube for instructions’! Here people have uploaded instructional videos on everything from how to treat a bitten tongue, how to make your own doggy treats, to how to visit a playboy club. Obviously teachers need to choose carefully and maybe show the chosen video to the class as a whole rather than direct students to the site itself. It would be very useful for teaching instructional text type in english and who knows, you might find just that piece of advice you always needed. (who hasn’t bitten their tongue at some point….not so sure about the playboy club though…)

http://www.theonion.com/section/sports/

I am a huge fan of the Onion News site – they do a send up of news reports that will not only have you in stitches but also wondering (just a wee bit, quietly, to yourself….) if it just might not be true. So I was excited to find they have this website which satirises sports news. I think this could provide a few moments of fun for a PE class on a rainy ‘indoor play’ day and it could certainly be useful for a journalism or English class. Or just for a few moments of ‘regain my sanity’ for teachers…..

Crittercam: Antarctic Adventure — National Geographic Kids.

A game involving you navigating and steering a boat around Antarctica to locate tagged seals to collect the footage from their cameras. Took me a while to work out how to steer the boat (terrible lack of computer game skill and knowledge I am thinking) but got the hang of it eventually. It’s the footage of the seals underwater that is interesting but it is a bit painstaking to gather it. However, it could easily amuse year 7 or 8 students for a while and may generate discussion about why we might want this footage, should scientists be there etc etc. Thanks to iLearn Technology blog for this link. National Geographic are a terrific organisation and seem to have produced oodles and oodles of educatinal material.

Barbie Girl

Posted: January 20, 2012 in English, Fun

Being patriotic I couldn’t resist this gem. Whilst it could be useful for teaching parody/spoof/persuasive text it’s really just for laughs…..enjoy… (12/2/2013 – have noticed the video has been made private…poo – you may be able to find it on youtube though)

TOONDOO

Toondoo is an online cartoon maker that is a LOT of fun to use. I did find it took a little time to sign up and load the first time but once in it was really easy to use. It is a basic drop and drag system with lots of options. One thing I wasn’t quite so keen on were the options for female body shapes and clothing options – a little limited and (I thought) sexist. HOWEVER, I suppose in the tradition of comic strips the shapes etc were fairly traditional. Go to http://www.toondoo.com/ – click on ‘sign up for free’ then choose ‘sign up for toondoo’ (not toondoo spaces which isn’t free). Below is the sample ‘toon’ I created – you can follow the links from it to toondoo as well. Have fun…. PS – I think students in years 7-9 would love this (and maybe older, I liked it….)

PLN Journey