Homeschool Resources During COVID-19 Pandemic

Posted on 17 March 2020 | No responses

This is a work-in-progress of resources that may be helpful for parents trying to keep their kids occupied and up-to-date with their education when they’re out of school due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is not a resource for information about the pandemic itself! I’ve pulled these links from various sources and will continue to post to this as I get more information and links to share.

I cannot guarantee that these links and resources will be valid once the pandemic has lifted. All of these links open new browser windows.

General Resources
Google: Distance Learning Resources
Into the Book
Dreaming Zebra – free home art kit
Online Courses and Learning
Khan Academy – online classes
Scholastic Learn at Home
National Geographic Kids
Age of Learning, use code SCHOOL7771 for all links below – Early Learning Academy
Reading IQ – preschool through 6th grade
Adventure Academy – 3rd through 8th grade
Coding, CS, Development – Online coding lessons for beginners
Minecraft: Education Edition
Amazon Future Engineer
Museums, Zoos, and Virtual Tours
Pacific Science Center – live streaming science shows, hands-on STEM activities
Virtual field trips – Google Doc listing sites with virtual field trips
The Museum of Online Museums
Educational Games
Switch Zoo
Starfall – reading resources K-3
Highlights Kids

Update 07.20.2020:

Online Camps
Time: Camp TFK
Varsity Tutors: Virtual Summer Camps
Pacific Science Center: Curiosity at Home
edmodo: Camp Mo
Science Buddies: Summer of STEM
Class is Back in Session with Professor Spikes
Seneca Park Zoo: Zoo Projects at Home
Mama Teaches: 25+ Free Digital Escape Rooms
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum: K-12 Learning Resources


Posted on 24 January 2019 | 1 response

Some times a random memory comes to you when you least expect it:

There was one night Savanna and I were coming home on the bus – I know Louisa was there, not sure if it was Emily or Judy with her – and the people started throwing vegetables at this one man. I mean like full on Monty Python with flying lettuce and cabbage. Turns out the guy was a former Stasi-informer and all these people were attacking him. It got to the point where the bus driver pulled over and told the man to get out – for his own safety. That’s when the wolves circled in for the kill and the spitting began.

As he got off he was hollering, “YOU DON”T KNOW WHAT IT WAS LIKE!!”

Air-Dried Ham

Posted on 8 March 2018 | 2 responses

It’s been a very long time since I posted anything so, after reading this post on I thought I’d try making air-dried ham myself. For a first attempt, I think the results came out pretty well. I didn’t measure out the spices exactly so what I include here are approximations. This recipe and technique results in something more akin to prosciutto than a dry-cured country-style ham.

Air-Dried Ham
2 lb pork loin
2 cups white sugar
1 cup salt
1/4 cup garlic powder
1/4 cup onion powder
2 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp Hungarian paprika
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1/2 tbsp ground cayenne pepper
1 pair of stockings (for hanging meat in to dry)

After trimming most of the excess fat (I left some on), put the pork into a plastic container and cover/coat with white sugar. Let sit in fridge for 2 days, turning occasionally.

Remove meat from fridge, dump out sugar/water slurry, rinse well, and pat dry. Here’s what it looks like afterwards:

Return meat to (clean) plastic container and cover/coat with salt. Again, let sit in fridge for 2 days, turning occasionally.

Remove meat from fridge, dump out salt/water slurry, rinse well, and pat dry.

In large bowl, combine garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Rub liberally onto pork.

Cut leg from pair of stockings (you only need about 1/2 to 1/3 of the actual leg) then carefully place meat inside making sure it sits all the way at the bottom (and won’t slide or move). Tie loop/knot at top and then hang somewhere that it won’t get wet (or succumb to predation from hungry cats or dogs!)

Dry meat for 7 days. Here’s what it looks like hanging by the kitchen window — it’s shrunk quite a bit by this point!

Remove from stocking, slice, and enjoy! I kept the end after slicing off a couple pieces and wrapped well in plastic wrap before refrigerating.

Ghost in the Shell is a huge let-down

Posted on 31 March 2017 | No responses

I haven’t been this disappointed since Episode 1. Thankfully there’s no Jar-Jar but the live-action version of “Ghost in the Shell” misses all of the philosophy and depth of the original. And the whitewashing…good God. I won’t give any spoilers but they seem to have taken bits from the 1995 original, tossed in a bit of Innocence, shaken and stirred with some of the Stand Alone Complex characters (mixing Project 2501 — renamed to Project 2571, for some reason — with Kuze from SAC: 2nd Gig). I don’t understand why they didn’t just go with the original idea of Project 2501 being an American AI program that gained sentience and is now seeking asylum in a robot/cyborg body. And the original Kuze was trying to get refugees to leave their corporeal bodies behind to join their souls/minds in cyberspace. There was so much wasted opportunity; you can almost hear the dropped plotlines thud as they hit the cutting-room floor.

They never explored Togusa’s lack of cybernetic enhancement and why the Major wants a human on the team.

Saito gets a brief nod but no backstory.

They did get the actor choices right for Batou, Togusa, and Chief Aramaki, though. And Batou has a basset hound (a nod to “Innocence” and Momoru Oshii’s need to insert basset hounds in nearly all of his films).

I was already setting my expectations low knowing that a lot of the scenes from the original GitS film were copied (almost verbatim) in The Matrix and any copycat sci-fi film made since 1995. But they didn’t quite do justice to the original source material, either. “The entire film takes a dump on every cool, intriguing, and subtle concept in the 1995 film.

So yeah…

Great Expectations, Low Hopes

Posted on 19 November 2016 | No responses

Sorry Rogue One but my true excitement lies with Motoko Kusanagi. Sure, the intro to the latest trailer features interview questions with Momoru Oshii, but it’s also easy to find interviews with Stephen King about Kubrick’s version of “The Shining”. I lived through Episode 1 but Clone Wars and Rebels have really renewed my faith in Star Wars. There’s a real chance to do this with “Ghost in the Shell”. Don’t Hollywood things up any more than you already have. Keep the Michael Bay splodey-bits to a minimum. The Wachowskis only make cheap imitations.

All I’m asking is that you please not (royally) fuck up one of – if not the – greatest and most influential pieces of animation since “Snow White”.

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