A collection of things I have read this week, and some tools for tech and/or learning new stuff, especially languages. Your first comment is checked, after that you are free to comment.

Recovering from some bad bug, a fever and lots of hacking. A friend I had lunch with a couple of weeks ago has a similar thing. Not sure if there was some transmission going on, or which way. Anyway, I have been limited to work and home for the last couple of weeks, and am finding it kind of refreshing. With the reduced stress, I am finding myself healthier in spirit if not in body, and that is coming along.

Revised summer plans. My daughter (24) has a vacation from her grad school that lines up with mine. She is in Chicago, and a conference I have been looking at for years is near there (TSLL in Ames Iowa). So my original plans to go to Belgium for EuroCALL have been postponed for a year. I find it hard to spend $600 for registration for 3 days, plus airfare, plus accommodations.

Important life skill: How to cheat at a coin flip. (Video 6 min). No more jan-ken (rock paper scissors).

Why writing classes are taught the way they are. A survey of the main writing formats in academia. I just wonder, with 95% of my students not going into graduate school, why we are teaching academic writing and not other types.

Free Solo is a documentary about climbing one section of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park in California. The tenacity of the main climber is amazing. A true hero. (Netflix). But you can use it as a metaphor for so many other things, such as the economy.

Something to pretty easily fall into. Motivation porn. Similar to Inspiration porn.

Buy something at Amazon? Anywhere else? Use Gmail? Google harvests every purchase you make and puts it into your profile. They say they only use groups for stats to sell your data. Right.

Let the Cookie Monster help you get some self-control. Video 5 min.

I have come to realize that the most important 21st century skill is Attention. Mary Oliver, the poet, warned us about looking without noticing. (Atlantic)

An interesting thought experiment. If you could time travel, but only had control about the direction (future or past) but could not set when or where, which would you choose?

Why books don’t work. Like how lectures don’t work. For learning. They still work in the outhouse.

A look at the backlash against technology in an effort not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. In defense of tech. (Wired)

Are headphones necessary for your sanity these days? Especially for younger people? (Atlantic)

Rivet, an online library of 2,000 free books for kids.

This is one to order for the library. Developing Critical Thinking in EFL Classes. The Infusion Approach looks like something between CLIL and content-based teaching. I’m skeptical (critical thinking), but still curious.

Editing podcasts or other audio just got a lot easier.

Supplementary material for my grad class on Materials Development, the chapter on Adapting Materials.

A 6-minute video about relationships. Perfect for the section on Gender in my Society Today class. Haircut. (Gender is such an inaccurate word. I agree with Steven Pinker. Use sex.)

Quick and easy card game that is also lots of fun. The 8-minute video is also a good exercise for listening.

Good for the critical thinking bin on Health. Japan’s vaccination policy. Con and Pro.

How to do Peer Review of student writing. The right way.

If you have an iPad or MacBook, these materials are good guides for Apple- software in the classroom.