Autism TED Talks

TED Talk on Learning disorders

I have ran into several people this past week and I seem to be talking a lot about TED Talks.  I have posted several to my website over the past few years.  I would encourage everyone to carve out a half-day, get a big cup of coffee and explore There are so many amazing topics that a half-day will not be nearly enough, but it should get you started.

Here is another one that I found fascinating.  I hope you enjoy.

Education life Technology Web Stuff

Ted talk on Education

I found this video last week and was blown away.  The Kahn Academy is promoting a brand new way to teach.  Watch the Ted Video first, then check out the organizations website: Enjoy!!

Web Stuff

Alice – everyone needs an alice

alice-logoEvery now and then, I find a useful site on the internet that I feel is worth sharing. is one of those sites. I read about Alice from a blog post. is a shopping site. It’s in beta, so that means there may still be some bugs (although I have seen sites in beta for several years). They sell household goods that you use everyday. If you are like the Souza’s, you buy the same brand of trash bags, razor blades, napkins, etc. every time you go to the store. Alice lets you take those items, put them on a virtual shelf then when it’s time to get some more, you drag and drop it to the shopping cart. They ship it out and POOF you have your stuff delivered to the front door via UPS.  Like that little smile you get when the box has an amazon logo on it, your Alice box is black and blue. “Gather around kids, the dish soap just arrived!!”

If you like our family, you know coupons are great. Also, if you are like us, you never use them because of the pain-in-the-ass they are to organize and remember to take to the store. Alice solves that by applying your coupons for you. They tell you what items have coupons and if you buy that item, they take the coupon off. Hello, I love idiot proof!

All orders from include free shipping. How cool is that? I put my first order in yesterday to give this service a try. I got an email a few hours later that my stuff had shipped. Last night I clicked the UPS tracking link and smiled when I saw the origination scan: Indianapolis, IN. The warehouse for Alice is in Indy (I’m sure they have others). That means that any order I put in will be delivered the next day as we are only 90 miles away from Indianapolis. God bless Danville, IL!!! Sure as shooting, the UPS lady was here this morning with my razor blades and trash bags.

I will be honest, I was a little skeptical when it came to prices. If you are buying online and receive free shipping, it’s got to cost more, right? Much to my surprise, the prices are the same as our local stores. Now, does that mean some items are more? I’m sure they are. But from what I saw, their prices are right in line.

Refer-A-Friend Program
So, you like Alice and you sign up. You have a good experience, like me, and you tell a pal or two. Give them a link from you and you get $10 when they place their first order and 3% of what they spend for the next year. So, with my $60 order yesterday, someone could have made $11.80 off me. So, if you are going to sign up, click the link below and let me get some kickback off you buying toilet paper.

Cool little extras
Budget – There are also some nifty budget screens that allow you to see where your money is going. You can see by month, 3 month, this year what you have spent in what areas.
Shop by room – click on bathroom and pick out the items you need for that room.
Product planner – this allows you to set the frequency to be reminded to order something. You don’t automatically get shipped it and charged, they just give you a “heads-up” that you usually order this every x weeks. (Auto ship is coming soon according to the website.)
Profile/Friends – in true social networking form, they have a community. So, you can share with your friends that Dawn is a better detergent than Palmolive. Comes complete with chat room and all.
Twitter – Alice is on Twitter at: @alice

Bottom Line
You are gonna need toilet paper, you are gonna need razors, all things being equal, I would rather answer the door than go to Wal-Mart to pick these items up. Give them a look-see, if you like it sign up and help pay for my dishwasher soap.

Big Picture life Technology Web Stuff

Wolfram|Alpha & I'm halfway there.

wolframalphaWolframAlpha was launched this week. It’s been touted as the possible Google killer. While that is yet to be seen, it is pretty cool. I see it as Google for math geeks, but then again I have only tried it out for about 1/2 hour.

If you type in your birthday, you get all kinds of info about the date. I am officially 38 years 9 months and 29 days old. Or for the more math-happy 2026 weeks, 14182 days or 38.83 years ago. I was born on the 199th day of the 29th week.

Half my life is over

According to WolframAlpha, the life expectancy for a 38 year-old male is 77.54 years. Divided by 2, you get 38.77. Wait a minute. Didn’t I say that I was 38.83 years old? That means that this week marks the halfway point of my life. (In fact, if I do the math, it was yesterday) Wow, that’s depressing. Or is it?

I don’t want to dwell on this for too long. However, we all know that I will.I guess the real question is: What will I do with the remaining 14182 days? Enough for now, this post is about WolframAlpha.

Other Cool Wolfram Stuff

Did you know that my son is 6″ taller than the average 7 year old?
I finally know how much wood could a woodchuck chuck?
If you are vain (and who has not “Googled” themselves?) you get your name rank. (Before you ask, Smith is number 1)
You can compare stocks.
Want all the information about weather you can handle?
And of course, how far is it from Danville to Cleveland?

Wolfram is still in alpha, meaning that it was just launched and there are plenty of bugs. Gotta run, my life is 1/2 over and I got a bunch of crap to do!!!


What the hell is an RSS feed?

The other day, I was working on the computer and Jennifer came in to get something off the printer and asked what I was doing. I told her, “I’m moving all my RSS feeds to Google reader from Safari.” She looked and me like I had a third eye and writing that out really sounds like a geeky bunch of Web 2.0. RSS feeds (RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication) are really helpful to keeping up to date on the websites you frequent. Let me explain.

I found this cool video that explains this really well. Check it out. What RSS allows you to do is have an “inbox” for all your favorite websites. When they update content on their site or post a new blog, your RSS reader gets it for you. Think of it this way. You don’t have to check 50 different email boxes to see if any one of your friends wrote you and email. You check one inbox. By having a RSS reader you only have to check one place to see if your favorite websites have posted any new info. Ok, sound cool? How do you get started? Read on.

First you need a reader. I use NetNewsWire(Google & Yahoo have readers also), but there are a million of them available. Once you have signed up, just go to your favorite websites and look for the RSS logo RSS Logoor something that says “Subscribe or RSS”. The video does a good job in explaining this.

What’s great is that I don’t waste a bunch of time going to site after site after site to see if there is anything new at them. I just check my reader and I’m done. I hope you find this tip useful. I have been using a reader for about a year and I love it.