Wednesday, January 27, 2010

If they can...............

Here I sit writing my first blog to publish. I cannot believe I am doing this. I am being dragged from the Dinosaur age into the world of Technology. I used to think I was clever when I first started work and taught my self how to Touch Type on a computer. I then thought I was clever when I was able to continue my studies for a Diploma Course whilst I was married and had two toddlers at home. Now I jump on to Google when I want to find out information on what ever I require. Maybe a holiday destination or to check my bank account to see if I have any money to to pay for my holiday.

Technology, mainly the Internet has bought a whole new way of learning into my life. It has made the world a smaller place and it is fantastic for people who are home bound. My latest bit of technology is AudioBooks. I have now learnt how to download books on to my Ipod and it is great to be able to walk the my dog and listen to the next chapter of my book, or clean my house and not notice the effort involved as I am to busy with what is going to happen next with the story.

When I drive to work I listen to Audio Books on the CD player in the car the latest book I read was, A thousand Splendid Suns which I had borrowed from the Library. It was a great read. So bring on the learning we are never too old take up the offer of Computer Classes which are held regularly at Hurstville Library. There are many other classes on offer such as Mobile Phone classes or maybe you want to delve into your Family History with the Ancestry Database Training. Whatever the reason for having to try technology, give it a go, you will be surprised how easy it is and how clever you feel when you have mastered the task, and how it makes our lives more interesting.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Summer reading for kids

Thinking about how kids really enjoy reading over the Summer and what is it about that particular time of year that kids really actively seek out books and other materials for pleasure and relaxation, just like adults do!!. Definitely having parents that will visit Libraries or book shops and get materials for themselves and also their children is a great thing.Don't discount charity shops as you can get good kids books donated and there are second hand book shops, garage sales and even ebay.

Public Libraries provide access to all sorts of materials for no cost as membership is usually free.I know a lot of parents that give their kids book vouchers as a gift and they can choose their own items. It is a bit daunting for people to choose a book for a young person if they don't know what they like. There are so many kids titles in bookshops and unless they specialise in kids and young adult books and you can ask someone, your eyes will glaze over. There are such great books that are being written for all age groups and the authors and publishers are acutely aware what an important market children and young adults are as well as how smart they are. Programs such as Premiers Reading Challenge, Summer Reading Program at Public Libraries and Children's Book Week are all avenues that parents, school libraries and public libraries work together to encourage and support a life long experience.
The popularity of graphic novels in the form of Manga and Anime continues as it's appeal extends to both young and adults, especially the reluctant readers who "don't read".
If you haven't got into graphic novels you can read Superman or Shakespeare (cool Shakespeare!).

Getting kids on the road to reading as early as possible is really important, a lot of it is access to material and mentoring. Reading can be one of life's great pleasures and it's great to see so many kids and young people making reading part of their leisure time in their holidays.

Friday, January 15, 2010

The humble stackhat

Have you ever wondered why Australians often refer to someone falling over as stacking it? Why did your uncle not fall from his bicycle but rather had a stack? On a recent trip around the Power House Museum online collection I saw a record for the 'Stackhat' protective sports helmet circa 1982. This made me remember two things about my youth.
1. I recalled a time when I enjoyed riding my 1980's BMX to the shops with a bright yellow bit of expanded polystyrene on my head.
2. It was about then that I told my mum I'd stacked it trying to ride off a cliff and that was why my bike now came in two pieces.

But could the two be related (stacking and stackhats that is... not the cause and effect of stupidity and gravity)? According to Wikipedia and more importantly the Power House Museum it is. Even the extremely dubious urban dictionary agrees.

I wonder if Rosebank ever thought that their humble brick of safety would become a 1980 and 90's verb for accidents? The pre-fail days? But, this is Australia where we will shorten any word or just stick an 'o' on the end to make it our own. It is part of the reason I love this country.

Maybe it's time for a 1980's exhibition? I'm pretty sure my broken BMX is under my parent's place.