I think I’ve mentioned before, but I like to listen to podcasts when I run. Over the last few years I’ve created a list of fun things to listen to that keep my brain engaged while I might otherwise be bored (stuck on the treadmill, running in the dark, etc.)
One of my favorites is one called Stuff You Missed in History Class. It’s hosted by Holly and Tracy, who take a less well known piece of history and spend a full podcast talking about its story and the reason we might want to know about it. For example, the most recent one I listened to was called “The Honey War.” While there is a part of the story that does involve honey trees, it’s really about a battle between Iowa and Missouri over where the boundary between their two states would be. It’s not something I ever thought about and Sister Nancy certainly didn’t cover it in American History class, but it was really interesting.
There is one episode in particular I want to draw your attention to. It’s the episode from September 16, 2015 called “Six More Impossible Episodes.” In the world of Missed in History, “impossible episodes” are ones on topics that listeners have requested but that just don’t have enough information available to do an entire episode. About 25 minutes into that episode, as they wrap up talk about Elizabeth Bathory, they explain what they are looking for when they research a topic. Since research projects are starting (see what I did there?) I thought this episode in particular might be useful. They talk about getting facts from multiple sources. They make sure their sources are authoritative and have been through some sort of review/editing process. Around the 28 minute mark, Holly and Tracy became my favorite podcast hosts when they recommend going to the library and using the databases! It’s not just me. Other people think it’s a good idea.
So, listen, learn some obscure history, and research like Tracy and Holly.
This week’s App of the Week was discovered during the 5th and 6th grade Information Skills class a few weeks ago. We were exploring Infotopia (remember, that wonderful search engine that has been curated by teachers and librarians) and I started digging through the Games section. And that’s where we found it.
Draw a Stickman. Like some other apps, this has a web component and that’s where we started. But then we discovered there was also a mobile version and decided it needed to be shared with the community.
The concept is simple. Step one: draw a stickman. Step two: Follow the directions to take your stickman on an adventure. Draw well or your stickman may be singed by a dragon or eaten by sharks.
The app is free and available for both iThings and Android. And there’s also Stickman Epic (Apple and Android), where you draw a friend for your stickman and have to help save him or her from a book in which he/she has been captured. Both are free for the basic levels, but require payment for higher ones. You can play all levels on the web for free.
Thanks to Ben H. for making today’s announcement!
So, my initials are actually ARG, so it’s only natural that I love Talk Like a Pirate Day! Plus, it’s a fun little diversion at the beginning of the school year. So, for today, here are a few websites providing information about pirates.
National Geographic has a great Pirate High Seas Adventure and information about the Whydah Pirates.
The Library of Congress has a paper on America’s experience with the Barbary Pirates.
Want to know about pirate women? The History Channel has that info for you.
And as much fun as it is to talk like a pirate, change our Facebook language to Pirate English, and watch Johnny Depp do battle on the high seas, real pirates are still out there and a serious issue. Time magazine has a photo essay about modern pirates.
There are plenty of pirate stories up here in the library. Come on up and I’ll point you in the right direction.