Hey everybody, we’re closing in on the last few weeks of school. Put down those textbooks, get out of Bi Hall for once today, because sooner than you know it, this semester will be over. Check out these links for interesting things going on in the world this week:
CHRISTMAS TIP #1: Buying toys for kids can get expensive, so some online websites are offering rental services, where you rent toys and then return them when your kids get tired of them. NPR reports the story in a brief radio snippet.
FACEBOOK: A study done by EyeTrackShop, a company that runs eye-tracking studies for advertisers ran a study analyzing eye patterns on Facebook. The resulting heat map is pretty interesting, showing where people’s eyes travel the most when looking at a Facebook profile.
MUSIC: A really beautiful piece of computer programming visualizes the first Prelude from Bach’s Cello Suites. I don’t know how else to describe it, but it’s beautiful.
CHRISTMAS TIP#2: What do kids want for Christmas? Wired lists the top 5 best toys of all time. Number one? A stick. ”This versatile toy is a real classic — chances are your great-great-grandparents played with one.” It’s a pretty great list.
GOOGLE: Check out Google’s newest service: Google TV. Plug your computer into your TV, and Google TV automatically syncs your cable to your netflix account, youtube, and other entertainment sites, all on your TV.
CODE CRACKING: Want to get into the GCHQ, the British intelligence agency? Just crack this code. And be a British citizen.
And your video of the week:
This year’s edition of Middlebury’s yearbook Kaleidoscope is already in production, and the money for it spent. The only question at this point is, will your face be in it?
You can upload your face picture (and others) on the yearbook’s photo upload website using the login information sent to your email, or you can ask email@example.com.
Despite my personal skepticism of whether or not this yearly publication in its current form is right for Midd (see below), I’ve submitted my picture. Here’s a list of reasons that you might do the same…
- POST-GRAD LOVE LIFE, PLAN B. Senior crush lists don’t always work. Maybe your Proctor crush is too alternative for Facebook. Adding your most flattering picture to the yearbook increases your chances–from zero to slightly higher-than-zero–that the lucky gal or guy will stumble across your face in just in time for your 5th reunion weekend….
- YOUR FACE (IN PRINT!). Yes, a bit vain, perhaps, but user-edited Web media completely takes the fun out of seeing oneself on the Internet. Who doesn’t get a little kick out of seeing your name or face in print?
- RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE 2010s. If I had posted a picture of myself like the one to the right on FB, and then found out I was going to be U.S. president a few decades later, I probably would have untagged it or deleted it long before the fact. Having a concrete freeze-frame of your 2010 hairdo and granola Vermont style will force you to take a bit of ownership for the good ol’ days in front of your kids.
- MAKING THE MOST OF IT. You don’t decide exactly how your tax dollars are spent, but you still benefit in some respect from the programs and security that they buy. Likewise, if you disagree with the yearbook, it will nonetheless be published in June with the label “Middlebury College 2009-2010.” If you were a part of that, it seems a waste of your student activities money not to be included.
What’s there to disagree about? Last March, MiddBlog posted on why Middlebury doesn’t need a yearbook. To recap the reasoning, still valid from its original posting a year ago:
- Publishing a yearbook is expensive, especially as it’s provided “free” to seniors (they’ve paid into the student activities feed coffers for four years, and get a part of that back in the form of the book).
- It isn’t a well-known part of Middlebury graduation tradition.
- Documenting everything from an entire year at a busy place like Midd seems impossible.
- Most of all, perhaps, Facebook and the Web partially replace the need for the extra 200 pages of photos sitting on your shelf 10, 25, 50 years from now. Ditching the yearbook for FB ruins the sentimental part of it, but on the upside would save a tree or two.
As much as I support participating in the current yearbook, I also think discussing the yearbook’s future should continue. It’s a large sum of money being spent, going towards a publication that many say (today) that they’re against.
MiddBlog wants to know. What’s your take? Is a Midd yearbook worth the money? Will you value a yearbook down the road, or is Facebook the answer? How should the idea of a yearbook adapt to the “social media age”? Does DePauw University have it right?
Now that everyone’s mom is on Facebook, groups are coming out of the woodwork to use Facebook to reach out to their “fans.” Just as MiddBlog lists Middlebury’s users on Twitter (list yourself here), here is an ongoing list of Facebook fan pages. Add a few today!
Stuck in the Middle (SIM)
Vermont Book Shop
Don’t see yourself here? Leave a comment below.