2014 was another big year for MacManX.com, and as usual, the folks at Jetpack prepared an awesome recap of my year for me! There’s some fun numbers and charts in there to round-up the year, as well as this gem:
The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 21,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 8 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.
2014 was a great year, so here’s hoping for an even greater 2015!
Robin Williams, renowned actor, comedian, and so much more, passed away yesterday. I can’t think of a single actor that I have seen in more films throughout my life, from his hilarious and whimsical performance as the Genie in Aladdin to his brilliant and terrifying performance as Sy in One Hour Photo. To suggest that he did not have an impact on my life through this wealth of artistic output would be ridiculous, and for that, I will indeed miss him.
You can see two collections of some of Robin Williams’s best scenes rounded up at The Verge and Quartz. Below is his pivotal “What will your verse be?” scene from Dead Poets Society, and in honor of his life and legacy, I ask, what will your verse be?
It has been a rather long time since I last assembled a LEGO set, but when I saw the latest Ghostbusters-inspired set, I knew I couldn’t resist. This Ecto-1 set is from LEGO Ideas, a place where anyone can submit an idea for review and possible production by LEGO, as long as it gets over 10,000 supporters, which this project did in a very short amount of time.
If you have some ideas for LEGO sets trapped in your mind over the years, submit them to LEGO Ideas, and you might see them on store shelves some day!
The last time we moved, we took the opportunity to frame and hang some great artwork from colleague Joen Asmussen. After our second move, we felt it was time to further decorate the office by framing our very small collection of signed comic book art.
Reading Rainbow is an award-winning educational show which ran for 23 years on PBS. The show was designed to educate children on the magic of reading, rather than just the technical aspects of it. By that I mean the ability to build your own world via a great work of fiction, rather than simply reading and comprehending the words. That aspect of reading was sorely missing in public education when I grew up, it’s still missing today, but presenting that on television to an era which became more and more addicted to television was a stroke of genius.
The series was canceled in 2006 with reruns airing until 2009. Though the series could no longer be seen on television, classrooms continued to show video tapes when they could, and many public libraries had episodes available. In 2012, the rights to the show were purchased by host LeVar Burton and his business partner, Mark Wolfe. The classic episodes were then released on iTunes and Amazon Instant Video followed by an interactive reading app for iPad and Kindle Fire.
Today, 1 in 4 children in the US cannot read at grade-level by 4th grade, increasing the likelihood that they will fall behind or simply drop out. In response, Burton and Wolfe have launched a Kickstarter Campaign to bring Reading Rainbow to every child they can by expanding the app to more platforms (game consoles, more mobile devices, streaming TV boxes, etc) and providing it all for free to as many schools as possible. The 35-day campaign set a new record by exceeding its goal in just 11 hours, but further donations continue to flow in, and they are forming even grander plans than they started out with.
I vividly remember watching Reading Rainbow on television and checking out the videos from our public library. It’s safe to say that it changed the way I think about books for the better. Books are amazing, because you can create your own world, cast your own actors, write your own music, and more. A book is just words on paper, but you are the one who makes that world a reality. That’s what Reading Rainbow taught us, and I hope it continues to teach more children just the same.
Please donate to Reading Rainbow’s Kickstarter campaign to bring it and its message of reading enjoyment and reading proficiency to children around the world!