Tuesday, March 04, 2008

new Education Revolution blog

Well, my pal Jerry Mintz has finally created a brand-spanking-new blog for his organization, the Alternative Education Resource Organization (AERO), to supplement AERO's website, his personal site, and his various email-based announcements and mailing lists. Mintz/AERO has done a dizzying array of education-related things over the years: penning the book No Homework and Recess All Day; publishing Education Revolution magazine; running an annual conference; preserving Modern School history ... and simply doing a lot of the raw, exhausting work involved in keeping various education reformers in touch with each other, helping people start schools, helping schools improve themselves and become more "alternative", and the various other stuff involved in keeping an education reform movement alive and moving.

So far, the blog has three posts: the first is a simple announcement post where he says, "I still barely understand what a blog is, but I’m about to find out!"; the second links to and reposts an article Mintz wrote for USA Today last month; the third posts an interview Mintz did for the television show Joy in Our Town. The latter two, in particular, give a sizable sample of Mintz's style and approach.

AERO, incidentally, is indirectly responsible for me starting this blog. In mid-2005, I had been mulling over starting a blog for a while, but hadn't done anything yet. And then, during the 2005 AERO conference, I was chatting with a teacher from the Olympia Free School, who was at the same time typing up an entry on his laptop for his school’s blog (at the time, it was called "Free School Field Days"; the current form of the school's blog is here). As I saw him typing away in the Blogger interface, it just struck me how easy it was, and so I decided to stop stalling around and just go ahead already — and started this blog shortly after getting back home from the conference.

One of the rules of the blogosphere is that it's very self-referential; bloggers like to blog about other blogs with reference still other blogs ... so AERO's will probably be getting a lot more attention from other blogs. It'll motivate me to blog more about education-related issues, too (although I make no promises!)

Welcome to the blogosphere, Jerry!

Monday, March 03, 2008

new science fiction on Project Gutenberg: Frank Herbert's Operation Haystack

Yet another public domain science fiction short story whose eBook I helped produce makes its debut on Project Gutenberg. Originally from Astounding Science Fiction May 1959, with illustrations by H. R. van Dongen, joining Herbert's "Missing Link", posted last October. Yes, that Frank Herbert, and yes, it's really public domain ... 'nuff said!

one of H. R. Dongen's illustrations for the tale