Friday, October 17, 2008

Google Chrome Goes to the Comics

What's all this buzz about Google Chrome? It's not just the "Incognito Mode" that's great for hiding your skeevy midnight browsing habits. Conveniently, Google has a web comic called, "Google Chrome: Behind the Open Source Browser Project," explaining why their product kicks every other browser's ass.

Already know why about it and want to become a Google Chrome Thaumaturge? Check out Lifehacker's, "The Power Users Guide to Google Chrome".

Ready to make the switch-a-roo? There's only one caveat. Google Chrome is not yet compatible with the Google Toolbar. Oversight much? Why Google, why?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hand Bones

I called them Hand Bones while growing up. A line a picked up from the ever popular "Mocking Bird" rhyme. Recently stuck at home with an injured shoulder the repetitive movement was about all a could manage to relieve boredom and I found myself clapping rhymes with myself.

Enter the suddenly remembered secret domain of a little girl. Handclapping rhymes, a important component of handed-down oral girl culture and an altogether mysteriously shared experience. The Daring Book for Girls describes them as a fascinating oral storytelling tradition, many of which flirt with adult concepts such as, courtship, language and power memes all while using inventive language, simple songs, and sometimes tricky choreography.

If you'd like to catch a couple of school girls artfully giggling their way through some modern ones, watch the videos hosted on Kidz Lore, an Australian folklore website that has a section on "clapping games" which provides a nice collection.

One of my favorite memories of these games comes from a magical day in the fourth grade when I taught three friends how to do the only foursome hand bones I knew, Rocking Robin, as you have it which made us the stars of the playground for a week. Oh, and if you just want to remember how to do your favorites again? has a good list of songs and patterns.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Tech Habits to Improve Your Life

So, I spent a little time on an information technology help desk. Who hasn't? It turns out, a lot of people. There isn't a single place I have worked that hasn't turned me into the de facto go to person when it came to computers because I was available and knowledgeable, even though I never worked in IT out of college.

Keeping good technology habits can be hard, but teaching my Mom how to use the clipboard across software platforms led to a glow of pride when she eventually cracked open her own tower hardcase and installed new memory cards. If you fear the electrical demon in your home or office, it's time to face the music. And PC World's article "20 Tech Habits to Improve Your Life" is the right place to start. Go on kids, learning how to do backups should be taught in middle school, and after you learn how using a mouse can actually slow you down and how the essentials of basic e-mail tidiness can speed you up, you'll feel like a new person.