War versus popstars
When Swenson landed in New York, he found that Syria was some way down the popular news agenda. “I heard that nine times as many people clicked on links to do with Miley Cyrus than the war,” he recalls. “When you consider what would have been more impactful, I think going to war has far greater consequence than a salacious performance by a pop star.”
Swenson wrote about his experiences, but wanted to find another way to communicate something of what he had witnessed, a country riddled with chaos and psychologically pockmarked by the president’s illegal chemical attacks on his own people. How to interest an uninterested populace in this seemingly remote nation?
Turning terror into a game
He settled upon the idea of an online game. Swenson describes 1,000 Days of Syria, which is freely available to play on the internet, as “part electric literature; part newscast; and part choose-your-own-adventure.” You follow one of three narratives, that of a foreign photojournalist, a mother of two living in Daraa or a rebel youth living in Aleppo.
The story is delivered in disparate chunks and, at the end of each excerpt, you make choices about what to do next: will you attempt to flee the country or stay put? How will you try to pass the time when you’re imprisoned in a dimly lit cell? Each character has three possible endings and, at times, their stories intersect.
In his attempt to explain the first three years of the Syrian conflict, Swenson relies on lengthy exposition, yet the tales are at times affecting, not least because they are based upon his own experience and the experience of those he interviewed first hand in the country.
Optical illusion: the Ebbinghaus illusion
thanks everyone for following my gif blog
Code to Save teh Kittehs!
Erase All Kittens is a great little game to show kids a bit about how the web works. (Though we have it on good authority that adults enjoy it too.) Use your knowledge of HTML to hack the levels of EAK and save the kittens from the evil force bent on destroying them.
Do you feel bored? Are you waiting for an opportunity?
Well cut that shit out.
You need to make your own opportunity. I want you to do something productive right now. Don’t have anything productive to do? Then teach yourself a skill that you’ll be able to use later. Don’t have one in mind? Here are a bunch of free resources to get started.
FREE COLLEGE COURSES (Everything You’d Get At College, Minus the Actual Degree)
- University of Washington FREE Course on The Science of Stress Management
- A Course on the Causes and Consequences of Obesity
- A Free Bachelor’s Degree Level Computer Science Program
- Introduction to Forensic Science (Offers an optional Certificate of Completion for $50 if you pass)
- A Free HARVARD COURSE on Copyright Law (Seriously, a free Harvard education, right here at your finger tips)
- Learn All About Community Journalism
- Learn Single Variable Calculus
- Learn How to Make Your First Mobile Game
- Here’s a search engine for more courses if I didn’t cover what you want
INFORMAL EDUCATIONAL TOOLS
- Learn Most Programming Languages and Web Design Fundamentals (Including Python, Java, html, etc, which could help you customize your tumblr more!)
- Learn How To Cook From User Made Image Guides
- How to Separate Egg Whites and Yolks
- Learn about Economics and Personal Finance via Podcast
- How to Tie a Tie (Short Video Guide)
- How to Pick a Lock With Nothing by Hairpins (VIDEO GUIDE - DON’T DO ILLEGAL STUFF)
- How to Draw an Owl (VIDEO GUIDE - YOU HAVE TO START SOMEWHERE)
- Learn How and When to Tuck Your Shirt In
- Learn How to Match Clothing for Your Outfits (For Men - AND NO I DON’T JUST MEAN FOR PEOPLE WITH PENISES, I’M SAYING THIS COVERS TRADITIONALLY MALE STYLES)
- Learn How to Match Clothing for Your Outfits (For Women - AGAIN, TRADITIONALLY FEMALE STYLES, NOT TRYING TO FORCE HETERO “NORMATIVITY” ON ANYONE)
- Learn the Basics of Feminism and Feminist Theory (DO THIS DO IT NOW)
LESS PRACTICAL (BUT STILL AWESOME) FREE SKILLS TO LEARN
- How to Survive a Lightning Strike
- How to Escape Zip Ties
- Teach Yourself to Speed Read
- Alternative Speed Reading Link
- Quick Guide To Multitasking
OTHER NEAT STUFF THAT YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT (THESE WON’T TEACH YOU A SKILL, BUT YOU MIGHT LEARN SOMETHING FROM THEM)
- 45,000+ Free, legal eBooks for Kindle or PC
- Free Legal Audio Books
- Free Legal Indie Video Games (This may seem counter productive, but Indie games often feature interesting messages and insights into the human condition)
If none of this works for you and you don’t mind spending money then you might want to consider taking paid courses on different subjects. There are actually some FANTASTIC deals going on right now. Again, the below courses/resources cost money. But they’re pretty neat and most give you some form of certificate or accredation (The End Dates MAY CHANGE; I don’t run these sites, so I can’t say for sure how long any sale will go on):
- Six Video Courses on White Hat Hacking on sale for $49 (FULL PRICE WAS $622) ENDS JUNE 4TH
- Get 70% Off Almost ANY Udemy Online Course with the code NEWCOURSES (They have courses on pretty much everything, including how to succeed with Youtube and Kickstarter, which are neat) ENDS 11:59 PM ON MAY 29TH
- Here’s a List of the cheapest Online College Programs that Are Accredited (Meaning you can put them on a resume and get yourself a job)
- Name Your Own Price for a HUGE Web Design Resource Bundle (Minimum of $1, but the full price for all of it is normally about $1500, so it’s a seriously good deal) ENDS JUNE 3RD
- Dominican University is offering a 20% discount on these online courses until June 30th.
- FREE COURSE ON GROWING YOUR ONLINE USERBASES (I.e. getting more followers, normally costs $250) ENDS JUNE 1ST
- iOS Game Development Course for $59 (Normally costs $499) ENDS JUNE 8TH
- Name Your Own Price Business Resource Bundle (Minimum of $1, includes business cards and logos, etc, full price is normally $995) ENDS MAY 28TH
- Game Developer Starting Bundle for $49 (Normally $989, teaches you Unity and a bunch of other neat stuff) ENDS IN LIKE 9 HOURS, I THINK
FULL DISCLOSURE: The links to the Game Developer Bundle, the XCode Course, the iOS Dev Course, and the White Hat Hacking course are all referral links. If you don’t want me as your referrer then just go here and find them on the site. I’m not trying to trick anyone into giving me referrals, thus this disclosure. THE REST OF THE LINKS HERE ARE NOT REFERRALS. I DON’T GET ANYTHING OUT OF YOU VISITING THEM OR USING THEM AT ALL.
That’s about all I have for you today. I’ll be posting more later. Feel free to add your own! Or send me suggestions!
YOU DON’T HAVE AN EXCUSE NOT TO EDUCATE YOURSELF NOW THAT YOU HAVE THE RESOURCES. DO SOMETHING WITH YOUR DAY.
Here’s a stupid graphic of my previously posted joke.
via Twitter http://ift.tt/19m3UEv
It’s hard to look at this chart and not see immorality.
Congratulations, class of 2014!
Not for graduating — though that’s nice, too — but for earning one of the more dubious distinctions in recent memory: You’ve officially been named “the most indebted class ever.”
According to the Wall Street Journal and data compiled by analyst Mark Kantrowitz, the average loan-holding 2014 college graduate will have to pay back $33,000. That’s up from around $31,000 in 2013 and under $10,000 in 1993.
Average student loan debt has increased every year for at least the past two decades. And more kids are accumulating debt — since 1993, the percentage of students taking out loans for college has risen from around 46% to 70%.
What does this mean for your future? Luckily, a college education is still a worthwhile investment. Not only are college grads generally more employable, they earn significantly more than their degree-less counterparts.
The problem arises when you consider the widening rift between average post-college salaries and how much students go into debt to earn them. Between 2005 and 2012, for instance, average student loan debt jumped 35%, adjusting for inflation, while the median salary dropped 2.2%.
This alone is disheartening. But added to the oft-cited mantra that you should never borrow more for college than you can expect to make in your first year of employment and you’re looking at choppy seas ahead. For the time being, matters seem manageable — according to 2012 data, the median salary for a someone holding a B.A. was $46,900, while the “average student loan balance” for people under 30 stood at $21,000. But things are definitely getting worse, and recent and future graduates will increasingly have to shoulder the burden.
Six Ways to Make Mistakes with Data. Great piece by @harrisj on data journalism (and data analysis in general):
"Everybody in this country should learn how to program… because it teaches you how to think" - Steve Jobs
If you’re running your own business, there’s never been a more important time to have a basic knowledge of coding.
Because as an entrepreneur in 2014, you’re working in a…