Thursday, December 11, 2008


Wikipedia defines Podcast as, “A podcast is a series of audio or video digital-media files which is distributed over the Internet by syndicated download, through Web feeds, to portable media players and personal computer”.

It’s really just an mp3.

You will:
- Find a podcast
- Listen to it
- Write a summary and include the necessary technical information


“Can I find a podcast that is interesting to me?”

Oh my GOD!!!!

- Heavy Metal Podcast! – In about 15 seconds I found 20 podcast dedicated to the Metal, One even has head-banging licks in GREEK!

- Fashion – “takes an in-depth look at the world of high fashion. We introduce you to the people who are the driving and creative forces behind the shows”

- Football - I found so many. Paul, I listened to one dedicated solely to Arsenal

- Literature - I told you I could find a podcast about Twighlight
Lord of the Rings Radio!!!

- Travel – Lonely Planet?

- Jonas Brothers? Yes, really, the Jonas Brothers

- Gaming – World of Warcraft

- Humor- “Cartalk” radio program with two brother mechanics taking calls from troubled car owners.

- Real Life Stories – “This American Life” the best!

- Personal Interest - “The Working Actor Podcast”

Where to find podcasts?
Itunes – search for podcast at the itunes store, hundreds of thousands
National Public Radio -

The podcast you review must be:

1- Audio (not a video podcast. These are great, but a videopodcast can simply be an mp3 video file. Such as “South Park Video Podcast”, is nothing more than the show.

2. At least 20 minutes in length

3. Conducted in the English language

4. presented in the same format as below; with an image

Title – Music Week

Episode – Chinese Democracy
Date – November 23, 2008
Time – 26:53
Website -

Description of Episode (from the Podcast producers) – “On this week's Music Week Podcast we celebrate the release of Guns N' Roses 15 years in the making Chinese Democracy. We also get reactions to the return of Top Of The Pops and play Mr. & Mrs. with Travis.”

Why I picked this podcast? (Summary)

I like music and the BBC has really high quality productions. I listen to this programme quite a bit. It often covers musicians and bands I’m a fan off and others I have never heard before and strike my interest. This particular episode seemed interesting as it documents the long awaited release of Guns and Roses album Chinese Democracy. I’m not really a huge G&R fan, but this is too crazy to ignore. This album has been fifteen years in production. It’s “making” is older than some of you. They give a timeline of what’s happened to the once very successful band since their last album and curiously I found out that the band no longer is the “band” as only one original member, Axel Rose, is still present. They also provide a number of interesting on the street interviews with G&R fans. Apparently 15 years wasn’t long enough.

They also have an interesting segment with
Travis. I like Travis. Music Week asks the members to quiz one another on certain intimate details that one would expect to know after playing together for ten years.
“What’s his favorite song to play live”?
“What’s his favorite color”?

What a plonker I am! I had never heard their non-singing voices and never knew they were Scottish! Go Miss Kate!

Later they conduct an interview with
TV on the Radio , a band I didn’t really know anything about. Obviously I was curious and sought out their music… very cool.

Part three discusses the historical relationship between artist and musicians citing such figures as John Lennon. Music Week interviews a number of famous artist cum musicians and dabbles into why they straddled the two disciplines.

“Top of the Pops”! I know this show even from a childhood in this States. The quintessential English music television show, Top of the Pops was fundamental in forming youth culture. BBC has it scheduled for a return of the programme for the annual Christmas schedule. Can’t wait!

As I frequently listen to this programme I can say it is definitely enjoyable. I would suggest to any fan of modern music. When you find a podcast you really like you can subscribe to it. Subscribing will allow itunes to automatically download each week's episode. Easy, informative, and entertaining, podcast keeps you in touch with the rest of the world.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

WATCH! This is the film we will be viewing this Friday at the Cyprus International Children's Film Festival. We will discuss themes in class prior, so please have at least two in mind when we get together next.

Don't forget, THEME = a central and dominating idea in a literary work.... The main idea...In addition, the term means a message or moral implicit in any work of art.

The term is from the Greek thema, meaning “proposition,” which was derived from tithenai, meaning “to put.”

Themes in A Taste of Salt - Overcoming poverty and adversity
- Fighting for justice/a good cause

Themes in The Hobbit- Taking risks
- battling one's insecurities

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Sith Seeking Sith

Sixty something responsible mature businessman, looking for someone to spend quality time on my dark, cold, Deathstar. Tall, strong, and with an unmatchable invisible grip, I like fencing (light sabers) and dog-fighting in my Tie-fighter. You must be willing to deal with my asthma and deviated septum (not to mention random acts of violence- space rage!) Not much of a family man, not looking to have kids (been there-done that!). I like movies and music, Cheaper By the Dozen- The Jonas Brothers! Jedi Night, or even some force being with you is a plus. No short green chicks or Wookies please! Definitely no HUTTS! Masks are optional.

Digits- VADER DA STH 977-867-4356

Bilbo needs a date...really.

You must pick a character from our novel, The Hobbit. Use the character sketch graphic organizer to detail his characteristics. These need to be both physical and emotional.

What might be a trait of Bilbo? Supply where in the story we can see this.
Then add likes and dislikes, also supplying support from the story. If you state that Bilbo likes a certain activity, where do we see his in the book?

Your personal add needs:
- title of add
- Both physical and emotional characteristics
- Likes and dislikes
- Characteristics that he would like in a significant other
- One exert of sheer silliness, or irony (Must play basketball, dumb but ironic for Bilbo- diminutive)
- contact information
- am image
* needs to be 80 words minimum

In order to avoid being repetitive, use a thesaurus-

For example, I want to say that someone is nice. The thesaurus gives me the following alternatives for saying nice:
admirable, amiable, approved, attractive, becoming, charming, commendable, considerate, copacetic, cordial, courteous, decorous, delightful, ducky, fair, favorable, fine and dandy, friendly, genial, gentle, good, gracious, helpful, ingratiating, inviting, kind, kindly, lovely, nifty*, obliging, okay*, peachy*, pleasant, pleasurable, polite, prepossessing, seemly, simpatico, superior, swell, unpresumptuous, welcome, well-mannered, winning, winsome

Friday, October 17, 2008

Guillermo.... Help us!!!

Yes, famed director Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth, Hell Boy) is scheduled to bring Tolkien's the Hobbit film.

See what Guillermo has to say.

Now, please watch this with an open mind. 1977 is quite a while ago, and audience expectations have definitely changed over the years. Watch, and see how this interpretation is inline with the actual novel.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Due to a recent increase in random rabid feline attacks in Strovolos Park, UN Special Forces presence is on the rise. A crack covert team from the Saskatchewan Forestry Division recently arrived to the island. Local feline insurgents have begun to retaliate and the chipmunks have requested increased firepower.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Movie Review

Movies, films, Holly-Bollywood… what sort of person with a pulse doesn’t like movies?
What’s a film you absolutely love, or hate, or perhaps saw last? When one writes a review of a film they are giving their:

Giving a brief account of the film; setting, characters, major themes and without giving too much away (spoiler), they let the reader in on the plot.

You (no please this time) MUST read the following TWO links regarding writing a film revew.

I chose a film, not only because I like it, but because I think a number of you will like it.
“The Devil’s Backbone” (2001) is a historical mystery/horror film by Mexican director Guillermo del Toro (you may know him from the “Hell Boy” series and “Pan’s Labyrinth”). Below you will find a review by Neil Smith for the BBC. It’s a decent review and most of what Mr. Smith says is does justice to the film.

The Devil's Backbone (2001)
Reviewed by Neil Smith
Updated 27 November 2001

On the back of "Cronos" and "Mimic", Guillermo del Toro has emerged as one of the horror genre's most striking new talents. "The Devil's Backbone" (El Espinazo del Diablo) may be more conventional than its forebears, but it's still a superior ghost story/murder mystery which confirms del Toro as a name to watch (his next movie will be "Blade 2").
Set in a school-cum-orphanage at the end of the Spanish Civil War, the movie begins as a childhood rite-of-passage for ten-year-old Carlos (Tielve) before spiralling into a "Shining"-style spook fest.
Although the orphanage lies on a remote and dusty plateau far away from the frontline, the threat and dread of war is omnipresent - not least due to the huge unexploded bomb that sits reproachfully in the middle of the courtyard.
Carlos' life is hardly made easier by the bullying Jaime (Garcés) and the school's menacing janitor, Jacinto (Noriega). But things get even more threatening when Carlos begins seeing the pale spectre of Santi (Valverde), a fellow orphan who was brutally murdered shortly before his arrival.

Cleverly lacing its chilling melodrama with a political twist - with Jacinto's brooding rage implicitly equated with the fascist oppressor - "The Devil's Backbone" reverses expectations by telling its doom-laden Gothic narrative in broad daylight and baking sunshine. The climax is a little disappointing, and the glowering Noriega is really too handsome to pose much of a threat. Unlike most so-called thrillers, though, this is one "Backbone" that's guaranteed to send a shiver down yours.

In Spanish with English subtitles.

Director: Guillermo del Toro
Writer: Guillermo del Toro, Antonio Trashorras, David Muñoz
Stars: Eduardo Noriega, Marisa Paredes, Federico Luppi, Íñigo Garcés, Fernando Tielve, Irene Visedo, Junio Valverde

You must include:

-both an image and the trailer to the movie.
-credit information including date of release, director, actors
- language

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Anticipation Guide Response - The Hobbit

- A life lived with fear is a life half lived.
- Ignorance is bliss.
- It’s better to take chances and lose than to never take a chance.

Monday, September 22, 2008


Take this scene from The Godfather (Coppola, 1972).

The Godfather, Don Corleone, receives visitors in his office on the day of his daughter’s wedding.
Johnny Fontane, the famous singing artist, in a desperate state pleads with Don Corleone to “persuade” certain Hollywood producers to offer him a new record contract.

: 03 Johnny Fontane: Godfather, I don’t know what to do, I don’t know what to do.

Abruptly, standing and shaking Fontane while yelling at him.

Godfather: You can act like a man (slaps him in the face). What’s the matter with you? This is how you’ve turned, he’s been in Hollywood so many years cries like a woman.

:15 Mocking him with heavy sobbing
What can I do? What can I do?

Reaching out in a comforting manner
:25 Godfather: Come here. You look terrible. I want you to eat. I want you to rest well. In a month from now this Hollywood big-shot is going to give you what you want.

:40 Fontane: Too late, they start shooting in a week.

:45 Godfather: I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse.

Now watch this!

You must create dialogue for this scene from Adhisaya Piravi (1990).

• These characters must have names.
• You must supply dialogue for all spoken parts (They are speaking Tamil)• You must describe major physical asides. If your main character is on the verge of taking another man’s manhood with his foot, then you must indicate this.
• You must provide a reference to time that coincides with the video running time.
• You must also include the video.

If there is another video of comparable time and dialogue usage, run it by me and I am sure it will be fine.

If you would like to kill 32 minutes, watch some more of Adhisaya Piravi. It is soooo bad it’s good.

Goli MAR!

DUE Friday

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Friday, September 12, 2008

“The Private Lives of Teachers”

Summer has just ended. It seems like every year you have to write some sort of paper explaining, “My Summer Vacation”. Why are teachers always so interested in this facet of your life? (Perhaps they have no real lives and wish to live vicariously through your glamorous holidays). Pick one of your teachers and have a little fun.

1. First, please listen to the following student produced podcast from Youth Radio entitled, “The Private Lives of Teachers”. Click on “Listen Now”.

2. Second, ask their permission to use their name and their photo.
We will “borrow” the images from the school’s faculty photo page. Explain what the project is about. They love education, they can’t possibly say no!

3. Create a creative scenario for your teacher. What sort of seasonal mayhem did they get up to?

• 400 word minimum
• Logical paragraph structure
• See rubric (This what I use to give YOU a GRADE)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Jack London Mp3

Please open the following link and do one of the following options:

1- Download the short story “An Adventure in the Upper Sea” and pass it on to your iPod (and listen to the story)

2- Listen to the story immediately online.
Music is a fundamental element of all cultures. What music best coincides with your personal culture? What function does music play in your life?

As a person matures, so does their taste in music. Being a near-adult, what music is especially appealing to you?

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? In this case the answer is obvious, nonetheless videos have become an integral component of musical expression, at times superceding the music itself. “The song is O.K., but I really like the video”

Tell us about a band. If you must remark on your favorite, by all means do so, but I think it would be more advantageous for all if you share with us some musical insight privy to a few, and not the masses.

This is piece of writing is both expository (telling facts) and opinionated (why you like this band/song/video).

- Write a piece telling us information about your band. If you are not sure about background information on one of your favorite bands, then what a wonderful opportunity to investigate.

- where is the artist or band from? What type of music is this? Perhaps include a discography (listing the albums with dates released) or potentially awards obtained.

- Include a video please see the link on imbedding video into your blog.

- Explain why you particularly like this group.

Read my band pick to see one of my favorites and to get a good idea on what we expect from your writing.

Los Amigos Invisibles, translated as The Invisible Friends, is a Venezuelan pop band. They came into light upon the release of their first album, A Typical and Autoctonal Venezuelan Dance Band, in 1995. They were subsequently catapulted into international acclaim upon being signed by Luaka Bop, the independent label of famed musician David Byrne.

With Luaka Bop they released a total of three albums, including The Venezuelan Zinga Son, Vol. 1 which was nominated for a Grammy for
best alternative Latin album. Los Amigos Invisibles have relocated to the States and since released independently Super Pop Venezuela. in 2006.

Los Amigos Invisibles is a highly original band due to its unique mix of R&B, funk and Latin rhythms. They effortlessly combine multiple themed tracks on a single album. From house, merengue, and tropical dance grooves, Los Amigos dwell into numerous musical styles always with a danceable beat and a great sense of humor.

Playa Azul (Blue Beach) is not my favorite song my Los Amigos, but I do find the video to be very compelling. Music should evoke certain images to the listener. The song is full of imagery of tropical beaches and paradise like weather. The video most ironically presents the band in a dark, cold winter world, far from any beach. Having my own preconceived notions regarding this song, I obviously was most taken back with the video. The members of the band seem to be authentically suffering from a miserable New York winter’s day. Also, anyone being a fan of Los Amigos Invisibles would know that prior to releasing this album had relocated to New York. One can’t help but wonder if the video is not truly representative of the band’s suffering in their new home, far from the blue beaches of Venezuela.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Setting up your own Blog - ALL CLASSES

First Assignment

You need to register an account to obtain your own blog (see the following post for [simple] instructions).2. Your blog needs a title. Since your blog is a written extension of yourself, your title must be reflective of you, what you are like, you personality, spirit, etc.I teach. Hey, it's not all that I do, but it's obviously an important element of my life. My website, has kept me slumped over a computer for countless hours. So, Step Into Our Classroom is an significant title for me. Stay away from using just your name (That was your parents’ creativity, not yours!).3. You need to edit your profile: Photo.4. You need to pick a template.5. Most importantly- once your blog is active and running I need you to copyand paste the link (i.e. ) into an email and send it to me; .

This is your first daily grade.

Register/Blog Posted/ - 50 pts
Title -20
Photo -20
Template -10
/100pts total
Good LUCK!

What is unique about you? How are you different from others? Is there a certain item, theme, or even belief that you would chose to represent yourself?On your blog, make a post detailing this uniqueness. This writing (we like to call it an opportunity of expression) will be accompanied by no prompts, as we truly want this uniqueness of your essence to come forth naturally.*Include an image with this posting… refer to the rubric for writing guidelines.Cheers!