Monday, October 31, 2011

'11 Christmas List

I know it's a little early to be planning for Christmas, but Ronnie got me thinking about how much I love slippers, and I realized that I needed a new pair. That got me started thinking about starting this year's list of desirables and actually taking the time to write them down. I doubt anyone giving me a gift will actually read this, but hey, it's good to have a few ideas in mind for friends who outright ask what to give you. I love basically any gift I'm given, so don't take this list to be something it is not - it's just a list of stuff I want and don't necessarily need.

In no particular order:

  • Slippers
  • Bike Trainer
  • Books
  • Age of Empires 2 for Mac
  • Dog Stroller
  • $20 iTunes gift card (that should cover the gangsta rap songs I've always wanted and haven't yet downloaded)
  • Old Navy gift card (my favorite store as of late)
  • Express gift card (jeans!!)
  • Just Dance 3 for Wii
  • Car rack for my new bike :)
  • Cute scarfs (the non-winter kind)
That should do it for now! I'll let you know if I get any of this stuff :) Am I missing something I should have on here? Let me know!!

More Badges..

So I've done some more sleuthing and it seems that there is also a Barack Obama Badge available (which is not all that surprising).

This poster tells us the Badges he's earned, which include one for Harry Reid, Democrats, Tea Party, Somalia, Rand Paul, and Germany. Interesting.
There is another blog, Macrotots, which has a posting about a bunch of badges earned while experimenting with reading only certain types of articles. From his work, we know there following badges exist:

Motorola, Kindle, Netflix, Dell, Hulu, Microsoft, Samsung, Republicans, Nokia, Finance, Harry Reid, and Blackberry are all badges earned that I've not yet seen before.

A Google image search for "My Google News Badges" turns up images including badges for: The Phillippines, Warren Buffett, Lebanon, Sun, Libya, Russia, Ukraine, Syria, NATO, Iran, and Mitt Romney (did I say that one already)?

So now we know of at least 38 badges. Pretty exciting! Earned any lately you'd like to share? I am only 462+ away from knowing what 500+ Google News Badges exist. I guess it's more fun trying to figure them out than waiting for a list to be published. Or maybe this will be the only place a cumulative list will published. Guess we'll have to wait to find out!

I did earn two more, however, since last I posted :) Here they are:
Gotta represent my new Politics and iPhone Badges! I was surprised to earn the Politics Badge after reading an article about Greece. I see the politics in the protests there, but where's my Greece Badge??

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Google News Badges

Since the Google News Badges were unveiled in Summer 2011, I've found myself guilty of checking in to see which badges I've earned thus far, and wondering why aftering reading a litany of articles about a particular topic I've not yet receievd a badge for it. I keep up with the local news in my hometown and about 1 out of every 5 articles I read is about that little town. Clearly, there's no badge for that. We've read that there are 500+ badges, but no one seems to know what badges are out there to be had.

I thought it would be fun to start figuring them out, in hopes that oneday Google will publish an exhaustive list to satisfy my curiosity. Here's what I've got so far, in case you're curious:

So far I've managed to earn:
  • Gold "Space" Badge for reading 32 articles
  • Silver "Mobile Industry" Badge - 25 articles
  • Silver "Apple" Badge - 22 articles
  • Bronze "Google" Badge - 19 articles
  • Bronze "Android" Badge - 15 articles
  • Bronze "Steve Jobs" Badge - 14 articles
Since the passing of Steve Jobs, it was impossible not to graze a handful of articles about him (and incidentally, Apple). It seems apparent that multiple badges can be earned at once by way of reading articles about key topics (like the Steve Jobs/Apple example, just mentioned).

You can see in the examples (linked above) that there are badges for Politics, Business, Harry Potter, Chicago White Soxs, US Elections, Stock Market, Dominican Republic. On the forums I've seem complaints from Ron Paul fans having a Mitt Romney badge. I imagine that some articles do double-duty, earning you points toward multiple badges at once (as in the case of my Mobile Industry, Apple, and Android badges).

As interested in Space as I am, I am not all that interested in the Mobile Industry. I like reading about Apple, since I now own a Mac, but I still have a stone-age phone, leaving me all but interested in Android technology (though I do love technology, in general). Steve Jobs sort of comes along with the Apple territory, though I certainly read many articles about him after his death. The Google badge, well, it just showed up one day. I can't recall reading more than an article or two strictly about Google.

Any badges you'd like to share? Do you think your badges *really* say much about you?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

New Chapter

Anyone who is anyone will know that I've recently gone back to school for teaching. As always, I was incredibly ambitious and excited to return to the world of academia, but alas, I am quickly growing tired of waking up at 5:30am to teach, then going to work until 4:00pm, then going to class until 8:30pm without a break between each activity. I absolutely love the time I spend teaching in the morning at Emerson Elementary here in Madison, but it would be preferable for my next placement to be on the West Side, nearer to work (we spend 35 hours observing each semester).

I am liking Cardinal Stritch so far. I think the only drawback right now is how uninteresting my literacy class is. I love literacy and learning about language acquisition, but gosh, this class is downright boring! Unfortunately we must spend 15 hours total each semester (in addition to the above-mentioned 35 hours) observing literacy in a Kindergarten, 1st grade, and 3rd grade classroom. Please make it stop! I will be grateful when I move on to the literacy portion for older students, I think. I guess we'll find out.

Fun fact: Apparently 10 people per day read this blog. Looks like you're one of them! The U.S. has the most readership followed by Canada and India. धन्यवाद!