Tag Archives: VlogBrothers

What is Net Neutrality? Why Should I Care?

The FCC has opened up a forum for comments about net neutrality. Hank Green does a great job explaining what it is and why it matters to you. (Yes, you. You’re reading this on the internet, right?) Check out the video and then go to the FCC site to weigh in.  This is an important issue for everyone who does…anything on the internet.  Have questions?  Want another opinion?  Comment below.  I’ll go down the rabbit hole with you to find answers.  Remember, they’re asking for your voice.  It matters.  You matter.

Til next time,

Jessica


Hank Green Explains What Boys Look For In Girls

Sort of explains…I like Hank Green, and not just because he goes off on a tangent here.  You go, Hank.

‘Til next time,

Jessica


Hey, Did You Know This About Dinosaurs?

Henry told John Green to make the video about velociraptor. It’s pretty awesome. I had no idea they had feathers. Feathers! (Also they lived in the Cretaceous period, not the Jurassic period. Sorry Michael Crichton) Apparently, they could jump about 10 ft, vertically. At Nerd HQ at last year’s San Diego Comic Con, Tom Hiddleston did an impression of a velociraptor. It was pretty awesome, and it makes you wonder how many times did he really watch Jurassic Park?

‘Til next time,
Jessica

Concentrate, Concentrate…

Hugh Jackman and Elmo…wait, what was I supposed to be doing?  When I saw this one, I literally laughed out loud.  I’m so easily distracted, and I was supposed to be doing something else…not watching random Sesame Street videos on YouTube, for sure.  The “concentrate” video mostly put me back on task.  At work, we’re in cubicles, and some days even the quiet noise of typing and people walking by in the halls is enough to throw me out of my groove.

I have to just plug in my headphones and listen to music with no lyrics in order to focus.  Bach, Mozart, Handel, Chopin, Wagner and, recently, Sigur Ros all help me stay on task.  Words in English aren’t good on those days.  I tend to make up stories around the lyrics, and that is not at all productive while I’m at work.  Do you listen to music while you work?  What helps you focus?  Seriously, I need all the help I can get.

Let’s not even talk about the internet, which I use quite often for work, because that is one huge distraction waiting for the right moment to pounce.  Blog posts, industry articles, TED Talk videos, the Vlogbrothers, Mental Floss…I’m not even talking about social media here.  Wikipedia can be a giant rabbit hole too…I want to know all the things…

The state of my work place also impacts my ability to focus on the task at hand.  Currently the messiness of my work space is driving me batty.  However, that is one that I’m valiantly fighting until I get to a place in my never-ending list of things-that-must-get-done-today.  Then it will get organized and cleaned…and probably stay that way all of five minutes.

So, obviously, I’m needing some help here.  What do you use to stay focused?  Any advice?

‘Til next time,

Jessica

 

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Thinking Globally

Like many of us, the situation in Ukraine has been on my mind. As a country Ukraine (and Crimea) has been in the middle of a lot of conflict.  I was searching for a good way to put this current conflict in historical context (without writing more than anyone wants to read), and fortunately for me (and you), I came across this. Thanks, John Green. You did this much more succinctly that I would have.

‘Til next time,
Jessica
P.S. Sorry to have been gone so long!  I did not plan ahead for blogging while traveling.  I’ll try to do better next time, but, for now, I’m baaaacccccckkkk.

Book Review: Finding no faults in….The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

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Recently, I read The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.  I didn’t even read the jacket, so I had no idea what I was getting myself into.   Do you ever do that? Truthfully, the cover is so eye catching I probably would have picked it up anyway though.  Don’t you just love that vibrant blue?  This was another internet find, see.  Pinterest or Tumblr…(I can’t remember which now) introduced me to this author.  He and his brother Hank Green have a YouTube channel, VlogBrothers and someone made a meme about “the Venn diagram of boys who are stupid and boys you don’t want to date is a circle”.  Here is the link to the whole video.

I loved it, and I completely agree! Down the rabbit hole I went trying to find out more about this guy.  Not only do they have the VlogBrothers, there’s the Nerdfighters and all this other stuff too.  Here’s a video explaining How to Be A Nerdfighter: A VlogBrothers FAQ.

Somewhere along the way I became distracted. (You know the dog in the movie Up? Some days my friends say I’m a bit….Squirrel!) There was a comment I read about this amazing book The Fault in Our Stars. Whoa, this guy’s a writer? Then I got distracted by something shiny.

firefly

I put the book on my to-buy list.  That was not the last mention of The Fault in Our Stars I would come across.  Everyone has a list of books to pick up next time they’re out, right?  Like a grocery list, but to feed the mind.  After a girls night dinner, I got conned into going to the book store.  Okay, fine, she didn’t so much con me as mention she was going to the book store and I may have begged to go along….just a little bit.  She picked up a book to read on her vacation and I got The Fault in Our Stars.  This did not sit in my to-read pile for long.  It was like the bright blue cover was calling to me, so  I took it with me to start while I visited my best friend for her birthday.

I owe my best friend a HUGE apology.  It should probably involve wine and possibly cake to convince her to forgive me.  See, here is the problem.  It was her birthday. (The problem was not her birthday, we are NOT that old!  The problem was me.) The book came with me when I visited for her birthday.  There may have been an entire evening…fine it was the whole night,  that I was engrossed with this story.  This was NOT THE PLAN.  It was very nearly physically impossible to put down.  Every time I tried, I got pulled back in again. (Just one more chapter…) The day began just fine.  I started reading just before breakfast, and I did manage to put the book down to cook the birthday breakfast of pancakes. (I make some killer pancakes!)  We ran around town, did fun things, and got some sushi for dinner.  Then after dinner, I picked it up to read a chapter or two while we watched a movie I’d already seen…and I finished it at 12:30 am.  No conversation, nothing, just reading, maybe a few exclamations or bits of laughter.  Fine, my eyes may have gotten a bit misty once or twice, definitely nothing interactive…with my best friend…for her birthday.  (She definitely deserves wine and cake.)

These characters….I mean, wow, they’re great, so well written, and REAL.  I just loved Hazel to pieces! Don’t even get me started on Augustus or Isaac.  They broke my heart and mended it all at once.  Hazel is so…. It is like trying to describe your best friend or your sister.  Every time I think of her, I get a clear picture of her as a person, but feel I lack the ability to accurately describe her.  Even if I tried, I couldn’t do her justice.  I would surely leave out a vital piece of her.  You simply must meet Hazel.    These are teenagers that are funny, sarcastic and irreverent.  They have the same tone that I hear when my 15-year-old niece speaks (the one that makes me want to laugh and roll my eyes all at once), and they are intelligent, fiercely intelligent.  It is all tempered with this maturity and an awareness of others that is far beyond their years, which is completely understandable due to the circumstances. Their stories are told with truth, humor and grace.

Although this is classified as a young adult book, don’t let that deter you from picking it up (or putting it on your book shopping list…like literary groceries!).  It tackles some tough subjects, and it meets them head-on. These heavy-hitters are all handled honestly and with care. Don’t let the tough subjects steer you away from this book either!  I’m really glad that I didn’t know anything about the book before I bought it.  Honestly, I might have delayed reading it, if I’d known in advance.  That would have been something I regretted.  I wouldn’t hesitate to hand over this book to my niece. (Convincing her to read more than her Twitter feed is something else though.)  She’d enjoy it and come out the other side changed…for the better.  I know I did.  That is the mark of a really good book, after all.  The Fault in Our Stars is definitely an amazing book, and I plan on reading it again  . . . soon.  There are some nooks, crannies and layers yet to explore here. (I did read it in less than 24 hours after all.)

First Line:

“Late in the winter of my seventeenth year, my mother decided I was depressed, presumably because I rarely left the house, spent quite a lot of time in bed, read the same book over and over, ate infrequently, and devoted quite a bit of my abundant free time to thinking about death.”

‘Til next time!
Love,

Jessica