Friday, July 15, 2011

My "X of the day" routine (Dec. 31, 2007)

Current mood: enlightened

One of the first things I do every day is to look at a set of websites that I call "X of the Day". In essence, it is a collection of sites which change on a daily basis. Here's a quick rundown:

Astronomy Picture of the Day. This shows off a beautiful picture of something in the heavens, along with an explanation anyone can understand. Sometimes it's planets, or the moon, or something in deep outer space like distant galaxies, but just as often they show something here on earth.

Earth Science Picture of the Day. Like APOD, but focusing on our own planet, such as geology or weather.

Merriam-Webster Word of the Day. One word, explained, used in a sentence, and given its history. A great way to increase not only vocabulary, but understanding.

Interesting Thing of the Day. Always interesting, this page highlights an oddity of culture, language, history or an obscure term. Written mainly by one man, Joe Kissell, who grew up in Western Pennsylvania, and occasionally writes about it. [Added in 2011 update.]

Latin Word of the Day. While I added this to help with my daughter's Latin class, I've come to like it myself. Very short, it shows a couple of forms of one word from Latin, and what English words derive from it. In case you missed the previous day, that word is shown, too.

Pot-Shot of the Day. Pot-Shots, a one-panel strip found on the comics page of many newspapers, features an original, simple quip written by a man whose real name is Ashleigh Brilliant. He's been doing this for 40-some years. Each is 17 words or less. All of them are quotable. Many of them are hilarious.

Quotes of the Day. A little more elaborate, this page shows a quote from four famous people.

The Official SAT Question of the Day. Written by the people who write the standardized college board exams, this is one question, straight from a past exam. Hints are available, you get a couple of tries at it, and whatever answer you give, you get an explanation. I find that it keeps me on my toes.

I recommend any of these for parents with children. Granted, young children may not understand a lot of this stuff, but setting a routine for learning each day, and being exposed to information early on, will help them immensely later.

In addition, most of these have an archive. APOD's is particularly nice.

For browsing, I recommend Mozilla Firefox. What makes it so easy to look at all these websites is that I have the set bookmarked together, which I can then "open in tabs", meaning that all seven of them open at once in a single window.

No comments: