Archive for February, 2010

Twitter? Professional?…C’mon!!!

Yes, another social media outlet…Twitter…ugh! Not so fast folks!! When Twitter first emerged I thought that this was just another social media outlet for the kids, the younger generation. I signed up for an account some time early last summer, played with it for a day or two without much focus, and forgot about it. I continued to hear more and more about it. Honestly, what brought me back was when one Green Bay Packer, @nickbarnett56, was venting via Twitter. I wanted to see what the buzz was all about. It doesn’t matter though how I got back, just that I did. All of a sudden it hit me. I started networking a little with family, then with a few colleagues, then BAM!! I found #edchat. This is a ‘backchannel’ of Twitter that has educators all over the globe discussing current topics near and dear to our hearts in education. If you are reading this and you are not a teacher, you too can find a niche for your interests. See, the little # sign is called a hashtag. You put that little sign in front of a topic, group, or interest and do a simple search within Twitter and your eyes will be open to a world that you never new existed. Give it some time, you’ll get it…seriously! Get yourself an account today. Here is the link: http://twitter.com/ After you get signed up, do a people search to find out if any of your friends or colleagues are on board, tweeting. If you are an educator I suggest following these four to get started @ShellTerrell @TomWhitby @jswiatek @web20classroom…and of course me, @jpsteltz 🙂 The person that really got me going with educational technology is @jbrogley who is our very own in-house tech guru!! Then, when you have some time, check out these two links I received from @ShellTerrell http://bit.ly/7QcOR and http://bit.ly/5oD8z…an amazing and vast expanse of quality educators to follow from all over the world, get to know, and learn from!! If/when you really get brave, download TweetDeck to utilize and maximize your Twitter experience http://www.tweetdeck.com/ . I have gotten involved on a ning network http://edupln.ning.com/ created by @tomwhitby with many of the Twitter educators and have even encouraged some of my colleagues to join. It has been an incredible experience. Just last night I received this link from @personified http://vodpod.com/watch/22265-ken-robinson-tedtalks-do-schools-today-kill-creativity, if you are an educator or parent or both…watch it! I have had more professional development in the last month via Twitter than I have gotten at the last two professional conferences I have been at. It’s energizing and useful. Is it social? Sure. Is it professional? Absolutely! Hope to soon see your Tweets

Hybrid WordPress Theme Framework: Overview, Child Themes, Sites Showcase

A theme framework is a theme that is designed to be a flexible foundation that can serve as a parent theme for building child themes. While not for everyone, they bring good value to the WordPress themes community through quality code and lot’s of child themes.

Theme Hybrid is WordPress Framework developed by Justin Tadlock. As with all Justin’s’ WordPress themes (the excellent Options theme), you know that you are getting a very powerful and versatile backend, but still very easy to use and develop upon. Theme hybrid truly is built with simplicity and power in mind.

The theme club has two types of membership, free and exclusive. Free members can download and use the themes for free and participate in the forums. For $25 you can join the exclusive club, which gives you access to tutorials and you are able to post questions on the support forums.
Theme Hybrid Features

I’ll just give you the short list instead, so you can go ahead and play with the theme:

1 Developed with child themes in mind, so you’ll never lose your customizations.
2 SEO optimized. No need for plugins to handle this anymore.
3 Theme options that are about content/information.
4 Templates for everything.
5  13 page templates.
6  Actively developed for WP 2.7 but backward compatible down to 2.5.
7  15+ plugins supported within the theme.
8  Attachment handling like you’ve never experienced.
9 Advanced breadcrumbs beyond any other theme.
10  Ability to run just about any type of site.
11 And over 20 tutorials to start.

Review – Jaggubhai

Production: Radaan Media Network, Zee Motion Pictures
Direction: K.S. Ravikumar
Star-casts: Sarath Kumar, Shriya Saran, Srisha, Goundamani and others.
Music: Rafi

It looks like most of the Tamil filmmakers have been constantly looking forward to break the barriers of rinky-dink technical aspects. The recently released ‘Porkalam’ had fantastic technical vistas with brilliant toning of camera angles. Likewise, ‘Jaggubhai’ top-notches on the technical notes… But much alike the other film, this one lacks substantiality in narration and indeed the story.
It’s time to come up with something good from K.S. Ravikumar. Sparing certain film with superstars, none of his film had a good story. As known earlier, the script of ‘Varalaru’ was acquired from director Sundarajan and so on with other films. But ‘Jaggubhai’ is a direct lift from a French film ‘Wasabi’ (Rajnikanth himself revealed it during the protest meet of Jaggubhai piracy).

So, what’s the result about film? Literally, it was so evident much prior to the film’s release as the sources revealed that black market traders faced a big loss with this pirated DVD as they were unsold.

The film requires special mention for one particular thing – Sarath Kumar’s different –shaded character just alike ‘Pacchaikili Muthucharam’. ‘Jaggubhai’ can be watched by middle-aged audiences who don’t have any expectations on the films they watch….

Far-famed for his flakey-fangled act of hunting down the baddies, Jaganathan (Sarath Kumar) is appalled to hear that his wife Ilavarasi (Srisha) has kicked the bucket during a car accident in Australia. On his flight to Australia, Jaggubhai comes to know that he has a daughter Monisha (Shriya) always found in skimpy dresses has to be taken care from an international don Hamid. Australia based Man in Black (Goundamani) is his man Friday here and now how Jaggu wins the confidence of his daughter with the aid of MIB forms crux of the story…

Overdosed sentiments breaks us into uncontrollable restlessness and despite the film being just 120mins, these elements really make us uncomfortable. Sarath Kumar has spelled a matured performance unlike his previous films. But he has to work a lot in choosing finest scripts, since he has the ability to do well with his characters. Why the hell K.S. Ravikumar would rope in an actress like Shriya Saran, who cannot emote well even at the places where she could’ve scored well. Goundamani comes to the rescue with his few comedic lines while Srisha fails to perform well.

K.S. Ravikumar has to focus a lot over the musical scope, since he blindly opts for any music directors recommended by actors. Being a student from A.R. Rahman’s school, Rafi has to work a lot to churn out better music. None of the songs turn to be appealing and most of them cause annoyance. R.D. Rajashekar does a marvelous job with his camera works and the entire film is slickly canned.

Had the director worked on a better script with some convincing screenplay, the film would be better enough to captivate the audiences. But as of now, the film has no chances of standing well at box office more than a week.

Bottom – Line: Sluggish Screen Presence by all

Verdict: Completely disappointing….

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