David Warlick Ryann Warlick Martin Warlick
Shakabuku Infographics Video

Five Ways to Clean Up Space Junk


5 Ways to Clean Up Space Junk | Visual.lyAs you and your students may be able to imagine, our planet is filled with trash. Most of what we consume today is considered not to be used more than a few times, and so we throw it in a trash can and then put it on the street for the trash men to take it far away from us. Unfortunately, this is not the whole truth, it ends up in our quickly filling land fills.

But we do not only occupy this planet. For the past fifty or so years we, or things we have made, have also occupied outer space. Some of these items have been brought back, others have been destroyed reentering our atmosphere. But many are still floating in outer space. And even the tiniest object can cause major damage. Have you students imagine sand being thrown at them. Then imagine it being thrown at you at around 17,000 mph, the average speed of a space craft in low orbit. It can cause a lot of damage to you, or to a space craft.

This infographic goes through various methods being explored and tested to help clean up this debris. From giant fish nets to lasers, there are a variety of ways being explored to make space safe for continued exploration. Have you students discuss the merits of each method, and be able to defend what they think is the best method.

Blog: http://visual.ly/5-ways-clean-space-junk

Eight Things Successful People Do


what-does-it-take-to-be-remarkably-successful_5245d0297bcf4Don’t follow the herd. Don’t have a back-up plan. Word hard. Two of these are obvious, the third goes against common wisdom. But all three are things successful people do according to this infographic. You want your students to be successful, and most likely your students also want to be successful, so this is a great infographic to share with them to increase the chances of their success.

In addition, it is a very visually appealing infographic. Most likely, your students have never seen a chalkboard, and do not understand the background colors. But using a chalkboard background is a great idea. It portrays the idea of brainstorming, often associated with a chalkboard or whiteboard.

What backgrounds can your students use to entice viewers of their infographics? The background cannot be too busy, because it may distract, but it also cannot be too plain, because it may not draw the eye to the infographic. A tree trunk and some colorful leaves would be a great background for an infographic about fall. Faded hearts would be a great background for an infographic about Valentine’s Day. What else can your students come up with?

Blog: http://visual.ly/8-things-successful-people-do-and-why-they-work

Rice Engineering team helps someone out

This is very cool to see. A team of of Rice Engineering students have created a device to help a young man with brittle bone disease be able to do very simple tasks that he wouldn’t normally be able to because of the dangers of his condition. I’ll often see a video of a team of students making a cool futuristic gadget, but this is much more moving. It’s great to see not only the smile on the face of the recipient, but also the reactions of the team getting to see their life-changing work in motion.

Rice Engineering team helps someone out

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Literary Periods and Movements


tumblr_m6a63jlvsL1qlgje9o1_500From Medieval to Postmodern, there have been many authors that can be divided into literary movements based on popular culture, scientific innovations, and political events. Using a standard timeline and colors for each movement, this infographic goes in to the major literary movements, but not into the causes of these movements.

Looking back on my own education, I do not seem to recall talking about the reason behind the Enlightenment or Realism. What was one of, if not the, most important innovation in our history? The printing press. It took literature and knowledge from our mouths to paper faster, and allowed more people to have access to the written word. Before this people, often monks, had to handwrite every word of a book, and so only the most wealthy could own books to be read and referenced. After this books could be produced faster and faster and cheaper and cheaper allowing anyone to have access to the best kept secrets, power and knowledge.

How did this, and other seemingly unrelated events, influence these movements? From social upheaval to peaceful passing of crowns, everything has influenced literature. In order to understand these movements more fully, have your students explore the background of them.

Blog: http://goo.gl/MAon6e

Amazing Facts about the Human Body


18-amazing-facts-about-the-human-body_5239be637e7aaAnyone who has studied anatomy and physiology at all would agree that the human body is amazing. It is a machine that keeps us moving and creating, and recreates itself to keep itself healthy. It has defense mechanisms and the ability to reproduce, all while nourishing itself by using our environment. We could survive equally by breathing the air in the mountains and in the city (although many feel better in one or the other), and nutrition can be gained and processed by eating nearly anything. But there are some things beyond basic anatomy and physiology that will also blow your mind.

This infographic goes into everything from rejuvenation to strength. For instance, a femur is about four times stronger than concrete! If you know anyone who broke their femur, ask how, and you will learn how to break up concrete.

But how are each of these facts useful? Why do our bones have to be so strong? Why do our stomach contents have to be so acidic? Knowing these things is very fun, but knowing why is more fascinating.

Blog: http://visual.ly/18-amazing-facts-about-human-body

Genetically Wired


Depending on the age of your students, most of them are beginning to experiment with one major drug. Caffeine. This infographic goes through the aspects of coffee and caffeine, including cities that indulge in it, countries that indulge in it, and various other facts about it. But it does so in an interesting way.

There are so many infographics available for people to view, in order to make yours stand out, it has to look interesting. From using a stirring stick in a cup of coffee to using the lid of a coffee cup as a pie chart, this infographic does a great job of incorporating coffee into it’s sharing of information.

What do your students enjoy? What games are popular, or food, or anything else they find interesting? How can they create an infographic using information about their choice, and incorporate pictures of the item into the infographic. It takes practice to figure out what makes a visually appealing infographic, but it is a prized skill today, and probably for many tomorrows.

Blog: http://visual.ly/genetically-wired

History of Activisim


Nearly every major figure in our history acted for what they thought was the common good. From our own George Washington, to Germany’s Adolf Hitler, they all had this in common. In addition, they all sparked some sort of change. Martin Luther helped spark religious reform. Martin Luther King Jr. helped spark social equality.

Each of the people and events listed in this video helped bring together the world we now live in. How did each of these do this? Make a viewable timeline of each of the events and people listed in this video, and have students research how each of them affected time then, and time now. Choose a few to hypothesis what may have happened at these events not occurred, what other events did they spark, were there other players that could have continued the movement?

What other events did this video leave out? I don’t remember seeing a reference to the events of September 11, 2001. What about the illegalization of drugs? Can your students think of other aspects of their lives and trace them back a specific event, or a series of events?

Blog: http://visual.ly/causes

Edgar Allan Poe: A Graphic Tribute


allan_poe_infographic2Edgar Allan Poe is an important author to introduce your students to. He wrote very well, but also very dark. As this infographic shows, he did not have a great life, and so this probably influenced his writing greatly. I have actually visited the cemetery in which his mother is buried in Richmond, Va. It is also the church in which Patrick Henry gave his famous “give me liberty, or give me death” speech. It is the St. John’s Episcopal Church, a must visit if you ever visit Richmond.

He wrote about many dark emotions, such as guilt in the Tell-Tale Heart. It can be imagined what sort of guilt he had that sparked this story. He was in the army, and married his 13 year old cousin, both of which were common in that day.

One curiosity involves his gravesite. Every October 7th between 1949 and 2009, someone has anonymously left a bottle of cognac and three roses on his grave. What do your students believed this symbolized? Who could have left this? Why did they leave this?

Blog: http://goo.gl/Zqak9B

The Decline of a Great State

In early 2012, Public Policy Polling ran a national survey to determine the favorability of each state in the union. Not surprisingly, Hawaii was number one with 54% of those polled giving it a favorable rating and only 10% an unfavorable. Southern states, North Carolina and south, generally did not fair well in popularity. Exceptions were my state (NC) and Tennessee, both landing among the top ten. All others, except for Florida, were in the bottom half, four of them in the bottom 10.

Later that year a new government took control in North Carolina, Republicans winning 65% of the seats in the General Assembly based on only 52% of the citizens’ votes (see the Best State that Money can Buy).  Since then, this arrogantly conservative body has?

  • Denied access to federal emergency unemployment benefits
  • Blocked access to federal Affordable Care Act health care benefits
  • Increased taxes for low-wage workers
  • Lowered taxes for millionaires
  • Did away with 5,200 teacher positions and 4,580 teacher assistants
  • Canceled salary incentive for educators to become more educated
  • Are giving away $10 million in public funds to private schools
  • Closed 15 of the state’s 16 abortion clinics
  • Suppressed voting rights
  • Enacted policies policies that make millionaires more important to candidates and voters less

And the word is out thanks to the New York Times (here and here) and even the Colbert Report, here (starting at 4:10).

On September 5, PPP reported a re-assessment of the states’ favorability and wrote,

North Carolina’s national image has seen a strong shift in a negative direction since that time. Its favorability has dropped from 40% to 30%, while the share of voters with an unfavorable opinion of it has more than doubled from 11% to 23%. Its +7 favorability rating would have ranked it 40th in our national study of state popularity in 2011, rather than its top 10 popularity at that time.

 I fail to see how this points to improved economy, more good jobs, safer and healthier citizens, more tourists or new businesses.


The future of safety wear?

Here we see a demonstration of D3o, a material that is designed to absorb an impressively hard force. I can’t see any reason why this stuff won’t be in top of the line sports equipment and personal protection wear in the near future.

The future of safety wear?

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Photo taken by Ewan McIntosh in a Taxi in Shanghai

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Books Written

Cultivating Your Personal Learning Network
2nd Edition (2012)

Redefining Literacy 2.0 (2008)
Classroom Blogging
(2007) • Lulu
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Raw Materials for the Mind

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