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October 30, 2005

Speak With Me

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I just came across a company tonight called Speak With Me that offers some pretty cool speech recognition software for vehicles. Here's a sampling of what it allows you to do:

For the demo, Ajay controlled his stereo system verbally, changing songs, picking tracks, controlling volume, etc. The commands he used to do this were in absolutely plain English and varied considerably in structure. For instance, Ajay at one time said “go to track 3″. Another time he said “play for me another one bites the dust”. Later, “I would like to hear wonderful tonight by eric clapton. “louder”. “quieter”.

Pretty cool huh? Here's a link to the entire article.

There are some neat ramifications here for audio learning. As more cars become "iPod-enabled" there becomes an increasing need for safety while driving. Fiddling with an iPod while you're behind the wheel is a recipe for disaster. A product like the one that Speak With Me provides could be the magic bullet.

You gotta love technology!

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October 28, 2005

Starting Fires

Caught this over on Brian Johnson's blog:

"Education is not filling a bucket but lighting a fire."
~ William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)
Irish poet, playwright & mystic, winner of Nobel prize in 1923

If education is lighting a fire then we here at LearnOutLoud.com are pyromaniacs. :)

Have a great weekend everyone!

(By the way, if you get an extra few minutes this weekend wander on over to Brian's author page and download some of his stuff. It's really good. Lately I've been particularly digging Quotes on Action and Quotes on Courage. Did I mention that it's free?)

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October 27, 2005

The Blue Flame

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During my run today I was listening to Keith Ferrazzi's Never Eat Alone (highly recommended by the way!). He talks about the concept of the "blue flame" which he defines as "a convergence of mission and passion founded on a realistic self-assessment of your abilities." He goes on to talk about Joseph Campbell's blue flame.

After graduation, (Campbell) moved into a cabin in Woodstock, New York, where he did nothing but read from nine in the morning until six or seven each night for five years.

Ferrazzi goes on to quote Campbell himself:

"If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living."

Campbell was an amazing man. You can find all of Campbell's audio books and DVDs on our Joseph Campbell Author Page. I watched the video series Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth a year ago and throughly enjoyed it. I'm sure you will too!

By the way, I listened to Never Eat Alone on the "Faster" setting today on my iPod which increases the speed by about 20%. It sounds a bit different but not as bad as I thought it would. Considering that you could get through a 10 hour book in about 8 hours, it's something that I'll probably be doing a lot more of in the future. Definitely good when you've got a book that's heavy on information that you want to crank through.

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October 26, 2005

Gandhi Out Loud

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I'm proud to announce that we've posted Gandhi Out Loud, the first in our Out Loud Series. The Out Loud series is designed to bring together all of the available audio and video material for a historical figure. I'm not aware of any other resource on the Internet for this. You can find bibliographies for many people with extensive listings of relevant books. But no one has done the same for audio and video...until now. :)

We're really excited to roll out a series of these with amazing people and great leaders such as Lincoln, Franklin, MLK, the Kennedys, Mother Theresa, etc. If you have any suggestions for people you would like to see us add to the Out Loud series, please send us an e-mail at suggestions@learnoutloud.com.

I had a lot of fun putting together this article on Gandhi. Particularly of note are his 1931 speech in London, his autobiography My Experiments with Truth and the 1982 epic film Gandhi starring Ben Kingsley. Amazingly, I watched that movie for the first time only a few weeks ago...

Enjoy learning about Gandhi through the resources we've linked to. He was an unbelievably amazing man and in today's age of war, more people than ever need to hear his message.

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October 24, 2005

Free MIT Lectures!

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We just put up over 100 free lectures from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

www.learnoutloud.com/MIT

These lectures can be streamed through Real Player on Video and Audio. The video and the audio is very high quality and not choppy at all if you're viewing on a broadband connection.

The topics they cover are fascinating and focus primarily on Technology, Science, Politics, Business & Economics, Medicine, and how these fields interact. There's lectures from Noam Chomsky, Jack Welch, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, and dozens of other great authors, professors, and leaders in their field. A truly great resource from one of the America's best universities.

 

October 22, 2005

How to Subscribe to Our Blog

Please excuse my manners. We've been posting blog entries for almost a year and I realize that we never stopped to explain how you can subscribe to our blog. Shame on us! Seriously though, just a few months ago I had no clue how to subscribe to a blog. Once I figured it out it literally changed my web-surfing life. So I thought I would take a few minutes to share the basics with you. And of course if you're already subscribed or know how to subscribe to a blog then please kindly disregard this post.

Step #1 - First, it's important to understand what you are doing when you are subscribing to a blog. Essentially you are setting it up so that when a new post is made to the blog you'll be automatically updated. Why is this nice? Well, let's say that there are five blogs you really like. Instead of having to check five different websites separately for updates you can check one place and see updates to any of the blogs. Pretty cool huh?

Step #2 - The next step is figuring out what your options are for subscribing to blogs. There are literally dozens of blog readers (often called RSS readers, aggregators, etc.) out there. If you have a My Yahoo! page that can actually be your blog reader. Google now has a reader called the Google Reader. I am partial to Bloglines, an online service that is pretty easy to use. What you use is totally up to you. If you're looking for some more options try searching for rss reader or rss aggregator.

Step #3 - Cool, now you've got your blog reader in place. Now you need the details for subscribing to our blog. For most blog readers you'll need to plug a URL into your reader (this is called an RSS feed or an XML feed but that's not important). To subscribe to our blog you can use the following feed:

http://www.learnoutloud.com/content/blog/index.xml

You'll notice that if you click on that link you'll get a bunch of gobbledy-gook. Don't sweat that. Just cut and paste the link above into the place where your blog reader tells you to. And if you're My Yahoo! you'll see a link on our blog page that makes it pretty easy.

So that's pretty much all there is to it. If you aren't subscribing to blogs, give it a try. It's a great way to stay up to date with a lot of cool stuff. And definitely subscribe to BlogOutLoud. We've got lots more good stuff coming for you in the next few months!

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October 21, 2005

Podcast Show Notes: Oct 21st, 2005

Confessions of an Audio Learning Junkie for October 21st, 2005

  • Intro - "There She Goes" by Brother Love

  • Introduction
    -Direct Link to the Show
    -Link to Subscribe to the Podcast

  • Video iPod
    -See the new iPod [Site]

  • The Dan Millman Podcast
    -Link to Dan Millman Podcast Page
    -Link to Dan Millman Author Page

  • New Blog Posts
    -Link to Blog Post: "Audio Tour Guides For Travelers"
    -Link to Blog Post: "MP3 Downloads of Great Lecturers & Speakers"
    -Link to Blog Post: "Integral Naked"
    -Ride With Me Audio [Site]
    -SoundWalk [Site]
    -What is Enlightenment? [Site]
    -The Great Lecture Library [Site]
    -iAmplify [Site]
    -Integral Naked [Site]

  • Brian Johnson -Zaadz [Site] -Link to Brian's Page on LearnOutLoud.com

  • Vote for Us on ChangeThis.com -ChangeThis [Site]

  • Win a Nano
    -Link to iPod Nano Contest Details
    -Link to our Blog

  • Outro - "In a Long Time" by 46 Bliss

 

October 18, 2005

Zaadz Notes

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We are extremely proud to announce that we've posted a new series of audio content to the site called the Zaadz Notes. The Zaadz Notes are a series of essays written and read by Brian Johnson, Philosopher and CEO of Zaadz, Inc. Each Note features wisdom about a concept or teacher that will educate and inspire you.

Brian covers a ton of ground in the Notes including teachers like Abraham Maslow, Marcus Aurelius, Rumi, Seneca, Socrates and more. If you've never taken the time to dive into this sort of wisdom, the Notes are a perfect introduction. They average about 20 minutes in length and are the perfect thing to throw on in the car when you're on the way to work. Think of it as your daily dose of education and encouragement.

Definitely check out Brian's page on our site as we keeping adding new stuff. If you love the Notes, you'll definitely want to check out the Zaadz Daily Wisdom Podcast as well.

Really good stuff. We plan to keep it coming.

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October 17, 2005

Thinking 100 Years Ahead...

I was listening to Wayne Dyer's excellent course Choosing Your Own Greatness tonight and he repeated the following Chinese proverb. I felt it pretty apropos in terms of what's going on here at LearnOutLoud.

If you are thinking one year ahead, sow seed. If you are thinking 10 years ahead, plant a tree. If you are thinking 100 years ahead, educate people.

Take a minute today (or tomorrow if you've already gone to bed) and think about how you can help to educate someone in your life. Maybe it's reading to one of your children or telling someone you know about some you've recently learned. If you're stuck, why don't you share the love and tell someone else about LearnOutLoud.com. That'll count. :)

Here's to thinking 100 years ahead!

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October 17, 2005

Audio Tour Guides For Travelers

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For those of you who prefer learning about where you are traveling rather than wandering around aimlessly we just added 3 publisher pages for producers of audio tour guides. Here they are:

www.learnoutloud.com/ridewithme
www.learnoutloud.com/soundwalk
www.learnoutloud.com/soundtravel

Ride With Me Audio covers a number of the nation's interstate highways covering the history and geography of the area you're traveling through. Obviously great for road trips the audio tours are based on extensive research and narrated by world class narrators like Flo Gibson and Grover Gardner. On their site they sell their products as well as other travel audio on CD and cassette. Or you can get over a dozen of their titles through audio downloads on Audible.com.

Soundwalk is a publisher which create audio walking tours for various parts of New York City. For more details about Soundwalk you can read my article "Listening Your Way Around The Big Apple". Their audio guided NYC walking tours are available on CD and MP3 download.

If you're going to Europe, Sound Travel features audio-guided walking tours of major European cities including the cities of Paris, London, Florence, Rome, and Venice. Each city tour lasts 3 hours and includes a total of four tours/walks to places that are considered to be "off the beaten path". You can get their tours on cassette or on audio download through Audible.com.

So if you're traveling through any of these destinations there's no need to be bored. Even the most banal turnpike has a rich history and why not learn about it while you're there?

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