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December 29, 2005

Ten New "Ear's" Resolutions for 2006

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No, I didn't leave out the "Y". While everyone else is talking about "New Year's Resolutions" I figured I'd write an article about New Ear's Resolutions. It probably sounds like I'm off my rocker but bear with me. A New Ear's Resolution is a resolution to change the things you listen to in the coming year. To be honest, it might be one of the biggest changes you'll make.

You see, I'm a big believer in the fact that our lives are often the product of the things that we consume. It might be the stuff we read, what we watch on television or the people we hang out with. Here at LearnOutLoud we're all about the stuff that you listen to. Our mission is to help introduce you to amazing variety of really interesting and entertaining educational content that's out there. We hope that by doing so we can encourage you to Learn Out Loud too.

So as part of that I've written a series of New Ear's Resolutions. You might choose to follow them all or just to follow some of them. Either way, I think you'll find that they'll benefit you tremendously in the upcoming year. In fact, I guarantee it. Hear me out on this. OK, that was a bad pun but I really believe that if you were to incorporate just a few of these resolutions into your daily life that you won't believe what an impact it will. Make them all a part of your life and you'll end 2006 living on a totally different level than you started it on.

Ten New Ear's Resolutions for 2006

10. Pull the cord on talk radio - OK, every once in a while I too like to listen to talk radio. But what it is about people going on and on about relatively meaningless stuff that attracts so many people? My answer? Lack of choices. People put on talk radio because there isn't much else on the dial. Here's my advice to you: Plan a bit ahead. Have something really good queued up on the CD player, iPod, whatever so that you listen to something that you enjoy rather than just settling for whatever is on.

9. Learn a language this year - Learning a foreign language used to be a lot more difficult than it is now. You used to have to go to expensive classes or try to learn from boring books which aren't all that great at teaching language anyway. All that's changed. There are a number of great companies like Pimsleur and Rosetta Stone who are producing excellent foreign language courses. You can throw these in on your way to work and absorb a ton during your commute. It might not be enough to achieve fluency but you'll get pretty darn close. Not a bad way to spend your drive time...

8. Listen to a new podcast each week - Set a goal in 2006 to try to listen to one new podcast each week. Maybe you'll find that only one out of every four light your fire. That's cool. By the end of the year that means you have 13 new podcasts that you're subscribed. Given all that's out there it's not always easy to find good stuff. Try our Podcast Directory or read our recent article "The Top 10 Podcast Episodes of 2005" for some helpful suggestions.

7. Find a few "broken records" - I talked about this before in a previous blog post. A broken record is an audio book that you just throw on in the background when you're doing something around the house, exercising, etc. Great examples of broken records are titles like Think and Grow Rich or The Science of Getting Rich (great if you've got some financial goals in 2006), titles like Living Health or The Food Revolution (if you are trying to lose weight and/or improve your diet) or general ones like 101 Ways to Transform Your Life or 50 Things I'm Going To Do Today. A couple of broken records you can pick up on the cheap include Acres of Diamonds ($2.98) and The Magic Story ($1.98). My latest broken record is Tuesday With Morrie. Everyone should listen to that at least once a year. Buy a few of these and throw them on often throughout the year.

6. Take a university course - Remember all those great courses you just never had the time to take? It's not too late! Through offerings from The Teaching Company and the Portable Professor Series you can go back to school without high tuition or pre-exam anxiety. There are some really amazing courses here to dive into from some of the best professors around. It's a great opportunity to expand your horizons and deepen your understand of the world that we live in. Take some time in 2006 to turn your vehicle into a "University on Wheels."

5. Super-charge your workouts - When your exercising your body why not exercise your intellect as well? Sure it's fun to listen to music when you work out but mix in some audio books or podcasts from time to time. It's a pretty cool feeling to finish a workout and realize that in addition to getting in better shape you learned something as well. You can pick an audio book that has some relevance to the workout that you are doing. For instance, try listening to Lance Armstrong's It's Not About the Bike when you're cycling.

4. Deepen your religion/spirituality in 2006 - Want to get closer to God this year? You're not alone. This is becoming a growing trend in today's society. Think of your iPod (or mp3/CD/cassette player/etc.) as an oasis and an opportunity to re-connect to your source of inspiration. Pick up audio versions of The Bible, The Bhagavad Gita or any of a number of titles on Religion and Spirituality and give yourself a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life to focus on what's truly important to you.

3. Subscribe to the Zaadz Daily Wisdom - One of my favorite podcasts is one that we've produced here at LearnOutLoud, The Zaadz Daily Wisdom. Brian Johnson is your host for the Daily Wisdom and he covers a wide range of philosophers, psychologists, spiritual teachers and others such as Socrates, Thoreau and Einstein. Think of it as a daily motiviational quote on steroids. Perfect to subscribe to and listen to first thing in the morning or on your way into work.

2. Create your own audio learning content - It's easier than ever to record your own content. Surely you have something that you would like teach the world! Check out Seth's article "How To Begin Home Recording" to see just how easy it can be. And what do you do with your recording once it's done? Start with getting it listed right here at LearnOutLoud.com. We have a service in the works called LearnDirect which will allow you to share your audio content with millions of people and get paid to do so! For more information, send an e-mail to learndirect@learnoutloud.com.

1. Share audio learning with a friend - Perhaps by now you've become a believer of the impact that audio learning can have. Now it's time to spread that love! Hook some of your friends and family on audio books and podcasts. We've created a number of audio learning junkies of our friends and family this year and we hope that you'll do the same in 2006. Point them to LearnOutLoud.com. Show them this short, free video tutorial on listening to podcasts. Help them learn to stop worrying and love their commute. It's one of the best gifts you can give somebody.

At the end of the day it's not so much about what you're learning but rather that you've chosen to take the time to Learn Out Loud. Many people get frustrated because they don't have the time to read all the books they want to or learn the things that they know would help them in their lives. Audio learning can help with all of that. It can turn the 2/3/4 hours each day that you spend sitting behind the wheel, exercising, washing the dishes, etc. into a time of personal and professional development. To quote Brian Tracy, one of the biggest proponents of audio learning that I know:

If you did nothing but use that traveling time as learning time, this decision alone could make you one of the best educated people of your generation. Many people have gone from rags to riches simply by listening to audio programs as they drive to and from work.

That's powerful stuff. 2006 is going to be a big year for you. We hope that you'll incorporate Learning Out Loud into your daily life in order to make it the best year yet. Happy New Year and Best Wishes from all the staff here at LearnOutLoud.com!

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December 27, 2005

Education and The End of Poverty

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During my plane flights back and forth to Minneapolis for the holidays I had a chance to dig a little deeper into Jeffrey Sachs' new book The End of Poverty. It's a remarkable study of the history of poverty and what we can do to end it in this generation. Here's a quote that I found particularly relevant to what we're doing here at LearnOutLoud:

I believe that the single most important reason why prosperity spread, and why it continues to spread, is the transmission of technologies and the ideas underlying them. Even more important than having specific resources in the ground, such as coal, was the ability to use modern, science-based ideas to organize production. The beauty of ideas is that they can be used over and over again, without ever being depleted.

I got goosebumps when I read that. The transmission of ideas is exactly what LearnOutLoud is all about. It's why I'm so excited for all of the cool stuff we're planning to roll out in 2006. And it's why I'm so incredibly passionate about bring the best audio and video educational content possible to as many people as I can.

I've been having some great discussion lately via e-mail with Wynn Williamson over at The Stingy Scholar blog (highly recommend by the way). Here's a snippet of a recent e-mail that he sent me to give you some flavor of what we've been chatting about:

Some of the best emails coming into Textbook Revolution and Stingy Scholar have been from people in countries like Papau New Guinea where there aren't textbooks to go around, let alone new and updated ones. Making these audio, video, and text materials available is a huge deal - not just because people can't afford to pay, but also because the openness makes translations possibility.

We've been discussing a lot of possibilities and I suggested to him that we bring the conversation out in the open and see if we could latch on a few other people to join us. So I'll keep this brief and we'll pick up the conversation in the forums. I'd love to hear from you so click the link below to join us. Through giving people increased access to ideas we will change the world. We would love it if you would want to be a part of that. :)

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December 27, 2005

The Top 10 Podcast Episodes of 2005

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2005 was no doubt the Year of the Podcast. A year ago hardly anyone knew what a podcast was and now it's on just about everyone's lips. A ton of great podcasts came online this year and we wanted to highlight the best of what we've heard. We've probably listened to at least a thousand episodes a piece here at LearnOutLoud in the process of putting together our Podcast Directory and here's our attempt at a Top 10. A few disclaimers first:

-There are no doubt some excellent podcasts that didn't make the list. While we listened to a lot we couldn't get to everything. That's part of the beauty of podcasting, it's hard to run out of podcasts to listen to. Anyway, apologies upfront for anything that should have made the list but didn't.

-We take the "Doug Kaye approach" to listing podcasts in our directory. We're looking for shows that are "educational, inspirational and entertaining" and we'll take two out of three. We feel that the Top 10 listed below all fit the criteria.

-While the list is largely based on quality we also wanted to pick episodes that were representative of the year in podcasting. We hope that you'll download the episodes on this list and burn them to a disc so that you can go back to it in the future when your children or other people ask you what podcasting was like back in 2005 when it was just getting going.

So, without further ado and in no particular order, here's our list of the Top 10 Podcast Episodes of 2005:

#10: TWiT #30 Live from the Portable Media Expo - TWiT probably takes the title as "Podcast of the Year" when you factor in both quality and popularity. There were a lot of good TWiT episodes this year but I'm a bit partial to TWiT 30 which was recorded live at the Portable Media Expo in November. The Expo was the first ever conference specifically for Podcasting so having the TWiT gang there recording live was very apropos. In addition to some of the usual suspects (Leo Laporte, Doug Kaye, Steve Gibson and Alex Lindsay) a number of special guests made an appearance including Audible.com CEO Don Katz, Chuck Tomasi from ChuckChat and blind podcaster Darrel Shandrow.

#9: Catholic Insider at the New Pope's Coronation - Whether you're Catholic or not, it's hard not to like father Roderick Vonhogen. The Catholic Insider podcast gives a unique look at the Catholic Church and Vonhogen's enthusiasm is infectious. This episode was recorded live at the Vatican during the coronation of Joseph Ratzinger a.k.a. Pope Benedict XVI. Hearing Vonhogen's play-by-play and the crowd's reaction truly makes you feel like you are listening to history in the making.

(Note: The second episode recorded on April 19th entitled "Habemus Papam!!" is the one you want.)

#8: Jason Calacanis on The Web 2.0 Podcast - Jason Calacanis is a riot. Those of you who heard his keynote at the Portable Media Expo know what I'm talking about. Calacanis is both funny and blunt and never lacking for an opinion. His interview on the Web 2.0 Podcast is a prime example of this. He covers a lot of ground including LAN parties, Technorati bombing and of course the recent acquisition his company, Weblogs Inc., by AOL. I'd love to hear a lot more from Calacanis. Since he has a little more time on his hands these days maybe he'll start podcasting?

#7: Small World Podcast interview of "Jessica" after Hurricane Katrina - The biggest thing to hit the U.S. this year (literally) was Hurricane Katrina. It caused unimaginable destruction and loss of life. I was fortunate enough to be able to go to Louisiana in September and one of the most powerful experiences was hearing the first-hand accounts of those who survived the storm. A number of podcasts captured similar accounts bearing more testimony to the power of podcasting. The best I heard was Bazooka Joe's interview of Jessica, a resident of New Orleans who escaped the storm. It's an amazing interview that feels both haunting and hopeful at the same time.

#6: The Physics of Superheroes on Science Friday - It's almost impossible to pick just one NPR podcast episode because there are so many good ones but since we're limiting ourselves to one we decided to select "The Physics of Superheroes", an interview with James Kakalios, a Professor of Physics and Astronomy at The University of Minnesota. If you've ever wondered how fast Superman needs to run to leap tall building in a single bound or the physics behind the controversy over whether Spiderman accidentally killed his girlfriend, you'll love this episode. Who knows, all the physics you learn may just help you win a bar bet someday.

#5: DSC #200 Live from Gnomedex - I can't create a Top 10 list without including at least one episode of the Daily Source Code, the first podcast I ever listened to. There were a lot of entertaining moments during DSC episodes including the Wiki controversy, the feud with Dave Winer (among other people) and of course Adam pissing into a bottle at 5,000 feet during DSC #279. But my favorite was DSC #200, Adam's keynote address at Gnomedex. Gnomedex felt like the start of the podcasting revolution and who better to address that crowd than the Podfather himself? A killer Guns and Roses/Beatles mash-up and the amazing music of Rob Costlow were the icing on the cake for this Source Code.

#4: ZenCast with Thich Nhat Hanh in Vietnam - One of the best parts of podcasts is the feeling that you are being transported to different places (e.g., "sound seeing tours") or experiencing different cultures. The episode of ZenCast featuring Thich Nhat Hanh is a great example of both those things. Far from the shouting matches that you'll find on talk radio and even some podcasts, Hanh's mellow message of mindfulness will help you to relax and slow down. Listening to this podcast was a refreshing change of pace that I really enjoyed.

#3: Malcolm Gladwell on IT Conversations - Like NPR and TWiT, it's hard to pick just one episode of IT Conversations to include on the list. Some of my favorites were Vinod Khosla's talk at the Web 2.0 Conference and an interview of Jonathan Schwartz (another guy who I'd love to hear podcast) from Supernova 2005. But if I had to pick just one it would probably be Malcolm Gladwell's keynote address at South by Southwest. Gladwell is both an innovative thinker and an interesting speaker. To be able to throw on a pair of headphones and listen for free to sessions like this from conferences that people pay hundreds or thousands of dollars to attend is really cool. And given Doug Kaye's amazing work and ambition for The Conversations Network it's about to get even cooler.

#2: The Diggnation "Clip Show" - Finding Digg.com was one of the highlights of my 2005. It's an incredibly addictive site as its astronomical growth is evidence of. The Diggnation podcast is almost equally addictive. Kevin Rose and Alex Albrecht are usually a hoot to listen to and sometimes are downright hysterical. My favorite episode of the year was their "clip show" which consisted of some of the funniest moments from the previous 21 episodes of Diggnation. I laughed my way through this entire episode. Nice work guys!

#1: The Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Podcast with Joe Liemandt, Founder and CEO of Trilogy - A number of colleges and universities started Podcasting this year, none more famously than Stanford. Stanford has a number of podcasts available via it's iTunes channel but I found the Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders podcast to be the most engaging. My favorite episode was the session with Joe Liemandt, Founder and CEO of Trilogy Software. It's an extremely intimate portrait of a start-up company that almost didn't make it…and then made it big. You'll love this one.

Wow. What a year it's been huh? I can't wait to see what 2006 has in store! Thanks to all of the podcasters that are making incredible content. It sure makes Learning Out Loud a whole lot of fun. :)

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December 25, 2005

Christmas Musings

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Merry Christmas everyone! I'm having a wonderful time today with friends and family but wanted to take just a few minutes to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and Happy Hannukah.

We've got quite a collection of Christmas-related audio to listen to on LearnOutLoud. So if you feel the need later today to take a break and are looking for something to listen to here are a few suggestions:

Two Podcasts of A Christmas Carol

StoryNory
The Penguin Podcast

Two Free Teaching Company Lectures

Christmas in 19th Century America
Christmas in Victorian Britain

Other Christmas Audio Books

A Child's Christmas in Wales

A Prairie Home Christmas

Also, welcome to those of you who received an iPod (or other mp3 player) under the tree this year and are looking to fill it up! A few places to start:

Our Podcast Directory - 568 free educational and inspirational podcasts for you to listen to and download. And click here for a free video tutorial that will walk you through how to listen to and subscribe to podcasts using iTunes.

Our Free Audio Directory - We have tons of free audio books, speeches and lectures to listen to and download here. This is a great way to sample some spoken word audio and see what you enjoy listening to.

We're very grateful to all of you for helping make 2005 such an incredible success. We have a whole lot more planned for 2006 so please stay tuned. Please enjoy this wonderful day with your friends and family and cherish the time together.

Cheers,

The LearnOutLoud.com Team

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December 20, 2005

Audio Books On the Rise in Malaysia

A quickie blog post tonight. Here's an article on how audio book use in Malaysia is starting to take off:


Alternative to reading

We were chatting a little bit tonight about how we'll have to launch Taipei.LearnOutLoud.com as we're getting a lot of traffic from there. Maybe KualaLumpur.LearnOutLoud.com won't be far behind!

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December 18, 2005

Free Video: How To Subscribe to Blogs and Podcasts

We've been playing around with this week and have been very impressed with how easy it is to put together professional-quality video tutorials. We've posted a couple of these up on . They cover how to subscribe to podcasts with iTunes and how to subscribe to blogs using Bloglines, My Yahoo! and other news readers. Here are the links:


(Prepared to be a bit patient when you click on the links. We're working on trying to figure out a way to get these to load faster.)

We're likely going to be rolling out some other tutorials of this nature soon. Sometimes we all take for granted how tech-savvy everyone is but the fact of the matter is that the percentage of people who take advantage of RSS-based content like blogs and podcasts is in the single digits. So we're going to do our best to help with the education process. If you have any ideas for other tutorials that we should do of web services, applications, etc. drop me a line at jon@learnoutloud.com and let me know.

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December 17, 2005

Software opens up new world for blind

It's reading articles like these that makes it very easy to get out of bed in the morning.

"They say that books are the window to the world, but there is hardly a publisher here that produces popular books in both print and audio forms," Mitra Netra Foundation deputy executive director Irwan Dwi Kustanto, said.

Himself suffering from reduced vision -- only 2 percent of his eyesight remains -- Irwan remembers the frustrations of having to always ask another person to read to him.

Wow. I'm very excited to help bring more audio content to Irwan, Riqo and other visually impaired people and I'm very excited to make our site more accessible to people who can't actually view the site. If you know anything about the latter please drop me an e-mail at jon@learnoutloud.com as this is an area where we could use some help.

While I'm on the subject I wanted to give a quick mention to a couple of podcasts being put out by visually impaired people: and . I had the privilege of seeing Darrell Shandrow of the Blind Access Journal podcast live as part of at this year's . It was pretty remarkable.

Which reminds of another remarkable story about a physically impaired person. But I'm going to save that for another time...

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December 16, 2005

How to Become an Audio Learning Junkie, Part Two

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Well, it's been almost a month since the first installment of How to Become an Audio Learning Junkie so I had figured I'd better get back on the ball. Last time we talked about some of the cool resources that you could learn from on audio including stuff from publishers like and . We also discussed the pros and cons of cassettes vs. CDs vs. portable audio. In this installment of How To Become an Audio Learning Junkie we're going to dive a little deeper into the realm of portable audio. Many people are going to get an iPod or other portable MP3 player during this holiday season and one of the first questions will be how to load it up with content. We're here to help with that.

There are two main types of content that you'll want to download to your audio player:

1. Audio Books - The ability to listen to spoken word audio on a portable player will forever change the way you look at books. I love books and I love to read. But I've found that being able to listen to books as well as read them really liberates me. I'm able to get through a lot more books now because I have two options to consume them rather than one. For instance, I never thought that I would find the time to read 's . Heck, it had taken me almost a year to get through and that was back in college when I actually had time!

But when I trained for my first marathon a while back I was able to get through Atlas Shrugged in its entirety in just a little over a month without taking any additional time out of my day. That's the power of audio learning! Needless to say I've been hooked on audio books ever since. I've also managed to pass on that addiction to many of my friends and family and hopefully thousands of people who've visited LearnOutLoud.com since we launched in January.

So where do you go for audio books to load up on your portable player? Well, there are a lot of options depending on whether you've got an iPod or not. If you've got an iPod you'll probably find the easiest option is to go the iTunes/Audible.com route. So let me first cover Audible.

- Audible is the original player in the portable spoken word market. They actually had a portable media player well before iPod existed. Audible works pretty well if you've got an iPod and they also work with a lot of non-iPod devices. You can buy books from them a la carte or you can sign up for one of their membership plans which allow you a certain number of books and/or periodicals each month.

Now if you have an iPod but don't want to use Audible your options are a bit more limited. Most of the other big audio book services protect their titles with which unfortunately isn't compatible with the iPod. So to get your titles onto your iPod you have to burn them to a CD, rip them to an MP3 and then add them to your iPod. Not a lot of fun...

A better solution might be to get a non-iPod MP3 player which gives you a lot more flexibility. I wrote extensively about this and the Creative Zen Micro player in my blog post "". A player like the Zen Micro will allow you to use Audible.com but it also allows you to use a number of other audio book services. What audio book services are those? Here's a listing:

- I really like the Jiggerbug service. It allows for unlimited audio book rentals including both downloads and CDs. They aren't as well known as Audible and the hassle of getting stuff to an iPod is a consideration but I do think they offer the best overall service. I'm strongly considering ditching my iPod soon for a non-iPod device and Jiggerbug is a big reason why I'd do that.

- A entrant in the digital download space, Simply Audiobooks began selling content for download just last week. Similar to Audible and Sounds Good, titles can be purchased a la carte or through a subscription service.

There also are a couple of services that allow free audio book rental through library systems. and offer their services in a large and growing number of libraries. Because they utilize the Microsoft DRM they are not compatible with the Apple iPod (another good reason for buying a non-iPod device). In addition, there are also some smaller retailers that offer audio books for download as well including .

Of course no discussion of portable audio would be complete without a little plug for what we've got here at LearnOutLoud.com!

LearnOutLoud.com - Our selection of titles for download is currently small but will be growing rapidly. For now check out titles from and Bryan Kest's or individual titles like or . Many more are on the way soon!

We've also got a very popular free section on the site. Our has over 500 titles, many of which can be downloaded to portable players. Some of the highlights include historical speeches from , sermons from and free audio books such as and .

OK, enough about audio books (in case you couldn't tell I could go on forever...). Let's talk podcasting!

2. Podcasting - Podcasting arrived on the scene with a bang. A year ago almost no one (outside of Adam Curry and Dave Winer) knew what podcasting was. Today it's on everyone's lips and even the New Oxford American Dictionary selected "podcast" as its . Yup, podcasting is hot and it's a great way to get cool content for your portable player.

Let's start with the basics of podcasting. For a basic explanation of podcasting you can consult . Better yet, listen to a free recorded version of the Wikipedia entry . It's a pretty simple concept but at the same time it can be a little intimidating to subscribe to your first podcast.

There are other ways to listen to podcasts than with iTunes but we do feel that iTunes is probably the easiest way to get started.

Although it might be the easiest way to listen to podcasts it's not necessarily the easiest way to find new podcasts. The iTunes directory is a little bare and I tend to prefer the Yahoo! directory, the Odeo directory and our very own directory here at LearnOutLoud.com.

- I'm partial to our podcast directory for a couple of reasons. First, it tends to contain higher-quality of podcasts because we've focused on educational podcasts. There's a lot of crap out there in the podcasting world and we've largely side-stepped it. The reason we've been able to do this is that we've hand-selected all of the podcasts in our directory and listened to most (if not all) of them before choosing to include them. Also, our directory offers one-click subscriptions to iTunes for most podcasts and the ability to stream podcasts directly.

Well, the fingers are getting a little tired so I think I'll sign off for now as I've give you a lot to chew on, er, listen to. I'll be back with another installment in a couple of weeks when I talk about how you can best fit audio learning into your everyday life. In the meantime have an absolutely tremendous weekend and don't forget to spending some quality time this weekend Learning Out Loud!

 

December 14, 2005

Two Podcasts of a Christmas Carol

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A couple of podcasts of Charles Dickens' classic A Christmas Carol are being made available. Storynory.com has a dramatized version in progress on their site. It's a neat little site which also has downloadable versions of Hansel and Gretel and The Three Little Pigs.

Now the word out of Penguin (via Corante) is that they also will be doing a podcast of the unabridged version of A Christmas Carol as well.

If you're interested in audio book versions of A Christmas Carol or other audio books by Charles Dickens (we have 67 in all listed on our site), here a link:

Charles Dickens Audio Books

Update: Here are the links to these two podcasts in our directory:

The Penguin Podcast

StoryNory

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December 13, 2005

Some Very Cool Free Stuff

Been doing some "treasure hunting" online this morning for new free stuff to add to our increasingly popular . I came across a few links I just had to pass along:

Learner.org
- I can't believe that I hadn't stumbled across this one before. This is one is definitely worth checking out for a ton of free video tutorials. Registration is required but it's well worth taking a minute or two to sign up. For example, here are a few of the tutorial series that are available:

Algebra in Simplest Terms - 26 half-hour video programs to help you learn algebra (or help you teach it to your children).

French in Action - Interested in learning French? Here are 52 half-hour video programs. Bonus: There's a very attractive blond girl involved. :)

Art of the Western World - 9 one-hour videos ranging from The Classical Ideal to Post-Impressionism.

MediaSite.com
- Another "I can't believe I haven't come across this before" site... Over 7,500 free expert presentations and lectures that have been created with Sonic Foundry's Mediasite system. Incredibly cool. (Thank to The Stingy Scholar blog for pointing this one out.)

Voices in the Dark - Free MP3 audio books including Walden and Plato's Apology.

OK, that should keep you busy for a while. I'm off to find more!

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