Archive for October, 2009

50 Terrific Talks on the Future of the Economy

Oct 27th, 2009

The current state of the economy has everyone worried and guessing about the future. Luckily, you can rely on experts in the field of economics to share their experience and scholarship to enlighten you on what may happen in the future. From understanding the current crisis and what direction it may take to such topics as the future of banking or risk management to entrepreneurship, green economics, and international economics, these talks will help you understand what you might expect for the future.

The Financial Crisis

Learn about the many causes of the current financial crisis and what the future may look like after recovery with these talks.

  1. Origins of the Financial Mess. Alan Blinder details the causes of the current financial crisis and what should be done for the future. [Princeton]
  2. Observations on the Science of Finance in the Practice of Finance. Robert C. Merton describes how derivatives played a role in the current economic crisis and how some financial innovations during the collapse may be key to reviving the current economic condition. [MIT]
  3. The Mortgage Meltdown, the Economy, and Public Policy (Part 1). Learn about what precipitated the mortgage meltdown and hear from panelists to learn what the future of housing finance may look like. [UC Berkeley]
  4. The Mortgage Meltdown, the Economy, and Public Policy (Part 5). Listen in as these panelists discuss mortgage innovations and the regulation of investment banks in the wake of the mortgage meltdown. [UC Berkeley]
  5. George Soros on The New Paradigm for Financial Markets. George Soros and Ricardo Caballero discuss financial bubbles and human nature to characterize what lead to the current crisis and how these trends will affect the future. [MIT]
  6. Financial Crises. This five-part lecture series is given by an influential group of economists and political analysts and describes the roots, results, and recommended solutions for the current financial crises. [Princeton]
  7. Financial crises and risk management. Didier Sornette discusses how financial crises such as stock market crashes can be predicted months and years ahead of time and discusses his recent research and what it means for the future. [ETH Zurich]
  8. Okun Lecture: Learning from and Responding to Financial Crisis, Part I. Lawrence Summers lectures on how economic growth has moved from one controlled by monetary authorities to one controlled by events from within the financial systems. [Yale]
  9. Okun Lecture: Learning from and Responding to Financial Crisis, Part II. The second part of this lecture series continues with a look at the effects of the subprime crisis on the economy and what financial institutions should do to help rectify the situation. [Yale]
  10. The Financial Crisis: Implications for Washington, Wall Street and Main Street. Tune in here to learn what a panel of experts from Cornell said about the financial crisis and what they see as ways out of the crisis. [Cornell]
  11. Higher Education and the Recession. Learn about the impact of the recession and the the world of higher education on the economy in the Cornell area. [Cornell]
  12. Understanding the Crisis in the Markets: A Panel of Harvard Experts. These scholars describe developments in the US and world markets in this panel discussion. [Harvard]

Banking, Technology, and Risk Management

Listen to these lectures to learn about the role of banking, technology, and risk management in current and future economic affairs.

  1. Financial Services: Prospects for Your Future. Simon Johnson and Lawrence Fish discuss the economic crisis from the perspective of banking. Discover why some banks failed while banks in other countries, such as Canada, did not fail and what it all means for the future of the banking industry. [MIT]
  2. Technology and Invention in Finance. Robert Shiller teaches how such elements as technology, insurance contracts, and Social Security influence financial markets and investment risk. [Yale]
  3. Critical Issues and Grand Challenges. This panel of four speakers focus on finance, health care, energy, and technology to describe how they see future unfolding. [MIT]
  4. The New Role of Risk Management: Rebuilding the Model. Listen to this discussion about risk, risk management, and how to approach the future of risk management after the events of the current financial crisis by relying on data. [University of Pennsylvania]

Management, Leadership, and Entrepreneurship

Good leaders will want to stay on top of the future, so listen to what these people have to say about thinking ahead, weathering economic crises, and exploring possibilities for strong economic choices of the future.

  1. Innovative Leadership during Economic Crisis. Emmanuel Maceda talks about how the innovative leadership that guides organizations through good times should maintain those innovative practices to weather the difficult times. He uses Bain & Company, a leading management consulting firm, as an example of how this idea plays out. [MIT]
  2. Entrepreneurship and Free, Prosperous Society. Jack Leslie talks about emerging economies and entrepreneurship as well as his beliefs that freedom and prosperity arise from entrepreneurial spirit. [Stanford]
  3. Understanding the 21st Century Consumer. Janice Roberts describes how venture capitalists are beginning to invest in companies that embrace the understanding of the new consumer who wants to participate in and influence technology. [Stanford]
  4. Economics of Free: A New Business Model. Learn about the new business model that gives services to customers for free while depending on advertising for income. [Stanford]
  5. Trends in Venture Capital Interest. Beth Seidenberg discusses the future of VC investing including iPhone apps, green technology, medical innovations, and global initiatives. [Stanford]
  6. Education, Discretionary Power and Emerging Entrepreneurial Societies. Pedro Aspe discusses removing discretionary power of finance and economics from government officials in order to encourage a reliable system, which is necessary for an entrepreneurial society. [Stanford]

The Green Economy

Sustainability and the economy are closely tied, so tune in to these talks to learn how the future of the green economy may look.

  1. Closing Plenary: Where Do We Go From Here?. Listen to this closing meeting on a conference from May 2009 that focused on effecting climate change policies during poor economic times. [UC Berkeley]
  2. The Thriving Green Economy. Entrepreneurs Jesse Fink and Steve Blank discuss why green investing is not only good for the environment, but a smart business choice and an opportunity to fuel the economy. [Stanford]
  3. European Advances in Green Energy. Learn how Europe is getting green energy right, and why David Rothkopf thinks the US may adapt these same policies despite currently being guided by greed. [Stanford]
  4. The Economics of Climate Change. Consider the impact of climate change on policy and economics for years to come with this lecture. [UC Berkeley]
  5. Channeling Solar Energy Demand. Learn about the potential for businesses in the solar energy field and hear financial numbers to illustrate the high demand for solar energy. [Stanford]
  6. Do Something Meaningful. Martin Eberhard discusses the economic problem of oil consumption and his decision to provide a solution to this problem through developing electric cars. [Stanford]
  7. Debt-for-Nature. Listen as Peter Seligmann describes how conservation groups will buy debt from countries in exchange for conservation measures within that country. [Stanford]

International Economics

The American economy is definitely tied to the global economy, so learn about these connections, the future of developing economies, and ways to create strong economic relationships for the future.

  1. Challenges to the Global Economy. This talk given in early 2009 by two distinguished speakers describes the depth and breadth of the current economic crisis–and it doesn’t look hopeful. Learn the global repercussions of the current crisis and what countries may weather the storm best. [MIT]
  2. The U.S. and the World’s Recession. This professor of economics from Sloan School of Management explains the correlation between the price of wheat and inflation and the price of oil and inflation while describing how food and energy play an important role in the economy, how they are excluded from calculation of "core inflation," and what should be done in the future. [MIT]
  3. Building the Humane Economy in an Age of Bailouts. Peter Koslowski, professor at Free University Amsterdam, discusses bailouts, including avoiding bankruptcy, and how they affect the global economy. [The Catholic University of America]
  4. Entrepreneurship, Government, and Development in Africa. Listen to John Kufuor, President of Ghana for two terms, discuss how Ghana went from its bloody, dark past to a country with huge economic growth, sound economic policies, a fortified educational system, and a national health plan for all citizens. Ghana serves as a role model not only for other developing countries, but those more developed suffering under current economic strains. [MIT]
  5. Ending Global Poverty. Learn about microlending and how it can make a huge impact not only on individual lives, but an entire economic system. [MIT]
  6. Alex Tabarrok on how ideas trump crises. Learn how this economist believes free-trade and globalization have united the world and opened up channels of idea-sharing. [TED]
  7. Toward India 2020: Challenges and Opportunities. Montek Singh Ahluwalia discusses how he sees India rising out of poverty by 2020 through sustained economic growth. India has weathered the current economic crisis so far and looks to be on Ahluwalia’s projected path. [MIT]
  8. Global and Domestic Imbalances: Why Rural China is the Key. Listen to this lecture given by Yasheng Huang to learn about the impact of rural Chinese peasants on the current success of China’s economy and why the future of that economy and its impact on the global economy rests with these same people. [MIT]
  9. Paul Collier on the "bottom billion". Listen to Collier’s plan to create a compassionate and effective way to bridge the global gap between rich and poor. [TED]
  10. Understanding the Overseas Investment Market. Get a grasp of the details involved with international investing, including understanding such issues as rural vs. urban investing. [Stanford]
  11. Shaping China’s Choices. Thomas Christensen discusses the relations between China, Japan, India, and the US and how these positive relationships have influenced China’s policy choices in economics and diplomacy and how to continue to encourage this trend. [Princeton]
  12. Jacqueline Novogratz: A third way to think about aid. Novogratz discusses engaging citizens of developing countries in entrepreneurship in order to pull them out of poverty–also solving the conflict between disparate approaches to helping the poor. [TED]
  13. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on aid versus trade. The former Finance Minister of Nigeria discusses the current platform from which Africa now has to work toward a successful economic future. [TED]

Speculation on the Future

These talks all offer an expert’s opinion on what the future of economics may be like, including both frightening and hopeful outlooks.

  1. The Coming Generational Storm: What You Need to Know about America’s Economic Future. Laurence Kotlikoff talks about the poor state of Social Security and why Baby Boomers need to be nice to their children. Watch this video to learn why the children of Boomers may be left paying for political negligence. [MIT]
  2. One War We Shouldn’t Avoid: A New Approach to Reducing the Cost of Future Catastrophes. Listen to this podcast that explores the financial repercussions of catastrophic weather events and what approaches should be taken to prevent future economic impacts. [University of Pennsylvania]
  3. Jeremy Siegel: ‘The Market Will Stage Another Recovery’. Professor Jeremy Siegel talks about how rising commodity prices, oil, and interest rates are spurring the economy forward. [University of Pennsylvania]
  4. A Thought for Tax Day: The Real Fiscal Crisis Is Yet to Come. The stance of this lecture is that in addition to raising taxes, the government will have to reduce Medicare and Social Security benefits in order to pull the country out of the outrageous debt it currently faces. [University of Pennsylvania]
  5. Paul Romer’s radical idea: Charter cities. This economist explores bad rules that force people into poverty and advocates his idea of "charter cities" run by a coalition of nations. [TED]
  6. 2008 Agribusiness Economic Outlook Conference, Part 1. Learn what was said about the outlook for agricultural markets and the economy in general at this conference. [Cornell]
  7. 2008 Agribusiness Economic Outlook Conference, Part 2. A continuation from the conference, this part explores the recent demand for local foods as well as opportunities in more distant markets. [Cornell]
  8. Juan Enriquez shares mindboggling science. Enriquez looks at the current state of the economy and how science is the key to economic recovery in his humorous talk. [TED]

Lessons About Humanity Learned from Anthropology Universities Online

Oct 20th, 2009

Anthropology is the study of humanity, focusing on the behavior of humans and the evolution of our current social norms.  Many lessons can be learned through the study of anthropology, whether it be at a traditional school or an online college.  The New York Times recently published an article about the morality of our society, focusing on the remarkable ethics Wal Mart shoppers in Missouri exhibited.  While this case study is one which can be taught in school, it is only a taste of what you can learn through an anthropology degree, traditional or online.

The article mentions how difficult it is to discover a “clan” of humans who are legitimately honest in their endeavors, suggesting that we travel to the ancient tribes in Africa or Asia to see what true honesty and morality entails.  However, the small rural town of Hamilton in Missouri exhibited many of the symptoms of fairness that these tribes have continued to uphold throughout the years.  This is a fascinating peek inside our own societal evolution, since so many of our communities have lost sight of our morals and can only hope to one day perform like tribal members consistently do.  The city of Hamilton exhibited fairness toward strangers, particularly in their Wal Mart or local grocery store.  Anthropologists have theorized that small family clans who later expanded into communities such as Hamilton have helped to continue this exhibition of strong moral values (also explaining the frequent niceties New Yorkers bestow on tourists).

Many anthropologists insist that there is a distinct inherited fairness in all of us, a remnant of a time when we lived in small family groups that taught us these qualities of life.  However, other anthropologists looked deeper into the social factors that have caused us to evolve in different ways.  Many times, larger populations cause us to be more forthcoming of harsher punishments or less likely to share the prize with everyone.  As this has continued, researchers have also found that the amount of purchased food we buy has a direct correlation to the amount of fairness and sharing we wish to bestow on the rest of our community, especially compared with more remote tribes in Africa. 

However, we end this peek into various theories of Anthropology by comparing our society to that of Ancient Greece, a culture which spawned philosophy and anthropology.  This society spread its own ethics and morals, even as the civilization grew to enormous proportions, essentially creating a new economic model of the time.  Anthropologists even now contend that ancient Greece paved the way for a more trusting society in our own modern time that has allowed communities to grow, upholding the same societal norms. 


100 Great Blogs That Young Writers Should Read

Oct 13th, 2009

To become successful in the world of arts, whether yours be painting or poetry, you have to stand out, know the right people, have the right tools, and be the best at what you do. And you must realize that everybody else in your shoes is trying to do the same thing. In other words, your journey to the top might not be easy, but with resources like the blogs below, you’ll see that there are more people on your side than you ever imagined.

Top Ten

These were voted the best of the best by internet voters and Michael Stelzner of Writing White Papers.

  1. Copyblogger: This site has been voted no. 1 for several years, and is full of daily information writers can’t afford to miss.
  2. Men with Pens: These guys have a set of skills to help you achieve your writing goals.
  3. Write to Done: Here, the creator of Zen Habits shares his secret to writing success.
  4. Editor Unleashed: The former editor-in-chief of Writer’s Digest magazine helps other writers make their way to the top.
  5. Freelance Writing Jobs: This famous network is a job search for writers like no other.
  6. Confident Writing: Stop wondering if your book, blog, or poem is "good enough." Know that it is with help from this great site.
  7. Urban Muse: This young fearless female writer is more than happy to share her writing wisdom and hopes you sign up for her monthly museletter.
  8. Wordcount: Learn all about freelancing in the digital age.
  9. Quips and Tips for Successful Writers: The name doesn’t steer you wrong. You know exactly what you’ll get every time you follow this link.
  10. Fuel your Writing: Writers block can be a thing of the past; just go to this site and renew your passion for writing.

Aspiring Authors

These bloggers are working hard to get their best work published.

  1. The Desperate Writer: This writer and cosmetologist shares her stories on this blog, both personal and creative.
  2. Incurable Disease of Writing: Blogger Missy is getting her degree in creative writing and posts about her experiences on this site.
  3. Emerging Writers Network: If you’re just getting started in your writing career, check out this site to learn about the ins and outs of writing and about other writers working towards success.
  4. Ficticity: Check out this site to find posted stories, writing tips and even a few book reviews.
  5. Authors’ Blogs: This isn’t just one blog, but a collection of numerous aspiring writers sites, so you can take your pick of reading material.
  6. Plot Monkeys: These four bloggers talk about everything from their everyday lives to the books they love.
  7. Maternal Spark: Moms who love to write or create on the side.
  8. Ask Allison: This blog written by Allison Winn Scotch is in question and answer form and has a vast amount of information about the business of writing.
  9. Writers Write: Your one-stop resource for information about publishing.
  10. The Debutante Ball: A great group blog for debut authors.


These bloggers share their favorite classic and contemporary poetry as well as their own, which provides hours of endless reading.

  1. World Class Poetry Blog: Postings and critiques of 21st century poems.
  2. Paul Hoover’s Poetry: This poet and blogger shares his poems, essays about poetry, and thoughts about the art.
  3. The Social Poets: Original poems, funny quotes, news, intelligent politics, common sense and humor.
  4. How a Poem Happens: Contemporary poets discuss the writing of poems.
  5. The Projector is Ripping Your History: Award-winning poet Keith Montesano shares his own poems and opines about the work of other contemporary writers.
  6. Chicks Dig Poetry: Sandra Beasley showcases her prize-winning poetry.
  7. Poetry Instigator: This wonderfully helpful site is brimming with poetry and writing prompts to get those creative juices flowing.
  8. One Poet’s Notes: Edward Byrne recommends readings and responds to recent writings of contemporary poetry and poetics.
  9. Nothing to Say and Saying It: Contemporary poet John Gallaher delivers his works and leaves them open for comment, so feel free to chime in.
  10. New Femme Fatale: Sara (last name not given) shares her love of poetry, music, feminism, and her child. Her writing itself is music, poetry, feminism and life, all in one.
  11. Ron Silliman: A blog focused on contemporary poetics.
  12. 1,000 Voices: A collection of experimental poetry.
  13. Average Poet: An ameteur poet and ebook writer posts his proudest work.
  14. Clockwork Lightning: Longtime writer Rcat has a poem or two worth reading here.
  15. The Best American Poetry: Read the poems and poets who win The Best American Poetry Contest.
  16. The Poetry Blog: Experience world-class poetry at this well-established blog.
  17. Dana Gioia: Poems and essays by internationally recognized writer Dana Gioia.
  18. Humming Bunny: Author Brian Fowler shares his poetry and prose.
  19. Blogsboro Poetry Club: Promotes blogging poets around the world.
  20. Joy’s Poetry Blog: This poetry lover keeps her blog updated with tons of personal poetry and life lessons.

Be a Better Writer

Get some tips on becoming a better writer from these blogs.

  1. Becoming a Writer Seriously: Aspiring writers can find all kinds of helpful advice and guidance on this blog.
  2. WordSwimmer: Learn to understand the writing process a little better with a little help from blogger Bruce Black. There are loads of interviews with authors as well as suggestions on improving your writing.
  3. Time to Write: Blogger Jurgen Wolff wants to strike a creative spark in writers of all kinds by providing tips and inspiration here.
  4. Flogging the Quill: Check out this blog to learn more about the craft of creative storytelling.
  5. Six Sentences: What can you write in six sentences? Share your attempt at this writing exercise on this blog.
  6. Luc Reid: From tips on finding time to practice writing to information about the publishing industry, you’ll find loads of helpful posts on this blog.
  7. Write a Better Novel: Make sure whatever you write receives the attention it deserves when time comes to get it published. This blog provides all kinds of information on creating a better novel, no matter the subject.
  8. Write Better: Here you’ll find a wide range of writing tips to get your creative writing in top shape.
  9. Clear Writing with Mr. Clarity: Learn to get to the point and write clearly and concisely whether you’re writing a letter at work or working on a book.
  10. Mike’s Writing Workshop: This blogger is all about posting things that can help writers get better and get inspired.

Edit Your Work

These blogs will show you which writing mistakes to look for and how to fix them.

  1. Evil Editor: This editor might be evil, but the tips provided on this blog can really help you refine your stories.
  2. Blue Pencil Editing: This blog is both a good resource for working editors and and writers in search of a little guidance.
  3. Editing and Proofreading Hints and Tips: Get simple tips on improving your editing process from this blog.
  4. Headsup: the blog: Here you’ll find posts about the sometimes frustrating world of editing and learn what not to do.
  5. Grammarphobia: This site offers readers the chance to ask their own grammar and language questions and get answers.
  6. Apostrophe Abuse: Think you know how to use the apostrophe? This blog might teach you otherwise.
  7. Daily Writing Tips: Get some daily advice on how to improve the basics of your writing.
  8. ProWriting Tips: This blog is home to numerous grammar and writing tips.
  9. The Engine Room: JD, a copy editor, runs this blog all about language use that can help you get a handle on your usage.
  10. Cheryl Norman, Grammar Cop: If you’ve got some questions about grammar that need answering, visit this blog.
  11. English4Today: Get a handle on the English language through the guidance of blogger Anthony Hughes.

Get Published

The ultimate goal for many students and professionals working on creative writing is to get their best works published. These blogs can help you learn about the business, get your work out there, or even publish it yourself.

  1. Guide to Literary Agents: Get some tips on where and how to find a literary agent to represent your work when the time comes.
  2. Beacon Literary Services: Emerging writers and those with a little experience under their belts alike can take advantage of the publishing advice offered here.
  3. Questions and Quandaries: This Writers Digest blog answers a wide variety of questions about publishing.
  4. Writer Beware: While you may be desperate to get your work out there make sure you protect yourself from scams. The information in this blog can help you stay safe.
  5. The Swivet: Colleen Lindsay is a literary agent and you can read her reactions to recent publications and if you meet her requirements even submit your own work.
  6. The Rejecter: This blogger isn’t a literary agent but an assistant to one, the person you’ll have to go through to get your work published, and she posts all about her work on this blog.
  7. Booksquare: This blog works to dissect the publishing industry so you can learn it inside and out.
  8. Pubrants: Literary agent Kristen blogs about everything publishing from queries to working with writers.
  9. Nathan Bransford Literary Agent: Want to know more about literary agents and the publishing world? Check out this blog.
  10. Practicing Writing: This blog posts plenty on writing advice as well as the latest publishing opportunities.
  11. Bob Baker’s Full-Time Author Blog: Thinking of making the leap to being a full-time writer? This blog can be a great resource on publishing your own book to set the stage.
  12. Future Perfect Publishing: Explore all the possibilities for publishing that are out there through the help of this blog by Tom Masters.

Fiction Writing

Everybody loves a great novel, especially the publishers who make money off of them. Learn how to make yours worth reading with the help of these expert bloggers.

  1. Post-Apocalyptic Publishing: Emam Newman shares her sci-fi works in progress.
  2. The Word: Alan Baxter allows readers to see his horrifying short stories.
  3. The Book Deal: Business advice from an editor who has made the rounds.
  4. Writer Unboxed: This group blog offers publishing advice, interviews and news from the biggest names in publishing.
  5. Advanced Fiction Writing: The blog of award-winning novelist Randy Ingermanson.
  6. Fiction Writer’s Journey: Writing coach Emily Hanlon teaches her readers how to reclaim their passion for creation.
  7. Angela Booth’s Fiction Writing Blog: Booth covers all the bases in this blog, from getting to know your fictional characters to speed writing for deadline.
  8. Science Fictioin Novelists: A group of science fiction and fantasy authors who want to share their love of the genre.
  9. Wyrdsmiths: This fiction writing group blog from the Twin Cities is full of news you can use in your craft.
  10. Kim’s Craft: Hone yours like Kim does, and you’ll see your writing abilities blossom before your eyes.


You don’t have to have a full-time position to make money from your writing. Work from the comfort of your own home, and get paid for all your hard work.

  1. All Freelance Writing: If it’s freelance information you need, look no further.
  2. Bad Language: Matthew Stibbe’s blog about writing, technology and marketing.
  3. Bizzia: This site is made specifically for business freelancers.
  4. The Copywriter Underground: This network has everything you need for copywriting success.
  5. Daily Freelance Writing Tips: With more and more freelancers joining the field, you’ll need to improve every day if you want to published. It’s easier done than said, as long as you follow the tips on this ite.
  6. Fab Freelancing: Make your freelance work stand above the crowd.
  7. GrammarBlog: Don’t be the laughing stock at the publication to which you submit your work. Make sure it’s perfect, from beginning to end.
  8. The Renegade Writer: Get quick tips here for wonderful freelancing.
  9. Well-Fed Writer: Like any other artist, people will expect you to be bone-thin when you tell them you’re a writer. But you don’t have to starve or be poor, as long as you’re good enough. Find out how to make that happen here.
  10. Will Write for Chocolate: At the end of the day, a writer is only a writer if he or she wants to be, and if there’s true passion involved.

Technical Writing

You might not always get to write what you love, but working 9-5 doesn’t make you a sell-out. Use your skills to help out a corporation, and they’ll likely pay you what you deserve. Learn why every writer should do it, and how to make it work for you, by clicking the links below.

  1. Business Writing Blog: Check out this blog on business writing with expert advice and examples.
  2. Write Better in Business : Best practices from business writing gurus.
  3. Wordbiz: Blogging and social media expert Debbie Weil shows her business readers how to make the perfect business blog.
  4. Businessweek: Get the latest trends on business writing. This blog offers clear and easy-to-understand tips on the how to write with clarity.
  5. Manage Your Writing: This blog is updated weekly with a new tip or tool to use to improve your business writing.
  6. The Business Insider: Expert insights, advice, and trend spotting by Tim Rosa Associates.
  7. Business Writing Info: A business writing blog offering tips and expert advice to improve your business writing skills.

Project Working Mom Paves the Way to Free Online Degrees

Oct 12th, 2009

The home page for Project Working Mom speaks directly to the heart of many working moms and dads around the country: “I’d like to go back to school but I don’t have enough time, money, confidence”.  The recession has hit families around the nation, provoking many conversations such as this one, as working moms and dads struggle to find a balance between schoolwork, family, and their career.  It seems nearly unreachable, but Project Working Mom has alleviated some of the stress by providing many full-ride scholarships. 

While scholarships will not end the troubles that going back to school may force you to confront, they can dramatically help minimize the stress that comes with taking classes and juggling family life.  Project Working Mom is an organization set up to help parents achieve their higher career goals while still focusing on family life.  Applying for a full-tuition scholarship through the site is step one toward achieving financial assistance, but the website additionally provides tips on cutting back online college costs.  Many of these tips come with experience in attending classes, but seem to be almost common sense cut-backs: testing out of courses, shopping around for online colleges, and bargain shopping for textbooks.  Textbooks are really one of the fundamental burdens for any college student, although there is no reason to buy the bookstore’s edition when you can easily find the same book for half the price online.

While the cost of an education is constantly on the rise, the organization additionally gives tips on shopping for schools.  Some schools offer discounts to referrals from other students, much like apartment complexes.  While this may seem like a strange way to enroll in a university, you must keep in mind that for-profit universities are run in a different manner than traditional universities and can have more leeway in their financial aid options.  Furthermore, while distance learning enables you to enroll in colleges around the country, many local online colleges offer competitive rates to students in their home states.  This can amount to savings in as much as $100 per course.  Any little bit helps when you are attempting to juggle such a busy schedule and financial obligations.

Project Working Mom has empowered many working moms and dads with the confidence they need to enroll in an online college by offering free online degrees.  The word about this organization has already quickly spread, as the program has received up to 300,000 applications for scholarships in the past year.  This program offers more than just a free online degree; it offers working parents the opportunity to reach their goals and set an example for their children. 


10 Surprising Celebs Who Used to Be Teachers

Oct 12th, 2009

You’ve probably been told that, as a student, what you major in isn’t as important as how you apply your knowledge to the real world. It’s important to understand that you’re allowed to be passionate about more than one thing in life, even when it comes to career choices. These 10 celebrities, for example, enjoyed successful careers as musicians, actors and writers, even as they worked as teachers and instructors early in their careers.

  1. Sting: Back when the legendary Sting was known as Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner, the Grammy award-winner grew up in Wallsend, in northeast England. He worked odd jobs after high school until he enrolled in the Northern Counties College of Education. As he pursued local music gigs, Sting also worked as a teacher for two years at St. Paul’s First School in Cramlington, England.
  2. Gene Simmons: Gene Simmons, also known as "The Demon" during the prime of his career as a bassist with rock band Kiss, is known for his controversial lifestyle, performance style and music. But before he made it big, Simmons taught sixth grade in Harlem, New York. Simmons also speaks four languages: Hungarian (his mother’s native language), Hebrew, English and German.
  3. Sylvester Stallone: One of the most celebrated action/adventure figures of all time, Sylvester Stallone is also a director, producer, screenwriter and former teacher. The Rocky and Rambo star survived boarding schools and a special education school for "problem children" as a child, and then enrolled in beauty school after high school graduation. Stallone dropped out of beauty school to attend the American College of Switzerland, where he studied drama and worked as a gym teacher.
  4. Stephen King: Horror and science fiction writer Stephen King has sold an estimated 300-350 million novels and short story collections, and many of his works, like Carrie have been successfully turned into popular movies. King, who was born in Portland, ME, but also raised in Wisconsin, Indiana, and Connecticut, wrote and sold stories to friends as a child and wrote a column for his college newspaper. King trained to be a teacher and worked at the Hampden Academy in Hampden, ME, while writing and selling short stories.
  5. Mr. T: In the 1980s, actor and professional wrestler Mr. T also gained popularity among children for appearing in commercials and animated TV specials that encouraged children to "stay in school" and live safe, healthy lives. Mr. T was born Laurence Tureaud in Chicago as the youngest of 12 children. In Chicago, Mr. T attended the Paul Lawrence Dubar Vocational Career Academy and worked as a gym teacher, before winning a scholarship to Prairie View A&M Univeristy and working as a military policeman for the U.S. Army.
  6. Billy Crystal: Comedian, actor and presenter Billy Crystal is known for such pop culture classics as When Harry Met Sally, City Slickers, and Saturday Night Live. Crystal grew up in Long Beach, NY, and attended college at Marshall University in West Virginia, Nassau Community College on Long Island, and New York University, from which he graduated with a B.F.A. While on Long Island, Crystal worked as a substitute teacher for classes like girls’ gym.
  7. J.K. Rowling: J.K. Rowling has made a fortune off of her fictional world of the Hogwarts boarding school for witches and wizards, and the Harry Potter writer was actually a teacher herself. Rowling, who has been named the 12th richest woman in Britain, admits to having based some Harry Potter characters on her own past teachers, and in the early 1990s, Rowling moved to Portugal after her mother died to teach English as a foreign language. Rowling was already writing Harry Potter at that time.
  8. Robert Frost: The iconic poet of works like "The Road Not Taken" and "Fire and Ice" was born in San Francisco, CA, in 1874. After graduating from Dartmouth College, Frost returned home to work and for a time, helped his mother as an assistant teacher. Years later, after attending Harvard for two years and working as a farmer, Frost worked as an English teacher in New Hampshire. For the rest of his life, Frost would write poetry and teach English at various schools, including at Amherst College in Massachusetts and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
  9. Barack Obama: The 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, worked as a community organizer, lawyer and law school lecturer after graduating from Columbia University and Harvard Law School. In fact, up until just four years before running for president, Obama was a constitutional law professor and senior lecturer at the University Chicago.
  10. Art Garfunkel: One-half of the immensely popular and socially-critical folk singing group Simon and Garfunkel, Art Garfunkel was born and raised in Queens, New York. Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel met in sixth grade in Queens, though they did not release their first official record as Simon and Garfunkel until 1964, after Garfunkel had earned a graduate degree in mathematics. Garfunkel taught math in Connecticut even as he enjoyed success as a singer.

Top Human Resources Doctorate Degree Rankings

Oct 10th, 2009

The past few years have produced a dismal effect for potential doctoral students of any discipline.  With the career opportunities slim, even among Ph.D. students, there has been a lower amount of students who are willing to put themselves through four-five years of additional schooling to end up with a degree that will only produce more school debt and little hope for the future.  Despite all these negative outlooks, many doctoral programs continue to attract students and have come up with new ways to secure careers after graduate.  Human resources is one such doctoral program that is more beneficial than others because it gives its graduates a head up on the competition through the four extra years of study, compared to little experience in the industry.

The rankings of human resources doctoral programs remains up in the air, as this type of program is relatively new in many universities, but it allows many of its students the opportunity to take on difficult internships while receiving school credit.  These internships help set these students apart from students who only have a bachelor’s degree in public affairs.  Additionally, the many programs offer a deeper understanding of the methodology of human resources, thereby earning students the knowledge of the complexities of the field.  This inner knowledge is attractive to potential employers who would rather see a doctorate than a bachelor’s when they are hiring for a large company. 

The economy has almost seemed to be a double-edge sword in regard to education and further education since it seems like very few people are securing jobs; but without work, what is a better use of your time than to enroll in a graduate program?  Therefore, many graduate degree programs have actually experienced a rise in their student applicants due to the economy this past year, and human resources doctoral programs are no different.  The top ranked programs in the nation have all experienced this increase in student numbers and it is a welcome relief for many universities who believed their graduate programs would be struggling to survive these past months.  Human resources is a funny graduate program, however, and despite all odds, it has managed to survive despite the economic outlook and has essentially built up a large following within many universities around the nation.  While we have yet to see what advanced human resources degrees will bring, there is no doubt that they are a welcomed side-effect of the economy. 


50 Useful iPhone Apps for Science Students & Teachers

Oct 8th, 2009

As you know, technology and science have come a long way. Machines, innovations, and tools that were once nothing more than far-fetched ideas are now available at the iPhone owner’s fingertips. For scientists, iPhone applicationss make research, exploration, studying, and visualization easier and less expensive than ever before. So, follow these links and turn your iPhone into your sciPhone .

Apps for Your Field

Whether you’re in genetics, anatomy, nursing, physics, or chemistry, there’s an iPhone application just for you. Here are some of the best.

  1. Genetic Decoder: Allows user input RNA codons and outputs amino acid information.
  2. iCut DNA: iCut DNA lets you search the Restriction Enzyme Database (REBASE) for enzymes and the DNA nucleotide sequences they cleave.
  3. Anatomy Lab: Explore the anatomy of the human body as if you were a dissector in an anatomy laboratory.
  4. Anatomy Pronunciations: Accurate pronunciations of over 700 commonly used anatomy terms.
  5. Skeleton 3D: Featuring a sharp skeletal model, it makes a great learning tool to help children identify human bones, as well as other aspects of the human anatomy.
  6. ePocrates Rx: The Epocrates Rx free drug reference enables healthcare professionals to find medical information more quickly and confidently at the point of care.
  7. Collisions: The Collisions1D app is a basic physics lab, in which two objects (a red ball and a blue ball) collide with one another in one dimension. You can set the mass of each of the objects, the initial velocity of each object, as well as the elasticity of the collisions between the objects.
  8. iPhysics Updates: Physics majors will love this new application for your iPhone. The world of physics is ever changing, and as modern advances in technology and science arise, advances in physics go hand in hand. Keep up with all of the new discoveries, news stories, and theories on your iPhone.
  9. ChemFacts!: ChemFacts puts hundreds of Chemistry facts at your fingertips.
  10. Chemistry Terms: Chemistry Terms is a fully-featured flash card app that helps you learn over 100 chemistry terms.


These tools are great for the times when you aren’t carrying your encyclopedia with you. Who does that, anyway?

  1. Molecules: Download and view 3-D molecules
  2. Chemical Elements: In portrait mode, this application lists the elements, but flip it landscape and it turns into an touchable periodic table.
  3. Landscapedia: Calling all botanists! The plant labels at garden centers don’t give you nearly enough information to know what you need to know for your research. Landscapedia provides full information for 34,000 plants.
  4. A Brief History of Genetics: This application is a movable timeline that features the biggest dates and names in the history of genetic biology.
  5. Atom in a Box: This application shows what a hydrogen atom "looks like" via real-time rendering of its electron’s orbitals.
  6. Get all the Science: This news aggregator collects from Nature, New Scientist and several other science publications and delivers it to your phone.
  7. Food Information Database: This database puts the power of health and fitness into your hands by gathering nutritional info from hundreds of restaurant chains.
  8. PopSci Reader: This is a great way to catch up on while you’re away from your computer. It provides full text and images, and it’s free.
  9. WeatherBug: WeatherBug manages and operates its own weather network that pin points weather conditions in your neighborhood. And by "neighborhood," we don’t mean "city." We mean at the local school, in the grocery store parking lot, or across the street.
  10. MIM by MIMvista: MIM Vista allows doctors to view medical imaging on the go with their iPhones. Users can also draw on the image; simply shake your phone to clear the notes.

Space/Astronomy Apps

For the aerospace engineer, or just the universe-loving stargazer.

  1. Uranus: This GPS-enabled app acts as a guide to the night sky wherever you happen to be standing on Earth.
  2. 3D Space: All the pictures used by 3D Space are the newest pictures photographed by Hubble Space Telescope
  3. iSky Gaze: This simple web app lets you input what you want to see, say, Mars, and spits out optimal viewing information.
  4. LookUp: Tells you when to look out for satellites in the night sky.
  5. NASA Image of the Day: Your eyes will only take you so far into space, so if you want to see deeper, check out this simple daily image app.
  6. Starmap Pro.: Discover the power of a professional sky atlas in the palm of your hand.
  7. Astronomy: Need some fast facts about our solar system? You’ve got it now! Astronomy Guide is the perfect reference source for finding planets, stars, constellations, and even the history of space travel.
  8. Oxford Dictionary of Astronomy: Readers will find a galaxy of informative, vividly written entries on everything from space exploration and the equipment involved, to astrophysics, cosmology, and the concept of time.
  9. Pocket Universe: Pocket Universe is the ideal astronomy program for those keen to learn about the night sky. The unique display is generated dynamically depending on your location and time.
  10. GoSkyWatch Planetarium: GoSkyWatch Planetarium is a neat little iPhone app that helps you locate and identify planets in the sky.


While quick math and mental calculations are honorable skills, the times are changing, and your job doesn’t have to be as hard as it once was.

  1. Equivalence: Designed from the ground up by engineers and for engineers, Equivalence makes your tedious, day-to-day conversions between unit systems a breeze.
  2. Scoligauge: This scoliometer is a diagnostic tool that determines the angle of trunk rotation for a patient.
  3. Atomic Mass Calculator: The Atomic Mass Calculator is an interactive calculator using the periodic table as its key pad. Press the elements to form any molecule you can dream up and see what the atomic mass for that molecule.
  4. chemCal: chemCal is a basic chemistry concentration (molarity, moles per liter) and dilutions calculator for students of chemistry, biology, biochemistry, and biomedical sciences.
  5. Buffers: Buffers is a scientific tool for designing buffer solutions for pH control.
  6. Powergraph: PowerGraph is not just a powerful graphing calculator, but it also has a robust calculator full of functions. You can also customize the background and colors.
  7. ChemWeight: ChemWeight is a high-quality molecular weight calculator.
  8. Conversion Calculator(RPN): This calculator uses Reverse Polish Notation (RPN), to produce conversions.
  9. Astrolabe: This is an easy to use calculator for manipulating astronomical distances, dates & times, and coordinates.
  10. Scientific Calculator: This full-blown scientific calculator includes formula entry in the form of f(x) and z. This calculator renders formulas in 2D and 3D (if Z is included in the equation).

Games and Quizzes

While these "games" might not be everyone’s idea of fun, the true scientist will appreciate and enjoy these interesting apps.

  1. Science Hangman: Test your knowledge about science: chemistry, biology, zoology, astronomy, technology, anatomy and lots more.
  2. The History of Science Quiz : Who Discovered Ganymede? The good thing is you’re ahead of the game if you even know what Ganymede is.
  3. Science Quiz: Each of these quizzes consists of 10 multiple choice questions, with a final score provided at the end.
  4. iMole Draw: The IMoleDraw is an application that can view, edit and build molecules in 2D.
  5. Netter’s Neuroscience Flash Cards: Quiz yourself over 225 individual illustrations taken directly from Netter’s Atlas of Human Neuroscience. By the time you get them all right, you’ll be ready for your Ph.D!
  6. Head and Neck Quiz: Test your knowledge of the human head and neck.
  7. ChemQuizr: How well do you know the periodic table? Practice learning with this app and you won’t ever need a cheat sheet on a test again.
  8. Gravity Balls: This is a Physics based application that simulates the effects of Newton’s Law of Gravity on objects called Gravity Balls.
  9. MassSpring: MassSpring takes place in your phone’s physics lab, where a block is attached to an ideal spring. You can set the mass of the block, the spring constant of the spring, and the initial position of the block.
  10. Speed Bones MD: How fast can you point to specific bones? Speed Bones MD is a fun an addictive game that tests your speed and challenges your memory.