Friday, 19 February 2016

on t'internet: 5 fabulous web sites

I've been asked to share a few of my favourite websites. These aren't the ones I go to all the time (I had a look at those, and they're an embarrasing overview of social media addiction, trust in google, and the stuff I do for work), but they are useful. You might have already come across these websites, but just in case you haven't, here are five great websites which are worth checking out.

1. Code.org is a brilliant website set up because apparently companies like Google, Facebook, Yahoo etc just can't get the staff! They're wanting to ensure that young people learn how to do coding so that they can eventually go and work for them. They reckon that schools are not good enough at teaching coding, so they're planning on helping them get better, but also providing tutorials themselves for kids (and adults) who would like to learn.

We've tried it, and it's easy and fun. My son went straight for Java Script because he's already done some coding at school. My daughter did the starter stuff. It was pretty easy to get stuff right, and there was enough wiggle room to play with to make it fun to use. I'm sure it would be more fun if you did it with friends, but it's a great place to have a go.



2. The boy has reached the age/maturity where he's ready to watch more challenging films. He tells me (and lo, it is true) that 12A means that it's suitable for ages 8+ if that child is OK with it, and probably with an adult. Weren't age ratings once a lot clearer than this? Anyway, what it boils down to is, he can probably watch The Hobbit, but I'd best watch it with him (and try not to mutter about how there are so many hobbits when there are so few female hobbits). This can tiresomely involve watching films to find out if you can watch them with the boy, and this website has come to the rescue on that. It provides guidance on what films are suitable, to whom, and what the issues might be. All from adults. No two children are the same, and this lets you make an informed decision. Thank you Commonsense Media.


3. I love Debbie Cameron's blog: Language: A Feminist Guide, which clearly and articulately discusses issues in our language (and language is so important because it frames our understanding. She wrote this post recently about the sexist examples used to explain words in dictionaries, and why it matters (eg rabid feminist). And also this one on the title Mx. Fabulous work which always makes me think. 

On the subject of titles, did you know that France has now scrapped the title 'Mademoiselle' on official forms etc. Adult women all get called 'Madame'. This is similar to the way 'Mrs' used to be used in the UK, and I wish we could go back to that. A couple of my children's teachers call themselves Miss, but I cannot wrap my head around using a child's title for a grown woman, so I forget the '...is...' Sorry teachers.


4. I cannot knit. I can crochet, and most of the time that suits my needs just fine, but I would love to be able to knit a nice warm pair of socks. I'd always imagined these to be grey, and ever so slightly fluffy, but recently I've found out about self-patterning sock yarn(!), which sounds so amazing that I'd love to be able to give it a try (which would require knitting). If I ever manage to cast on, I would be heading to Winwick Mum for sock patterns and clear instructions, as well as a community to help counsel me through the heels. I've got her website bookmarked for the day I manage to cast on successfully, and you can find it here.


5. My last choice here is another blog: The Fluent Self by Havi Brooks. I can't remember how I found this blog, but I can remember being befuddled by it the first time I read it, and that tends to turn me right off, but this time I read it again, and then I tried some of the techniques Havi uses for destuckification. Now I follow the blog and every post feels like a generous gift of beauty. It always sparks ideas, and encourages me to forgive myself for mistakes made, and to be courageous. Thank you Havi.