Classes are starting and those required reading lists are looming. But even procrastinators can plan ahead a little with How Long to Read.
It’s a search engine that combs through a collection of more than 12 million book titles and calculates how long it would take to read them.
Type in a title and the site delivers a sample paragraph. Readers hit a start and stop button to time how long it takes them to read the paragraph. How Long To read calculates the person’s reading speed and how many hours it will take him or her to read that book. It also delivers stats, such as how many words are in the book, and how long it would take the average reader to get through it.
The reading test uses a capsule description of the book, and not a excerpt from it, which would have been a more accurate way to gauge the time needed to read — and understand — the material. There’s no algorithm for complex and dense prose, so 11 hours to read James Joyce’s monumental “Finnegan's Wake” seems optimistic.
But the site is a great tool for planning a semester’s reading, and for people who are looking for a productive way to spend their time.
It can be a struggle prying those iPhones and iPads out of a kid’s hands. Now, parents can put those devices to work teaching basic programming skills in a way that’s educational, creative — and fun.
The Everything Machine is a new maker app from educational app maker Tinybop. This visual programming app lets kids build and invent things on their phone or tablet, using the device’s camera, microphone, speaker, screen and gyroscope. Users can create cool stuff like kaleidoscopes, synthesizers, voice disguisers, stop-motion cameras, a ”cookie thief catcher” and anything else they can think up.
The Everything Machine ($2.99) is on the iTunes Store’s best new apps list. It’s rated for ages 4 and up but designed for ages 9-11.
A series of YouTube videos on Tinybop’s YouTube channel show how The Everything Machine works, and what people can create with it.
The first Cast Party podcast festival in July was a sold-out performance at New York University’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts in New York and was simulcast to movie theaters across the country.
For those who missed it, Cast Party is now available for download on Vimeo On Demand.
The podcast showcase featured performances by several of the nation’s top podcasters, including original stories from Radiolab, Invisibilia and Reply All, the talk show “With Special Guest Lauren Lapkus” with guest host Bobby Moynihan, an original comedy piece from The Truth, plus cameos by “This American Life” host Ira Glass and “Serial” host Sarah Koenig.
Adrian McCoy: email@example.com or 412-263-1865.