650 Prompts for Narrative and Personal Writing

This is an amazing PDF of all 650 prompts from this NYTimes article!

Every school day since 2009 we’ve asked students a question based on an article in The New York Times.

Now, seven years later, and in honor of the Oct. 20 National Day on Writing, we’ve collected 650 of them that invite narrative and personal writing and listed them by category below. Consider it an update of a previous post, and a companion to the list of 301 argumentative writing prompts we published in 2015.

20WELL-master1050

A Reading List for High School Students About College

The NYTimes sent this to me, a short list of things worth reviewing with students working towards college.  I will be judicious where I use it; however, it is a nice list to see pulled together.  Check out the full article for additional links and information.

Amherst is among the elite colleges that have made progress in admitting low-income students. <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/13/upshot/making-top-colleges-less-aristocratic-and-more-meritocratic.html">Related Article</a>

Amherst is among the elite colleges that have made progress in admitting low-income students.

Most Junes we mark the end of the school year by rounding up commencement-speech advice and suggesting ideas for teaching and learning from it.

This year, however, we thought we’d celebrate high school graduates — and those who parent and teach them — with a broader, and possibly more urgent, list. Below, you’ll find a categorized collection of Times articles and Opinion pieces from the 2014-15 academic year about all aspects of higher education — from getting in, to thinking about why you are there, to considering how to fix what’s broken. We hope you’ll find plenty to discuss.

As the school year began last September, Frank Bruni, a Times Op-Ed columnist, issued a challenge to college freshmen to “construct their world from scratch” and seek out people who think differently:

Now more than ever, college needs to be an expansive adventure, yanking students toward unfamiliar horizons and untested identities rather than indulging and flattering who and where they already are. And students need to insist on that, taking control of all facets of their college experience and making it as eclectic as possible.

We hope some of the pieces below can help.

College Admissions

<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/15/opinion/sunday/frank-bruni-how-to-survive-the-college-admissions-madness.html">Related Op-Ed</a>

Related Op-EdCredit Ben Wiseman

How to Survive the College Admissions Madness

Promiscuous College Come-Ons

Applications by the Dozen, as Anxious Seniors Hedge College Bets

Colleges Make It Easier for Students to Show, Not Tell, in Their Applications

For Accomplished Students, Reaching a Good College Isn’t as Hard as It Seems

Our Push for ‘Passion,’ and Why It Harms Kids

Why Colleges With a Distinct Focus Have a Hidden Advantage

A Changing Autumn Leaf

1019-sci-sub3LEAFchOne of the great wonders of life is watching the leaves change colors in the fall. When temperatures get cool, chlorophyll begins to break down revealing the underlying pigments in the plants’ sap. This depiction of the inner-workings of a maple leaf shows the process in action (see the annotated version that appeared in The New York Times for more detail).

Science illustrator Frank Ippolito is behind this beautiful illustration and a series of other “cube” drawings – drawings cleverly constructed to illustrate multiple dimensions in a scene. The first cube drawing he developed appeared in a lead story in the New York Times Science Times and was the basis for a series of postersshowing various ecosystems teeming with life: a tide pool, a deciduous forest, a desert, a rainforest. This maple leaf cube was originally commissioned by The New York Times to accompany the lead story in the Science Times titled “Those Brilliant Fall Outfits May Be Saving Trees,” by Carl Zimmer.

Ippolito’s portfolio at Production Post Studios contains his cube series, Life Underfoot, as well as other work. You can also find his work on science-art.com.

10 Courses With a Twist

FLASH AND DRIVE With 700 students, David J. Malan’s computer science course is one of Harvard’s most popular.

Why are so many nonmajors taking “Introduction to Computer Science” at Harvard or “Introductory Oceanography” at Cornell? Why is Temple Grandin’s livestock course at Colorado State always filled, and not just with students at home on the range?

Some professors can make a subject sing, and their courses are not just a credit but an event.

“I’ve wanted to take it since freshman year,” Rhyann Dozier, a Virginia Tech senior, said of “World Regions,” taught by John Boyer, whose high-octane style and throwback vibe channels Will Ferrell, turning lectures into performances.

Continue reading “10 Courses With a Twist” »

Updated Microsoft Photosynth

From the NYTIMES, this is a partial reprint to update the local knowledgebase of understanding, for the complete article, full pictures, comments and all the useful items head over to the full article on NYTimes.com Updated Microsoft Photosynth Makes HDTV Look Low-Resolution, the pictures are amazing.

Microsoft's latest update to Photosynth, a  technology that stitches together overlapping photos, to create 3-D panoramas.Microsoft’s latest update to Photosynth, a  technology that stitches together overlapping photos, to create 3-D panoramas.

While online panoramas have been available for years, the new updates to Photosynth, which will be available on a first-come first-serve basis Tuesday, can now create panoramas that are hyper-detailed and actually look 3-D.

Microsoft said it is able to make the 3-D panorama look so realistic by actually creating a sort-of 3-D model of a photo using proprietary algorithms, then taking high-resolutions photos and layering them on top of each other. The company’s latest updates also make panoramas much smoother and speedier — they could sometimes be jittery in the earlier versions of the software.

The new software shows images almost like a high-resolution video that is fully interactive. Swiping your mouse up will move you forward on the screen; swiping down will smoothly bring you backwards through an image.

The image above is pieced together in 3-D. Below, an images show how a Photosynth photo is layered together.The image above is pieced together in 3-D. Below, an images show how a Photosynth photo is layered together.

The images are incredibly detailed, too. The Mount Everest Photosynth demo was shot by David Brashears, a mountaineer, and is made up of 177 different 60-megapixel photos. Microsoft says this resolution allows the panorama to play like a video that is 30 times more detailed than an HDTV signal.

David Gedye, lead program manager at Microsoft, said that while there is an artistic goal to offer people software that makes these types of images, there is also a business reason behind the software.

“At Microsoft, we’ve long had a goal of documenting the important places in the world and sharing them on Bing,” he said in a phone interview, referring to the company’s search engine. ”We don’t need to drive trucks or employ people to capture the world, we can work with enthusiasts who take these pictures” and then stitch them all together in a highly immersive way.

Mr. Gedye said that adding these images to Microsoft’s search features, including Bing search and its mapping software, makes a more compelling offering for users who are searching through Microsoft products.

“It’s about giving this power to Bing to make it a place where things are really presented beautifully and in a place where it’s immersive and interactive,” he said. People can also use the updated software to document their own objects or places that can be embedded on a personal website.

The new software does not work on iPads or smartphones that don’t support WebGL, a JavaScript 3-D rendering engine. But Microsoft said it is working on updates that will enable the software, or a variation of it, on these platforms.

The company also plans to add updates to Photosynth apps that allow people to create these immersive images on their smartphones. Until then, users will have to upload an array of photos to the Photosynth website to be turned into an interactive 3-D space.

A version of this article appears in print on 12/16/2013, on page B8 of the NewYork edition with the headline: Making Images Appear 3-D.