Macs, Gardening, Mindy Kaling and Questions

Learned Recently

Communicating via Computer

Apple’s Macbook and Macbook Pro come with many different accessibility features built-in.  By accessibility I mean things that make it easier to use the computer if you have trouble with seeing, hearing, talking, or moving parts of your body.

The one that has been the most useful for my job is the Text-to-Speech feature.  You can set your computer to read aloud whatever you type in Textedit, Word, Pages or e-mail.  It also allows you to change the gender of the voice, and the rate at which the voice speaks.

Additionally, you can export the audio file into iTunes! (For podcasting, or for classroom presentations.)

Think this sounds cool, you can see all of the MANY accessibility features by looking here.  It starts on Literacy and Learning, but be sure to click-through Vision, Hearing and Physical and Motor Skills.

Gardening and Compost

We’ve wanted to try out composting and gardening, and while we know it’s not super time intensive. We found the lazy girl and boy’s composting which we’re trying.  It’s called Lasagna Gardening. It’s basically creating compost layers right where you plan to grow things in the future.  I don’t think it’s new, but it was recently featured in Urban Farm magazine.  You can read the article here.

Read Recently

An article about Mindy Kaling. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/25/magazine/a-long-day-at-the-office-with-mindy-kaling.html
Edited to add:  Mindy is blogging again! http://theconcernsofmindykaling.com/

Things I Wish I Knew More About

-How to change the voice output that exports to Itunes when using Text to Speech on my Macbook. It only exports to iTunes with the default text to speech voice.  (see above)

-Childhood Apraxia of Speech, Dyspraxia

-The effectiveness of Facebook advertisements versus other types of advertisements.

-Macroeconomics and microeconomics

-Most recent books for teens, and children that are high quality.

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