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Tag Archives: Educational

CASIO fx-9860G Slim Graphing Calculator

CASIO fx-9860G Slim Graphic Calculator (Images courtesy CASIO)By Andrew Liszewski

I’m surprised to say that graphing calculators really haven’t come a long way since I last used one. CASIO has just introduced their latest model the fx-9860G which they’re touting as their slimmest model ever and at 7/8″ at its thickest part they’re probably right. It uses a folding clam shell design which means a small form factor when closed but allows for a wide display and keyboard layout when opened.

Other features include a natural display input option whereby equations can be input and viewed just as they are in a text book and PC and projector connectivity VIA a USB connection. By today’s standards the 1.5Mb of built-in flash memory is quite small but when you’re just storing formulas or equations it’s probably more than enough. However isn’t it about time they started including screens with just a bit more resolution? That menu looks just as pixelated as it did on my old graphic calculator from college!

The fx-9860G Slim will be available in June for $99 or at a discounted rate of $91 for educators.

[ CASIO fx-9860G Slim Graphic Calculator ] VIA [ Fareastgizmos ]

Brain Trainer mini – Mental Workouts To Go

Brain Trainer mini (Image courtesy AnyToys UK)By Andrew Liszewski

Thankfully the fitness ‘fad’ that sweeped the continent a few years ago is still going strong from what I’ve seen. But these days it seems even more in vogue to keep your mind in top condition as well. The Brain Trainer mini is a palm-sized device designed to improve your mental capabilities as well as your memory by exercising the prefrontal cortex.

It does this through a series of 4 different games that each have 5 different levels of complexity. These include:

Flash: memorise the 4 numbers that appear on the screen quickly.
Sequence: memorise the numbers that move across the screen quickly.
Catch: catch the block as it moves from left, right, top or bottom.
Blocks: memorise the block shape that appears for an instant.

It’s no Gameboy or DS but by playing even these simple games for a few minutes every day you’ll supposedly improve your attention and memory skills and help your reactions become swifter and more accurate.

The pocket-sized Brain Trainer mini is available from AnyToys UK for about $20.

[ Brain Trainer mini ] VIA [ The Red Ferret Journal ]

Raptor Suit

By Evan Ackerman

High on my list of things to get when I’m rich and famous would have to be this full size, wearable raptor suit. It was created for the excellent BBC miniseries Walking With Dinosaurs, which combined CG, animatronic, and apparently wearable dinosaurs to create a very well done (and fantastically expensive) mesozoic documentary. This video shows both the animatronic and the wearable dinos at various stages of completion along with an exceedingly loud and dramatic soundtrack.

A couple more videos available here. You can rent the Walking With Dinosaurs series from somewhere like Netflix, or buy it from Amazon, among other places.

VIA [Neatorama]

Keyboard Skins With Photoshop Shortcuts

XSKN Photoshop Midnight Keyboard Skin (Image courtesy XSKN)By Andrew Liszewski

XSKN is probably not a company you’re already familiar with but you should be especially if you like to take care of your toys. In addition to cellphone and iPod cases they
also produce a series of silicone keyboard ‘skins’ for Apple or Sony laptops designed to protect them from spills or other unwanted particles. (Due to the large variety of laptop keyboard layouts on the market they’ve unfortunately had to limit the number of companies they support.)

The skins come in a few different colors which are mostly designed to match the notebooks they’re made for but they also sell versions that have been printed with Photoshop keyboard shortcuts in addition to the standard keys. You can always tell when someone is a Photoshop power-user by how many keyboard shortcuts they use but if you’re a student who’s just started learning the software this could be a handy tool, in addition to protecting your investment from Coke spills or Dorito-dust encrusted fingers.

The XSKN Photoshop skins are available in 3 color options. A black on white or white on black version to match your MacBook is available for $17.95 while a ‘multi-colored’ version is just a few dollars more at $22.95.

[ Photoshop Shortcuts Keyboard Skin ] VIA [ Crave ]

Weather Station With Animated Forecaster

Weather Station With Animated Forecaster (Image courtesy SkyMall)By Andrew Liszewski

There are all kinds of home weather stations on the market but how many of them include a miniature weatherman? Well ‘man’ isn’t exactly an accurate description since the cartoonish figure looks to be about 12 years old but that’s more appropriate since this weather station has been designed with kids in mind.

I know it took me quite a few years before I could relate a specific temperature as being ‘cold’ or ‘warm’ and it didn’t help the situation that I often had to deal with both Celsius and Fahrenheit measurements depending on where I got my info. However getting kids to understand and dress appropriately for the weather is supposedly pretty easy using this device since the “weather boy” will sport one of 15 different outfits that are appropriate for the conditions outside. The station uses a remote Swissprecision sensor that sits outside gathering data and includes other features like an auto-updated clock, alarms, sunrise and sunset times (for certain cities) and will even indicate the phases of the moon.

The “weather boy” equipped weather station is available from SkyMall for $39.95.

[ Animated Weather Forecaster ]

Mark-My-Time Digital Bookmark

Mark-My-Time Digital Bookmarks (Image courtesy Mark-My-Time, LLC)By Andrew Liszewski

Good old-fashioned reading has a lot of competition these days and it’s not surprising that kids would rather spend their time with a controller in their hands rather than a book. Now while the Mark-My-Time bookmark isn’t designed to make books more appealing it will at least help your kids get into the habit of reading every day.

It’s basically a thin polyethylene plastic strip that has a battery powered digital clock on top. The idea is that a parent sets up a countdown timer on the bookmark for as long as they’d like their kids to read each day. Once the timer runs out an alarm goes off letting the kids know they’ve put in their required time and can move onto another activity. The bookmark can also track cumulative time if you’d prefer your kids to read until they’ve hit a set number of hours each week.

The Mark-My-Time bookmarks are available in neon blue, green or purple for $8.95.

[ Mark-My-Time Digital Bookmarks ] VIA [ Crave ]