Friday Faves 01-11-13

This week’s faves include free online courses, some Kickstarter projects, and a kitten in need:

You can take online courses from some major colleges and universities for free at Coursera. I just found that they are offering four courses this spring from Berklee College of Music:

– Starting March 1st: Songwriting and Intro to Music Production

– Starting April 22: Intro to Guitar and Intro to Improvisation

Maybe I’ll ‘see’ you in the Improv course :-)

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Friday Faves 01-04-13

Happy New Year! Here are a few new fundraisers worthy of your attention – but first, a bit of self-promotion:

As you may recall, following on some compliments about my non-fiction writing (especially from a successful fiction writer) I decided to attempt NaNoWriMo in November. I did “win” by completing 50,000 words of a novel – my first long form writing of any sort.

Enough people have asked to read it that I’ve decided to serialize as I complete editing chapters. I’ve set up a separate blog for my literary endeavors, – the first two chapters of Want It Back are posted now. You can subscribe to get notifications of new postings, or follow along via the Twitter acct @WhatBettyWrites and/or Facebook Page WhatBettyWrites. Feel free to leave feedback on that blog – most helpful to me would be things like “This chapter was interesting/boring/confusing because of ….”

And now on to other interesting links:

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Friday Faves 12-21-12

You are probably shopped out, or else trying not to go near any more stores before the 25th – so just a few items this week. Go home, hug your significant others, let people know that you love and appreciate them.


If you are a violinist or violist, and especially if you have a long neck or other issues with standard chinrests, check out this new adjustable chinrest:


Project Night Night 

For $20 you can give a Project Night Night Package to a homeless child. Frequently these children have nothing of their own due to the circumstances that led to their families becoming homeless, so Project Night Night gives them a security blanket, a stuffed toy, and an age-appropriate book, all in a tote bag they can also use to carry other possessions:

Project Night Night


While cooking last week I realized yet again that I don’t have a decent food thermometer. This one won’t deliver until next May, but yet another thing you can do with your iOS or Android device:

Friday Faves 12-14-12

Friday’s roundup of interesting items:

GravityLight: lighting for developing countries

A new approach to storing energy and creating illumination. It takes only 3 seconds to lift the weight which powers GravityLight, creating 30 minutes of light on its descent. For free. Designed to replace unhealthy and expensive kerosene burning lamps in developing countries.

This project is already fully funded, but you may still contribute, and even get one for yourself:

DNA Genotyping Now Only $99

 23andMe is a DNA analysis service providing information and tools for individuals to learn about and explore their DNA. You give them a saliva sample and they run it through a machine to provide a report on your genotype – the data is also used anonymously for other projects requiring large amounts of DNA data. They used to charge several hundred dollars plus a yearly subscription fee, but due to new funding they have lowered the price to a one-time fee of $99 plus shipping cost for the collection kit. More information here.