250th Post! Visual Beauty for Your Device

I missed getting a Sun(Fun)day post out yesterday. Turns out that there are only so many hours in the day and yesterday they passed by way too quickly.

So, it’s Monday, sunny here in Ohio, we’re on the 250th post at this blog and it’s a good day for celebrating the miracle that is our eyes!

If you’re like me, you change your device’s wallpaper or background image frequently. I like to enjoy that moment of beauty before I get to whatever app or task I’m seeking.

So, for your viewing pleasure here’s a few of my favorite sites for downloading beautiful images and a recent example of each.

Perhaps you’ve already discovered the Bing Wallpaper Gallery. As a search engine, Microsoft’s Bing takes a lot of flack. But as a source for daily, seasonally themed, blow-your-mind images it’s the best. It also has a highly searchable archive to find any type of image perfectly sized to fit your desktop/homescreen:

Photo Bing

So after I stop at Bing’s site, I go over to my next favorite site for daily images as well as great, daily prayer resources. Hosted my the Jesuits of the Midwest Province, the location of the site is Jesuitprayer.org. Each day they offer a gripping image paired with a quote related to the liturgical reading and related reflection for the day. There’s also an iOS app available. The images aren’t always in the highest definition, so sometimes they are a bit fuzzy on my iPad lock screen. Still, the reflections included are worth pausing on for a moment before unlocking and moving forward.

Photo Jesuit

The last site is one that I just discovered the other day. I’ve known about the Three Minute Retreat site and app for a while. I get their daily email and for the first time I looked closely at the links within it. Not only is there one to Loyola PressLenten Resources, but there’s also a link to where you can download seasonal images which include a quote from the week’s scripture and the month’s calendar. The stunning one on my iPad lock screen today is above while this week’s is here:

Photo Loyola 1

One really good thing about the file (above) from Loyola is that it fits perfectly onto the iPad screen while the Three Minute Retreat one needs to be reduced.

As a bonus, if you’re looking for lock screen images and home screen organization on your Android device, may I recommend what I use – Picturesque and Aviate respectively.


Sun(Fun) Day Night: 6 Photographers + 1 Man + A Twist…

A busy Sunday night here, so I need to keep this one brief. I don’t know if this video is funny – at least not in the “ha-ha” kind of way.

It is interesting as the results of the experiment done by the people at Canon Photography are fascinating. The set up was simple – six photographers met individually with one man to set up and take a photo shoot. Here’s the twist: the man was an actor who gave a very different story about himself to each of the professionals. In turn, each took quite different photos, based primarily on whether they thought the man was a self-made tycoon, an ex-con or a psychic (pictured above) – just three of the six roles.

It’s worth taking a few minutes to see the results…


Friday FunLink – Images: Stars and Star Wars

It’s Friday again and most exciting event of the week was the release of the full Star Wars VII trailer:

As of this posting, it has only 38,331,374 views. And I’ve contributed at least ten of those!

Less noticed this week was the release of the biggest, widest, largest high-res photo of the universe ever taken. One of the 268 combined sections:

Star Image

The special on-line site to scroll through an interactive version of the full image can be found HERE.

Soon after I posted the Sun(Fun)day link on the new Star Wars poster, I discovered a great companion site. Here you can “watch Star Wars evolve through its spectacular history of posters” It’s worth a look. Aside from the original teaser poster (above) here’s a few of my favorites:

Star Wars Class - 9

Hey – I have a T-shirt with this on it!

Star Wars Class - 8

Ahh…so gloriously low tech. And check out those action figures!

Star Wars Classic - 5

I’ve always thought this was the most dramatic and gripping of the main three posters. And only 55 days until Star Wars VII hits the theaters!




The 30 Most Iconic Images in Space Travel History

Last Sunday was the Super Moon with the full lunar eclipse. Here, it was sadly too overcast to see it when it reached the peak at about 10:15 pm. It was a good occasion for me to post a video of the moon moving in front of the earth. 

This Sunday, in addition to being the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, is the anniversary of the first satellite launch in 1957. It was Sputnik, launched by the Soviets, and the opening salvo of the space race.

To remember that historic day, I share this eye-popping article from Time which displays the 30 most iconic images (in their opinion) in space travel history. It’s worth a few minutes of your time to enjoy some famous firsts as well as extraordinary views of the universe we call home.

My three favorites are:

The photo above – The First Photo of the Earth, 1966; On Aug. 23, 1966, the world received its first view of Earth taken by the Lunar Orbiter I from the vicinity of the Moon.

Space Photo 2

Saturn, 1973 Pioneer 11, launched by NASA on 6th April 1973, returned the first close-up pictures of the ringed planet Saturn.

Space Photo 3

Mars Rover Selfie, 2015; NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover captures a selfie to mark a full Martian year — 687 Earth days — spent exploring the Red Planet.

The Words Pope Francis Used the Most on His U.S. Trip (175th post!)

To put an exclamation point on Pope Francis’ truly awesome U.S. visit, Huffington Post analyzed the 19 speeches and homilies he delivered on U.S. soil. From this, they created the word cloud art above and also a slide show with an inspiring image illustrating each word. Note: The image above is partial – to see it all, visit the HuffPost link.

I’m not going to list the top 10 words here (as I want to encourage you to look at the link itself), but three of my favorite images are:

Pope Francis - 2 - Love

Pope Francis - 4 - Those

Pope Francis - 5 - Many

19 Back to School Classroom Ideas

I’ll be honest with you, I don’t put a tremendous amount of effort into creating decorations or art in my classroom.  I do believe in having art – especially student created art – on the walls and elsewhere in the room.  Having attractive, inspiring and thought-provoking images for my students to view goes a long way in creating the vibe and spirit of my classroom.

I also use the “plug-in” type of fragrance dispensers to create olfactory feeling in my students.  I rotate the scents seasonally throughout the school year.  Not only do my students gain a scent memory of my room, but this helps counter the inevitable “funk” which develops during the times of the year when we can’t open the windows.  It’s a high value for me to have my room smell good for my students (and for me as I have to be in there all day!)

From the surprisingly robust HuffPost Education, here’s some ideas for the crafty folks out there to make your classroom more attractive and inviting.  Some of the ones on the list are clearly for younger students.  But I think many could be easily modified for older students instead.

Here’s a few of my favorites:


What a cool way to inspire and challenge your students as they see the outside of your classroom door!



A+ for engaging creativity.  C- for near copyright violation.



I like this one for classrooms where pencils are frequently used.


Eight Great Chrome Extensions for the “New Tab” Page

If you’re like me, you use Chrome and inevitably find yourself on the “New Tab” page many times a day.  I was thrilled when I found this link detailing eight ways that you can customize that page in beautiful and useful ways.

Eight Great Chrome Extensions for the “New Tab” Page

photo Chrome Extentions


For the record, I use Dream Afar and love the vibrant photos of a world locale which changes each day!