Happy Thanksgiving – Videos and Games

It’s maybe too late for you to use these videos with your classes (like I did today), but I share them anyway. Or perhaps you’re not even in school today and you’d like to share these videos with family and friends during your Thanksgiving celebration.

This is a beautiful and inspiring one narrated by the renowned founder of Gratefulness.org 

Or maybe you’d like to celebrate by singing two uplifting Thanksgiving “carols”

And how about fun board games to play after dinner (rather than turning on a screen)

Or, you can really keep it simple and play this topical game after dinner or even at the table – Gratitude A to Z   Here’s the start of my list of what I’m grateful for right now:

A – apples, axes (without which there’d be no firewood), apes (Harambe, we miss thee)

B- baseball (what a season!), bowling (getting to be the season for it), Bread, Panera

C – cookies, cake, caterpillars (aka, pre-butterflies)

D, E, F….

 

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Sun(Fun)day Night (BONUS): Amazing Movie Mash-up

This time last Sunday night, I (and you too?) was watching the Oscars. If you haven’t done so yet, check out my post on where you can watch the nominated films.

Have you ever wished your favorite movie characters could be in the same film – TOGETHER? Now, thanks to editing and production so amazing I don’t even want to begin to figure it out, you can see this:

The tone does shift towards violence about halfway through when the Aliens show up. Until that point, it’s pretty fun to see how such a great range of favorite actors and characters (check out where at least four James Bonds connect) come together in one place within a story:

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Friday FaithPost – “40 A Video of Jesus in the Wilderness”

As I mentioned in the first Friday FaithPost a couple of weeks ago, during Lent I’ll be offering more somber and thought-provoking links on Fridays. Sun(fun) Night Posts will remain light-hearted as Sundays are always days of celebrating Christ’s Resurrection – even during the Lenten season.

I sincerely encourage you to take four minutes now to watch this powerful video telling the story of the gospel from last Sunday.

 

I’m sharing this video with each of my classes today (3 down, 2 to go). And with each viewing, my appreciation of the powerful simplicity of it grows.

Kudos to YouTuber Adam Young who writes only this about the video:

I took these incredible illustrations by a British illustrator named Simon Smith and put them to an Explosions In The Sky song.

Friday FunLink – Hilarious “Darth Trump” Star Wars Parody

Unlike last Friday, my midterms are finally at the copy machine, so I have a moment to share a truly astounding Friday FunLink video.

As I’ve posted previously, I’m a big Star Wars fan. I’m counting down the days until a week from today when finally, finally, finally I can see Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens.”

Until then, I need to settle for this extremely well-done video which combines something I really like with someone I really don’t. So, thanks to Slate, take a 7 minute break to refresh your memory about Star Wars IV, V, and VI and also about some of the always interesting things The Donald has said. Be sure to watch while in a place where you can laugh out loud!

 

And be sure to watch until the end (or just forward to there) as the Trumpization of the final scene of Return of the Jedi is priceless – and it showcases the last sequential image we saw in the Star Wars universe.

Sun(fun) Night – Farewell Teddy & Meet Fr. Andrew Trapp and His Guinea Pigs

I learned about this story during last summer, but I’ve not gotten around to writing about it until now. I’m choosing to share it tonight because guinea pigs are on my mind.

First, the sad news. Prior to this afternoon, we had two guinea pigs, Jack Black (on the right) and Teddy (left):

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Teddy had been ailing for a while with weight-loss. Last Monday, the vet ran x-rays and found a large, untreatable bladder stone. As he was in noticeable pain from it, the vet gave us pain medicine for him as all we could do for him was keep him comfortable until his condition worsened.

During the week, he continued to lose weight. Today, he was in even greater pain and was making horrible “squawking” sounds. We made the agonizing decision to take Teddy back to the vet to be euthanized.

I had a few moments to hold him, take photos and then to say goodbye.

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I feel quite sad about Teddy’s departure as he was a good friend to the family and his “brother” Jack. We had these pigs for more than five years and they were great companions during some tough times. We’re going to watch Jack to see if he’d benefit from getting a new friend or if he’ll be okay alone. Teddy, I’ll miss you…

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The good news is that there are plenty of cute guinea pig photos and videos on the internet. Perhaps none is as unusual and funny as this one from the saintfactory channel on YouTube:

After I received this video from our great hay supplier: Small Pet Select, I did some exploring. Turns out that the owner of these guinea pigs and video producer is a young, Catholic priest. His website/blog is Saint Factory: God Wants to Make You a Saint. According to the site, Fr. Andrew was ordained in 2007 to the Diocese of Charleston, S.C. He sounds like the kind of priest and person I’d like to meet – not only because he loves his pigs (named Carmy & Claire after Carmelite and Poor Clare habit colors), but just because.

Before I sign off for the night, here’s another one of his hilarious videos:

Okay, okay…one more ridiculously cute piggy video:

Sun(Fun)day Noon – Congrats to Hawks & Supercut of Motivational Coaches from Movies

It’s early on this Sunday, but I have a few fun posts in mind for today. So, I thought I’d get an early start (and I’m not quite ready to settle in to my grading/planning for the day).

Congrats and kudos to the @hartleyfootball team for winning last night and making it to the semi-finals for their division in the state of Ohio.

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Coach Birchfield is exceptionally skilled at motivating his players, students and colleagues. But just in case he needs some inspiration from legendary movie coaches, here’s a great supercut of all-stars:

In case you’d like some more movie coach fun, check out the results of this recent “tournament” determining which coach is the most motivational of all time.

 

(Late) Friday FunLink – Outstanding Cover Video of “God Only Knows”

As I was looking around on Spotify tonight, I stumbled upon a stunning video recently produced by the BBC. As it’s still Friday, I figured I could fit in one more FunLink today.

The song, “God Only Knows” – ranked by Rolling Stone as the 25th of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time (between “Dock of the Bay” and “People Get Ready” with “Like a Rolling Stone” at #1) was recently covered by an all-star, mostly British group of singers and musicians. Not only does it sound great, but it’s beautifully filmed. It’s well worth less than three minutes to view it – if only to see the venerable and complex Brian Wilson sing the final line.

Here’s the key to the photo of musicians above:

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And here’s a pretty cool, brief “making of” video:

Finally, just because it’s the end of the week, here’s a vintage video (2006) of Wilson and The Corrs performing it live. The video isn’t great, but the audio is fine:

Friday FunLink – The Barbie Commercial You Need to See

About a year ago the toy company GoldieBlox made headlines with clever ads showing how their products allow girls to do more than play with Barbie and her kin. And they even got in some trouble when the ad linked to above was originally released with an appropriately modified version of the Beastie Boys “Girls” as the soundtrack. 

Barbie strikes back as the Washington Post draws our attention to a funny and savvy marketing campaign which might persuade you as to how playing with Barbies can empower our daughters.

Take a couple of minutes to watch it and see what you think…

 

Does this “girl empowerment” Barbie make up for the unrealistic body image that Barbie portrays? Perhaps not. But I do think it’s a (previously) ridiculously high-angled footstep in the right direction.

Friday FunLink – Mind-blowing Beatles Drum Tribute

After the tragic, yet essential video about the refugee crisis, I thought an upbeat, ultimately trivial one would work for this Friday’s FunLink.

When I came across this video on the always interesting Open Culture, I knew it was a keeper. And I think its awesomesauciness speaks for itself:

Happy First Friday of November!

Remember to Cry With Your Students on Patriot Day (September 11, 2001)

Sincere thanks to Mark Barnes and his Brilliant or Insane blog for sharing this video and invitation to educators.  I appreciate that he speaks of how he was brought to tears and the way his students responded to this show of emotion.

This day has personal meaning for me as my brother was in one of the WTC Towers on 9/11/01.  His was the second building attacked.  Thanks be to God, that he survived and fled to safety before the towers collapsed.  Although he doesn’t talk about it, I know his life was forever changed that day.  For me, I had an agonizing couple of hours when my family did not know whether he survived.  My wife, exactly six week old son, and I lived then in New Jersey, not far from Manhattan.  Communities all around our town mourned the loss of commuters who died that sunny, early-fall morning.

My freshmen students, like my son, were infants that day.  So please tell them about your experiences 14 year ago in order to remember, to celebrate life, and to work for peace and justice in order to counter evil in our world.