Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Top 5 Free News Podcasts

I listen to the news...a lot. Sometimes I don't have access to the internet so I like to listen to podcasts which I have downloaded on my phone. Here are my top 5 news podcasts.

1. The Economist: Week Ahead
     This podcast takes the top three stories that will be featured in the next week. It is a great and quick listen that let's you know what to pay attention to. It also gives you a quick background/overview of the issue. This podcast is updated once a week.

2. BBC World Service: Global News
     This is a thirty minute podcast updated every other day (sometimes more often). I love BBC's analysis. It is a little liberal but they do a pretty good job at keeping the bias at a minimum. They take the top stories from all of their news services and combine them into one podcast.

3. The Economist: All Audio and Special Reports
    These two podcasts are like the Week Ahead but they focus on the news of the day. Having all three of the Economist podcasts will give you a general yet well rounded idea of what is going on in the world.

4. CARO Institute's Daily Podcast
    This podcast mainly focuses on economic topics and it is not always common man in the sense they use quite a bit of economic language however their analysis is good and shows pretty interesting (in my opinion)

5. BBC: Best of Today
    Several of these 2-3 minute podcasts are out every day and focus on one event. I like this podcast because they report on a plethora of news stories.

Friday, April 11, 2014

A Call to Action

     Hey y'all so I know I have been gone for a while but my life is crazy. I had a tournament two weeks ago and I am currently in Seattle doing the same thing. Now that we have excuses out of the way let's get to the reason I am writing this blog post. Now you guys know how much I love books. I wrote a post about how important books are, I do book reviews, and have over 200 books on my shelf. (If you think that's amazing did you know Thomas Jefferson had 6,487 books?) I always talk about how everyone should read but I have done nothing to ensure that people who can't afford books have access to them. I have thought about donating them to my public library but what if we could send it somewhere where they are needed. I mean we have 120,091 libraries in the United States! What about third world countries? Think about it. Most people in third world countries don't have access to libraries and if they do they aren't very big. Of course I am not under the delusion that I can provide books to everyone in the world but I can make a small difference. Shannon Ippolitot from cozyteareads has partnered with an organization whose goal is to create libraries in Africa. All you have to do is send them books and they will give these books to children in Africa. That's right there is a whole organization dedicated to making sure children in Africa can read!!!! 
      These are the books they are looking for:

           -Books at U.S 4th to 8th grade reading level. 
           -Juvenile literature 

           -Children’s fiction and non-fiction 
           -Teacher's resource books for school libraries 
           -Encyclopedias less than 15 years old 
           -Accurate up-to-date atlases 
           -Books with universal themes (friendships, animals, love) 
           -Books like Chicken Soup for the Soul (inspiring stories with life skills lessons) 
           -Books about Africa or African-Americans 
           -Educational kids science and literary magazines in good condition 
           -Brain teasers, flash cards, educational games and puzzles

     They also need about $500 to help ship the books. So you can donate money if you don't want to donate books. Here's a short cut. If you don't want to pay for shipping (because you are international or you have to buy books anyway and don't want to spend the extra money) go on the Book Depository Website (found here) which has free world wide shipping. Just put Shannon's address in instead of your own. Or if you don't mind spending money on shipping go to the Book Outlet (here) which has super cheap books but does have some shipping costs and again send it directly to Shannon. Shannon's address can be found here. Read the information then send Shannon and email with what you are going to do and also to get the exact address. I challenge every single one of you to send books to help these children. The deadline is May 15, 2014. I know I will be going through my bookshelf as well as sending an order from Book Outlet. And if all of my readers, few though you may be, send a couple books we will be able to make a difference

If you do send books let me know down in the comments.