Freebie picks of the week

I’ve come across some website gems which I’d like to share with everyone.

  1. Open Yale Courses – Lectures and other materials from selected Yale College courses are made available to the public free of charge via the internet. The courses span the full range of liberal arts disciplines, including humanities, social sciences, and physical and biological sciences.
  2. Finetune – In addition to its web-based player,  Finetune has a fantasic desktop application which enables Mac and PC users to listen to both Finetune and iTunes playlists, as well as search by name for favorite artists as well as get a custom radio station of their work.  I’m hooked on the David Cook radio channel.  =)
  3. Cookstr – Starting this month,  a new website will showcase the recipes of star chefs like Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson, as well as those of less-well-known but highly regarded cookbook writers.  According to the NYTimes,  visitors to Cookstr can search for recipes using a wide range of parameters, from the more obvious — ingredients, season, occasion — to more specialized criteria, like lactose-free, kid-friendly or requires-only-one-pot-to-cook. The site will start with 2,500 recipes, most likely to increase to 10,000 within a year.   Go and sign up to their newsletter now. 
  4. Hulu –  Hulu offers shows from nbc, Fox, pbs and other channels, including free full episodes of SNL, The Daily Show, The Office and other hits the TiVo-less masses often miss, plus films like Ghostbusters, The Fifth Element and Lost in Translation.  Note, Hulu’s video library currently can only be streamed from within the United States.

Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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Tikatok: Book Publisher for Kids

We should do all we can to encourage our kids’ imagination and creativity.  What better way to encourage the next Charles Dickens or JKRowling than have their book(s) published?

Tikatok is offering a great service by providing children and their parents with a platform in which they can write and illustrate their own stories,  share them with their loved ones and even print them as real paperback and hardcover books.  

Seeing their labors of love printed and bound just like those at the local bookstore,  in Tikatok’s own words. “reinforce the child’s perception that their contributions are valued by their parents and peers. They help create a sense of pride, and of confidence in one’s writing abilities, and drive the child to continue writing and creating.”

Security and privacy on the site are stringent, as one might expect.  Using Tikatok is free; printed copies of books can be purchased in hardcover or paperback for about USD 20 each (depending on the number of pages per book).

Tikatok.  Imagine a Story.  Create a Book.

Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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Private Iris: a comic book that teaches money management

Gosh,  I’m really feeling my age.  I’ve made the transition from Mythology Class to Private Iris.  =) 

The comic book series created by Jamie Bautista and Arnold Arre follows the young detective Private Iris as she solves mysteries while imparting useful facts and money savings tips which are relevant to today’s youth.  

The first case – “The Cashbox Caper” introduces the lead characters:  Danton Cord is one of the most popular boys in MacGuffin Elementary. His friend, Iris Able, is a loner whom people think is weird. Because she doesn’t talk to anybody, the kids in school have given her the nickname “Private Iris”. However, Iris is also the smartest and most observant person in town. When the money of a class’ cashbox is stolen, Danton sees this as a chance to make people see how special Iris really is. If he can convince her to solve the crime and get the class its money back, maybe he can get Iris to be a bit more popular. But will Iris be willing to help out people she doesn’t like?

Private Iris #2: The Spirit of the Shoemaker will be launched this month at the following locations:

September 20, 2008 2:00 to 5:00PM: Powerbooks Megamall
September 27, 2008 2:00 to 5:00PM: Powerbooks Mall of Asia
Fun games and activities await kids during the book launch!

Glowing slime. Floating objects. Mysterious messages appearing on walls. Kids are willing to pay any price to get rid of this unwanted ghost. But Private Iris and Danton think that it’s a big hoax to trick the kids out of their money.

Want to learn more about the series?  Please visit the Private Iris website.  

Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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2008 Manila International Book Fair

I’m so sad that I’m stuck here in KL in the upcoming week.  

Booklovers across the Metro have been counting down the days to the 29th Manila International Book Fair will be held from September 12 to 16, 2008, 10:00 8:00 P.M. at Halls 1-4, SMX Convention Center in SM Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City.

The MIBF 2008’s theme is Words without Borders. It celebrates the power of literature to cross boundaries of time, place and culture.  MIBF showcases the largest and most varied collection of literature, textbooks, educational supplements, general references, religious and inspirational titles, self-help books, management books, Filipiniana, coffee table books, popular novels, children’s books, art books, graphic novels, rare and hard-to-find titles, magazines, audio and e-books, multimedia, teaching supplies and services, publishers’ technology, and travel materials.

This celebration of books and all that it contains is one of the longest-running in Asia. It is also one of the most accessible and affordable, Through the years, it has welcomed millions of Filipinos to the Manila International Book Fair, which is for everyone of all ages, of all tastes and means and dreams. This year, the Book Fair becomes more international opening up to other cultures while continuing to champion the best of what Philippine publishing has to offer.

The world and the word comes to Manila this September for the sharing of stories and the meeting of minds. Come and join the conversation.

The 29th Manila International Book Fair is organized by Primetrade Asia, Inc. in partnership with Asian Communicators, Inc., Book Development Association of the Philippines, Philippine Booksellers Association, Inc., and Publishers Representatives Organization of the Philippines. For details, call 890-0661 or 896-0682, log on to, or e-mail

Many local publishing houses will have their booths there and hosting workshops at SMX.  I was particularly excited about the workshops being offered by the Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBYP):

  • A Thumbnail History of Children’s Literature in the Philippines
    A lecture to be delivered by Prof. Lina Diaz de Rivera
    9-12 noon, September 13, Meeting Room 8, SMX
  • 25 Ways to Entice Children with Stories
    A workshop on storytelling; Facilitator: Manolo Silayan
    1-4 pm, September 13, Meeting Room 8, SMX
  • Library Magic
    – 25 Steps to Building a Mobile Library
    – 25 Ways to Survive and Thrive: Managing Change in Libraries
    – Setting Up Children’s Libraries
    Facilitators: Nina-Lim Yuson, Zarah Gagatiga, PLAI
    9-5 pm, September 13, Meeting Room 9, SMX
  • Tong Tong Tong: Tinig, Tunog, at Talino ng Tulang Pambata
    Facilitator: c/o Linangan ng Imahen, Retorika at Anyo (LIRA)
    9-12 noon,September 14, Meeting Room 9, SMX
  • Creative Effective Visuals for Children’s Books
    Facilitator: Totet de Jesus
    1-4 pm, September 14, Meeting Room 9, SMX
  • Reading, Responding and Reviewing
    A workshop on reviewing children’s literature; Facilitator: Neni Sta.Romana-Cruz
    1-4 pm, September 15, Meeting Room 9, SMX
  • Each workshop has a fee of six hundred pesos (Php 600.00), except for Library Magic which costs one thousand pesos (Php 1000.00).  For inquiries or registration, please send an e-mail to or call 3723548.  Also visit

    Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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    Build or Remodel Your Own House: free ebook

    Build or Remodel Your Own House
    Save 25% without Lifting a hammer
    Be the General Contractor
    Carl Heldlmann,  author of the bestseller Be Your Own House Contractor is letting visitors to his website download this ebook for free for a limited time period. 

    Hurry,  download it now and learn how to : · Get Started
    · Select Land Wisely
    · Select & Read House Plans
    · Establish a Budget
    · Estimate Building Costs
    · Find Good Subcontractors
    · Get Discount on Materials
    · Schedule the Work
    · Obtain Financing
    · Get Permits

    Click here to download Carl’s eBook

    Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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    Saving and Investing: Michael Fischer makes the complex, simpler

    I was surfing through youtube the other day and came across the savingandinvesting channel of Michael Fischer.  A former Goldman and Sachs man,  Michael has made financial literacy his personal advocacy and seeks to demystify various financial concepts for the man on the street. 

    He writes: 
    “This subject is not about greed, short-cuts, opinions or speculation – it is about being informed, and about being rewarded for participating in our financial system in order to provide better lives for ourselves and others that we care about.”

    View one video a day and increase your financial knowledge bank.

    Other key links:
    The Website:
    The Book:  Saving and Investing: Financial Knowledge and Financial Literacy that Everyone Needs and Deserves to Have!

    Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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    Free eBook: Women & Money by Suze Orman

    What do you do when you lose everything in a heartbeat?  Oprah had Suze Orman on her show today, and as part of it they are giving out a free download of her latest book Women and Money: Owning the Power to Control Your Destiny. You can find more information and the download link on this page, but it’s only available until 2/14 at 8pm EST.  Please note that the book is copyrighted. You may view and download the file, but you may not copy the file or share or forward it to any other person.  So download it now, and read it later!

    Thanks My Money Blog!

    The greatest insight I’ve gotten out of Suze’s book: be as committed to yourself as you are to others. Say your name out loud: unleash the power of the woman inside and take control of your destiny. Sit down and write your definition of a rich life. Articulate your needs and wants and determine what steps are needed to get there.

    Other takeaways:

    Establish a healthy relationship with your money. It takes more to say no out of love than to say yes out of weakness.  How true!  Daggamit, how many of us have made ill-advised money decisions in order to save a (dysfuctional) relationship with family members, friends, lovers?

    For stay at home moms: the one who brings home the paycheck doesn’t have the power to decide how it’s spent. The two of you who share that money have equal decision-making power. Give the relationship power over the money – do not make money more powerful than the relationship.

    For moms: be honest with yourself and your kids. Involve them early and teach them to be financially responsible. Let them know how much life costs…. those happy meals add up.

    For BFFs/daughters: money should not be a prerequisite for maintaining a relationship. Stop feeling guilty. Emotion does not build financial security.  For me, this is the hardest lesson to internalize.  How do you say no to a friend or a family member? Sigh.  This is often the reason why the hard earned money of many OFWs are gone within a few years.

    Things I need to research:  Do we have long-term-care insurance?

    Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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