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Posts published in 'Webgrrls’ Finds' category

Get Free Spotify Account without an Invite!

written by Nelly Yusupova
Nelly Yusupova
Topics: Software, Tech Tools, Webgrrls' Finds
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Spotify logoStreaming music service Spotify launched in United States. The award-winning digital music service gives you on-demand access to over 15 million tracks – on your computer, your cell phone, and other devices.

If you want an account, you either need an invite or have to start paying for the service (see Account Options below to see what you get in each plan).

There is a lot of buzz about this service and if you are one of those people who has to try it now, you can get a free account right now with this pretty simple loophole.

Account Options:

  • Free users can sign up to access Spotify’s library, but streaming will be time-limited and ad-supported.
  • Unlimited Streaming ($4.99/month) – gives you unlimited listening with no time limits, ad-free streaming, and the ability to share songs and playlists with friends.
  • Premium ($9.99/month) – adds to the unlimited streaming features with mobile apps and offline listening, and the best sound quality the service has to offer.

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Museums as Communicators

written by Elena Strange
Elena Strange
Topics: Mentors & Motivators, Webgrrls' Finds
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Over hundreds of years, scientists have adopted many different strategies to communicate science to the public. Rigorous scientific papers, letters to the editor, web sites and blogs all have taken part in converying the role and import of science. Even television plays an important role—nothing else could have drawn my 8-year-old self to mathematics like PBS’s Square One.

We need and use all these channels to communicate research, discovery, and scientific milestones. No single message can reach all audiences. Some people are drawn in by big and powerful stories, others are touched by the personal and relatable.

That’s why museums play such an important role in communicating science to the public. In one space, different exhibits can hit everyone, at some point, right between the eyes.

When I was a kid, I loved the birth- and death-rate counter at the Boston Museum of Science. It flashes red every time someone on earth dies and blue every time someone is born—empirically, of course. It’s a tiny display, hidden near the exits. But when I was little, I always insisted on visiting it. My sister, on the other hand, liked the T-Rex exhibit and dragged the family to the big, intimidating skeleton. To each her own.

The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, which I visited recently when I found myself with a free afternoon in D.C., runs the gamut from big and powerful to the small and personal. They have on display a reconstructed 45-foot, 28,000-pound V2 missile and a pre-Apollo 15 Lunar Roving Vehicle test unit. My sister would have loved those.

Me, I was struck by the smaller, more personal exhibits. I imagined what it would be like to be onboard an aircraft carrier during World War II and learned a bit about legendary German fighter pilot the Red Baron. I was also riveted by a list of requirements to be a stewardess in the 1950s. (Of the eight requirements, I meet only two. Totally moot and pointless, but I couldn’t help feeling a little discouraged.)

As I wandered around the museum—free of charge, by the way—I saw kids and adults ooh and ahh over the missile-type exhibits and go in for closer looks at the Red Baron. Many audiences, one channel.

Have you ever visited the Smithsonian? Do you think museums are a good way to communicate science to the public?

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Festivals that Celebrate Science and Spark Discussion

written by Elena Strange
Elena Strange
Topics: Events, Networking, Webgrrls' Finds
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I’m a big fan of any public sharing or education of science. Science is great, right? Right! I love when we can, as a field, encourage others to appreciate what scientists do and engage in meaningful discussion.

There are public science festivals all over the country, but the longest-running annual event is in my neighborhood: Bay Area Wonderfest. Founder Tucker Hiatt was inspired by the great science popularizer Carl Sagan, and Sagan is featured prominently in the literature and throughout the website, including my favorite quote of his: “I hold that the popularization of science is successful if, at first, it does no more than spark a sense of wonder.”

This year was my first visit to Wonderfest, and I’m so glad I went! I attended lectures on astronomy and human behavior, topics about which I am thoroughly ignorant, and even got to browse science-related art and projects.

By far my favorite part of the afternoon, though, was Bay area physics teacher Zeke Kossover, who put on the kind of demonstration that makes you wonder why you didn’t major in physics. After taking onlookers for rides on his homemade hovercraft, he blew smokerings across the room with a huge fan, a garbage can, and covering plastic. His 2-inch PVC-pipe blowgun was kind of cool, but it was overshadowed by the 6-inch version that blew a ping pong ball straight through a Coke can. Zeke ended with every physics nerd’s favorite science demonstration: he laid on a bed of nails while someone smashed a cinderblock on his chest. Don’t worry, he wasn’t hurt! Physics!

Have you even been to a science festival? What did you like best about it?

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Become more productive with DropBox

written by Nelly Yusupova
Nelly Yusupova
Topics: Software, Tech Tools, Technology, Webgrrls' Finds
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dropboxAs a woman on the go, I always look for tools that will help me stay more productiveDropBox is my recent discovery.  Dropbox is a multi-platform software (Windows, Mac, and Linux) that syncs your files online and across your computers.  The best thing about it is that it’s has a super simple interface and is very easy to use because everything happens so seamlessly.

Once you install Dropbox on a computer, all you have to do is drop the files you would like to sync & share  into the Dropbox folder and they are automatically updated and uploaded on all of your shared computers .

Here are some ways DropBox makes me more productive:

  • Seamlessly synchronize my files – If I’m editing a file on one computer, as soon as I save it, Dropbox will sync this same file to all of the other computers instantly and automatically…this gives me the freedom to work on any computer and always have the files I need.
  • Collaborate on group projects – Our virtual team can have access to key files regardless of which computer we are on.  We also no longer have to send documents via email attachments to each other and the built in version control will keep a history of all of the modifications to the file so we can see how thes document evolves and undo changes if we make a mistake.

    By default, we keep the last 30 days of undo history for all your files. We also have an unlimited undo option called “Pack-rat”.

  • Instant Access to all the files from anywhere – Using the Dropbox website interface to get access to my files from any computer or mobile device.
  • Automatically backup your files – Every time me or my team put a file in to the Dropbox folder it is automatically backed up to DropBox secure servers and we can be restore at any time.

Watch a demo of DropBox and I look forward to hearing your experiences with it!  Are you already using DropBox?  Let me know your thoughts in the comments section.

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Turn Your Craziest Thoughts into Songs

written by Kristin Vincent
Kristin Vincent
Topics: Social Media, Webgrrls' Finds
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songs to wear pants to logo

Today I came across a site that made me incredibly happy. It’s called Songs to Wear Pants To.

Andrew, a writer and composer, creates full songs based on ideas users submit on his site. He rummages through the requests and picks ideas he wants to turn into songs. Of course, for a fee, you can make sure your idea gets lyrics and a melody. He then sells his original works for 99 cents each. You can buy entire CDs for $10. The albums are appropriately named GREEN PANTS, BLUE PANTS, and PINK PANTS.

Here are just a few examples of user requests:

  • Can you write a really Bass guitar filler song about being a fish that is learning everything about the world around him from his tank?
  • i think you should make a song about see-through grumpy unicorns.
  • Write a song about why Finland is super-cool, with a little guitar solo!
  • Compose a jingle to a product, real or imaginary, that should NEVER have been invented, but somehow has gotten popular. It would probably be like 10 seconds or so.
  • How ’bout a rap song in which none of the lyrics contain the letter “e” ? (You can check the lyrics).

So dream up something cool and make your request as specific or open-ended as you like. And as Andrew says, “Get your own song!”

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