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Updated by Helen Blunden on Aug 09, 2014
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Best Reads That Made Me Reflect of Life and Learning This Week

These are the best reads where I took the time this week to delve in, play, explore and learn. In a world where we give sites a cursory glance, these are the ones that somehow touched a nerve or that inspired me - and guess what, sometimes it's not just about learning and performance.

Charting culture

I love history...This animation distils hundreds of years of culture into just five minutes. A team of historians and scientists wanted to map cultural mobility, so they tracked the births and deaths of notable individuals like David, King of Israel, and Leonardo da Vinci, from 600 BC to the present day.

Why people are now charging to network over coffee

This is what I have been struggling with for a long time. People wanting to "pick my brain" over coffee and basically provide them with hints, tips and techniques to ensure that they're going along the right track with their learning project with little return for me. Instead, now I'm happy to meet if I'm nearby - or on Skype but I won't give away anything away unless contracted.

Everyone I know is brokenhearted. | Zenarchery

I was ready to slit my wrists over this post. I don't agree with this post but know of some people in my life who feel the same way. Maybe the only good thing mentioned is that the music sucks. It's still worth a read but depressing.  It got some comments on Google+

Creative Review - Sagmeister and the 'bullshit' around storytelling

You are NOT a story teller!  Novelists are story tellers but they don't describe themselves as this. It's all the people who are not story tellers suddenly now all want to be story tellers!"

Communitas: The Word of 2014

What I liked about this post was that it's in line with the Third Place concept for my meetup groups. It's all based around a social network based on shared values and beliefs - and some shared learning and connections thrown in!

How the middle class got screwed: College costs, globalization and our new Insecurity Economy

A topic of many-a-dinner-table conversations for people of my generation. Then we put up our hands and say, "Stuff It!" and go back to looking at our smart phones.  

The social safety net is in tatters. No jobs are safe. Who is to blame — and what has the anxiety done to us all? 

Google Cultural Institute

I spent much time in this site wandering through the various galleries of the world. I saw the antiquities of the Acropolis Museum and then created my own collection of art work that made an impact from me bringing back memories of childhood.  This is a great virtual museum introduced to me by a friend. Training | 21-Day Drawing Challenge

Strangely, this site (and the challenge of drawing for 21 days) is also making me think - but in different ways.  It's forcing me to be creative and use my mind in ways I haven't used before.  It's a great concept where we share our artwork through daily tips.  (This is something I'm going to use as Learning Activities if I need to design any new programs). However, do you know what the biggest hurdle was?  SHOWING MY WORK! I don't think twice about showing my normal work - but my artwork?! No way!  I now know how others may feel awkward,.shy or scared to show their own work to the WORLD!!