All posts by Jean Castillo

Top ten sites where you can play online educational games for free (part 2)

6. BBC Schools: Games

The BBC, the British counterpart of PBS, provides interactive digital games and activities related to a variety of subjects like mathematics, numeracy, history, literacy, music, and the arts. BBC Schools: Games are categorized into age ranges, too. The cartoon graphics are very appealing for children and the content is stellar for parents and teachers who want their children to learn while playing.

7. Arcademic Skill Builders

Arcademic Skill Builders is an educational video games site which provides a powerful approach to learning basic math, vocabulary, thinking skills, and language arts. The games are designed to challenge students to improve their scores through timed learning drills that offer immediate feedback.

8. Funbrain

Created for kids aged preschool, Funbrain provides more than 100 fun and interactive games that help kids develop skills in reading, literacy, and math. In addition, the site provides kids with a variety of popular books and comics, including and Brewster Rocket, Amelia Writes Again, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

9. Primary Games

Primary Games is home to more than 1,000 game titles and activities that meet curriculum needs for math, science, social studies, and language arts. The site also offer curriculum guides for teachers and parents to use in conjunction with the games.

However, this site is full of ads which aren’t just static ads but move, flash and are distracting. What more annoying are the occasional interstitial ads that pop-up when you click on a game you want to play. But if you can ensure your kids to concentrate on the games themselves with all the flashing adware competing for their attention, they are quite fun.

10. ABCYa.com

ABCYa.com is a game site that provides approved educational computer games for elementary students to study math and language arts. Featured by Apple, Fox News, and The New York Times, this site provides young children with fun games and craft activities.

The Devil’s Red Bride, Review

The Devil’s Red Bride is a “love letter to samurai fiction” produced by Vault Comics. It is a debut with potential.

Vault Comics has come back with a new series from writer Sebastian Girner, colorist Iris Monahan, letterer Jeff Powell, and artist John Bivens. The Devil’s Red Bride is described as a “love letter to samurai fiction” in the first issue’s solicitation. It follows the woman with a blood-drenched backstory named Ketsuko, and it seems to be an even more violent future.

The comic is a jarring experience as a reader, cutting back between timelines before we know who the characters are. The reasons are the purposeful structure and the number of characters speaking off-panel before the readers understand who they are. And the story comes into focus when we find our footing halfway through the issue. At that point, The Devil’s Red Bride becomes more enjoyable, being a bloody story about gender roles, appearances, and honor. Its story will thrill those readers who love samurai fiction. On the contrary, it will deliver little in the way of character development so far for those who are looking to find characters to root for and invest in.

However, in general, the concept is interesting, and with the way, the matter leaves off in both the past story and the events that are happening “now” (three years after the bloody clash of the past). Therefore, there is great potential The Devil’s Red Bride to be a comic that subvert tropes with style. In addition, Bivens and Monahan’s artwork, featuring stylized, dynamic characters and action thriving in both the bursts of violence and quiet tension, is the big draw of this issue. While in their debut issues, Vault Comics usually seems to trend toward series that prioritize high concept over character, the artists who created The Devil’s Red Bride do incredible work to bring these characters to life.

American Utopia – The Film You Need to Watch This Fall

David Byrne is considered a master of perfectly designed worlds. The concert film Stop Making Sense, with his band Talking Heads in 1984, symbolyzed how careful he is with his shows, bringing in band members one by one to stress on how each contributes to the harmonies of a song.

Documented by Spike Lee in a film of the same name, Byrne’s latest tour  American Utopia due out on HBO on October 17. With this new product, Byrne tries to construct a new musical universe once again, making jolly music and dancing in lockstep with barefoot artists in gray suits. However, as its title suggests, Byrne also wants to create a better world beyond the concert venue.

American Utopia was the opening-night feature at Toronto International Film Festival this month, which starts out every year’s fall movie season with big premieres and projects. Thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic and the hibernation of the industry, Toronto International Film Festival this year screened just 50 new films (compared with more than 300 last year). With the United States being in the midst of an election season, it’s not surprising that some of the most compelling films confront the idealistic notion of America, and how promises of justice are so often blunted by the grim realities of poverty, racism, and polarization.

This tension is at the heart of Byrne’s film since his distress is over our disconnected modern world. He champions the joys of collaboration and communality throughout the show. He notes that most of the performers are immigrants. He decries America’s low voting numbers. He informs the audience that they can register to vote on-site when the concert is over. The film builds to a cover of Hell You Talmbout – Janelle Monáe’s protest song – as well as performers chant the names of Black people killed by police or died in their custody.

Top ten sites where you can play online educational games for free (part 1)

There are many online games that can offer a variety of learning opportunities with a variety of content-areas, skill levels, and age ranges to choose from. You can find many browser-based learning games on large online digital game hubs. Here we have compiled a list of top 10 sites where you can play many online educational games for free.

1. Mr. Nussbaum

Created by Virginia public school teacher Greg Nussbaum, with more than 3,500 content pages, Mr. Nussbaum offers a wide variety of learning games that are categorized by content type and grade level. This site is also optimized to be easily used on a tablet and an interactive whiteboard.

2. Sheppard Software

Headed by Brad Sheppard, Sheppard Software is home to hundreds of online educational games that your kids can play for free. Its games is organized into categories, which helps users to easily navigate by subject area and find a suitable game for a child’s sense of curiosity and thirst of knowledge and challenge.

3. PBS Kids Games

PBS KIDS offers a number of browser-based gaming experiences based on popular literary and media franchises, including Sesame Street, Curious George, and more. PBS KIDS organizes it games by subject-type, such as math, reading, science,  teamwork, and healthy habits.

4. Poptropica

Creatively directed by Jeff Kinney, who wrote the Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Poptropica provides a virtual world for both kids and adults to explore and play in complete safety. Kids around the globe are entertained and informed by engaging quests, games, and stories that are made by Poptropica every month.

5. National Geographic Kids

Thanks to its 100 fun and interactive science, action, adventure, geography, quiz, and puzzle games, National Geographic has become famous all around the world. In terms of a free game hub, National Geographic’s production quality on games or interactives like On the Trail of Captain John Smith, Wildest Weather, is really remarkable.

Come As You Are, review

Come As You Are, directed by Richard Wong, is an American comedy that concerns a bunch of disabled Americans who set out for a specialist brothel across the border between the United States and Canada. Playing a sex worker who services disabled clients in The Sessions even helped Helen Hunt to get an Oscar nomination. So, it seems that Come As You Are is really worth watching.

The decision to cast able-bodied actors in the three main roles is more controversial. Hayden Szeto plays Matt, a wheelchair-user smothered by too-careful parents; Ravi Patel is a dry-humoured blind guy named Mo; and Grant Rosenmeyer is Scotty, a quadriplegic with hip-hop ambitions.

Adapted from a Belgian film of 2011, what Come as You Are works so well is largely down to the smooth, quasi-improvised interplay between actors who bounce off each other like the members of a long-established troupe. 

Scotty always makes the most inappropriate remark. Mo is the rooted hub. Matt works tragedy in with his comic reserve. Gabourey Sidibe adds in delightful kickback as the health worker tricked into being their driver.

The comedy is successful in doing risk a few gags that play off the characters’ disabilities. Although none of those jokes sinks to the level of Pryor and Wilder in See No Evil, Hear No Evil, a late confusion involving Matt does gesture bravely towards the blind flower girl in Chaplin’s City Lights.

The film is entirely uninterested in the ethics of sex work and bashful about copulation. It ends in a showpiece nudging us towards inspirational uplift. However, the actors have such fun that one may hope to see them reunited for a future project.

To conclude, though the title is still unforgivable, it is about 200 per cent better than it reads on paper.