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Qwiki I stumbled upon Qwiki the speaking Wikipedia. You type in a topic and hit “Play”. So I typed in “Paganism” and a fairly pleasant female voice spoke about the topic. The small screen included scrolling text and a collage of images that zoomed in and out. Unfortunately, the computer generate voice pronounces Paganism as PIGanism and NeoPaganims as NOW PIGanism. The “Improve This Qwiki” is easy to use and I suggested changes under the “improve sound quality”. The site is in it’s Alpha stage, meaning it’s very new, so hopefully they will be able to work out the kinks. Otherwise, it could be a great resource for people with vision impairments or learning disabilities.

Forever Young Treehouses is a non-profit corporation that builds wheelchair accessible treehouses. It was co-founded by Bill Allen and Phil Trabulsy.

You can read more about the organization here. Disaboom “Accessible Treehouses Build Childhood Memories”

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Washington Post “What sign-language interpreters make of the likes of Lady Gaga and Bon Jovi” by Monica Hesse

In the upstairs computer room of her house in Riverdale, Traci Ison ponders the metaphorical question that freaky teens and worried parents have been asking for two years, but this time in a very literal way. How do you interpret Lady Gaga?

Here is the lyric:

“Come on now, this beat is sick. I wanna take a ride on your disco stick.”

Here is the problem:

1. There is no ideal translation for the word “disco” in this circumstance.

2. The word Ison might normally sign for “stick” generally refers to what would snap off of a tree branch.

Thus, if the sentence is translated word-for-word from English to its corresponding signs, the resulting phrase could come across as something like, “I want to ride on the twig of John Travolta’s dance moves.”

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