From:         Bob Rankin 
Subject:      TOURBUS - 19 May 2005 - Wired Campus / Disney News


The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved

Howdy, y'all, and greetings once again from deep behind the orange curtain in beautiful Irvine, California, where age relives fond memories of the past ... and youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. :P

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Wired Campus Blog Audience: Everyone

In the ivory-covered walls of higher education, the newspaper of record is called "The Chronicle of Higher Education." You'd be hard pressed to find a major university faculty member, department chair, or administrator who doesn't thumb through The Chronicle from time to time.

Back on February 9th, the education technology group at The Chronicle launched a new, free service called the "Wired Campus Blog" at

Updated each week day, the Wired Campus Blog is a collection of education technology news stories and editorials from both The Chronicle and other news sites around the globe. For example, the blog recently reported that by mid-July the undergraduate library at the University of Texas will be rid of most of its 90,000 volumes to make room for a new, 24 hour technology center. In an unrelated story that also appeared on the Wired Campus Blog, the National University of Singapore has developed a tool that lets you touch a chicken, in real time, over the internet. [Insert obligatory joke here.]

Since my background is in ed tech, I try to visit the Wired Campus Blog every day.

Besides accessing the blog though your favorite web browser, you can subscribe to an email-based version of the blog at

And, if you'd rather subscribe to the blog through your favorite RSS reader [a topic I promise we'll discuss in a future post], the XML feed is at

While the Wired Campus Blog is a WONDERFUL way to keep up with the latest developments in educational technology--especially ed tech in higher education--I do have to warn you that a few [but certainly not all] of the blog's links point to articles in the latest edition of The Chronicle. Why is this a bad thing? Well, most of the articles on The Chronicle's web site are password protected [and, no, I'm not going to share either my password or the chicken's URL with you.]

However, even if you can't read all of the linked articles without a subscription to The Chronicle, the free articles and summaries in the Wired Campus Blog are more than enough to keep you abreast of the latest developments in the field of educational technology in higher ed.



Disneyland's 50th Anniversary Audience: Everyone

Two weeks ago, the Disneyland Resort in California kicked off an 18 month celebration of Disneyland's 50th anniversary. [Yeah, I know. Disneyland's *real* 50th anniversary isn't until July 17th. The folks at Disney thought it would be fun to start the party on 05/05/05.]

I figured that since a lot of Tourbus riders take vacations during the summer, and since many riders may soon be paying a visit to the great state of "Carly Fawnia" [as my Governator is known to call it], you'd like a sneak peek at what's happening behind the berm at the happiest place on earth. And if you can't make it to the left coast, consider today's Tourbus post a mini-vacation through your computer screen.

On Tuesday, May 3rd, the media descended upon Disneyland for a preview of what's in store over the next 18 months. Our first stop [yes, I said "our" first stop--I was fortunate enough to cover Disneyland's 50th anniversary for the Steve and Johnnie Show on WGN Radio in Chicago] was the Hyperion Theater in Disney's California Adventure.

Instead of telling you what was said, why don't I just show you? Our friends at were also in the audience, and they recently posted photos and videos of the event on their web site at


There entire presentation is broken into five Real Player videos, available in both high and low bandwidths. As with most internet videos, you need either a fast internet connection or a LOT of patience. The low bandwidth videos are about 4 megabytes in size, so they'll talk at least 10 minutes to download over a dialup connection.

Even if you have a really slow connection, check out the first video. It gives you a brief history of Disneyland and the other Disney parks around the world, as well as showing you why Disneyland chose to launch its 50th anniversary celebration on May 5th. Of the five videos, this is the one you HAVE to download and watch, especially if you are a Disney fan.

The second video shows how the other Disney parks will be celebrating Disneyland's 50th anniversary. This topic remains a sore spot with the rabid Disneyland fans who think the focus should solely be on California. Perhaps that's why the background music during this part of the presentation is "A Spoonful of Sugar (Helps the Medicine Go Down)"? :P

The final three videos feature Kelsey Grammar introducing some of the new rides, parades, and attractions that are coming to Disneyland. You may have heard to that during his presentation Kelsey Grammar fell off the stage ["down goes Frasier!"] The front of the Hyperion Theater's stage is not straight but rather is jagged, in the shape of stars. Kelsey was not aware of this and while walking towards the front of the stage and reading the telepromter he lost his footing. A special tip of the hat goes to MouseInfo for not showing the fall but rather focusing on what was really important: The fact that, despite the fact Kelsey was obviously hurt, he climbed back up on the stage and finished his presentation. Talk about professionalism.

Following the "50th Global Overview Presentation," Disney unveiled its new parade for Disney's California Adventure theme park: Block Party Bash. While a bunch of the Disneyland fan sites have pictures of the parade, I think the best pictures can be found on the Utilidors site at

Without ruining the experience for you, imagine a bunch of Pixar characters, colorful floats and props, some really loud party music, and a cast of dancers jacked up on about fifty gallons of 7 Eleven coffee. I swear I lost 15 pounds just WATCHING the parade.

While the Block Party Bash was wonderful, what happened the next day was even more magical. You see, on Wednesday, May 4th, Disneyland was closed to the general public. But thanks to my media credentials [stop laughing!], you fearless bus driver was able to sneak in and spend the entire day playing in the happiest place on earth.

We'll talk about that, and about how I almost accidentally knocked over Art Linkletter, in my next post.

The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved
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