New Theme: Museum

As you have learned during New Media Production class, WordPress Themes become outdated with technology changes happening frequently. So, a good rule of thumb is to change Themes from time to time to have the latest technology capabilities at your finger tips. This may need to be done every one to two years. Here is a new theme to showcase photographs, drawings or illustrations.

The Blog

We’re excited to introduce Museum, a new free theme!


Created by’s own Kelly Dwan and Mel Choyce, Museum is crafted to showcase your best photographs, drawings, or illustrations. Featuring elegant, museum-inspired typography and ample room for your images, Museum pays special attention to category and media attachment pages to help your collections shine. Image posts are organized into collections by adding them to the same category so you can proudly show them off. Media attachment pages are also designed with care, displaying all of your media’s details in a thoughtful manner and allowing you to link to individual attachment pages with pride. Check out an example!

Learn more about Museum at the Theme Showcase, or preview it by going to Appearance → Themes.

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Upgraded Stats and Navigation Enhancements

Read what WordPress has been up to. Expect Social Media Tools to make changes to their policies and capabilities, and be aware of them.

The Blog

We’ve been updating to make it faster and more powerful behind the scenes. We’ve now introduced some changes to the interface as well, making website, blog, and content creation more intuitive and consistent across devices. Here’s a roundup of some of the enhanced functionality that you’ll see in starting today, with more updates coming next week — stay tuned!

Upgraded stats

We know that users are extremely keen on understanding how others view and interact with their content, so we wanted to make Stats faster, more accessible, and richer overall. When checking their site’s performance, users can now quickly keep tabs on views, visitors, likes, and comments, among other metrics.

Mobile-friendly navigation

Millions of people use on mobile devices, and to ensure that our mobile users have a first-class experience, we gave the navigation interface a little love. It’s responsive across devices, and its simpler…

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The Connecticut Air Line State Park Trail Video Premiere

On September 30th, the Air Line State Park Trail video premiere was shown at the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection‘s headquarters in Hartford, Connecticut.

The Air Line Trail State Park in CT -  Video Series

To promote the vastness and beauty of this trail, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) hired Middlesex Community College through their Corporate Media Production certificate program to produce a series of videos. These videos Connecticut’s Air Line State Park Trail – DEEP and attractions along the trail including peaceful forest stretches, quaint villages, farms and a vineyard in Pomfret.

The unpaved Air Line State Park Trail is one of four state park rail trails. It runs approximately 50 miles in eastern Connecticut. Plan a day trip – DEEP using the helpful video series.

As part of the Corporate Media Production certificate program, students took part in all phases of video production, which included meeting with the client, working on a film crew, logging film footage, editing video and graphic design. A tremendous experience.

Promote Your Business with a Video

My latest video production is for a non-profit wanting to increase their fundraising. The five minute video has been received well by other business owners and diverse audiences. The non-profit likes it so much they want to mass produce a DVD for circulation.

Does your business need a Face Lift? Does your business need branding?

Call or e-mail your questions:

It’s Super Bowl Time!

Are you going to be watching the Broncos and Seahawks competing in the 48th Super Bowl? Well, if you don’t like football perhaps you would rather watch the exciting, adorable Puppy Bowl.

Animal Planet - 2014 Puppy Bowl

The Puppy Bowl is celebrating its 10th Anniversary. The show debuted on Animal Planet on February 6, 2005 and was watched by 5.58 million.

The age of the puppies run 12 to 17 weeks old. In all, there are 66 puppies suited up to play and are available for adoption after the game. Get a sneak peek of some of the player profiles and starting lineup pups.

In 2013, Puppy Bowl IX was watched by 12.4 million viewers! Perhaps its not only the cute puppies. Kittens perform during the halftime show and other animals take part.

While Bronco’s Peyton Manning may win Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl 48, according to Good Morning America‘s Lara Spencer the Most Cuddlable Puppy award may go to 16 week old labrador retriever/terrier mix Daiquiri.

Enjoy your Super Bowl Party!

A Special Holiday Gift for Birders in Southern New England

While many are busy preparing for the holidays and listening to snow reports, a unique group is excited about reports of rare bird sightings in their state.

This special group, known as birders, come in many sizes, ages and backgrounds. And when the birders’ hotline roars, they come in flocks equipped with binoculars, scopes, cameras and camcorders.

Bird watchers-Hadlyme, CT, Dec2013

Bird Watchers at Chester/Hadlyme Ferry Parking lot get a glimpse of a rare Fork-tailed Flycatcher
December 2013 ~ Photo by Jen Ensign

How does the word get out? After the first sighting and identification, the breaking news these days flies over the birders’ hotline by  e-mail and social media.

For example, in late November a bird similar to an Eastern Kingbird was sighted by chance at the Chester-Hadlyme Ferry parking lot by the Connecticut River below Gillette’s Castle in Hadlyme, Connecticut. Kayaker and experienced birder Jeff Feldmann was preparing to leave the lot and photographed a curious looking bird which was identified by his friend Mona Cavallero from the Hartford Audubon Society as a Fork-tailed Flycatcher (video).

This little bird with the longest tail of any bird on earth happily frolics in the warmth of Mexico year round and is known to wander during migration mostly to the Eastern United States and Canada. That’s over 2,000 miles in the opposite direction, which is quite a stretch.

Video - Fork-tailed Flycatcher

Rare sighting of a South American Fork-Tailed Flycatcher
in Connecticut ~ watch video for more information.

This definitely saves birders time and money when birds from far away lands come for a visit.

The Fork-tailed Flycatcher, was also sighted in Stamford, Connecticut. Not only did Connecticut birders flock to the sighting spots, but birders from New York made the trip.

Bird Sound - Fork-Tailed Flycatcher

Bird Sound

Infographic ~ Fork-Tail Flycatcher by Karen LeBoulluec

Infographic ~ Fork-Tail Flycatcher by Karen LeBoulluec

And, perhaps you are wondering to what extent professional birders go to get a glimpse of something as small as a baseball. A great way to learn about this is to watch the movie “The Big Year“. A star packed comedy about the dedication and persistence of birders during “The Big Year” annual competition.

Legendary birder Sandy Komito holds the record for most birds seen and heard  in one year and he is still at it. This year he traveled to Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico to see a rare Rufous-necked Wood-rail for only the second time in his 73 years of birdwatching.

“There seems to be a great deal of delight in seeing something and then trying to figure out what it is you’ve discovered,” Komito said in a telephone interview with Huffington Post. “In a sense, when you’re going for rare birds it’s almost like panning for gold and the bird represents a nugget.”

Snowy owls are another rare treat in Southern New England and sightings have increased this year in Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York City. Native of Canada and the official bird of Quebec, the snowy oil has traveled as far south as North Carolina this year.

Snowy Owl Sightings - Nov-Dec2013

Snowy Owl Range Map from Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History ~ November – December 2013

Why has there been an increase? The Director of Bird Conservation for Connecticut at National Audubon Society, Patrick Comins, told Colin McEnroe on NPR radio there could be several reasons. One being a successful nesting season and change in lemming cycles, so there is a decline in prey.

Birders are delighted to have these rare opportunities to see snowy owls, however the snowy owls have also brought issues since they seek habitats that mimic the Arctic tundra like airports. New York City’s airports began shooting the owls because  they pose a threat to air travel safety. Boston’s Logan Airport has had similar problems with the snowy owls and created a way to trap and relocate them.

These rare birds seem to visit for a week or more, so prepare yourself to get out for a glimpse of unusual birds in your area.

Honoring Our Veterans Every Day

Today we honor our veterans for their contributions to preserve human rights, peace and safety for all.

Middletown CT - Veterans Ceremony

Photo from – Middletown CT – Veterans Ceremony

In Connecticut, Governor Dannel P. Malloy will be attending wreath-laying ceremonies in Middletown, Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, and Bridgeport.

At Arlington Cemetery in Virginia, President Obama and the nation honored the oldest known living World War II veteran, 107-year-old Richard Overton after breakfast at the White House.

According to the Huffington Post, President Obama said that the country’s obligations to those who have served “endure long after the battle ends.”

Many think this way and have been applauding our veterans and service personnel everywhere. Some veterans however feel they have been abandoned by their country and their families.

Perhaps this is why the Department of Defense and other organizations have been researching and helping veterans with alternative therapies, such as meditation and yoga, and small business programs. They have heard the cries and taken action.

Women veterans have also felt abandoned, but are now golfing together. And, civilian David Martin whose father died at war has started a Band of Brothers, as reported by the CBS Morning Show.

It is time to be present and treat all with compassion. Take the right actions and honor all who served every day.

Connecticut’s Largest Farmer’s Market

Coventry Farmer's Market - Oct 2013

I recently visited the Coventry Farmer’s Market, reported by Yankee Magazine as the “Best Farmers’ Market in New England”, and it was just like a country fair! There were many local produce vendors and other vendors selling Kettle Corn, Fruit Smoothies, cheese, bread, cut flowers, and NoRA’s fabulous Cupcakes. The weather was perfect. The crowds started arriving 30-minutes before the 11am opening and brought kids, folding chairs, dogs and even a pet goat.

The Coventry Summer Farmer’s Market will run to the end of October at the Nathan Hale Historical Homestead. Visitors can also enjoy a tour of the historical  homestead for $5.00. Visit the Coventry Farmer’s Market website for directions and more information, or like them on facebook for the latest happenings. They also hold the Coventry Winter Farmer’s Market on Sunday’s at the Coventry High School.


Google Launches Web Designer – Build Interactive HTML5 Sites

Google launches its beta version of Web Designer, a Visual Tool, for making advertisements and websites for mobile devices and computers. Google says this tool will allow advertisers to create content driven ads. Advanced HTML and CSS coders can also manipulate code, as is available in other software packages. This program could be a viable competitor for those using Edge Animate and  Dreamweaver in the Adobe Creative Suite package.

Here is a list of the main features in Web Designer:

  1. Two animation modes
  2. Full 3D authoring environment
  3. Design view and code view
  4. Illustration tools
  5. Easy ad workflow

Google is offering the beta version free. I cannot wait to try it and follow its reviews.