Category Archives: For Fun

What’s the best music studying?

While it’s not allowed during proctoring, you can definitely put on the tunes while taking other exams, writing papers or just interacting with the course materials in your online course. What’s your favorite playlist or album (or even single song on repeat) to jam out to while learning?

Have a good playlist or album to share or recommend? Put it in the comments.

I bet it’s this one…

Psyched for Psych: How to Train a Brain with the fellows at Crash Course

Here’s a great video from the guys at Crash Course (an awesome Youtube channel covering all sorts of Biology, US History and other college course content). The video covers “conditioning” which is what the famous “Pavlovian response” comes from. It goes further into conditioning and associative learning: how we form relationships with different stimuli and learn cause and effect.

Check it out at

And if you’re interested in this or other bits of Psychology or just need 3 fun credits, check out StraighterLine’s Introduction to Psychology.

And they lived happily ever after. Well, not exactly …

When you think of your favorite childhood stories—perhaps “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Little Mermaid,” or “Little Red Riding Hood”—maybe you think of Disney cartoons, fairy tales, and happy endings.

But you might be surprised to learn that the original versions of many childhood favorites ended not-so-happily ever after. If you think The Little Mermaid ends up marrying her Prince Charming, think again! And Little Red Riding Hood defeats the wolf at Grandma’s house, right? Not a chance! In fact, stories for children were often written with fear in mind. The idea was that kids would read stories such as Little Red Riding Hood and learn the danger of, in this case, talking to friendly strangers (who just might be “wolves” in disguise).

What if parents couldn’t get their young son to stop sucking his thumb? Simple: Tell him the story of the man who cuts off kids’ thumbs with giant scissors to break the habit.


If you are interested in how fairy tales and other stories were used to terrify children, click the image above to read this article from Mental Floss.

If you want to write your own version of “Little Red Riding Hood” while earning college credit, consider taking our English 101 course, which includes a Fable Narrative essay assignment. And for even more of a fun challenge, you can read and write about the Frankenstein story if you take English 102!


New! Kitten included in every Physics Lab Kit for the new Angular Momentum Lab

Our General Physics I with Lab will now be paired with the eScienceLabs Physics Iab 2.0 which includes a free kitten. As a requirement, you’ll need to feed and house the kitten until you’re through with the Angular Momentum Lab requirement within the PHY250L course. Once you’ve completed it the feline will indifferently part ways without looking back (don’t grow attached).

Note: for those with cat allergies please notify ESL in advance to get the hairless model.

Below is a video of the Angular Momentum lab being conducted.

Meow that’s amazing.

Got a better April Fools? Leave your favorite in the comments.

TGI … P?

We would usually say TGIF, but in this case, TGIP seems more appropriate. Why? Because it’s March 14 a.k.a. 3.14 a.k.a. Pi-day (which happens to fall on Friday this year)!

The great news is that you can enhance your math skills and learn all sorts of new formulas with our math courses

So, happy  pi-day! And if you’re not into math, happy delicious  PIE-day!

What can you learn from an owl?

Well, the answer to this question depends on which kind of owl you’re talking about. In this case, we mean Excelsior College‘s Online Writing Lab, and you can learn a lot from this OWL. If you are trying to improve your English language skills–particularly if you are in the process of learning or mastering the language–then you should check out the ESL-WOW! section of this awesome resource. You may find some tips that can help you improve your performance in English composition or one of StraighterLine‘s other writing courses! Click the image below to visit the ESL-WOW! site.


Guest Blog: The World’s Most Important Number

Hi! Professor Dan Gryboski here. Glad to see you!

It’s funny that conventional wisdom tells us that an important number has to be some never-ending number that you may not use every day. I’ve made a video – as I often do – for you  to learn about the most important number to mankind. The number is everywhere. Just like with numbers, important math is attainable for everyone. Take your first step in learning important math like Algebra and Business Statistics today!

What Would Be Your Last Lecture?

Randy Pausch was a professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University fighting a battle of pancreatic cancer who had the chance to present a lecture on any topic that was of interest to him. Take a minute, or 76 minutes, to watch his inspiring Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.

While we are on the topic of goals, what StraighterLine course have you selected to begin your journey to achieve your educational and career dreams?