I believe that there is a lack of activity and active things to do on the Web. Yes, sure, everybody is providing information about this, that or the other, but where are the things that will capture young minds? Where are the things that will take young people away from the keyboard and monitor, out to get their hands dirty?
Barry Jones, the only intellectual ever to hold the portfolio of Minister for Science in Australia, says the problem with science and technology today stems from the fact that we no longer have clockwork clocks to pull apart. That is certainly part of it, but having a computer that will simulate all sorts of activities is part of the coming problem as well. Especially when the simulation comes as a nice neat package, with no bits left over to require old-fashioned hacking and creative computing. It is with some disgust that I noted the total lack of BASIC in Windows 95 as it installs (it is hidden on the CD, but not easy to find, dinno about later versions) -- BASIC may be kludgey and teach bad habits, but at least you can get a quick and dirty result from it. No matter, I shall continue to offer playwiths like a method of reaching the phrase "methinks 'tis like a weasel" by random mutation (with a bit of help), and other such toys.
My aim is to set down a few of the methods, a few of the questions that might help people to explore science more thoroughly, to do some creative exploring. I hope other people will follow this lead, either creating their own pages for me to point to, or sending me extra ideas to add in here, or telling me about other links that I can add. (And yes, I will clean the links up one day soon.)
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These works should never be placed in a device designed to dry clothes or wash dogs unless the lint collector has first been cleaned with liquid oxygen, and all warranties are void if the works are shaken or stirred when there is an R in the month, a disc in the drive or a hole in the bit bucket of your computer. At all times avoid wearing, displaying, or even thinking of the colour emerald green while using these works.
The works herein described by the party of the first part may be run over on level surfaces by non-articulated vehicles of less than ten tonnes, but only during daylight hours (and preferably after being separated from the computer), rinsed in distilled water or butyl alcohol, read to, shouted at, electrified, heated by gas, cooled by appropriately qualified punkah wallahs, treated with mild levels of ionising radiation, dilute acid, or complete indifference. They may be used to swat flies, encourage horses, shade gondoliers in tropical climates, or line boxes of emergency rations for lost mountaineers. They should, however, be kept away from cattle, wombats and funicular railways, especially just after a heavy meal. Under no circumstances should they be used as reinforcing in any situation where ferro-cement or musique concrète may be encountered.
Note: no batteries are included, and any damage or mental harm you or your tractor may incur by the use of the pictures either in accordance with these instructions or otherwise shall be solely your fault. If you are struck by lightning while looking at the text, you should get your computer out of the rain. All disputes will be dealt with by me, and the judge's decision shall be ludicrous. If you do not like these conditions, why are you reading them? Still with me? Well done, 10/10 for persistence. You may use anything you find here -- though people who want to do that, I would probably like to hear from. Click on my nose, especially if you want to suggest some corrections, additions, or links.
Being serious for a moment, the copyright claims on this site are intended to prevent commercial exploitation by those too lazy to do their own work. Teachers and learners of all ages have an open go, so long as they are sharing in the spirit in which this is shared. I persecute thieves who do no more than steal the content, chop my name off and put their own name on it.
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GEM, the Gateway to Educational materials. The whole idea of metadata is to make searching easier and more effective. GEM is a brilliant one-stop, any-stop access to educational resources on the Internet, and sponsored by the US Department of Education, while welcoming outsiders like me. They provide lesson plans for teachers, ideas, brain food and more, and they make searching a breeze.
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