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Posts Tagged ‘educational’

Etch A Sketch


picture of Etch A Sketch

Did you know that the Etch A Sketch is 50 years old? It was invented by a Frenchman in the late 1950's. It was licensed to the Ohio Art Company and debuted as Etch A Sketch in July 1960. I had one as a child and spent many happy, frustrating hours playing with it, but I could never produce anything astounding. If you have ever had one, were you ever able to draw amazing things or even write legibly?

According to Wikipedia:

An Etch A Sketch is a thick, flat gray screen in a plastic frame. There are two knobs on the front of the frame in the lower corners. Twisting the knobs moves a stylus that displaces aluminum powder on the back of the screen, leaving a solid line. The knobs create lineographic images. The left control moves the stylus horizontally, and the right one moves it vertically.

As I researched for this blog post, I was surprised that there are actual Etch A Sketch artists out there. Here are some pictures I found online of the creations I could never have done. I was unable to find attribution for some of them. If I've posted yours and you would like credit and a link, let me know.

I read that a young child did this map of the United States!

picture of Etch A Sketch artwork

Someone was able to do an optical illusion with the Etch A Sketch.

picture of Etch A Sketch artwork

Here's the Golden Gate Bridge.

picture of Etch A Sketch artwork

Here's some ancient Egyptian artistry done by Etch A Sketch artist Kevin Davis.

picture of Etch A Sketch artwork

Here's the Mona Lisa by Etch A Sketch artist Jeff Gagliardi.

picture of Etch A Sketch artwork

Here's "Starry Night" by VanGogh, and Jeff Gagliardi.

picture of Etch A Sketch artwork

This one was done by Etch A Sketch artist George Vlosich. The drawing looks too perfect to be real! This guy takes Etch A Sketch art to a whole new level!

picture of Etch A Sketch artwork

There are different products that are spin-offs of the Etch A Sketch. Here's a pocket Etch A Sketch.

picture of a pocket Etch A Sketch

Here's an Etch A Sketch pen that might offer some competition for students' attention.

picture of Etch A Sketch pen

There's an app for it...?

picture of Etch A Sketch for iPod

Now here's one I have a hard time believing.

picture of an Etch A Sketch with Windows

I'm a little nostalgic since my 40 year high school reunion was this past weekend up in Ohio. I was not able to attend, but I have heard that those who did enjoyed it. Since I'm on this nostalgia kick, I'm remembering that 10 years ago there was a lot of hype about the y2k bug. Below is a solution proposed by one company (in jest, of course).

Our goal is to remove all computers from the desktop by Jan 1, 1999. In place of the current computer, everyone will be provided with an Etch A Sketch. There are several benefits to this move:

1. No y2k problems

2. No technical glitches keeping work from being done.

3. No more wasted time reading and writing e-mails.

4. Better development of upper body strength.

In anticipation of your questions, an FAQ (Frequently Asked Question) has been provided:

Q: My Etch A Sketch has all of these funny little lines all over the screen.
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: How do I turn my Etch A Sketch off?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: What's the shortcut for Undo?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: How do I create a New Document window?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: How do I set the background and foreground to the same color?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: What is the proper procedure for rebooting my Etch A Sketch?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: How do I delete a document on my Etch A Sketch?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: How do I save my Etch A Sketch document?
A: Don't shake it.

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If this has got you itching to try your hand at an Etch A Sketch, Ohio Arts offers an online virtual Etch A Sketch.

What are your memories of Etch A Sketches? Are they good ones?

I'll end this post with a comic I found online that is reminiscent of the Far Side.

picture of an Etch A Sketch comic

quotation...

"At salvation your spiritual DNA changes" - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

The future will be sketched with what we've drawn from the past.


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Toasters


picture of D-12 toaster

Did you know that this year is the 100th anniversary of the invention of the first commercially-successful electric toaster? (You just never know what you're going to find on my blog, do you?!) 😀 A man named Frank Shailor developed his electric toaster, the "D-12," at General Electric. On the right is a picture of the D-12.

In a blog post last week called Recent Inventions I posted a picture of a Star Wars toaster that would toast the image of Darth Vader on the bread. A commenter posted a link to a Hello Kitty toaster available at Target. Here's a picture of that toaster:

picture of hello kitty toaster

That comment got my wheels turning about what other kinds of toasters that might be available out there. I did some web searches for images and found way more than I wanted to use in this post. Here are a couple of the ones I enjoyed in particular:

Here's a Volkswagen toaster that reminds me of the hippie vans of my teen years and early 20s:

picture of VW toaster

I found this contraption that allows you to write on bread through the use of a mounted hot-air gun.

picture of printing toaster

Imagine finding messages from your spouse on your morning toast — Take Out the Trash!

Among the many designs possible on toast — from objects to cartoon characters to real people — I found this one interesting:

picture of Obama toast

I know that to some, he's the "toast of the town," but others would like him to be "toast." Time will tell....

Speaking of time, I found a toast clock that might fit in with someone's décor....

picture of toast clock

How about a game of Tic Tac Toast? Two people, armed with peanut butter and jelly could have a battle of early morning wits....

picture of Tic Tac Toast

I would love this transparent toaster — I would know just how dark my toast is getting without having to keep popping it up.

picture of transparent toaster

The following picture made me think about what toasters might be like if various companies made them.

picture of Microsoft toaster

What if various companies made toasters ... what would they be like?

If Microsoft made toasters ...
Every time you bought a loaf of bread, you would have to buy a toaster. You wouldn't have to take the toaster, but you'd have to pay for it anyway. Toaster XP would secretly interrogate your other appliances to find out who made them. Everyone would hate Microsoft toasters, but would buy them nonetheless since most of the good bread works only with their toasters. Of course, if Microsoft really did make toasters, they would likely require an upgrade to your bread.

If Apple made toasters...
They would do everything Microsoft toaster does, but 5 years earlier, and the bread would be non-removable.

If Linux made toasters...
You'd have to hack into it to make it toast both sides. Plus the Linux toaster would only come in parts, user have to assemble the toaster themselves, but the bread would be free!

If Google made such a toaster, it would likely be in Beta for the next 5 years…

If Xerox made toasters...
You could toast one-sided or double-sided. Successive slices would get lighter and lighter. The toaster would "jam" your bread for you.

If Fisher-Price made toasters ...
"Baby's First Toaster" would have a hand-crank that you turn to toast the bread that pops up like a Jack-in-the-box.

If Sony made toasters ...
Their "Personal Toasting Device" would be called ToastMan, which would be barely larger than the single piece of bread it is meant to toast, can be conveniently attached to your belt.

If The Franklin Mint made toasters ...
Every month you would receive another lovely hand-crafted piece of your authentic Civil War pewter toaster.

If Timex made toasters ...
They would be cheap, quartz-crystal wrist toasters that take a licking and keep on toasting.

If CostCo made toasters...
They'd be really inexpensive, as long as you bought a case of them.

If Radio Shack made toasters ...
The staff would sell you a toaster, but not know anything about it. Or you could by all the parts to build your own toaster.

If K-Tel sold toaster ...
They would not be available in stores, and you would get a free set of Ginsu knives with each one for slicing the bread, and all for only $19.95. Call them today at 1-800-URADUMMY. That number again, 1-800....

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I know that there are many creative minds and great senses of humor out there among my readership. What would the toasters of some company that you know of be like? Do these pictures make you hungry for some toast? 🙂

quotation...

"Light is custom made for darkness." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

Why do toasters even have a setting that burns the toast to such a horrible crisp that no one would eat?


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Spoonerisms


picture of words

Have you ever heard of spoonerisms? Or better yet, have you ever uttered a spoonerism inadvertently? A former French student of mine and a long-time ivman reader who knows my love for punning let me know that the Word of the Day this past Monday, March 23, on dictionary.com was "spoonerism." I told him his e-mail had moved one of my posts that had been simmering on a back burner to the front burner. Read on to learn more about spoonerisms....

By definition a spoonerism is a word that describes the unintentional transposition of two sounds within a word or phrase. This transposition usually involves (a) the sounds created by the initial letters of words within a phrase; (b) whole words; or (c) the initial sounds of syllables within one word.

Examples:

"I just saw a monarch butterfly!"
"I just saw a monarch flutter by!"

"Vulcans do not shoot from the hip, Captain."
"Vulcans do not hoot from the ship, Captain."

The term "spoonerism" was coined around 1900, after the Rev. William Archibald Spooner (1844-1930). He was a distinguished British cleric and scholar who served as Dean and Warden of Oxford's New College for a period of some 40 years but is best known for the many humorous misstatements attributed to him. According to the New College website at Oxford University, Spooner "almost certainly never uttered a 'spoonerism,' but equally certainly had a number of curious verbal traits." In any case, many have insisted that he indeed uttered most of the spoonerisms attributed to him.

Spoonerisms are linguistic flip-flops that turn "a well-oiled bicycle" into "a well-boiled icicle" and other ludicrous ways speakers of English get their "mix all talked up." It is said that Spooner once addressed a group of farmers as "ye noble tons of soil," queried after a university official by asking "Is the bean dizzy?" and admonished a student because he had "tasted two worms" and "hissed all my mystery lectures."

English is a fertile soil for spoonerisms, as author and lecturer Richard Lederer points out, because our language has more than three times as many words as any other – over 618,000 and growing at 450 a year. Consequently, there's a greater chance that any accidental transposition of letters or syllables will produce rhyming substitutes that still make sense – well, sort of.... A word of caution – I do not advise one's attempting to develop a habit of doing spoonerisms since some can be quite embarrassing or even vulgar.

Some of the best known "tips of the slung" attributed to the Rev. Spooner...

fighting a liar – lighting a fire
cattle ships and bruisers – battle ships and cruisers
nosey little cook – cosy little nook
a blushing crow – a crushing blow
our queer old Dean – our dear old Queen
we'll have the hags flung out – we'll have the flags hung out
our shoving leopard – our loving shepherd
a half–warmed fish – a half–formed wish

Some spoonerisms others have made...

know your blows – blow your nose
go and shake a tower – go and take a shower
nicking your pose – picking your nose
a lack of pies – a pack of lies
sealing the hick – healing the sick
pit nicking – nit picking
wave the sails – save the whales
chipping the flannel on TV – flipping the channel on TV
I'm shout of the hour – I'm out of the shower
lead of spite – speed of light
I hit my bunny phone – I hit my funny bone
bedding wells – wedding bells
I must mend the sail – I must send the mail
It crawls through the fax – It falls through the cracks
Would you like a nasal hut? – Would you like a hazel nut?

Here's a story where the final barb of the pun-chline is a spoonerism:

Once there was a horse that was in agony. Several birds were building nests in his mane and nothing he did would make them stop. The noise and activity were driving the horse crazy. So, he decided to see the wise old owl for help. The old owl told him to go home and put some yeast in his mane and all would be well.

The horse thought this was a bit nutty, but out of desperation, he did what the owl told him.

The next morning the mane was completely clear of nests. The very surprised horse trotted excitedly to the owl's house.

When asked why the yeast worked, the owl replied, "Horse, don't you know that yeast is yeast and nest is nest and never the mane shall tweet?"

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quotation...

"When you pull out the gospel thread, a believer's life unravels." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

"Noah's stock was floating high while everyone else in the world was in liquidation." - Les Ollila


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Can You Take It with You?


picture of us at Biltmore

This past weekend I was reminded strongly of the folly of living for stuff. A few weeks ago a friend gave us tickets to visit the Biltmore Estate in Asheville NC. We had not been there since the day we got engaged, almost 33 years ago. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit, even though it was cold and rainy. We could not believe how many visitors there were! It was a packed out house (or as I love to say, a packed outhouse)!

As we toured the house many thoughts went through my mind. Some of the rooms were literally so large that our entire little house would fit inside them. The 175,000 square-foot (16 300 m2) house with its 255 rooms and beautiful gardens reminded me of the châteaux we have visited in Europe. Although today's liberal politicians would try their best (or worst) to incite us to class envy by criticizing George Vanderbilt for using his own money to build the house he wanted and could afford, the building project and maintenance afterwards provided jobs for many people. I said to my wife that since Obama wants to create jobs, he ought to build a house like this. One difference would be that he would not be doing it with his own money.

As I viewed some of the amenities in Biltmore, my mind went to a post I did called Changing Times about what life was like in the US in the year 1900, which is right at the time Vanderbilt had just moved into his new estate. There was quite a contrast between what we saw in Biltmore and what most Americans considered the norm in 1900.

We were not allowed to take pictures inside the house, but I was able to find some online to show some of the amazing features.

The first thing you see upon entering is the "Winter Garden." There were many plants and flowers throughout the house, and as far as we could tell by what we touched, they were all real.

picture of winter garden

Here's a view of just part of the banquet hall. The table can be extended to a length of 40 feet. Notice the triple fireplace at the far end.

picture of banquet hall

In the basement of the house we saw the Vanderbilts' two-lane bowling alley.

picture of bowling alley

Although there was no water in it, we were able to see the world's first indoor swimming pool in the basement.

picture of swimming pool

After visiting the house we stopped at the River Bend Farm on the Biltmore Estate. Even though it was winter and rainy, we were glad we visited it. As we watched a film inside the barn we learned much of the good that had come to the people living in that area as a result of George Vanderbilt's having built his mansion there. His interest in horticulture and his goal of running Biltmore as a self-sustaining estate was extremely beneficial to people in the area and added to advances in farming techniques in the United States.

Near the barn we visited the woodworker's shop, the blacksmith's shop, and the mercantile. The blacksmith was particularly entertaining and informative.

picture of blacksmith

There was a barnyard with animals to pet, including two huge horses. Here's one of them.

picture of horse

We enjoyed petting the adorable baby pygmy goats that were the size of our cats.

picture of baby goats

I don't know how much George Vanderbilt obsessed about his mansion, but I do know that he was able to live there for only a short time 1898-1914, dying at the age of 52 of complications from an appendectomy. And his magnificent house is still here – he couldn't take it with him. It made me think of a story to share.

There once was a believing rich man who was dying. While on his death bed, he tried to get the Lord to let him bring his earthly treasures with him to heaven. "Lord, please, I have worked so hard to accumulate all these riches. Can't I bring them along?"

The Lord spoke to his heart, telling him, "I never grant this request. Go ahead and plan what you would bring if I permitted you to bring just one suitcase, and we'll talk about it once you're in heaven."

The man immediately began to think about what he could take in just one suitcase. Finally he had a servant fill a large suitcase with gold bricks. Shortly thereafter, he died.

When the man got to heaven, he was amazed at the beauty surrounding him, and to say he was overwhelmed when he saw the Lord for the first time would be a huge understatement.

Enjoying the splendors of his new home, the man completely forgot about the suitcase he had wanted to bring along, until the Lord asked him about it. "My child, tell me what you planned to put into that suitcase you wanted to bring."

"Oh yes, Lord. I forgot all about that! I had my servant pack a large suitcase with bricks of gold."

The Lord said, "I know you haven't been able to see everything up here yet." He continued by asking him kindly, "But what in the world were you thinking when you decided to bring pavement?"

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Have you ever visited the Biltmore or other mansions of the world? What were your impressions? Becka reminded me Saturday of a quotation from Joan, a friend of my mom, "Europe is a nice place to visit, but I sure wouldn't want to have to dust it!"

quotation...

"Possessions have a way of possessing us as they take the place of God in our hearts." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

I have enough money to last me the rest of my life, unless I buy something.


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King Tut’s Cats


picture of Tut banner

Last week I told a little about our visit to the King Tut Exhibition in Atlanta, focusing mainly on the Atlanta part of the experience. I needed more time to gather my thoughts as to what to write about what we saw at the exhibition. Today I'm ready to share more about the exhibit itself, with a different focus yet. We were not permitted to take pictures in the exhibit, and so I had to do some searching to find some online that I could use in this post.

I enjoy learning about history, but I must admit that history classes or classes with a heavy emphasis on history were always among my least favorites in high school and college. I enjoyed learning about how life was, how people interacted, and about how historical events unfolded, but I simply could not get all the names and dates down and retain them for testing purposes. I guess my mind gravitated more to the social and cultural side of history.

That being said, you might imagine why I found the King Tut exhibition fascinating. To be sure, there were all kinds of names and dates for which I was thankful not to be held responsible - I even commented in front of a table of all the lineages how thankful I was not to be a professor of Egyptian history! But greater yet for me were the artifacts and the explanations of why those artifacts were there.

I was amazed to see how advanced they were, even hundreds of years B.C., although the use of B.C.E. ("Before the Common Era") was ubiquitous in the exhibit. They even had stone toilet seats! (Today's Chinese society could take some lessons from the ancient Egyptians!) Here is a picture of some of the artifacts found in King Tut's tomb:

picture of artifacts from King Tut's tomb

It was interesting to see simple things like stools, tables, and chests similar to what we might have today. The styles and ornamentation were different, of course, but still some of the basic forms and functions were the same as today's. In addition to common, everyday objects, though, we saw beautiful and intricate jewelry, like this pectoral with a scarab:

picture of pectoral with scarab

Many objects from King Tut's tomb are not allowed in displays outside of Egypt, like his mummy itself. Here's a picture of it:

picture of Tut mummy

picture of Tut coffinette

We saw an interesting object called the Canopic Coffinette of Tutankhamun. It's a miniature coffin (about 16 inches long) that was used to store Tut's liver. We saw the coffinette, but not the liver which undoubtedly had to stay in Egypt. A picture of the coffinette is on the right.

Those of you who know my wife Becka and me or who have been a reader for long know that we are cat people. (Ever wonder what the little =^..^= =^..^= is when I sign off my blog posts? It's to represent our two cats.) Something that we noticed in the Tut exhibit was how often we saw representations of members of the cat family, be it lions, panthers, or even house cats. Here's a picture of one of the chairs:

picture of Tut chair

If you look closely, you will see that the feet of the chair are feline feet, something common to many pieces of his furniture. Here's a picture of a bed where the cat motif is less subtle:

picture of Tut bed

Here's a picture of a statue of King Tut on the back of a panther:

picture of Tut on panther

picture of running black cat

From what I found online, Egyptians domesticated cats about 4,000 years ago. The first domesticated cats in Egypt were more than likely used for warding off snakes and chasing rodents. Egyptians treated cats very well, almost considering them as spiritual intermediaries. The Egyptian cat was considered a sacred animal, apparently having the run of the place. Actual mummies of cats were buried by the thousands in special cemeteries. Additionally mummified cats have been found in various Pharaohs' tombs. Here's a picture of some cat mummies:

picture of cat mummies

Ancient Egyptians used bronze statues of cats in their temples to communicate with the gods. Inscriptions surviving on some of these statues reveal the different types of requests made to the gods by the person dedicating the statue, such as a long life or good health.

In the exhibit there were many statues of sphinxes. According to Wikipedia, a sphinx is a zoomorphic mythological figure which is depicted as a recumbent lion with a human head, but occasionally as a lion with the head of a falcon, hawk, or ram. Here's a picture of a sphinx statue similar to the ones we saw at the Tut exhibit:

picture of sphinx statue

With their great love for morphs, the ancient Egyptians would just go crazy over what we can do today with images. Here are several pictures I received recently that are morphs of members of the feline family with other animals - puts a whole new twist on "what do you get when you cross an X with an X?"

a sphinx-like panther-ape

picture of morphed animals

a polar-tiger

picture of morphed animals

a kanga-lion

picture of morphed animals

a cat-squirrel

picture of morphed animals

That poor creature would have to be conflicted, knowing how much our cat Adelaide hates squirrels!

If you would like to learn more about the history of the finding of King Tut's tomb, here's a link to a site with lots of history and pictures - http://www.crystalinks.com/tutstomb.html

quotation...

"Don't put your eggs in the basket of temporal kingdoms." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

Thousands of years ago, cats were worshiped as gods. Cats have never forgotten this.


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