Friday, February 17, 2017

a bit of show and tell

I’m no song and dance man but I can handle a show and tell occasionally. This month a few classes of fourth and fifth graders experienced my show and tell.

fourth graders that enjoyed my show and tell

One of our teaching daughters asked me to talk to fourth graders doing a science unit on electricity. (oh if you are new to the blog or forgot, my career was electrical engineering)

My presentation theme was common things that utilize Faraday’s electromagnetic induction discovery. His discovery demonstrates the strong connection between electricity and magnetism. Years later, a Scottish scientist, James Maxwell, formulated Faraday’s discovery into the electromagnetic theory.

First I showed them a steel ball accelerator made from strong magnets. I built it from watching youtube videos. Then I showed how a wire coil can trap a small magnet (or piece of metal).

Lastly, I turned on a few of the simple small motorized gadgets/toys I’ve made and let them dance around. Motors and generators are all based on electromagnetic theory. (see my youtube channel for examples of my gadgets)

When I first read the schedule (4 different 4th grade classes) I noticed some down time between two of my demos. I asked my daughter where I should hang out. It wasn’t long before she asked me if I would spend that time with a fifth grade math class and play “Beat the Engineer”. Those kids are quick with their math skills. I’m sure they enjoyed beating me at the math games.

hoping the wires don't break

Experimenting with various electrical/electronic components has been even more fun as a hobby than it was as a student or employee. No pressure of deadlines. Watching something I built or even partially built work is always a thrilling joy. My show and tell reminded of the good feeling that comes from sharing knowledge.

Thinking of dancing, we enjoy watching our little granddaughter swinging to the beat. (note there is no sound)


Monday, February 13, 2017

only want to know

Everytime I look at you
I don’t understand
Why you let the things you did
Get so out of hand
You'd have managed better
if you'd had it planned.

(more lyrics I skipped)

Don’t get me wrong, don’t get me wrong
Don’t get me wrong, only want to know,
Only want to know, only want to know,

Donald Trump, Donald Trump
Who are you? What have you sacrificed?
Donald Trump, superstar
Do you think you’re what they say you are?

(if you manage to avoid the news, please note our country’s administration is less than a month old and things have gotten out of hand. Not a good start)

Maybe I’ve caught a case of headline stress disorder. Lately the news has been derailing my train of thought. What is going on with my postings? In the past I’ve avoided politics and religion which I don’t believe mix well together. Now I write this post.

First off I’m NOT seriously equating DT with JC. I'm just picking out some lines from these lyrics and reinterpreting. Let me explain. I was thinking about this fake news garbage and then read a disturbing conspiracy theory (I might get back to it in a later post). As I pondered weird stupid theories/stories, I remembered a post I did back in 2011 titled, Aliens coming tonight.

After I awoke hours later, the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar washes up in my brain. So I go to youtube and watch a clip of the hit song with lyrics. I like two of the songs in the set but I started listening to the other ones on my quest.

(short true side story - while I was looking up this rock opera, I accidently typed an extra ‘p’ and got “Jesus supperstar”. I think that fits since Jesus did have the most famous supper of all time.)

I guess my current worldview has become distorted because I’m relating these lyrics from a rock opera to today’s White House. The weird thing is as I looked over other songs from this rock opera I found more lyrics relating to today. The Brit, Sir Tim Rice, wrote these lyrics in 1970. Did he accidentally predict the future?

I offer you this selection of lyrics from a 3 different songs:

What’s the buzz?
Tell me what’s happening.
Why should you want to know?
Sleep and I shall soothe you
Calm you and anoint you
Myrrh for your hot forehead
Then you’ll feel everything’s alright
We dare not leave him to his own devices
His half-witted fans will get out of control
But how can we stop him
His glamour increases
By leaps every minute

Finally from the song, “I Don’t Know How To Love Him”, I find these words:

Should I bring him down
Should I scream and shout
Should I speak of love
Let my feelings out
I never thought I’d come to this
What’s it all about


If you have any answers to “what’s it all about?” please tell me in the comments.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

true or false

I bought a ticket to the world
But now I've come back again
Why do I find it hard to write the next line?

Could it be the news, the chaos, fakebook postings, a snotty brat in an old man’s body?

Would the world be better if there were no partial truths or half-truths, just true or false?

In our complex emotional world only the very basic simple components of a story can be determined to be true or false. Taking the time to view the big picture with the confusing amount of details leads to reasons, causes, motives and other difficult concepts. The bigger the picture, the more open to argument and interpretation it becomes. Don’t bother me with details he says.

You’ve heard these words, “the whole truth and nothing but the truth”. What a different world it would be if we all had the integrity to admit making mistakes instead of resorting to deceptive behavior.

Here’s an 80’s tune called “True”. Takes me back to a better time.

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