“The whole secret of life is to be interested in one thing profoundly and in a thousand things well.”
– Horace Walpole, English author, 18th century
I saw the quote above in some magazine I was reading and decided to google it. (Funny that Google is used as a verb now, meaning, “to search on the Internet”). I ended up discovering that it was Horace Walpole who said it. I also discovered another little gem attributed to him: “The curse of modern times is, that almost everything does create controversy.” This, from a person living in the 1700’s; imagine what he would have to say about the current state of affairs. For me, this is one of the great things about the Internet though, that it allows you to take your curiosity to places that you did not know even existed. Of course, that is also true of a good book, but a book is a self-contained and finite system of information. For me there is still no substitute for the written book. And yet, I also find myself mindfully wandering around what the Internet has to offer. Here are a just a few other serendipitous finds I’d like to pass along.
Myth busters: Myth or fact? Mythbusters is an interesting show on the Discovery Channel that challenges urban legends by applying the scientific method to the claims. The program does a good job of debunking old myths, while recreating “lab”-like conditions to explore why the claims just don’t stand up to scientific scrutiny. One of the links on the Mythbusters site allows you to test your own knowledge of these urban myths.Myth or Fact? Mythbusters Quizzes.
Imagining the Tenth Dimension: Just as Edwin Abbott used the medium of the novel in Flatland to tell a story about math, this black and white video uses interesting visuals for explaining (albeit superficially, and not scientifically accepted) some very complex ideas contained in modern string theory. Enjoy. Imagining the 10th Dimension.
Virtual Earth/ Live Maps: Before Google started eating up the Internet world, this little company called Microsoft used to aspire to doing great things online. I think they are still around, and one of their projects is called Virtual Earth. It is akin to Google Earth in that you can see road maps, satellite pictures and 3D hybrid maps. This link takes you to the VE blog which outlines cool ways that people have integrated the info from VE to practical and educational uses. One of my favorite slideshow tours is “What the world eats”. It is an interactive trip related to an eponymous Time magazine article.Virtual Earth Spaces.
P.S.During the next couple of weeks, as you prepare for the new semester, please do not forget to think of scheduling a class orientation, especially if your class has not made a visit to the library this year. Also consider visiting the teacher resource page for streaming videos, lesson plan ideas, printable worksheets, and a number of other finds that might surprise you.
For everyone working on RESEARCH, please remember that the first three links on the left-hand side bar are critical for academic work. You will need a public library card to log into these databases, but there you will find things not available anywhere else on the web – not even through Google (at least not yet).
© 2008 henry toromoreno