Volume 28
A Fun Site created by
Professor William Hillman culled from a daily motivational series
compiled for his BU Education Classes 2000-2009
The daily tech news items have been omitted since many of the stories are now "old news."

An eclectic collection of oddities, humorous anecdotes, weird photos, funny headlines, cartoons, puzzles, inspirational items, jokes, and more. . .  gathered here as a reference repository for speakers, lecturers, teachers, students, writers, or Web travellers just looking for diversion and a bit of levity. 


Our Daily EduTech News
for November is about to be retired to our Newsroom Vaults
(EduTech News summaries with thumbnails and links 
all the way back to 2005 are stored in the Newsroom)

Spin-offs from the ongoing research for our Century Tech Project:

The Influence of 20th Century Popular Media on 
Instructional Procedures and Technologies 
The Genesis: Part VI Magic Lanterns 
History ~ Projectors ~ Slides 

RESOURCE II: The Ronald Reagan Library: California
A Virtual Tour spread over 5 Web pages
Photo Mosaics we compiled during our '07 summer research project

Just Posted:
The schedule for the WINTER 2008
Faculty of Education Professional Development Courses:

William Hillman
Assistant Professor
ICT Labs: 3, 5, 9
Faculty of Education
Brandon University
Brandon, MB  R7A 6A9
Phone: 204.727.7321

Make your own animated Guinness ad
Inspired by a short film called "Hands" this website allows visitors to create their own stop frame animation films.
I'm a PC ~ I'm a Mac ad from 1996
Skype passes 500 million downloads

Essential additions for the workplace vocabulary

1. BLAMESTORMING: Sitting around in a group, discussing why a deadline was missed or a project failed, and who was responsible.

2. SEAGULL MANAGER: A manager who flies in, makes a lot of noise, craps on everything, and then leaves.

3. ASSMOSIS: The process by which some people seem to absorb success and advancement by kissing up to the boss rather than working hard.

4. SALMON DAY: The experience of spending entire day swimming upstream only to get screwed and die in the end.

5. CUBE FARM: An office filled with cubicles.

6. PRAIRIE DOGGING: When someone yells or drops something loudly in a cube farm, and people's heads pop up over the walls to see what's going on.

7. MOUSE POTATO: The on-line, wired generation's answer to the couch potato.

8. SITCOMs: Single Income, Two Children, Oppressive Mortgage. What yuppies turn into when they have children and one of them stops working to stay home with the kids.

9. STARTER MARRIAGE: A short-lived first marriage that ends in divorce with no kids, no property and no regrets.

10. STRESS PUPPY: A person who seems to thrive on being stressed out and whiny.

11. SWIPED OUT: An ATM or credit card that has been rendered useless because the magnetic strip is worn away from extensive use.

12. XEROX SUBSIDY: Euphemism for swiping free photocopies from one's workplace.

13. PERCUSSIVE MAINTENANCE: The fine art of whacking the hell out of an electronic device to get it to work again.

14. ADMINISPHERE: The rarefied organizational layers beginning just above the rank and file. Decisions that fall from the adminisphere are often profoundly inappropriate or irrelevant to the problems they were designed to solve.

15.  404: Someone who is clueless.  From the World Wide Web error message "404 Not Found," meaning that the requested document could not be located."

16. GENERICA: Features of the American landscape that are exactly the same no matter where one is, such as fast food joints, strip malls, subdivisions.

17. OHNOSECOND: That minuscule fraction of time in which you realize that you've just screwed-up big time.

18. WOOFYS: Well Off Older Folks

Towards an internet in space 

The internet, or at least the protocols behind it, are being extended into space. The man credited by many with having created the net, Vint Cerf, explains his vision of an interplanetary net.

While I was a graduate student at UCLA I wound up working on a programme sponsored by something called the defence Advanced Research Projects Agency, otherwise known as Arpa. My job was to write software for the computers that we ultimately started putting on the Arpanet in late 1969.

In the spring of 1973 one of my colleagues, Robert Kahn, described to me the different packet-switched networks that he was working on: the Arpanet that he and I both participated in, a mobile radio system, and a satellite-based data system. His problem was 'how do I get all three of these networks to inter-work with each other?'. We called that the "inter-net" problem because we were trying to get different "nets" to talk to each other.

Within about six months of that meeting, we had come up with a basic design of what we now know today as the internet. We made a detailed description and by May 1974, almost exactly 30 years ago, we had published a paper that described how this could work and what the various pieces were. That thing we described 30 years ago is in large measure what you have today. We did not have all the applications written out but we had the underlying infrastructure for the communication.

Unfinished work

I then asked myself a question: What might we do to take advantage of what we have learned in building networks?  The internet in particular, this global system - what might we do to take those lessons and apply them to the support of the exploration of the solar system?
What you should appreciate is that whenever we launch a spacecraft it has on board a collection of instruments to sense various things.

It could be high quality photography, or things to sense infrared, or types of minerals and things like that that are on the surface of the planet. We are trying to find out what is out there but in order to get that information back to Earth we have to communicate. What we are looking at now is the possibility of using the internet kinds of protocols to support the communications for spacecrafts that are moving around in the solar system.

Gaining mileage

When you get it out in space everything is different. For one thing everything is a lot further apart. For example, Earth and Mars are 35 million miles apart from each other, when closest together in their respective orbits around the Sun. They are 235 million miles apart when farthest apart in their orbits. At the speed of light, 186,000 miles per second, it takes five minutes for the light signal or radio signal to go from Earth to Mars when they are closest together, and 20 minutes when they are farthest apart.

The notion of trying to control a device remotely when it is very, very far away is an amusing image. You can imagine seeing an image which is 20 minutes old coming from Mars, so you are seeing where your rover was 20 minutes ago. If you want to move it somewhere, you move the joystick to say "go right' - but the rover will not hear that for another 20 minutes, so we have this 40 minutes' round-trip time. If you have steered it in some direction which is going to get it in trouble, like going over a cliff, by the time you find out 20 minutes later it is long gone. So there is no such notion as "now" in an environment where things are so far apart.

Layer by layer

We have made a considerable amount of progress in the last five years. The project started around the spring time of 1998 and here it is about six years later. We have gone through several iterations of the communication protocol design - the details of how you communicate in this strange environment. What we have managed to do is to get several layers of protocols specified. All of these kinds of network protocols come in like layers of a layer cake. We defined the lower two levels: they are already on board the two rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, that are on the surface of Mars today. The other layers of protocol that we are testing here on planet Earth, we hope to send to outer space in around 2009 with a specialised telecommunications orbiter. We are not too many years away from having a kind of two-planet internet in operation.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Virus Warning

Warning: If you receive an email entitled "Bad times," delete it immediately. Do not open it. Apparently this one is pretty nasty. It will not only erase everything on your hard drive, but it will also delete anything on disks within 20 feet of your computer. It demagnetizes the stripes on ALL of your credit cards. It re-programs your ATM access code, screws up the tracking on your VCR and uses subspace field harmonics to scratch any CDs you attempt to play. It will program your phone auto dial to call only 900 numbers. It will drink ALL your beer. FOR GOD'S SAKE, ARE YOU LISTENING? ! ! ! It will leave dirty underwear on the coffee table when you are expecting company. It will replace your shampoo with Nair and your Nair with Rogaine, all the while dating your current boy/girlfriend behind your back and billing their hotel rendezvous to your Visa card. It will cause you to run with scissors and throw things in a way that is only fun until someone loses an eye. It will rewrite your backup files, changing all your active verbs to passive tense and incorporating undetectable misspellings which grossly change the interpretations of key sentences. If the "Bad times" message is opened in a Windows 95/98 environment, it will leave the toilet seat up and leave your hair dryer plugged in dangerously close to a full bathtub. It will not only remove the forbidden tags from your mattresses and pillows, it will also refill your skimmed milk with whole milk.
And if you don't send this to 5000 people in 20 seconds you'll fart so hard that your right leg will spasm and shoot straight out in front of you, sending sparks that will ignite the person nearest you. Send this to everyone.

In Heaven:
- the British run the hotels
- the French do all the cooking
- the Germans are the mechanics
- the Italians are the lovers
- the Swiss are the police
In Hell:
- the French run the hotels
- the British do the cooking
- the Italians are the mechanics
- the Swiss are the lovers
- the Germans are the police

Tandem Writing

Remember the book Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus? Here is a prime example offered by an English professor at Southern Methodist University, English 44A, Creative Writing, Prof. Miller:

In-class Assignment for Wednesday:

"Today we will experiment with a new form called the tandem story. The process is simple: Each person will pair off with someone else. One of you will then write the first paragraph of a short story. The partner will read the first paragraph and then add another paragraph to the story. The first person will then add a third paragraph, and so on back and forth. Remember to re-read what has been written each time in order to keep the story coherent. The story is over when both agree a conclusion has been reached."

"The following was actually turned in by two of my English students: Rebecca - last name deleted, and Gary - last name deleted."

STORY: (first paragraph by Rebecca)

At first, Laurie couldn't decide which kind of tea she wanted. The chamomile, which used to be her favorite for lazy evenings at home, now reminded her too much of Carl, who once said, in happier times, that he liked chamomile. But she felt she must now, at all costs, keep her mind off Carl. His possessiveness was suffocating, and if she thought about him too much her asthma started acting up again. So chamomile was out of the question.

Meanwhile, Advance Sergeant Carl Harris, leader of the attack squadron now in orbit over Skylon 4, had more important things to think about than the neuroses of an air-headed asthmatic bimbo named Laurie with whom he had spent one sweaty night over a year ago. "A.S. Harris to Geostation 17," he said into his trans-galactic communicator. "Polar orbit established. No sign of resistance so far..." But before he could sign off a bluish particle beam flashed out of nowhere and blasted a hole through his ship's cargo bay. The jolt from the direct hit sent him flying out of his seat and across the cockpit.
He bumped his head and died almost immediately, but not before he felt one last pang of regret for psychically brutalizing the one woman who had ever had feelings for him. Soon afterwards, Earth stopped its pointless hostilities towards the peaceful farmers of Skylon 4. "Congress Passes Law Permanently Abolishing War and Space Travel," Laurie read in her newspaper one morning. The news simultaneously excited her and bored her. She stared out the window, dreaming of her youth -- when the days had passed unhurriedly and carefree, with no newspapers to read, no television to distract her from her sense of innocent wonder at all the beautiful things around her. "Why must one lose one's innocence to become a woman?" she pondered wistfully.
Little did she know, but she had less than 10 seconds to live. Thousands of miles above the city, the Anu'udrian mothership launched the first of its lithium fusion missiles. The dim-witted wimpy peaceniks who pushed the Unilateral Aerospace Disarmament Treaty through Congress had left Earth a defenseless target for the hostile alien empires who were determined to destroy the human race. Within two hours after the passage of the treaty the Anu'udrian ships were on course for Earth, carrying enough firepower to pulverize the entire planet. With no one to stop them, they swiftly initiated their diabolical plan. The lithium fusion missile entered the atmosphere unimpeded. The President, in his top-secret mobile submarine headquarters on the ocean floor off the coast of Guam, felt the inconceivably massive explosion wich vaporized Laurie and 85 million other
Americans. The President slammed his fist on the conference table. "We can't allow this! I'm going to veto that treaty! Let's blow 'em out of the sky!"
This is absurd. I refuse to continue this mockery of literature. My writing partner is a violent, chauvinistic, semi-literate adolescent.
Yeah? Well, you're a self-centered tedious neurotic whose attempts at writing are the literary equivalent of Valium.
To the optimist, the glass is half full.
To the pessimist, the glass is half empty.
To the engineer, the glass is twice as large as it needs to be.
17 Ways to Get a Pre-Teen to Read 

Easy ways to keep your child turning the pages
 Amidst the flurry of friends, homework, and hormones, your pre-teen may not feel like reading. Try these tips for keeping her interest and skills on track.

1. Let your child choose what to read. While you may cringe at his preferences, he may never touch a title if it's force-fed.
2. Talk about what she reads. Ask her what she thinks of a book and make connections with ideas or issues that are relevant to her life.
3. If he's struggling or bored with a book, let him put it down. Forcing him to stick with a difficult or dull book that's intended for pleasure will reinforce the idea that reading is a chore.
4. Subscribe to magazines that will interest her. Ask her to choose one or two titles and put the subscription in her name.
5. Read the newspaper together. Whether it's for 15 minutes over breakfast or on weekends, establish a routine and discuss what you each read.
6. Be flexible with bedtime and chores when your child is reading. Within reason, avoid asking your child to stop reading.
7. Play games that utilize reading. Word- and vocabulary-building games like Scrabble or Boggle are great, but many board games provide reading opportunities (even if it's just the instructions). Crosswords provide opportunities for learning new words and spelling practice, too.
8. Encourage your middle-schooler to read to a younger sibling. Letting him take over ritual reading at bedtime once a week will ensure he reads something, and he may find his sibling's enthusiasm for stories contagious.
9. Visit the library together. Try to make it an event where you share some quality one-on-one time and both choose a few books.
10. Find an outlet for your child to "publish" a book review. When she finishes a book, encourage her to write it up for a family or school newspaper, magazine, or Web site. She could also try posting a review at a local bookseller or an online retailer.
11. Ensure he has a good reading space. He should choose where it is, but you can make sure it's well lit and inviting so he stays a while.
12. Keep up on what she's reading. If you can, read a few pages of her books yourself so you can discuss them with her.
13. Encourage writing. Whether it's via snail- or e-mail, suggest that he keep in touch with distant friends or relatives. Keeping a journal or chronicling a family vacation will also provide reading practice.
14. Provide a good dictionary. She may not want to ask for your help with words anymore, so make sure she has a good reference.
15. Suggest books from movies he liked. He may enjoy getting even more detail in the book.
16. Listen to books on tape in the car. If you're heading on vacation, or even back-and-forth to school, try listening to a novel that will appeal to everyone.
17. Model reading. Your pre-teen will still follow your reading habits (though she'll never let you know it!). Let her see you reading, make comments, and share interesting passages with her.

Stanley Kubrick's The Shining in 30 Seconds

Feel a little bored? Catch a fly with chopsticks...
Mr. OttO in the Olympics

Anti-Veal Cartoon

German Bears Pyramid

Subservient Chicken

A Christmas Story in 30 Seconds



Happy Every Holiday

A Bad Day

Back to the Hillman Eclectic Studio Site



Hillman Eclectic Studio
All Original Work ©2014 by Bill Hillman and/or Contributing Authors/Owners
No part of this web site may be reproduced without permission from the respective owners.