Yesterday’s post, which was about finding creative ways to make Zoom (or any online conference) calls fun, was a nice lead-in today’s shared activity. Eric Berlin, puzzlemaker extraordinaire, (see my Puzzlesnacks post for more info) came up with an ingenious idea that adds a twist to social distancing while earning money for charity. When you use the form linked on this page to donate to Feeding America, and then provide a screen shot of your receipt, you will be e-mailed two sets of eleven puzzles in PDF form. Choose a puzzle partner to give Set A or B to, and you will work on the other. You can do some of the puzzles independently, and others will need collaboration. The combination of puzzle answers from both sets will be needed to solve the final puzzle.
I haven’t done all of the puzzles, yet, but they look like they are probably suited for teenagers and up. With your two sets of challenges comes a third file of hints and solutions. For more information about Feeding America, you can visit this page on their website. However, be sure to go to Eric Berlin’s page through this link so your donation will be correctly allocated.
Coming back to posting on a regular basis means that I am restarting my “Phun Phriday” posts, which are silly-and-not-necessarily-educational-but-they-could-be things that I’ve found on the web. I curate these in a private Flipboard magazine that I turn to whenever I need a laugh. Today’s entry comes from McSweeney’s. It’s an article called, “Literary Pet Names Using Puns Unworthy of Their Namesakes.” Mary Laura Philpott and Kristen Arnett have created a short list of nicknames for animals that includes cute, simple illustrations. The first one, for example, is a dog named, “Virginia Woof.” You can find a second list by the duo, with Mary Shelley the snail as its introduction, here. (Just be wary if you show this to kids, as the final one uses a synonym for donkey that some may find inappropriate – though I find it wildly funny.)
I have a private magazine on Flipboard where I save all of the weird things that might make future Phun Phriday posts. When I see a few that seem to fit a theme, I curate them for you. They are not necessarily educational – just random stories that catch my eye.
It’s a mystery to me why the Rubik’s Cube continues to be a “thing.” I didn’t like it when it first came out, and still find it frustrating. I realize this is completely my own fault, and that my feelings say a lot more about my own stubborn laziness than the quality of the toy. But that’s why I found it interesting to see that, decades after its initial introduction to the toy market, the Rubik’s Cube continues to fascinate people.
Happy Phun Phriday! I bookmarked this a long time ago, and just re-discovered it. For those of you new to the blog, I like to share random things on Fridays that usually have very little to do with education. I suppose you could have your students do some math with this – or you can just enjoy it!
Today’s Frivolous Friday post is in honor of my colleague, Angela Leonhardt, who is a music educator extraordinaire. She just made it to the finals for our district’s Teacher of the Year. That honor and many more are well-deserved by this wonderful teacher, who enriches our community with her dedication. If I had any music composition skills, I would play her a magnificent fanfare with this A.I. Duet experiment from Google. Unfortunately, even A.I. can’t mask my ineptitude, but I’m sure that someone with Angela’s talent can find a way to make beautiful music with this fun tool.
H/T to Mental Floss for sharing A.I. Duet with its readers.