Monday, August 19, 2013

Hide & Seek

If you enjoy a challenge and finding hidden treasure----if you always found the most Easter Eggs---if you could find someone in a game of Hide & Seek in record time---Try it 2013 style:

Do you have a GPS, or another device such as a phone that has a GPS feature? Try Geocaching... ("jee-o-cashing").

Here's your word of the day....Definition of a cache by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary: Cache (pronounced kash):
a : a hiding place especially for concealing and preserving provisions or implements
b : a secure place of storage
: something hidden or stored in a cache
: a computer memory with very short access time used for storage of frequently or recently used instructions or data —called also cache memory

**And don't worry if you don't have a GPS: there are ideas at the end for treasure hunts as well.**

The idea is, someone has hidden something and the challenge is for you to find it using a GPS device. It can get you to the general area, but you will then have to hunt for the item using your own wits.

                                                      a cache hidden in the home of a gnome (apparently)

The 'cache' or hidden treasure will be a container with a log book and other items. When you find it, sign the log book and, if you want, take something from the container, but then put something else in. Items traded should be of similar value, and will not be anything truly expensive. You may find a rubber duck left by someone else and trade it for a fancy pencil, for example. Put the lid back on and put it back where you found it.

                                         Typical cache with journal and pen and some treasures...

Do you know the latitude and longitude of your home? Look it up:

For more on geocaching, check out this website:
  • Some cities have geocaching programs but will request a sizable deposit for you to use their 'rented' GPS devices.

tricky: a fake rock with cache in it..

Hidden in a hollow tree Keebler elves here...

and another--look at the collection of stuff!

As an alternative, without a GPS, you and your friends can hide something and write directions as to how to get to the item. Another group of friends can do the same, and then each team tries to find the other's cache.  See how well you write directions and follow them--how fast does it get found?

There could be a map.......

                                Just because you don't live near water doesn't mean you can't pretend you do. 

                                                              OK, here's the back yard version, if you must be a realist......

Walk the route to get to the treasure---don't be too direct, make them work. Write down the number of steps and which direction you walked. Another way would be to record how to walk and have the person listen to the recording, or you could take pictures and tell them to find what's in the pictures.

You might leave clues that lead to other clues: "Follow the driveway to the mailbox and look for a white rock" and then have a clue under that rock. That clue tells the person "A red thing in the back yard will tell you more" ...then he or she has to find the red thing...etc. Or, you might issue a key and let them find several items that lock, but the key only opens one of the things.

If you use a map, make it fairly puzzling and a bit confusing.

Once the treasure/cache has been found, move it and see if it can be found once again. You can set a timer to see who finds the cache faster. Maybe the cache will be a container of treats to be enjoyed by the victor.!

Monday, August 12, 2013

What's the Big Idea?

What do you use every day that you don't believe you could exist without?

These things were invented in the 20th-21st century (quick: what century is this?)

Airplanes (and look how they have progressed!)
-Leonardo da Vinci may not have invented planes, but he drew up plans for hang gliders and helicopters long before Igor Sikorsky actually made the first flying machines.
DaVinci's sketch of a helicopter, circa 1470...It had to do with his fascination with screws that could be used to build sturdier things... Of course, this design was a monumental fail.....But he had the concept down...


-John Vatanasoff invented the digital computer; Douglas Engelbart invented the computer mouse.

                                                Yes, this was an early computer. Nice compact size, yes?

The concept of the Internet was first introduced in 1964, as a means to share information between universities and the Dept. of Defense. Many people participated in developing the idea; there is no one person who can claim to have 'invented' the Internet.

-Let's not forget Johann Gutenberg, who invented the first mechanical printing machine so more books could be published faster...

The Gutenberg Printing Press-Monks everywhere were very relieved. Why was that?

-Robert Moog invented the Moog Synthesizer, the forerunner of today's electronic music.

-Alexander Graham Bell invented the phone in an attempt to help his mother and his wife, both of whom were deaf.

Cordless home phone
Cell phone
-It's not just for speeding tickets: Radar also is used to track weather, for air traffic control, and for missile guidance.
   .Each little plane represents one in the air. Yellow are 'real time,' orange are '5 minute delay.' They are visible by using radar. Air Traffic Controllers: You are epic.
Jet engine
Polio Vaccine
  -Before the Polio Vaccine, this disease which causes wasting of muscles and permanent paralysis affected up to 20,000 people every year.

-Imagine dying from an infected finger; a cold that led to pneumonia; strep; or an infected tooth? This happened all the time before antibiotics. Remember, they also help our pets and other animals. Measles, chicken pox, tetanus, and whooping cough were all fatal diseases before we had vaccines for them.
                                                  Thanks for inventing Penicillin, Alex Fleming!

Pacemaker (device to help the heart beat more regularly)
Microwave oven
Ipod, ITunes, Iphone
Electric Car
-Karl Benz invented the automobile. Nils Bohlin invented seat belts.
                                           The First Automobile... Looks like a glorified bike to me.

Movie Camera
-And now we have them on our phones..
                                                                   First Movie Camera

Seriously. Who could live without clever YouTubes?  (not to mention instructions on how to do virtually everything)  ...For a whole lot of creative ideas, including a gorilla, a dragon, soccer, morphing cars and train, and a race....Check this out:

Blue Ray Players

Convenience foods---

Most of us enjoy Frosted Flakes, Skippy, Coke, and frozen dinners, right (probably and hopefully not in one sitting)?

Thanks to John Kellogg for boxed ready-to-eat cereal, Clarence Birdseye for frozen foods, John Pemberton for Coca-Cola, and George Carver for peanut butter.

And in our humble opinion, thank you a thousand times to Ruth Wakefield, who in 1937 came up with one of the most important food inventions in the history of mankind: Chocolate chips. By the way, the chocolate originally came in a little bar with a tool to break it into 'chips,' before someone decided to make little drops of chocolate.

 'My Precious.'

How could you become an inventor? If you can think up solutions to problems or inconveniences, or a clever way for us to communicate or amuse ourselves, you're on your way. A degree in these fields would be helpful:

*Engineering: Chemical, computer, mechanical, biological, automotive

Check these out:

And here's one unique invention:

What will you invent? Keep Thinking!