Monday, December 31, 2007

shared numbers of my blog

1. 3.850 64,99%
2. other 134 2,26%
3. 104 1,76%
4. 58 0,98%
5. 53 0,89%
6. ...m/2006/12/amazing-playground-boys-and-mums.html 50 0,84%
7. ...006/12/puzzle-everything-is-illuminated-is.html 47 0,79%
8. 45 0,76%
9. 38 0,64%
10. 36 0,61%
11. De Rest 1.509

idea design practice evaluation

The practice or the idea
the design or the evaluation
If we do it this way
would creation be different?

Friday, December 28, 2007

Everything is personnal
yet so many things are common.

home is where the heart is

Although I'm illuminated I remain in the dark
t'is because I cannot leave my heart
My heart hasn't left yet
That's why I don't return
I'm not willing to leave them behind.
That's why I don't return

please open the door.
The door is open,
but I'm thinking of them
and I hesitate to enter.


I watched everything is illuminated with my father.
He decided he wants to learn.
I'm very happy.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Opaque particles

How frustrated are the glas particles when they're opaque? Are opaque particles broken? Or do they shape their own orientations that diverte light after a trauma on the glass. In the case of 'roman' glass there is metal (coper) in the glass matrix. The transparence of glass can be affected by an electrical current going through it. Can it be affected by it's particles microshapes?

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Puzzle Sunday (34)

Is it a puzzle to create a poem? According to the research on the Shakespeare effect, it is. A puzzle to create a poem here.

How to make a feedpoem

First you need a blog.
Then get your feeds burned at feedburner.
Then get a statistics counter for your feeds.
Then keep up posting until you have about 25-100 views a day.
Then go to your stats and click 'items'.
This will give a list of items that were visited that day.
Then copy paste the list on your post.
You now have a feedpoem.

Here's the feedpoem for friday, 21 december 2007.

blogrolls and swapping links
Puzzle Sunday (31)
News on global warming
an educated guess at Yale
low on red please
the need for tactile schools
Puzzle Sunday (27)
The frustrated prismaparticles
de gulden snede is very Dutch
Dear cultural parodycenter,
Sorry I
Blame and your self
Puzzle Sunday (30)
15 for less family stress
my secret passion as a mom
Puzzle Sunday (32)
Puzzle Sunday (26)
prisma light
Puzzle Sunday (33)
The raven
scaffold the morning ritual
a gap between pratice and theory
Puzzle funday (29)
prismatic reverse

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

News on global warming

New research about climate change reveals earlier period of global warming.
I'm not a full believer in carbon dating and therefore I'm labelling this controversial.

Besides I don't adhere the following line of reasoning:
Reality can't be the way things are, because it doesn't fit my theoretic model.

The frustrated prismaparticles

I was inspired to the title above by the research on glas of Peter Schall of the University of Amsterdam who coworked with Harvard to have insight in streaming of glasparticles: the compactness of particles in glas is so dense that they can't all moove at the same time, 'frustrating' one another.

Thus a prisma is a 'frustrated' fluid, a tear is not.

An article will appear in Science, 21 december.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

15 for less family stress

1 go for a walk if you can, whenever you feel stress building up
2 take a deep cleansing breath, relax: holidays are meant for relaxation
3 count to ten; are you going to regret saying that?
4 do cleaning pitches instead of trying to tidy all day long
5 cook, clean, do shopping together
6 do games together, blog, read, talk, hug, draw
7 get blankets and sit on the couches with blankets, all together
8 have plenty of puzzles bookmarked for the children
9 have craft materials ready for use in a box: paint, brushes, paper, glue, materials
10 do washing clothes when you wake up in the morning and when you go to bed
11 don't mind the mess, mind the family
12 try to get enough sleep
13 reward the little ones with a sweet when they behave well
14 ignore behavior that you don't like, give attention when they're kind
15 make a long shopping list and get it in advance

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Puzzle Sunday (33)

Solving puzzles can go together with creating puzzles. This site is Dutch, but contains an English section. Click on the British flag to find the elephant puzzle, a paper printable puzzle (looks like fun) or make a pencil shaped puzzle. There's an anoying pop-up that comes with the page though. Just click the cross button to make it go away.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

prismatic reverse

In a cavern in Spain the indalo is drawn on a wall. It's a man holding a rainbow above his head. The unity of light was broken into colour. If you add all colour you get either light or darkness. What does this mean for psychology?

Monday, December 10, 2007

the need for tactile schools

I was thinking that the emphasis on literacy maybe is not right. Maybe there's a group of young ones that need schools to be more tactile (working and learning with the hands) and more about skills and affective responsibility (friendship, sharing, responsibility). These schools could focuss on skills rather than on verbal development. On small business skills and development of a strong rural middle class.
I had a wooden puzzle in my hands. A fisherman's son thought he wouldn't know how to solve it, but he was going through the right steps. A lesson about non-verbal learning.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Puzzle Sunday (32)

I gave tridio-C, a new cooperative game to my children this week. It's a new Dutch game that combines cooperation and solving a three dimensional building problem. I'm going to use this for scaffolding their group participation skills. First I'm going to observe how they work together and then I'm going to ask myself what I want them to work at individually. One of them talks much and doesn't listen much. The other stops speaking while he often knows best how to tackle a problem.
Meanwhile for the real piece of resistance: cosmology and relativity, followed by the faster than light puzzle: can tachyons break the rule of cause before effect? join in the discussion.

Sorry I

This week I had excellent news and was a busy bee. I gave presents to the children: e.g. a book on microscopes, a Dutch cooperative learning game called Tridio, Hive (we immediately started playing that one - I was beaten by a 7 year-old), a set to bake a cake or an applepie.
Probably my article will get published on blanco regel, my first e-zine article. It's an article on blogging filled with ideas.
Well, my writing starts to ressemble my coocking: trying to obtain combinations of healthy and good taste thinking, sporadically off, often looks strange because of frequent lack of interest for the presentation.
I wrote a new publisher an e-mail and got a request for a full or a partial the same day. To distract myself from the book I'm going to invent games and do writing contests. I enterred 4, in Dutch.

Monday, December 3, 2007

scaffold the morning ritual

I find it difficult to wake up the children when it's dark in the morning. It's nearly completely dark when the children go to school. Also it's rainy and cold.
How could I construct a scaffold for this?
First what kind of development do I want to see. I want them to use their own alarm every morning, to set it and to wake up when it rings. I want them to dress up and make their food for school and not to forget sports items they need that day. I want them to find their socks themselves.
To get them to do this, it will be necessary to first teach how to use batteries and to know how to read the time and to set the time right.
To stand up in the morning and put out the alarm seems easy, but for a child it's not that easy. When your eyes aren't awake, you can't use them as well as during the daytime. Especially in the winter when there's less sunshine.
Then to dress up, it's necessary they know approximately what weather there is and what you need to wear. Ideally they should watch the weather news or read it in the newspaper.
The older boys master all this very well. I could let them teach this to the young one.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Puzzle Sunday (31)

I searched 'blogtagpuzzle' on WWW. It's another neologism. Another I found was mindspecs. So if you ever need to find this blog, if you're in a serious need of a puzzle, just use your mindspecs and google.

To find the way accross the web makes me think of this pathfinderpuzzle from Oskar from Deventer and

Thursday, November 29, 2007


metapicture of internetsearch

village and city life
blame yourself
making home fun teenagers

city and village life
sublimated sex
alzheimer's + multilinguals + less chance
chez odile
everything is illuminated ... guillotine
les belles images + de beauvoir
sexy ice rocket
variance in evolution
Vygotsky and scaffolding examples
"everything is illuminated", Kundera
pygmalion effect school
Kangoeroe Math Competition
teaching "everything is illuminated"
mums and young boys

(I've put the tags that people searched today as in the list to obtain this 'print'of tags used to come here)

Friday, November 23, 2007

Puzzle Sunday (30)

A both ecological, logical and light celebrating puzzle is this puzzle in which you position light bulbs in a room in such a way that it fits the numbers.
To shed light in every corner.

prisma light

Light is it a reflection or a symbol? Is it static or dynamic? Does it live or is it the reflection of movement, and is movement the reflection of life?
Why is light so important, and is the absence of it a cause for depression?
Why does life need light? Is life energy, and what is energy?
Why is shedding light a metaphor for learning?
When can some not bear light and why? What is the other sense in "unbearable lightness". Has it anything to do with bears?
Why do some prefer dark, and why do people who are in full light not understand those who are not? Is life colour?
Is colour what makes light? Do you love prisma's?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

low on red please

According to this blog red is a disturbing colour for thinking. I was thinking about consequences for roadsigns and billboards. The tests were about filling in a test. I don't know what kind of test it was, knowing words have effect too.
Her face was red. Red sweets.
In the Netherlands, teachers use red for corrections. Now I would like to know if this has a harmful consequence for understanding and remembring remarks.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Dear cultural parodycenter,

Please, I would like to see a picture of Bush hugging the dockwerker, but I cannot find it. I also would like it to match my red, white and blue clogs. Have you any idea?


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

my secret passion as a mom

My secret passion is to create my children after birth, not to make them dependent, not spoiled, but deeply caring, intelligent, thoughtful. Who will see people around them with more attention than superficially. Who will look at the inside of people. Who want to read and learn and appreciate thoughts and feelings of others. This creation is a kind of attentive action and discussion. Searching endlessly for meaning and activity. There's no end to what you can master or learn and there's too little time. Children who touch the hearts of others but also look into their own thoughts and feelings and interprete them.

Friday, November 9, 2007

The raven

A poem at request for Pipske. I know you for a few years now. It's about darkness. I wanted to put the whole poem, Pipske, but the posts have a maximum signs.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore?"
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore!" -
Merely this, and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
"Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window lattice:
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore -
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; -
'Tis the wind and nothing more."

Dear Pipske, in darkness a little light shines brighter.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

blogrolls and leafrolls

I'm busy with improving my blogrolls. At first no regular visitor will notice, I'm creating different categories for obvious returning themes in my blog. I want to collect all past links and I want to try an automatic blogroll. I'm not sure how long this will take me.
There are all these other chores waiting. I'm doing better this year though.
Outside all around me the sight of the tempest, a thick cover of pink greyish sky with light shining under it, rain pouring and the yellow and red leaves of the wine spread across the garden. The apple tree holding on to it's shrimpled leaves waving at me and increasingly transparent. There's rarely more than thirty minutes of rain here. What does that do to character.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Puzzle Sunday (27)

It's a puzzle that the string of keywords 'puzzle of the road to the guillotine french revolution' leads to my blog.
My feelings about these brute periods in history are still in a moratorium.
Should I take responsibility or at least a stand?
I prefer to look at the process than at the guilt, although I'm sure guilt exists.
The process and the road can be equated. I suppose the craziest stand would be that it's Descartes who led to the use of the guillotine.
The question if existence is thinking, may have led to the idea to stop one to exist is to stop one from thinking and the locus of thinking is in the head.
The revolutionary martyr Marat was interred along with Mirabeau, Descartes and Voltaire.
The lesson might be: Killing the person is not going to stop thinking.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Blame and your self

'Don't blame yourself' or 'blame yourself' are messages to give to different people in different circumstances. Usually, because of how conscience works, those who have overactive conscience should be told not to blame themselves that much and on the contrary individuals who have underactive consciences should be stimulated to blame themselves more, or maybe more positively put, to explore how their role is in what happens with or around them.
It's difficult when you follow rules of behaviour and they don't work out with al people or all circumstances. When do you follow rules and why?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Puzzle Sunday (26)

Geometric puzzles can be a boost for dyslectic students. In the verbal environment of schools, students who are better at spatial tasks need to get positive feedback just as much as other students. The influence of feeling capable on self-esteem is important, especially for students with learning disabilities.

a gap between pratice and theory

There's a gap between science and education and industries of the future can go close this gap. An example: a teacher may discover a boy who has difficulty to read. He uses all the tricks he knows (practical knowledge) on the child. It doesn't work. Then he decides to get help. The psychologist gets a turn. Doesn't help. They then turn on science and read articles on neurology on dyslexia. They visit a scientist who says interesting things, but cannot point out a specific treatment. There's a gap.
Yesterday I watched awakenings and recognized the frustration when the doctor has an enormous amount of knowledge, but no handles to work with it. In this realm, the entry of Piaget and Feuerstein has yet to come it seems, or it seems it has just started comming, leaving room for artists and inventors, game-designers and musicians to fill the gap.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

an educated guess at Yale

At Yale renowned scholars are asking themselves what Shakespeare was thinking. Any attempt to understand history is based on knowledge of historical context and power of interpretation. I don't really think it's impossible to try to guess what Shakespeare thought. It's an educated guess.

de gulden snede is very Dutch

For the readers from the wiskunde meisjes; mathematicians interested in Psychology:
Serendip is a site with forums for those interested in Psychology, Psychobiology, Psychofysiology and related.
In the Netherlands, and particularly in architecture, the gulden snede is very important because it's pleasant. The post in the blog that I link too is about this special relationship between aesthetics and maths.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Puzzle Sunday (26)

I celebrate holiday in 2 regions. And this ressembles how this (geo)puzzle works. On the surface you see clutter for 2 weeks. What you see is the projection of clutter. Uhm. Looks like mom is going to need a vacation...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

No comment.

My blog is worth $2,822.70.
How much is your blog worth?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Sweat potatoe, Harry Potter

It's not Harry Potter who found the potion for a longer life, it's Marianne Geleijnse. Her article will come out soon in the European Journal of Epidiomology. Although she criticises her own research, I think she might be on to something. So this blog is right in encouraging us to eat avocado's & sweat potatoes, lentils & Barley. What would Ruth in six feet under think about this?

Monday, October 15, 2007

ape wisdom

What can human kind learn from apes? Whatever your main belief or unbelief, apes are supposed to exist before human. There's no logical implication to the thought that what comes after in time is better than what was first. Apes were considered not to have emotions, nor language, nor thought. We're finding out this isn't true. In our inner ape, primatologist Frans de Waal writes his view on why we are and who we are. He is a speaker at the emotions conference at Tilburg University from Monday 22 up to Wednesday 24 October 2007, and I'm curious what he has to say about the possibility of empathy in other animals.

I ask myself what is the best way to evolve into a primatologist?

Maybe by reading this book:The Nature of Play, Pellegrini, A.D. & Smith, P.K. (eds.), New York: Guildford Press
contains a chapter from Dr. Carol Berman, "Object play in great apes: studies in nature and captivity".

Sunday, October 14, 2007

exercise your brain for the future

Good news in this blogpost for readers and people who have taken up sudoku (or other puzzles) or even socker: even when your brain loses neurons to Alzheimer, you can do more when you continue to use your brain.

more timehacks

Would you like to save time e.g. to write more? One way is clever use of your time. Take a look at this timehacks list . Another smart way to save time is a printable grocery list, especially if someone else helps make it. Another way is to hack it the way J. Wynia does it. I would add I've been using old receits from the supermarket. Read them at the dentist. Also eating the same thing certain days of the week - a weekly routine - is a way to save time. I don't like to do everything the same, so I use different vegetables and spices in the weekly stew.
Have a list of things you would want to buy some time this year. When you're near a shop and you happen to see the item for a good price, you can buy it quicker, because the decision has already been taken to do so.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Puzzle sunday (25)

Today's puzzle is a visualisation exercise. It's something to do with your mind's eye.

Imagine you don't have materials, only what's in your environment. Now how would you make a cylinder, a cube and a tetrahedron that each one has a volume of 1 deciliter? You may use 4 imaginary tools. What steps are necessary?

How does your imagination work? Are you like Berkeley who thinks you can imagine concise shapes? or like Locke who says that one could visually imagine a triangle neither equilateral, nor isosceles, nor scalene but somehow all and none of these at once?

Do you solve this with words, with images, with ideas, with colour?

Friday, October 12, 2007

example of a scaffold à la Vygotsky

Vygotsky wrote about the zone of proximal development. Scaffolds are then used to pull a child from his level to a higher level of thinking / reasonning / understanding.
An example of a scaffold would be what I did at the swimming pool the other day.
My son is 4 years old. He was the first in a row but went outside for a while and then returned. Then he complained that he was first to the boy who had taken his place in the line. "it's not fair, I was first." I told him that he can expect people to take his place when he goes away. Now the boy who was first left. My son quickly went back first in line. Now I asked him if he thinks that's fair. The other boys comes back and sees his place is taken and complains. I then say: "but before you thought it was fair to take the place of someone else." Then a discussion starts about that sometimes you're first, and sometimes you're second.

The scaffold in this case was that I made a connection to cars and place in a sequence. I said you can put a yellow car first, second or third, or a blue car, or a red one. You can look at how many different places you can put a car in a row.

Now I can use this scaffold in the future to talk about an honest system of giving every child a turn, I can use this to teach morality, I can use this to teach principles of combinatorics.

selfreflection after Lou Reed

One day I realised I'm not nothing. I came after punk and after Lou Reed. I came after horrendous wars and after the moonwalk. I realise that I'm the product of all this and more. The generation before me told me I was nothing and nothingness was better. History was wrong and led to badness. Then bad was fashion, because nothing meant anything.
I'm so happy I found friends in books; voices from other worlds and other ages. The meaning I felt exists and I can share it through thought, which I consider to be elaborated feeling. It crosses barriers of dogma, countries and time as if it were light. I'm not nothing, I'm the result of rich history and lessons from the past. I can disagree with my friends and criticise them, but they make me think and give my life meaning. Light is everywhere, if you open your mind to it.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

shapeless knowledge in transition

I wrote about the organisation of blogs in stratified layers. I'm curious if there's anyone else who elaborated the idea on the internet. Colin Fleming of Adobe dreamed to use "layer groups" for documents. Sogrady calls 'blogstratification' to organize his blogroll into cathegories (under 5). Abe on Abstract dynamics wrote about stratification in relation to linking of blogs.
Seb Paquet in Many 2 many refers to how an article on the internet, originally from Linton Freeman, became widely read because of bloggers linking to the article.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Tracking content

I've started working at my article about blogging, and now for some weeks I've played with feedstatistics and commenting.
The strangest decision that lies ahaid is if I'm going to write the article in English or in Dutch first. Blogging has a terminology that I prefer to use in English, because most of what I read about blogging is written in English. The Dutch words are less precise.

This site gives advise how to use statistics from your blog to understand what happens when you post, which pages attract readers and if these are your loyal readers or rather unique visitors. I bookmarked this site on , simply because there was an icon to do so.

The problem with my article is that it's a collection of interesting ideas, but it doesn't have structure. This reminds me of the picture of caffeinated spider... Maybe I should reduce my coffee drinking?

As allways, for every question I can imagine, google gives an answer. But is it what I'm after?

Puzzle Sunday (24)

Ever wondered how puzzles look like from Armenia? Here's a chance to find out. I especially like the picture on the mathematics book that shows ladders (like scaffolds) that connect one lesson to the other, a conceptual image of the idea of learning levels.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

today I welcome the 1000st returning visitor

If you're a returning visitor, congratulations; very likely you're the 1000st returning visitor today, because the counter is on 999. This counter doesn't include my dear readers of feeds. I've found out that more readers read my feeds. If you prefer content, reading feeds makes a lot of sense: more text on the page. Exception: commenting. I'm trying to keep my posts a rapid intense read.
Readers come from Universities, Technical schools, are parents, students, academics, writers, puzzle lovers, multilinguals, multiculturals, teachers.
I write about twice a week. This is a place of clay, that I'm molding. It's fun, it's practise, it's trying out.

scriptwriting scaffolds

To play.
Find a box of toys e.g. of your children. Take some out without looking. On a piece of paper, write down the words that come up in your mind. Get as many strange words as possible.
now we get to play with google. What is in the minds of other people in connection to the same words you wrote down?
Now relate each word to a character. What kind of character emerges? You may choose the writer of the post as a model. You may use google-image.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

fruit of education

I've reacted on a post of a theater personnality and now I'm (we're) trying to find out if there's a need for a platform for education that draws the attention to the motivation of children at college. It fits what I've been writing and reading for a few years. I've got many ideas that are in a shapeless format and I'm going to peel them.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Puzzle Sunday (24)

Is puzzle sunday late? Hmmm. Yes. I'm trying to find a house with 12 rooms at low cost in the middle of nowhere near the city centre.
Now that's an impossible puzzle. My husband had found something that seemed to resolve it, but unfortunately we were too late, the house was already sold...
So that's what I'm going to try today.
In the Netherlands most people use this site to find a home.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

to play is to learn, to learn is to play

Hiëronymus van Alphen (1746 - 1803) said:
(in Dutch)
Mijn spelen is leren, mijn leren is spelen,
En waarom zou mij dan het leren vervelen?
Het lezen en schrijven verschaft mij vermaak.
Mijn hoepel, mijn priktol verruil ik voor boeken;
Ik wil in mijn prenten mijn tijdverdrijf zoeken,
‘t Is wijsheid, ‘t zijn deugden naar welke ik haak.

My play is to learn and my learn is to play,
why should my learning be this boring way?
Reading and writing is what gives me joy.
I exchange my toy 'hoepel' and 'priktol', [traditional dutch games for young children] for a book;
I want to find my passtime in prints,
't is wisdom, 't is virtue to which I hook.

Monday, September 24, 2007

to comment on Scienceblogs

Now I'm exercising at Scienceblogs commenting. I've got to be a good example for my children... Good excuse!
First I choose a subject that interests me, then I look for a post. Finally, I think about what I read. Do I have knowledge about it? Does a question arise?
Then finally I write a comment. Al through the process I might want to research, or look up a word in the dictionary. When I finish, I read my own comment and ask myself questions about what I wrote. Is it of good tone? Is it adding to the conversation? Should I leave a sentence, a word out?
I'm not minding about the competition for the #500,000 comment. But I did write 4 comments...

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Puzzle Sunday (22)

The BBC has a page on Leonardo da Vinci, the bright light of the Renaissance. On it, a test on what kind of thinker you might be. Or explore Leonardo's studio. It makes me think there was a very cool site on a filosofer on thinking somewhere in one of my first posts, about thinking monkeys, - seriously. Actually, what attracts me in her work is the original approach to the subject of thinking (besides that we're in a cannon together).

the real reason why I prefer mindperformance

Of all fears, I think fear of success is the most difficult to tackle in adult life. Simply because it doesn't happen everyday that I get applause in front of an audience, or even worse a crowd, and it doesn't happen often that I get recognition for something extraordinary. I've survived school avoiding applause well. Everything is safe, so long as I stay in the shadows and don't have a drive to perform. But that's my problem: I have a drive to perform.

The sweat and heartbeat and memory failure in front of an audience, the trembling, the sudden case of muteness will not stop me of getting myself into situations where I will get invited to come on television or talk to important people.

On television, it's impossible to have poetic lines come out of my mouth or witty links tagged to my comments. I should avoid television at all times, but I cannot help it, after dropping a few lines I got another invite.

Is there any book or movie with this theme?

I 'm lucky oracle google doesn't dread.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I love content

Post # 201.
I found another way than google for finding contentblogs and feeds. It's . This site gives for certain keywords, you can do combinations, recent texts that appeared tagged with the same keywords. Very useful if you are a content writer to quickly look up a subject. In addition it has a very cool geotool that shows where a certain keyword is used on the planet.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Sleepless night

At night I do all sorts of things. In my dreams I used to practise learning language, because in my dreams, there always was someone with endless patience listening. In my dreams I would practise an exercise in Maths that I didn't get immediately. In my dreams I learned. Today, I cannot sleep. What drives the drive to accelerate at times, or slow down at others? I think in the middle of the night of those who suffer just knowing it can help that someone pays attention, in a dream or outside of it all.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Translation from Dutch of this successful blogpost that gave me a rank 390 (out of 100 000) for one day.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Be innovative
An exercise in logic.
(1) the Dutch subculture of sixes (to go for a six out of ten as a student's strategy) is responsible for the lack of innovation.
(2) The minister said it, so it is true.
Number (2) unfortunately has to be dismissed because it isn't a valid formal logical argument (Dutch: drogreden):(a) argumentum ad hominem.
It will be difficult to tackle the first statement when there is no argument to support it.
So it's a challenge. (1) implies there is a connection between (1a) Dutch subculture of sixes and (1b) the lack of innovations.
Hmmm. *thinks*
(1) implies there is a connection between (-1a) subculture of excelling and (-1b) innovation.
Hmmm. *thinks*
Before taking out the model from M out of the closet... In verstand op nul, van Dudink I read there is a connection between somewhat lower grades and a higher creativity. On a Christian site about giftedness, I once read that creativity is associated with transforming the input (knowledge) obtaining another output. One child sees a heap of sand; another sees a heap of sand and hieroglyphs what may lead to questions... The second child may get less high grades for reproductive work, because it may give strange answers. Ergo: maybe a subculture of sixes should lead to innovation? Now I really don't understand anything anymore. Who is right, knowledge or power? Bas Haring, I judge.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Saturday, September 8, 2007

6 no budget marketing tips

Friday I promissed to tell how I got a 120 hits on one post in a few hours, which is my maximum. It was not on my English blog, but on my Dutch blog for a post on education.
What were the ingredients:
(1) a good post - original idea, humour, serious aspect, knowledge plus new angle
(2) topic is in the news
(3) 2 forums on related subjects where people know you, open a topic
(4) enough time to go visit some new blogs on a related topic to leave a fresh link, choose some blogs that are about the same as yours e.g. at the
(5) Here I wrote:
go to, submit your blog address and immediately cut and paste their code into your blog. Then go back to ultralinking to check if you're submitted.
But as Mark comments, after 2 days of many new hits, I have to pay. I don't think they're a scam, but it's not no-budget publicity either. I didn't proceed to pay.
(6) react to an article in the news on a subject that is closely linked to one of your topics of interest. Leave a link.
Probably there was more to it... what
I forgot.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

blogging for grammar

My son has trouble writing. So I thought I would get him to write maintaining his own blog. Within a few days, he had more visitors than I had... So now we're engaged in a sort of competition to beat each other with numbers of visitors. And it works, he writes more online than he would have on paper.
We are thinking of ways to attract more traffic. He was thinking out a secret strategy. It's so much fun.
In the meantime I discovered another tool that is fun for bloggers. It shows where a popular search label is located on a map. Notice this one is very local.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

exploration on marketing the intrinsical interest

A friend is marketing his new brand of therapy. This makes me wonder how to reach intrinsically interested audiences. So I search for an article about fingernails and targetting audience. This is because I heard once that a certain group in Amsterdam targets people who have clean fingernails because they are more often open for therapy. Maybe they don't tend a garden? I'm finding not much of use, not the reason why the fingernails have to be neat. The closest I came to have my question answered was from Yahoo: why do we have nails and toenails?
Later on the day I reflect on my blog. Sometimes I try out some marketting strategy that I read about to realize that what I wrote that day doesn't match the new audience I reached. I shouldn't be playing, but planning. To return to one of my interests, learning through playing.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Puzzle Sunday (21)

Today on puzzle sunday Burr's. I've created another blog where I want to collect links that I discuss here. Why Burr's? They are cut out (of wood) to practise scaffolding techniques. Remember scaffolding? In this case it's the building of problem solving. What steps will lead to a solution? Can you write down what you tried?
And what I like is that there is a description of a selfmade Burr that costs 1$.
I can visualize Burr making workshops around the world.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

4 movies that motivated my children

(1) Matilda (because Matilda doesn't wait for approval to do her schoolwork and stays true to herself)

(2) Lang leve de koningin (because a smart girl can be better at chess than at school)

(3) Lemony Snicket's 'We're very concerned' (because one of the children invents incredible solutions and the other applies the knowledge he found in books)

(4) A beautiful mind (because Nash fights mental illness with his exceptional mind, succeeds and even wins the Nobel prize) (very mature content though, read the discussion under comments)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

What comes after breastfeeding

I look back to 13 years of breastfeeding and daily care for the children.I've learned much in those years, particularly at the active level. I've learned about every aspect of the rose of Leary, every sort of introversion / extroversion relationship and much more, in real life. I've become a walking dictionnary about Dutch parenting books and I've even got followers.
What to do with all this lugage? How about writing another book?
About my bicycle: La bicyclette à Odile. No, my bike is active level only.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

from parent chores to readership

La rentrée des classes is French for returning to school after summer. I don't know how you say this in English, because I used to go to a French speaking class in the Netherlands. Now all my children are at school, and it looks like I'm busier than ever. There are piles of laundry that are clean but need to be carried upstairs, there is some administration I should mind, I promissed to change my e-mail address, I want to write the article I promissed to write, because I don't like to do everything at the last minute anymore. And there is paperwork concerning my children's new school. Suddenly I have all children at another school and these schools are cooperative at this moment.
In between I searched the web for my blog with hotbot msn search and found out that someone had thanked me for an idea from my blog. This search site enables you to find sites that link to you. What I found out is that the list is different for different searching engines. It can be useful to know who links to you to get an idea if you're writing attracts the readership that you're looking for. Many readers may be writers, after all.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

factor analysis and creation

On a post comment on Ktismatics, whom I like to read for personal growth, ktismatics wrote to me personally:

Sometimes you present your ideas in a form that’s perfectly understandable but phrased in an uncommon way. As with poetry, the unusual wording causes the reader to pay closer attention to what’s being said, to consider things from a slightly different perspective.

The puzzling thing is that I have a slightly different perspective
in Dutch
and French as well. (I'm half Dutch, half French.)
makes me think
that I might have my
axes slightly rotated
if we would do a factor analysis of concepts and
that we relate to them.

And I know that the picture is not one of axes that are rotated
like in the
book, but that's exactly the kind of transformation I would do
with information.
I add something that wasn't there in the manual.

And note that on the sphere, where the lines meet, the axes look orthogonal.

And this
is what ktismatics is
teaching us, showing us with the practice of creation.
How to read,
observe with our creation button ON.

Monday, August 6, 2007


If you're from Boulder, check out if you can find this enygmatic stand.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Puzzle vacation time

Posts with printable puzzles (mostly mazes) to take away to the beach (or digg your own maze in the sand if you're so lucky).
Posts with all kinds of puzzles (plugged)
this is a sheep puzzle. Rated: not sure if a sheep can understand English nor if it can use the interface we provide it. There is a sound track to go with it.
Puzzles and science about puzzles

Friday, July 27, 2007

Puzzle sunday (20)

Really difficult one all about clocks for adults and teens... Are these world clocks, or metaphors for friendship? Remember that the challenge of difficult puzzles is to develop a strategy. Finding out the laws is what development is all about!

writing group adherence

Want to write or want to start a writing group? On this site it's made very transparent. I joined forums with the same ideas in my mind. I don't know if I really want to be part of a writing group IRL or if I will want to soon. Maybe this site will help me because it contains a list of questions to ask yourself.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

looking back from future

an exercise in morals
What if I would live years ahead when the many many problems of safety, hunger, housing, criminality, education and psychology on a world scale are resolved. How would I look at present times? Would I judge over myself without looking at the context? What would I think of others? What do I judge now and am I forgetting about their context?

Monday, July 23, 2007

on the dock between monuments

Yesterday I went to see a theaterplay with my daughter. It was about Poland, Europe. About the period after the second world war until now, set in the lunchroom of the polish dock labourers in Gdansk. During the typical polish meal, with delicious vegetarian home made borsjt, and poppie-seed cake, and a very lovely sweet, prunes in chocolate, the history of Poland is served with polish Jazz. I bought the text of the play and completely impressed I went to buy the text of the play.

I know I would at some point want to read it. I didn't have enough money on me to buy the music, which I will do. This buying of the lyrics felt as a contrast for my feelings and thoughts. I forgot my bicycle after the play, and my daughter made a turn when we bicycled around the terrain, very appropriately the ancient dock of Den Helder.

The band drummer with a lovely smile made a joke about it "you'll be back a third time!"
He was right. I saw the pianist from Roman Polanski the night before. I bought it in our supermarket - another contrast.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Someone when I was studying sighed everything has been invented. Not true! There are so many ideas out there waiting for you to find in your own imagination. Need an example? Here.

Puzzle sunday (19)

Printable puzzle to take away on the beach? How about a puzzle to test how well you know sign language or mazes for your child? Or a puzzle about liberty? Liberty? yes... Rubic is for me the example of how liberty is attained by the studying and mastery of rules, both through his life history and his puzzle.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Puzzle Sunday (18)

How do you increase your vocabulary without getting bored by repetition? Well, either you just sit down and do it, or you can do a pyramid puzzle at a puzzle a day.

teens at home and fun

It's easy for me to invent something, but getting it done is a matter of the flexibility of my friends and children and not less, my own flexibility and skills. I invented two days ago that we could have a psychological camp at home. We would look at films that we have on dvd or VHS: Amélie, Awakenings, the Sixth Sense with some teenagers but we wouldn't just passively look at them: we would sit there with pencils and paper and write down what we observe, situational factors and saillant behaviour and then discuss about these. Also we would look at one horror movie and pretend to be a profiler.
I was pleased with the idea, but slowly, the enthousiasm of the teenagers started to crumble. One didn't want to come over because of his new computer. My friend wanted me to come with her to a museum with the children. Therefore I should go to another museum to buy a museum card. There was one day left for my idea and we decided to put the idea off for a week.
This gives me time to elaborate on the idea, maybe order some booklets or print some additional literature. Yes, I might order a book or two.

update on writing

To my light surprise I've been asked to write an article about blogging for a Dutch e-zine about writing. The e-zine attracts writers that have higher aims on content and style issues. I'm myself not the most eloquent of the bundle, I consider myself a writer of content.
Will this be a next step in building a carreer in writing? Hope so.

Except for writing letters for organisations, critics of theater plays and a book in two languages, my writing experience consists of blogging since november last year.

Being clear and twisting ears are two conscious competing aims that I try to satisfy whenever I write. This makes me feel both awkward and relaxed around writers who aim to write with style. There aren't many writers in the Netherlands that write about writing, let alone non-fiction. Maybe it's because it's a small country with a limited number of people who speak the language and a limited number of writers.

I'm very happy to try and a little worried about it. Or is it just arousal?

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Puzzle sunday (17)

The puzzle of today comes from a book. It is a puzzle you can do with someone else. Can you resist not to read the answer?

If for whatever reason, Puzzle sunday doesn't appear, it might be a good idea to look for a puzzle book, for not missing your weekly mental workout. An alternative would be to browse through older posts for a puzzle.

books for children are scaffolds for development

In an earlier post I told you about scaffolds. Scaffolds are a very workable teaching method that helps students and children to surpass themselves. The idea is that what you teach should be slightly more difficult than what the student masters at that moment.
Now how can we build those scaffolds?
One way is creating books that contain stories that in some way helps children to reach a higher level of morals, reading skills, vocabulary, understanding of emotions, historical awareness,...
For surcharged parents and teachers, these books are a great help to build their children's character. After reading a part of the book, you can talk about your own ideas about what is written in the book, and ask what your child thinks about it.
If you want to go ahead and write a book, why not enter a competition? Maybe you will end up getting published. Good luck!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

more visitors for you blog

New from pingoat is that they are developping a tool to help get more visitors for your blog. If this link works you can apply for testing a beta version to get more visitors to your blog.

Whenever I see the apple tree, I'm reluctant to moove.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

5 excellent blogs for personnal growth

best read together:
(1) Ktismatics

(2) Serendip

(4) Jason Hesiak

(5) Samcarr's blog

(6) Chez Odile

What do you say? It does not add up? Well I'm just copying normal human behaviour, that is not logical at all. In fact hardly ever do human beings have thoughts that are consistent with each other. That's why I like to read these blogs to find some consistency in this atopia. (find out in which blog atopia is described)

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Puzzle sunday (16)

A relaxing permutation puzzle keeps nerves in a sound state. And now for a real challenge, puzzles of geometry, but in spanish. And if you like touchable puzzles, here a DNA puzzle, on a fun to be site about DNA.

house image

My house is different than other houses in this village and would it have been in the middle of a city instead of in a peasant village, it would have been very easy to sell. The house has the double of space that a regular house has in the Netherlands, a garden at three sides and a basement. It has a history that goes back nearly hundred years and schoolheadmasters lived in it. We did improve a number of items in and around the house, e.g. a solar pannel for water heating, an extra room in the attick.
So how can I convince the town people that they should buy our house? I guess our house has a image problem. How to fix the image problem of a house?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

city or village; culture, easy suburb or nature

Instead of choosing between city or village, I added an element: easy suburb or nature. So now we have three choices. My way of handling this is keeping options open that are satisfactory enough and then, with more or less intuitive parameters that are more or less negociable decide at the moment that everything seems to come together: our house sold, a date in our head, morgage and unforseen. So it comes down to nature or nurture?

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Puzzle Sunday (15)

A student I was when my fellow student sighed that everything has been invented; nothing new to discover. How different my attitude towards life...
Even if others have thought a thought before me, it makes me feel less lonely and I can wonder how my thought might be slightly different. I often have ideas or questions that I cannot find anywhere.
and now for a puzzle. I'm late for puzzle sunday having painted the kitchen. I'm not sure this is the kind of puzzle you were looking for, it is a group puzzle, maybe something for a group-holliday.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A lesson in google

A lesson in google.
(1) I typed: Life and learning finding words for what we feel
(2) I found: teenages, war casualty, art

Art is the way we express.

Art is a way to show.

without words

resilience and strong negative emotions

I was searching for something else and came across this test of resilience. I want to share this because I think this is the kind of psychology that can actually help.
What I miss though is how to cope with strong negative emotions, strong negative memories and alike. I recommend that one tries to reach out to someone that can be trusted. It is very important to find the right listener.
2 ways: mouth to mouth & organisations

Monday, June 11, 2007

house and education; variabiltiy

Houses and education have some common features. Some like a standard house, others prefer something that fits their needs. Some have many requirements, other have less. Some houses have a lot of distinctive specialities, others have as little variability as possible. What I love about old houses are the many imperfections, but these are the most interesting about the house. When I worked at my childs delivery, my attention would go to the cracks above my head and I would think how the crack is interesting to look at when I cannot moove and have to lay in bed.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

presents for development

Why do we celebrate birthdays? One answer might be to give toys that are appropriate for the age of a child. Games to practice some skill that corresponds with the developmental age of the child. For my first child, I used to read the age on the label and I was often disappointed because the toys didn't interest her. Now I'm more into books and stuff that is appropriate for different ages and children. I can look at a child and observe and see what it does, why and what it needs. Rarely does the anniversary correspond to a transition to another stage of development. Or am I wrong?

Thursday, May 31, 2007

how handwriting and distance to school cause pygmalion effects

Not only selling and buying a house influences my ability to think; I came across this article about how handwriting skill influences test results. It is deeply troubling that handwriting may have a huge effect on marks at school. This is as unfortunate as the fact that travelling distance is also of influence on school results. I've not yet found the reference to this on internet. I've heard parents complain on the Dutch radio.
What are teachers measuring?
But more importantly, how can schools allieviate these influences?

thinking processor busy: no thinking available today

My house is more or less ready for sale. I realize that my house selling is influencing my thinking. It is as if the thinking processor is using up a large part of my thinking. There seems to be not much left for creative thoughts.
No creative thoughts available today.
Well, if you really want me to show the contents of my head, this maybe and this or this or this. But right now also this.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Puzzle sunday (14)

Houses and schools, puzzles and tools, scaffolds and posts, maths and hosts that's what this blog's all about, and here is todays puzzle for you to check out.
I know, I've had a hard day and I'm sublimating.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

british tool for script-writing

I ought to clear more space in my computer for this tool that looks useful for writing scripts for television and movies. And then? What kind of a script would I write? an educational one? Would I use it for my children? Very possible.

this school works

My son who goes to another school is doing very well. That school works with the development of vital aspects of development, planning, design, thinking, evaluating; everyday there is creation, working together and alone, learning in books and doing. Children work at their own development. This means both individual and cooperative activities. It works!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

better education; icerocket trends

Icerocket statistics look a bit like scaffolds, don't they? According to icerocket trend, there were about 4600 - 4900 posts on education and learning every day in the past three months, against only 20 on scaffolding. I'm guessing this means scaffolding is not yet very known to many who write about education. That's a real pitty, because it is a method that builds children, adolescents and adults and we know already, that there is a relationship between the development of skills and frustration. If we want to do things better, more scaffolding techniques is one of the ways.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Puzzle sunday (13)

For some people the regular IQ-tests are more difficult than difficult IQ-test questions.

Monday, May 14, 2007

I love puzzles

I'm writing this post especially for Chris (and myself because my memory needs external backup). I searched for sites about wooden puzzles, because I think they represent what we need: beauty, natural materials, relaxation through directed attention, enjoying problem solving strategy development.
Puzzles can be boxes. Human psychology would like to unravel the mysteries of the box (symbolic for the brain) , Pandora opened the box, and we enjoy presents in boxes.
On the same site, the Alcatraz puzzle seems like a real challenge.
Also follow on the links on that site. One in particular I should put in my blogroll.
There is a mechanical puzzle competition to encourage new designs. So beautiful.

unplugged scaffolding

Because the birthday of one of the children is comming up, I've searched and found a few books and games that you might like. Usually I give something for their birthday that is a developmental challenge for the child at that time.
The books are in Dutch but the games might be interesting. I'm going to give a link to a dutch site and try to find an English counterpart. Thinkfun, Dutch site that delivers pretty good games and a site that describes abstract games are among my favorite. Wooden puzzle challenges can be difficult even for very bright children. That's good!

I love difficult.

Friday, May 11, 2007

underachievement; effectivity praise for effort is reinforced?

Don't praise your child for their intelligence, but do praise them for their effort says this article on praising intelligent children describing one of the origins of underachievement. I would say there is also a reward-angle to this. The reward is bigger when effort is emphasised as contributing to the successful solution of a problem than when there is no relation to effort. This means there is a reinforcement of the effect reported in the article.

Puzzle sunday (12)

Riddle today on chez Odile. I've tried solving it and found an alternative oviously wrong solution... Maybe if you insist I'll share it with you...
From housesearch to wordsearch?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Scaffolding, multitasking and house-improvement

Scaffolding, multitasking and house-improvement is my actual life. My father built and rabuilt 3 scaffolds in one morning (5 meters high) (how many inches is that?). Not virtual but touchable scaffolds. At the same time I saw how he built virtual scaffolds for me, for my children and even for my husband. Our family benefitted from his visit at multiple levels. I see where my youngst and oldest get there energy from. "I've got magical energy!" said the youngst. It is true. My oldest is recuperating from everything. She starts feeling better about herself. It's such a fine line between giving support and increasing dependent behavior. Art is doing the scaffolding, science is thinking how to and when.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

underachievement: neurology or psychology?

Neurology is very interesting and is like a painting of reality to me. Especially if it represents reality in detail. Even better are descriptions that move in time like models or machines or those where you can manipulate and see what happens. But that's it. It is not what happens inside the box or is it? If we look at underachievement, is what happens the activity that stops in the brain, or is this an accurate and interesting show of what events you can observe from the outside? It does show that it is imperative to get enough experience in failure not to shut down when it happens. Hmm... Thanks neurologists for this support.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

city or village-life?

I have moved many times and moving usually means new friends, neighbors and life-changes. We have to choose between living in the city center next door to the schools or in a small village nearby, with the possibility of a garden. That's a tough choice. The city-life will mean theater, bookshops, shopping and other things important to us, but also keeping my smallest one in close boundaries - a highly energetic boy that likes to discover the world and who loves nature - inside. Will that work? The village-life will mean space in and around the house, woods, but always have to use transportation.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Puzzle sunday (11)

I'm busy with my house and I'll keep you busy with city building, enjoy!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


My father arrived from France and immediately did an inspection of the house. Today we're going to buy what we need to do the paintings and restaurations necessary. Next three weeks we will be busy. In the meantime, the new school of my daughter called about our project to moove. The paperwork has started, both for schools (filling in forms) and for the house. The old school called too.
Doing stuff.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Puzzle sunday (10)

This time I'm late with puzzle sunday. All because I'm working hard to try and sell my house. And the kids had their theater presentation yesterday.
OK. What is Phi? Well I'm not sure either. It is a greek letter and greek letters are often used in mathematical language. Mathematical language describes reality in a more formal way than does plain, prosaic or poetic language. Or doesn't it?

O, and if anyone of you is looking for a present for a smart boy, check this out! I'm sure I know one little boy that is going to love this!

Friday, April 13, 2007

change the environment

Within a week my son has changed immensely from on the brink of depressed to active, happy, making new friends and doing work at school and cleaning up his room at home. Is the effect of a change of environment that effective? There are some factors that are favorable: (1) more independance in going to school, (2) positive children, (3) school is explicitely creative, every day there is time to do creative play with gardening, building, painting, construction; thinking about what you want to do(4) positive communication directly with the children, (5) every child has their own programm with different levels. He communicates about this directly with the teacher.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

school gives space to work

Within one week my son started behaving less well and feeling worse very rapidly at home. I picked up the phone and talked to his teacher. This appeared to be the same at school. My son has been complaining about school for years. We have been talking to schools and trying to fix all problems one at the time. This time I was alarmed and I picked up the phone and called another school. Further away, but the teacher made an appointment for the next day. My son heard it and wanted to come with me. He did and the next day we were looking at the school. The day after my son asked me when he could go there. After the week-end, I agreed with the teacher. Since he is there he feels much better. He started working again. This all happened within one week. It is striking how he is independent in going to school. The teacher says they give space to the children. I experienced this when I was in the building. The children had work lying around in progress everywhere around. I felt at home.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

why some schools don't have underachievement

Some of our schools don't only call themselves schools, but are schools. I like that this school doesn't think of children as a standard that they can push to perform in the standard way. They see children that have needs to develop into good citizens. They can see the potential behind the problems.
They don't emphasize problems, but emphasize the processes of change and development.

do you know this process that when you write something, you learn about what you write and what you write seems already perished? That's why it took a long time before I decided I would write. Because I felt that whatever I write, there is always something wrong about the ideas. That I would never write down the final idea, until I realized that writing is not about the final score, but about the process of living, experiencing and learning.

example of a school that handles underachievement
It is important to realize that there are different kinds of underachievement. What works in problems with many social problems may not work in other areas. Schools should resist standard solutions and embrace knowledge, mediation skills, specific problem solving.
example of someone who thought about what really happens

My second book is about underachievement. I'm working on a theory.

why some schools have underachievement

Underachievement. I tried to find an article that had the title: "why some schools have underachievement." (in dutch) but couldn't, because I live too far from real libraries, except for internet. Some articles are cited in other articles and are difficult to get.
Maybe I should have tried harder. I had other things to do. Because now it seems that this school has it.
When turning to the web, I come up with this (incomplete) list:
immigration difficulties
material deprivation and labelling
being a boy
communication skills

hmmm... I'm wondering whether underachieving is influenced by culture. In the Netherlands, the culture of "don't raise your head above the mowing field" is said to be one of the causes of underachievement.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Puzzle sunday (9)

Because I have so much to do I decided I would advance Puzzle Sunday. Here are some new wooden puzzles. Not for solving now but maybe for a present. I wish all problems could be solved, don't you? I know that this kind of puzzle can be quite difficult. Meantime I'm thinking about where to live. Anyone a suggestion? Maybe in the sea. Or across the sea, in the UK.
I hope everyone finds the way home (preschool level). Did you know that puzzles may help relax anxiety?

Thursday, March 29, 2007

the mean group

There are different concepts in education. One is the so called classical method that has the teacher facing the classroom. Here (in the Netherlands) this method is very common and might be used in classrooms with small groups of tables too. There is an increasing demand for more levels within one classroom. The norm is the mean of the results of the students of the same group. There is little variation in age, and variation is not seen as positive but rather as a problem. The problem is then solved by creating subgroups and again the same system of mean is used for the subgroup. There is a problem. There are quite a few children that fall out. Partly they fall out because they cannot cope with adapting to the difficulty of the tasks, partly they fall out because the tasks are too easy.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Puzzle sunday (8)

Because I'm busy to find a house in a certain region, I use maps a lot these days. So I link a map puzzle today. This jigsaw has countries as pieces of the puzzle.

Monday, March 19, 2007

checklist and DNA

If I decide I need to buy a house, the way to keep my head free of endless questions is a home buying checklist. Otherwise I will use much time thinking and not doing. I can endlessly think about all difficulties that could happen. I guess that's why DNA is so practical. It is the cell's to do list, a sequential string of amino acids that are reproduced in the right order one by one. It cannot go wrong.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Puzzle Sunday (7)

This week was the international mathematics competition in the Netherlands to which 4 million children worldwide participate. The name for this competition is the Kangaroo. On this map you can see what countries participate. For this occasion I thought maths puzzles would be in order. Many, many maths puzzles.

DNA home of memory?

A new find of Miller and Sweatt (2007) may support both the possibility for inheriting memory through DNA and changing DNA through learning.
(see the comments about the link, just click you're sure it is not a spam link)
What if we can inherit memory through DNA? This would explain why there is instinct and recall of trauma without the knowledge of the story. Is methylation the key to the script of our family history? It may give an alternative explanation to why some people are prone to create false memories in Lab situations. The memory isn't false, but doesn't match present history, because it matches prior history.
My idea though is that if our genes is a book, we are not the book, but we live through the book.

Chez Odile is not original?

I have read about referrer spam and wonder if I did something wrong... I read the article in question about Methylation and I was excited about it. I wrote a comment on my blog, not for profit. I think it might be a piece of the puzzle in what I write about and it might have implication for psychotherapy. This is important! but unfortunately there are people who leave comments only for improving their ranking. It's a pitty that it afflicts those who do have original thinking to put in their blog. I think what I did was legit. What do you think? Is there a second Chez Odile anywhere around?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

publishing silence

I still did not hear from the publisher. It is a good sign according to a published writer that I trust. It has been months, and it has been a little less since I have read my book. I ought to make a start to write the other book. The truth is that most of the writing proceeds in my head in thinking. Maybe it is not me who thinks. Maybe I get these thoughts out of the collective unconscious or from forgotten reading or from inspiration. We cannot say anything about thinking by studying the machine that translates thought in words. Can we?

What is a crog?

I feel very fortunate to be able to hold this blog. But is it a blog?

or is it a crog?

Cuttner defines a crog as a carefully researched weblog.

I do research, but some is on the web and did study to be able to discern fact from fiction, but how can we ever be sure of what is true or not?
I have many links to scientific articles and sites and books. I add meaning and critical thought, sometimes some irony.

The word carefully is a problem though. I'm worried that a professional journalist would do more thorough research. Is that worry justified? Journalists are only human too. They cannot read everything either...

I was adjusting to using the word blog and I'm not ready to call myself a crogger yet.

Whats more, crog is the name of a webvirus...

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

about Proust

I read a book about Proustian love, from I. van Krogten. This was not recently, but it was when I was a student. Amazingly, in the library of Psychology in Amsterdam, there was not even a handful of books about love. This may reflect a cultural trait or the struggle of the department to distance itself from Freud. Interestingly enough in the same period, in Italy there seemed to be an abundant amount of literature about love.
I picture the image of a dutch painting. A dutch woman looks tired and hungry when she plants seeds in the soil. In the Netherlands, the climate did not allow for two harvests and life was harsh for peasants.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Weather to blog: clouds of tags

Do you like clouds of keywords? These are a visual representation of tags for your website or blog. I don't have one here, but I have one at . I'm a very busy mother and I like that I don't have to bother with templates and clouds, when I don't want to. The point is, that I do have children that want to learn and this is why I try to be a step ahead and read about how to make use of the cloud of tags in an educational fun way.

That's why I love sites such as Hackzine.

Top down or bottom up?

Top down or bottom up? Here's a bottom up article (from particular = here: teaching how to listen - to general = here: what is top down teaching & bottom up teaching) & here a top down article (from theory to example)

Puzzle sunday (6)

Today some biology. DNA crosswordpuzzle? indeed. Probably to difficult for me too, or am I underestimating myself again?

list of learning

I came across a list of different types of learning. From algorithms to decision trees, to-down, Q-learning and bayesian learning. I'm also putting the link in my linksroll.
Neural networks defines top-down learning as a set of cascades of rules. An article that takes time to understand. Did he say that it will take many years before we can program a robot to 'decide' how to answer to spoken language (top-down)?

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

busy, busy...

These are busy days... I'm busy with the children and school, administration and groceries. In the middle of that I got a new idea for two new books. One a very practical book for education, the other a comprehensive theory, explaining and predicting mechanisms. I'm excited about these ideas. But how will I find the energy and the time?
I also have an idea to translate a book that I think should be translated. (I have to check if it isn't)

list of carnivals of education

Do you know what a blogcarnival is, exactly? I came across these when I started blogging. Carnivals are lists of blogs that blog about a certain topic. They are a not complete but good way to find a lot of blogs that you might want to read.
I found this list of carnivals of education. Don't ask me why it is called carnival.

Monday, March 5, 2007

about the necessity to understand scaffolding

Two of my children are possibly ill or possibly demotivated to go to school or both.

I have not been reading about underachievement for nothing.

Many teachers don't know that underachievement can be caused by too easy learning materials and lessons. They don't know about the mechanism nor do they know how much it affects children and their families. At the primary school I could see which teachers understand it just by looking at the grades of my children. You might argue that the grades only reflect the ability to teach and not how the teacher handles underachievement. True. In my opinion both are true. The successful teacher handles the underachievement better and gives better answers to difficult questions in the learning material. It is about scaffolding again.
citation of an article
"The first task during mediation is to discourage surface or superficial learning. Children are likely to engage in surface strategies as a matter of pragmatics; as a means of self preservation."
Now back to my reality. I hope it is the flue... but I'm pretty sure it is not. This is why we are thinking of moving to a region with better scaffolding, after five years of trying to manage.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Puzzle Sunday (5)

After my computer wouldn't follow the simplest commands last night and my posts kept disappearing, I was relieved it was for the best this morning, because I wouldn't have found this site today. Have fun.

I don't believe this, I'm seeing twice my posts... :D :D :D

Puzzle Sunday (5)

After my computer wouldn't follow the simplest commands last night and my posts kept disappearing, I was relieved it was for the best this morning, because I wouldn't have found this site today. Have fun.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Friday, March 2, 2007

noise and coockies

Noise functions were somewhere years ago in Physics lessons at school. I was fond of physics. I liked curves and representation of sound as a curve and the possibility to show sound interposed one over the other. This is what noise is about. How come we cannot hear a sound when there is noise?
Can I hear something when I eat a coockie? Or many coockies? Or most coockies? When I drink? I rarely drink too much (less than once in 5 years), being a responsible parent. I'm affraid I drank too much coffee, and if I drink too much coffee I'm more likely to loose my sense of humor.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Quality control ignores creativity

Quality control fixes everything in static IF THEN format rules, but what about creativity? The systematic flaw of quality management is it's disability to recognize what it does not know.

What about creativity?

My husband who works in education told me this very smart metaphor for building a curriculum. Imagine we put all quality content in a curriculum in bricks to build the curriculum building. All bricks are labelled for content: A, B, and so on. Then we look at the heap and everyone that went through the pile of bricks gets the certificate. But if we take a look at the heap, it is no building, just a heap. A building is characterized by the relationships between the bricks, it is not merely a heap of excellent building material.

Now look again at parameters.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

2 steps to organize

Some more of the hackzine magazine: read about how to make post-its to organize. ±Two steps: first print a page which says where to stick the post-its to print over, second print over the page while the post-its are in place.
This way you make own organizing tools. No, no, this is not procrastinating...
I have a all-in one printer, so I think I might print the second page and copy over the post-its.

Can you really follow me?
Never mind, read the article then, I'm sure you will understand that. You need to scroll down the page a bit.

what the hacks?

Part of my time as a blogger goes to read interesting technical blogs. Hacks is not about Psychology, not about Biology but it does say something about parenting, math and mind performance.
Do you understand this?
find . -name "*.php" xargs grep -i "special"
That'll find only the php files and grep them for special.
You could also pipe ps through awk and use xargs to kill all of a certain process...
But everybody probably already knew that.
Posted by: A.Nonny.Mouse on February 25, 2007 at 08:26 AM
I found this new speak on a topic about commands for programmers. Imagine how my spellchecker reacts...

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Puzzle Sunday (4)

How are your visual-spatial skills? Can you perform rotations in your mind? Can you recognize the angle from which a picture has been taken? This puzzle Sunday takes you to a program that is designed to create three dimensional programs.
Another program -I don't know if this one will do, Chris... I hope so.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

On television

I have an agreement with myself that I can participate in a forum only if I really relate to the topic. The topic of the forum I joined yesterday is 'not belonging'. I found the forum through google alert. I can relate to this easily, because I have a lot of characteristics that make me different. So I started writing and responding.

Suddenly I got a mail from a journalist.

If I was interested to appear at an actuality program at the television. I quickly recovered from my first defensive reaction and realized that a lot of people would step out of their loneliness if I would show that I am willing to show. The truth is that I took this step first a few years ago, and that I take this step ever since. At first it is a huge step. Then it seems much smaller. I hope many people reach out.

That's my existentialistic trait.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

brainloneliness & other neologisms

I tried to add a new word to Wikipedia: brainloneliness and even provided an article link to a times article on pain measured in the brain when lonely. But I was very soon sent a message about how young editors cannot resist the urge to invent new words and submit them to Wikipedia. Feeling very brainlonely, I googled for neologisms on the WWW and found a little collection. Needless to say it did not contain brainloneliness. Never mind, I probably misspelled it anyway.

about links and visitors

Before I forget I have to blog about it. I found a tool today on Internet that finds links to a site and compares it to sites in about the same category. The reason I prefer it to the tool I put on my blog before is that it is more interesting for bloggers who prefer relatively small audiences. You might want to check it out. Remember that having many visitors is not the principle goal. I rather have content visitors (in Dutch, content = satisfied). I also love to comment on other blogs and love it when they leave comments here. Finally, I'm thrilled when someone in Asia or Africa reads my blog. Somehow, it makes me feel as if a little bit of peace and friendship just happened.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Understanding a restless child

Why is it that children are sometimes restless and at other times are concentrated? Is this because of bodily changes or are there other explanations?
I thought I might look for an answer using Google and found there is a relationship between insulin and restlessness in diabetes, which suggests that restlessness and eating are interconnected, because insulin regulates the intake of sugar in the cells of our bodies. So I searched further including the word "schedule" and got advice over how eating small meals over the day and not eating before sleeping is healthy. The blog with the most common sense I quickly found is here. Making the meal an enjoyable family happening is important but it is easier said than done... Try eating with someone that you're mad at or when you're angry at something. It's not that easy to leave problems behind at the table. In my experience other people can help a lot to change eating habits just by being there and bringing their positive thinking into the equation.
But then, maybe my three-years-old was just being jealous when I tried to teach a neighbour woman some French...

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Puzzle sunday (3)

Discovery (from discovery Channel) offers knowledge based puzzles and homework help online. Part of the site is commercial. The homework help is. The CD-ROM to make your own crossword puzzles (for learning words) is too. Some reasoning puzzles are listed in categories under reasoning. There are other categories: lateral thinking, spatial awareness, number and math play. I'm going to give some of the puzzles to my children, I'm sure, if not to adults.
The site is an example for education. Schools need maps of activities at different levels to make it easier for teachers to choose the right exercises for a particular child, taking in account deficits, strengths and special interests.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Icerocket: sexy is less sexy than thinking

According to the icerocket sexy is less sexy in blogs than thinking. The last few months, there are many more blogs with the word "thinking" in it than with the word "sexy". This reminded me an article that I read about how blogs are attractive for brains. After reading this article I thought about brain loneliness... Virtual brain meetings... brain creation meetings... brainy debates about brains...

*new* item at Chez Odile is the metachat where Creatives and Thinkers meet.

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