Virtual Teacher Newsletter No. 22 February 2nd 2001

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Newsletter Archives can be found at:-
1. Welcome
2. Mind Candy
3. EdView from Apple
4. New Printables - Biography Maker
5. Technical Stuff - New G4
6. Great Sites
7. Readers' Requests/Comments
8 Next Issue
9. Code of 'Netizens'
10. Tips
1. Welcome everyone.  I'm running behind today, can't seem to catch
up. The kids are back at school and all the jobs I have left 'til
the kids are back at school' are awaitiing my attention. So either
forgive or enjoy my brevity today. 2001 promises to be fantastic,
Federation, and lots of things to celebrate - I suggest also a New
Years Eve celebration for the coming of 2001 - it is never celebrated
at school, and what a great motivation for some excellent writing and
thinking about goals and possibilities for 2001.
Have great fun this week and good coffee.
2. Mind Candy
A grubby little fellow came in from playing in the yard and
asked his mother, "Who am I?"
Thinking this was a new game she said, "I don't know! Who
are you?"
"WOW!" cried the boy. "Mrs. Johnson was right! She said I
was so dirty, my own mother wouldn't recognize me!"
For those who understand no explanation is needed, for those
who don't none will do.
    ---Jerry Lewis
A duel was fought between Alexander Shott and John Nott
in June 1849.
Nott was shot and Shott was not. In this case it is better
to be Shott than Nott.
Some said that Nott was not shot. But Shott says that he
shot Nott.
It may be that the shot Shott shot, shot Nott, or it may be
possible that the shot Shott shot, shot Shott himself. We
think, however, that the shot Shott shot, shot not Shott,
but Nott.
Anyway it is hard to tell which was shot and which was not.
The US standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is
4 feet 8.5 inches. That's an exceedingly odd number. Why was
that gauge used? Because that's the way they built them in
England, and English expatriates built the US railroads.

Why did the English build them like that? Because the first
rail lines were built by the same people who built the
pre-railroad tramways, and that's the gauge they used.

Why did 'they' use that gauge then? Because the people who
built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they used
for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing.

Okay! Why did the wagons have that particular odd wheel spacing?
Well, if they tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels
would break on some of the old, long distance roads in England,
because that's the spacing of the wheel ruts.

So who built those old rutted roads? The first long distance
roads in Europe (and England) were built by Imperial Rome for
their legions. The roads have been used ever since. And the
ruts? Roman war chariots first made the initial ruts, which
everyone else had to match for fear of destroying their wagon
wheels and wagons. Since the chariots were made for, or by
Imperial Rome, they were all alike in the matter of wheel

Thus, we have the answer to the original question. The United
States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches derives from the
chariot. Specifications and bureaucracies live forever. Because
the Imperial Roman war chariots were made just wide enough to
accommodate the back ends of two war-horses.

There's an interesting extension to the story about railroad
gauges and horses' behinds. When we see a Space Shuttle sitting
on its launch pad, there are two big booster rockets attached
to the sides of the main fuel tank. These are solid rocket
boosters, or SRBs. Thiokol makes the SRBs at their factory at
Utah. The engineers who designed the SRBs might have preferred
to make them a bit fatter, but the SRBs had to be shipped by
train from the factory to the launch site. The railroad line
The SRBs had to fit through that tunnel. The tunnel is
slightly wider than the railroad track, and the railroad track
is about as wide as two horses behinds.

So, the major design feature of what is arguably the world's
most advanced transportation system was determined by the
width of a Horse's behind!
My grandpa told me to remember two things in life. Look out
for Number One, and remember your number.
---Orville Cogswell
There is only one pretty child in the world and every mother
has it.
---Chinese Proverb.
3. EdView from Apple
Is a fantastic search tool. Apple has created this resource to
assist educational websearches. Searches can be carried out for K-5,
6-8, and 9-12. the pages have been vetted for their suitability, and
can be searched according to subject areas as well. A great
resource, I will include a link to it on my directory page.
4. New Printables
I have made none today. However, you may like to try out the
brilliant resource - Biography Maker, print it out or use it live on
the net. Its a great start to the new year - writing a biography
about a class member or an autobiography about yourself. the site is
simple easy to navigate and gives excellent scaffolding.
5. Technical Stuff
Macs do it again, Steve Jobs unveiled the new Macs to attendees and
the MacWorld show recently. Read all about the new G4 below. OS 10
is due out soon and promises from the beta testing to be an amazing
upgrade, more about that next newsletter.

"Think the PowerBook G4 is hot? The Power Mac G4 sizzles, too

First let's talk performance. Not only does the new Power Mac G4
offer faster processors-PowerPC G4 processors running at speeds up to
733MHz-but a totally re-engineered system architecture (including a
new 133MHz system bus that moves data at speeds in excess of 1
gigabyte per second) allows the new models to provide up to a 38%
performance improvement over previous Power Mac G4 systems.

And because we've made CD-RW (rewritable) drives standard on all
models of the Power Mac G4 (except one-that offers even more
capabilities and that we'll tell you about shortly), you can now
satisfy your burning desire to create data and audio CDs with
remarkable ease.
Read all about the new Power Mac G4 models."
(Apple enews - January 11th 2001)
6. Great Sites
Lots of Fantastic Space Links

Ask an Expert resource - lots of links to experts in various fields,
also many other teaching resources.

Jazz *****
Here's a great jazz site - play along with the virtual piano and try
different rhythm and improvisation options for Mary had a little lamb
This website was created to support the PBS series by Ken Burns. Audio
clips of many jazz performers are available, as well as interesting
historical and biographical information of the highlights of jazz in the
United States.
Grade Level: Elementary, Middle School, High School, College,
Content Area: Arts (Music) Dewey #780, History & Social Studies(U.S.
History) Dewey #973
Application Type: Activity, Resource, Reference

Science 4 Kids
Here's a great site with lots of fantastic ideas for science
activities and experiments

The Skyscraper Page - I loved this page - some great graphical comparisons. ****
(Seems to work best on Explorer)
By learning about skyscrapers, students can integrate the use of
mathematics (comparing heights), mapping skills (chart the location of
skyscrapers on a world map), and design. Students can see if a city in
their area has a skyline photo on the site, or draw the skyline in their
Grade Level: Elementary, Middle School, High School
Content Area: Mathematics (Measurement) Dewey #510, Arts (Architecture)
Dewey #720, History & Social Studies (Geography) Dewey #900
Resource Type: Resource
7. Readers Requests/Comments

I would like to subscribe - I am an IT adviser part-time and also
teach at a secondary school (Priory School, Lewes) lessons plans for
IT at key stage 3 would be appreciated and guidance on assessment at
key stage 3 
Nicola A Jennings
Hi Nicola - you may like to check out some of the resources on the
Virtual Teacher site as well as the PD section on the directory page.
Can anyone else help Nicola?

Dear Cathy Brown
Excellent website!
I am trying to find a Western Australian Country Towns Quiz List
In other words questions like:
name a town starting with 'A' and ending with T in the wheatbelt
region that sort of thing?
Peter Algaba
Ministry for Planning
"Algaba, Peter" <>
Hi Peter,
You may like to construct our own online quiz at Quia

Does anyone have any other ideas.

Dear Cathy
Like the newsletter. I hope we might be able to collaborate in the future. I
currently manage a project entitled Teachers Online which involves a virtual
community of 10,000 teachers in the UK. I produce a monthly newsletter which
you can subscribe to and a web site for the project at:
Nathan Dodd
Evidence and Practice Directorate - Partnerships and Practice Team
British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (BECTa)
Milburn Hill Road, Science Park, Coventry, CV4 7JJ

I'd love to , you may also like to check out Nathan's site and let me
know what you think of it.

Hi, welcome back to a bright new year. I am glad you sent another
newsletter I thought there might have been something wrong with my
computer in that it had decided to delete all incoming text. 
I was just going through the newsletter and went to the new PD section.
I know this is probably nit picking but to Kid Pix is Kid Pix not Kidz
Pics only a minor detail.
Keep up the good work.
Glenys McKay
SEO Educational Computing
You're absolutely right - I've fixed it.
8. Next Issue - I hope to deal with evaluation in more detail with
interactive checklists and forms - so help me with as much info as
you can. Also looking for excellence in teaching ideas for the
initiative next year. Love the feedback - please keep sending me
your thoughts. I'll leave this the same as last time- I'm still
looking for some resources in these areas for the next newsletter.
9. Code of the 'Netizens'
This Newsletter is not free, despite the misleading advertising above.
The Fee is now due. Each week you must help one colleague on the
Internet who has less knowledge than you. Help that person even if
you have to visit their classroom or do a little research and get
back to them. Trust me, this will help a lot of people get their
computer classrooms running better.
OK I'm trusting you!!!
10. TIPS
1. Double click on highlighted URLS to open in browser.
2. Send in your Questions, Questions will be published with Answers,
send in your Answers, if you have expertise to share.
3. Nominate a brilliant site for review and inclusion in this newsletter.
4. Nominate a fantastic school site for review and inclusion in this
5. Make contact with other schools using fantastic programs.
6. Prepare and innovative article for this newsletter.
7. Tell 2 colleagues about this newsletter.
The opinions expressed here are purely those of the editor, Cathy
Brown. All other small print clauses apply. Such as: Use at your own
risk. Nothing in life is guaranteed. If it doesn't work for you send
me an email.
Editor: cathy brown
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