History, Science, Just Plain Cool

1.History: A Roman walks into a bar, holds up 2 fingers and says, “5 beers please.”

That is my best history joke…….on a related note, check out this historical timeline chart.



2.Science: I bet when I tell you this a cloud site you will be thinking about The Cloud, you know, where all the internet information stuff is stored. (That’s the limit of my technical knowledge on cloud-based storage systems) But, no, this is the OTHER cloud meaning, those fluffy white things that so often look like a barking dog, or a motor mower.



3.Just because it’s cool: I foresee here the latest way to hack the new facial recognition iPhones.







I am delighted to be able to offer Three Things this week from a range of colleagues all over NZ. Many thanks to Bill Baird, Iresha Dona, and Caroline Dwight for these interesting sites!

1.Iconography – Bill Baird. You need a ‘special’ icon? I’d be surprised if you couldn’t find it here!



2.Chemistry+Haiku…..great combo – Iresha Dona. What a great idea! Why, you could do this for any subject, any material being covered…..e.g. Civil Rights – write a haiku for each of the influential people involved:

Martin had a dream

Nonviolent protest King

Shot down in his prime



3.Custom sticky notes – Caroline Dwight. Really personalise those notes! Easy to use and loads of fun.





1.Chemistry: My first thought was Breaking Bad, and I immediately clicked to see if that was the sort of drugs they were talking about, but nope, it’s the drugs you get from the Chemists. (Americans call them Drugstores, which is more apt but also slightly seedy sounding)

Screenshot 2017-09-08 at 10.02.34


2.History: An essay by Tobias Stone that will surely provoke debate and learning in any History class!

Screenshot 2017-09-08 at 10.00.57


3.English: A 1 hour podcast on how poetry works? Yes please!

Screenshot 2017-09-08 at 09.56.53



Plus: Bonus site, and thanks to Catherine Maiorana for putting this across my desk. For anyone who didn’t see it, this website was/is tracking the hurricanes across the Atlantic, Caribbean, into Gulf of Mexico…..







Civilization as we know it only started about 6,000 years ago and it’s easy to forget the massive amounts of time that the Earth was free of humanity. This website allows us to scroll back through time to look at the shifting faces of Earth.



2.Music *Thanks to Caroline Dwight for this site

I wish I was good at music. I marvel at the talents of our students as they play. When I was younger my mum made me take piano lessons but my lack of interest coupled with my desire to be out running around meant that the piano and I were never destined to be. Even worse though, after the piano failed I was roped in to accompany my younger sister to dance lessons.  At 12, I had to tap-dance. We made it through to the end of year production where I was required to toe, heel, shuffle my way through a routine onstage as ‘The Popcorn Boy’, backup to my sister, ‘The Candyfloss Girl’. The internal scarring has barely faded. I should have stuck with the piano.




Did somebody say ‘catapult’? Pffffftttt…..I had no idea that trebuchets were SO powerful….and then it hit me. Did you seige what I did there?

Trebuchets were the most technologically advanced siege engines of their time and were capable of hurling a 90kg stone over 300 m using a counterweight. Perfect for physics experiments!



Cross Curricular Site/Biology/Coding


1.Cross curricular site. Another great site in the series from guest contributor Caroline Dwight! I took the Gapminder test and I am definitely one of those people who has a lot of misconceptions about basic global facts.



2. Biology. I’m not gonna lie, I have absolutely no idea what I’m looking at here or if it will be of any benefit to colleagues in the Biology field. But here you go anyway! The Brain Atlas!



3. I know that this coding and search ability is becoming increasingly important, but even after the video tutorial explanation I struggled to get my head around this site, BUT it sounds important for future us, so past me is saving it here!





1.Health – This is very cool. You can choose male or female, highlight the muscle area you want to work, then choose between Exercises, Stretches, and Bodyweight. Then a series of videos pop up that show best practice! Fantastic!



2.English – Thanks again to Caroline Dwight, I’ve got my seniors creating memorable images for the quotes they want to remember come exam time!



3. Media: Amazing site with free movies.





The post about wikipedia last week provoked a lot of comment online about the reliability of wikipedia. It was an interesting discussion and ultimately we agreed that like all resources you just have to filter the information you find and make sure you can back it up with other sources. As I meandered through wikipedia I did find this little gem on velociraptors though.

1.Math-Scale: I have been suckered into thinking that velociraptors were these imposing, pack-hunting dinosaurs….turns out they are just aggressive turkeys….



2. Presentations: My thanks to Carolyn Dwight, the SCT from Otumoetai College who kindly sent me some sites that I could use for this blog. I’m not going to use them all at once, I will drip feed them out! This one was a cracker and came just as I was looking for a good tiger roar sound (I’m building a ppt for Life of Pi, Richard Parker needs to be seen AND heard).



3.Research/History I apologize in advance for the time I am about to steal from you. Enter this website at your own peril (especially Historians). It’s just a trove of fascinating articles and essays.






  1. The Wikiverse! Research: If the thought of recklessly clicking through hundreds of Wikipedia entries at a time no longer floats your boat, here is a new immersive way to drift through a galaxy of wiki links like Han Solo in the Millenium Falcon.
wikipedia wikiverse interactive map 1
Built by Owen Cornec. Wikiverse is a cosmic web of information.

To access any entry on Wikipedia, simply click on a star and Wikiverse will pull up the information for you.


2. Economics: It would seem that the time has come for hoardings to go up and for the politicians to brush off their best baby kissing lips. Thanks to colleague Jo McDowell (Economics) for this site [put together by ex-student of Tonia Calverley]. With the elections fast approaching it’s pretty appropriate!

voters choice


3. Media: Ads from the past.


colleague Rebecca Trethowen. I immediately searched for the old Hugo and Holly KFC ad…remember that one? “Hugo said you go, and I said no you go, and soon he was back, with a pack and then Dad hit the track and so we ate in the back feeling better inside……”….those kids were politically incorrectly fat on the grease of Kentucky Fried Chicken!



Three things: An archive of content…

Three amazing sites today that really do what the internet was set up for. They archive material.

And WHAT an archive. Let me introduce a picture I found in the first minute of browsing http://publicdomainreview.org/


That’s just brilliant.

So the 3 archive sites are:




Or what about this one….any guesses what it pertains to?


There are videos, maps, essays, books….I’m loving these sites. 🤓





Last three things for the term…..I have to say, these holidays are much anticipated and I am looking forward to the down time. Having said that I’m heading to the NZATE conference at the Copthorne Resort, Waitangi. That should be fantastic! 🙂



There is something soothing about Art and this website in particular.


2. Mathematics


Got an equation to graph? Don’t we all! Here’s the site to help you out.


3. Debating


Nothing like finding an interesting point of view to an argument!