MSM 235: The Longest Day . . . or Show . . .

Presented in collaboration with the Association for Middle Level Education.   

Jokes You Can Use:

Why was the broom late for work?
Did you hear that Oxygen and Magnesium are going out?
Did you hear about the two antennas that got married?
What is ET short for?


From rotary to Siri: How the phone numbering system came and went

The recent death of John E Karlin of Bell Labs, the father of the push-button phone and other innovations, has sparked a lot of reminiscing about land line phones. According to the New York Times, Karlin was also “the most hated man in America” for killing the named exchanges (like Butterfield 8). However the story of how our phone numbers got to be the way they are is a much longer and more interesting one.
In 1950 it got really interesting, with the introduction of area codes. The designers wanted to minimize the number of numbers people had to dial, so all the area codes were set up to have 1 or 0 as the second number. The switches were set up so that if first number dialed was a 0 then it went to operator. If the second digit was 1 or 0, then it was an area code. If the second number was another number, then it knew it was a local rather than long distance number. That’s how it was going to distinguish between 7 and 10 digit numbers.

Bazooka shoots ping-pong balls at Mach speed

The magic of physics can turn the mundane into something marvelous. Mark French, a mechanical engineering professor at Purdue University, designed a supersonic air-powered ping-pong ball cannon that shoots the lightweight object at speeds so fast I would consider the device a lethal weapon of science.
A ping-pong ball reportedly blasts out of the special cannon at speeds equivalent to Mach 1.23 — nearly as fast as an F-16 fighter jet.

Ocean Facts:

In celebration of the upcoming premiere of DinoFish on Nat Geo Wild (Sunday, April 1, 10pm EST/PST), I’m excited to present the first of what we we hope will be a long series of comic strips by Dr. Byron Beekle.  We will be presenting a whole series of these comics today and through the weekend, we hope you enjoy.

Telling the Truth

MIT Media Lab

Learning Creative Learning is a course offered at the MIT Media Lab. It introduces ideas and strategies for designing technologies to support creative learning. This semester, for the first time, P2PU and the Media Lab are working together to bring the course online. We are opening up the seminars, course materials, and hands-on activities to anyone with a computer and Internet access. It’s a big experiment, we expect to learn a lot, and we hope you’ll enjoy it.
What you are looking at here is a BIG experiment. For the first time, we are opening the course to online participants. In the spirit of learning and technology, we hope that participants will jump in as collaborators rather than passive recipients. We want to tinker together. Things will break, but we are committed to fixing them along the way. We invite you to break and fix them together with us.

The Shame of Smell…

Blend into the environment

Things that fit perfectly into other things

Middle School Science Minute

by Dave Bydlowski (k12science or


I was recently reading the January, 2013 of Science Scope, a magazine for middle school teachers, published by the National Science Teachers Association.  In the magazine was an article entitled, “Using Interviews to Explore Student Ideas in Science,” written by Rosemary Russ and Miriam Gamoran Sherin.  The focus of the article is that educators need to be aware of what children already know because teaching that builds on students’ existing ideas and is likely to produce robust and meaningful learning.

Keep up the great work,
PS — Loved the magic trick idea in the last podcast and how it helps with spelling.

By the way, I added a Twitterverse to my bi-monthly Michigan Science Matters Network eBlast.  Check it out at:

From the Twitterverse:

* Todd Williamson ‏@Twilliamson15
@vtdeacon up for Pringles Challenge again this year? Even if not, would love for you to pass it along!
* Monte Tatom ‏@drmmtatom
5 Free Video Editing Tools For Project-Based Learning [PC & Mac]  #fhucid #fhuedu320 #eLearning ~ for @MSMatters

Cool Graphic on Learning in The 21st Century  #eLearning #fhuedu642 #fhuedu320 #fhucid ~ for @MSMatters followers

6 Examples Of Successful Classroom Tablet Integration  #fhuedu642 #fhuedu320 #mLearning

How To Secure Your Online Data  #fhucid #fhuedu642 #fhuedu320 ~ for @MSMatters followers

A Dress-Code Enforcer’s Struggle for the Soul of the Middle-School Girl – Jessica Lahey – The Atlantic  #fhupsy306

How to Fuel Students’ Learning Through Their Interests | MindShift  #fhuedu508 #fhuedu320 #fhucid #fhupsy306

The 16 Apps & Tools Worth Trying This Year  #fhucid #fhuedu642 #fhuedu320 #eLearning

* Ron King ‏@mthman
MT@Philip_Cummings: My Middle Schoolers Actually LOVE Our Unit Overview Sheets!  via @plugusin #midleved #mschat
* Scott B. Goldscher ‏@ScottBGoldscher
Why Scoopit Is Becoming An Indispensable Learning Tool  #edtech #edchat
* DeeAnna Nagel ‏@TherapyOnline
Boy meets girl. Girl strips on webcam. Tells boy to do the same. Girl blackmails boy …
* amber mac ‏@ambermac
GTA: talking the coolest fitness gadget around on @1045CHUMFM this morn 825am
* Scott McLeod ‏@mcleod
New bookmark: New Tools Seek to Evaluate Ed Tech Products
* Cheryl Lykowski ‏@CLykowski
12 Interesting Ways To Start Class Tomorrow  via @zite
* Diane Ravitch ‏@DianeRavitch
How Charter Schools Exclude the Kids They Don’t Want
* eInstruction ‏@eInstruction
2013 Presidents’ Day Quiz.
#mschat every Thursday at 8:00 pm Eastern Standard Time.


Copy Right Poster

A Periodic Table of Visualization Methods

A Cleaner Internet

We make iPhone, iPod and iPad apps as well as browser extensions that declutter the video viewing experience.

Web Spotlight:

Killing Lincoln


Make your own space.



Disease and sleep: Recent studies find new links

One in five U.S. adults shows signs of chronic sleep deprivation, and a shortage of sleep has been linked to health problems as different as diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. Recent studies have found some interesting connections between illness and what is happening in our brains as we snooze.