MSM 587: Meanderthals, or 7th Graders?


Shawn and Troy talk about the end of the year, share lots of stories and more. Dave thunders in with a great activity. 


Due to inflation, one has to pay more attention.

When people say to me “I’ve had enough of your nonsense” I give them a little more of my nonsense, in case they were just being polite.

Every time I see my chiropractor he cracks me up.

Elton John’s pet rabbit got a personal trainer.

It’s a little fit bunny.

Shawn’s Reference:  

Jar Jar Binks had a published cousin — Jor Jor Well.

Wandering cavemen: meanderthals.

Does a new head meteorologist at a TV station come in and take the rains?

Middle School Science Minute  

by Dave Bydlowski (k12science or

K12Science Podcast:  Thunderstorms

I was recently reading the May/June 2023 issue of “Science & Children” a publication of the National Science Teaching Association.  

In this issue, I read the “Science 101” column, written by Matt Bobrowsky.  He wrote an article entitled, “What Are Some Fun Activities Related to Thunderstorms?.”

There are several activities you can do related to thunderstorms or just rain.  One activity is to try and tell if a storm is getting closer to you or farther away and then determine the distance.

Reports from the Front Lines

  • One week with students
  • Big Move
    • Little Move
  • Summer work
  • Spreadsheets
  • H5P Presentation 

The Social Web  

Susie Dent  @susie_dent

My latest top ten for @whynowworld. Includes ‘quisquilious’: an adjective for ‘utter rubbish’ that sounds so beautiful no one will know what you really mean.  

David L. Bahnsen@DavidBahnsen My Letter to High School Graduates – a special Dividend Cafe focusing on #financialliteracy and all the things you need to know. #housing, #creditcard debt, and what makes an economy work are all on the agenda. Feel free to share it far and wide!

Room B17  @RoomB17

Dismantling 20 years in Room B17. Strong feelings.

Matt Miller   @jmattmiller

Sketchnotes: A mini-course and #Sketch50 challenges! 

Mrs Phillips  @PhillipsClass

Absolutely love #KobiYamada books for middle schoolers. For our last day together, we read Maybe. Students marveled @GabriellaBarouch illustrations and considered their potential short term and long term  #MiddleSchoolPictureBooks  

MoodleBox @moodlebox #MoodleBox 4.5.1 is out. Install it via #RaspberryPi Imager tool! Thanks @nmartignoni #openedtech #OER


Making Small Talk

Making small talk with someone you’ve just met can be terrifying. Common sense tells us we need to convince the other person that we’re smart, so we casually drop our job title, education and accomplishments.

But it turns out that’s exactly the wrong approach.


Deceptive Designs

Deceptive patterns (also known as “dark patterns”) are tricks used in websites and apps that make you do things that you didn’t mean to, like buying or signing up for something.


There is a free component (sign up with Google or Apple). Free (Forever) gives you the following: 

  • 125 credits 
  • 125 credits = 8s of gen-1, 25s of gen-2, or 25 image generations.
  • Can’t buy more credits 
  • Can’t upscale resolution or remove watermarks on Gen-1 and Gen-2 
  • Generate video up to 4 sec 
  • 3 video projects 
  • 5GB assets 
  • Up to 3 editors 
  • 720p video editor exports 
  • Limited AI Magic Tools export option

Can be neat to play with. For me, the results from Stable Diffusion (I use Diffusion Bee) were better.

Security Awareness Training

From Amazon. Rich examples.

US States That You’ve Visited

Same Name – Different State

Mathematical Demonstrations

Welcome to interactive mathematics teaching resources section.Below are the current set of activities with a brief description, click a launch button to start one.

Once launched you can access further information by clicking the info icon which is located in the top menu bar. Most activities also have video instructions, click the video icon if present to view.

New activities and improvements are made regularly so remember to check back for updates.

Web Spotlight: 

How to Use Comics in Your Classroom, With MakeBeliefsComix Founder Bill Zimmerman

Surgeon General’s Advisory on Social Media

The Decline of Youth Sports is Making Teen Loneliness Worse

From “Heavy Purchasers” of Pregnancy Tests to the Depression-Prone: We Found 650,000 Ways Advertisers Label You

What words would you use to describe yourself? You might say you’re a dog owner, a parent, that you like Taylor Swift, or that you’re into knitting. If you feel like sharing, you might say you have a sunny personality or that you follow a certain religion. 

Many of the Xandr ad categories are more prosaic, classifying people as “Affluent Millennials,” for example, or as “Dunkin’ Donuts Visitors.” 

The trove of data indicates that advertisers could also target people based on sensitive information like being “heavy purchasers” of pregnancy test kits, having an interest in brain tumors, being prone to depression, visiting places of worship, or feeling “easily deflated” or that they “get a raw deal out of life.”


Concert Set UP

Shepherds, Not Engineers

…one side is a slide saying “You are a shepherd, not an engineer.”

You do not get to design your children.

He cites things like the Mozart effect as a typically North American view that more more more must be better. Stimulation matters, but only up to a certain threshold “which 98% of you have already met.” After that– well, “you just don’t have that kind of power.”

Your child is born with more than 400 psychological traits that will emerge as they mature, and they have nothing to do with you. 

Your child is not a blank slate on which you get to write.

…The better view is that your child is a genetic mosaic of your extended family. Which means this is a unique combination of the traits that run in your family line.

AXIS The Culture Translator

Waiting Until 8th

What it is: Parents who are choosing to wait until 8th grade or later to give their children their own smartphone were spotlighted by a piece in The Free Press (language).  


What it is: Optimistic posts are trending on TikTok, with #hopecore getting over 800 million TikTok views.

Random Thoughts . . .  

Watch out for new TLD’s

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