Monday, December 13, 2010

The Morgan Library and Museum in NYC

Education Fun,

This is one of my favorite New York City Museums...
It is located in the former residence of J.P. Morgan and houses his world class collection of arts and books (manuscripts, letters, documents, etc).  To be inside the splendor of this residence is to travel to a magical world of places and times, and to be able to see up-close and personal actual hand-written and hand-drawn pages from some of the greatest artists and writers... well, it still boggles my mind...  :-)

hand-written and hand-drawn pages by William Blake... viewing them as if the Man is sitting next to me... Phew...

Here is the online link:

and if you ever visit New York City, this Library and Museum is unforgettable...

phineas8888 / Allen


Monday, December 6, 2010

Red Cloth Dance video at youtube...

Dear Family and Friends,
I have watched this Fantastic wordless video (3 minutes long) about 10 times now...
and have posted the link at my teachers online group...
suggesting that every classroom in America and the World... watch this video... :-)
I'll be quiet now and let the video speak for itself...

 Happy Merry Peace Love,

Allen aka: phineas8888

Saturday, November 27, 2010

NYC Subway Puppetry: UrbanZ Arts... Cool...

Education Fun,

Life of young performance artists gets down into the New York City Subway...  :-)

You gotta be up for adventure and some "tough audiences" when you're new and young and dedicated to your art...

Their busking sign said something like ...  ? "My Plastic Bag Toy"...? (I could not read it well from the video...) 

Obviously the young woman is a skilled ballerina and puppeteer with an ingenious new technique of
puppet-manipulation... and to create such emotion and specialized ballet movements... with a plain white plastic bag...and her body... that transcends the UrbanZ Subway Setting...
is "fantastical phantasm"  Supreme!!!

Maybe she will get some media attention, well-deserved...

You saw it first here: on phineas8888 "Education Fun"... :-)
Cool... Totally Cool...


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Astronomy Picture of the Day: Nova-Ember: Star & Fire: 24, 2010

Education Fun: Astronomy Picture of the Day
Posted on 11/24/2010 6:40pm

Dear Educators,
It is the evening before Thanksgiving: Nova-Ember: Star & Fire:
24, 2010...

and I just checked-in at my "Astronomy Picture of the Day" routine at:

and Wow: "Flowing Auroras: Time-Lapse Photographs Over Norway"
by Tor Even Mathisen

It is an HD video with quiet music and whispered singing...

This tells you why the "Ancients" and the "Native Cultures" knew that Nature is alive and holy...

I can't make this stuff up; this is our Sky speaking...

Presented courtesy of our government:

No drugs needed; show this to your students if you wish...

Giving thanks to you all here at

Allen Berg

Picasso Painting in a Museum: Mother and Child

Education Fun,

My friend was in Europe recently and photographed this painting by Picasso in a museum.

One thing that struck me immediately (perhaps because I am a Geometer :-) are the many different
triangles and tetrahedra forms that Picasso uses in the composition of this painting!!!

Combined with his solid columnesque 'architecture' of the mother and the chair she is sitting in...

This painting feels like a Monumental Mountain...
I guess that is why they call this style of painting "Cubism"...  :-)

Enjoy your viewing...


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Walter Wick: Can You See What I See? On A Scary Scary Night?




Walter Wick: Can You See What I See? On A Scary Scary Night?

Dear Imagineers,

Walter Wick is a genius educator and artist and award winning author and photographer of books for children, and has one of the Most Fun Museum Exhibitions currently on display at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland during this Holiday Season: "Walter Wick: Games, Gizmos, and Toys in the Attic"... a must-see for kids of all ages...

and he has the best "Behind-The-Scenes"/How-to-Make-a "Can You See What I See" Magic Book Website at:
which is the specific link to his website "Scary Scary Night" book production photographs...and if you click on his Biography section, you will learn about his childhood art and development as a teenage artist and photographer, and see the actual 2 photographs he made as a young man that launched his phenomenal successful career...

which just so happens to be 2 stunning examples of "Analysis of a Whole and its Parts including Compare & Contrast Examples": using miscellaneous small screws, nails, pins, paper clips, springs, odds and ends... and his Scholastic Magazine cover photograph for Kindergarten kids, titled "Fasteners"...

So perhaps you and your students might be inspired and instructed in "How to Make Your Own Classroom "Can You See What I See?" Books of Phantasm and Phun...



"Pixar: 25 Years of Animation" at the Oakland Museum and online...

Education Fun,

Okay, it is officially the Holiday if you are lucky enough to live around the San Francisco Bay Area, or are planning a visit there, go see "Pixar: 25 Years of Animation" at the Oakland Museum...on display through January 9, 2011.

Or if you don't live around the San Francisco Bay Area and will not be visiting this Holiday Season, visit the Exhibit online at hundreds of websites and youtube videos etc...
just type "Pixar" in Google search...

As you already know, Pixar is for Children of All Ages...

I checked out Pixar University online, a fascinating in-house University at their Emeryville, California Headquarters and found out amazing educational offerings for ALL their employees...and watched an Edutopia video lecture by one of their Chief Directors/University Dean: Randy Nelson emphasize "character study and development" and "mastery of a skill" and "resillency from failure to be able to achieve innovation"... (sound familiar...? :-)

I checked out and read a wonderfully charming personal history of one of their animators, at their "Artists Corner"
which reveals how a real professional artist's career path in (digital) animation can begin from very different backgrounds and interests, including "pre-med" college studies... :-)


Pixar changed the world for all of us: creating new heroes and instilling new hopes in our hearts...
"In dreams begin responsibilities..."
so this Holiday Season, at Edutopia: let's dream together...
and make it happen...

Doodler with a pencil,

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

How Big is the Universe? a brief visual exploration through space and time

Education Fun,

To complement the previous post about Night Sky Maps and Night Sky viewing, here is a wonderful kid-friendly visual extravaganza and brief informative excerpts about the history of astronomy and important scientists and discoveries... it is only 20 pages long but funpacked with mid-boggling photographs of our great big universe.

This introduction to astronomy is produced by NASA-SAO Education Forum on the Structure and Evolution of the Universe copyright 2009 by the Smithsonian Institution. The Smithsonian Institution continues to be one of the world's best museums to visit in real-life in Washington, DC, and online on the internet.

Here is the wonderful journey link to beginning your understanding and asking questions about our Universe... The Biggest Big we know about and continue to find more puzzles and answers to our questions about Who we are and where did we come from and where are we the Big View of things in Time and Space...our Universe...

enjoy the journey...


The Evening Sky Map (Northern Hemisphere)

Education Fun,

Here is a link to a very useful astronomy website that lets you download for free
The Evening Sky Map (for the Northern Hemisphere) each month for you to explore,
learn, and enjoy viewing the night sky: the moon, the planets, the constellations of stars,
and deep space star clusters, galaxies, etc.

Find a natural safe dark place (perhaps your backyard or public park etc.) to view the night sky
with family and friends (often a local astronomy club has car-pools to drive to a safe "dark sky area" nearby your home...) with binoculars or shared telescope etc.

The Sky Map you can print for free is very helpful for locating constellations and other celestial objects to view and learn about... just remember that if you are looking at a star, you are looking at something much bigger than our sun and much much farther away: distances in outer space are measured in "light years"...

A light year is the distance light travels in one earth year (365 days)...
and light travels the fastest of most anything in the universe...
186,000 miles per second.
(There is a debate among scientists about the theoretical questions of the ultimate fastest possible speed in the universe... you would have to do a Google search to learn more about this... :-)

To give you an idea of a large distance you are familiar with,  the sun is about 93 million miles away from the earth, so that means that the light from the sun that warms your face and enters your eyes enabling you to see everyday objects and people around you etc.
...takes about 8 minutes to reach your eyes... !!!
   (8 minutes = 8 x 60 seconds = 480 seconds)

When you look up at the sky, especially at night, you are looking at VAST distances in/through/across our universe...
and that also means you are looking back in/through/across VAST time in/through/across our universe : millions of years ago...

So your view of our world, called the planet Earth, is all of a sudden ... E...X...P...A...N...D...E...D...
to something Bigger than BIG...  :-)

The sky that you take-for-granted everyday is actually the biggest "thing" in the universe...
because it is 'connected' or 'part of' the the Entire Universe...

Years ago I came to understand that:  The sky is the biggest "Yes" there is...  :-)

Astronomically... your friend,


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Analysis of a Whole and its Parts: Cool Stuff

Education Fun,

There are two cool picture books I got from the library about understanding how everyday things work
by illustrating their various engineered parts. The books are called: Cool Stuff and Cool Stuff 2.0

The graphix are way cool and the description text is way brief and very informative.
Check them out; here's some pix:

These two books have lots of Cool Stuff and Cool Stuff to learn
about what Engineers do and how they make / (wo-man-ufacture :-) 
the everyday things that we use.

So enjoy your journey and start looking care-fully at some of the Stuff / Things you use everyday
and think about how it was made...

I would also suggest for starters, that you look "close-up" at the products you use everyday,
to find the small print that says what Country it was made in...
Does it say:  Made in USA
                     Made in China
                     Made in Pakistan
                     Made in Mexico
                     ... or somewhere else...???

Happy hunting and learning about Engineering and How Stuff Works...


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A List of a Whole and its Parts: 61 "Compare and Contrast" Examples

[DRAFT:  61 items]        Nova-Ember: Star & Fire: 6, 2010

   A List of a Whole & its Parts:
   including “Compare and Contrast” examples
   by Allen Berg

1.  pencil v, pen  
2. flashlight v. desk lamp
3. paper clip v. stapler
4. ladder v. staircase
5. nail clipper v Swiss army knife
6. child's bike v. multi-gear bike
7. landline /home phone v. cell phone
8. 12” ruler  v.  12’ tape measure (eg. Lufkin Hi-Viz product)
9. scotch tape roll and dispenser  v.  duct tape roll and dispenser
10. 3-ring binder and paper  v.  spiral-bound notebook
11. scissors  v.  knife
12. wallet v. purse
13. dollar bill v. coin
14. dictionary  v.  yellow pages business directory
15.  hand tool  v. another one
16.  musical instrument  v.  another one
17.  shoe  v. another one
18.  lunch box  v. knapsack
19.  warm jacket  v. another type
20.  hand  v. foot
21.  wall clock  v.  clock radio
22.  calendar (USA)  v. calendar (other country etc.)
23.  flower  v. another one
24.  sandwich  v.  another type (or burrito etc.)
25.  door key and lock  v.  combination lock
26.  a bicycle bell v. a horn
27.  the human eye  v.  eyeglasses
28.  sports equipment  v. another type
29.  skateboard  v.  in-line skates
30.  school chair  v.  home chair
31.  food container  v.  another one
32.  comic strip  v.  comic book (or graphic novel)
33. crossword puzzle v. picture puzzle
34.  board game  v.  outdoor game
35.  a toy  v.  another one
36.  model construction kit  v.  another one
37.  phone bill  v.  tax return
38.  apartment  v.  house
39.  store  v.  another one
40.  newspaper  v.  magazine
41.  school  v.  another (elem-jhs-hs, or public v. private, etc.)
42.  snail mail  v.  email
43.  sports team v. another
44.  book report v. movie review
45.  puppet: hand, rod, marionette
46.  school day v. weekend day
47.  party or celebration v. another
48.  garden v. patio
49.  school map v. road map
50.  music band v. orchestra
51.  library v. gymnasium
52.  website v. another
53.  incandescent light bulb v. fluorescent light bulb
54.  breakfast v. dinner
55.  candy bar v. another
56.  hair style v. another
57.  clothes style v. another
58.  umbrella v. tent
59.  sentence v. paragraph v. essay
60.  textbook v. novel
61.  microscope v. telescope
Et cetera…


Engineering of Everyday Things -- A Lesson Plan

Engineering of Everyday Things -- A Lesson Plan by Allen Berg


howdy Engineers and Imagineers
This is the 3rd page is my series about Engineering Curriculum Resources


The Engineering of Everyday Things: Structure and Function
---The Analysis of a Whole and its Parts.
Lesson Plan by Allen Berg

[Photograph of a ball point pen disassembled: the clear plastic tube of ink, the small inner spring, and the 2 parts of the outer casing with their molded screw connection. ]

I am not incurious;
I like to look at things, care-fully
and understand how they work.
Observation and then description
are important tools of Science.

As you can see from the picture of the pen above,
Things have parts that make up the whole.
In this lesson, you will choose an object
and analyze its structure and function.

1. Name and define the object. (You can check a dictionary.)
The definition of an object is often its purpose.

2. Draw a picture of the object as a whole and as its separate parts.
2a. Take digital photographs of the object as a whole and of its various parts.
2b. Advanced students can use free 3-D software to produce computer-generated 3-Dimensional images. (Google’s “Sketch-Up” etc.)

3. Label each part.
Describe the material each part is made of.

4. Explain the function of each part and how it is related to the
whole object.

5. Look close-up and carefully at the object to find the name of the
country where it is made.

6. Evaluate the object:
a. Does it do the job it is supposed to do?
Rate its performance: poor__ ok__ good__ excellent__ etc.
b. What is the object’s durability?
How long does it last? Can you repair or replace the parts
or do you just throw it away?
c. What is its cost? Is this a “fair value”?
d. Would you recommend using this object? Why or why not?
e. Can you suggest improvements in its design?
List and explain your suggestions.
Provide a visual image(s) of your improved design.

7. Conclusion:
How does this object compare to similar objects, for use?
[Example of an “improved design”: the addition of a soft rubbery fingers grip… Photograph of the “improved” pen]

8. Share your Analysis with other students, family, and friends…
Be proud that you are a Beginning Engineer…

National Geographic Magaine STEM (continued)

National Geographic Magazine Online STEM (continued)

Hi Don and other colleagues:

as promised here is the second link to a fantastic Engineering website:
"Design for the Other 90%" sponsored by the aforementioned Smithsonian
Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum:

Coincidentally, the Museum just concluded a second in this series of exhibitions: "Design for the Other 90%" (it ended in September, 2010...) but I could not find any online links to their collection...
I guess that is still a work-in-progress...

ps: if you go to the National Geographic current link for Big Ideas -
Little Packages and read carefully the one paragraph about the "Infant Warmer", you will find a website link called:
Which I higly recommend because they have a fantastic diagrammatic
explanation of the "Analysis of the Whole and its Parts" of their product... including a new fabric technology (called something like a "Phase Sensor Textile" )

Sincerely yours,
Allen Berg

ps 2: and the "Asthma Device" in the article is made from
"folded paper" !!! at 1/20th the cost of conventional Asthma Devices:
one dollar from paper vs twenty dollars for the other conventional product...

Allen (phineas8888)

National Geographic Magazine: Engineering of Everyday Things

National Geographic magazine online STEM

Hi Don Morgan: Technology and Engineering Colleague,  ...Science, Technology, Engineering, Math teachers group

I am new to this group and a computer newbie, so I will have to make several postings to include the several "Engineering" resources available online... I agree totally with you concerning the real everyday experience we all have with "Engineering" and its products etc.

 First I am going to post a link to the current edition of National Geographic magazine: (November 2010) their "Big Idea / Innovation" section (published every month):
"Big Ideas - Little Packages" pages 24-31.

This is a brief very visually effective 5-page spread about current engineering projects, that are included in the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum exhibition from 2007:
"Design for the Other 90%" (and currently wonderfully permanently online! --that will be my second post, because I do not yet know how to copy & paste more than one hyper-link at this forum format ...but I will learn... :-)

btw: if you read about the Water Purifying Straw, called "LifeStraw", and go to their website:
They list the Maufacturer of the product, which is a Professional European Engineering Firm, and if you click on their link for the English version "Bochure" of their product you can download the Adobe file --which I highly recommend -- because

It is a real-life Professional Engineering Product Description and Social Environmental Impact Report/Evaluation Example for students to read and view and learn about Engineering "Best Practices" including: graphics, technical writing, research data, tables, scientific journal references,etc.


Then after the second link, I will post my one-page lesson/project outline for "The Engineering of Everyday Things: Structure and Function  -- The Anaysis of a Whole and its Parts"
Then there are a couple of pages of Teacher Resource Lists of
"Compare and Contrast Everyday Things" (Objects)
such as:
1. pencil vs. pen
2. flashlight vs. desk lamp
3. paper clip vs. stapler
4. ladder vs. staircase
5. nail clipper vs. Swiss army knife
6. child's bicycle vs. multi-gear bike
7. landline phone/home phone vs. cell phone
Then there cool books (CoolStuff and CoolStuff 2.0 etc.)
then there are cool website links...
then there are my arts & crafts 3-D geometry sculptures projects
and papermodel crafting websites etc.
to be continued...

I appreciate your collegial collaboration
Allen Berg  (phineas8888 :-)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Astronomy Picture of the Day: the Pleiades Star Cluster

Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) is a fun daily view of our Universe, with Professional
state-of-the-art Photographs accompanied by brief but very informative text explanations.

Whenever I need  an 'expansive view of things' (to counter-balance some of the stresses, routine here on Earth... I simply look up at our Moon and then some stars from the Constellations...
 (weather permitting :-)

And one of my favorite Celestial views is the Star Cluster called the Pleiades, which is visible simply with your unaided eyes... but if you have binoculars or a low power/wide field-of-view telescope, you're in for a treat: The Jewel Box of the Stars...

You can get more information online from Astronomy magazines and  organizations, such as:

or at your local library, where they would know about local Astronomy Clubs in your community...


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Paper Mozart Dance: Silent movie at Youtube...

Education Fun:

The previous post was about a Master Paperfolder who uses USA one dollar paper money bills
to fold and create stunning miniature sculptures.  I am an amateur papercrafter with little background in the specialty of Origami, but I have always loved working with paper for drawing and model-building etc.

I recently posted my paper cutout card of a traditional folkart design of a Tree of Life and Light.
The original card is 9"x12", so for color copying on standard 8 1/2" x 11" cardstock, I had to reduce the size for the copy machine.  This led to a narrow white border area on all four sides of the dozen prints I made.  I used an x-acto knife to cut (or "trim") these borders so that the purple background became the exact edge of the card, with no extra margin of the white border.  I cut these pieces precisely using a metal ruler to guide my knife. Some very thin slivers of white 'pearlescent' paper remnants resulted with curlicue spirals... I was about to toss them in the waste basket, as remnants, but for a fortunate moment before doing so, they caught my eye with "artistic possibilities"... 

So I now have a brief (2 1/2 minute) youtube video (silent movie clip) of their expressive forms...
to share with you...

I titled the video "Paper Mozart Dance" because the photographs I composed made me think and hear  Mozart's romantic slow Andante's for "Piano Concerto K467" and "Flute and Harp Concerto K299"...

But I decided to keep it pure and simple, and soundless/silent, so that you the viewers could hear your own music or choice of music...

Here is the youtube video link:


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Won Park: Master "Money Folder" Origami

Education Fun:

Won Park – The Master of Origami Paper Folding

Origami is the traditional Japanese art of paper folding. The goal of this art is to create a representation of an object using geometric folds and crease patterns preferably without the use of gluing or cutting the paper, and using only one piece of paper.
Won Park is the master of Origami. He is also called the “money folder”, a practitioner of origami whose canvas is the United States One Dollar Bill. Bending, twisting, and folding, Won Park creates life-like shapes inspired by objects living and not– both in stunning detail.

One Dollar Koi

One Dollar Butterfly

One Dollar Camera


I will do further research to see if he has a book of instructions published...
and check youtube for instructional videos... (I already found other people demonstrating
similar origami constructions, but not with the one dollar bill and not by the original Master
himself...  to be continued...  :-)


Good News!!!  I found a yahoo group dedicated to Won Park's origami art and he himself is a member of the group; here is the link:

ps: Won Park is a young man living in Hawaii... He does not fit the stereotype of an elder Japanese
monkish sage... to be continued...  :-)

The moneyfolders yahoo group has exacting diagrams and step-by-step written instructions, and many photographs and some youtube videos etc. to fill an Origami Museum...   :-)  This on-going daily message board and Origami Resource worldwide is an international treasure for teaching and learning and creating magical powerful art and science and community spirit with the simplest of materials and techniques...

This is the beginning of something wonderful for internet empowerment of ordinary and extraordinary people worldwide...and it is based on a small piece of paper that fits in the palm of your hand and is folded into the Creations of Infinite Possibilities...

Sincerely and Respectfully,



Friday, October 29, 2010

Free Online Drawing and Coloring Website for Cartoons, etc.

Education Fun,

Here is a kid-oriented website with free drawing and coloring tools, so that you can draw and/or color with your computer online.  There are many cartoon characters to color yourself, or you can draw your own pictures to color with your computer free online.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Structure of a Medieval Manuscript -- Animation Video on youtube

Education Fun,

I am working on a curriculum project for students K-University, called Engineering of Everyday Things.
It has lessons and actvities for Analyzing a "Whole (Everyday Thing) and its Parts". This involves  describing the Structure and Function of an Object; there are many objects offered for student examples in several lists and picture collections. Some examples are found online as well. Here is a brief and yet very effective video animation produced by the Getty Museum titled: The Structure of a Medieval Manuscript, posted on youtube at:

It demonstrates how books of long ago were handmade on parchment pages and sewn together with a cover and binding technique that is still used today in making books.


Friday, October 22, 2010

Microscope Photo of Soap Bubbles

Education Fun,

Nikon Photography has an annual worldwide competition for photographs taken through microscopes; the results of this year's competition can be seen at their Small World website:

Among my favorites is this simply beautiful colorful photograph of soap bubbles,
at 150X magnification... the colors are real, not Photoshop!

I think if you double-click on the image it will zoom larger on the screen...

The pure black background is based on a specific lighting technique of  Photo Microscopy; you can learn more at their website about the various techniques that can be used to highlight and colorize microscope specimens.

Enjoy the view that our unaided eyes cannot see...
Microscopes and telescopes bring the very very small and the very very large world views into human focus; they are very important tools of Science and Understanding...

I think that every school should have both available for supervised student use.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

German Tarts (A Delicious Photograph :-)

Dear Education Fun

I am fortunate to have a good friend who is a Professional Photographer of Extraordinary Talents...
He recently returned from an extended stay in Germany and just today I got to view many of his spectacular photographs from his trip...

One of my favorites is simply put: "Delicious"...

I will let you judge for yourself (remember that if you double click on the photograph you will see a much larger dramatic image...)

Bon Appetit


Breathing (in French :-)

Dear Education Fun
Cher Education Amusant

Here is an educational anatomy illustration about "Breathing" from Wikipedia.
I looked at the English Language version and then decided that I would select the French version,
because the anatomy words seemed softer and smoother and less "harsh" sounding...
and also I simply did it just "For Fun"...

So the next time you "take a breath" or think about "breathing"...
this picture can add some "in-sight" to your life and living...
what the French call "joie de vivre"...



a bientot...

La respiration est le processus qui se déplace de l'air dans et hors des poumons. Les organismes aérobies ont besoin d'oxygène pour libérer l'énergie par la respiration, sous la forme du métabolisme de molécules riches en énergie comme le glucose.
La respiration est un seul processus qui apporte l'oxygène à l'endroit où elle est nécessaire dans le corps et élimine le dioxyde de carbone. Un autre processus important concerne la circulation du sang par le système circulatoire. Les échanges gazeux se produit dans les alvéoles pulmonaires par diffusion passive des gaz entre le gaz alvéolaire et le sang dans les capillaires du poumon. Une fois que ces gaz dissous dans le sang, les pouvoirs cœur de leur écoulement autour du corps (par l'intermédiaire du système circulatoire). Le terme médical pour la respiration normale est détendue eupnée.
En plus d'éliminer le dioxyde de carbone, la respiration se traduit par une perte d'eau du corps. air expiré a une humidité relative de 100% à cause de l'eau diffusent à travers la surface humide de la respiration passages et les alvéoles.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Cardboard Model of a Laptop Computer :-)

Dear Education Fun,

The previous post mentioned paper-crafting in relationship to our modern era of computers...
Now, I found a humorous combination of both!! in a magazine advertisement picture.

You are familiar with the ubiquitous cardboard boxes of the shipping companies UPS and FedEx
("United Parcel Service" and "Federal Express") and of course our old-fashioned  reported-to-be-
in-financial-crisis U.S. Postal Service, USPS,  and predicted by some/many "experts" to be doomed for
Extinction...unless they can re-invent their Organization, Services, and Products, etc.

Email certainly has replaced millions of  paper letters of correspondence and the U.S. Postal Service has drastically lost their "customer-base" (to use an Economics term), so it will indeed be interesting to see and live-through the shake-up and/or evolution of communications, product deliveries, and information services...

So in this frame of reference, here is a humorous, almost quaint hand-crafted cardboard model of a laptop computer used in a magazine advertisement for who...?  UPS  :-)

Enjoy the artwork...


Paper Cut-out Traditional European Folk Art

Dear Education Fun,

Continuing my recent paper-craft projects, here is a photograph of a greeting card I made for my family and friends for the Autumn Season.  It is based on a traditional European Folk Art design: if you look carefully at it, you will see that it is both a Tree of Life and a Candelabra.  100 years ago many households were lit only by candlelight and lanterns, and various religious traditions used the lighting of candles for rituals of prayer and holidays ("holy-days").

I love to use a pair of scissors and cut designs from paper, it is a quietude craft that is very relaxing and pleasurable.

Some paper cut-outs are done with a folded piece of paper, to create a mirror-image symmetry.
This design has that character, however I actually made this cutout without folding the paper...
If you look carefully at the card, you will notice many places that are not 'exactly' mirror-images of their counterpart on the left and right sides...  It is just the way I felt like making this card; I did not
expect to cut 'exact' mirror-images and I was in no rush to complete the cutout...

The simple act of crafting the paper as I felt my "quiet flow", was gift enough for me...
Then upon completion of the card, I made about 12 color copies, which are in the process of being mailed (snail-mailed in paper envelopes with postage stamps) to family and friends around the country.

Sometimes I tell time by "B.C." = Before Computers  :-)



Paper Pop-up (cut-out) Circus

Dear Education Fun,

Enclosed are some photographs of my recently completed Paper cut-out Circus, based on a pattern by Laura Badalucco in her book: Kirigami -- the Art of 3-Dimensional Paper Cutting, available at .  My version is hand-colored and larger than her miniature-size version is about 22" in diameter; but she is the Master Craftswoman that inspired me to make my sculpture.
She is awesome...

I thank her very much for contributing to our Education Fun...


Monday, October 11, 2010

Here is a GIANT paper pop-up used in a Belgian tv commercial...

Dear Education Fun,

Here is a link to a GIANT paper pop-up used in a Belgian tv commercial for PEARLE Opticians, made by Paper Engineer, Kees Moerbeek, from the Netherlands...
There are 2 very fun videos to watch at the following link:

I am a paper-crafter and love to make pop-up greeting cards for friends and family.
I recently made a larger scale paper pop-up "sculpture" of a circus scene, based on a design by Laura
Badalucco from her book: Kirigami -- the Art of 3-Dimensional Paper-Cutting.  My circus scene is about 2 feet in diameter.

The tv commercial GIANT Paper Pop-Up is a Life-Size Store-Size complete commercial tv stage,
perhaps 20 feet x 20 feet... That is a GIANT Size Paper Pop-Up!!!

Enjoy the videos and explore how the huge paper-mechanisms are constructed...


Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Bausch & Lomb 5x Magnifier (Pocket) Packette


The Bausch & Lomb 5x Pocket Magnifier Packette

This little inexpensive palm-size 5x magnifier that slides outward and into its own little plastic “packette” (turtle shell :-) for pocket portability and complete product protection is a great discovery-learning tool for any and all classrooms and any and all persons and locations: indoors or outdoors, in the wide open world of Civilization and Nature.

The B & L 5x magnifier is a wonderful tool of vision-enhancement: it reveals the largely unseen smaller world of everyday things that surround us but mostly go unnoticed. It reveals:
-- the weave of cloth
--the textures of food
--the “fingerprints” of our fingers
--the cellularity of plants
--the engineering of a ball-point pen
-- the machining spiral of a metal screw
--the pixels of a computer screen
and much much more...

Everything around us and even on and in us, is a “whole” thing composed of parts; everything has Structure & Function, and magnifiers—from microscopes to telescopes: from the “nano” scale to the “astro” scale-- enhance our vision of this world. Vision enhances our survival as a species and empowers our knowledge of the world we live in.

This little portable pocket 5x magnifier is an enormous tool of vision and learning.
It is also an amazing tool of beauty: to see things “as they are”, but often unnoticed in our modern world of electronic devices and entertainment, and in our modern whirled of hurry and stimulus overload, this little tool is a magnifier of "time-taken" to observe: which is the art and science of long
and/or care-full looking.

“To see the world in a grain of sand
and heaven in a wildflower.
To hold infinity in the palm of your hand
and eternity in an hour.”

That is what William Blake said long ago; he was an English Poet, Painter, and Printmaker from the late 1700's to the early 1800's...and I happily agree, living now with his Wisdom and Vision...

Now, you can discover your's... and share what you see...

For less than $10, the Bausch & Lomb 5x magnifier packette is available at:

Thank you for your consideration and participation...


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Child's Sewing Sampler from 1844: Kentucky, USA

If you double click on the magazine text it should enlarge to a readable view and when you double click on the photograph, it should enlarge to an extreme close-up view of Mariah's stitching she made on the piece of cloth...The large alphabet version allows you to view every single stitch she sewed, after you see that, there is little for me to say...
except that it gives a new / old time ago meaning to "learning your ABC's and numbers" in Elementary

This photograph and text appeared in the stellar "Antiques and Fine Arts" magazine: their 8th Anniversary Issue: January-February 2008.
Their website is also listed at:
I thank them for publishing this wonderful art and art history.

This is a sewing sampler from a 12 year old girl, from 1844 in rural Kentucky, USA.
Hand-sewing a cloth sampler was a common rite of passage for girls transitioning into
adulthood.  Way before radio and television and computers, in the mid-19th century,
children literally "hand-made" their own entertainment and hobbies; sewing with a needle and thread was virtually universal among girls and women all around the world...

The crafts-womanship of this project is awe-inspiring in its exactitude precision and beauty, and it took Mariah Boil 3 months to complete this sewing project...  when was the last time or the first time you ever spent 3 months making a crafts project...?

Perhaps you might consider some hand-crafting project to do, or hobby to pursue... and see where it takes new skills and places: inside yourself and to share with others...



Sunday, September 26, 2010

Cirque du Soleil --The Real Circus (Videos at youtube...)

Howdy Circus Friends,

Since the previous post was a toy antique papercraft circus carousel, I figured it would be right to offer up the Real Deal Now: Cirque du Soleil -- Worldwide and Awesome...
with thousands of video clips at youtube:

and their official website to follow, with pictures as well...

Hang on to your seat!!!


Victoria & Albert Museum: London England

Victoria & Albert Museum: London

Hello Educationers,

I am beginning to label some of my postings by Categories, so that over time the archive will be easier to locate specific postings by subject etc.

Museums is one of the major categories, being an essential part of Education Fun and Discovery.
Just by chance I followed a papercraft link to an antique paper-built circus carousel from England, which turns out (and "turns-round" :-) to be located in the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, one of the old Grand European Museums still going full-vibrant:

V&A Museums

Beyond South Kensington

The V&A is comprised of the museum at South Kensington, the V&A Museum of Childhood at Bethnal Green, and the archives and stores at Blythe House, Kensington Olympia. All V&A museums have free entry.

  • V&A South Kensington

    V&A South Kensington is the world's greatest museum of art and design, with collections unrivalled in their scope and diversity. Discover 3000 years' worth of amazing artefacts from many of the world's richest cultures including ceramics, furniture, fashion, glass, jewellery, metalwork, photographs, sculpture, textiles and paintings.

  • Museum of Childhood

    The Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green is home to one of the world's largest and oldest collections of toys and childhood artefacts. The collection, which dates from the 16th century to the present day includes dolls, teddy bears, toy soldiers, train sets, model cars, puppets, rocking horses, costumes, board games, and some of the first jigsaw puzzles ever made.

  • Theatre Collections Online

    The V&A's Theatre Collections have now moved from the Theatre Museum building in Covent Garden, and new theatre and performance galleries at South Kensington opened in Spring 2009.

  • Antique Toy Circus Papercraft

    The Victoria & Albert Museums of England are offering an antique toy circus papercraft on their website. The original template for the circus was created by a French company around 1930. The best part of this papercraft is that it is an automata of sorts. Twirl the flag on top and the performers spin around like a merry-go-round. In addition to the usual cardstock, a piece of cork and a barbecue skewer are also required to build the circus. The template for this papercraft may be found here.

Enjoy the huge museum collections online and try your hands at constructing your own circus carousel by printing the template and following the instructions...

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Clowns go on vacation

Dear Educationers,

I just uploaded a children's book of pictures (15) with no words and no sound, called "Clowns go on vacation", at youtube:

The photographs are of 3 small clown dolls that "go on a vacation"
and travel by some 'interesting' means and visit some 'interesting' places... all in a day's journey.
I have my own storyline (minimalist brief text/poem) but have omitted it on purpose, so that viewers can imagine their own stories, and teachers can use the slideshow with students, however they wish...

"Yes, even clowns go on vacation... :-)


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

"The Circle Game" by Joni Mitchell with cool photographs...

Dear Educationers,

For an 'old-fashioned' acoustic change of pace, here is the beautiful voice of Joni Mitchell
singing her classic 1960's song "The Circle Game" with wonderful accompanying photographs,
to remind us all: that there was a time B.C. "Before Computers" and that people could 'make' music
without MP3's (I think that's what they call them... :-)

This youtube video currently has about 90,000 viewers...and growing...
so it must mean something about the essential simple values of life "uncluttered"...
And even amidst the ever-growing "Whirled Wide Web" of the Internet,
there comes a time, and even many times, when it is good to take a pause from the rush
and electronic overload that fills the Commerce of our lives...

Because in the end, as in the beginning: Life is a precious living circle,
"And the seasons, they go round and round, in the circle game..."

Happy Autumnal Equinox and Full Moon: September 23, 2010...

Your friend,


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

TRON: The Disney Movie that will appear in December...

Hi Papercrafters of TRON: The Movie,

Here is the link to the "PDF File of the 7 pages of printable Papercraft Cutouts" used to construct the actual paper model used by the Filming Production Crew of the upcoming Action Thriller Vision Adventure: "TRON: Legacy", the sure-to-blow-your Eyes & Minds state-of-the-art new Disney

(Being a computer-techno-newbie, I hope this link gets you there, or at least close...)

And here is the wild Movie action Preview being shown in Theaters, on TV, and the Internet:

By the way, "Making paper-models" is now a very highly paid Profession in Hollywood, and
Engineering, and Video Gaming,  and Advertising, etc.

"Education Fun" can also become a Career...