November 1st, 2012

woods, Elizabeth, camera, April

Yarn Problem

This hasn't happened to me before.   Oh, I've had brief yarn problems (a big slub, an inch or so not spun as tightly) but this time....well...look and see: 


I had just started the toe decreases on this sock, when suddenly I had not a strand of 4 ply yarn but a cluster of plies.  You may be able to see that some of the "yarn" visible on the ball is this stuff, and some (deeper in) is perfectly normal yarn.   There's over seven yards of this, (when I took it off the ball to measure it) although I think there's enough normal yarn to finish the toe, after I tink back to a likely area. 

In this closeup, you can see the four plies that--in the rest of the ball--were indeed twisted together, but here aren't.  I'm trying to tell myself that 7-8 yards of this stuff will be useful.   Right now, however, it's a nuisance.
woods, Elizabeth, camera, April

The Learning Power of Children

The One Laptop Per Child project (OLPC for short) has been giving tablet notebooks with solar chargers to various schools in Africa and testing the results.

They tried a new experiment in two remote Ethiopian villages where no one--adult or child--had ever seen a written word.  Delivered boxes--taped up boxes--to the villages and left them.  What happened is...well, look:

So the take-home lesson on human potential is this: human children are born knowing how to learn.  Learning is what humans do.  These kids are over-the-roof smart and capable; discovery learning--figuring it out for themselves, self-motivated learning--is part of our human nature.

And we're wasting every kid who--for any reason at all--doesn't learn, doesn't want to learn, is afraid to learn, isn't allowed to learn, is kept from being all he or she could be.

(copied from my post at