The Friday Post #8: Assorted Wildlife, An Unusual Orchestra and Boolify
May 16, 2008
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- Boolify – A search engine for children that teaches them the concepts of Boolean logic.
From “About” on the Boolify website: “In our lifetimes, the quantity of information available for sifting-through has increased exponentially. Yet, the tools for “teaching how to sift” have not maintained pace with the need for sifting. With this challenge in mind, the Boolify Project offers a piece of software that helps model Boolean operators. Its primary audience is Elementary and Middle School children, but it may find relevance with others. Ultimately, its goal is to increase learners’ ability to perform effective web searches. Just how will it accomplish this? It is hypothesized that visual cues Boolify provides will help learners build a mental model of the search that they are performing. A mental model… visualized as puzzle pieces that fit together and provide real-time feedback to the learner about the efficacy of the search. Librarians, teachers and parents have told us how hard it is for students to understand web searching. Boolify makes it easier to for students to understand their web search by illustrating the logic of their search, and by showing them how each change to their search instantly changes their results. “
I did a search on pancreas AND (carcinoma OR neoplasms OR cancer). While the results weren’t as great as one would retrieve from a clinical database such as Medline, the results from Boolify were pretty good for a general search engine.
- PLOrk is the Princeton Laptop Orchestra…. a group of humans who compose and play music using their laptops as sound instruments. Here is a sample mp3 file to listen to, entitled “Plorktree“.
Next… about Frogs.
- The New York Times recently ran a feature article on Frogs in the Spring, interesting to me because the vernal springs behind my house supplies the yard with many frogs, salamanders and toads throughout the summer.
- Speaking of Frogs and Toads. The Latin word for toad is Bufos. Did you know that when threatened, frogs and toads can scream really loudly? Here’s one of a number of vociferous frog videos from YouTube: