Websites That Will Enlighten and Entertain You - Issue 11

Issue 11

World Wide Web
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With millions of Web sites on the Internet, it's impossible for any one person to find sites that are entertaining or that offer bits of fascinating information. Of course, learning the fascinating information can be entertaining, but some sites just let you have some fun. Then again, the fun can also be teaching you something. In any case, each month, I provide six to eight sites that I find entertaining and informative.

Check back each month to find the latest list of Web sites that I'm sure you'll find interesting. Follow me on Twitter and like my Facebook page, too. You'll be informed when the list is ready and posted!

13 Wonderful Old English Words We Should Still Be Using Today

I love words. All kinds of words. I wish I could remember all the words that are no longer used, but would actually be quite useful. This list of thirteen words includes such words. Take the word ultracrepidarian, for example. It refers to "”Somebody who gives opinions on subjects they know nothing about.” In my many years of advocating for gifted kids, I have encountered many, many ultracrepidarians. They talk a lot about giftedness and gifted kids, but they clearly know nothing about either! There are twelve more great words on this list.

29 Facts About Our Lives That Will Change You Completely

Okay, the title of this article is probably a bit of an overstatement, but most of the facts are quite interesting and can get you thinking.

For instance, think about driving to a destination an hour away. That doesn't seem like that big of a deal, right? You might not want to make that drive every day, although some people do just that when they commute to work. Now think about this: If you could drive your car straight up, you would reach outer space in an hour.

That fact isn't likely going to change your life, but it is pretty cool to put that distance into perspective we can understand.


This site is quite entertaining and a lot of fun for not just artistic kids and adults, but really for everyone. You can create different symmetrical designs, using a few "tools" and a choice of colors. You can combine three options in various ways to create the different designs: You can turn the two options of mirror across the center and spiral toward the center on or off, and then you can choose whether to have no rotational symmetry or up to 6-fold symmetry. That alone gives you loads of different designs. But you can also choose from one of six different colors each time you add something to your design. You get different results when you move your cursor around in different ways. You even get different results by the length of time you hold your mouse button down in the same spot or the speed at which you move it around. It's a lot of fun to see how the design ends up.

13 Amazing Facts About Your Brain

These are rather interesting facts. Did you know that five areas of the brain are involved when we laugh? Or did you know that during the course of a day, you have about 70,000 thoughts? (I suspect some of our gifted children have more than that.) Check out the other eleven facts about our brains.

Nothing Doing: “Can’t Be Done”

This page has a short list of things that simply can't be done. It may be obvious why some can't be done. For example, you can't rub your ear with your elbow. The length of our arm from shoulder to elbow makes that impossible. But the other reasons aren't so obvious.  Why can’t you get out of a chair without bending your body forward or putting your feet under it? You can your child can research the reasons and learn something new about our bodies. These activities can be fun to have kids do at a party, and when the kids see no one can do them, you can explain why they are impossible.

Why We Do Dumb or Irrational Things: 10 Brilliant Social Psychology Experiments

This site is great if you are curious about why we behave as we do. A person doesn't have to be "dumb" in order to do what we consider a dumb thing. And no level of intelligence will prevent us from engaging in irrational acts. So what kind of behaviors are we looking at here? Lying to ourselves is one. We have to deal with cognitive dissonance and that's how we do it. Another behavior is overestimating the degree to which other people share our beliefs and ideas. That one is called the "False Consensus Effect." This site will explain what the ten things are and describe the experiments, which help explain our "dumb" and irrational behaviors.

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