Friday, January 20, 2006

Textbook room

In my school's textbook room are several boxes of books from years past that are set aside for donation to third-world schools that need books in English (so I've been told). I was browsing thru the boxes and found books for a long-lost typing class (I took one of those back in 8th grade), a book (actually a professionally produced notebook) from 1978 called "Pre-Algebra with PIZZAZZ!" and, my favorite, a book on Logo. Let me quote from the back cover:

The Second Logo Book gives tips on writing and formatting programs in Dr. Logo and Apple Logo -- and includes dozens of examples and programs for the IBM PC and PCjr and the Apple II, IIe, and IIc.

Just looking thru this book takes me back to my days of reading Enter magazine and learning about the other programming languages (besides BASIC) they occasionally mentioned.

Inside this book on Logo is a "save the date" notice for a 1986 teacher's conference and a discount card for Marineland, a Sea World-type park near where I grew up, which was closed down in 1987 (also when I was in jr. high); interesting how the wikipedia entry has been vandalized.

Then I looked in the video section, where I was thrilled to find Internet Searching Skills. When I was subbing, I had to watch this masterpiece 7 times in one day on one assignment. To be fair, it's not badly done but two things really bothered me about it:

1) the graphic of the Earth on the cover (and used in animated form in the video) is supposed to represent The Internet but is actually the Van Allen Radiation Belts. I'm sure you saw that right off.

2) it was released in 1998 so that means, you guessed it, it does not mention Google at all. Instead kids get to hear about how they can search the web-net with Altavista, Lycos or Metacrawler. They also mentioned a few that aren't around anymore, too, but I can't remember them.

This video is hosted by Eleanor Mondale. I recall reading a profile of her in George Magazine that had an unnamed source say something like, "When her dad was running for president, the Secret Service agents literally covered her, if you know what I mean."

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