Tuesday, December 17, 2002

20 questions

While driving in the car, we play a game called '20 questions'. One player thinks of something, and the others have 20 yes/no questions to guess what it is (20 bits of information is over 1 million separate entities). Typically, the first two questions asked are 'Is it alive or dead?' and, if the answer is 'Dead', the next question was 'Was it once alive?'

Andrew thought of something.
Christopher asked 'Is it alive or dead?'
'Was it once dead?'
'Is it Jesus?'

Saturday, November 23, 2002

Christopher explains Santa

Christopher saw an advert where a little girl makes (brand name) cookies for Santa and she says "If we give him these cookies we'll get lots of presents."
"It doesn't work like that." he said. "It's whether you're good or bad."
"If you're bad and you make Santa lots of cookies, you won't get what you ask for, you'll get educational things."
He looked at me, then said:
"Educational things aren't bad though."

Friday, June 21, 2002

Back Garden Cricket

I've mentioned elsewhere that Andrew and Christopher are big fans of Humongous Entertainment's games. As a Kindergarten graduation present, Christopher got a triple-pack of Backyard Baseball, Backyard Soccer and Backyard Football.
They loved the games, but on the Mac they use, running OS 9, the games will freeze up every now and then, and they have to reboot. Andrew asked if he could use my white computer (iBook running OS X) to play it on, so I let him, and it worked fine. But I had to take the iBook with me to work.
When I got home Andrew was playing Backyard Baseball again.
'How did you stop it crashing, Andrew?'
'I ran it using Virtual PC'.

After this exchange I looked in the back garden, and saw by the stumps that they had been paying Cricket - sounds like a new product line for Humongous.

Sunday, May 26, 2002

The bottle strikes again

You know back in The Deadly Squirt Bottle story I put a hole in a bottle. My mum thought that it didn't have a hole in. She poured some orange juice in it for Christopher and it all leaked out and she didn't see.
So then she looked at it and said "I thought I just filled that up".

Thursday, May 23, 2002

The Parrot

A woman goes into a Pet shop and buys a parrot. She was lonely so she wanted a parrot.
She enjoyed its voice but then, without warning, it started screeching every horrid four letter word!
She called the Pet Shop owner and asked what to do.
The Pet Shop owner said "Put it in the freezer for 30 minutes, then let it out".
So she put it in the freezer for 30 minutes, and then let it out. She asked
"Are you going to screech any horrid four-letter words?"
The parrot said "No".
Then the parrot said "I have a question."
"Yes, what is the question?"
"What did the Chicken do?"

Monday, May 20, 2002

The Deadly Squirt Bottle

When I got home from school today I found a plastic bottle, a balloon and a nail.

I poked the nail into the bottle near the bottom to make a hole. Then I put a balloon inside the bottle and folded the end of the balloon over the top of the bottle.
Then I blew the balloon up inside the bottle, put my thumb over the nail hole, and filled the balloon up with water.

Then I handed it over to my dad, and as my thumb left the nail hole he got squirted with water

You can also do this with a screwtop bottle cap. If you put the cap on you can take your thumb away and you don't have to worry about it squirting you by mistake.

Friday, May 17, 2002

Christopher and the prank

When I got home from school I asked if I could have a funnel and a glass of water and a penny. Then I told Christopher how to play a game.
The rules are:
you stick a funnel in your trousers,
you balance a penny on your chin,
and try to make it drop into the funnel.

When he leaned back to put the penny on his chin I poured the glass of water down the funnel and it looked like he had wet himself.

Thursday, May 16, 2002

What Andrew knows

Tonight at supper, Andrew wanted to read to me about the Horklump. I told him I'd already read 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them', so he wanted to quiz me about them. I told him I didn't need to remember all of them because I could look them up.
"With Google?" he said.
"Google doesn't know about Horklumps".
"Try it." I said. So he did.
"How does the computer know so much?" he asked.
"It doesn't - people know things, and write them on web pages. Google looks at the pages and makes a copy to remember which words are on which pages."
"So when you look for the word it knows which ones to show you?"
"How does it find the pages?"
"Well, as well as writing what you know, you can put links on the pages - the underlined words."
"The ones I click to go to other pages?"
"Yes. Google follows the links. Google also decides that pages are more interesting if lots of people link to them,and shows you those first."
"Can I make a web page and write things?"
"Yes you can. I'll help you"
"And can I make some other pages and link to my web page so Google likes it?"
"That would be cheating - people have tried that and Google counts links from people who have lots of links pointing at them more than links from pages that no-one links to".
"Oh. OK. I'll write a page, and you can link to it, and you can tell your friends to link to it, and they can tell their friends to link to it, and then everyone will find my page."
"Well, that would work, but only if you think of something interesting to write."
"Oh. I'll have to think of some funny stories then."