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Most of the eBooks on this website are available on other platforms (or are in the

process of being uploaded) to:

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New Novel: ‘The Encoded Pen’

The new novel, by William & Malinda Van Zyl, was published a week ago. Check it out.  Below details and excerpts. Visit fivehousepublishing.com to download.

 

DESCRIPTION AND DETAILS OF THE BOOK: Novel. Second World War events/secrets uncovered in 2018 (Pearl Harbour). Christian Theme. 20,000 words. 97 x size A4 pages. Several notes and images are included at the end of the book. Definitely a great read

EXCERPT:

 

CHAPTER 4: Finding Treasure

A blue ripple with tones of grey crisscrosses the dune-like ocean floor. The wavy pattern of the sea surface reflects down onto the bottom with artistic flair. Shades of blue and grey float mysteriously over the scuba divers as they move slowly, flipping now and then, with their large black amphibian-shaped flippers. The water is diamond-clear. Schools of bright-hued fish and exotic sea flowers decorate the sandy floor and small reef. The ocean floor is littered with large dark, sinister coffins – the shapes are very distinct. Warplanes and warships lay strewn for hundreds of meters on the bottom of the harbour. The visibility is excellent. Strange looking sea flowers stare from the jagged black reef. A small, friendly white and grey shark moves closer to the divers and bumps into one of the oxygen tanks. With a quick dart, the shark takes off into the grey unknown. The rhythmic release of carbon dioxide bubbles sends a message to the surface, ‘There is something very mysterious and beautiful down here,’ one of the divers thought. The bright searchlights of the divers scan meticulously to the left and right. They are looking for clues and treasure. In the white beam of the second diver’s headlight dances thousands of micro sea creatures and plankton. They represent every known shape and form.

The divers stop momentarily. One of them takes his hand and tries to scoop some of the tiny creatures into his hand – the micro creatures escape in streams of translucent biological-beauty. The diver is fascinated by the amazing little critters. The direct sunlight exposes their tiny, white skeletal frames. One of the divers can see the alphabet in the curvatures. There is the letter ‘H’; there is an ‘A’, he thinks to himself.

A large dark-red rising sun appears. Half of the reddish sun is covered in a variety of shellfish, and green seaweed. It is a mosaic of tombstone art. The sea plants move slowly back and forth – waving to the diver to come closer – as the strong ocean currents move everything in its path. A couple of nosy crustaceans scatter for safety under the large plane wreckage when the searchlight falls on them. They kick up a small cloud of sand and ‘dust’ in their wake. The tiny cloud of sand granules spirals for a second and then falls lazily back into its original position on the ocean floor. The graveyard is disturbed.

On the jagged rocks, just under the wreckage, the coral is dusky pink with cream module clusters of White Sea Plants. The white floral sea plants wave their flags in honour of the deserted dark grey World War 2 wrecks of the past – it silently pays tribute to the fallen admirals, officers, seamen, gunners, soldiers, sailors and pilots. At first, it seems like the wreckages are deserted, but the searchlight reveals a warplane cockpit still intact.

The two divers signal to each other with their hands and fingers – ‘let’s investigate.’ The seasoned scuba diver takes a small ice pick-shaped hammer from his tool belt and taps on the almost seventy seven-year-old cockpit glass. As the tapping vibrates through the water, the unfamiliar sound waves wake up sleeping crabs and lobsters. They scatter in different directions hiding from the imminent danger of the sharp ice-pick hammer.

The glass makes a muffled shatter as the first cockpit glass pane splinters into hundreds of tiny shards. The light green stained glass floats lazily to the ocean floor and down into the cockpit. The tiny pieces of glass are in no hurry. They glide like parachutes, oscillating to the left and right. The sharp hammer shatters more glass panes of the cockpit.

The two divers are now able to get into the cockpit. They attach their floating searchlights onto the side of the fuselage with specially designed magnets. Effortlessly the first diver, closest to the seat, floats into the cockpit. He sits in the warplane seat – he looks like a mysterious Samurai-Kamikaze pilot in the grey and black cockpit. The diver gives the ‘okay’ signal to his friend. A tingle runs down the spine of the diver when he realises he is now the pilot of the death plane. Images of the Kamikaze pilot from the past flash through the diver’s mind. It scares him. He relives the rushing image of the large warship as the Kamikaze pilot dives down to crash into the warship. He clenches the steering controls. His knuckles turn surrender-white. He waits for the impact. A brightly coloured clown fish moves into the cockpit and appears to laugh at him. ‘Ha, ha, it is only a wreck.’ The cockpit is filled with a ghost-like amphibian pilot with a second amphibian alien hanging onto the side of the cockpit. The diver outside the cockpit signals an ‘O-shape’ with his fingers to the second diver. ‘Everything is fine.’ The pilot-diver sighs with relief.

Inside the hardly recognisable fighter-plane cockpit, the dashboard seems to stare at the two divers without emotion. A small yellow sentry-fish guards the deserted instrument panel. It is as if the yellow-uniformed guard is sternly barking, ‘Hey what are you doing here. Do you have permission to be here?’ The unfriendly yellow sentry-fish rushes away in a hurry to sound the alarm.

The instrument panel is covered with many gauges, switches, and buttons – some are rusted away. Green algae, rust, and small shells, with a cluster of mussels here and there, cover the once immaculate instrument panel. A tiny copper nameplate, hardly recognisable, sits proudly above the altimeter. It is still legible, and the diver moves closer to read it. It reads ‘Mitsubishi Zero, Model No: 214955, Made in Japan,’ just below the Japanese text. It has stood the test of time – at least up to now. The altimeter pointer sits at zero – it cannot go any lower. A random thought runs through the pilot-diver’s mind, ‘I wonder from what height did this Kamikaze pilot attacked?’ The two divers are lost in a world of war, and the images of the attack on Pearl Harbour in the 1940’s by the Japanese Air Force flash through their minds. It conjures up chaos, out of control fires, and the deafening thunder of bombs exploding. For several minutes, they admire the beautiful vintage plane wreck.

Excerpt 2: Image of an Oni

Image: Oni. By Wikia-Tengu. Posted to Wiki Bestiary. http://monsters.wikia.com/wiki/Oni. Credit: http://monsters.wikia.com/wiki/File:Soga-oni.jpg. Onis are ogres and are one of the most common monsters in Japanese folklore. While their forms are extremely variable, the most common variety is a large, horned humanoid beast, with skin in any number of bright colours (but usually blue, green, or red). They have a penchant for wearing tiger skins and carrying spiked iron clubs called kanabou. They live almost anywhere: in the underworld, torturing sinners; deep in the mountains; or riding in the clouds creating storms. 

Excerpt 3: Poem written by Haruto for Hana

He recites a poem, which he has written for her:

Love is like a mighty river,
A never-ending stream.
Infinite love is shared by you and me,
Let us hold on to this everlasting dream.

Hana, my love for you, is like a mighty torrent,

Streams of affection gush out of my heart to you.

There is no end; our love is one rapid turbulent stream,

Weaved together from a never-ending spring.

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Micro:bit BCC – The ultimate way to start learning about coding computers as a beginner.

WHAT IS THE MICRO:BIT BBC?

I have ordered the micro bit as well as the inventors kit a couple of days ago (New Zealand). It is amazing! The perfect to teach computer coding to beginners  –  Python. As a high school teacher, the micro bit is probably the best choice for any digital or technology teacher, to introduce computer coding to teenagers. It is so cool, even adults will have fun learning! See the video for an overview below. Read the excerpt from the BBC website.

 

The BBC micro:bit is a pocket-sized codeable computer with motion detection, a built-in compass and Bluetooth technology, which was given free to every child in year 7 or equivalent across the UK in 2016.

A collaboration between 29 partners, the BBC micro:bit is the BBC’s most ambitious education initiative in 30 years, with an ambition to inspire digital creativity and develop a new generation of tech pioneers.

The UK currently faces a critical skills shortage in the technology sector and the BBC and partners aim to help change that.

In the 1980s, the BBC Micro introduced many children to computing for the first time and the BBC micro:bit, part of the BBC’s Make it Digital initiative, will build on the legacy of that project for the digital age.

It aims to inspire young people to get creative with digital and develop core skills in science, technology and engineering.

Coding in seconds

“We happily give children paint brushes when they’re young, with no experience – it should be exactly the same with technology,” Sinead Rocks, Head of BBC Learning said.

“The BBC micro:bit is all about young people learning to express themselves digitally, and it’s their device to own.

“It’s our most ambitious education initiative for 30 years. And as the micro:bit is able to connect to everything from mobile phones to plant pots and Raspberry Pis, this could be for the internet-of-things what the BBC Micro was to the British gaming industry.”

It measures 4cm by 5cm, is available in a range of colours, and designed to be fun and easy to use. It can be coded with something simple in seconds – like lighting up its LEDs or displaying a pattern – with no prior knowledge of computing.

It also connects to other devices, sensors, kits and objects, and is a companion to Arduino, Galileo, Kano, littleBits and Raspberry Pi, acting as a springboard to more complex learning.

Each element is completely programmable via easy-to-use software on a dedicated website microbit.org, that can be accessed from a PC, tablet or mobile.

A personal area on the website allows users to save and test creations in a simulator before they are transferred to the micro:bit, and the available tools scale to be as complex as ideas, imagination and skills required.

Credit: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/4hVG2Br1W1LKCmw8nSm9WnQ/the-bbc-micro-bit

OVERVIEW:

 

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STEM Education

Mapping Media to the Curriculum - Update by Wesley Fryer, on Flickr

Credit image: http://www.speedofcreativity.org/2014/04/02/print-a-qr-code-for-an-audioboo-recording/

 

WHY IS STEM EDUCATION SO IMPORTANT?

http://engineeringforkids.com/article/02-02-2016_importanceofstem

Why STEM?

“In the 21st century, scientific and technological innovations have become increasingly important as we face the benefits and challenges of both globalization and a knowledge-based economy. To succeed in this new information-based and highly technological society, students need to develop their capabilities in STEM to levels much beyond what was considered acceptable in the past.” (National Science Foundation)