I have notes for translators, if you would add a translation. Please note: If this "translations" block gets too large, I will move it to further down the page. Sorry!
This page, as it stood in Oct 17, is available, translated by a human, into French by Avice.
This page, as it stood in July 17, is available, translated by humans, into Swedish by Lisa Kok.
This page, as it stood in May 17, is available, translated by humans, into Italian by Lisa Kok.
This is the homepage for a site I wanted to build for many years. A few years ago, a few tiny starts were made.
It may leave much to be desired still... but I hope it also has some Good Stuff? Maybe not, considering the limited feedback, Facebook "Likes", etc.
But before we go any further... read, mark and learn what one school put on a big wall. I want to teach there!
Flat-Earth-Academy is not age-ist. All are welcome here! But my heart is with the kids, and I write these pages with them mostly in mind.
I would teach about what's in the message on the wall, if I could. In the meantime, I hope that some of the pages here will help readers better understand some things I can teach about.
Digression... sort of. Let's be clear about "stupid" and "ignorant". Two words that are bandied about, and cut many souls.
Some people are born tall. They might be good basketball players one day. Over a certain height, and they cannot be fighter pilots for the US or UK airforces... there are very good reasons for this, to do with ejector seats killing people who are too tall.
But it is to no one's "credit" if they are born tall. Or short enough to be a fighter pilot. "It is what it is", as they say. And you can either accept the facts, the reality, and move on, or you can pine after things that will never be. That doesn't mean that the short person can't enjoy playing basketball, at some level. Or that the tall person can't enjoy flying Cessnas.
You are born, and, maybe to some extent, raised "smart"/"intelligent" or "stupid". Everyone is born ignorant. (And "intelligence" is only a word for a whole group of attributes. You can be "just tall". There's no such thing as "just intelligent".
You have as much chance of changing your intelligence as you have of changing your height. Are you an "inferior" person because you aren't tall enough for pro basketball?
Changing from ignorant (where we all start) to knowledgeable is a much more complicated matter. If you don't have certain sorts of smart, you will become more knowledgeable in certain directions more slowly than other people. That's the way it is. Deal with it. Find the directions you can make progress in most easily, the directions that help you feel that you are good for something. There's nothing like being good at something to help you feel that you are good for something.
If someone calls you "stupid", in a way that suggests that this is a "fault" that you should be ashamed of... just walk away. Maybe waste a little pity on a someone who is pretty ignorant, and unkind with it. But I wouldn't spend much time thinking about that person at all. There are good people in the world. Go associate with them.
Whether you are intelligent or stupid, learn as much as you can. That's not just "facts" that would be "taught" in a school. Learn Tiddly Winks, if you can't find something better to put your energies into...
Which brings me neatly to The Flat Earth Academy. (You are reading its homepage.) I hope you will find things here to reduce your ignorance.
I wish I could help you learn how to be kind. I wish I could teach you to be persistent... congratulations on having some persistence already! (You're still reading, aren't you?!) I wish I could teach you to be a craftsman. To use your time wisely. To do first aid well. (I may have a stab at that last one, one day.)
But I can't. Sorry. They are more important than anything at The Flat Earth Academy. Try to become less ignorant in those areas somehow, somewhere.
But that doesn't mean that what is on offer here is of no use at all.
The Flat Earth Academy is a website where any enterprising person can learn useful "stuff". My background is in the sciences, so there is more Good Stuff from there, for the moment.
Material of two sorts is provided to you here...
I didn't much like "English" at school. You might feel the same way... in which case I particularly hope you will read the rest of this section, before going to the (more fun... for us...) stuff. But I've come to realize it was the most important subject. If your use of English is weak, it will handicap you in many, many ways. The stronger it is, the more choices you will have.
Notice I talked of Use Of English. Knowledge of the literature is also important, and comes along with the other, in some ways, but it is use of English... fluent reading and effective writing that I feel most strongly about, as Important.
Now.. some would say, "How can you espouse the importance of good use of English, when you are rubbish at it?"
I say: "Who would know better that it is important?"
So... Please give the following a try?...
Try writing a journal?
Try writing a covid journal?
I bet your English teacher never gave you THIS to try... It isn't all about YOU. Had you heard?
My introduction to chemistry has had a lot of work.
Also in science, there's a discussion of measuring, in general, and in particular the challenges of making instruments.
I've also made a pretty extensive start on the Flat Earth Academy guide to biology.
This Astronomy Department has a number of pages about making some measuring instruments yourself. It isn't just stuffed with "facts to learn". It asks some questions which might not have occured to you... "What is a year? A day? An hour". And it isn't all about things you can only persue after dark. There's a lot you can do with the sun!
There are things in the Geography department, "you might find interesting" items, rather than "This you should try to know" stuff. There's a discussion of when and how we found the highest point on earth, and a note on drawing angles without a protractor, which might be useful in the also discussed "making your own maps... by triangulation."
The Mathematics department has been started with pages about codes and encryption. There are also links from here to other, more mature, material on the subject, from the same author.
Please also consider my extensive course on using an Arduino (a great microprocessor for schools or hobbyists of any age) which is put together under the philosophy of the Flat Earth Academy. The microprocessor course is finished; the Academy is a-building!
The History Department is barely started. In it, I particularly like the one about One Life, In A Page- a novel way of looking at the history of YOU. (Don't be alarmed when that takes you to a wywtk.com page... it's meant to!), and Transcriptions of letters from 1945 relating the experiences of a Dutch girl, aged about 12 at the start or World War II. Her experiences were not as extreme as her near contemporary and fellow Hollander Anne Frank, but she is relating another story from the same time and place.
The History department also has some pages about timelines, and a novel way of looking at the history of YOU- One Life, In A Page. (Don't be alarmed when that takes you to a wywtk.com page... it should!)
Money. Root of all evil? A subject for discussion. But evil or not, there's a lot to know, on many levels, and being ignorant about aspects of personal finance and/or economics can bring misery into your life very quickly. The Money pages of Flat-Earth-Academy (economics, personal finance, more), for now, are extremely limited. It consists of a perhaps too-much-information discussion of stock market investing, and an "unnecessary" (but, I hope, interesting to some!) discussion, in technical terms, of how Bitcoin works.
Is it History? Electronics? Computing... and it is NOT as didactic as some of the material at the Flat Earth Academy... but whatever it is, I have a page discussing one core circuit diagram (that of the shift register) from what was, in some ways, the world's first computer... the machine built by a large team at the Institute for Advanced Studies (IAS... in, but no of Princeton, NJ) in the second half of the 1940s. The machine on which much work was done to create the first H-Bomb. The subject of Dyson's wonderful book, Turings Cathedral. The page presents a challenge... can you help me see how to re-create that circuit in modern electronics. It should not be hard!!
The globe to the right helps me see if doing these pages is worth the time it takes. It is interactive; play with it, if you wish. (You need to use your browser's "back" button to get back here after doing so.) The only information the system records is when visitors access the site, and where their ISP connected them to the internet. (In my case, that is 60 miles from where I live, at the moment.)
This comes to me as a free service from Revolvermaps.com. If you know how to insert HTML into your own web pages, it is easily added.
I was a teacher for twenty years. I taught 8 year olds, and I taught courses equivalent to the first year of US university. So I hope I have an idea of what might be a useful framework of knowledge for any "educated" person.
I also left teaching... along with 100,000 other qualified teachers in the UK... before I reached retirement age. So you may assume that I take a somewhat skeptical view of what goes on in schools.
I hope that what you find here will be useful, and perhaps even, in some cases, interesting to readers of all ages. I would welcome your thoughts.... is the site of any use? Where are you, broadly speaking... say the nearest large city to you? How old are you? What do you/ did you think of your schooling? I don't need your email address, if you (or anyone controlling your internet use) are worried about that. If you do supply it, I have no plans to "sell it on", pester you with marketing emails, etc. But think about it: There's no point in me to putting that on this page, is there? If I am scrupulous, I wouldn't do those things. If I am unscrupulous, I would put something like that here, and then do those things anyway, wouldn't I? Think about what I said: "Think about it...". That is one of my reasons for creating this site. I want you to think more... as a habit, all the time, as your life slips past....
"Thinking" is all well and good. You need to develop your thinking skills. Knowing stuff comes in handy, too, and you can do more about your fund of knowledge than you can about your capacity to think.
So... have a dip into these pages. See how much you know already. See if you can learn a few new things. If you send positive feedback, I will try to expand the Flat Earth Academy. If no one finds it of any use, I'll spare myself the work.
I hope that sometimes the pages here will be assigned to schoolchildren and students as homework. I believe that suggestions on a page I've done for teachers will help the learners benefit more from the work, and give the teachers useful information. I know that if you are kind enough to take up the suggestion, and send me the results, they will be of interest to me. (And "private readers" are very welcome to follow the procedure explained as well... again, for the benefit of both of us, I hope.)
Besides the topics mentioned above, there are two pages in the site, two brief notes about things I thought kind of neat in science....
A page about a bird's unusual choice for a nest site.
A page about a plant's unusual roots.
My main site is Sheepdog Software
And there's also my Arunet site: http://www.arunet.co.uk/tkboyd/index2.htm. (That can only be accessed via http (vs httpS)
Page has been tested for compliance with INDUSTRY (not MS-only) standards, using the free, publicly accessible validator at validator.w3.org. It passes in some important ways, but still needs work to fully meet HTML 5 expectations. (If your browser hides your history, you may have to put the page's URL into the validator by hand. Check what page the validator looked at before becoming alarmed by a "not found" or "wrong doctype".)
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