Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I Was Walking through wikiHow One Day...

I love wikis. Sharing information in such a free fashion makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I crawl through Wikipedia on a regular basis, jumping from link to link, never sure where the links will take me. On other days I venture into the depths of wikiHow, learning tidbits here and there.

On one particular day my adventure in wikiHow began with a link to this page on how to build an igloo. There's not enough hot chocolate in the world to make spending that much time in the snow sound anything other than extremely cold! I do wonder though how the top stays in. The instructions state that the top brick should be larger than the top hole, but then trimmed down to fit. I think you'd have to be careful not to trim it too much. It might fall in! (Disclaimer: all I know about building igloos I learned from that wikiHow page :) )

From there I clicked on a link to the page "How to Entertain Yourself With Fluffy Snow and a Trampoline". The idea is to make a big pile out of snow, then run and jump into it with the help of a mini trampoline. What they don't mention is how to get someone else to shovel the snow into the big pile! ;)

Moving on to "How to Make Your Own Laser Light Show", I learned about the wonders of vibrating lasers. I actually think this page is a little disappointing. The idea is to suspend a mirror over a speaker, by gluing it to a piece of latex and rubber-banding the latex to the speaker. Then the laser is pointed at the mirror, and the mirror reflects the laser onto the wall. The vibrations of the speaker cause the mirror to move, and the reflection to dance. Cute, but I was really hoping for something a little more impressive than that. The authors of this wiki aught to put a video up of the dancing laser, so we get a better idea of how this works.

The "Related wikiHows" section of the laser page also let me down. I was hoping for "How to Use a Laser to Toast a Marshmallow", and instead I got all sorts of links about animation and craft shows. Not to be deterred, I decided to search for laser and marshmallow and see what happens. No luck. Apparently sufficient instructions do not exist for toasting marshmallows with lasers. (Yet! Wouldn't that be an awesome Long Live Geeks post. I wonder how powerful of a laser that would take?!? :) )

So it appears my wiki visit has ended this time with just three pages, a rather short visit for me. Sometimes my meanderings cover 10 or more. If you have a favorite wiki share it with us. It could be a wonderful jumping off point for another journey.


geeky! said...

Check out Wicked Lasers.
They have lasers that can burn things and a flashlight that is strong enough to cook scrambled eggs. Youtube has vids of that too.
I want one for no good reason. The stuff is crazy expensive, though.

Anastasia said...

Geeky - I teach at a uni and among the "geek" professors, we keep debating on buying one of those green lasers for a kick-ass laser pointer. We'd just have to be careful not to burn through the projector screen! :)