Dan told about and demonstrated the popular Chinese Tangram Puzzle whcih was as popular as the Rubik's Cube when it came out.
Cleveland Chinese community
Great Lakes Geek Science and Math
Here is a duck made of the 7 Tangram puzzle pieces
The Manga Guide to Physiology
|I asked lightheartedly on Twitter "Is there something wrong in getting medical advice from a Manga comic book?" because I have found the information in The Manga Guide to Physiology to be more complete and understandable than many medical websites. Of course the book should not replace a medical professional but it does give a very comprehensive look at the workings of the human body.|
And, of course, the format of the book (Manga comic book with an interesting story line and great illustrations) makes it more readable than a textbook. I found myself saying "Just one more chapter" which would never have been the case in a typical physiology text book.
Like the other Manga guides the information is presented using young characters involved in something to keep your interest. In The Manga Guide to Physiology a Nursing School freshman named Kumiko needs to pass a test on the human body in order to compete in the campus marathon which she is simultaneously training for. She is tutored by a young professor who turns out to be someone unexpected.
Don't be fooled and think that because of this background story the information is fluff. The information presented is detailed but presented in a clear manner with examples that will make you understand the subject rather than help you memorize facts. In addition there is always an "Even More About…" section that gets into more details for those who want it.
The sections give a complete look at how the body works:
The No Starch Press Manga series and in particular this book, The Manga Guide to Physiology, have become a valuable platform to learn some complicated subjects in an engaging way.
Great Lakes Geek Rating: 4.5 out of 5 pocket protectors.
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|First Stepper. A very old tradition in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales revolves around your guests on New Year's Day. The first person to enter your home in the New Year will have a significant impact on year's to come. Here's how you can take part in this tradition.|
Make note of who that first person is to enter your home. In fact, you may want to write it down, since the information won't really be of use to you for a year. At then end of the year decide if your year has been a good one or a bad one; lucky or unlucky. If you feel it has been a positive year then on the next New Year's Day, don't let anyone else in the house until that first person from the "lucky year" comes in.
If, however, you have had a bad or unlucky year, do whatever you must to have someone else be "the first stepper" into your home, so the luck will change for the upcoming year.
The Dutch believe it is important to "eat out the Old Year and Eat in the New" so they start a meal before midnight and finish it after, just to be sure there is food all year.
Although it is said that farm animals talk on New Year's Day, a superstition from Romania says it is important to avoid the animals because hearing them talk is very bad luck.
Egyptians once believed that onions kept evil spirits away; so many New Year's dishes with Egyptian roots will include onions.
Eating twelve grapes at midnight is a Spanish custom also said to bring good luck.
In Denmark, residents keep a pile of dishes, all broken, in front of the door. For this they save old dishes and People usually throw these on the friends’ doors during New Year. This symbolizes friendship and brotherhood and they believe the one with maximum dishes outside, has the most friends. Some Danish are found to leap some chairs during midnight.
Brazilians believe that lentils signify wealth and prosperity. So they serve food items made up of the legume like soup or rice on the New Year.
Germans pour molten lead into cold water and the shape that is taken after, predicts the future. Heart shapes symbolize marriage whereas round shapes denote good luck; anchor shapes tell that you need help however a cross signifies someone’s sad demise.
Filipinos consume grapes, have coins, wear polkas dotted dresses, as they have faith that circular things attract more fortune and money. They also throw coins as New Year begins to increase wealth and prosperity.
Japanese New Year or Oshogatsu is meant for celebrations with family and it begins with proper decoration of the home to welcome luck and fortune. They clean the entire house, get themselves off from every financial liability, and resolve all issues before the New Year hits. They follow traditions of three things: a pine branch, called kadomatsu, denotes longevity; a stalk of bamboo symbolizes prosperity, whereas a plum blossom shows nobility. Before the clock strikes 12, they ring 108 bells to show that the all 108 troubles have been eliminated.