Monday, November 28, 2005

The mother of invention

Noah has been hankering after a webcam for use with his viola club of friends on MSN. He's made a few noises about wanting to buy one, but hasn't done the research yet, and I confess I haven't been in a big hurry to facilitate this for him. But last week he managed to tweak our QX3 Digital Microscope into believing it's a webcam. He unplugs the microscope, starts MSN, and then plugs the microscope in while the window is active. He can then send a webcam invitation to whomever he's chatting with at the time. He needed to add some ambient lighting because the USB-powered webcam light is insufficient at a distance of a metre or so, but he discovered that he could get identifiable blurry moving images of his face on the 'net.

Then one night before bed, when he seems to think laterally the best, Noah said "That digital microscope is near-sighted. I wonder if I could make the focus better by giving it glasses. Your old glasses might work, mom -- you're nearsighted."

The next morning, thanks to a lot of sticky tape, he got the microscope wearing glasses, and I'll be darned, the quality of the webcam image he's getting from it has improved two- or three-fold. If I'd been on the ball, I would have offered to order him a cheap webcam weeks ago with his allowance savings. Because I wasn't, he's learning all sorts of things, and now he feels like a successful 'inventor'.

1 comment:

  1. Barbara12:20 pm

    Wow! I always love reading about your kids' learning adventures, they must be fun to be around. Noah is especially interesting, because of his atypical (to me)learning style and way of thinking. I remember reading a few years ago how he had made the discovery that without gravity people would not be able to stay on the ground. I was floored back then. He's a truly amazing little guy.
    I was wondering a few days ago about how learning by my own kids seems to always happen late in the afternoon or at night. Both my dds started to crawl and walk late in the afternoon and even now these are the hours when the most prescious learning moments happen. Once I jokingly told dh that they might as well sleep through the day and wake up at 6 p.m.: they wouldn't miss out on anything. Interesting.
    I really enjoy reading your blog.



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