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2/28/98

Why can't science cure the flu?

Now in the final stages of testing the new version of the site which has a few new modules. Once again a new version of the Shockwave plug-in was released and I fixed a few modules that needed some changes made. Stay tuned for the improved download page by next weekend.

1/12/98

I downloaded the most recent version of the shockwave plug-in yesterday, and discovered a number of problems with many of the modules. I've believe I've fixed the majority of them, but the "orbit simulator" has a few more problems I have to deal with (it is still marginally functional).

I have a mirror site set up here at U of Michigan which you may want to use if it is closer to your location.

I put a stand-alone software app for the site on the download page (currently just for Macs, PC's will be arriving "soon") so you could grab that, and then use these modules without having to use your web browser.

I added a "time estimation" module which I use when I am trying to teach students about histograms, mean, standard deviation, etc. It is under the life sciences.

1/07/98

Another semester is about to begin, so I've been trying to get caught up on some of my e-mail messages (why is it so easy to glance at messages, do some work, and then all of a sudden you have 200 messages in your In-Box?). This site was named "Best of the Web" by Snap! Online (a new part of C|NET).

I also received a message in Portuguese (I'm still working on finding someone to translate it for me), and I think it says that my site is now listed on a science-oriented Brazilian web site. The logo is nifty!

Continuing on the non-US country thread, I received a Top 5% Award from a German web page which has links to many interesting physics sites which use multimedia. I guess I am currently ranked #3 (at least a German buddy of mine [MF] told me that - since I can read about eight words). He also told me that this site was mentioned in a recent issue of DOS and PC World magazines, and that the German word "didaktik" means science education (my language lesson of the day).


Near the end of this week I'll be posting the first "update" for the downloaded version of this site. I've just added a few small things (such as the module descriptions).

 

1/01/98

Happy New Year! During the break I spent some time updating this site (which you probably noticed by now). I'd love to get some feedback on it, so if you get a chance, drop me a line. I added a simple "seesaw" torque module (under "Basics" in the Interactive Zone). I have about six more modules "in progress" that I will hopefully post in the next few months. I'm almost ready to update the download page, where you'll be able to get this site as stand-alone software for either a mac or a pc-clone. I should get that done by the end of this month. I'm also trying to get a few mirrors of this site set up, and hopefully I'll have that taken care of in the next month or two.

10/03/97

This site was chosen as one of the Exploratorium's Top Ten Sites of the Month!

I promise I'll update the download page this weekend. As is often the case, finding time for this "hobby" of mine sometimes gets difficult!

9/14/97

I added a feature to the density lab so that you can change the density of the "pail full of liquid." There is a new shocked module I made for COSI Toledo where you can take a few "point and click" typing tests. In the different tests you can change which way the mouse motion will be altered. I enjoy playing with it and am just amazed how long it takes to type a single word when the left/right or up/down get reversed.

I haven't yet had a chance to update the download section of my site, but I hope to get to that this week. Classes have started here at U of M, and I spent a bit of time putting the COSI Site together - so go check it out if you get a chance :)

8/17/97

Updated the moment of inertia lab to include a hollow sphere, a solid sphere, and a hollow 'disc.' Added a white light to the prism, and got the converging lens in a finalized form (for now anyway :). Classes start up again in two weeks here at U of Mich, so things may slow down for awhile (on the site that is - not in terms of my work load!), but in the next week or two I will get the download file updated in case you want to keep a copy of this site on your local computer.

8/6/97

Added the first of several optics modules I want to do, although at the rate the summer is going along, I'm not sure I'll get the rest done this summer. Working on a new version of the shocked front page that I may put up with one of the dreaded under construction statements.

8/2/97

I added a really nifty 2D frictionless puck table. With this table you can simulate about 6 weeks of experiments that the freshman do here at U of M.

I plan to add some documentation for this one when I get a chance.

7/20/97

Several minor changes were made on many pages (but not with experiments). I added the "History and Awards" page in an effort to clean up the front page a bit more.

I did add a "black hole" sort of game that I made many months ago and just never remembered to link to it. It has little science in it (just a little gravitational attraction) and I enjoy going for the big points and ending up with tremendously negative scores.

7/19/97

I made a new version of the air track experiment. There is currently a link to it from the current air track page. It was done in Director 6, so you need the most recent plug-in. In about a month or so the old version will become an archive :)

7/13/97

I finally got a bit of free time and decided to change the front page, since it was becoming LARGE from a graphics point of view. I think this new page looks pretty good and is still relatively small. I also got the domain name ExploreScience.com :) If you find any bad links/typos, please let me know.

I've been learning the new features of Director 6, but haven't yet put any new files here on the web. In the next month I probably will, so be sure you have the latest plug-in if you start getting strange errors when you visit this site.

I will be doing major upgrades to some of my earliest modules (inclined plane and air track) while I'm learning Dir6's nifty new features, so stay tuned and visit again when you get a chance.

I am probably going to change the download area a bit and let you download "projectors" rather than the html files. I think it will make life just a bit easier for me (and users who are interested in using this material). By the time school starts in Sept. you'll have a lot of new and easy to use material!

 
   

brought to you by Raman Pfaff (pfaff@ExploreScience.com)