The Future of the Human Race


The Chinese Olympics are been gone for over a decade now and the world is still in a very good mess. I still maintain that – archeologists digging up the planet in another couple of thousand years, or however long it takes to get back to some resemblance of civilized man, will come to the ultimate conclusion that the Chinese Olympics were the turning point. Whether they actually work out from all the new futurist stadiums and building that dot over Beijing that there was a world event, is yet to be seen.


Comparing America to China
The archeologists will probably come to the conclusion that China was the dominate country at the time as American buildings were already in decay and had been for a number of years. I don’t know how they will decide what actually caused the collapse of civilization. What was the final straw that brought civilization to its knees in possible around 90% of the globe.
Archeologists are still bringing up reasons as to why the Roman empire finally collapsed.

But when it did it took the remnants of that civilization on average about 1500 years to pass the technological advancements of the Roman era. So my grandchildren and possible my children will see a very different world from what is around them now.


What is so strange is most people on the overpopulated planet just don’t have a clue about what is going on. Global warming is the most talked about topic on the planet, but it is only one of the more serious problems that will overtake civilization in the very near future.


The planet is running out of water, oil and food and all we are worried about is the temperature rising over this century. But things that are going to determine the future are happening all around us, now and we are doing nothing to survive the future.
Are our beautiful cities going to crumble beneath our feet?

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My Teaching Experience

I’ve spent many years as an “English As A Second Language” teacher mainly in Asia. For the past three years I’ve been in and out of Hanoi Vietnam. In Vietnam I belonged to two different volunteer schools, both schools taught disadvantaged children. One school taught very poor children that were in poverty, and the other school taught children higher up the economic ladder.

https://www.facebook.com/glcvietnam.education/

The poverty kids were an eye opener for me as I had never been in absolute poverty before and these kids had been affected by malnutrition and it showed. They had very little life in them and very little interaction with me. 

https://www.facebook.com/BetterLifeVN/

In the other school where the kids had plenty to eat they would interact freely with me. In this school we gave away many books and the kid loved us. The other times I was working at HILI teaching kids and teenagers, these were after school classes not the mainstream school.

Before I went to Vietnam I was in China teaching for 7 years at a Canadian school. This was a primary school and kindergarten setup where I taught all classes. It was better than most Chinese schools as there were only about 30 kids in the class. At some schools I taught up to 70 kids in the class. The largest class I taught was about 500 kids in a big lecture hall, that was an experience and a half. At another school I had to give a speech in front of the 2000 plus students as well as parents and teachers. I even impressed myself there.

Here is a link to my online CV https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyQlqi_n39Y&t=10s 

And a list of my other videos https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=FLXlBtPEOpRsyBts7EVAPklg

 I was also teaching Chinese kids online when I got back to New Zealand, that was also a change from the classroom but it was quite good. I was still teaching kids and that’s what I like to do.

 I’ve taught in Hong Kong, Indonesia and Mexico I started out in Mexico many many years ago when I was learning Spanish at the University of Mexico City and teaching English on the side. Mind you my Spanish is still no good and my Chinese is not much better. 

This year because of the virus I haven’t been overseas to teach, I hope to go as soon as I can. I’ve been hoping to go to the old Eastern Bloc countries to teach for a number of years now ever since I met some teachers from there. So when I heard about your volunteer program I decided to join as I like teaching kids even though my major is teaching adults. I have a Graduate Diploma in Teaching Adults from Massey University in New Zealand and a Certificate in Teaching Literacy and Numeracy from UCOL (United College of Learning) in NZ. I have spent very little time teaching adults mainly children. In both Vietnam and China I was teaching kids and the same in Hong Kong.

I’ve Taught ESL English in some countries as well as visited many more. In some places I have been the only white person walking down the street, so I am very culturally sensitive and I do not try to impose myself on different cultures. As I am living in their country I play by their rules, eat their food and do what they do. 

I am into online education and learning and I do courses online as well as MOOCs Massive Open Online Courses and Udemy courses. I like to keep fit so I do exercises and running. I am not on any prescription medication but I take vitamins and supplements. I am at home in the countryside as well as the cities and in some places I am the only Foreigner teaching in that city so I’m quite used to different cultures. I do like to have an Internet connection so I can keep in touch with people around the world. 

My book about teaching young learners ESL
This book is about teaching young learners with reading difficulties how to read using sandpaper letters and phonics.

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Are We Ready For Collapse

There was a thesis put forward a few years ago that basically stated that civilizations collapse because they outgrow their use-by-date. They just collapse because they are due for a collapse.
The human race is way past its use-by-date and now we are living on borrowed time. Looking at the big picture we are just trying very hard to destroy ourselves. All the little things we are doing to our planet are just setting us up for a major crash.

I was watching a program on TV about saving the orangutans.
They were driving through this landscape completely denuded of trees. This was after the palm oil people had been through to get the oil. They had cut down everything, there was nothing left standing and this little convoy of two four wheel drive cars were driving for a long time through this denuded landscape. This situation is being repeated throughout South East Asia it is not just an isolated incidence.

History is littered with stories of civilizations that through overpopulation and or to please the Gods they cut down the trees and destroyed themselves. The classic demise of Easter Island, they cut down the trees and ended up eating each other and now there are still no trees on the island. And lately the Nazca civilization of Peru, they cut down the forest and an El Nino wiped them out and now the area they lived in is still a desert.

So once the trees go the land doesn’t seem to recover. Right now if a severe El Nino happened these areas would be wiped out. In history the civilizations wiped themselves out through overpopulation but we are doing it for greed.

Only a handful of people rake in the profits from destroying the planet but it creates jobs and keeps economies going. And that is why the growth model will destroy us all. There is not much time left for the people on the overpopulated planet.

Are our beautiful cities going to crumble beneath our feet?

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When You Buy Gold You Are Buying A Piece of History 

Gold Has Been A Part Of America For Nearly As Long As We Have Had America

     There are stories floating around ‘bout people using a big golden nugget for a door stop before realizing what is was. Now I’m going to tell you a story about an old timer who lived in some of the golden times in American history. His name was Old Jake and he was a good old soul.

     Back in 1897 they called him Old Jake, but he was not all that old. 

     He’d been plodding around the goldfields for as long as anybody could remember. He just looked old and worn out.  He’d found gold but just enough to keep him looking for more. Digging for gold back then was a mean life. And you could tell by looking at Old Jake’s face and hands to see the price he’d paid. 

Digging in the Klondike was a fool’s game. 

     But it was all he knew and there wasn’t much else to do. So he kept a digging and talking to himself around the fire at night about the good old days. Except there were no good old days. All the days were the same. 

     First you had to find the wood to build the fire to melt the dirt before you could dig it up. He lived in dirt and smoke. It was all he knew. But he dreamed of finding the mother lobe and that’s what kept him going. 

     Old Jake plodding on doing what he had always done. Carrying loads of wood down his tunnel. Lighting the fire and waiting or scratching away here and there. Until the ground was soft enough to dig. Then one night he thought his eyes may have been playing tricks on him. 

But there was no mistaking the dull gleam that glowed in the firelight. 

     Old Jake’s eyes lit up as he slowly scraped away the dirt and frozen rocks. He didn’t say anything to anybody. Old Jake had definitely been around the block a few times. He had lived a long time and he wanted to live a bit longer. So he didn’t say anything. 

     He just kept on lighting the fires and digging out the nuggets he found. And nobody was none the wiser. Even when Jake said he was goin’ nobody really knew why. He said he had enough and it was time to move on. The cold was getting to him. So one day he packed up to leave. 

     He filled in his mine, waved goodbye and started walking. Digging up the dirt was not for him. So he plodded on like he had been plodding all his life, to the riverboat port at St Michael.. It was time to start a new life.

Old Jake knew where he was going. 

     San Francisco was the place to be, his wife and kids were there. He used to be a shop keeper before he left for the gold. At the towns he stopped in Old Jake would drop his old miner’s hat on the dirt. And tell anybody who’d listen to keep away from the goldfields. 

     He’d say he went to the gold fields with his bedroll on his back. And he left the gold fields with his bedroll on his back. But Old Jake still kept a tight hold on his bedroll and his big wooden box. 

     San Fran at the end of the century was the place to be. Old Jake looked at his gold and knew what he wanted to do. So he wondered into the San Francisco mint, dropped a few nuggets on the counter and said “make it into coins”

Now he had gold coins, new clothes and a dream. 

     All he knew was gold. And there was a little old shop around the corner from Market Street. So he set up a little gold coin and gold jewelry shop. He hired a Chinese man to make the silver chains and put his little gold nuggets on the end of the chains. 

     Very popular pieces, genuine Klondike nuggets. 

     Also he’d buy old gold and silver coins and old gold. He loved gold and customers loved to hear his stories about life on the Yukon. 

     Over the years Old Jake become incredibly wealthy doing what he loved, but that all changed on April 18 1906 at 5:12 in the morning. 

The longest minute of his life as the ground heaved and buckled. 

     He managed to get his wife and kids out where they should be safe. Then he went to the shop. He crawled in carefully to get to the safe at the back and get all his gold. 

     He was a careful man so he put as much gold as he could in his inside pockets, and in the specially designed pockets on his pants. 

     The Klondike had taught him well. 

     Then he went looking to help other people. Fires raged and people didn’t know what to do. He was shocked when the police and the army started shooting anyone they thought were looters. And that could mean anyone carrying a bag. 

     Old Jake decided against staying to rebuild the city. 

     Some people had lived through one of the strongest earthquakes in modern history only to be gunned down trying to save their goods from the fires. 

     His family made its way to the railhead and heading back East. 

At the beginning of the new century New York was the place to be. 

     It didn’t take Old Jake long to get his little shop set up and in New York things were rocking. The world was good and Old Jake was loving it. 

     He lost his son to the Great War to end all wars. 

     He had dug his son out of his destroyed house after the quake with his own hands only to lose him in a foreign land.  His two daughters married well, they both married good businessmen. 

     Then the world was on one big roll with the stock market and business going through the roof. Life was good ,very good, it was a great time to be alive. Old Jake thought it would never end. 

     But it did. 

It all came crashing down on Black Thursday, 24th of October 1929. 

     The Great Depression had set in. Old Jake was always a cautious man, life on the Klondike had taught him well. So he always kept a bit of gold in a vault just in case and now was a just in case. 

     Business stopped nobody had any money. Now his old friends who were living the high life wanted to borrow some money. 

     Old Jake had seen it all before on the Klondike and in San Francisco after the quake. He knew it was finished. 

     So this time he and his family went South where it was warmer. 

He was looking for a small farm he could retire too. 

     Grow his own food and let the world carry on without him. Now Old Jake was getting old. He’d seen a lot, done a lot, made money, lost money but he still had some gold. And like always it was hidden in different places around the farm. 

     He always used to talk about the golden apples on his trees, but no one realized they were planted in buckets of gold coins. 

     On the new farm he didn’t tell anyone that he was a gold merchant from way back and he was lucky he didn’t. He thought he’d seen it all, but then came the day he thought he would never see. 

The day, April 5 1933, F. D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order No. 6102 confiscating all the gold in the land. 

     He had seen how the government had acted in San Francisco after the earthquake. Shooting innocent people who were just carrying their belongings away from the fire. 

     So he took a few gold coins, that were well worn and rubbed nearly smooth from constant use, down to the bank and handed them in like a good citizen. And didn’t say anything about the rest. 

Old Jake had some of the first gold coins made in the USA. 

     He loved his old “D” coins left over from the Dahlonega Mint, which was closed down during the civil war. He was always on the lookout for a $3 gold coin from the Dahlonega but he never managed to find one. 

     He had plenty of “S” coins from the San Francisco mint where he started his coin collecting years ago. On his trip from San Fran the family had stopped off at Carson City and he still had the “CC” coins to prove it. 

     One Mint he never managed to find coins from were the “C” coins from the Charlotte Mint. The Charlotte Mint was also closed forever during the civil war. 

     But the coin he loved the most was his $20 double eagle “D” from the Denver Mint. He was in Denver when the Mint opened and that is when he picked up the Coin. He also managed to get a few of the old Clark, Gruber & Company gold coins, when he was there. 

     Old Jake was not really into silver coins but he had a few Morgan Silver Dollars along with the gold $10 “O” coins from the New Orleans Mint.      But his most prized gold coin was not from a Mint but a Bechtler coin from a time before the Charlotte Mint was opened. These were private gold coins that were in circulation for over 20 years. 

     He had spent his life collecting these coins and little nuggets of gold from the different gold fields. All he knew was gold and gold coins and he wasn’t going to let the government just take it away.

Now times have changed or have they. 

     The world is tittering on the edge of another great depression. So why not take a bit of advice from an old-timer like Old Jake, and stock up on some gold and silver coins. 

     You never know, you might even buy one of Old Jake’s lost collection of old gold coins or some of Old Jake’s Klondike Gold.  

     And now with the price of gold and silver skyrocketing upwards, it is time to buy some gold and silver coins before they become to expensive to buy.

To find out more click the book cover

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The Future Of Work – What to do when you get laid off

With the pandemic knocking a big hole in work with a lot of workers getting laid off. Getting a job is not going to be easy and the cost of labor will come down. So expect less pay and take any job you can get. I recommend enrolling at as many temp agencies as you can because that is where you get the jobs. At most temp agencies all you have to do is pass a drug test, have a reliable car, get to work on time and do more that you are asked and they will keep giving you more jobs. These jobs will include all shifts so you could end up on night shift or any shift for that matter. Now some agencies are a lot better than others so check out as many agencies as you can join. Usually the easiest jobs to get are the most physical or jobs others do not wont to do. Age doesn’t seem to matter as they know most people who have been working all their lives know how to work and know how to get to work on time. There are some agencies who will give you a chance and others who will just shelve your application. I’ve been very fortunate with the agencies I joined in different cities as I have always got work. It was all factory work and they were good factories to work at but the work was hard, loading conveyor belts or unloading a belt, very tedious but good people to work with.

As soon as you get laid off head for the temp agencies or ask around to find out the best agency to join. I talked to one guy at a factory and he must have joined all the agencies and he got a job where I worked through the same agency, so join many. I went to another city and I asked around and went to the agency everybody recommended and basically had a job before I left. I already had a Police Clearance Certificate from my other job so I was good to go and I started the next day. When you are changing cities ask the agency you work for if they have any work in the new city and if you are a good worker they’ll get you a job. They don’t wont to lose good staff to another agency.

While this is going on start upskilling your career prospects by reading books or ebooks, taking cheap courses online through Udemy when they are on special or have a look at MOOCs (Massive Open Online Course). If you have never studied online take a free course on How To Study Online and see how you do.

First you need to decide on a career you can do and would like to do. You can learn more about your present occupation or learn something new. The learning curve will take time so start as early as you can and that means getting on amazon kindle and buying one ebook and reading it then buying another then another and another. The more you read the more you will learn about your chosen field.

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Dinosaur Toys Are Once Again Roaming Toy Shop Shelves And Hiding Under Children’s Beds

65 million years ago dinosaurs ruled the world, now they are back…

Roboraptors stalking the cat and plastic brontosauruses watching the goldfish. Woodcut Tyrannosaurus Rexes running down a 3d triceratops while a pack of velociraptors close in for the kill. These are the dinosaurs of today. Beautifully crafted masterpieces that never grow old just. They just end up discarded and forgotten, to be replaced by a later model.

Now, dinosaurs are everywhere, on T-shirts, under the kid’s bed and on the walls as giant posters. For the jigsaw puzzler there are any number of beautiful dinosaur pictures to be painstakingly put back together. In either wood or cardboard.

Dinosaurs have reemerged from their extinction. They were lying dormant in the backs of our minds until 1993. This was the year the classic movie Jurassic Park woke us up, creating Dinosaur mania that changed the world of dinosaurs forever. Dinosaurs were now back in vogue.

It only took to the third movie, and then in that movie the kid was playing with little plastic dinosaurs. Actually they were the same ones I had brought for my kid. Excellent dinosaurs, realistic little things, good for the sand pit. Virtually indestructible except the paint fades.

Now, there is a new species of dinosaur competing with the electronic world for the kid’s affection and attention.

Roborapter is the latest in this range. A beautiful sleek-looking creature in black or white. A cross between a futuristic robot and a 65 million year old carnivore that can stalk across your living room floor. Another futuristic creature look-a-like that is slightly innovative is Lego’s latest Wild Hunters. Something that resembles the world of tomorrow here today.

Our renewed love affair with dinosaurs has turned them from meat eating beasts to loveable soft toys for baby to sleep on. Something that has been extinct for 65 million years has revived our interest in what life was like for our ancestors.

We have the Imaginext series; Thunder the Brontosaurus and Razor the T-Rex plus a few others, all complete with saddles and other accessories. These dinosaurs with little action jockey cave men figures are all ready to race through the primeval forest.

They come complete with batteries so they can roar and a good crank on the tail sends their heads and arms shaking. These beautifully colored, realistically looking, moving and roaring dinosaurs have invaded our living rooms. Now they hide on the sofa and behind cushions to jump out at unsuspecting travelers that are bold enough to venture out onto the sofa in broad daylight.

Another series that changes history is the B.C. Toys Little Tikes series of dinosaur demolition machines, similar to the cartoon dinosaurs in the Fred Flintstone TV show from more than a few years ago.

The quarry will never be the same, and the sand pit just got better to play in.

Here we have a Triceratops Dump Truck complete with little rocks to dump, as well as an Apatosaurus Wreaking Ball with a tower to knock down. There are more demolition dinos in the series to recreate the wrecking world of the very distant past. These amazing, fully articulated dinos are able to make greeting and working sounds while the kids play make believe in the sand pit. Some even have wheels on their feet so they can move around.

The range of dinosaur toys is getting more and more imaginative. Meaning the kids just love them more and hopefully will play with them a bit longer.
Kids these days are lucky. I never had anything like that when I was growing up. And back then I loved dinosaurs.

This article is copyright © peter legrove. http://www.animalsdinosaursandbugs.com/Books-And-Toys.htm You can use this article on your website or ezine but leave the resource box intact. Peter Legrove spends most of his time in front of a mixed bunch of teenagers trying to instill in them some semblance of the road to survive the future.

 

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What Happened To World-Class Universities From The Superpowers Of The 20th Century?

In the dying 20th century superpowers, universities lived of government funding and government guaranteed student loans. So the price of education kept increasing, and that has priced them out of the market place. Now if you want an education it is cheaper to leave the dying 20th century superpowers, except Germany, and go to the East. There you can learn the language of the future as well as get a degree.

Singapore did something to combat the rise of China and that is why they are where they are today. They have positioned themselves as a financial center and an educational center, but they are only a pimple on the very edge of Asia. Their rise is partly due to the fall of the 20th century superpowers of the USA, Europe and Japan. If these super powers were not drowning in debt then Singapore would not be as important in the world as it is today. It is very possible that Shanghai and Singapore will be the leading financial centers in the world very soon.

In the past it seems foreign universities flocked to set up in Singapore, but now I think the flocking is to China. They have to flock away from the dying 20th century superpowers to survive. And the only places to go are the far east, the near east, the middle east, the eastern bloc and a few out of the way places that no one wants to go to. Now Russia could be the next education center competing with China, or more likely they will be working together.

When you have to learn Mandarin and Russian to go to university then the balance of power is complete.

If America keeps finding oil and natural gas on their soil and Europe does the same we could wave goodbye to the Middle East as an up and coming education center, where I think education is free.

Free education could have been the start of the demise of education in the west. When the government pays, the price goes up.

In the dying 20th century superpowers, universities lived of government funding and government guaranteed student loans. So the price of education kept increasing, and that has priced them out of the market place. Now if you want an education it is cheaper to leave the dying 20th century superpowers, except Germany, and go to the East. There you can learn the language of the future as well as get a degree. And if you play it right you can get a scholarship from their government, or your government as is the case in NZ.

Then you can stay on and work in one of the 21st century superpowers.

Now the biggest change to hit mankind since the printing press or fire for that matter, is heading to a university near you. And when it gets there, change is the word. Will the universities of the 20th century upgrade or downsize, or go extinct to accommodate the new generation. The generation who have been brought up in front of a screen, in cyber space. The generation who can get what they want at the click of a mouse, or the touch of a screen. Are they going to go to a physical campus or a virtual campus? Are their internet friends who they have never met going to influence them to go to a virtual campus. Or will their classmates from school drag them off to a physical campus. Only time will tell.

MOOCs are an introduction to courses at a physical university, but they are also an introduction to the virtual university world of the future. And they introduce the MOOCers to what they can do in cyber space. How many MOOCers will now attempt an online university instead of going to a physical campus. The change MOOCs are inflicting on the future hasn’t got here yet, not surprising they have only been around for a couple of years. Give them time.

Now with the after affects of the 2020 pandemic still with us. Where lots of graduates still haven’t got jobs, maybe the mindset of get into university at any cost is no longer relevant. And cost is the factor and so is the major. So where can you get a world class education at a price you can afford. Try going to the East or cyberspace. It is still cheaper to go to the East now, but that might change as the internet generation comes of age. Also as universities have priced themselves out of the market place and the half-life of what you learn at university is getting shorter, why go to university. All you need is a diploma in a specific subject and you could get a job. Better still get the diploma while you are working. Not four years later and anything from $20,000 to over $100,000 in debt. And when companies accept MOOCs on a CV then education is free, anyway so far.

This article is copyright © peter legrove. http://www.animalsdinosaursandbugs.com/Books-And-Toys.htm You can use this article on your website or ezine but leave the resource box intact. Peter Legrove spends most of his time in front of a mixed bunch of teenagers trying to instill in them some semblance of the road to survive the future.

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What Toys Did Caveman Kids Play With To Pass The Time

Back in the days, when home was a cave stuck on the face of a cliff.

Kids, babies, cubs, kittens or whatever you like to call the offspring, all have one thing in common. They love to play. So I think we can safely assume that caveman kids played. But with what did they play with.

What amused the minds of our ancestor’s kids. When they were lying around the fire after a hard day learning about staying alive. We are still trying to work out the minor details of the past lives of children of prehistory, but we can dream.

Anyway, were the first jigsaw puzzles just leaves that had been ripped up into little pieces so the little ones could put them back together. Was this a teaching aid so the kids could learn which plants were safe to eat. We will possible never know but it is good to ponder.

Back in prehistory, before houses and cars and TVs, video games and all the modern gadgets that we have nowadays. What toys did caveman kids play with, when daddy was out hunting the mighty mammoth or giant sloth. And mommy was gathering vegetables and herbs and grasses and whatever else they ate back then.

Anyway many artifacts have been dug up, mostly bone and rock carving of people and wild animals. Beautiful carvings, something to be really proud of. Don’t you think that maybe, just maybe, it might have been made by a dotting daddy for his little son.

In the future when future man digs up what we leave behind, what conclusions will they come to. Looking at some of the dinosaur toys available, would they conclude that these beasts actually walked among the skyscrapers.

In the 25th century if you dug up an old car toy that hadn’t rusted away, how would you explain it.

Would you say it was some sort of God that we worshiped, or was it a decorative item we used to show power. It could have been a model of the king’s chariot.

But do we stop to think, that it may have been something for our kids to play with. While we were out making more money to buy even more things for our kids to play with.

We have war games with tiny toy soldiers and cowboy and Indian sets. What is to stop the tiny carved human figures from prehistory being toys to teach the kids the best way to hunt down a mammoth or rhino or deer.

If we made some replica models of some of the artifacts, and gave them to our kids to play with in the sand pit. We might see them reenacting a mammoth hunt or chasing a wild deer into the ground.

Some of the most valuable artifacts would suddenly be delegated from God status to kid status.

I like to look at what we do now and them dream about what could have happened in the caveman days.

Nowadays in any toy shop there is a shelf of toy plastic animals. Anything we see in the wild or on the farm or in the home is there in little packets.

Did the caveman kids also have collections of toys. Now, our kids even have toy cavemen to play with, so what did caveman kids play with.

I can remember “Fred Flintstone” on TV but did Pebbles and BamBam have any toys. All I can remember is BamBam running around with this big club. Now you can buy big air-filled clubs and hammers that don’t hurt when they hit you on the head.

But back to reality, kids love to play and caveman kids would also have played, but with what.

Toy bows and arrows and toy spears. Like kids today who love anything to do with war. Would all the spear points belong to daddy’s toolbox or would the smaller ones belong to the son.

They must have had something to play with, but with what.

Maybe in the future someone scratching around in a long forgotten cave will unearth the Barbie prototype. Or the lovely bird carved from a long dead mammoth tusk just might have been from mummy to daughter.

And not some elegantly carved offering to an unknown God.

 

This article is copyright © peterlegrove. http://www.animalsdinosaursandbugs.com/Books-And-Toys.htm

You can use this article on your website or ezine but leave the resource box intact. Peter Legrove spends most of his time in front of a mixed bunch of teenagers trying to instill in them some semblance of the road to survive the future.

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My Story:  How I Got Here

     I started out in Auckland, New Zealand when it was a good time to be a New Zealander. At the time we were supposedly the best country to live in, but in the 80’s that all changed. We dropped dramatically and anyone who could leave left for greener pastures overseas. I ended up as an Exchange Student at Minnesota – St. Paul University. There I thought I was going to save the world so I took a block course on “Education Extension in Developing Countries” It was quite an eye opener about how you could teach people with no teaching materials.

After playing around in the USA for a few more years it was time to head down into Mexico and start to save the world. In Mexico City I started learning Spanish at the Universdad Da Mexico City and teaching English in a small private school. Learning Spanish wasn’t too good but teaching English was.

I was fascinated by the magic aura of big cities, and Mexico City at that time was one of the biggest. Then it was back to civilization for a few years, but the lure of developing countries and trying to save the world was still in my blood. So in the early 1990’s I crashed in Jember in Indonesia and it was a beautiful place, relaxed and laid back. Mind you that was before the place went mad and I could never understand why.

Asia was now firmly planted in my blood and the Middle Kingdom was calling so it was an easy hop to Hong Kong. Hong Kong before the Handover was screaming out for teachers, anyone would do. Here I was stuck in a big modern city, but I paid the price in stress and crowded living. I loved it all the same, and to get away from the crowds and the pressure all it took was a jump across the border. We all had to leave after HK went back to China so it was onto China.

This was China before it went economically mad and they were screaming out for teachers. So it was back to a developing country but this country was developing into an economical powerhouse that would influence the world for years to come. Anyway to tackle the adult students –who were all learning English so they could immigrate to a better life, only to realize if they had stayed in China they would be in the top of their fields — we were teaching everything from beginner to advanced and everything in between. They were the good old days and at that time it was all adult students. We were surrounded by friends who would always help you when you needed it.

With all this feverish study going on all around me I caught the bug and in 2004 ended up back at University in little old New Zealand as a very adult student. This time doing a “Graduate Diploma In Adult Teaching and Learning” at Massey U with a major in ESL. The only trouble was after I came back to China in 2008 the adult teaching market had collapsed and was being replaced by kindergarten and primary school. So it was onto teaching kids and this wasn’t so bad. To help the kids I had to learn new things and this is where I was first introduced to the “Montessori Method of Teaching.” I tried it out and it was so successful I never looked back. Now all I teach is kindergarten and primary school, the adult market has collapsed.

With the Middle Kingdom heading for superpower status it is now fast churning out traffic-jammed mega-cities, clouded in pollution. It is getting too difficult to get to the schools. I spend most of my life in traffic jams and endless queues at the supermarket and every morning I wait for the pollution cloud to lift. So it was time to find something else to bring in the daily bread. As they say the next big thing is the internet, so a couple of years ago I set up this website. It started out as a teaching reading website and has grown, it is still not big enough to live off but I am working on that.

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The Internet and Me

I’m heading to 60 in the next couple of years and I’ve been apart of this internet thing for as long as I can remember. I started out on computers before Win98 and the first modem I got was a, I think, 28 and I upgraded to 33 I think, and I thought the world has just got incredible fast. Then I think we went to 56.

I not sure, some people would say Alzheimer’s was setting in, but I just read on the internet this morning, that old people are slow because they have a lot of memories they have to sift through, to get to what they are looking for, and I’m going back a few years.

I think I was the first person in my apartment block to have internet, as I was the only apartment to get a bill from the internet company. But that all changed. Fast. Anyway when my win98 clapped out from old age I upgraded to xp then onto Win7 and now I’ve finally made it to Win10

I still tell the younger generation about a scene from “Scary Movie 3” when Cindy types in a name into the search box, and then pop, pop, pop the whole screen is full of advertisements popups. They don’t believe me. That is what the internet was like in the good old days. It has changed a lot since then.

Thinking back to my internet days I can’t remember when I started these things and I could probably look them up on the internet but why. I checked out secondlife back when my kid was 3 and now she is 17 so it has been a few years. And I still potter round on secondlife on Sundays when I go to church.

It’s a good life. Most things kids take for granted we were at the forefront. My niece was utterly amazed that I was on facebook before her as her dad, my brother is a bit slow when it comes to tech.

One of the saddest days of my internet life, was when they shut down the alternative health forum I belonged too. I never met any of the people on the forum, but they were my friends. We had some great chats then. To date, nothing has replaced that in my life.

Another memorable internet moment was, when I was teaching English in China and I was on my favorite online game, and it come up in the chat box ‘Bad earthquake in China’ I said ‘I was in China and I knew nothing’ there was nothing on the news sites. The game nearly came to standstill as people were trying to find out what was going on, there were condolences in the chat box. We knew it was bad, very bad as a few of the gamers were on site, but we never knew it was that terrible. Then it was back to the game.

The internet was the future and I wanted to be a part of it. Next it was time to have a go at online education. I did my Graduate Diploma online, took a couple of years but I finished it. Now that is the way of the future of education, now I am into MOOCs instead of MOOGs.

Before SARS circled the globe I checked the internet typing in all the symptoms and the only thing that came up was a bioweapon. I was a bit worried. But that what the internet was all about, instant information and I loved it.

The first book I brought off amazon.com was a disaster. They sent the wrong book. I don’t know if it was deliberate or not, but I do have my suspicions. It was one of the subsidiaries that sell on Amazon, and they sent me a way out of date book by the same author. I was really pissed off to say the least as I wanted that book. One of the pitfalls of buying on the internet is, it costs more than the book is worth to post it back. I still haven’t brought that book.

Here is a snippet of what I have on the internet

I’ve had a website for years,

tried my own TV channel on ustream.tv,

have a secondlife.com avatar,

profile pages on twitter.com and linkedin.com,

put videos up on youtube.com and viddler.com,

even set up an internet business,

published books on amazon.com and lulu.com,

put up pdfs to scribd.com to read free online,

articles to hubpages.com and squidoo.com,

and that doesn’t include the things I’ve forgotten about.

Just to find out what is about me on the internet, my internet footprint, I google my name and all the other log in names I can remember.

And to top it off I went to my mum’s funeral on skype. I was sitting there behind my screen, ten hours by plane away, in a tie and shorts watching the funeral procession. Even at the wake I saw mum lying there peacefully. That was a first for a lot of people. Even the funeral director said it was a first. But that is the future. The internet has kept the family together, skyping around the globe and sending emails faster than the eye can see.

But I am getting left behind now. Before I was ahead of the curve, but now the curve has overtaken me. I still use tech I am comfortable with. I haven’t updated, I’m still using Win10. Now I use open office and kampozer instead of microsoft office. When this computer claps out I’ll upgrade, right how there is no need too.

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