Friday, October 14, 2011

A Boy and His Worm

"It may be doubted whether there are many other creatures which have played so important a part in the history of the world."
                                                                                                         Charles Darwin
   The best learning experiences often occur when least expected.
   I was sitting on the patio playing with my iPad 2 as grandson Asher was busily playing in the
dirt with his toy front loader. Suddenly, I heard his excited cry, “G-dad! I found a worm!”
     Sure enough, he had a worm in his hand and was examining it closely. 
     Where’s are its eyes? Where is its mouth? What does it eat? Where is its head?
   I explained that the worm doesn’t have any eyes but it does have sensors near its head that are sensitive to light. I showed him that the pointy-end of the worm is its head.  The fact that the worm eats, among other things, bits of decayed plant and animal matter in the soil, and the fact that the worm eats dirt was hard for him to believe. He told me that he has tasted dirt and didn’t believe it was very good.
   I told him that the earthworm breathes through its skin and if it dries out, it will die. Therefore, to live, the worm must stay moist. It makes a form of mucous that keeps its skin from drying out.
   I explained that even though the worm lives underground, it makes tunnels in the dirt and the tunnels fill with air. This is how the worm gets a supply of air.
   We quickly found a shoebox with a lid and filled it with moist potting soil. Asher put the worm on top of the dirt and it quickly tunneled out of sight. Just to be sure, Asher used a spray bottle filled with water to moisten the surface of the dirt.
   As an educator, I've believed for a long time, that Kindergarten should be about teaching kids how to care for a living thing. There are so many wonderful creatures that youngsters like Asher and his sister Kate can learn about and care for. The next time they visit, I will have a box of dirt full of the biggest earthworms I can find and another box with mealworms. Mealworms like Cream of Wheat. 
    I once had a box of Madagascar hissing beetles but grandmother math made me get rid of them.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Magnet and Paper Clips Bottle

   Like all kids, grandsons John and Andrew really enjoy playing with magnets. Even very young children realize that a magnet has the mysterious ability to influence most metal objects (except brass, etc.) or other magnets without touching them!  That’s a superpower enjoyed mainly by individuals that wear tights and flit from building to building.
   Kids keep quiet about this mysterious power because they don’t yet have a vocabulary for asking questions. Later, a science teacher will tell them about ‘contact’ forces and ‘forces that act at a distance’ but by that time, the mystery of a magnet, met at a young age, has been long forgotten.
   Even the fact that their Androids and iPhones pluck electromagnetic waves out of thin air and put them in touch with someone ‘at a distance’ isn’t viewed as mystery. It just is.
   Here’s a simple magnetic device I designed for our grand kids and one that all kids will find easy to put together and fun to use. You don’t need much stuff and everything is sealed in a bottle so there’s no mess to clean up.

Materials:
From Radio Shack
   Round Ceramic Magnets (5-Pack) $3.19 Catalog #: 64-1888
Duct tape
Clear plastic bottle
Paper clips
   Have the kids
•   wash the bottle with warm, soapy water, rinse, and let dry
•   empty a box of paper clips into the bottle
•   set two or three of the magnets on the open, top of the bottle
•   tape the magnets to the top of the bottle
   That's it!
   By shaking the bottle, kids can create hanging paper clip structures. The problem I set the grand kids was to create a chain of paper clips from the top to the bottom of the bottle. It isn't difficult to do and sometimes the chain is thick, sometimes thin. The following picture shows such a chain.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Wallace and Gromit's Workshop


  
   One of the many joys of being a grandparent is the pleasure gained from repeated viewings of the Wallace and Gromit movies. It’s characteristic of childhood to enjoy doing the same thing over and over and I must admit that I’ll sit and watch Wallace and Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit with the grandkids even though I’ve seen it a dozen times.
   Wallace and Gromit are our English cousins so while wandering around the British Broadcasting Corporation's web site it wasn't too surprising to find Wallace and Gromit listings. Wallace is famous for his wacky inventions and Gromit is famous for bearing the unintended outcomes of most of those inventions.
   Imagine my excitement when I discovered that the BBC has created a web site designed for kids (of all ages, including 73) to solve mechanical problems. It's called the World of Invention Workshop. To see how easy it is to build machines in the workshop, just watch this short, 3-minute video that will help you and your kids or grand kids get started.
  Here's the link to the workshop. Have the kids click on www.bbc.co.uk/bbcone/wallaceandgromit/ and they're in.
   As a math and science educator, it's hard to convince teachers and parents that 'problem-solving' is the  most important skill to master for the digital age. Unfortunately, problem-solving doesn't happen much in the traditional curriculum. If physical exercise is good for physical health, and it is, then mental exercise in the form of problem-solving is essential to intellectual growth. Traditional curriculum offers little but physics-based games like Wallace and Gromit's Workshop are engaging and do offer essential mental exercise.
   Many of the problems met in the workshop are challenging. For help, send an email to grandadscience@gmail.com. Have fun and learn at the same time!



Saturday, July 16, 2011

Asher and Kate's Crystal Gardens

   The last post described how grandmothermath helped Asher and Kate each mix salt and food coloring in a glass of water. The glasses were set aside, in a place where they could be observed without disturbing the contents, to wait for each garden to 'grow'.
   Their mom just sent these pictures of the kids proudly holding their glasses showing the colored salt crystals left in each glass after the water has evaporated. 
   Kid's are naturally curious about the natural world and the time we take out of our busy schedules to help them learn to observe and ask questions about what they see, is a blessing for both the kids and the adults. 
   Richard Feynman, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist, probably the greatest physicist since Albert Einstein, has written much about the influence his father had on his success as a physicist. His dad, not himself a scientist, would go on long walks with young Richard and point out interesting objects and events. If you would like to read about his father's (and others) influence on his approach to science, you won't do better than to read his book, The Pleasure of Finding Things Out: The Best Short Works of Richard P. Feynman. The book is an easy read so don't be put off by the Nobel Prize.
   Asher and Kate, grandadscience says "Well done!"
   Now, what happens if you pour water into each glass?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Saltwater Crystal Garden

   Grandmothermath recently visited our Georgia grand kids. Their mom and dad wanted to get away for a few days to attend a medical conference leaving grandmother with the kids which is, of course, exactly what grandmother wanted. 
   Asher and Kate, both preschoolers,  enjoyed combining glasses of water colored with different food colorings (see Archives – March 2011 Another Grandadscience and Food Coloring) so I thought they would be interested in doing another food coloring activity.
   With that in mind, I emailed grandmothermath the following simple activity, which she did with the kids.

Materials: All that's needed is a box of table salt, a small water glass, food coloring, and a spoon.

   Have the kids fill the glass with warm water. Tell them to add a teaspoon of salt, stir, and check to see if all of the salt dissolved. If all of the salt dissolved, have them add a second or third teaspoon and stir until all, or almost all, of the salt dissolves. In this picture, Asher is stirring the salt and water.


   Kate prepares her glass of salt and water. A good idea is to have have kids feel salt in granular form and then try to 'feel' for the salt when dissolved in the water.


   Once the salt water is prepared, Asher and Kate add drops of food coloring to each glass and stir. This is the fun part.

   Locate a place for the kids to set the glasses where they can observe the slow evaporation (don't try to explain) over a period of days. Below is pictured a glass grandadscience made to illustrate how the colored salt crystals are left after all of the water has evaporated. Grandmothermath had to leave before this occurred with the kid's glasses.


   Many real-world events, like falling while playing (Asher is a fearless climber), happen in a hurry. For youngsters, these are the experiences that accelerate learning. Events that occur over time are much harder for youngsters to assimilate into their world view. Growing a plant is another great, long-term activity for kids to engage in.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Do You, Your Kids, or Your Grand Kids Have the Right Stuff?

   When grandadscience was a kid, the first TV set in our neighborhood attracted every kid living on G Street to the owner’s house. When the Atari 800 home computer hit the market in the early 1980s, grandadscience was the first kid on the block to own one. That computer pulled neighborhood kids, like a magnet, into our house. 
   We played hundreds of Pac Man, Missile Command, and Star Raiders games without having to put a single quarter into a slot. Actually, many of the games we played were, in fact, very educational to play. My two favorites were SCRAM (you ran a nuclear power plant) and, the topic of this post, Lunar Lander.
   Joshua, our oldest grandson, was with us for Easter and I was pleased to learn that he was excited to play the Chabot Science Center’s online version of Lunar Lander.
   As the title implies, the challenge is to land the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) on the surface of the moon. Fuel is limited and you must set the LEM down softly or it breaks.View this video for an actual in-game demonstration as to how to play the game.

   The power of the game (and every other ‘science-based’ simulation) is that it reverses the traditional way science is learned. In school, students first learn the theory and then, if the student is lucky, they apply it. In playing the Lunar Lander game, you choose to learn, through trial and error, how to control the motion of the LEM so as to consistently achieve safe landings. The original Apollo astronauts spent many hours practicing in the NASA LEM simulator. Doesn’t it make sense that understanding the application first, makes learning the theory easier?
   A characteristic of any "computer simulation" is that evaluation (educators call it assessment) is built into the game. In Lunar Lander, evaluation is automatic; the player either successfully sets the LEM on the lunar surface, or crashes. Success is measured by how many soft landings the player can string together without a crash. Each successful landing is scored according to its difficulty. The landings get progressively harder and the player won't get past the first three or four without having figured out how "force" affects the motion of the LEM. Once this happens, the player becomes eager to maximize the score.
   To play the game, click on this link.


   There’s a very sophisticated version of Lunar Lander available for the PC. It puts the player in the  LEM cockpit with its myriad of switches, circuit breakers, dials, and controllers. Watch this short video that duplicates the Eagle (Apollo 11) landing on the moon. There’s a thick manual that goes with this program and if Joshua (or any other of the grand kids) ever get interested in learning to fly a much more realistic LEM, I’ll help get them through the manual and the program.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Magnet Play and Serious Learning

   Grandsons John and Andrew play with the suspended magnets ‘science toy’ their dad made from wood scraps and magnets purchased at a local Radio Shack®. As the boys play with their toys, the toys have a subtle but important role in fueling and sustaining their curiosity about the natural world they play and live in.
   As youngsters build their conceptual models of the physical world, they encounter two types of forces; contact forces and forces that act at a distance. Contact forces are easy for them to understand—they feel the handle of the wagon as they pull it along and they feel the force acting against them as they push on a box to move it. Force, defined as a push or pull on an object, is learned through play long before it’s taught in school.
  But the push or pull may not always be visible and result from directly contacting an object. Forces like gravity and magnetism, forces that act at a distance, across space, have a mysterious, ghostly quality to them. This toy is a great tool for kids to experience the forces of gravity and magnetism in a playful way.

Materials:
Magnets – go to your local Radio Shack® and ask the clerk for Catalog #: 64-1888, a package of five circular magnets with holes in the center. It will cost you three bucks.
  To make a magnet stand you can simply push a pencil through the bottom of a Styrofoam cup or, for a more permanent toy, drill a hole in a block of wood and glue a dowel in the hole. It’s that simple.

   Watch the kids as they play with the toy. You’ll see them experiment with both the attractive and repulsive magnetic forces as these forces also interact with the force of gravity. There’s a lot of science in this simple toy.    
   In earlier posts (see Do You Believe in Ghosts? (April 2009) and More Evidence that Ghosts Exists (June 2009)) I defined “ghosts” as unseen entities; that can exert an influence on objects in the physical world. A magnet can exert a force on another magnet or certain metals and a large mass, like the earth, can exert a force on a smaller mass, like you. In a later post I will discuss ‘field forces’ (of which magnetism and gravity are examples) and how field forces differ from contact forces.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Another Grandadscience and Food Coloring

   I begin this post with a Letter to the Editor from a grandfather that had just read an article in the November-December 2010 issue of American Scientist. The article makes the point that school is not where most Americans learn most of their science. It was my similar belief, held two years ago, that led me to start the grandadscience blog. Here's the letter. The italics are mine.


Innate Scientific Minds
To the Editors:

In response to "The 95 Percent Solution" by John H. Falk and Lynn Dierking (November-December), I have had the good fortune to spend a large part of my retirement babysitting my young, twin granddaughters. I have been amazed to watch their scientific experiments—testing the properties of various materials, exploring how those materials fit with other materials, picking up insects and examining them, on and on. They start, design and carry out these experiments on their own initiative. One possible conclusion to be drawn from the statistics in Drs. Falk's and Dierking's article is that it takes a number of years for the public school system to eliminate the early and natural scientific approach with which we are all endowed.

XXXX  XXXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXXXX, PA

   Not long ago we had the pleasure of having a young man live with us for two years as he got his life together. He recently paid us a visit and had his nephew, Carlos, with him. Carlos is in the fourth grade. Passing through the kitchen, I found grandmother math and Carlos doing a 'science' investigation.  With a kitchen full of chemicals and a curious, young mind, grandmothermath quickly had Carlos investigating the combination of different colors of food coloring. In this picture, Carlos is adding a couple of drops of blue food coloring to a glass of water colored with two drops of yellow food coloring.

    Like most kids his age, Carlos is eager to learn science but, as he reported, all they do at school is language arts and math. Science lessons are few and far between and, when they do happen,they are typically  reading lessons about science, not lesson about doing science, as grandmothermath gave to Carlos. 
   When it came time to leave, Carlos wanted to visit again and do more science with grandmothermath. We look forward to his next visit.
   Do you know if your kids or grand kids are learning science at school?
   I noticed that the last three posts have featured grandsons John and Andrew. Given the above and not wanting to slight any of the other four grand kids, I sent this chart to our daughter in Georgia. I suggested that she have four-year old Asher do the investigation and send grandadscience digital pictures to post. To give Asher a simple data collection sheet, I sent Winona, Asher's mom, the following chart in pdf file format. The blank spaces are for the kids to color, based upon the color changes (if any) Asher observes when doing the investigation.

    If you would like a copy of the chart to use with your children or grandchildren, just email a request for Color Chart to grandadscience@gmail.com.
    Here are the photos of Asher sent in by his mom. In the first picture, Asher is adding drops of red food coloring to a glass of clear water.
    In this picture Asher is recording data from his observation of any color change 
    What a surprise he had when he added two drops of blue to two drops of yellow and the water turned green!
    Like every good scientist, Asher told his mom he wants to repeat the investigation! Science is based upon repeatability of results so he will soon get another chance to mix food coloring in water.
    The focus on the activity that Asher exhibits in these pictures tell grandadscience and grandmothermath  that we need to send more simple activities for Asher to do.
   Good job Asher!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Alchemia from Springtail Studios

   In an earlier post (Springtail Computer Games – January 2011) I reported on the games designed and created at the Springtail Studios located in Romania. Their Haluz and Haluz2 games are free to play online. This post highlights Springtail’s Alchemia game, for both PC and Mac.
   The playable character in the game, for a reason that is obvious when you first see the character, is named Noses. A patrolling flying machine snatches his roasting chicken dinner. Noses knocks the bandit out of the air with a well-thrown hatchet and the flying thief crash lands in the nearby forest. Upon reaching the crash site, hoping to retrieve his dinner, Noses meets Lootpecker, the ghost in the machine. Lootpecker bemoans the fact that it can no longer hunt and asks Noses for his help in obtaining a new body. Thus begins their adventure.
   The following video solves Noses’ first problem.  He needs to follow Lootpecker through the opening yellow arrow) in the upper-right corner. To do so, Noses makes use of the tractor. Climbing aboard, he starts the tractor’s engine, puts in the clutch, shifts to first gear, steps on the gas pedal and drives the tractor forward. A brick, previously hidden under the tractor, is now revealed. Noses picks up the brick, shifts into reverse and backs the tractor back to where it was initially parked.  Shifting back into first gear, he sets the brick on the gas pedal and, as the tractor moves forward, grabs the rising chain. By tugging on the track control, he is carried through the opening, into the next chamber, and immediately faces the next problem to solve.
   I read the Manual and discovered that it explains why kids are much better problem-solvers than adults when playing these games. Kids will click on everything, aren’t afraid of doing something wrong, and will never read the manual.
   Here’s an excerpt from the manual:
      1.  Click on everything and see what happens.
      2.  You can’t do anything wrong in the game.
      3.  If you think you did something wrong, see point 2.
      4.  This game is so easy, you don’t have to read the manual
   Points 5 through 10 tell the player to lighten up and go with points 1 through 4.

   Attention to detail is the key to the game. In one level, an apple tree quickly goes through a year of growth. Picking up fallen apples is what’s needed to complete the level. I’ve played through the first seven levels with grandsons John and Andrew. During our next visit, we will finish Alchemia as our bedtime story game.
   If the frustration level gets too high, click on the Walkthrough button for a detailed solution to the level.
When you leave the game and return at a later time, typing in a Level Code lets you start where you left the game.
   All in all, at $7, the game is real bargain.
   Play the demo online at http://www.alchemiagame.com/ where you can also download the extended version.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Chess for Beginners

   During the recent holidays I was amazed to learn that grandson John, in Kindergarten, had learned from his dad the basic chess moves. John challenged granddad to a game and by golly he knew how to count the Knight move as either 1 vertical, 2 horizontal or 2 vertical, 1 horizontal. He knew the Bishops move along the diagonals, and so on, for all the chess pieces!
   For many years Martin Gardner wrote the Mathematical Games column in the Scientific American magazine. He had a large following among professional and laymen alike. He stripped away the drudgery-coating on school mathematics and revealed the hidden kernel of logic, beauty, and utility. My life-long interest in mathematics was sparked by a problem, I deemed insoluble, in one of his columns.
   In 1969 he suggested a chess variant on a 5 x 5 board in which all chess moves, including pawn double-move, en-passant capture, as and castling can be made. Here’s the board’s setup.
   I’ve often recommended the smaller board to parents and teachers interested in teaching the basics of chess. The smaller board makes for quicker games and let’s kids master the basic moves before moving to the larger 64-square battlefield. Also, the pawn double-move, en passant capture, and castling can be introduced when the transition to the larger board is made.
   If you are a chess player, share your knowledge with your kids and grand kids. Mask off a 5 x 5 section of a regular chess board or mark off a mini-chess board on a sheet of paper. Learning to play chess is one of those skills that anyone can take into adulthood and enjoy through life.
   I've been playing chess on my computer just to practice up for John's future challenges. I don't want grandadscience to be embarrassed.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The ABCs, D, and E for Elecricity

I recently received this E-mail from our oldest son. He and his family are currently living in Ohio.  Our grandson John is in Kindergarten and his younger brother, Andrew, is still at home with mom. Our son sent me this e-mail which inspired this post.

Dad - The kids have a 'How Things Work' book that they often ask to have read before bed.  One of the sections is on a coal power plant.  I explain the whole process from coal in the furnace to turning on the light in the bedroom.  One of the stages is the turbine/electro-magnet. 
Ann heard me read it to the boys today and mentioned that John was downstairs with a refrigerator magnet wrapped in a telephone recharger wire...spinning it to see if he could make electricity.  Do you have any cool creations on electro-magnets?
JG

    Obviously, John would like to build an electric generator. But before helping him and his dad make a generator, I sent the boys a couple of electromagnets made using a nail, insulated wire, masking tape, a rubber band, and a D-size battery for them to play with. 
It’s easy to wrap an electromagnet. To make one, have the kids or grand kids follow these steps.
•   Wrap the pointed end of the nail with a four-inch strip of masking tape. This covers the sharp end of the nail. Next to the taped end, wrap a second four-inch strip to provide a barrier that will hold the wire in tight coils. Stretch the rubber band around the battery and wrap a strip of masking tape around the battery to keep the band from slipping off and to hold the band snug against the ends of the battery .
•   Beginning at the masking tape, leaving 6-inches of wire at one end, start wrapping the wire in tight coils around the nail. Shove the coils together with your fingers. Wrap coils to the head end of the nail.
•   Wrap masking tape around the first layer to hold the coils in place. 
        
•  Wrap the wire in the opposite direction being careful to keep the coils together. Wrap to the end of the masking tape covering the first layer of coils.
•   Wrap masking tape around the second layer of coils to hold them in place.

   The electromagnet is ready for testing. Make a pile of paper clips or some other metal objects. Slide the bare end of each wire under the rubber band at the positive and negative ends of the battery. Press the ends of the battery with thumb and forefinger, put the head end of the nail in the pile of paper clips, and lift up as many clips as possible.
   When connected to the battery, the electromagnet can get hot. If they feel the electromagnet getting hot, tell the kids to drop the battery immediately and to pull the ends of the wires from the under the rubber band.
   With a working electromagnet, kids can explore which materials are attracted to the electromagnet and which are not. Encourage the kids to classify the materials. Challenge the kids to find a metal that is not attracted to the electromagnet.

   The electromagnet demonstrates to kids that electricity and magnetism are connected concepts.
In 1820, Hans Oersted discovered that a compass needle moved when placed near a wire carrying electricity. Compass needles detect magnetic fields. Oersted's discovery led to the electric motor. Soon after, Michael Faraday discovered that moving a magnet near a wire creates an electrical current in the wire. Faraday's discovery is the key to the electrical generator.

   What was in John’s mind, what was he expecting to observe when he wrapped wire around the refrigerator magnet? None of us know. But we can help our kids by making sure we know what they are curious about and then provide the materials they need to expand their knowledge of the physical world.
   A generator is harder to make than an electric motor. Next, I will send the boys a simple homopolar motor. It has a magnet, a coil of wire, and a battery. When assembled, the coil spins rapidly. The motor should show John how close he was to getting that refrigerator magnet to spin. I will describe how to make the homopolar motor in a later post.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

John and Andrew's First Experiment

   During a recent visit to our oldest son's family in Ohio, we arrived near the end of a snowstorm. The extreme cold weather made staying indoors, even for two boys, where they could play all day in their pajamas, very attractive.
   The two grandsons, John and Andrew, play extremely well together. They also amaze us with their antics.
   I grew up in a two-story house with carpeted stairs and my brother and I spent a lot of time playing on those steps, particularly in the winter. We slid down the banister, sledded down the stairs in a cardboard box, and shoved innumerable toys over the cliff to crash on the landing below. But we never thought of the method John and Andrew use, as seen in the following video, for getting from the upstairs to downstairs of their home.

   John is in Kindergarten and Andrew is a year younger. One of the things John is learning in school is the use of time to regulate events. The clock now tells him when to get up, get dressed, eat breakfast and when to catch the school bus. But time is also used to measure the duration of an even
   It’s common for kids at all grade levels to carry a cell phone. Besides a clock, the cell phone also has a calculator and stop watch. The boy’s dad, an Air Force officer with a degree in mechanical engineering, had the boys repeat the stair slide five times, using the stop watch cell phone function to measure and record the duration of each slide. Here’s the table dad sent.
   Besides learning that numbers can be attached to intervals of time, I wish I could have been there to hear how the boys related the numbers to ‘fastest’ and ‘slowest’! The larger the 'time' number, the slower the slide.
   Almost all the physical science concepts John and Andrew will meet in school are measured using just three units; mass, length, and time (MLT) or combinations of two or more of these units. For example, 60 miles per hour has the units length/time.
   Kids need a lot of hands-on experience measuring mass, length, and time separately before they are asked to understand concepts measured by combinations of two or more of these basic units. Timing the duration of an event with a stop watch, measuring the length of objects around the house, and checking the mass information on cans of food and are good activities for kids five years and older. The earlier kids learn that numbers describe properties of objects and events in the real world, the better. Don’t count on schools to do this.
  Perhaps it's time to put a spring-load tape measure and a simple mass balance in John and Andrew’s  toy box and let them start connecting numbers to the real world and not the abstractions met in textbooks.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Springtail Computer Games


   Grandsons John and Andrew are big fans of the computer games produced by the Amanita Designs studio. These include Samorost I and II (see April 2009 - Educational Games.1) and Machinarium (November 2009). Like any good storybook deserves repeated readings, good computer games deserve repeated play. During the holidays, I played through all three games with the boys, for the fourth time! 
   They like the storybook graphics, whimsical characters and stories, simple game play, and imaginative puzzles. Many of the puzzles involve operating a machine for which there are no instructions. They like these games so much that I did a Google search on ‘Samorost-like games' and found another contributor to this genre, Springtail Studio, that puts outs games equal in quality to Amanita Designs. The studio is found at

and lists three games, HaluzHaluz2, and Alchemia, all three of which can be played online. I bought the extended version of Alchemia (5 more levels than the online version) as a $7 download that can be played offline.
   Haluz is a story about a stolen TV satellite dish. The hero is a small, bluish character with protruding ears and a long snout. 
   A giant bird steals his satellite dish. This is the start of his pursuit of the bird, the dish, and ends in its eventual recovery. The following short video shows how to solve the first level. John and Andrew really like the rocket near the end of the level.

   I was curious as to the meaning of haluz. An Internet search revealed that the author’s name is Tomas, he’s 27years old, and he lives in Slovakia. Slovakia is in Europe and is bordered by the Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Poland, Ukraine, and Romania!
   He says he was inspired to write Haluz after playing Samorost. He also explained that haluz means 'tree-branch' and something weird, dream-like and funny (from the word “halucination”).
   In a future post I will review Haluz2.