Monday, March 13, 2006


The Map Guy doesn't know what to say about Egypt. But he approves of Egypt generally.

Things he thinks are neat about Egypt:

  • Sweet pyramids *
  • Hot (not like HERE right now)
  • There's a big sandbox called "the desert"
  • The Nile - which flows from South to North (kind of strange for such a big river.) It has the Aswan High Dam (you can see a movie that talks about how it was built called Building Big - Dams by David Maucallay) on it. It waters and fertilizes crops. And it has alligators with toothbrush birds. (ref. Tomie dePaola book Bill and Pete Go Down the Nile) According to Margaret Dashwood "The source of the Nile is in Abyssinia". Abyssinia is the ancient name for Ethiopia.
  • Stinks Sphynx. Big stone statue of a weird creature. The creature has the body of a lion (this is Africa remember) and the head of a woman I think. The nose got broken off by Napoleon's soldiers doing target practice!! What a shame!
  • Lot of old temples. Which are neat because they are so old. It is neat to think that people were in them THOUSANDS of years ago. Like the Pharaohs (the "kings" that ruled Egypt) and even Moses from the Old Testament.
  • The temples are covered with really neat writing called Hieroglyphics. For hundreds of years no-one knew how to read these hieroglyphics. Not until 1799 when they found the Rosetta Stone were they able to read them.
  • The Suez Canal is in Egypt.
  • Alexandria is one ancient Egyptian city. The library was said to have been the greatest of the ancient world. But you will hear more about this from Ria in another post.
  • Eratosthenes was a librarian. He measured the earth to amazing accuracy.
  • The Pharos (lighthouse) at Alexandria was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The pyramids are another. Two of the seven in one country! Pretty amazing country!

The Map Guy asks: "So have we done enough?"

Electroblogster says "I guess so."


* The Map Guy does not endorse the actual TASTING of pyramids. - - - maybe the pyramid candy souvenir chocolates would be OK though.

Disclaimer: Electroblogster "helped" the Map Guy do this post.


Dr. Thursday said...

Egypt is very interesting, and I could probably have a whole blogg about it - just think, some 5,000 years of history! I actually have a textbook on hieroglyphics, and a book from Dover on the Rosetta Stone, and other interesting things I needed for - ah - another project.

But you mentioned something else which is fun to talk about.

In computer science, we learned about a thing called the "Sieve of Eratosthenes" - it is a way of finding prime numbers. A prime number does not have any divisors except for itself and one. (13 is prime, 12 is not prime, because 2 goes into 12.) The "Sieve" is easy to do, and even kids can find prime numbers with it - and what's even more fun, you do NOT have to learn how to divide in order to use it!!!

I will tell you how to do it, so you do not have to go looking around. Take a blank page, and write the numbers, starting at one - go as high as you have room to write. To be tidy, you might just write them in ten columns. Let's say you go from one (at the top) to one hundred at the bottom. Then, sit back and enjoy the nice table of integers! (ah.)

OK, now when you are ready to do the sieve: get a new color pencil (it's not really necessary, but helps make for a nice design). Now, make a circle around your TWO, and then go through the table, putting a slash ("/") through every SECOND number - so you slash four, six, eight... etc until you come to the end of the table.

Now, go back to the top, and circle THREE, and slash every THIRD number (yes, you slashed SIX again - well, six is two times three, remember?) and so on down the table.

Now, back to the top, and circle FIVE, and slash every FIFTH number. ...

Now, back to the top, and circle - what? and then slash - what?

Now you see what happens? You keep going until there is nothing left to do.

The numbers with circles are prime. You can check, there ought to be 25 circles between 1 and 100 (check - one is neither circled nor slashed!) All the others are crossed off.

Hurray! No dividing, no sticky fingers, no crying, no crumbs for the dog to lick up. Lots of ancient math fun for the whole family.

(Oh yes, I am crazy today, waiting again for my machine to finish the next step...)

Dr. Thursday said...

Oh, I am SORRY.

I wrote about MATH. And your blogg says you are the MAP guy.

Hee hee. (You knew I was going to say that eventually, didn't you!)

Dr. Thursday said...

I wanted to say more, so I posted a longer entry on prime numbers over on my own blogg...

Love2Learn Mom said...

Thank you! Gus and Ria "did" your post for Math this morning. :)