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Mentally engaging website


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Here's a website that meets Cam's criteria for being mentally engaging.

It also does other Gamequitter's stuff:

-- offers an escape (you hafta concentrate hard) O.o

-- constant measurable progress (you learn stuff & collect reward badges):D

-- a challenge (how about advanced calculus?  differential equations? electrical engineering?  computer programming?B|

-- social (kind of:  you get to listen to Salman Khan's video lessons, or other experts on their fields)o.O

        You can also become a course coach, take Khan Academy into your community & more




Khan Academy is free.  Their motto is "A world-class education, for everyone, for free, forever".  :)

I have a couple of other websites up my sleeve, but will parcel them out.

The website is bug-free and never spams you.

-- KDY

Edited by KDY
Forgot the Khan Community info
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  • 2 months later...

Mentally engaging website #2:

Real-world learning when the triggers get you . . .

Here's my go-to place when the gaming bug bites -- except it's all real science.  You get to work with "primary sources" -- actual research material that the ordinary person never has a chance to see:  https://www.zooniverse.org/projects

ZOO began back in 2007, when an astronomer realized that he was drowning in data.  Automated data collection was the coming "thing", and he had the wisdom to recognize he couldn't keep up.  This was back in the days of "publish or perish" and closely-guarded data.  But hey, he was "perishing" anyway.  So he took the unheard-of brave step of putting his data on line and, basically, hollering "HELP!".  So ZOONIVERSE had its beginnings in astronomy, and still has a very strong collection of astronomy projects (map moon craters, the landscapes of Mars as its seasons change, track fearsome solar storms, find exo-planets, look for the birthplace of galaxies . . . and on and on).

ZOO has expanded to include 69 projects in disciplines from Astronomy to Zoology.  Study wildlife in Africa, count flowers in Ireland, transcribe original Elizabethan documents from Shakespeare's time, monitor penguins in Antarctica or condors in California, etc.

For history and military buffs:  Zooniverse military-related projects:
Measuring the Anzacs 
Operation War Diary  https://www.operationwardiary.org/
Decoding the Civil War https://www.zooniverse.org/projects/zooniverse/decoding-the-civil-war

History-related (more history than military)
Old Weather - lets you choose Arctic or Whaling ship log-books, hunting for clues to weather data

If you create a ZOO account, the system keeps track of all the projects you're on, and all the work you've done.  I joined ZOO when there were about 14 projects and 685,000 registered participants world wide.  There are now 69 projects and over 1.5 million people registered in the ZOONIVERSE.  Thousands more take part without registering.  New projects are always coming on line.

These projects have some of the things Cam teaches us to look for:
-- temporary escape (but into the real world);
-- constant measurable growth (most projects keep a count of your work);
-- a challenge (there's a tutorial for every project, so you learn new stuff);
-- social (there's always a "Talk" forum for each project, and several for ZOO as a whole, including scientists and project leaders).

Because most of the projects require close attention to detail, I find I don't fall into the endless-looping I did when gaming (going round, and round, and round again).  I get tired instead of just going numb, like I did with gaming.  Tired+sleepy = a good thing (going to bed).

Another project that might interest a history buff:  This one is from 2014, but looks like it is still running.  The goal is to transcribe the letters of the letters of the Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists in post-war US.  This includes a lot of correspondence with Albert Einstein.   Again, these are original (primary) documents.  The project is called "Dear Professor Einstein".  It is run by Oregon State University, in the USA.


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