Socialization 2

The Psych-Owl-Ogist listened intently to Retweet’s concerns about the earworm Tweetil had contracted after the visit of Trending and her tweetlets, Promoted Jnr and Popular.

“It seems to me you have a bigger problem than just an earworm” he said. “You remember when I told you how the higher the IQ was the smaller the percentage of the population it represented;
and that this could make it difficult for Tweetil and Tweetelle to fit in and that it was very likely that they would choose older tweetlets and adult Twitter birds for their friends. The problem they have with socializing with age peers is not related to your decision to continue with NEST Ed!”

“What you need to do is try to find some true peers for the tweetlets. I suggest that you join a parent support group or take some courses at the community centre in the subjects they love. You might also find some like-minds at the library, museum or planetarium.”

“For example” said the Psych-Owl-Ogist “when Owls who are interested in folk music want to meet others like them they go to a hootenanny!”

Often you can find great programs being held during the holidays. Humans can find information about holiday programs suitable for gifted children in the Gifted Resources Extension and Holiday Programs Newsletter.
The Autumn 2013 issue can be read at

Retweet was delighted to find that the Un-Olympics Bower was offering many interesting courses during their holiday program and that many bright eyed tweetlets of all ages had enrolled.


The Un-Olympics Bower 5.02

An unexpected result of the Twitter Birds Un-Olympics Bower 5 the Keep it Simply Science Bower was that Outfora Duck arrived seeking asylum from the Cricket.
“Every time they televise a cricket match and somebody goes out without making any runs, they stick a cricket cap on my head and a bat in my hand and force me to waddle across the screen looking stupid!” he complained “I’ve had enough! I’m going on strike!”

The Twitter Birds declared he would be safe hanginging out with them in the Un-Olympics Bower and they showed him their simulation of the explanation of the Higgs Boson particle.

The Un-Olympics Bower 5

The Creativity Challenge Un-Olympics Bower will today be the venue for the Twitter Birds Science Expo.

There will be opportunities to conduct science experiments, watch a film of the space shuttle launch and much excitement sharing links to recent discoveries, science programs and great blogs.

The Twitter Birds have brought links to recent science news

Higgs Boson particle

Cosmic Log MSN The Higgs Boson particle explained in just over a minute

The Guardian UK

The Twitter Birds also have some links for Online  science courses

MIT Open Courseware

RELATE Introductory Mechanics Course for Instructors and Advanced Students

Registration is open for a free online MIT-level course in Introductory Newtonian Mechanics targeting people with good knowledge and skills in mechanics that’s being given this summer by MIT professor David Pritchard and his education research group, RELATE ( The course will enable participants to improve both their conceptual overview and their problem-solving skills in mechanics.  The course features e-text, videos, simulations, problems, and weekly interactive office hours. More information at

Cybraryman’s Educational Web sites Science pages


World Builders

Virtual frog dissection

And they also have links to some interesting science blogs

Dr Jeff’s Blog on the Universe

The big blog theory

Krissy Venosdale Venspired blog


Apparently the pair sitting in the black ring had not read the small print and thought that the Un-Olympics Bower was set aside today as a place to kiss!

The Un-Olympics Bower 3

Today, as part of the Creativity Challenge, the Un-Olympics Bower is being used by the historical re-enactments group for young Twitter Birds – H.A.P.P.Y. – Historical Appreciation Parades & Performance Youth.

They often refer to the Society for Creative Anachronism and the SCA Demo site at to help them create their costumes and stage their events.

The Un-Olympics Bower 2

The first group to utilize the Un-Olympics Bower was the Twitterknitters Knitwits Group. They booked regular time in the bower to work on their current craft projects and display finished pieces.
Good fellowship and witty conversation is as important to the group as the knitting, crochet, lace making and patchwork quilting they enjoy.
The patron saint of this group is Leslie Graves of Ireland who has been delighting her friends in gifted education circles and on the Facebook Brilliant Chaos creativity group!/groups/brilliantchaosonline/   with her crocheted creatures who hatch from crocheted egglets

The Un-Olympics Bower



“Not all the Twitter Birds want to tweet about the Olympics” Sprite told me “and they said probably nearly all the Twitter trending topics will be about the Olympics.
So they have set up an Un-Olympics Bower on my blog where they are going to keep on reading books and writing and doing science stuff and painting and playing the sort of music that isn’t popular with most people and then tweeting about that.
They said they have made their bower with non-interlocking rings so that they won’t breach any IOC copyright stuff – See


I said they could do it. I hope that’s OK with you?”


“No problem!” I said “I do like watching some of the Olympic sports on TV but I don’t want it to be to the exclusion of everything else”


Australians love their sport and their sports stars.

See The ABC program Sporting Nation 

On 25 July 2011, the day of the first of the hearings for the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into the Education of Gifted and Talented Students,


the front page news was

Cadel Evans wins Tour de France


This led Carmel Meehan, President of the VAGTC, to say during her evidence

“We celebrate people like Cadel Evans. He had a problem that he has solved in a physical way, and we have him on the front page of our papers today. We have people like Gustav Nossal and people who are working in stem cell research in our universities and who are doing brilliant work, but we do not see much of that on the front page of the paper. Our gifted and talented students are the resource that we have to solve those problems and the people who tomorrow will be at the cutting edge of helping humanity to survive.”


“We acknowledge our sporting heroes. We have a very good model for acknowledging excellence in our sporting domains. That could be transposed very easily into celebration of academic excellence, problem-solving, music and arts. In this country if we have good leadership in acknowledging gifted and talented people and celebrating their successes in the way that we celebrate our sporting heroes’ successes, then we are well on the way to having a very smart next generation coming through.

What we are looking for is equity for all the fields, whether it be in sport, arts, dance, mathematics and science, or whatever. In a level playing field let us celebrate it all, not one at the expense of the other.”

On 12 August 2011 Cadel Evans was given a street parade through Melbourne

However we were not given a public holiday to celebrate his victory.

When Alan Bond’s yacht Australia II, with its winged keel designed by Ben Lexcen and Boxing Kangaroo flag, won the Americas Cup in 1983 then Prime Minister Bob Hawke famously proclaimed “Any boss who sacks anyone for not turning up today is a bum.”

I used to get annoyed that SBS would take one of my favourite TV programs Letters and Numbers off air in order to screen the Tour de France but this year the announcement is even more upsetting

Audience Announcement on their website  says

SBS has made a decision to rest Letters and Numbers and develop other programs so we can continue to offer new, great content to our audiences. The last episode will be transmitted on June 27.
Following Tour de France, Countdown – the UK version of Letters and Numbers – will air at 5:45pm weekdays.
Lily Serna, one of the shows stars, is working on a new show with SBS, Destination Flavour. SBS hopes the appetite for Letters and Numbers will be satisfied with the very popular UK series Countdown.

When I was young the quiz shows of the day, such as Pick a Box, had challenging questions and worthy champions such as Barry Jones.
Many of today’s quiz and game shows have become so trivialised and given such an emphasis on celebrities and pop culture that they do not appeal to me at all.
Letters and Numbers is one show that has not been dumbed down. I hope the ‘rest period’ of the show will be very short and the genuine locally produced  Australian show will return soon!

Victorians love their Australian Rules football.
I grew up in Geelong. In those days Geelong was the only team outside Melbourne in the Victorian Football League and the people of Geelong and the surrounding country areas of the state were enthusiastic supporters of Geelong’s team, the Cats.
It was essential for my father to be able to discuss football in order to relate to his clients and I was very interested in the Geelong team.
But my mother, who was a physiotherapist and a proud member of the Women Graduates Association in the days when very few women graduated from university, had no interest at all in the football.
One of her favourite news columnists was Keith Dunstan and she was delighted when he created the Anti-Football League that pokes fun at the obsession with Australian Rules football. The chief qualification for membership is not an active dislike but a disinterest in football, a desire to spend one’s time and conversation on other things. Members could wear a badge to indicate that they would like to have conversations on topics other than football.
 My mother was quick to purchase the badge in the shape of a square football and happy that the proceeds of the sales of the badges were donated to the Berry Street Babies Home. See


So I can very readily appreciate the Twitter Birds need for an Un-Olympics Bower and happy that Sprite is giving them a place to set it up. And as part of the July Creativity challenge I will assist them to hold Un-Olympics gatherings in the Un-Olympics Bower.