Welcome to Wise Hat!
Esoteric, eclectic, electric, eccentric - these are just some of the words that appear on this page. Here are some more:
Can you spare some change?
I'm not thinking about money.
There's an old story about a king (for some reason it's always a king) that was prone to excess. When he was feeling on top of the world his largesse knew no bounds. He showered his favourites with goodies and ran up huge deficits in the process. He was just killing the kingdom with kindness. But then, when he was down, his fear and loathing ran rampant. Yesterday's favourite was the day's danger and the prisons would be filled to overflowing. Even with the inmates working for no wages it cost a fortune. Bankruptcy and ruin were but a breath away. The kingdom was desperate for respite.
So the king commanded his advisers to find some third way to help him keep the middle ground. And being a king, and this being a story, he commanded them on pain of death.
Now, it's said that fear of death focuses the mind wonderfully. But not by this author. Fear feeds fear and fear of death feeds death. The king had all but run out of advisers when his mood changed and he came up with the idea of offering half his kingdom and the hand of his daughter in marriage to the one who found a solution. Not fancying any of the advisors his daughter was quick to offer a suggestion. She presented the king with a ring upon which were inscribed four simple words.
Now those of you who know your stories and those of you with good eyesight may well think you know what the words were. You may think that the king was touched by his daughter's wisdom and learnt to live without excess. After all, the story supposes, the king was just a man and as such just needed a reminder to be good.
Not on your life, and not on mine.
The real problem was less the king than the notion of kingship. Of course, a tyrant is worse than a non-tyrant but what people in their right minds or their left ones would give one man so much power? Why would they submit to such a structure? Why accept something so baseless and unjust?
Fear, greed, disdain, ego - more words that appear on this page, but hopefully are not manifest elsewhere in this site.
This introduction seems to be going on a bit. There's a switch somewhere near the top of the page that will hide it. The same switch is on most pages. There's a certain element of randomness running through the site and the switch can be used to hide it. The randomness contributes to a further sprinkling of juxtaposition.
Anything that helps us to think and to feel is surely a good thing. This site is about change. Best get on with it.
Are We All Charlies?
My first splog update in almost 7 years! What do you think?
New Year Zodiac Puzzle
A crossword puzzle with a difference - only one clue! This sheet introduces the 12 animal signs used in the Japanese Zodiac. Have a look.
My New Resoution - Learn More English!
The New Year is a good time to get students to look at their learning habits and consider ways to do more English. Have a look.
Happy Year of the Sheep!
Across The Table
A fast paced game for small groups focussing on new vocabulary. Have a look.
Do You Like Cake?
Everyone likes cake? Well maybe not everyone will like these cakes! These cards began as a joke but are actually some of the more useful flashcards I have made. . Have a look.
The A to Zen of Teaching
A while back someone reminded me of this old article from Snakes and Ladders. Old it may be but I got more than something from rereading it.
I believe that the less a teacher teaches the more children will learn. Teaching destroys a child's capacity to learn spontaneously. Teachers are borderline criminals.
Picture & Phrase Match
This activity combines reading and listening with elements of a relay race. Can the team match all the phrases before the time runs out. Includes a set of downloadable cards. Go there.
A quick game that combines simple reading practise with the target shooting of basketball. Players move plastic letters around the board and make word/letter combinations to read. When they get a letter to the goal they get a chance to throw it in a pot. Read more...
A worksheet for more experienced learners for use with a short video about economic inequality. See the video and get the worksheet
This page updated by Chris (Hunt), 22nd of January 2015