The Best of Creative Computing Volume 1 (published 1976)

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Learning, Innovation, and Animals (exercises)

graphic of page

Strange and Familiar

We've seen from the animal exercises how we can make finer and finer comparisons
until we can distinguish almost any kind of animal. But now, suppose that
instead of comparing similar things (animals), we make comparisons between
things that are outwardly different, between things that might conflict with
each other. In doing the following exercises, let your mind stretch a bit. Try
to be aware of not only the way you see things, but how they might be seen by an
insect or a rock or an old man or someone on another planet.



For each of the questions below, choose the answer you think is best. Then write
a sentence or two to explain your choice. Here is a sample question with two
completely different sample answers. Neither answer is right or wrong. What is
important is the reason you have for your choice.

Q.What needs more protection? TURTLE or ROCK 
A.Turtle - because rocks are not even alive.

A. Rock - because a turtle can regrow a break in its shell. If a rock cracks it
can't mend itself.

The first time you read the question, the obvious response (Turtle) will
probably spring to your mind. However, once you go beyond the obvious, you might
find other interesting and innovative possibilities (Rock). Remember - there is
no one right answer.

1. Which is stronger? SCISSORS or FACIAL TISSUE
2. Which is dirtier? DIRT or DETERGENT
3. Which is more powerful? A BULLDOZER or YOUR CONSCIENCE
4. Which is lighter? HELIUM BALLOON or JOY
5. What color is love? Why?



Here are five more questions. The instructions are the same as in Exercise 5.

I Which is more talkative? A STREAM or THE WIND
2. Which is more alive? AN OSTRICH EGG or A RICE PLANT
3. Which is brighter? A FLAME or A CHlLD'S LAUGH
4. Which lasts longer? A PAIR OF JEANS or A DROP OF RAIN
5. Which sees more? YOUR FINGERS or YOUR EARS



In this exercise we will be looking for the connectives between two dissimilar
things. The connections may or not be obvious. Write a sentence or two answer to
each of the following questions. Remember - there is no right answer.

1. How is AN ICEBERG like a BIG IDEA?

2. How is s SUNSET like a MIRROR?

3. How is a TREE like SELF RESPECT?

4. How is the BEACH like TIME?

5. How are INTEGRITY and the OCEAN alike?




For this exercise you should have a partner. For each question, you should come
up with a one or two word answer. Then trade papers with your partner who must
explain your answer. For example:


YOUR ANSWER: A Kangaroo.

(Trade papers with your partner)
PARTNER EXPLANATION: A kangaroo is like a delivery truck because it carries its
young around in a pouch.

Stretch your comparisons. Try to stump your partner. However, your partner can
challenge you. Therefore, don't go so far out that you can't make the connection
yourself. If you can't explain your connection, you are stumped!

1. A CANDLE is like what ANIMAL?

2. What aspect of COMPUTERS reminds you of TARROT cards?

3. What part of the HUMAN BODY is like an APPLE?


5. What ANIMAL behaves like SATURDAY?



Get a new partner and do these five questions the same as Exercise 8.

l.What PLANT could best teach a child SELF CONFIDENCE?

2. The idea of COMFORT may have come from what ANIMAL?

3.A MAGNET behaves like what part of the HUMAN BODY?

4. The phrase EXACT DISORDER could describe what?

5. What might be described by the words, STRAIGHT TWIST?


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