First, let me thank everyone who sent good wishes and suggestions for dealing with my vertigo. I have tried most of them already, and they are helping. You can look at my recent Science Photo to learn more about what causes vertigo.
I have also been experimenting with my vertigo. I have a tendency to turn everything into a science project, and this one led some interesting observations. For example, I found that my vertigo is affected tremendously by position. Even when it seems to be completely gone, when I lie down the entire room starts spinning and flipping. The prone position is by far the worst.
It is also affected by sight and sounds. Sitting upright, with my head straight ahead and trying to read the titles of books on a shelf sends me right to the floor. Turning a page sideways, and reading it will do the same thing, even when I hold my head very straight and still. Even looking at a pattern of vertical stripes will sometimes set it off.
The vertigo is sometimes set off by a sound behind me that moves from one side to the other. This one really puzzles me, but I have tested it several times, and it happens fairly often.
Probably the most interesting experiment was with my inversion table. I was having a bit of vertigo, and decided to see what would happen if I were upside down. Amazingly, being upside down seemed to be right side up. My brain immediately accepted the ceiling as the floor, and everything felt more “normal” and right side up than I have felt for the past few weeks.
While it is improving, the vertigo is putting a crimp in my video production schedule. Shooting video with vertigo would give me lots of bloopers, but the actual learning part of the video would probably not be very good. Instead, I have been working on a couple of other projects.
The first is a new look at my Study Units. I want to expand on the idea, adding more resources for younger students, with the goal of turning each into an organized unit that can be used for K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and advanced learners. The lines will be blurred quite a bit, since I was taught to present for a family audience, and I also want to give students enough material that they can easily go beyond the basic recommendations for their grade level. I am currently adding pages to the Minerals and Rocks Study Units, but will be working on all of them, as well as adding some new Study Units. I see the possibility of this turning into a full science curriculum eventually.
I am also working to correct some of the strangeness that pops up in some of the newest browser updates, to polish up some of the rough areas on the site, and looking at ways to improve things.
With that in mind, are there any features that you think would improve the site? For example, some that subscribers have suggested include:
1. A section on each page for people to share lesson plans and other ways that they used, modified, or added to the resources.
2. A rating system, either a thumbs up/down or 1-5 happy faces for the videos, experiments, etc., so you can easily tell what is most popular.
3. An “Ask the Happy Scientist” section for science questions.
4. The Happy Scientist’s Library, with books I am currently reading, as well as comments and reviews of some of my favorite science books.
5. A way to check off the videos, etc. that you have used, and print the list for documentation, or keeping track of your progress. You can already use the “Done/Not Done” links at the bottom of each content, but I want to add a report page that makes it easy to print out a list of what you have done.
If any of those sounds particularly useful, or if you have other suggestions, please leave a comment.