Thursday, February 26, 2009

My Alien Diversion - A Learning Experience

When I've been sitting on my bum for a few hours in front of my computer, I look forward to the occasional diversion; I usually go mow the lawn, do some housework, get a coffee or go for a walk. But this morning's diversion was a new learning experience as I became aware of Aliens among us.


When Tory, my seven year old grandson sidled up to me and said, "Pop, can you help me birth an Alien?" I had no idea what he was talking about and a little worried about what might come next, given the state of television and some of the topics that are discussed in prime time.

I said, "Tell me more."

He handed me a plastic cylinder six inches tall with a white cocoon inside and a sheet of paper with directions. Here was his new Alien. All I had to do was remove the top transport stopper and pour water into it and bingo, an Alien would appear with a flashing light. "Yeah, that's right", I thought and helped him pour water into the top.

Within minutes, the water had dissolved the cocoon and there in front of me, safely contained within the cylinder was an Alien creature with a flashing light on it's forehead. Not only that, the light could change colour.

The light was orange, which meant it needed "food". From a silver packet included with the kit, we poured some Alien food into 125ml of water and the light changed from orange to green ... a good health signal.

When I took Tory to school as I do on Tuesday mornings, I ensured him the Alien creature would be fine at home alone all day and that he could feed it again tomorrow.

Never before in my long years had I seen such a kid's toy. We both learnt something that morning.

There must be a group of engineers and scientists out there who do nothing else at work, but design toys for kids. They'll never be out of a job and their work becomes more and more technologically advanced.

So, this morning's diversion was a welcome, if unusual diversion. But, I'll have to go now, I'm off to KMart to buy an Alien Creature of my own.


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