I am a member of the Association for Computing Machinery. One of the membership benefits is access to SafariBooksOnline.com, books24x7.com and elementK.com
These online book services provide a large selection of current books with relevant topics that fall under Business, Personal Improvement, Engineering, IT and Technical areas. These books, in my opinion, would be useful to just about any Information Technology or Computing professional. One note: the selection is tailored for ACM members. ElementK also provides online lessons for those who want to keep their programming or management skills sharp.
Many times, the information I need to resolve issues is not always found on the internet. In the past, I would run to the public library or to a bookstore and hope to find a book that had the information I needed. Of course, if the book isn’t on the bookshelf, then that doesn’t work so good.
Now, I check out these online sources first before I go to a bookstore. Usually, I will find a book that has the information I need in it. Depending on the retail cost of the book, after using this service just 3 or 4 times, it pays for the cost of the membership.
Sometimes, you need to have a physical book with you. I look over the online books before I buy one. Usually you can tell after the first chapter or two if you’re going to like the book or not.
Till next time, check out the free trial to see what I mean
Yesterday, in my log I love teaching knots I forgot to mention the Sheet bend and the Sheep shank. Although these knots are used less frequently, they are very important knots too. The Sheet bend is used for joining two different sizes of rope together. The Sheep shank is used for shortening a rope without cutting it. The Sheep shank can also be used to temporarily work around a damaged part of a rope without losing the ropes strength.
While writing this article I found two websites that had some pretty good examples of tying these knots.
- I Will Knot! – has little video snippets that breaks down the knot tying into little bite sized pieces.
- Knots Gallery – has nice animations of various knots being tied
One note about the knots, the “Square knot” that is taught in Boy Scouts is referred to as the “Reef knot” elsewhere. So if you want to see what that looks, you’ll have to lookup Reef knot.
In Boy Scouts we try to have the Scouts learn a skill, master it, then teach it to younger scouts. In order to teach it, they need to be able to explain it in simple terms and demonstrate it in as simply as possible.
While it is great to see a student experience that moment of epiphany, when the light bulb goes on, it is even more rewarding to watch when the student becomes the teacher. They teach the skills I have taught them, then their students experience that moment when they understand. I hope these skills will be passed on to future generations.
Over the years, I have taught many different scouting skills to Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts between 9 to 18 years old. One of my favorite subjects to teach is knot tying.
One of the main reasons knot tying is my favorite, is because once someone learns the basics, they will be able to tie more difficult knots based on the foundations they’ve already learned.
The square knot is one of those classics that every scout learns first.
The knots based on the half hitch are:
- Clove Hitch
- Two-half hitches
- Taut-line hitch
The timberline hitch is one of those knots that is simple once the knot tyer gets the hang of it, then they use a half hitch to keep the knot taught.
Probably, one of the most complex knots I teach is the bowline. Instructors have different methods of how to teach this knot. Some like to teach it where the rope is around the person. Others like to have the student learn when it’s not around the persons body. When I teach this knot I explain that it’s a rescue knot & why it’s important to tie it correctly. I also take the time to teach them how to tie it both ways around their body & around someone elses body. Hopefully, if they ever have to use it, it would be to rescue someone else.
Another interesting thing I have come across when teaching knots has been if someone is left-handed. They usually tie it upside down. To most instructors, they sometimes get frustrated because the student isn’t getting it the way the instructor is teaching it. But when I see the student having difficulty, the first thing I ask them is whether they’re left or right handed. I have been gifted with being left handed, but I learned how to do everything with my right hand. So, I’m kind of ambidextrous. I adjust the lesson toward their understanding and then they get it.
I think probably the most rewarding part of teaching knots is when the student has an epiphany and have learned a skill for life. I love to see it when the lights go on
Till next time, I’ll be teaching this skill for life