Preliminary Note: Nathan penned this post.
Since Kellie is on hiatus from blogging, I thought I'd surprise her with a new post.
On Saturday, Kellie and I took a 2½ hour drive down to the Columbus Temple. Unfortunately, Kellie had forgotten her book and stitching stuff (mostly because we got up at 5 and were out the door at 6), so she was bummed about not having entertainment for the long drive. We brought my computer with its map software and Kellie was reading directions. Once we got to the main stretch of freeway, I had Kellie open Firefox which had the Fantastic Contraption already loaded. This would become her entertainment to and from the temple (well, that and quizzing me about dental anatomy -- though I probably wouldn't consider that actual entertainment).
And so you ask, "What is the Fantastic Contraption?" It is described as a "fun online physics game." Yikes. Yeah, a description like that is enticing for me, but I can understand that for non nerdy folk (Kellie included), it would be a real turn-off. So it took the threat of a long, early-morning car ride without anything to keep her awake for Kellie to consent to try the game.
The basic premise of the game is to build a machine that will move a thing (circle, square, rectangle) into a defined goal area. The puzzles start out pretty simple and gradually advance to rather difficult conundrums. The most satisfying thing for me was that Kellie not only tried the game, but also had fun doing it.
I was very impressed with some of the designs she came up with. In one case, she solved in about ten minutes a level that I worked on for a good hour and a half before getting it right. See what she came up with here: http://FantasticContraption.com/?designId=1878414. When you open the page, be aware that what she needed to do was get the skinny, pink rectangle that's inside the car into the pink area labeled "goal." The main problem is the huge ball that blocks the way.
A couple other designs she invented are found here and here.
So even if you have never taken a course in physics, try your hand at this game -- you may surprise yourself at what you can invent!