How can a quarts crystal pace a clock? On the other hand, how can a belief pace ahuman being?


Tick, tock, tick, tock, … you are reading a time-clock.

In scientific terms 32,768 Hertz

Isn’t that just stunning? I mean in one second you have to count from 1 to 32,768 – it is humanly impossible. It is this vibration that has me in awe in this article. Please wait for it. That same 32,768-quartz-crystal makes a clock tick at one beat per second! But how?      

It all started when my wife asked me to replace the batteries of two of the quartz clocks in our home. You will see them. They run on penlight batteries (AA). One of the clocks casings are translucent; the mechanisms are visible through the light-grey case. It is very inexpensive and costs about $5 to $12 (US). Why all the fuss about such a cheap product? That is precisely the point—the miracle in the $8 mechanism. I have searched how a quartz clock works; you don’t have to. It is then that I discovered the super brilliant video of Steve Mould on quartz clocks. Make sure you view it!



This resource introduces a simple lesson of cardmaking with electrical circuits. STEM & STEAM focus. The project – a greeting card – includes cardboard, and an elementary electrical circuit running on 3 Volts (coin battery). The sticky copper strip circuit for the card involves the 3-Volt battery, a Led (light), and a switch. Arts and crafts are used to create the artwork – for example, watercolours, ink sketching, and more. The resource then progresses in discussing more advanced digital components like microprocessors (Microbit, Picaxe, Raspberry Pi, and Arduino). These sophisticated electronic devices could be included to produce a greeting card with more functions or a next project. The lesson encompasses integrated learning, critical thinking and global citizenship. A Tinker Space – located in the corner of a classroom – would be most beneficial so students can experiment with their ideas. Essential hand tools (scissors, pliers, side cutters, etc.) and a soldering station would be required for tinkering and creating quality projects. The focus is on Junior high school Design and Visual Communication, Technology and Digital Technologies. However, the resource is suitable for senior-primary school students. 



Spiritual Perspective using Tardigrades and Radiotrophic Fungi

When the enemy – the devil – had issued a warrant for your arrest, you have to defend – and attack – like a strong, brave, and courageous warrior! When you are knocked down by the enemy – laying vulnerable on the ground and hearing the final count – you have to dig deep and pluck up the courage to stand up, dust yourself off, square your shoulders, and fight back. You have to do spiritual battle and destroy the forces of darkness by using your mouth. Faith has to rise up in your heart. Just as real as God our Father is and Jesus Christ our Rock are, the demonic forces and Satan is real. Satan intends to harm you, to destroy your future, to take you out by creating extreme situations. The enemy begins ‘boiling and freezing’ conditions. Attacks and exclusions (rejection) by people are such examples. Jesus refers to people who are under the influence and control of Satan:

You are of your father, the devil, and it is your will to practice the desires [which are characteristic] of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks what is natural to him, for he is a liar and the father of lies and half-truths. John 8:44 Amp


A TRUE STORY: Man spends three days in the deep, dark belly of a cruel monster, dying slowly.

This extraordinary true story of survival and rescue has gripped my attention and sent my imagination running wild. In April 2020, during the COVID-19 lockdown, I watched the documentary on the National Geographic channel with the title ‘Rescued.’ For days, I pondered the desperate situation Harrison found himself in on that day. There are so many unique aspects to the story. I have done some research, and I will share it with you. But first, the facts. The rescue was successfully executed in 2013.


CHILDHOOD MEMORIES: Read the slotcar story (Scalextric).

Pleasant childhood memory can provide us with pleasant thoughts. It is as sweet as honey. Our eyes light up when we tell these stories, and it elicits more and more delightful stories in the minds of those who are listening in — they just can’t wait to share their childhood memories. It is so exciting. We are created for the narrative – sharing personal stories – it satisfies our soul.

I have some childhood memories to share – I have sketched it for you. I have summarised it in a title of only six words.  A six-word-memory. As you read this article, I hope you are prompted to think about some of your childhood memories.

In this article, I have also included some things you could do to remember — and enjoy — your childhood memories.


It is the year 2060. An astronaut, John Ogilvie, is living somewhere in space – he and his dog make a life-changing discovery. His life is in danger. Will he reveal what he has found? An earth and space altering decision are made. Paradigms shifts – equivalent to the astronomical upheaval in Copernicus’ time – are about to take place. A potential eruption is building.


*ADDITIONAL TO THE STORY: Also, see the lessons for teachers and students:Aeronaucal engineer (Mars Living):


You won’t believe how simple it is to set goals and achieve them. It is just like rowing in a rowboat! The most important thing is making small marginal changes in the way you do things. How do you eat an elephant? The answer is piece by piece. Here – in this article – I will share with you what I have learned about achieving a personal goal.

My goal? To develop my sketching skills in my special notebooks, specifically using watercolours.

I love making notes and simple sketches in my notebooks. Quality paper and a hardcover notebook are essential to me. I love to feel a quality notebook in my hands. So, I have been on a journey to set a goal of making at least one watercolour sketch every 3 days. I have been at it for 6 weeks now.



When the foam opened, green and white parcels of paper stared at Howard Kirby. He pushed his hand into the foam cushion; he could feel more packets! Kirby pulled a couple out. The green and white paper packets were wrapped in separate packages - transparent plastic neatly divided several stacks. Some neatly printed labels – marking the packets – were written on the packets to mark the small parcels. It was meticulously organised.  

Slowly he pulled all the packets out of the pocket. He placed it on the couch; some packets dropped out of his hand and fell to the ground. He grabbed the cushion by the ears - pocket opening facing down - and shooked every parcel out. He checked and double-checked the pocket in the foam. It was empty. While holding the cushion in both hands, his eyes were transfixed on the green and white coloured packets laying on the couch and the ground. He placed the cushion back on the ottoman and picked up two packets - one in each hand.

‘How on earth did this get into the ottoman?’ he whispered to himself. ‘What a windfall!’



The sheer pleasure of seeing the black ink flow from different nibs onto a top-quality watercolour notebook or sketchbook will bring joy to your soul. When choosing, mixing and applying watercolours to those sketches – seeing the pigment doing magic on the page – with a watercolour brush that oozes delight, frees the soul and awakens the senses. It is pure therapy; the sometimes troubled heart – in a modern, instant, and busy world, which appears to be out of kilter – has to find solace somewhere.       


The black river flows from deep within,
It conjures up vivid memories from the past;
It stains the pure white paper,
It squiggles; it makes a mark.

The liquid-coloured-pigment rushes to a special corner,
It highlights the bright sun.
It touches the black ink and it feathers;
There is a hint of sadness.

Then, as I step back, I see the full picture;
It is beautiful!
The memory on the paper flows and flows;
As it dries, my heart is etched in full colour.

By William Van Zyl

‘Centrifugals and Centripetals’

What are the forces that ‘centrifugals or centripetals’ your life? Or, maybe there is no pull. Are you alone and weightless? Are your joints, bones and muscles aching?

What has Potočnik and the wheel of Von  Braun – aeronautical concepts and pioneers – to do with spiritual and other life forces?

In the modern contemporary world that we live in today – being constantly pulled in all different directions and threatening to fly apart – what could we do to keep our joints (faith) muscles (resilience) and bones (hope and promises) strong? Are these foreign forces overpowering you? Have you ever sat down and investigate the ‘gravitational forces’ that are influencing you? Are your bones and muscles weakening? Are your hope and faith dashed? Do you feel unloved?

Maybe you are affected by the lack of solid and consistent centripetal and centrifugal forces? Are you feeling lonely? Have you lost your sense of direction?

In this unusual juxtaposition of science and spirituality, I use an unexpected parallel between the two to drive my point home. You will be pleasantly surprised. Please read on. I address the destroying forces that humans may experience today. However, I offer a possible solution. 


The story of the stylish fisherman that caught the most beautiful woman alive!


The parable of the stylish fisherman and how he caught the most beautiful woman alive will get everyone’s attention; the word stylish will make men turn their heads in this direction. How did the fisherman land the extravagant catch you may ask? I am glad you have asked. Every beautiful, elegant and exquisite woman wants a stylish gentleman next to her side. In this article, I will list and briefly discuss amazingly useful ideas and things that the style rookie could do to elevate his style to the next tier, namely ‘stylish gentlemen.’ Experienced men – if you are a late starter – this article on style is also for you! Parents with young boys will find this read very useful.     

Back to the parable, I am not talking about the live bait of the fisherman. Not the earthworm, or the cricket, I am talking about the angler’s use of style –fishing flies. I am referring to a man’s style, his presence, his confidence, his speech, and most importantly, his appearance. In short, I will use the presentation of the ‘hook.’ The lure, the fly, the spinner – in a freshwater fishing context. The underlying paradigm of this article is marriage – holy matrimony.

The ‘parable’ is about a young fisherman who could not catch any fish on a specific day. Being tired and disappointed, he took a feather from his wide-brimmed hat and tied it to his hook. He tied the beautiful feather to the hook with a piece of fragile thread. It all happened just before he went home. At the end of that day – quite disappointed – he tied the newly fashioned hook to his trout fishing line. On his second cast, a large trout took the fly! The colossal trout sent the reel screaming. The rainbow trout rocketed out of the water –vertically – doing everything in its power to escape. It was a sparkling rainbow beauty! He landed it, and the entire day ended with a highlight. Why am I telling this story? What is the moral of the story, you may ask? Be creative and innovative with your style. If you are stuck in a rut, make changes to your style; develop your fly box. Include variety. Be successful every day!



Vuurberg (Afrikaanse Gedig)

Kopiereg©William Van Zyl (2020)      

Ek slaan my oë op na die vuur,  

Fyn-wolk watte spinne-reën voor die son.

‘Dit is net damp.’

Vroegoggend slaan die vuur uit van agter die berg.

Die vuur-kolom het die destruksie van die nag verlig,

Negentien het nie naby my gekom nie – n vuurkolom het wag gehou.


Die verbond en die magtige berg, Sinai, het die pes verteer.

Op diè genadeplek – tussen die twee gerubs – op die deksel van die ark,

Daar het ek Sy stem gehoor:

“Bly op die genade plek – daar sal jy My stem hoor.”

Die stem van die Allerhoogste, gee my kalmte,

Ek geniet die beskerming van die Almagtige.


Sy vere en Sy vlerke bedek my – dit vou my toe.

Die warm nabyheid kan ek op my vel voel,

Die voëlvanger kan my nie vind nie.

Hy is my kleiner man-tot-man gevegskild,

Hy is ook die groot skild wat die pyle breek.

Hy is die snydende swaard wat uit my mond uitgaan.


Deur die nag het die pes getrek – dit het verby getrek.

Die diep granaat-rooi op die deurkosyn het die mag van die pes geknak.

Dit gaan oor my soos n ligte damp – dit is net fyn druppels.

Ek sien dit; maar as die son sy verkyning maak,

Verdamp die gevaar van die nag.

Die berg is nou verlig – Sy Vuurkolom-stale dryf die onheil weg.


Deur William Van Zyl (16 April 2020)


A UNIQUE ANDSTUNNING STORY: The Austronaut John Ogilvie  

It is the year 2060. An astronaut, John Ogilvie, is living somewhere in space – he and his dog make a life-changing discovery. His life is in danger. Will he reveal what he has found? An earth and space altering decision are made. Paradigms shifts – equivalent to the astronomical upheaval in Copernicus’ time – are about to take place. A potential eruption is building....

*Fiction - spiritual undertones.


I can see the flaming Sun—it is spewing red and yellow—I am so close to it. If I reach out, I can almost touch it.  It is very different here. It is dead quiet. Too quiet.

‘Am I really living here? It feels so surreal; I have to pinch myself.’

It is the year 2060.

Someone has asked me, ‘What is it like living out here?’ 

So, I explain: ‘I am five months travelling away from the known terra-firma – we have moved at a rocketing speed to get here. It is freezing cold. The Sun looks enormous from where I stand. I am afraid it will burn me. I have to turn my face away, down. I am out in the open – I feel so exposed.’ 

Very experienced and smart architects have come up with a couple of ‘house’ ideas, and here I am, living in one of them in this Godforsaken landscape. There is a patch of green here and there  our fruit and veg are covered with domes. The exterior texture of the pod which we live in is rough and contains iron and basalt. It has the same colour as the surface of this place. The houses were created with a massive 3-D printer. When we landed, the three of us watched the large machine print our home right in front of our very eyes. The windows look like square alien eyes – it was installed after the printing was complete. This place doesn’t have a magnetic field  like Earth  to protect it from the rigours of space weather and the Sun’s radiation. The pod and windows are designed to protect us from the damaging rays of the Sun. Specifically, when the Sun flares up in hot spots...    


Gebasseer op n ware verhaal: Beddeken Tossels.

Mev Venter lê bewusteloos op haar bed; n sagte suiggeluid breek die stilte in die slaapkamer. 

Mev Venter toon geen respons.

Daar is die suig geluid weer.  

Mev Venter lê roerloos dwars oor haar bed.

Op die grond beweeg n klein bondeltjie.

Twee klein armpies swaai en gryp in die lug.

Die klein vasgedraaide klein mensie kan nie meer huil nie.

Dit is dag twee.

Dan ontwaak Mev Venter uit haar diep slaap.

“Waar is my baba?”

Haar liefdevolle hand soek oor haar bed. Hy is weg.

Sy raak angstig.

Dan, kyk sy na die vloer.

“Daar is hy, daar is hy!  Hy het iets in sy mond. O nee!”

Fransie maak sy oë oop as hy sy ma se stem hoor.

Sy mond beweeg in a suig beweging.

Dan swaai sy arms asof hy nie asem kan kry nie.

“Wat is in jou mond?” roep Fransie se ma uit as sy opspring en hom opraap.

Sy is deur die slaap. N diep slaap.

Die stukkie lyn van n bruin klos steek by sy mond uit.

Sy trek die nat gekoude bondel uit haar baba se mond.

Dit is n tossel! Hy het n beddeken tossel in sy mond. Dit is my beddeken se tossel!” gil Mev Venter.

Klein Fransie hyg na sy asem. 

“Dank die Vader hy lewe!” sug Mev Venter.  




When a helium balloon pops hundreds of meters – high up in the sky – it glides and floats down as soft bait. The Maori Sky Father (New Zealand context) – Ranginui – immediately issues a warning:


Alert! Alert!


(Kia Mataara,


Kia Mataara!)

‘Floating jellyfish over a city. It carries a message.’


Write a 1000-word essay on Helium balloons and Sky lanterns; discuss the devastating effects on our oceans' marine life? Focus on hooking the reader in— provide an engaging introductory paragraph. Choose a title for the Essay that draws attention. Make it pop. Consider your first sentence – setting the scene for the Essay. Compare and contrast some of the research data and other known facts. Use the exemplar essay for inspiration. Using your current writing skill — and challenging yourself —improve your paragraph writing, sentence styles, punctuation, and more in the process.

Plan your Essay. Show your planning (take a picture and add it at the end of your Essay. Please share it with your teacher (Google Doc). For example, show the introduction paragraph, the body (middle), and the concluding paragraph. Take the body paragraph and carefully plan how you would use your research data.

You could use helium balloons and Sky lanterns for your Essay. However, if you want to write about something else, that harms the environment, please do so.


  1. Hooking the reader in with an exciting and compelling introduction.
  2. Spend time on your very first sentence, crafting a uniquely designed sentence.
  3. Planning and structuring of the paragraphs.
  4. Include comparison and contrasting of two subjects: E.g. helium balloons and sky lanterns.
  5. Exploring the sustainable practice of these items and the impact on the environment (parts, movement, animal behaviour, and more).
  6. Conclusion: delivering a power sentence/paragraph at the end (short/ powerful/pro-active).
  7. Providing additional links and resources to inspire young writers to write on the topics of helium balloons and sky lanterns in the environment. Young writers could explore other sustainable aspects and other unsustainable ideas related to the named subjects — harming the environment. For example, meteorologist’s helium balloons pop high up in the sky and eventually falls to earth. Skyfall. It could reach land, the ocean, a river or a dam. Though we all need weather data, how could these large rubber balloons influence the environment? Are alternative solutions available? Are there other methods to collect weather data?
  8. This lesson was inspired by the Write that Essay (WTE) education company in New Zealand. See 12-sentence styles, paragraph styles, and more.  


Fantasy Prophecy is a fascinating and compelling technique for Writing Fiction and Non-fiction.


Prophecies, or a prophecy, can add a fascinating plotline to a novel. It gives depth. It cleverly weaves mystery and suspense into the fabric of the story. It elevates the storyline. It intrigues!


[Prophesy] instils [a] story with a great sense of importance – as if the ages were just waiting for this one conjuncture of events, or particular character to come to prominence.  It can sometimes be found in historical novels, but it is fantasy writing that the use of prophecy is far more common, becoming almost an art form in itself.  Many readers may think that creating a fictitious prophecy would be straightforward, but it certainly isn’t, and it is especially difficult if you wish to imbue it with a high level of mystery and complexity.  After sprinkling prophecy throughout Game of Thrones, George R R Martin said ‘Prophecies are, you know, a double edge sword.  You have to handle them very carefully; I mean, they can add depth and interest to a book, but you don’t want to be too literal or too easy…’ 

Credit: Thomas M D Brooke. Link

When writers use this technique successfully – just like Herman Melville in Moby Dick and Shakespeare in Macbeth –advances their stories to a new level. The two famous authors display their accomplished writing skills by applying this technique very successfully. They produce anticipation, mystery, and suspense.  

From the author’s sketchbook: Moby-Dick; or, ‘The Whale’ is an 1851 novel by American writer Herman Melville. The book is the sailor Ishmael's narrative of Ahab's obsessive quest, captain of the whaling ship Pequod, for revenge on Moby Dick. The colossal white sperm whale - Moby Dick - snapped Captain Ahab's lef off at the knee. Ahab is out on the deep blue ocean in a whaling boat. He isseeking  revenge!


From the author’s sketchbook: The Tragedy of Macbeth by Shakespeare. Malcolm's soldiers were carrying the branches of Birnam Wood toward Dunsinane Castle to obscure their numbers. In the play, Macbeth is a Scottish general under the rule of King Duncan. Three witches tell Macbeth that he will become king of Scotland. Macbeth is spurred by his ambition and his wife, murdering Duncan and acceding to the throne. His reign is bloody and tyrannical and is ended by the combined forces of Scotland and England, published in 1623.    


Artwork -Herman Melville. Credit: William Van Zyl.

Three famous quotes by Melville ('Moby Dick'):

It is not down in any map; true places never are.


Better sleep with a sober cannibal than a drunken Christian. 


To the last, I grapple with thee; From Hell's heart, I stab at thee; For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee. 

ARTICLE:Leaving Your Comfort Zone Requires Courage. A Brave Move Will Make You More Efficient! A Lesson from 'The Little Prince' (Famous Novel by French Writer: Antoine De Saint-Exupèry 1943).


Brief overview of the novel - THE LITTLE PRINCE:


The famous novel by Saint-Ex – a children's book written in French – is about a young prince who visits various planets in space, including Earth, and addresses themes of loneliness, friendship, love, and loss. The Little Prince makes observations about life and human nature. The book is said to have many layers of life lessons locked into an unusual story. Several people have commented that the lessons they have learned from the book have impacted their lives.

The famous French writer: Antoine De Saint-Exupèry.

From my sketchbook: Le Petit Prince (French). 


The bracelet of the famous French writer found in a fishing net. Incredible find! Credit image: By Fredriga - Photo prise à Marseille Durant l'été 2009., Public Domain,  

Visit the website to see many more publications by the author. Read online for free:

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