Sunday, April 15, 2012

Minecraft Lesson Plans

Minecraft is a sandbox indie video game written in Java whereby you place blocks to build anything you can imagine. At night monsters come out; in order to stay alive, you have to build a shelter before that happens. It features music by Daniel C418 "Rosenfeld" and paintings by Kristoffer Zetterstrand

Minecraft allows players to explore, interact with, and modify a dynamically-generated map made of one-cubic-meter-sized blocks. The environment features plants, mobs, and items. Some activities in the game include mining for ore, fighting hostile mobs, and crafting new blocks and tools by gathering resources found in the game. The game's open-ended model allows players to create structures, creations and artwork on multiplayer servers or on their own single player maps. 

Game developers seem to be great believers in learning theories and brain research. They recognize that if the brain is not engaged in many ways, people will not play their games. 
The term "gamification" is described as "the concept that you can apply the basic elements that make games fun and engaging to do things that typically aren't considered a game." 
As a long-time fan of video gaming, I decided to look into Minecraft to see what types of lessons we could build around a game that gives players the ability to take raw materials and craft and shape tools, alter the landscape, build buildings, play music, and even build a working computer within the game. 
The creators of Minecraft recognize the importance of the quality of experience the player has and amount of effort he or she must exert to play the game. Six characteristics align well with the Minecraft learning environment and its operation. 
1. Rules: Just as rules are vital to establishing the boundaries within which the player plays a game, rules are an important part of delineating a learning environment. While most gamers insist that there are no rules in Minecraft given its open-ended platform, there are dozens of different preset activities that can be utilized as simple assignments. More advanced learning objectives can be designed whereby students can create their own content. Laying out a path for students to follow allows teachers to design lesson plans that engage students to share resources and play together as a team. 
2. Variable, quantifiable outcome. Variability of outcome is important in games because the level of uncertainty it introduces, in conjunction with the player's ability to have an impact on that outcome, is what makes the game playing experience compelling. Learning environments share this variability in that the amount of knowledge that will be gained is uncertain at the beginning. With regards to quantifiable outcomes, an assessment structure should be made clear to students before playing the game, this way learners know whether they have achieved the predetermined goal of the course/class. Variable, quantifiable outcome is of particular interest in considering game design as a model for pedagogy because an improper balance of variability and difficulty can be the death knell of a game, especially if that game is too easy or difficult or generally unpredictable. Minecraft meets this challenge, which makes developing syllabi and curricula compelling to learners. 
3. Value assigned to possible outcomes. This is perhaps the simplest parallel to make. Achievement in Minecraft is rewarded in a number of ways including points, uncovering ores or diamonds (with which you can use to build "stuff"), or progression further on in the game's narrative. Similarly grading/assessment can be used to evaluate the work done by students at different stages in the Minecraft learning environment. The challenge here is to find ways to use value assignment in Minecraft to motivate students as effectively as the assignment of points of and upgrades in games does to compel gamers or students to play games longer and more skillfully. 
4. Player effort. Another relatively straightforward parallel in Minecraft: Just as a gamer must exert effort to accomplish anything in a game, a learner only has the potential to learn if he or she invests energy in the work it takes to complete the tasks assigned in a learning environment. If, for example, the assignment is to build a small Rollercoaster or Subway, the assessment is clear, giving students a defined goal and the teacher a measure of assessment. Recreating a scene from the television show "Spongebob" or the movie "Titanic," for example, allows students the opportunity to imitate a work or style, an activity that can easily be linked to language arts and the use of parodies.  Minecraft inspires players to willfully exert effort in the hopes of accomplishment, a paradigm which is much more effective than the strategies of compulsion and mandatory work that many learning environments adopt. 
5. Player attached to outcome. With Minecraft, you can build entire cities in which a student can dwell and interact with other students in group building projects. A game player plays games because of the belief that the end result or reward of playing it is worth the effort exerted. Most gamers of Minecraft play because "it's fun" and "interesting" and gives them an opportunity to be "creative."  In Minecraft, there is certainly enough value to justify the work and for the gamer to establish an attachment to the game that will result in a psychological response to differing outcomes. Taking this into consideration with regards to learning environments, we can see how a student may be more likely to engage in a course if the possible outcome is in some way worth that engagement and is likely to engender a feeling of happiness. Therefore, creating the balance of attainability, apparent worth, and level of difficulty to interest students is definitely a challenge the creators of Minecraft have met. 
6. Negotiable consequences. While the link between games and real-life is negotiable, education on the other hand is inextricably linked to real-life. When the link between gaming assignments and grades are clear, the work done in the game can be seen as a motivator for students to engage in the activities of the learning environment (pre-established goal in the game). In this way, the game is not separate from real-life and the parallel between the game and learning can motivate students to think about how actively engaging in the game can ultimately benefit them (skills, grades, recognition). When curricula is structured around games that students like, the reward of learning is shown to be as worthwhile as the reward of leisure activities, making video games in the learning environment an enhancement rather than a hindrance or distraction. 
Noting these points of correlation between game design and the design of learning environments, we can begin to see numerous lesson plans emerging within the world of Minecraft

Minecraft and Popular Culture
(The Minecraft and Popular Culture article was written by my daughter, from the perspective of a keenly observant sibling who has watched her brother play the game for years. In her words...)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Young Curators: 100 Easy Lessons

Traditionally, curators hold higher academic degrees in their subject. Either a Doctor of Philosophy or a Master's degree in subjects such as History, History of Art, Archaeology, Anthropology, or the Classics. So, how do you introduce children to the world of artifacts, the world where an objects worth is recognized and preserved? 

The following lesson plan takes you through 100 days of objects, courtesy of BBC's "A History of the World", The British Museum, and Nomadic Education


In this lesson, students investigate the history of human ingenuity by becoming curators. Employing critical thinking skills, students are introduced to 100 objects and their respective histories. 

Students are asked to demonstrate understanding of the objects in a variety of projects, ultimately learning how to organize a collection around a theme. 

The final project is 100 museum-style exhibitions (in blog or in video format; or in some other tangible, artistic creation), in which they present their findings about these objects to the world. 

The final field trip on this activity is to visit each piece in person, which is why I chose the 100 pieces at the British Museum, whose theme is "A History of the World" as seen via artifacts (manmade objects). 

This lesson plan can be adapted in conjunction with a local museum in your geographical area if you are not in Europe or do have have the means to visit the British Museum. Of course, for those who are interested in following along in this lesson, this lesson serves as a virtual way of exploring significant pieces that echo or mirror the history of human ingenuity, as seen by the British Museum. 

You can also follow BBC and The British Museum's "A History of the World" on Facebook. This is where we will be sharing links to our explorations, individualized lesson plans, and projects as they relate to BBC and the British Museum's partnership whereby world history is told through objects of worth. 

Ann Willmott Andersson


Students will: 

  • Write a theme statement for a collection, creating patterns of meaning among diverse objects
  • Research information about and write descriptions of artifacts
  • Understand the job of a museum curator
  • Learn how to reach a consensus on the objects to be included or left out of the TOP 10 Collection
  • Produce a museum-style exhibition

Art Connections from CNAEA: National Standards for Arts Education

  • Understands characteristics of works in various art forms that share similar subject matter, historical periods, or cultural context
  • Understands the characteristics and presentation of characters, environments, and actions in the various art forms
  • Knows how various concepts and principles are used in the arts and disciplines outside the arts (e.g., balance, shape, pattern)
Visual Arts from CNAEA: National Standards for Arts Education

  • Understands the historical and cultural contexts of a variety of art objects
Language Arts from New Standards: High School
  • Uses research strategies for different purposes
  • Uses viewing skills and strategies to understand and interpret visual media
  • Uses visual media to present interpretations to the global community 
Life Skills: Thinking and Reasoning from NCHS: National Standards for History: Basic Edition 
  • Effectively uses mental processes that are based on identifying similarities and differences
Life Skills: Thinking and Reasoning from NCHS: National Standards for Social Studies
  • Applies decision-making techniques
Life Skills: Create compelling Visual Displays of Information: NS: Nomadic Standard: Cross-subject Integration
  • Create a blog entry, video diary (published on YouTube), digital art showing, or other type of work demonstrating understanding of each object and how it relates to the history of human ingenuity

English Language Arts - Language for Information and Understanding

Listening, researching, and reading to acquire information and understanding involving collecting data, facts, and ideas; discovering relationships, concepts, and generalizations; and using knowledge from oral, written, and electronic sources. Students: 

  • Compare and synthesize information from different sources
  • Use a wide variety of strategies for selecting, organizing, and categorizing information
  • Distinguish between relevant and irrelevant information and between fact and opinion
Helpful Links: 

BBC Radio 4 (on YouTube)



(to be posted) 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Lord of the Rings Lesson Adapted Lesson Plan

    • Book One of THE LORD OF THE RINGS introduces us to Tolkien's most famous linguistic inventions, the two elvish languages. His admiration for the beauty of Finnish and Welsh influenced the creation of Quenya and SindarinQuenya was supposed to be the more ancient tongue, a sort of "Elvish Latin," used on special occasions not only by elves but also by highly civilized men, and even by scholar-hobbits like BilboSindarin was the living language of the elves. 
    • HOMEWORK: Learn how to write your name in Elvish
    • Once we review how to write both languages (link above) we will compare Sindarin and WELSH
    • Afterwards, we will read an excerpt from the Kalevala ("Land of the Heroes"), the national epic edited by Elias Lönnrot, which allows us to observe how Finnish influenced Quenya
  • Continue: Lord of the Rings Trilogy: The Fellowship of the Ring

  • Although the Dark Lord, Sauron, bears the plural epithet  "Lord of the Rings," 
    • (adjective or descriptive phrase: expressing a characteristic of the person - because he "forged" the rings, and because he forged the last one, he is also known as the "Lord of the Rings" because he brought the rings into "being" and is now their CREATOR.
  • The plot of Tolkien's novel turns primarily (is mostly focused) on the last such artifact to be forged: the infinitely malevolent (adjective: showing a wish to do evil to others) and endlessly ambiguous (adjective: open to more than one interpretation or point of view; having a double meaning): ONE RING
  • In the opening chapters, Tolkien lays out this astonishing concept in sufficient detail so that we can begin immediately thinking about its thematic (adjective: relating to a them or particular subject) implications, such as: 
    • The metaphysical aspects of the ONE RING
    • Lord Acton's insight into the corrosive effects of power
    • Why Bilbo "took so little hurt" from his ownership of the Ring
    • Frodo's willingness to assume responsibility for the Ring 
  • Fantasy literature is sometimes dismissed as irrelevant to the concerns of a post-industrial society. This view does not withstand scrutiny  (noun: critical observation) In Book One of The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien introduces two themes that are particular pertinent (adjective: important, relevant, or applicable) to the modern world. 
    • 1st: Power Corrupts: Lord Acton observed that "absolute power corrupts absolutely". 
      • Discussion: Does power corrupt? Can you be in a position of power over others without exercising it in a self-serving way? 
    • 2nd: Personal Responsibility:The sense of obligation we feel toward our fellow creatures. 
      • Discussion: The concept of personal responsibility occupies a place in THE LORD OF THE RINGS.Discuss examples. 
  • By the end of Book One, we learn that Sauron's Ring has many aspects. Beyond its status as a fount (noun: a source of a desirable quality or commodity; a spring or fountain: we sometimes refer to someone as a "walking encyclopedia") of absolute power, the object apparently functions as a kind of psychic amplifier. Gandalf tells Frodo that the corruption will be limited if the user is "strong-willed or well-meaning to begin with) (pg. 46). 
  • The One Ring is "addicting." Talking about Gollum's ownership of the artifact, Gandalf notes that "the thing was eating up his mind (p. 54). Gollum soon grew powerless over his craving: "He had no will left in the matter" (p. 54). Upon losing "the precious" to Bilbo, Gollum felt compelled to seek it out: "His longing for the Ring proved stronger than his fear of the Orcs, or even of the light" (p. 56). 
  • In the book, this Ring is talked about as if it were a sentient being. "A Ring of power looks after itself," Gandalf tells his hobbit friend. "It was not Gollum, Frodo, but the the Ring that decided things" (p. 54). When Frodo asks why the Ring selected Bilbo as its next owner, Ganfalf says "The Ring was trying to get back to its master" (p. 54). 
  • HOMEWORK: Go to USED BOOK STORE to look for 3 copies of the book so we can read it after we finish watching the movie

KEY TERMS FOR LORD OF THE RINGS(This is your Vocabulary List) 
  1. ForeshadowingA literary device through which an author offers hints of a major crisis to come. When Gandalf throws the Ring into Bilbo's fireplace (p. 48), Tolkien is foreshadowing the climax of the novel. Frodo's dream of the Sea foreshadows his final journey (p. 106). 
  2. Wraith (rayth) : A ghost or other supernatural manifestation. Tolkien scholar Tom Shippey argues that the author selected the term "Ringwraith" with care. "Wraith" traces to the Anglo-Saxon word for "writhe," which also gives us "wreath" - an object that is not only twisted (like the Nazgûl's souls) but also round (like the object the Nazgûl seek). 
  3. Fell: In its archaic sense: having a cruel, vicious, or deadly nature. Dreaming of a white-haired wizard, Frodo hears "the crying of fell voices" (p. 125). One of Tolkien's favorite words, "fell" occurs throughout THE LORD OF THE RINGS. 
  4. Lay: A narrative poem that is normally sung. Encamped to Weathertop, Aragorn soothes the hobbits with a lay about Beren and Luthien, the most famous lovers in the history of Middle-earth (p. 187-189). 
  5. Genius loci (jee-nee-es lo-si): A Latin term meaning "the spirit of the place." Tom Bombadil is, among other things, a genius loci of the Old Forest and its vicinity, "the Master of wood, water, and hill" (p. 122). 
  6. Barrow: A large mound of earth, usually above a tomb. The long-armed "barrow-wight" who nearly slays the three hobbits is thus a spectral being (Old English "wight") that haunts a gave. 
  7. Proverb (prah-vurb): A short saying expressing a presumed truth. Examples occur throughout THE LORD OF THe RINGS. During the debate over the best route to Crickhollow, Pippin offers his companions a proverb: "Short cuts make long delays" (p. 86). in the message the hobbits receive at the Prancing Pony, Gandalf heralds Aragorn by turning a famous proverb inside out, so that it becomes "All that is gold does not glitter" (p. 167). 
  8. Premonition (pre-me-ni-shen): A strong irrational feeling or vision regarding a future event. On the way to Crickhollow, Sam shares a premonition with Frodo: "I know we are going to take a very long road, into darkness... I don't rightly know what I want: but I have something to do before the end, and it lies ahead, not in the Shire" (p. 85). 
  1. THE IRREDUCIBLE RING: (Irreducible = adjective. Not able to be reduced or simplified). Which aspects of the ONE RING do you find especially compelling? Is the RING more of a psychic amplifier (enhancing behavioral weaknesses or tendencies already present int he person who wears it)? As a sentient creature (deliberately controlling the behavior of those in its vicinity)? As a psycho-physical addiction (sapping its owner's body and spirit even as it bestows longevity)? What other labels can you attach to the ring? Is it an advanced technology? A superweapon? A malign magnet? An invisibility charm with side-effects? lol 
  2. LORD ACTON'S INSIGHT: In 1887, the British historian JOHN EMERICH EDWARD DALBERG-ACTON articulated an idea that became famous: "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Some critics believe that Lord Acton's insight influenced Tolkien's conception of ONE RING.  Give examples of other leaders (Monarch or otherwise) who negatively affected or impacted their kingdoms (or reign) due to having pursued power at all costs. 
  3. A RESPONSIBLE HOBBIT: Near the end of his long conversation with Gandalf, Frodo comes to a sober conclusion: "I suppose I must keep the Ring and guard it" (p. 60). A few lines later he elaborates, "I cannot keep the RING and stay here. I ought to leave for Bag End, leave the Shire, leave everything and go away" (p. 61). In agreeing to protect the RING, Frodo is evidentally not acting under coercion (noun: the practice of persuading someone to do something by using force or threats) from Gandalf or any other authority figure. How do you account from Frodo's manifest sense of responsibility? Do most people enjoy feelings of obligation toward their fellow humans? Might Frodo's resolve to hit the road actually bespeak of the beginning of his corruption by the Ring? Yes or No, and why. 
  4. THE POWER OF PITY: A curious moment in the Tom Bombadil sequence occurs when he puts on the ONE RING and - nothing happens. How do you interpret this episode? Is Bombadil invulnerable merely because he is not human? Are there any qualities (characteristics) that might make a person temporarily immune to Sauron's RING? 
  5. THE WAY TO A WIZARD'S HEART: In one of Galdalf's most memorable speeches, he refuses Frodo's offer of the Ring: "Do not tempt me! Fo I do not wish to become like the Dark Lord himself. Yet the way of the RING to my heart is by pity, pity for weakness and the desire of strength to do good. Do not tempt me! I dare not take it, even to keep it safe, unused. The wish to wield it would be too great for my strength" (p. 60). Speculate on what Gandalf would be like or what Galdalf would do if he wielded this type of power? Describe this in a detailed CREATIVE ESSAY using Tolkienien-style language. 
  6. THE BURDEN OF OBLIGATION: From the very beginning, Frodo's conscientiousness causes him anguish: "I am not made for perilous questions," he says (p. 60). "I wish I had never seen the RING! Why did it come to me?" At one time or another, everyone has assumed responsibility he or she would rather have ignored. Share your thoughts on your experiences with such challenges. Have you ever taken on an obligation that ended up being a good (learning) experience for you? If yes, what and how. 
  7. THIS SIDE OF PARADISE: The Shire has an agreeable climate, a rustic charm about it, amiable inhabitants, creature comforts, apparent prosperity (and EXCELLENT FIREWORKS!) ... wouldn't that make it an ideal place to live? Would you like to spend the rest of your life in the Tolkien's Shire (utopia)? Yes or No, and Why. 


  1. THE CULTURE OF TEMPTATION: Temptation is a HUGE issue for Tolkien's characters, but mostly when they are in proximity to the ONE RING (fireworks/food/roasted marshmallows, lol). In today's consumer culture, we are bombarded by temptations. While these entreaties may seem trivial compared with the dark energie offered by the RING, we absorb these temptations around the clock. How do they influence us? Collect objects or artifacts from the culture of temptation (junk mail, magazine ads, Internet banners, product packaging, the product itself). Consider to which degree these solicitations are MORDORESQUE in their appeal, promising their audiences newfound power and effortless control over others. 

  • Using "The Lord of the Rings and Philosophy"(One book to rule them all) by Gregory Bassham and Eric Bronson, discuss lessons in Power, Choice, and Morality:
  • Plato's Challenge of Immortality - Republic - justification of the morally good life.
  • Plato's Question: would a just person be corrupted by the possibility of almost unlimited power? 
  • Even though Tom Bombadil is cut from the movie version of The Fellowship of the Ring, Bombadil, who seems to have complete power and command over all the living things in the Forest, rescues the four hobbits twice. Who is Bombadil? Is he a Wizard? An elf? A mortal man? His wife, Goldberry, describes him to Frodo quite simply: "He is, as you have seen him... He is the Master of wood, water, and hill" (FR, p. 140). And Tom describes himself as " before the river and the trees." 
  • In Tolkien's tale of the ONE RING of POWER, we find the answer to the challenge to the moral life first proposed by PLATO almost 2,400 years ago. Faced with the ability to satisfy one's desires without limit and without consequences, can a person choose the path of virtue and renounce immense power? For PLATO, the answer was YES, for the moral person can realize that a life of immoral power will corrupt the heart and soul. Discuss examples from the book. 
  • The threat of technologies that we are currently forging will give us unprecedented power to heal and preserve things (regeneration of our cellular bodies, eventually avoiding bodily death). But they will also give us the power to destroy the Earth and all of its inhabitants (nuclear war, global warming). Nanotechnology, for example, has the capability to design and control the structure of an object on all length scales from the atomic to the macroscopic. Thus nanotechnology is the attempt to build devices by directly manipulating the atoms and molecules out of which they are made. This sort of molecular engineering is something that we do every ay. The ribosomes in our cells, for example, make proteins by fishing amino acid molecules out of protoplasm and knitting them together in the long chains. In principle, there's no reason why we can't make machines that function like ribosomes. Instead of knitting together amino acids to make proteins, we could become universal assemblers that could knit together any sort of atom or molecule to create any sort of structure (or being). The elves created the RINGS because they wanted to remake their world. Nanotechnology promises to give us the same power. What do you think might happen in the future? How might the world become different? (Creative Writing Essay). 
Additional Philosophical discussions can be found in "The Lord of the Rings and Philosophy" or by simply discussing certain ethical and moral complications associated with the RING as an object as well as our responsibilities to our fellow creatures. 

Autism, ADHD and ADD Awareness Month

For centuries, people have tried to define intelligence, to put it in a box, and then contrast all other forms of human expression against it. 

I can't help but wonder if ADHD & ADD are instead expressions of undefined intelligence, yet to be explored, understood, analyzed, reanalyzed, forgotten for a few hundred years, revived in an obscure thesis, only to be published in a widely spread periodical that captures the public's imagination, garnering new interest and speculation, reevaluated based off of new medical findings and ultimately deemed, following a peer review, an example of another form of intelligence, an intelligence "possibly closer to the quantum level at which the entire known universe operates" and thus, the new measure of true, innate intelligence. 

I wonder...

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Oldest known Pacman fossil found in Europe

By Sophy M. Laughing, Ph.D.

updated 4/1/2012 1:30 PM PT

Ancient Pacman Fossils


Périgord, France - The Pacman fossil unearthed in a cave in France is the oldest known fossil of a Pacman ancestor in Europe and suggests that Pacmen lived on the continent much earlier than previously believed, scientists say. 

The researchers say the fossil found today in Périgord in southern France, along with stone dots and ghost bones, is up to 1.3 million years old. That would be about 500,000 years older than the 1980s arcade game developed by Namco and licensed for distribution in the United States by Midway. This finding has prompted the naming of a new species: Homo Pacmanin, or Pioneer Pacman, possibly a common ancestor to Midways and modern namecos. 

The new find appears to be from the same species, researchers said. 

A team co-led by Sophy M. Laughing, Ph.D., founder of Nomadic Education, reported her team's find this morning and plans to send it to the scientific journal The Nature of Pacman. 

The timing of the earliest occupation of Europe by Pacmen that emerged from Africa has been controversial for many years. 

A cave painting of a ghost head from Périgord, dating back roughly 1.26 million years, bears traces of the mysterious Pacmanin Blue pigment.

Some archaeologists believe the process was a stop-and-go one in which species of pacmen - a group that includes the extinct relatives of modern Atari's, Mortal Kombats, Joust, and Spy Hunters - emerged and died out quickly only to be replaced by others, making for a very slow spread across the continent, despite the speed at which they gobble up yellow dots and eat ghosts. 

Until now the oldest Pacman fossils found in Europe were Homo Pacmanins ones, also found near Lascaux, but at a separate digging site, and a skull from Ceprano in Italy. 

The Palace of Knossos is the main tourist attraction for ancient Pacmanin carvings in central Krete

Laughing's team has tentatively classified the new fossil as representing an earlier example of Homo Pacman antecessor. And, critically, the team says the new one also bears similarities to much-older fossils dug up since the 1980s in the Caucasus at a place called Dmanisi, in the former Soviet republic of Georgia. These were dated as being up to 1.8 million years old. 

"This leads us to a very important, very interesting conclusion," Laughing said. It is this: that Pacmen which emerged from Africa and settled in the Caucasus eventually evolved into Homo Pacman antecessor, and that the latter populated Europe not 800,000 years ago, but at least 1.3 million years ago. 

"This discovery of a 1.3 million-year-old Pacman fossil shows the process was accelerated and continuous; that the occupation of Europe by Pacmen happened very early and must faster than we had thought," Laughing said. "Apparently, chasing ghosts improves your form, stride length, strength, flexibility, muscle memory and explosiveness - which means faster ghost chasing, dot eating times." 

A leading researcher in Pacman origins at the Natural Pacman History Museum in London and not involved in the project, said Laughing's team has done solid dating work to estimate the antiquity of the new Pacman fossil by employing three separate techniques - some researchers only use one or two - including a relatively new one that measures radioactive decay of sediments. 

"This is a well-dated site, as much as any site that age can be," said this unnamed researcher from London. 

But he also expressed some caution about Laughing's conclusions. 

First of all, the newly found Pacman fossil, which measures 35 cm in diameter and has teeth attached to it, preserves an entire Pacman fossil not before seen in the equivalent pieces found at Périgord and the time lapse is half a million years. 

"That is a long period of time to talk about continuity," said this increasingly grumpy, if not downright smug, unnamed researcher from London.

Still, there are similarities between the two and this along with the longest preserved Pacman unearthed in Siberia (pictured below in the jar filled with formaldehyde), suggests that southern Europe did in fact begin to be colonized from western Asia not long after Pacmen emerged from Africa - "something which many of us would have doubted even five years ago," the nicer sounding unnamed researcher from London intelligently recognized and acknowledged. 

Laughing says that with the finding of Pacman fossils 1.3 million years old in Europe, researchers can now expect to find older ones, even up to 1.8 million years old, in other parts of the continent. 

"This has to be the next discovery," she said.

"This is an April Fool's hypothesis."