Debate Outcome: faith in humanity restored!

Thank you to all of those who attended the first ever Bloviators debate. It was a great chance to test out the format and to explore what debating looks like when it has to be spontaneous! Of the three motions that were on offer, the motion that was voted for by those in attendance was that human beings present too much of a danger for alien life to risk making contact with us. Jamie and Miles successfully opposed the motion, pointing out how much we have to offer the wider universe!

Going forwards we will tweak the format further and take it to some local educational establishments. It is hoped that Bloviators can return to the Cirencester Baptist Church in June.

Randomizing the teams through a spinner / Fisher Price button kept us all on our toes!


Bash Bash Machine

Another name for Minecraft is BashBash – or at least in our house anyway! We first played it on a Raspberry Pi 3b – a rather simplified version, but nonetheless fun. Given the need that I find to demonstrate to pupils what a huge range of inputs are possible (cue tin foil, pressure pads, capacitive touch experiments etc) – there developed a good excuse to build a box with many connections.

Rather than have a light toggle or a buzzer sound when a connection is made – what if those input triggers meant that a Minecraft world was moved through, built and bashed? More to follow!



If, like me, you were a fan of the Tomy robot collection from the 1980s, then you may also recall the tantalising sensation born out of an awareness of what those robots were unable to do, which was almost as invigorating as what they could do.

Take Chatbot: it was equipped with a mechanical voice recorder that was primed by pulling a large level down whilst speaking a message, then triggered by remote control. Hours of fun ensued driving it around with occasional spoken messages being relayed.

Chatbot was not without limitation, however. It could not engage in further conversation – or be instructed to move – or check on the road conditions outside.

Now that it is 2024, Chatbot could – and over the coming weeks I hope to reveal one way of achieving an upgrade to this venerable robot!


Kodu on Micro:Bit

Was reminded today that the Micro:Bit / Kodu link remains a simple but effective means of providing readily coded inputs and outputs: engaging interfaces that bring virtual worlds to life. Next week we will add the pressure pads via Makey Makey – leading to pupils building their own controllers.