Basic vocabulary is a good place to start. Going forward, knowing how to type and how to use an editor efficiently will probably stand them in good stead, brain-reading computer overlords excepted. Knowing how to look up relevant things on the internet might be a longer-term goal, which depends on having a good conceptual framework. Motivation is key but not something you can really teach other than by pointing out some of the possibilities and hoping something grabs their attention.
For a comprehensive look at what can be done with a very unusual language, the J essays are hard to beat: http://www.jsoftware.com/jwiki... . They provide context around why you might want to do something one way rather than another and are much more literary and wide-ranging than typical documentation.
The details of the vocabulary - linked to from the "Vocabulary" page (http://www.jsoftware.com/jwiki/Vocabulary) are also pretty good because they combine general definitions with explicit usage examples.
This US gov't site - http://www.eia.gov/state/?sid=... - lists New York state #50 in terms of per capita energy consumption. I recall reading elsewhere - sorry, no citation - that the energy consumption of a resident of NYC is 60% of the average in the USA, which makes sense based on personal experience. I, like many New Yorkers, don't own a car; most of my travel is by foot, bike or public transit, like most people I know who live here.
I thought that charging/discharging batteries was a major source of inefficiency but it appears better than I thought: up to about 90% according to this - http://www.otherpower.com/imag... . However, there is a lot of variation under practical considerations.
In any case, comparing 35% efficiency of internal combustion directly to a battery is misleading because it fails to take into account the full cycle of generating power, transmitting it, storing in a battery, then using it. This - http://auto.howstuffworks.com/... - makes a stab at overall efficiency estimation but provides no references for its figures; it concludes that battery-powering a car is about 26% efficient as opposed to 20% for internal combustion.
Except that the population of the world only hit one billion in 1800; by 1900 it was still under two billion - now we're at seven billion. Wood doesn't scale: it pollutes, renews only slowly, and provides bulky, inefficient fuel.
In the case of the Mayans, it may have been weather change: extended drought - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C... .
I bought 5 SSDs in 2014 - now in all my machines, so I'll be playing the part of (near) bleeding-edge adopter in the upcoming years. So far, am loving the performance.
I remember seeing something very much like this - http://www.gshotts.com/HUMOR/f... - billed as a "system programmer's exam" back in the '70s.
Among my favorites:
21) Sketch the development of human thought; estimate its significance. Compare with the development of any other kind of thought.
23) Define the universe in detail. List three examples.
Can't someone else do it?
Good to hear about the trans-Atlantic stupid-party co-operation.
When I was a child, we used to find old light switches and break them open to play with the mercury in them. But it did eventually kill me.
When I started in professional computing in the early '80s, there were probably 30-40% women in areas where I worked. It isn't some kind of innate preference - that tired excuse that gets trotted out to justify any conservative position.
What's changed is this idea of "tracking", as soft as it is. It used to be that a philosophy major, like myself, or an English or history major would get a programming job because most schools did not even offer CS courses, much less CS majors. Now, there is this idea of a course of study along the lines of math and engineering that leads to a career with computers. It's not any one thing that accounts for this shift, but turning the decision to work with technology from a late-stage one to an earlier, long-term one probably doesn't help. It's now like a long corridor of slight but persistent bias - highly evident in the bitter, stupid comments in this discussion - that weeds out women from the field.