My mom was down from Pennsylvania over Thanksgiving break (she'll soon be here for Christmas/New Years - yay!). While she was here, I asked her with a smile if she'd read my first Ajax and REST article (the 2nd was not published at that point). She said "no, but I'll try to read it if you help me understand it". I said "sure" and shortly after we pulled it up online, she asked "So what is Ajax exactly?" After struggling for a minute to put it in simple, straightforward terms, I decided to try to explain it by showing her Google Maps, which is a spectacular example of what's possible with Ajax. But this demonstration had unintended consequences. After finding and examining her current neighborhood in Pennsylvania, she asked me to look up her childhood address in Montana. Then she asked me to show her how to search, pan, and zoom herself. She was engrossed and had forgotten all about my techy, abstract article.
There's an American saying "a picture is worth a thousand words"; in this case a good example was worth more than 3,278 words :-)