Tag Archives: Science

Beware the church of climate change!

Bloody good article actually. Imagine my shock when I discover the author is Miranda Devine, whom I love to hate. What that does prove however is that being female does not make you an authority on feminism. Perhaps it will encourage more men to become such. LOL.

http://www.smh.com.au/news/opinion/miranda-devine/beware-the-church-of-climate-alarm/2008/11/26/1227491635989.html?page=fullpage#contentSwap1

Seven year old skeptic!

My seven year old has just handed me a tooth and asked for a dollar. I asked if she wanted to put it under her pillow, as per tradition, cause I know she loves tradition.

She said there was no need to. She knows the tooth fairy is me because a while back she put an old tooth under her pillow and waited and waited. No tooth fairy.

Then she wrapped it up and told me she’d lost a tooth. And found a dollar under her pillow the next morning. So, now she knows the tooth fairy is me.

I’ve just given her another dollar for solid scientific thinking – hypothesis and repeatable experiment. She is a born skeptic. Go geek girls everywhere!

ps. Parents, don’t be lazy with those lost teeth! Stow the sentimentality. Clever children recycle.

Ant Bullying at Newtown Public School

Newtown Public School’s Ant Bullying Perspective is described as an important part of School Policy in a school which strives to be a supportive environment for supporting the environment.

We all know that ants think they rule the world. Well, we’re not going to take it any more! Those deadly little fascist dictators will not prevail. Our lands have been besieged. Our liberty and picnics stolen. Our valiantly virulently green p&c is leading the charge with plans to astroturf our entire grass area. Or possibly even concrete it in true Fedterranea style!

So what do we teach our children, where and why? Are literacy and numeracy vastly overrated?
Primary schools have approx 1 hour a week for half a year for ‘science’! This is usually integrated with HSIE – Human Society and Its Environment aka history, geography and social studies. That’s why I started the science club after school (attended by more than 50% of students!).

Teachers have little specialist science training and access to no interesting resources or materials. No labs. No chemicals. No … you name it. Generally, I think the state of education in NSW is pretty good. Certainly it is in Newtown, where we have a demographic which enables parent support for many extra initiatives, comparatively little movement in teacher and student population and a range of incomes and backgrounds.

Still, are parents the difference? And what we are teaching our children? A couple of weeks ago, Tim Hawkes, the head of The King’s School, wrote a frank and thought-provoking opinion piece for The Sydney Morning Herald about how our education system is failing to provide students with information they might actually use in their adult lives.

And from T. H. White;

‘Wart found that he had tumbled off the drawbridge, landing with a smack on his side in the water. He found that the moat and the bridge had grown hundreds of times bigger. He knew that he was turning into a fish.
“Oh, Merlyn,” cried the Wart. “Please come too.”
“Just for this once,” said the large and solemn tench beside his ear, “I will come. But in future, you will have to go by yourself. Education is experience, and the essence of experience is self-reliance.”

Cool live webcam of CERN

I can justify this as working. I’m playing with Office 07 features. We are so slow adopting technology! Check out the cool live webcam of CERN particle collider

LHC Compact Muon Solenoid Experiment Webcams

There are currently two webcams online

  • Camera 7: looking at the Underground Experimental Cavern from the Saleve side.
  • Camera 8: looking out of the window of the 1st Floor of the SCX building that houses the CMS Control room.

http://lhc-live.com/

Science for children.. atleast scientific thinking

How Videogames Blind Us With Science

excerpt from Wired

One of the reasons kids get bored by science is that too many teachers present it as a fusty collection of facts for memorization. This is precisely wrong. Science isn’t about facts.

It’s about the quest for facts — the scientific method, the process by which we hash through confusing thickets of ignorance. It’s dynamic, argumentative, collaborative, competitive, filled with flashes of crazy excitement and hours of drudgework, and driven by ego: Our desire to be the one who figures it out, at least for now. It’s dramatic and nutty and fun.

This led Steinkuehler to a fascinating and provocative conclusion: Videogames are becoming the new hotbed of scientific thinking for kids todayThis makes sense if you think about it for a second. After all, what is science? It’s a technique for uncovering the hidden rules that govern the world. And videogames are simulated worlds that kids are constantly trying to master.

Colors we can’t see

I was struck by the snippet on many-eyes.com, the website created by the Visual Communication Lab (part of IBM’s Collaborative User Experience research group) for the express purpose of letting people experiment for free with some of the latest graphing technology and exchange ideas about the underlying data.

I am sensitive to visual discussions being in the middle of one about color and waves with my recently diagnosed as colorblind (sorry – deficient) son.
Concurrently, we were reading Null Hypothesis about the problematic existence of magenta. in my film career, I studied color and light and it seems obvious in retrospect that we overlaid so much of the physics with complete and utter subjectivity.
I’ve always felt that color is an unknown world, really another dimension. I look forward to reading Goethe’s ‘Theory of Color” opposing Newton’s physical theory.
When did we fall into the trap of a visual representation of a low to high series as being on a wheel? circular? There is no such color as magenta. We have created a connection to close the circle.

ps. more recently I’ve been told that we have 7 colors in the spectrum because 6 was the devil’s number. This was at a gifted children’s seminar.

Neuroscience: the new black (lol)

Hauser, Doidge, Wyndham on Teo
Throwing in Ray Kurzweil, a little Clive James eventually
and Richard Dawkins because he’s like the new Stephen Hawking
Just found an amusing sight/site called Null Hypothesis.
Skipping right over the Harvard Business Review’s recent article about neuroscience – notable mainly for the fact that it is in there and then placed in context by the expert – while exciting it neuroscience is barely relevant to business and one should distrust the simplicity of our archaic tests and approaches to the scarily not understood brain.
After all HBR follows up with an article all about World of Warcraft potentially training business leaders and how it could be worth while for executives to not dis the gamers. Puhlease!
I was struck by the snippet on many-eyes.com, the website created by the Visual Communication Lab (part of IBM’s Collaborative User Experience research group) for the express purpose of letting people experiment for free with some of the latest graphing technology and exchange ideas about the underlying data.
this is really a discrete post!