Tool use in crocodylians: crocodiles and alligators use sticks as lures to attract waterbirds | Tetrapod Zoology, Scientific American Blog Network “As described by Dinets et al. (2013), Mugger crocodiles Crocodylus palustris in India and American alligators Alligator mississippiensis in the USA have both been observed to lie, partially submerged, beneath egret and heron colonies with sticks balanced across their snouts. Birds approach to collect the sticks for use in nest building and… well, let’s just say that it doesn’t end well for the birds. If the crocodylians really are using the sticks as bait to attract their bird prey, this is tool use, since the sticks are objects that are being employed for a specific function.” tags: animal crocodile tools tool science adaptation weekly How meaning comes to technology: PCR at 30 | Jean-Baptiste Gouyon | Science | theguardian.com “More than a technique, PCR is a concept, that enables molecular biologists to think in new ways of their object of study, DNA, to ask genes new questions. Opening the way to new experiments, it literally frees the imagination. Some even use PCR machines as fridges. After all a thermocycler is nothing but an intelligent heating and cooling block. It can be set on 4ºC for 48 hours, to conserve the result of an experiment over the week-end. ” How meaning […]
So, it’s been a while since I felt like I just flat out sucked at a lesson. There’s a number of reasons for that. The main one is I don’t teach every day (or it’d happen a lot more often). Secondly, I’ve probably been doing too much in my comfort zone- a bad sign. And last of all, with this new position I’m doing lots of things but much of it within relative isolation or with people who are of like minds. Cue opportunity for the exact opposite of that. Circumstances Second day of two days of staffdev Day of week: Friday Time: 1:00 to 3:30 Topic: 21st Century Skills – Information Fluency and Research Teachers: 29 HS Math mixed with Career and Technical Ed. Setting: Crowded, warm and large lab tables Website: http://henricostaffdev.org/infofluency The math teachers had been rough before with the introductory 21st skill module. So I really wanted a shot at the math teachers. We’d been working frantically on creating all this content for about ten days. I’d felt pretty good about our take and how solid it was for most of the subjects but really didn’t like it for math. The basic idea was information fluency consisted of a cycle of five things.
Travel Time/Time Travel One of those essential things history students (and teachers) need to keep coming back to. – via Flowing Data (which is good) via MNN (which I don’t like) who supposedly got the information from the 1932 Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States which you can find here (although I haven’t found these maps yet). Hedges I never understood quite what was going on with hedges despite the fact that they’ve come up repeatedly in history courses and in literature. I just assumed they were dense rows of bushes. Now I know differently. Such a simple and effective way to build a fence. Din Minimum N0 = the critical number of guests above which each speaker will try overcome the background noise by raising his voice K = the average number of guests in each conversational group a = the average sound absorption coefficient of the room V = the room’s volume h = a properly weighted mean free path of a ray of sound d0 = the conventional minimum distance between speakers Sm = the minimum signal-to-noise ratio for the listeners This equation is supposed to determine “How many guests can attend a cocktail party before it becomes too noisy for conversation?” It would be fun to mess around with equation based answers to […]