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Diego Fonstad

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Cricket Chirps: Nature's Thermometer

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
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on Tuesday, 09 August 2011
in Great Explanations

Teachable Moment: I'm not sure what I like more about this idea: the practical nature of it or the fact that the correlation between temperature and cricket chirp rate was documented by one of the inventors of the radio telephone.

From Farmer's Almanac:

Did you know that you can tell the temperature by counting the chirps of a cricket? It's true! Here's the formula:

To convert cricket chirps to degrees Fahrenheit, count number of chirps in 14 seconds then add 40 to get temperature.

Example: 30 chirps + 40 = 70° F

To convert cricket chirps to degrees Celsius, count number of chirps in 25 seconds, divide by 3, then add 4 to get temperature.

Example: 48 chirps /(divided by) 3 + 4 = 20° C

Tags: Biology
Hits: 29094

School of Ants

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
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on Tuesday, 09 August 2011
in Online Resources

School of AntsTeachable Moment: I love the concept of "citizen scientist" projects because they help demystify science and make it more engaging to all.  I look forward to seeing how this project develops.

The School of Ants project is a citizen-scientist driven study of the ants that live in urban areas, particularly around homes and schools. Collection kits are available to anyone interested in participating. Teachers, students, parents, kids, junior-scientists, senior citizens and enthusiasts of all stripes are involved in collecting ants in schoolyards and backyards using a standardized protocol so that we can make detailed maps of the wildlife that lives just outside our doorsteps. The maps that we create with these data are telling us quite a lot about native and introduced ants in cities, not just here in North Carolina, but across the United States and, as this project grows, about the ants of the world!

References: http://schoolofants.org/

Tags: Biology
Hits: 21550

Portraits of Inventors

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
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on Wednesday, 03 August 2011
in The Mother of Invention

Teachable Moment: This blog collects images and stories of various modern inventors and provides a great insight into what leads people to invent.

They say that necessity is the mother of invention. I’m interested in the rest of the family.

Hits: 10068

Strange Magnetic Bubbles at the Edge of the Solar System

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
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on Tuesday, 28 June 2011
in Videos worth watching

Teachable Moment: The Voyager spacecraft have been in space for >30 years and are still enlightening scientists with novel discoveries.  This video synthesizes how recent data from the craft has made astronomers rethink the outer reaches of our solar system.

Hits: 104650
Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
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on Sunday, 29 May 2011
in Favorite Books

Teachable Moment: Thought you knew the basic types of clouds? This beautifully drawn book from the Cloud Appreciation Society will open your eyes to cloud types you never knew existed.

Our full-colour cloudspotting handbook is now available. This beautiful little publication is filled with amazing photographs from society members of all the common cloud types as well as many rare and unusual clouds and optical effects. ‘The Cloud Collector’s Handbook’ has rounded corners so that it will fit into the pocket easily, allowing cloudspotters to identify a huge range of cloud formations and optical effects anytime and anywhere. But it is not just a reference — it is also a game.

Hits: 33243
Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad has not set their biography yet
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on Sunday, 29 May 2011
in Videos worth watching


ponyTeachable Moment:
Physics is everywhere... even in cartoons... but are they getting it right?  This entertaining video deconstructs the physics of My Little Pony exploring such concepts as the math of a Mach cone, kinematics, conservation of momentum, and Newton's Third Law.
 

Hits: 400763

Quicker'n a Wink

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
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on Sunday, 08 May 2011
in Videos worth watching

Quick Stuff!Teachable Moment: MIT's "Doc" Edgerton pioneered slow motion photography through the use of strobe lights and innovative cameras.  It's amazing that this short, Oscar winning, 50+ year old documentary can still engage viewers into understanding physical properties of the world around them.

 

Why the other line is likely to move faster

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad has not set their biography yet
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on Monday, 02 May 2011
in Videos worth watching

Queuing theory on why the other line moves fasterTeachable Moment: Queueing theory is something everyone should understand and this short video provides a nice background on it.

Bill introduces queueing theory and uses it to design the most efficient check out line.

 

 

Tags: Engineering
Hits: 12624

The Naked Scientists

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
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on Sunday, 01 May 2011
in Online Resources

The Naked ScientistsTeachable Moment: Engaging podcasts on science.  I particularly like the hands on experiments in the Kitchen Science section http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/content/kitchenscience/ and Garage Science http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/content/kitchenscience/garage-science/

The Naked Scientists are a media-savvy group of physicians and researchers from Cambridge University who use radio, live lectures, and the Internet to strip science down to its bare essentials, and promote it to the general public. Their award winning BBC weekly radio programme, The Naked Scientists, reaches a potential audience of 6 million listeners across the east of England, and also has an international following on the web.

Hits: 37532

Solar System Scope

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad has not set their biography yet
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on Saturday, 30 April 2011
in Online Resources

Solar SystemBeautifully rendered interactive 3d journey of the Solar system through your web browser.

References: http://www.solarsystemscope.com/

Tags: Astronomy
Hits: 22020