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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: 29486

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: 21828

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: 10314

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: 105040

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
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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: 12753

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: 37791

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: 22304

Protein Synthesis - An Epic on the Cellular Level

Posted by Mathai Mammen
Mathai Mammen
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on Friday, 29 April 2011
in Videos worth watching

Teachable Moment: Memorable illustration of protein synthesis, acted out.

Directed in 1971 by Robert Alan Weiss for the Department of Chemistry of Stanford University and imprinted with the "free love" aura of the period, this short film continues to be shown in biology class today. It has since spawn a series of similar funny attempts at vulgarizing protein synthesis. Narrated by Paul Berg, 1980 Nobel prize for Chemistry.

Hits: 20966

Radioactive plume from Japanese reactor

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad has not set their biography yet
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on Thursday, 28 April 2011
in Videos worth watching

Radioactive plume from Japanese reactorJapan's damaged nuclear plant in Fukushima has been emitting radioactive iodine and caesium at levels approaching those seen in the aftermath of the Chernobyl accident in 1986. Austrian researchers have used a worldwide network of radiation detectors – designed to spot clandestine nuclear bomb tests – to show that iodine-131 is being released at daily levels 73 per cent of those seen after the 1986 disaster. The daily amount of caesium-137 released from Fukushima Daiichi is around 60 per cent of the amount released from Chernobyl.

Hits: 18819