Showing posts from September, 2009

Breakfast of old friends: Malcolm and Harvey

Malcolm and Tarry Lindquist are on Pohnpei for a visit. They recently published Kosrae 1964-66, a book of photographs from Kosrae, United States Strategic Trust Territory of the Pacific (at that time). Malcolm and Harvey enjoyed a breakfast out at Joy Hotel here on Pohnpei.

Tarry and Deaconess Abigail.

Today was also the day Shrue headed on her adventure abroad.

Hooke's law with local materials

Hillario and Prens mass a marble in this variant of a Hooke's law laboratory.

Warren lines up an empty cup suspended by a length of elastic with zero centimeters on a meter stick

Nadine adds marbles and measures the distance the cup has descended. The students used 30 marbles to produce mass (gram-force) versus distance (centimeter)  measurements.

Cassandra masses a marble while Cecelia studies the laboratory.

 Annie and Clyde enjoy a lighter moment.

Antely copies data.

The students will have to determine whether the elastic is Hookean. The lab is modeled closely on physical science laboratories that typically use a spring, mass hanger, and slot masses to demonstrate Hooke's law. This lab uses only marbles, yarn, styrofoam cups, marbles, and triple beam balances. The lab can actually be done without the triple beam balance. The mass can be recorded in "marble" units or converted to grams using an estimated 5.2 or 5.3 grams per marble.

Haruki cemetery clean-up

The SC/SS 115 Ethnobotany class cleaned up the Haruki Japanese cemetery on the College of Micronesia-FSM property. The clean-up was scheduled to coincide with Ohigan.

Knee deep in weeds. Emillia heads into the tall grass looking for a lost pineapple.

Meanwhile the big fool tells Emillia to push on into the five foot tall razor grass. "There's a pineapple plant in there somewhere!" Katielynne knows to ignore the loud mehnwai and continues pulling grass from around the ground orchids.

Posing in front of the iuiu, the Alpinia carolinensa.

CharMarie hard at work.

When ads collide with copy

USA Swimming has adopted a ban on high-tech speedsuits. The announcement in SwimmingWorld was accompanied by an ad for a speedsuit. Maybe the next edition of the ad will include a fire sale on remaining suits. Something on the order of 100 world records fell to speedsuited swimmers. Will this mean a drought in world records? Or will the speedsuit aided records be expunged from the record books?

Weekend with family

Saturday we celebrated a birthday. We decided on a very quiet, low key barbecue for just us.

My eldest daughter made the cake, her first, a chocolate cake with milk chocolate frosting. The lone candle was all the celebrant would tolerate. The next morning we enjoyed a breakfast on the veranda.

Later in the day, at the college, I would see the first batch of golden plovers on the lawn. The golden plovers are a sure sign that winter has settled into Alaska and Siberia. Nice that we can still enjoy an outdoor breakfast among verdant greenery. Later in the morning, a church goer armed with a cell phone struck a pose.

Three ready to go to church.

Sunday evening was a family dinner combining left overs from the night before along with food from the evening service at church.

Healing plants presentations

Bersin Elias presented the Pohnpeian use of Dolouroak (Dolourek) in the treatment of umwpwos (boils). The sample lacked flowers and fruit and was not in an condition that permitted identification. As in the bulk of umwpwos treatments, the leaves are rubbed on the boil to bring it to a head more quickly. The presentation and location of the boils provided for a very informative and entertaining presentation.

Gendalin presented the Chuukese use of Chiichi (Microsorum scolopendria) for curing cuts. She also detailed the use of four pounded semi-mature leaves in a tea to stop nausea.

Charlene brought in a whole uhtin menihle to detail the use of banana stem tea to quiet a cough. The stem is cut and boiled to create the tea.

Beautrina presented the Pohnpeian use of Luwadawadmarer (Centella asiatica) for the treatment of excessive crying in babies. Four or eight leaves are squeezed through a cloth onto the forehead (fontanelle) and chest of the baby.

Liwadawadmarer is a form of wini pwere e…

Heat conductivity of materials

The two styrofoam cups are connected by a material to be tested for heat conductivity. The lab included aluminum rods, iron rebar, a wood stick, brass rods, copper cylinders, steel bolts, a length of lead pounded from a fishing line weight, a hunk of basalt, and any other materials we could access. Boiling water goes in the one cup, the other cup is filled with just enough room temperature tap water to cover the material in the bottom. Lynn and Marsela watch for the maximum temperature rise of the tap water.

The hot water melts the glue, so a glue gun is used to repair the styrofoam cups on the fly. This is faster and safer than solvent based glues. Annnie and Clyde work on repairing their cups.

In the 8:00 section I was unable to get a class discussion going. Getting a true class discussion going can be challenging, especially when the topic is terra nova for the students. Asking the students to come up with a chart or graph to use to communicate their results has the students workin…

Generating graphs in XHTML5 + SVG from spreadsheets

I have a regular need to quickly draft up quizzes which include xy scatter graphs. Due to bandwidth issues, I prefer to use XHTML5 + SVG to create a single file that includes the charts. An upside to this approach is that I can easily edit old code to create new quiz questions for future use. To facilitate this process I use an OpenOffice.orgCalc spreadsheet to generate the initial code. Then I copy and paste the generated code to NotePad++ to remove the tabs and perform final tweaking of the SVG. This approach works well for statistics quizzes, and for physical science quizzes which often also include MathML. Note that the physical science quizzes use a variant of the spreadsheet which includes a wider variety of data point symbols.


A cumulonimbus thrusts up into and through a deck of altocumulus to the east of Palikir, Pohnpei.
A cumulus castellanus encounters sheer aloft.
Altocumulus aloft over campus.

Kosrae Liberation Day races on Pohnpei

Kosrae Liberation Day races on Pohnpei. All run, starting from the youngest... the older...

... to the oldest group.

Some spent much of the day ghosting around in search of food, or babies to carry.

Volleyball fanatic. The cement floor was repaired by laying a thin layer of cement on it. That layer is breaking up, leaving jagged cement edges all over the court. One has to be willing to take serious bodily damage when playing in the Pohnpei state gymnasium, a real play hard, die harder totally committed volleyballer. She is.

Success at finding the baby to carry. She even brought it home with her. The baby is on a tour of Micronesia. She flew in on a lap pass to Kosrae last week, and continued on to Pohnpei via lap pass this week. Amazingly flexible, she will ride along with anyone to anywhere. Although not yet a year old, she can already walk. And travel the world.

Play dates

Awesome play-date threesome.

Breakfast place in Sekere

The best price for excellent morning food all under a thatched roof can be found in Sekere. Cooked hot to order by one of Pohnpei's best short order chefs.

The hut is up on stilts overlooking a taro patch, the ambiance is very tropical. An aerial walkway connects the road to the restaurant.

The inside is comfortable, furnished with locally produced tables.

Beer cans, invasive plants, and shimmering views of the lagoon

The Palikir student ethnobotanical garden is proving a bit too secluded and has become a repository of beer cans from late night drinking in the garden.

The Conservation Society of Pohnpei has done an incredible job of pulling and removing Clidemia hirta from the campus, but the plant ever keeps coming back.

The view from the Village Hotel is still spectacular and a reminder to me that I live in place some save for a lifetime just to visit.

Loosing your marbles in the name of conservation of momentum

Lynn and Marsela report their marble track timing data for laboratory 042.

Cassandra was timing for her group.

Annie and Clyde mass a marble.

Anchyleen and Calvin looking over their calculations.

Three different sizes of marbles were used in pairs. Two similar marbles were collided and the momentum before and after was calculated. The result is a linear regression the slope of which indicates to what extent, if any, momentum is conserved. The smaller marbles are ducks, the larger one is a taw.