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Showing posts from October, 2009

The Pill

After years of stumbling around in the tropical forests, I have developed a pill that will reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and lower your blood pressure. The pill will both lengthen your life and improve the quality of the lengthened life. There are some provisos, however. You must take the pill every day, although you need take only one a day. The pill consists of all natural unrefined herbal ingredients - which is good news as it means the pill can be classified as a food supplement and not a medicine. This end runs a number of FDA-related issues, as many multi-level marketing food supplement industry types already know.

There is still some work to be done on the formula. At present the pill is rather large. As is very large. Consuming the pill takes a hour. Yes, a whole hour to get the pill down. So you lose an hour a day but add decades to your life. I have not worked out whether the hour loss is offset by the decades of potential gain.

One other complication is that…

All in the configuration

As a post-script to my assessment of page delivery speed blogicle, I learned that the optimal configuration for a desktop on our system had changed a couple years ago. This sort of thing is not announced as it typically confuses the end user. With a change in configuration my desktop now pulls local pages at light speed.

An assessment of local web page load times

The ability to effectively use technology such as Smart boards in our classrooms depends directly on the responsiveness of the network serving those technologies. To borrow a Sun Systems slogan, "the network is the computer." While some faculty rely heavily on PowerPoint presentations which being locally stored have little load time latency, the real power of present day learning technologies is only unleashed when they are connected to network and Internet resources.

The page load time data further below is the duration of time in seconds for web pages on the college server to completely load on my desktop in the south faculty building. The desktop used, although the oldest in the division, is an Windows XP machine with two gigabytes of RAM. This combination yields a very responsive and fast desktop. Load speeds are not significantly affected by the desktop hardware.

The desktop is connected via a 100 Mbps connection to a 10/100 hub. I am uncertain of the specifics beyond …

Reflection and refraction optical laboratory

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Kevin works on the apparent depth of a penny in water. The slope of a line plotting the image depth for the penny versus the actual (object) depth for the penny is the index of refraction for the water the penny is in.

Cassandra and Marsela work on the apparent depth of their penny.

Prens makes a measurement while Warren looks on.

Brenda considers her reflection set up.

Anchyleen works on the position of the image while Aleen holds the mirror.

Alphonso tries to gauge the depth of the image.

Turning even

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The cake was so moist that it fractured. Despite appearances, the cake had a wonderful almost pudding-like moistness.

Even is ready to blow out the candles. Prior to the special day she had noted that it is better to be even number than an odd number. Later she realized that she will be odd in another year, and asked if odd numbers really were bad.

Play dough  is fun at any age!

Rainy day beading.

Hair styling with play dough.

Kamadipw en Kousapw Dien

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On Saturday 17 October kousapw Dien, Kitti, in Pohnpei honored Soulik Elwel Oaulik Samuel and celebrated another successful year. A kamadipw is a gathering of friends and family, a party, and a kamadipw en kousapw is a relaxed, informal party. Sakau, yams, pigs, sugar cane, and lots of food are central to the activities for the day.


Speeches thank the members of the kousapw, a land unit on Pohnpei, for their hard work and contributions over the past year. Speeches can also lay out the plans for the coming year in the kousapw. At the center of the ceremonial aspects of the kamadipw is the sakau ceremony. The sakau ceremony is involves pounding the sakau and then the presentation of cups.

A kamadipw en kousapw is light-hearted and easy going. Entertainment can include songs on a ukelele and the occasional dancing of a woman who gets caught up in the excitement of the moment.

Leading Kousapw Dien is Elwel Oaulik Samuel.

The kamadipw is a family affair for all ages.

More photos of the festivi…

Ethnobotanical garden clean-up

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On 15 October the SC/SS 115 Ethnobotany class performed a midterm clean-up of the ethnobotanical garden. Angielyne Aten was the photographer. The garden was in better shape than it had been in August, although the Hibiscus tiliaceus was overgrowing to the south of the mango tree. Simiai Manuel, a member of the college security forces, and I worked on the H. tiliaceus.

Alwihter Moya hand pulls weeds in the central area of the garden.

Kristina Hadley.


Girlynn and Gendalin.

Ethnobotany food presentations

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Nayleen of Pohnpei presents uht moatoar (pounded or ground banana).

Fermented breadfruit, Chuukese kon. This is a must-have food for any happy gathering in Chuuk.

Fried bananas is a basic but favorite dish.


The fried banana was presented by a Pohnpeian group including Alwihter, Tracy, and Bersin.

Charlene and Kristina presenting uht kekihr and mwahng erier.

Trisha Dawn presented food from Mwokilloa.

After the presentations, the class enjoyed tasting the many dishes from across Micronesia.

 Charmarie, Kristina, and Charlene chatting over an all local meal.

Paradise Puff Pillows

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After enjoying them in Wisconsin, Shrue tried her hand at puff pillows. The result was an instant favorite.

Paradise Puff Pillows 2 cups flour 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons shortening
Mix the above ingredients, adding enough luke warm water to reduce sticking to hands. Knead the mixture until smooth. Divide into two loaves and roll each out to 1/4 inch thick. With knife, cut into six or eight pieces. To cook, drop pieces into extremely hot oil or shortening. Turn almost immediately. They will usually puff on the first turn. Remove from grease when golden brown. Serves 3 or 4. Make 1 and 1/2 times the recipe for family - 2 times if we had guests.

Drawing clouds

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Alisi works on sketching clouds while referring to images.
Antely at work pre-sketching her cloud type. Laboratory eight is about observing and then recording accurately via a drawing.
The rubric is an art rubric. This introduces observation into the course as well as providing exposure to the use of an artistically based rubric. Ivyrose works on her sketch.
Theodora at work on her sketch.
BJ attempting to capture the color and light sourcing for a sunset image of altocumulus clouds.

Gymnosperm presentations

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Garry Nanpei presents the layers of a typical gymnosperm/angiosperm (dicot).

Julie Dickson Anton introduces angiosperms.

Hermina covers the difference between monocots and dicots.

Kristina assists Hermina.

Riantho in action.

Shrue returns from Manila

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Shrue returned today from her journey to the Philippines. She arrived after tropical storm Ketsana (Ondoy).

Across the road were stores that sold rice and other food stuffs.This view is from the Delos Santos Medical Center in Quezon City, Philippines.

On the heels of Ketsana came Parma (Pepang), sending flooding rains back into Quezon City.

The food production capabilities at Delos Santos were in the basement, they had not recovered when Quezon City reflooded. Food in the hospital collapsed to chicken in soy sauce with rice.

Water three meters deep from the San Juan river had inundated the hospital. Eventually MiCare (FSM national health insurer) had to de facto evacuate patients from Delos Santos. Shrue spent a night at Capitol Medical before flying out to Guam.

On her way home, Shrue did have a better time on Guam, seen here with Virginia Waguk.

Shrue also got to join the gathering on Guam welcoming her father on Tuesday evening.

Her father is on a pastoral visit to the Kosraean Congrega…

Good hair day, useless hairdresser

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Every day is a good hair day for my daughter. At present, however, her hairdresser - being me - is incompetent.

The new morning routine is early up, eat, shower, and dress. No morning chores - they are all shifted to the afternoon and evening. The result is a sleepy breakfast crowd.

Latitude, longitude, minutes, and meters

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The SC 130 Physical Science class engaged in an exercise that ultimately leads to determining the circumference of the earth at the latitude of Pohnpei. Using GPS  units to determine their latitude and longitude, the class walked a line of latitude in laboratory seven, recording the change in longitude. Marsela watches the latitude and longitude on an eTrex GPS unit, ensuring she remains on the correct latitude as she walks west.


The class has access to five GPS receivers, Lynn led another team along the line of latitude.

Annie rolled the surveyor's wheel in the morning laboratory class. While both the morning and afternoon classes were sunny, the morning class left everyone soaking wet. The air was all but saturated with water, a humidity haze colored the ridge to the east blue. By midday the temperature had climbed, lowering the relative humidity, and making conditions actually more comfortable.

In the midday lab Sally-Jean rolled the surveyor' wheel.


The wheel has a circumfere…

Gymnosperm and economic botany field trip

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The SC/SS 115 Ethnobotany class journeyed to the Pohnpei State Botanic Garden at Pwunso, in Kolonia, Pohnpei. The field trip focused on gymnosperms and plants with economic value.

Crushing, smelling, and even occasionally tasting the spice plants was encouraged.

Nicole examines a leaf while Kristina strikes a pose.

The guided tour included cloves, Norfolk Island pine, cinnamon, a cycad, coffee, black pepper, nutmeg, carambola star apple, mahogany, teak, painted eucalyptus, allspice, Callophylum inophyllum, and kauri pine.

Jaykay, Randall, and Angielyne.

Sylvana and Sayleen in front, Girlynn, Beautrina, Nayleen,and Daryl just behind along the road.

Emillia examines Averrhoa carambola, the star apple tree. Girlynn and Sylvana look on at the tree. This Japanese introduction is locally known as ansou.