Showing posts from October, 2010

My annual numbers

Every term in MS 150 Statistics I use a Tanita scale to measure the students weight and to estimate their body fat. The data is primarily used, with names stripped out, as number sets to play with during the term. Secondarily this provides information to a sample at high risk of obesity and associated metabolic syndromes, number two on the planet by one measure. The students become inured to my exhortations to exercise, eat right, and to track their numbers.

Because I get to see the students numbers, I always feel that sharing my numbers is incumbent on me. Although I do try to take a daily pill for my health.

Blood pressure 110/70 is down year-on-year.Weight: 144LDL: 86HDL: 41. A tad low. 45 would be better. Fish oil recommended.Cholesterol: 138. A personal best in this century for me. Credit maybe the running, but also maybe the daily glass of red wine since fall 2008. Sugar: 102. High for me, I usually see numbers in the seventies and eighties.PSA 1.1Uric acid: 7.8. Borderline. 6.9 …

Sokehs Shopping Center and Dien both open

Friday 29 October was auspicious indeed with the triple play of Sokeh's Shopping Center re-opening, Dien market being open, and social security day all landing on the same day.
Re-opening of one the largest stores on Pohnpei and a plus for residents of Sokehs and Kitti.

Bicycles can induce large eye syndrome.

Mitsuo "Luke"Daniel
Weilanter "Oaulik" Samuel.
Aramas Dien o Poahloang: Deisleen and Debra.
Happiness is a bottle of joy!
More happiness is more bottles of joy!

Quadratic fit with Wolfram Alpha

In laboratory 03 the students gather time versus distance data for a falling ball. The data from three groups was average and is presented in the table below.

time (s)distance (cm)000.411000.471200.521400.561600.61800.642000.692200.732400.772600.832800.843000.94000.95500
In the laboratory the students square the time to generate a linear regression, which is then used to determine the acceleration of gravity.

The WolframAlpha computational knowledge engine provides another option to this approach. Given a set of paired data, WolframAlpha will find the quadratic least-squares fit.

To get the data into the input format expected by WolframAlpha, I used setting up a table that included the brackets and a trailing space after the comma.

{0,0}, {0.41,100}, This was copied to Notepad++ where the extraneous tabs were deleted using a find and replace, along with an extended mode find and replace using \r\n to remove the carriage returns and new line feeds. This created a string t…

[tech] FaceBook continues to roll out academically useful tools

Within the last week FaceBook rolled out what FB is calling "new groups." New groups are not the same as old groups. They are more like friend lists, but with new functionality. One major change is that the group creator selects friends into the group, as one did with a friend list. No need to send out group invitations. The new group has, if set up as a closed group, its own closed, private wall. No one outside the group can seen posts in the group.

One of my students just discovered that the group I set up, psa3, permits group multi-way chat. This has been a critically missing piece of technology for FaceBook chat. FB chat has been two-way only chat up until now. I do not know how the student "activated" the multi-way chat, but the window stays open as long as any member is on line.  Members who are on line are displayed by their profile image at the top. I will be following up with her to see if sh…

Sokeh's ridge hike

The guns of World War II are long silent, but the reminders of that now long ago conflict are still on Pohnpei. On United Nations Day the students of Phi Theta Kappa hiked up the ridge to clean-up around the 127 mm Japanese coastal defense guns. The ridge is filled with history of a war, the memories of which are fading with the passing of the generation who survived the war in these island.
PONAPE HARBOR: Seen from Kolonia is Ponape's main harbor. In the background, Sokehs Rock rises over 600 feet above the sea. Photograph: U.S. Marine Corps, Arthur H. Navarre Collection (Courtesy of Diane Hindy). Copyright ©2008 Marine Bombing Squadron Six-Thirteen Association.  All Rights Reserved.
Circa 11 September 1945. Either the USS Hyman and USS Farquhar is likely to be the ship in the harbor based on a preceding page.

The ridge we climbed is on the extreme left of the photograph. The highest point, on the right end of the ridge, is the present day location of the cell towers.



The SC/SS 115 Ethnobotany class taught each other thatching. In past terms the class used Nipa fruticans. Nipa fruticans can be obtained non-destructively from the plant.

 Edelynn starting her thatching.
This term the class used the traditional material for Pohnpeian thatching,  oahs, (Metroxylon amicarum). Often the harvesting of oahs is done by cutting down the tree due to the extreme height of the mature leaves. This term the supplier was able to harvest leaves from a young oahs without cutting down the tree.
Strick getting started.
There are two styles of Pohnpeian thatching, doakoahs en Ruk and doakoahs en Pohnpei or simply doakoahs. Doak means "to pierce" with a needle-like object. Oahs is the Pohnpeian name for Metroxylon amicarum. Rafaila working on doakoahs en Pohnpei.
On Pohnpei in the past the tip of a marlin (a bill fish) was used as a needle. Today the sharpened end of a toothbrush with a hole in the end is a good needle, nails are also sometimes used. Nails wit…

Mirror reflections and apparent depth refraction

Laboratory ten began with an investigation of the relationship between the distance of an image behind a mirror versus the distance of the object in front of a mirror.

Jessicalynn and Brian work out the image position.

In the second part the students worked on measuring the apparent depth of a penny under water versus the actual depth of the penny.

Norma peers into the small bucket, Corazon the larger bucket, Leilani is measuring.

The small blue bucket provides a nice intermediate depth between beakers and the Ace bucket, but the bottom is not at the bottom so to speak. A white flat-bottomed bucket of the same size would be better. Behind the Ace bucket are graduated cylinders that provide even more depth.

Sanolyn works with a 2000 ml graduated cylinder.

Monaliza indicates the apparent location of the penny image under water by looking in the top of the graduated cylinder. The cylinder keeps the viewing angle small. For small angles the ration of the actual depth to the apparent depth is ef…

Turning an odd number

Turning an odd number is hard when turning an even number was so exciting a year ago. That the year being turned is a square number did nothing to comfort the birthday girl.

The barbecue was handled by a hired professional. Having just turned two, she is an expert barbecuer.

A gathering of family and friends, well-wishers all.

Blowing out the sparkling candles.

Being the first world statistics day, I am left pondering the probability that World Statistics Day would be declared to land on my youngest's birthday.