Showing posts from November, 2010

A dark curse and a fond final farewell

Clidemia hirta, known in English as Koster's curse, and locally named riahpen rot (dark curse) continues to spread in the forest across the road from the college. This term the SC/SS 115 Ethnobotany class Clidemia hirta pull was optional due to a memorial service.

Six students chose to join the hike into the dark, wet, muddy forest on a rainy day that had heard thunder earlier in the afternoon. The class first visited the Palikir Ethnobotanical Learning garden to learn to distinguish the native Melastoma malabathicum var. marianum (pisetikimei) from Clidemia hirta.

Megan and Nixon get started in a patch of Clidemia hirta.
Sepebriana pulling Clidemia hirta.
The instructor pulling from inside a clump of Clidemia.
Megan and Nixon.
And the Clidemia was hung from the Hibiscus with care, in hopes that Saint Nicholas would soon be there...
Heading back in from the forest - Deisleen, Kasinta, and Megan.

After showering, I headed down to the memorial service, catching the last …

Green Steps 5k Fun Walk

The Federated States of Micronesia National Olmpic Committee, with the support of the Olympic Solidarity Sport and Environment Commission and the Natural Resources Conservation Service, organized the Green Steps 5k Fun Walk 2010. The fun walk included tree planting, a clean-up the streets 5k walk, and runners.
A newly planted tree along the perimeter of Dainy ball field.
Gibson prepares for the next seedling.
Future Olympic swimmers...
... and their coach Debra.
Bernice and Tamae out along the clean-up route. Both are students at the national campus of the College of Micronesia-FSM, one from the westernmost island of Yap, the other from the easternmost island of Kosrae. The national campus remains the single largest gathering of young adults from across the FSM - a builder of inter-island personal relationships and unity.
More walkers along the route! Clean-up walks were also held in the states of Kosrae and Yap.

Index of refraction for glass

Laboratory 14 is a practical laboratory. The students were given four organizing questions, provided whatever equipment they requested, but given no further guidance other than a reminder that they had determined the index of refraction of water in laboratory ten. What is the experimental index of refraction for glass?What is the theoretic index of refraction of glass?What is the percentage difference for your data versus the theoretic value?How strong is the agreement between your data and the theoretic value? Iumileen, Lupe, and Carlyne consider their set-up.
 Annabelle and Leilani plot initial results.
 Ceasar and Nena make measurements.
 Adam tries putting half of the penny under the glass, half not under the glass. Yvonne looks on.

Ethnobotany cultural ceremony

The SC/SS 115 Ethnobotany course this term visited a nahs in Palikir, Pohnpei, to learn about the sakau ceremony.
Lempwoai takes the pwel. Lempwoai explained that there are three title lines. Oloiso, Serihso, and Samworo. Oloiso is the line of the Nahnmwarki. Serihso is line of the Nahnken. Samworo is the third line. In ancient times the Samworo were the traditional religious leaders. The cup order is Oloiso, Serihso, Nahnalek, Samworo. With no Oloiso or Serihso present, Lempwoai takes pwel as our highest titled leader present.  Rosalinda, Edelynn, Kacinta.
 Samantha, SepeBriana, Strick, Lanze.
 Kimberly, Strick, Lanze, Deisleen.
 Glory, Antoinette, Monaliza, Rafaila.
 LA Peter at menindei.
Rophino and Dayne.

Esil. Many thanks to the extended Mendiola family for hosting the ceremony this term!


Cumulus congestus. Builds can get quite large prior to dropping collision-coalescence rain.

Probable alto-cumulus.

A solid deck of altocumulus clouds.

The upper portion and lower portion of this image were separately balanced to bring out a distant almost lenticular cloud in a low contrast sky. The cloud was quite distant, possibly over the ridgeline between Nett and U.

Liked and Disliked Laboratories

With the laboratories at the core of the SC 130 Physical Science fall 2010 curriculum, I ran a survey on which was their favorite laboratory and which was the laboratory they least liked. The laboratories are now gathered into a single HTML5 text that includes SVG and MathMl served as text/html (not XHTML5). As of the writing of this blog only FireFox 4 beta series can render both the SVG and MathMl. This fall the laboratories included the following topics.

Laboratory one: Density of soap
Laboratory two: Velocity of a rolling ball in the gym parking lot
Laboratory three: Acceleration of gravity by dropping a ball in lab
Laboratory four: Momentum of marbles on a ruler track
Laboratory five: Force, stretching an elastic band using a cup of marbles
Laboratory six: Heat, the conduction of heat by materials connecting Styrofoam cups
Laboratory seven: Earth, latitude and longitude, meters per minute
Laboratory eight: Clouds, drawing a cloud
Laboratory nine: Sound:, clapping wood …

Floral pigments as litmus solutions

Laboratory thirteen in physical science had the students collect flowers from around campus, produce floral solutions by boiling in water, and then test to see which floral solutions changed color for both a known acid and a known base. Teaching in the tropics makes this laboratory possible in both November and April, or even in July.
Achimy pours hot water on  flower petals.
Sussy prepares petals for boiling.
Carlyne sorts out test tubes.
Adam with a floral litmus solution that turns magenta when an acid is added.
Rihter and Carlyne work with the known acid (lime fruit) and the known base (baking soda).
Elizabeth adds lime juice to a test tube held by Jason. Monaliza looks on.
Carlyne and Iumileen testing one of their floral solutions.
Loioshi and Evelyn work with the unknowns, attempting to determine whether they are acidic, basic, or neutral.
MaryHellan with a floral litmus solution.
Merlisa and Kioleen clean their flower petals for boiling.
Brian and Ceasar testing one their floral so…

Celebrating Yonis

Yonis joined the Pohnpei household just long enough to celebrate her birthday.

Yonis with Shrue and Elterina's son.
Four of the six sisters together again, Shrue, Yonis, Hanna, and Elterina.
Hanna's daughter calls this "RipStik" She gets up on the arm rest and then "mingos" (wiggles).