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Showing posts from September, 2012

Healing plants

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The SC/SS 115 Ethnobotany healing plant presentations Shalein presented the Pohnpeian use of Coleus (now reclassified as Solenostemon scutellarioides) for skin rashes, ear ache and kilimahd skin sores. Coleus leaves are also commonly used to bring a boil to a head.


Melanie detailed the Pohnpeian use of Scaevola taccada for pink eye and itchy eyes. The white fruit is squeezed into the eyes for relief of symptoms. This is identical to the Kosraean use of the fruit.


Melanie also noted that the leaves are useful for a postpartum cleansing bath. The leaves are pounded, boiled, and the leaves with the water are added to a larger basin for bathing.


Rose Ann presented the use of idanwoal (Flagellaria indica) with liwadawad marer (Centella asiatica) for winien pwuriamwei. Winien pwuriamwei is used to treat startle in babies. Four leaves in pairs from each plant are pounded in a banana leaf, folded, and squeezed onto the fontanelle. Startle is a culture bound syndrome wherein a child may fail t…

Harvard Step Test

The Harvard Step Test was administered in a class of 25 students. Ten students were excused due to Par-Q issues. Of the remaining 15 only one student rated as excellent. The remaining 14 students were of average fitness or lower, with ten below average fitness.

Harvard Step Test Ratings
ratingFitness indexNumberExcellent> 901Good80-890Average65-794Low Average55-645Poor< 555
Although the sample size is small, these results suggest that the students are not physically fit. Earlier measurements of resting heart rates indicated that their resting heart rates indicate average to below average fitness for their age group. Coupled with ten eliminated on Par-Q grounds and a nation that is ranked second in percent of population with a body mass index over 25, and the health future of these young Micronesians is not one of wellness. Add to that the high levels of stress documented in a Holmes and Rahe stress scale survey, and the picture does not improve.

Working with the health science st…

Math curriculum support workshop number three

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On Friday September 21 the third in a series of work shops intended to provide support to the instructors at Madolehnihmw high school was held from 4:00 to 6:00 P.M. I left the college at about 3:10 and arrived at 3:56 at MHS.


Whereas in earlier sessions I had some foreknowledge of what was to be covered, for this session I had no foreknowledge and responded to questions. The first question was the effect of the coefficient a in the vertex form of a quadratic, which I write as (y - k) = a(x - h)^2. This led into coverage of the vertex form, its relationship to y = ax^2 + bx + c, and on into imaginary roots (x-intercepts) as the x-axis crossing of the reflection of the parabola. I wanted a mirror tile, but I had none with me.


There were also questions on ways to graph from the vertex form without plugging in a series of x-values. The text presumes the class is using graphing calculators. The students are not and are hand graphing the functions. I showed how one can use the vertex, y-in…

Research teams explore momentum

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Some terms laboratory 042 goes well, other terms the laboratory seems to fall flat. By go well, I mean that the groups gel and find measurements to make, data to report, theories to investigate. Other terms the students seem lost and wanting direct instruction on what specifically to measure.


Tulpe, Merry-Jean, LoriAnn

This term I hewed closely to my own text, starting with the quote from Newton, "For the best and safest method of philosophising seems to be, first to enquire diligently into properties of things, and to establish those properties by experiments and then to proceed more slowly to hypotheses for the explanation of them. For hypotheses should be employed only in explaining the properties of things, but not assumed in determining them; unless so far as they may furnish experiments." (Letter to the French Jesuit, Gaston Pardies. Translation from the original Latin, as in Richard S. Westfall, Never at Rest: a Biography of Isaac Newton (1983), page 242. Direct source…

Notepad++ document map

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Notepad++ gains a document map in the sixth release. For those who build web pages by hand in an editor on Windows 7 and seek to write pretty code, the document map is pleasant eye candy. The document map can be used for navigating the document.

Notepad++ remains my go to editor for web page and text file editing and remains free, as in free speech and free beer. The package is fast and efficient, reducing CPU load and thus power consumption - an environmentally friendly text editor.

From YouTube to DVD over on Win 7

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I had downloaded three YouTube videos as MP4 files using my Lubuntu rig at home as accessing YouTube from the college is not possible during the business day. Access to YouTube is throttled to the point where the site is de facto blocked. The videos were USDA and White House productions focused on the new MyPlate dietary guidelines.

I had not had time to convert the MP4 files to the MPEG2 NTSC format that DVD video players apparently utilize. I say apparently as I am completely clueless when it comes to the alphabet soup of video formats. So I moved the files over to my USB flash drive and headed up to the college to teach my morning classes. In between classes I working on locating and installing software to convert and burn the DVD.

The complication at work is that I use a Win 7 rig and Bombono is not an option.



After a couple false starts from SourceForge.net, I found that I could cluelessly stumble through MyFFVideoConverter and wind up with the required format that Windows DVD Ma…

Lubuntu, YouTube, and playable DVDs

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I wanted to show my health science class some YouTube videos on Choose MyPlate, the recent guidelines on healthy eating. My classroom has only a television and a DVD player. This meant downloading YouTube videos and then burning them to a playable DVD. On Lubuntu 12.04.

Downloading proved to be the simpler end of the production process. Alcatro LLC produces a slick add-on for handling video downloads in FireFox.


Alactro's software allowed me to pull down an MP4 video format file.


I then turned to Brasero, the standard video burning software in Ubuntiverse. Brasero wanted more packages, and I happily downloaded a variety of packages. I got stuck on mplex, but eventually found that enabling the medibuntu collection and adding some gstreamer bad packages allowed me to proceed.

At 22% conversion the process stalled and never restarted.

At that point I headed back into Synaptic and pulled down Bombono DVD.


Bombono worked out of the box - although bear in mind I had downloaded a passel…

Rolling and falling balls

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Physical science laboratory 022 landed on a rainy, soggy day. Having learned that the marbles simply slow down way too much on the tables, I opted to use the gym hallway in the 8:00 class.


The ramp was propped up a on a table. This worked amazingly poorly. A later analysis would show that the speed of the ball was essentially constant regardless of the height of the release point on the ramp.

The ball also collided with the walls and doorwells.

Tulpe and LoriAnn
At 11:00 we moved outside and knowing that the wet pavement would slow the ball, I chose to use the driveway and let the slope offset the tendency of the ball to slow down.

The ramp was propped against the berm in the background.


This worked better, although the ball still tended to slow down after the first second.

Physical science laboratory 032 measured the acceleration of gravity by timing the fall of a ball.

Lane and Tulpe make measurements.
Rose Ann steadies the meter stick Ryan on the meter stick, Stravinsky dropping an…