Showing posts from January, 2014

Lycophyte and monilophyte student presentations

Images from presentations in SC/SS 115 Ethnobotany.

Life cycle of a moss
The group whose task was to distinguish between monilophytes and lycophytes
Well drawn lycopodium morphology diagram done in the five minutes prior to class
 Life cycle of selaginelle, beautifully drawn
Arlen covers the life cycle of the fern
Fern morphology
Leona Leion Saimon explains fern morphology
Sapino Lee Sigrah covers Kosraean pronunciations
Lilly Jane John pronounces lagoon Chuukese plant names, noting distinctions between northern Noumeneas and Faichuuk
Sandra of Rumung in Yap covered Yapese names, noting differences for her place
Sandra pronounces the plant names
Hanae presented Japanese names for the ferns - a first in the class. She covered in detail the meanings of the individual characters.

Acceleration of gravity

The new reduced data format simply works better. Every group, morning and midday, had less than 20% error and multiple groups went under 5% error. Five drops, picking the median value, at fewer heights, generates the best data. Drops were made from 0, 100, 200, 300, 400, and 500 centimeters.

Brenda, Serlyn, and Kanisia working at 200 cm
 Jermy and Paul stacking for 300 cm
Tania records data
 Serlyn, Brenda, Reed working on 400 cm and 500 cm  200 cm
 Yvonne holds the meter sticks together
Shra Ringlen holds the meter sticks, Jessica Gilmete prepares to drop from 200 cm
Jessica tackles 300 cm using a chair on the table with Nikita providing back-up
One percent error for one of the 11:00 laboratories. Not bad for hand timing a dropped super ball.

RipStik Acceleration

Spring 2013 I used the faculty parking lot to generate time versus distance data for an accelerating RipStik. The parking lot permitted "running out" at the end of the run, arcing back up against the slope to burn the gained speed. Getting a good curve meant accelerating hard over a distance of 1000 centimeters to generate a clear curve.

In the summer of 2013 I decided to try the new cement between the LRC and the south faculty building, using the natural slope to gain speed. I realized I could reverse my run and measure a deceleration as well. This led to a rather confusing chart as well as confusion in the minds of the students. As I laid up the data in a spreadsheet I realized I should have started with a deceleration into a turn-around and then accelerated back down the slope.

Fall 2013 I made the first attempt at a deceleration into an acceleration, using chalk marks at preset distances. Tracking the marks while riding meant looking down and spotting the marks on the fly…

MathML font changes from STIX to Asana and MathJax

Even before the Macintosh allowed rudimentary font design in 1986, I have had a fascination with fonts. I remember the interchangeable typing heads on the IBM Selectric typewriters - and discovering that there were other type heads.I made a conscious decision in the late 1980s to use Palatino in my master's thesis because I thought the font looked better than Times in print.

I went from Arial to Verdana to Tahoma and then on to Trebuchet MS on the Windows side of the world. I liked the new "C" fonts that Vista brought to the desk top, especially Calibri and Candara.  I was excited to see the @font-face rule gain support in CSS. I left Calibri for Ubuntu (the font) when 10.10 rolled that out.

I remain conscious of font choices and font stacks in CSS. As one who uses MathML, I had added in the STIX font in support of MathML. I was late to learn of the shift in FireFox 13 to Asana and MathJax fonts for MathML in FireFox, critically useful information for me as I generate cl…

Lycophyte and monilophyte hike

This term the sequencing in ethnobotany is slightly different to accommodate a day one in the computer laboratory. The class continues to use Edmodo as the grade book, and the grade book will not instantiate until an on line exercise is submitted by students. In Edmodo think, you are not a teacher unless you give assignments AND students respond to those assignments.

This put ethnogardening on day two and banana patch cleaning on day three. Day four was done in the style of recent years - zero class room time, launch at 3:30 sharp. As usual, we lost about four or five who came late and could not find the class. In modern Twitterese, #Fail.

I aimed through the parking lot to pick up a couple students who went ahead to drop book bags, and thence to the coral sand volleyball area where I could make a brief stop to re-introduce Nostoc. Day one I had brought Nostoc to class, so this was recoverage.

I then took a line paralleling the road, which allowed us to pick up Davallia solida early i…

Linear motion laboratory modifications

An instructor who once worked for many years at the college kept three by five cards with notes on each class he taught. After every class he would make a few notes on how the lesson went and then file the card in the appropriate place. The next term he would review the cards from prior terms, noting what had worked and what had not worked. This blog is my collection of three by five cards. I write for my future self, and rather expect that I might be the only reader.

Once the covered walkway was complete and the sidewalk between the LRC and the south faculty building was resurfaced, I moved the Monday RipStik run to that location. This location works better than the main walk between the administration building and the north faculty office. The only catch is that the Japanese solar panel pillars are metrically spaced while the covered walkway pillars are on a non-metric spacing. The covered walkway pillars are close to 305 centimeters center-to-center, except in certain locations whe…

Banana patch clean-up

Ethnobotany cleaned the banana patch, no attempt to move the patch. Yet.

Sother Jr.
Rico Joab

A Farewell to Ethnogarden - Maybe Not

Reminiscent of a line in a Joni Mitchell song, the ethnobotanical garden on the east end of campus is slated to become a paved parking lot. Maybe. The final plans for the track, field, softball diamond, and affiliated parking lots have yet to be made. The garden may yet partially survive the construction. In any case the potential for the loss helped spur me to begin to make long overdue decisions. The mango trees have become significantly larger since the garden began and are shading out many of the plants that were originally planted.

The swamp taro, although growing in flowbed for drainage from the campus, is struggling in the expanding shade of the mango trees. The Senna alata is also "moving" out from under the shade.

I will attempt to regrow the gardenia and jasmine plants, other plants will have to be dug up and moved.

 Ixora casei
Potting soil

The present plan is to move the plants to the orange area between the Yapese men's hut and the Japanese cemetery. The ban…

Density of Soap

Wednesday started with a glance at cloud types, continued on to cover the pre-assessment, and ended with an introduction to density.

Thursday morning I went to pull equipment for the density laboratory and discovered that all of the soap was gone. I checked both the shelf and the cabinet in which I store the soap, and then widened the search, to no avail. I do not know if I somehow misplaced a couple dozen bars of soap, they were used by another instructor in some other laboratory, or the soap was accessed by someone else for some other purpose. I went across to A1 store and Jed's buying up Lux and Royal soap at 65 cents (A1) and 60 cents (Jed's). The bars were small and highly curved making them particularly ill-suited to the laboratory, introducing rather significant errors.

When I then went to pull the triple-beam balance scales, from the center two cabinets in the prep room, they were also gone. I was edging closer to tossing in the towel and abandoning the laboratory, but…