Showing posts from April, 2019

Floral litmus solutions

I started off the week of elements and chemistry slightly differently. I handed out a list of the symbols for a few of the more commonly used elements and asked the students to write out the name and the number of outer valence electrons.  Many could name C, N, O, but few knew Cu or Pb.

I opened with the introduction to hydrogen, then went after the atomic mass not being a whole number. This led to deuterium, tritium, and the Able and Baker detonations that destroyed Bikini. Note that Hydrogen had been erased on the board above and replaced by Beryllium as I ran out of space on the right board.

The above was the second board on Monday. Helium shows the electron spin.

Wednesday moved into molecules. Some of the left board had been erased and rewritten above.

The carbon monoxide on Wednesday was a carbon dioxide until I erased one oxygen. That diagram could use improvement.

Swister, Brenda, Junida
Every term the complex launch that this Thursday is causes something to be forgotten. I no…


One of the tech success stories in my office continues to be two System76 Ubuntu OS computers.

Ubuntu Disco Dingo 19.04 is now on these two computers manufactured on 7/24/2015. Although pushing towards their fourth anniversary, these two computers have required zero intervention from IT for malware. The students have been plugging flash drives, infected and uninfected, in for almost four years without incident. These two computers have been reliable and have needed no other intervention other than their biannual upgrade.

The two System76 machines are now running the April 2019 built of Ubuntu, making them the most modern operating system on campus. Much of the campus is still running Windows 7, first released in July 2009 - a decade old operating system plagued by malware and security issues.

Ubuntu remains more secure, more reliable, and requiring less intervention and support than Windows. And I do not need to explain to IT personnel on this planet what a nightmare Windows 10 and it…

Banana patch ethnogarden clean-up attendance by photography

Rain ahead of class and humid, wet conditions were perfect for working but less so for taking paper based role. Role was a photographic event in the class.

Wadel Jr.
Faustino Jr.
Rayjohnburg, Mayson, Joe

Sepe Rose
Ray, Mayson, Joe
Nayme, Kayleen

iNaturalist and PlantNet reporting back by the students

A week earlier I had introduced the students to iNaturalist and PlantNet in my ethnobotany class. Although I had been using PlantNet since December, I had only been using iNaturalist for 30 minutes. During the prior Thursday class I suggested that students could use either app. After the first Thursday class ended, I discovered that the Explore map interface in iNaturalist surfaced all of the students photos and identifications from the class period. I was never was able to surface the photos and identifications made in PlantNet. PlantNet has no way to filter or search contributions. By the following Tuesday I had sworn off of PlantNet and reached the realization that PlantNet is an educationally and botanically useless application. Harsh words, but I really could not, did not, and never will be able to follow up in PlantNet on my student's contributions and possible errors.

I do not dismiss PlantNet lightly, but a core difference means that iNaturalist is botanically usable while…