Friday, December 18, 2009


The list [in no particular order]:

Schrodinger, Chadwick, Meitner, Heisenberg, Mendeleev, Fermi, Plucker, Bohr, Maxwell, Seaborg, Oppenheimer, Democritus, Rutherford, Crookes, Millikan, Thomson, Plank, Roentgen, Einstein, Dalton, Aristotle, Geiger, Lavoisier, Kelvin, deBroglie, Franklin (Ben), Dirac, Stoney, Hahn, Curie, Moseley, Faraday, Hahn, and Newton.

Chronological order with their individual contribution. Presentation here is your choice. A powerpoint, colored chart, and/or a colored listing by date are all permissible. The direction and expectation for this portion are purposefully vague.

AND one page on one of them. Double spaced. At least one source.

Extra credit for this assignment: post your opening paragraph on your one scientist here on the blog. If you have trouble posting you can always email me the opening paragraph (the address is on the bottom right of the page).

The assignment is worth 50 points (30 for the chronological list and 20 for the one-page paper). Posting the opening paragraph is worth 10 extra points. The extra credit offer expires at midnight on Christmas Eve.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Our Fate

The link to the picture and the article is here at Science Daily.

Essentially--we're all doomed. 550 light years from here a star is dying. As it dies it grows--gasping for air, as it were. The picture is of that billowing sun.

Our sun will also gasp and billow and expand as it dies.

In another 5 billion years or so.

Great picture, eh?!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Good morning--or afternoon--or evening [pick one that applies, or that you like].

Almost everyone reading my blog (all four of you) lives here in Utah. If you're not living here...really, maybe you should be. Why? Well, let me tell you. Once upon a time I lived in California. Really. I was the consummate California kid. I was the lifeguard, blond hair, and I drove a convertible. Red, of course. I'll save it for another time perhaps, but the lesson was learned, red convertibles are cop magnets. I'm pretty sure it had nothing to do with my driving.


Well, my wife and I moved to Utah in the early 90's. And it was/is completely different. Specifically though, the weather was crazy different. I only recall it snowing twice while I lived in Sacramento. The first time was when I was in second grade, and then again--I think--when I was a freshman. If you wanted snow, in other words, you had to travel to see it. Tahoe, or the like was the best option. The whole family would pile into the station wagon (really) [it was really large and green--a Chrysler with wood paneling, and a huge 440 c.i. under the hood] (you'll have to remind me later to tell you about taking a ride with the pets in it--funny stuff). That's not the case here. The snow I mean. Well, the station wagon too. It's been snowing a bit here in Utah lately. From the last storm the mountains here got several feet of fresh snow. The valleys got plenty and we had to shovel our way out.

It's not a bad gig though--the snow I mean. There is something wonderful about the quietness and serenity of the snow. Yes, I love the whiteness of it too. The way it blankets our ground is truly beautiful, but it's the weatherness of it that I love. Clouds, water, temperature, falling snow, and that sound it makes as you step into that fresh blanket of snow. Small flakes, large ones too (I had always heard that eskimos had like 20 words for snow--each one for a different type; I heard too that was a myth) all make me smile. There, is just something great about the snow and the weather it brings with it. I don't ski or snowboard--my kids do though.

But, this California kid loves the seasons and the Greatest Snow On Earth.

So...let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Stoichiometry Quiz

This is the quiz question.... Your welcome.

A 34.5 gram piece of metallic iron is dissolved in concentrated HCl--the two react.
The reaction formed H2 and FeCl2
Fe + HCl > FeCl2 + H

How many grams of the product iron (II) chloride are formed?

So, to do this problem you will need to:
  1. balance the chemical equation. 
  2. convert what you know (the mass of the iron) to moles (look on the periodic table)
  3. convert to the moles of what you want
  4. convert to mass of what you want (again, a periodic table thing)

well that's all the help i'm going to give you... nRaine...  make sure you now how to do stoichiometry... it will save your butt so many times in the future.     see ya later.

A couple of Biology assignments

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


So, to make a long story shorter (and saner), I was helping Nathan with his AP Chem...and I was looking at the geometry for tetrahedrons. A very long and complicated page (here) discussed the derivation of angles and the like with the following paragraph (it does, incidentally, give a remarkable similar tone to the entire page--a flavor, if you will):

Note to teachers: if you build an octahedron and a rhombic dodecahedron off the octahedron faces (use the Zometool), and then attach a tetrahedron off one of the octahedron faces, the centroid of that tetrahedron will be the vertex of the rhombic dodecahedron. In fact, the distance from the centroid of the tetrahedron to each of it’s vertices is the edge length of the rhombic dodecahedron! Nature is not only beautiful, but also logical and consistent.

 I got lost after "Note to teachers." 

It was a long night. 

Nathan wanted me to be sure to note that the author of this page and the subsequent paragraph derived the root angle of a tetrahedron (109.45) for those interested--FROM SCRATCH! 

I officially feel dumber. 

Genetic Disorders

Hello Biology students.

Your assignment (whether you want to or not) is a one page paper about a genetic disorder of your choosing. 12 point font, Times New Roman or similar. One inch margins.

To get started you show go here: The Genetics Disorder Library, from the University of Utah (kudos for a killer site). Really, it's a great website that has enough information to do your one page paper.

You'll need to cite your source...and if you get it from the link above the source is linked in the bottom right corner of the page. 

For 5 extra credit points applied to this assignment...two or three sentences posted to this blog about your disorder (well, not your personal disorder--just the one you're writing about will suffice).

Get it?

Got it? 


Monday, November 30, 2009


Okay, let's try something new. Here is a video of Fluffy eating...sort of...

You can actually see the cricket struggling. Cool. Right? closeup of her with the cricket (a few people said they couldn't actually see the last cricket in her mouth)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

I ran across this video today and it cracked me up. There is some significance to the video (besides being funny) in that it's the first true 1080p YouTUBE video. So be sure [if you care] to follow it out and click on the HD and then's totally worth it. That HD link is here.

And then to celebrate Thanksgiving...

I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving break with their families.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Once upon a time, there was a difficult exam, and the mad scientist had mercy on his minions and he allowed his prodigee to help his evil minions save their souls from eternal mental instability.

Hey this is your crazy teacher's son, here to give you a few helpful hints

I'm only going to say this once. Good Freakin luck. Study all of your conversions, notes, and most of all have the psychiatric hospital on speed dial. Just read the whole test... word of advice, don't freak out. the answer is NOT 42. If any of you look at this you have brains connected to your body. You are very smart. Hint: the last one is a doozy. SO... make sure you know how to convert miles, yards, CENTIMETERS (HINT HINT WINK WINK) to cubic yards. another very important hint... GALLONS TO MOLES!!!! Good luck.

nRaine and cCutler out

P.S. And i just got confirmation from the evil warlock himself that if you write nRaine and cCutler on the last page you get five extra credit points. Yeah we're great. we know. Don't go blabbing. or no more helpy helpy for evil minions. I would like to help you. I really would, but if it gets out too much... i can't anymore

P.P.S. That Raine world header was created by me.
all usage of said header is restricted and prohibited by Raine inc.  

Dimensional Analysis

I promised my chemistry classes a small (in my best Russian accent)-short-quick-tiny peek at the test. How? Well, by giving away two questions on the test. Most the the questions are multi-part; in other words, you need to do one to see the next. In addition, several of the problems are wordy and give away too much information for me to pull a question from the mix. I looked through it and came up with these two problems.

Convert 8.00 x 1019 molecules HCN to grams

Convert 385.29 km to inches

 Then, in a moment of  grace-goodwill-kindness (or sheer stupidity) I am pulling a larger question from the exam. It follows.

A five (5.00) gallon bucket full of a highly toxic liquid metal (mercury) weighs in at 0.28376 tons.  How many pounds is this? What is the density of mercury in grams per cubic centimeter?

Good luck everyone...and if you happen to look here on my blog (like I suggested), then good fortune and about 18 points are yours.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


So, the new header is a whole bunch of things rolled into one. Thanks, however, go first and foremost to David for the artwork (though maybe you should start thinking about tagging trains and such for part time work).

Friday, November 13, 2009

Protein Synthesis

So, all of my Biology classes recently went to the computer lab for our follow-up lesson on protein synthesis. It went well I thought. There are tons of great sites on the internet that walk students through the process. Back in the day--after walking to and from school in the snow, uphill both ways--we didn't have the internet for lurnin'. We had to get the information exclusively from the teacher (or heaven forbid--the book). I'm not implying that it was better or less interesting. I'm simply saying that it was different. I know, I know, I am sorry for the back-in-the-day story. Because the old-time stories crack me up I'm sure you'll be hearing more in the near future.

Anyway, back to the topic: protein synthesis.

If you missed the assignment because you were sick or skiing or basking in the glow of the television, the links for the assignment follow. You will need to write a paragraph (five sentences or more) for each website listed.

  1. Cell Scale
  2. Build DNA
  3. Transcription
  4. The Firefly

What do you write, you ask? Um, what you are seeing, what is says, or what you learned from them. It's not complicated. The DNA Fingerprinting website is necessary too. That handout is here.

Oh, we just did a literacy assignment based on a long story. Different classes dissected different articles. This article on the 1918 flu pandemic will work though if you missed it during class. Your assignment, as an alternate, is to write two paragraphs summarizing the article.

Good luck and have fun.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Prisoner

To quote Wikipedia: The Prisoner (wiki link) is a 17-episode British television series broadcast in the UK from 29 September 1967 to 1 February 1968. Starring and co-created by Patrick McGoohan (imdb link), who plays No. 6, it combined spy fiction with elements of science fiction, allegory, and psychological drama.

Patrick McGoohan died on January 13th of this year. Most people would remember him from Braveheart; he also starred in some classic movies like Ice Station Zebra and Escape From Alcatraz. There are, however, a group of fans that also know him from the series The Prisoner and it's prequel Danger Man.

The Prisoner is actually quite pervasive in modern pop-culture (from Black Sabbath to The Simpsons). There is a nice link explaining many of them here. The village used in the series is Portmeirion (their website)--a resort in coastal (and what isn't?) Wales, England (it's not a conspiracy of cartographers--we'll save that post for another time). As far as the TV show goes--it's not for everyone. I obviously didn't see it on it's first run. My father introduced it to me when I was probably 10 or so. It will always be a part of my youth.

There are only 11 websites dedicated to The Prisoner. The "official" fan club is called Six Of One and has tons and tons of great stuff.

I bring all of this up for two reasons:
  1. If you haven't seen The Prisoner than you really owe it to yourself to watch a few episodes. 
  2. A remake will be shown on AMC on November 15th starring Jim Caviezel & Ian McKellen--it looks promising.
Update: Wired just posted a Prisoner retrospective too; clearly copying my post. See it here. It's pretty well done.

Be seeing you.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Extra Credit--for everyone

Good morning everyone. If you're reading this blog then you're lucky enough to get a chance to earn some easy extra credit points--it's not a lot, but something is better than nothing.

Ignore Using standard typed format the and convention blue, write at words least three please paragraphs about they what you've are learned in only class so there far that to you think confuse is important you enough you as would pass blue it on always to someone does else.  Due November 20th. Chemistry students can earn up to 10 points. Biology students--the same. Good Luck and have fun.

Friday, October 30, 2009


So, I downloaded an app--because there is always an app for that. Yhe resultbis that I can post from my iPhone.

Right before I left work I fed Fluffy. Well, she ate, and I watched. All I can say is it was crazy cool. She stalked a cricket, and then attacked! She held it in her mouth and spun in clock-wise circles--spinning a thin web in the ground around her. She carried the cricket around. Kind of like a dog carrying a bone.


Well, to accompany the riveting play-by-play, I am attaching a few photos of the carnage. I only regret not taking video. Maybe next time.

Note the cricket in her mouth.

She is spinning at this point. I'm not sure if she was chanting at this point, but is was disconcerting at the least.

This picture shows her eyes really well. She is still carrying the cricket.

And this is my favorite tarantula portrait. I think she knew i was taking the picture. Is that a smile?

Happy Halloween everyone.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, October 23, 2009

End of the Quarter Fun

Okay, is it me, or is Fluffy the most photographed tarantula ever?

Halloween is right around the corner. What costume will you be wearing? Well, as we wait for that to scare us we have an end of a grading period. The quarter ends on Friday. Our Biology classes had a Cell Project due. It was worth 30 points...and believe it or not...a few students decided to not turn one in. I hope they'll be okay. Most students did and I took a picture of one or two to share with you. Great job students!!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Monday, fluffy, and xkcd

Good evening everyone. I am typing this as I sit quietly at home. Hannah is flipping through channels--watching Ghost Rider AND Mrs. Winterborne. I find it hard to complain. How many times do you flip through channels and watch several shows at the same time? Oh, I know this is one of those "when I was a kid" stories, but I remember the television dials, and turning your wrist enough that you could flip through all of the channels in one motion. Sydney is doing 6th grade math--something about oats, corn, 1940, and 2000.

Coming soon to this extra credit assignment just for you. Don't miss it.

I cleaned Fluffy's cage today. It was during the end of 8th period. An empty cage looks like this

With an empty cage Fluffy had a temporary home. Well, it was a glass beaker. And for a time it was a little frightening. I mean she is large and some students do get a weee bit nervous. She gladly crawled into the beaker and stayed there. After cleaning the cage I had to put the entire beaker in the aquarium because she couldn't be dislodged from it. I'll add a picture of the her new digs tomorrow, but for the moment I'll leave you a picture of her up-close and personal. This is fluffy taking a portrait. She clung to the glass on the inside of the beaker for over an hour. I think she was scared. Kind of. I mean, really, how scared could a tarantula be? Clinging to the glass was kind of cool. She was really lodged in there. And it seems a great and far more safe superpower than teleporting itself so it can lay eggs in ears.

An update!!! Her new home all clean and sparkly...and she is drinking! No, not a margarita or anything like that (I think she is is underage, though I haven't asked for ID).

Dating for Biologists cartoon made me laugh at xkcd. See it & more at here


Friday, October 16, 2009


So, the chemistry classes--after the exam--watched a portion of a brand new song by They Might Be Giants, titled Meet The Elements. See it on youtube here.  It's cute and appropriate for everyone. Then there is the Barenaked Ladies song used as the theme song (The History of Everything) for the TV show The Big Bang Theory. See it here; it's pretty cute, too. 

Have a great weekend everyone. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Brandon asks about the origin of the word science...

Science: The word "science" came from the Latin word for knowledge: scientia. From the 1200's to until the 1840's science was known as natural philosophy.

The origin of the word sciencie, though, comes from me.  

Monday, October 12, 2009

The 7th Inning Stretch

Sports teams. I do watch a lot of sports; almost everything actually. I think, for the most part, we get our favorite teams from our parents--at least I did. I love the Los Angeles Rams. Well, the St. Louis Rams and the Greatest Show on Turf with Kurt Warner was awesome. When I lived in Sacramento it was pretty hard to not like the Kings. And I must confess that I don't watch much baseball, except for maybe during the playoffs. Go Yankees.

What does this have to do with anything?? Well, the next couple weeks--without a break--are pretty long weeks. We have lots to do, and lots to cover. In Biology, we'll be finishing the cell and starting on mitosis. Active Transport and diffusion are coming really soon.Specifically, we'll first do a lab about water. Then, we'll try to do a lob about diffusion and osmosis. We'll be looking at videos on active transport, and then under the microscope and elodea leaves again. This time though, we'll add salt water and see what it does.

Chemistry will be finishing up chemical reactions and starting dimensional analysis. Finishing up?? Yup, it means an exam. That's on freaky Friday. So, on Wednesday we'll finish our reactivity lab and then review briefly. Then on Tuesday we'll start with some conversions. There are among those conversions some that I simply expect you to memorize--I put them in a list that I call common knowledge. You'll love it.

So, sit down, buckle up, and keep your hands and feet inside the class at all times.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


I like words. Anyone who remotely knows me would probably be able to relate that I tend, on occasion, to use a few more syllables that others. I just like the verbiage. I mean why use a small word when a more dimunitive one would suffice? Their origin and usage are of particular interest to me. The phrase "between the devil and the deep blue sea," for instance (I love this line from a 1987 Jon Astley song off the album Everyone Loves the Pilot (Except the Crew)) [the song is pretty cool and classic late 80's stuff and the album actually features an Eric Clapton guitar riff or two, and the song is one of my all-time favorite's--do you know the song to which I am referring?], is an old sailing term. The keel of the ship is called the devil, and it had to be regularly cleaned of barnacles and the like. It doesn't sound like a very fun job mainly because it was generally done while the ship was moving. So, a sailor would be suspended down in front of the moving ship with ropes and then scrub the devil; so, that sailor was caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. Okay, not all words interest me. I'm not sure what makes one word more interesting than other to me; I haven't figured that out yet. All that being said, I have two words for you to consider.

Giggle. I know, it's used as a short, bubbly, high-pitched laugh. I propose its use also as meaning a group of girls. Like a crash of rhinoceroses (rhinoceri sounds cooler), or a murder of crows, or a pod of whales...a giggle of girls.

And a standalone word I created 25 years ago: Vexopyte. It's a long story actually. The end result though is a brand new word. I even created a definition: the film on the inside of automobile glass generally caused by the deterioration of the vehicle's interior; it is often difficult to remove thoroughly.

So, everyone, please use them often and well. Perhaps they'll both soon be quotidian. :)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Woden is...well, maybe you should look it up yourselves. I say this as a plural assuming incorrectly I am sure, that there will be more than one reader. It's a great story of word origin actually and worth typing in. You'll undoubtedly come up with the wiki definition as first choice from your internet search. It works for this just fine. I love that it's a precursor for Santa Claus.

Weekends of this length (I have Thursday and Friday off, in addition to Saturday and Sunday) are often good and bad. Don't get me wrong, I won't be arguing the extra couple days off--what I'm saying is that it's hard to come back after the long break. I almost feel like I need a break from the break. I am totally excited to have the few days without work; it just makes me wish I had won the lottery and didn't have to come back to work.

I hope everyone has a great break and enjoys their time with friends and family.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Chemistry Extra Credit

Okay, this doesn't come along very often. It is exactly as advertised and is available for a finite time. It is due the day we come back from the five day weekend. The details are:
Page One--cover page including title, name, date, and call period.
Page Two--the body must be 12 point font (Times New Roman or the like [Helvetica or Calibri too]) and double spaced with one inch margins. Include citations in MLA format.
Page Three--References in MLA format

Please don't plagiarize by cutting and pasting anything. You actually might lose points if you are caught. Just do your own work.

Finally, the subject: pick a scientist guy or gal who has contributed to chemistry.


Good luck and have fun.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Biology & The Cell

We are studying the cell. The details are completely interesting. Yeah, I're thinking...not so much. As a student though, it is new. It is new information and new stuff. It is filled with new vocabulary. Scientists with new names and new ideas. Each and every class period is filled with something new. How does that feel? Really.

Biology students--for extra credit (valid and due on Tuesday (NO LATER))--write one page on a scientist that has contributed to our further knowledge of Biology.  If you plagiarize or cut and paste I won't accept it and you risk actually losing points. You will have to include, too, your sources and properly cite your sources on a separate piece of paper.
Page One--Cover page; include Name, date, and class period. A title here is also necessary.
Page Two--The body. Double spaced, 12 point font. No more, no less. Cite your work.
Page Three--References. MLA format. Two sources are the minimum.
All stapled neatly (in the top left corner) together. Some strange people have a love/hate relationship with staplers--so I must clarify. 

As a teacher staying up to date and keeping things fresh and interesting is a challenge. This thing called teaching isn't easy. I have always said that being interesting and doing a great job teaching is extremely difficult.

And kudos to all those teachers who make an effort. It is often tireless and thankless, and the dedication is noted and appreciated.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Well, classes are well underway as they are almost everywhere. Each period has its own ebb and flow--its own personality--and its own nuances. Some of them are better than others as a whole, while some aren't. I know every teacher has similar observations, so I know I'm not revealing anything new and cool. I am, however, still fascinated by it. After all, the kids are equally smart, funny, and interesting. It's in the mix then--the right combination of students that make teachers love or hate a period. Yes, there is a middle ground...some classes you love AND hate. Alright, not really...there are some classes that seem to go slowly into the night. Maybe those are functions of of the time of day and such.

Back to classes. Biology classes are just starting the cell--the basic unit of life, not the prison type. We'll be in that unit for a few more weeks. Between Cell Theory, cool scientists, organelles, function, active transport, osmosis, and mitosis (among the longer list) we'll be busy for a while.

Chemistry students are neck deep in chemical reactions. We'll be having a test in the next couple of weeks. So, good luck with that. 

Monday, September 21, 2009


Okay, this might better be posted as a Friday update, but the topic itself warrants a posting by itself. I come to work fairly early. I get here at 7. I know, you're saying, that's not early, but after an hour drive and getting ready, I feel like the day has been going for a while, and so relatively, it feels early. After all, I get to watch the stars and stuff that early in the dark morning skies.

Well, today's arrival came with the news that apparently, Fluffy was found in the halls.


She is in an aquarium. With the lid firmly closed. So, her escape and escapade is either one of two things: another superpower (by that, I mean the new ability to teleport out of the cage), or someone let her out. I'm really hoping no one let her out. I mean, she could get hurt running around the halls and such. Big shoes could hurt her too. Small ones too, I would imagine. And although I'm hoping for the teleportation angle, I'm thinking that option seems shady at best. Was the teloportation trick in an effort to get my attention? Was she teleporting to the hallways as a sort of aiming sortie--sort of getting bearings?? Hmmmm. I will keep you posted as news and details of this amazing new superpower become clear.

Update 1: Apparently, Fluffy was found in the A-hall outside a teacher's classroom.

Friday, September 18, 2009


I wonder if there is a universal feeling of jubilation on Friday? Is that the underlying premise of TGIF? But does everyone feel that way? I'm only asking. Generally it seems like they are fluff kind of days, but lately they have really rocked. I mean that in the very best way. Today, for instance, we were really really busy and kept the pressure on. Full lectures and little activities. I think (nay, I hope) the classes went well.

I hope all those that come to visit Raine World have a great Friday and I hope my students had a great time in class.

TGIF...see you all on Monday.

Oh, a Fluffy may or not know that Fluffy molted recently. She (I think...again, I'm not going to ask, but I read that males are really unsettled, while females seem more content) shed her skin, and in the process she got noticeably larger. And she gained a superpower. She can now climb the glass walls of the aquarium (I'll post a picture shortly). This new superpower was a surprise to me and the students sitting near the cage. She "magically" appeared on the counter next to a couple of students. It's now more common to see her on the glass than it is under the boards.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Okay...chemistry students...

Your assignment is straightforward. Read the linked article in this posting about thermometers and make an intelligent comment about it. Even a question or something you'd like to know more about after reading it.

A great short story on the history of the thermometer from's pretty good. And short.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Cough cough cough

Good morning everyone. I took the weekend off of blogging for my classes. But I'm back. Sick, but back. It is exactly like first-year-teacher-sick. Blech. I hate that. A little fever and a cough. The cold? The flu? Me and my DayQuil will survive.

It has been an interesting few weeks blogging. And I happen to have a few followers. I'm excited about it. Terrified, but excited. No, not confident.

A note about one of the followers. Several years ago I started as a principal in a small town north of Twin Falls, Idaho. 350 students. 20 something teachers. I was given two tasks when I was hired: change the archaic and ineffective schedule, and raise test scores. Well, several years later with a brand spankin' new schedule and test scores that merited state award and recognition; my goal and challenge were complete. Well, I certainly couldn't have done it alone. Along the way I met some great colleagues that I am happy to call my friends. I don't believe you can teach anyone, anything without first developing a relationship with them. The staff and I, for instance, had to develop a relationship before we could move in any direction--much less a positive one.

On with the story: two years ago I had to hire for a social studies position. I'm not sure if any of you have ever had to wade through the sea of social studies applications, but I am here to tell you...wear your waders. From mouth breathers (applicants that have a hard time chewing gum and walking at the same time) to lookey-loos (teachers that just want an interview and don't have any intention of actually accepting your offer), the list of applicants was both tedious and tiring. On occasion, however, one teacher comes in and sits down, and you are sure you see it. You see the genuine article sitting before you. Carly was that for me. The interview committee was overwhelmed with her presence and thoughtfulness. It was, for me, an easy choice. And my intuition was correct--Carly turned into a great teacher--inspite of me. So, I hope this posting finds one of my friends doing well and enjoying the climate of her new digs (she left when I left) in the State of Ada.

And not to cloud the post, but Happy Birthday to her. Wish her well.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Biology Assignment

Hello Biology students.

Looking for your assignment?

Okay. You need to look around house, home, store, or mall...anywhere actually that has a product of some sort. Jot down the metric units it uses. For instance, my Pepsi can (now, you can't use this one) says it is 355 mL. You need to write down ten (10) of them.

Now, comment to this thread. I'll match your name with my gradebook and give you credit.

Good luck and have fun.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

ISS & mice

Okay, so I've a made a big deal out of the space station. But can you blame me? I mean really, it soars overhead at an average height of 220 miles above the surface of earth at over 17,000 miles an hour. It has allowed a continual presence of someone in space for almost nine consecutive years.

So, for students interested take a peek at the following websites: the official NASA site, the wiki site, more overview, and Boeing's site on the ISS.

S119-E-009662 -- International Space Station
Image courtesy of NASA.

An finally, if you'd like to see the ISS the definitive guide to viewing all satellites is heavens-above.

Okay, now mice...the ultimate sciencie thing...levitation. Really.


Good morning everyone.

I'm not sure about the 3 people that actually look at this blog...but I am exhausted (yeah, it's only a four-day work week), but seriously.

Okay, if you like sciencie (pretend to put a little flower over the i--it makes it cuter I'm told) stuff [and, really, who doesn't], and you are a nerd of sorts, AND you have a sense of humor you might like to investigate the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. It started as a rebuttal to...well, maybe you should just find out yourself. Ramen.

On other more important issues our Biology quiz is today and tomorrow. The details are on the side bar to the right. Graph. Hair color. Data table. Not hard at all. After we'll go over scientific method again, and then follow up with some metric stuff ( I have a new assignment we'll try) and then on to cells.

Chemistry classes, on the other hand, are going to kill me. Fun stuff the next few days. We have a density lab today. Volume and mass of objects. It's not that hard really. We'll also try to spot the space station in broad daylight--wish us luck. Chemistry is also continuing with nomenclature assignments on their way to double displacement reactions. I'll be posting those assignments for downloading shortly.

And finally, this awesome post from about the sewing machine. Really, it's worth the time to read.

Update: we looked for the ISS and we did not see it. dang it. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


So, it's hump day. The week is half over--at least in theory anyway. This week in classes include a major quiz in Biology and more nomenclature for Chemistry students. Biology students will be seeing the world through microscopes starting today too.

Sciencie related is the space shuttle and the International Space Station. They are visible across most of the western United States for the next several nights. Email and ask for times, or look on and navigate through their pages. Tonight, for instance it will be visible at 9:11 on the western horizon. It says it will be overhead at 9:14 and we'll lose sight a couple of minutes later. Taking the few minutes to watch it pass over is really worth your time. It is falling at almost 18,000 miles an hour and is brighter than really any star out right now. In fact, I understand it's possible to see during the day...well, not in direct high-in-the-sky sunlight. Still--completely cool. I think my afternoon class will go out and try to see it during class. You shouldn't miss it...

Oh, and if you visit you totally need to leave a comment...please. And YOU know who I'm talking about.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Day Three

Today's post marks day three. I won't post over the weekend. Well, probably. I mean I could. But I probably won't. It's not that I can't. I have a laptop at home and I can log in, but it's Labor Day weekend. Work will undoubtedly be the furthest thing from my mind. Maybe. I can even post from my iPhone. Well, that's not completely true. There is--of course--an app for that. I just don't have it. All the apps on my phone are free ones. I haven't wanted to spend any money on any apps. If I keep this blog thing up I might have to spring for it--though procrastination may prevail. I've read that a free blog app is coming. We'll see if Apple approves it.

Speaking of apps for everything...this one cracks me up. Credit to Divine Caroline here.

Oh My really need to check out this article from CNN--pictures of Mars. They are incredible!

I may actually add a couple of links to an online periodic table--incase you've misplaced yours.

So, unless something seriously sciencie happens over the weekend...peace out.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Day Two

Okay, so this is day two of my new website. Far too many things to do to spend a lot of time on this today. Trying to stay ahead of the grueling pace I've set for the students is going to take a toll on me...

I have, however, been completely intrigued and consumed with the possibilities and thoughts of how to use this for the class. And because I'm new to the process I'm probably behind the times. Hmmmm. So, if you have ideas for making the site better please let me know. If I'm able I'm happy to accommodate. Nathan, in fact, made a comment on yesterday's post...just before he flipped having realized that the 7 fishies are of a certain color scheme.

And again, to all those just visiting Raine World for the first time...please come again.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


There has been some speculation regarding my pet spider (I many times are those words uttered). It was graciously given to me my some outstanding kids. They performed flawlessly in the play Robin Hood that I help direct. As thanks, they presented me with a tarantula. I'm still not sure what that says about me...but it was nice nonetheless. Sceptically, I kept him (or her). I still haven't asked--it seems rude. They bought (from a catalog) a Pink-Toed tarantula. Now, almost six months later and after one molt (creepy, by the way), I can say without equivocation, that it's NOT a pink-toed tarantula. I am, however, pretty sure it's a Chilean Rose tarantula (Grammastola rosea). So, from time to time, I will post a Fluffy update and a picture.

a wiki link for the curious

New Beginnings

Hmmmm. My first blog. Seriously, it's 2009 already...and I'm just now getting with the program. Well, Mr. Caldwell (a fabulous math teacher in Gooding) said once that if I started a blog he would certainly follow it. I totally need to email him and remind him.

This new blog is actually meant to be for my students. I'm hoping to keep this up and post sciencie stuff all the time. And for the students, I hope to link assignments too. We will be having a some things available here for extra credit if you follow along from time to time. I suppose we'll see how that goes.

If you've stumbled across this little corner of the internet accidentally, well...welcome.

So, between my students (like all 3,000 of them) and my friends (well, more like both of them), I'm hoping to have a few followers...

In the meantime, however, please make suggestions and the like...