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. :)