Thursday, November 29, 2012

Sugar, sugar

We built Maltose today in first period. 

From Abbey and Pia

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


We're doing a lab...reactivity of Honor's Chemistry. I watched a few students just now looking for a reaction. This is what it reminded me of:

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Man Who Stole...

Okay, back to science for a minute. Watch this short's really pretty cool. be patient though...

Monday, September 24, 2012

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Hi everyone...I end up recommending this a couple of times a year. It's Dropbox. Ask a friend. It's wonderful. Store everything. It's really great stuff...try it here. Free. Oh, by clicking on through my link--you get a little extra storage.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Scientific Method*

This always makes me smile.

*All right, there is no THE scientific method. It's just a way of thinking. You do it everyday with a million different things. Is the stove hot? Hmmm. Observe. Hypothesize (If i put my hand on the burner  and it's hot, then I'll burn my hand because the heat transfers to my skin). Experiment (give it a try). Result? Well, after you peel the skin off be sure to let me know. :) All right...please don't try this on your own hand.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Fulcrum

This is the (probably) cover for my book. Almost done. Kinda starting to get excited.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Yep. This is an image from the explorer Curiosity. It's powered by Plutonium-238. It is totally science--and toootally cool.

Welcome to my blog. Take a look around. Assignments are on the right. Funny/cool stuff is below. Enjoy. Make sure you keep coming back to look for extra credit stuff too.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Calculator Chat Intro...

Okay everyone...the moment you've all been waiting for...Calculator Chat!

Now, this is just the intro...but, please press play...and enjoy. ;)

Stay tuned for more...coming soon. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

thank you

I got this today from a great student. No, they're not great because they got me something. They're great because they said thanks. And if you said thanks, then you're great too. I hope all of you had a great time this year and learned a little Chemistry (or Biology) along the way. Though, if you sat in my class you know this is about way more then just a little curriculum. :)
So, please everyone have a great summer! Check back in here to see clips from Calculator Chat. Email me if you get bored. See you all in a few short months. 


Monday, June 4, 2012

And still more science

Please, take a moment (the video is short)...the images are beautiful...and the message is worth your time [I promise].

It's a short Vimeo video called Rare: Portraits of America's Endangered Species by Joel Sartore. 


Friday, June 1, 2012

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Friday, May 18, 2012

a Burning Ring of Fire

May 20th--Sunday--the Moon will pass between the Earth and Sun, creating a solar eclipse. This one is a little different because the Moon will be at apogee (the furthest point in its orbit--the orbit isn't a true circle), so it won't completely cover the face of the Sun. Want to look? Go here for ideas (yes, it's about seeing upcoming Venus transit, but it still gives nice information about looking at the Sun).  Here too. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE DON'T LOOK DIRECTLY AT THE SUN (unless you're already blind--but then you wouldn't be reading this :)).

Friday, May 11, 2012

It's Rainin...Meteors

I seriously love meteor showers--they are wicked cool. 

Clicking on the image takes you to the high-res version. I got this from 8bitniblet (a cool tumblr blog), who got it from jtotheizzoe (another blog...about science). How do you use this?

  •  The date on the left is the early morning after midnight on the day it will peak (so “October 7” is between  midnight and sunrise on the morning of the 7th). 
  • The constellation represents the point in the sky that the shower will “originate” from. 
  • Choose someplace dark, away from city lights, and bring a blanket and a friend.
  • Enjoy.
  • Tuesday, May 8, 2012


    There's a moment in Predator (the movie) that we discover the alien collects the skulls of his victims as trophies.

    I'm pretty sure the assassin bug (and what a cool name) in this picture isn't collecting the killed insects as trophies--there is speculation and some argument. One point of view says it's to mask their scent, like aroma camouflage, allowing them to sneak in closer to the potential victims. Another point of view is that they use it as armor, so that when a bird or something attacks it only strikes the dead its collected. It's probably a combination of the two I would surmise. Either way though--AWESOME!

    From Ark In Space

    Wednesday, May 2, 2012


    So. That's my desk--or at least it was. There's the mercury (we named in Melvin), and a McDonalds cup, and my Mac. Thanks Josh for sending the clip.

    Wednesday, April 25, 2012


    Extra credit for Honors Chemistry? Want some? A titration lab. Yep. You need to write it up and do it before school. It's worth up to 15 points. It must be completed (write-up and all) by the end of May.

    Tuesday, April 24, 2012


    They size is relative. I saw this image and thought I'd share. 

    Thursday, April 19, 2012

    Practice Makes Perfect. Sometimes. Maybe. Kinda.

    Chemistry student? Like Chemistry? Like Tests? Just like stalking my blog for the awesome content? Well, I've got a great little deal. Take the practice Chem Test #4 (100 questions), score better than 85%, and I'll give you extra credit. Yep. Easy-peasy. :) Click on the picture to get started. 

    If you're in Biology class, the same deal applies--except you have take the second Biology Test and you have a different enrollment code.

    NEW enrollment code... nose44

    Good luck & have fun.

    Wednesday, April 18, 2012

    Titrate This

    We're doing a titration lab this week. Acids, bases, phenolphthalein, burets, Vernier LabQuests, pH probes, buffers. Oh My. 

    Cool Stuff. Great job everyone. 


    Today is the anniversary of Mr. Einstein's death. April 18, 1955. This is a picture of his office, taken the day of his death.

    Here's the Life story; it has more photographs by Ralph Morse, and a cool story.

    Really, take a peek.

    Thursday, April 12, 2012


    Okay, besides being one of the best lines in any movie ever, Khan is also the name of a website you might want to visit. It's a ton of short lessons you can watch on nearly everything. Really. Don't understand? Can't come in? Click (the picture below), search, watch, and learn.

    Tuesday, April 10, 2012

    a meme


    This cartoon always makes me laugh...this one has tons of information too. Click. Look. Laugh. Learn.

      Or go to xkcd to see it there.

    Friday, March 30, 2012

    Calculator Chat

    Okay, so if you've seen an episode of Calculator Chat send me a picture of your calculator and we'll post it here. Here's mine:


    Mr. Harris's...

    Tuesday, March 27, 2012

    If you've ever sat in my class you're probably scarred for life. Also, coincidentally, you know i love graphs--and so does Adam Savage. Take a peek, it's pretty funny. Well done too.

    Wednesday, March 21, 2012


    Does this need an explanation? 

    Regardless, if you do conduct an acid/base test at home and use this to determine the pH of your sample...comment and I'll publish it here. 

    Friday, March 16, 2012

    Elephant's Toothpaste

    A demonstration in class...

    so you can relive the special moments.
    and finally...

    Yep...that's me teaching...

    or something like that.

    Blinded By The Light

    The picture is from Alan Friedman--on Discover magazine. 
    The Sun. Seriously. It's swell, super, spectacular, special even. ;) The solar flares start out from a sunspot. There have been a few this past week (flares--from a sunspot). Here's a picture of the sunspot in question. Pretty cool if you ask me. Here's a couple more pictures of our favorite star too.

    The Doctor Is In

    Edwin Hubble

    Edwin Hubble was born in Missouri in the year 1889. He was one of seven children and his father was an insurance agent. He received his first telescope when he was 8 and developed an early passion for astronomy from it. He father tried to put an end to his astronomy because he wanted Edwin to study law. Edwin studied law at a college in Britain and also secretly studied physics and astronomy. He came back to the United States to teach high school and to also coach basketball. Hubble eventually got to use one of the Yerkes Observatory telescopes; this was the beginning to his astronomy career. Later Hubble saw that the Andromeda nebula was such a far distance away it could not be in the Milky Way Galaxy. It made others realize that the Milky Way is just a tiny area in our universe. He would soon later find that the universe was expanding constantly. Edwin found this by examining that the light of distant galaxies was changing meaning that everything in the universe was moving away further away from everything else. Hubble’s discoveries changed the perception that we have on the universe.
    --Jonathan E.

    Edward Teller is most well known for his contributions to the development of the hydrogen bomb. However, he was also a very well accomplished theoretical physicist. Born in Budapest, Hungary in 1903, Teller was well known to be extremely supportive of the development and discovery of nuclear weapons, and opposed those who wanted to ban bomb tests. He also was an advocate of many other projects such as the Strategic Defense Initiative. Edward Teller was named one of the most controversial physicists of the twentieth century and also labeled one of the most politically influential scientists of his time.

    Charity V.

     Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen was born in Lennep, Germany in 1845. When he was three, he move to Apeldoorn and was raised in the Netherlands. He went to the Institute of Martinus Herman van Doorn. He later went to the ambachtsschool in Utrecht, but was expelled for not admitting who a classroom bully was. He was investigating the external effects of vacuum equipment when an electrical discharge passed through them. He found that cathode rays created a fluorescent effect on a piece of cardboard painted with barium platinocyanide. He tested this effect over a weekend, and discovered a new type of electromagnetic radiation he called X-rays. He took a photograph of his wife’s hand, Anna Bertha, with X-rays. She was terrified when she saw her skeleton. Wilhelm continued testing for weeks to make sure he didn’t mess up his experiment, and wrote a paper entitled, “On a New Kind of Rays” on December 28th, 1895. Röntgen’s discoveries led to the use of diagnostic radiology, which uses X-ray images to diagnose disease. Röntgen died from carcinoma of the intestine in 1923.
     --Ryan S.

    Gustav Theodor Fechner was an experimental psychologist born in Germany on April 19, 1801. He inspired many 20th century scientists and philosophers with his early ideas and experiments in psychology. He studied medicine at the Medizinisch-Chirurgische Akademie in Dresden and later continued his studies at the University of Leipzig. He was made the professor of physics in 1834 at the University of Leipzig. He later published well known chemical and physical papers and translated chemical works from the French language to others. He made many discoveries in bodily and conscious facts. He tried to find an exact mathematical correlation between the body and the conscience.
                      Ironically, in 1839 he acquired an eye disorder while studying color and vision. This caused him to resign from the office of professor and return home to recover. While in this state of recovery, he started studying the mind and how it relates to the body. He even gave public lectures on his findings on the subject. One of his most well known ideas is the Fechner color effect. This effect is a perceptual illusion whereby colors are seen in a moving pattern of black and white and is still very mysterious today. Fechner is known today as one of the founders of modern experimental psychology.
    -- Adam K.

      Leo Szilard, a Hungarian physicist and inventor, was the first to conceive the nuclear chain reactor in 1933. He also patented the idea of a nuclear reactor with Enrico Fermi. Later, he also conceived three other important devices, which were the electron microspore, the linear accelerator, and the cyclotron. However, he did not build or publish these ideas in the scientific community often, so the credit often went to others who took his ideas and actually created them. Since he did not create his inventions, he did not receive any nobel prizes, but two of his inventions did. Leo Szilard was also directly responsible for the creation of the Manhattan Project. He drafted a letter to FDR explaining the possibility of having nuclear weapons and warning him of Nazi work on such weapons. He got a signature from Albert Einstein, a friend of his and collaborator, and sent it to FDR.
    --Jeremy Wu

    George Washington Carver was an African American chemist for agriculture, also known as an agronomist. He is known for his experiments to develop cheap alternatives for farming based off of products such as peanuts, soybeans, and potatoes. His success in his experimentation led to a boost in the agricultural economy for the southern United States.  Carver was born in 1864 as the child of slavery in Missouri. During the Civil War, his master sent him to Arkansas to prevent his freedom. He was eventually adopted by his owner, Moses Carter, and they provided him an education. When he was twenty, he eventually got his high school diploma in Minneapolis. He tried to apply to the University of Kentucky, but was rejected based off of his skin color. The college that he attended was Iowa State Agricultural College, where he got a master’s degree in agricultural science in 1896. George Washington Carver was one of the first African American scientists, who not only made a big impact on science, but also on the economy of an entire section of our country. In 1940, just three years before he died, he donated all of his life savings to establish the Carver Research Foundation for continuing research in agriculture.         
    --Advaith A.                                     

    Robert Hooke's researches over almost 40 years covered a variety of Natural Philosophy. According to, "He suggested in 1672 that the vibrations in light might be perpendicular to the direction of propagation. He investigated the colors of membranes and of thin plates of mica, and established the variation of the light pattern with the thickness of the plates."
    Hooke is best known to those who study elementary Physics through Hooke's Law. His interest in gases and their properties also found expression in his work on respiration. He built the first reflecting telescope, discovered how Mars rotates, and also discovered one of the earliest examples of a double star.
    --Monica K.


    John Dalton was the son of a weaver. His family didn’t approve of him going out to study sciences. He became famous in a very short period of time. His first paper was about color blindness. Years later, he started research for atomic theory. He became very well known and was invited to many famous institutes for presentations. Towards the end of his life, he had 3 strokes which caused him to have a speech impediment. He died a couple months after his last stroke.
     --Geethanjali M.

    Richard P. Feynman was born in New York City on May 11th in 1918. Feynman studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and continued his studies at Princeton University. He obtained his Ph. D. in physics in 1942 (24 years old). He met Hans Bethe at Cornell University and there became involved with the Manhattan Project. They became good friends, and later, with J. Robert Oppenheimer also. Feynman was usually the “life” of the parties at Los Alamos, and also loved playing practical jokes. In 1965, he shared a Nobel Prize with Shinichiro and Julian Schwinger in Physics.  Feynman later died in 1988 from abdominal cancer.
    --Chris S.

    IGNAZ SEMMELWEIS “The savior of Mothers”

    He was one of the pioneers in antiseptic procedures.  Ignaz was working in a hospital that had a high incidence of puerperal fever in the obstetrical unit.  This fever was often fatal and had a mortality rate of 10-35%.  He found that the doctors where conducting autopsies’ or were working on cadavers, then they were delivery babies.  He observed that the doctors were not washing their hand in-between procedures.

    Ignaz established a protocol of washing hands with chlorinated lime solution (1847). This reduced the mortality rate to below 1%.  Even with this evidence he was a “rebel” in the medical community and his hand washing theory was rejected.  He was not able to offer a scientific reason for hand washing; this was the main reason for rejection.  Also doctors of his time were arrogant and “were not about to wash their hands just because someone told them to.”

    It is interesting my Mom works I healthcare today (2012) and she states that the one area she has to educate staff on over and over is hand washing.  People forget and the touch their hair, clothes, faces, etc and don’t realize they have just contaminated their hands.  How many more years do you think it will take before hand washing is done with the frequency it needs to be?

    --Jeffrey H. 

     Stephen Hawking is probably one of the most (if not the most) influential theoretical physicists alive today.  He has published many books on physics theory, formed several prominent scientific theories, and reshaped the way humanity views the universe... all regardless of his chronic muscular sclerosis.  He was born in 1942 and received a degree at Oxford University in 1962, at which time he developed his disease.  Unhindered, Hawking went on to make huge additions to Einstein's Theory of Relativity and to Quantum Mechanics theories.  He quickly became famous; Hawking has taught classes, hosted television shows, even been in space.  He's won several scientific awards, including the Franklin and Einstein Medals.  He is, of course, still alive.
    --Abe D.

    Monday, March 12, 2012


    This is a piece of Trinitite. This particular piece is from Alamogordo, New Mexico. Trinitite, all of it, was formed in a split-second when the first nuclear bomb exploded on July 16, 1945. This piece is slightly greenish, smooth on the top, and rough on the bottom. Enclosed on epoxy and labeled Trinitite & Los Alamos & Scientific & Laboratory this artifact must have sat on a desk. 

    Just a seriously cool piece of American History.

    Here's more (a wiki article on Alamogordo glass, a nice article on it, and another with some for sale).

    Update: I emailed Los Alamos National Laboratory and asked. No reply yet.

    Friday, March 9, 2012